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newthinking

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Endless Wars Have Cost Americans $1.6 Trillion, Report Finds

[Font size=3]Endless Wars Have Cost Americans $1.6 Trillion, Report Finds

Post-9/11 military operations are second only to World War II in terms of financial cost—and 'the costs go on.'
by
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Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/12/23/endless-wars-have-cost-americans-16-trillion-report-finds


[font size=1]The Human Cost of War Exhibition at a downtown mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo: Bob Mical/flickr/cc)[/font]

The United States has spent $1.6 trillion on post-9/11 military operations, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, weapons procurement and maintenance, and base support, according to a report (pdf) issued earlier this month by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

As some analysts point out, that's more money than the U.S. spent on the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 all rolled into one.

According to International Business Times, "the $1.6 trillion estimate, which comes to $14 million per hour since 9/11...is up roughly half a trillion dollars from its 2010 estimate, which found that the post-9/11 military operations are second only to World War II in terms of financial cost."

Of the $1.6 trillion total, CRS specialist Amy Belasco estimates that the funding breaks down as such:

$686 billion (43%) for Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan);
$815 billion (51%) for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (Iraq);
$27 billion (2%) for Operation Noble Eagle (providing enhanced security at military bases and military operations related to homeland security);
$81 billion (5%) for war-designated funding not considered directly related to the Afghanistan or Iraq wars.

Continued: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/12/23/endless-wars-have-cost-americans-16-trillion-report-finds

Eastern Ukraine: Humanitarian Disaster Looms as Food Aid Blocked

[font size=2]Eastern Ukraine: Humanitarian Disaster Looms as Food Aid Blocked[/font]
Amnesty International
LONDON -

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/12/24/eastern-ukraine-humanitarian-disaster-looms-food-aid-blocked

Pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine in a move which will exacerbate a pending humanitarian crisis in the run up to Christmas and New Year, said Amnesty International.

“As winter sets in, the already desperate situation in eastern Ukraine is being made even worse by the volunteer battalions preventing food aid and medicine from reaching those in need. It is no secret that the region is facing a humanitarian disaster with many already at risk of starvation,” said Denis Krivosheev, acting Director of Europe and Central Asia for Amnesty International.

“These battalions often act like renegade gangs and urgently need to be brought under control. Denying food to people caught up in a conflict is against international law and the perpetrators must be held to account.”

Amnesty International has received information that the pro-Kyiv battalions, which include Dnipro-1 and Aidar, have blocked aid entering territories controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR).

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/12/24/eastern-ukraine-humanitarian-disaster-looms-food-aid-blocked

The US is still the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave

The US is still the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave

The US supreme court is hearing a pregnancy discrimination case that could have far-reaching effects for American women who work through their pregnancies

Jessica Valenti: Why doesn’t the US do more to help pregnant women?


Link to interactive: http://interactive.guim.co.uk/embed/2014/12/2014-12-maternity-leave/

The US supreme court on Wednesday is hearing the case of 42-year-old Peggy Young, who sued her employer, UPS, for pregnancy discrimination. Young claims the shipping company refused to accommodate her pregnancy by giving her a temporary assignment to avoid lifting heavy packages.

But as the case unfolds, the US continues to shirk an even more basic pregnancy accommodation: maternity leave.

The US is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity or parental leave to workers. It’s an often-cited statistic, but one which should continue to shock us.



http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/03/-sp-america-only-developed-country-paid-maternity-leave


War by Media and the Triumph of Propaganda

Secrecy, Surveillance and Censorship
War by Media and the Triumph of Propaganda
by JOHN PILGER

Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power?

These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.

The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an “invisible government”. It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.

The information age is actually a media age. We have war by media; censorship by media; demonology by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of obedient clichés and false assumptions.

Continued:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/05/war-by-media-and-the-triumph-of-propaganda/


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