Earth Care not Warfare is a network of activist groups and individuals united to support a sustainable environment, combat the military industrial complex and encourage life-affirming activities that build stronger communities.
Our meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month, at the Hillman City Collaboratory, located at 5623 Rainier Ave. South at 7:30 pm.
Once again the American people are being asked to support a war against a dangerous enemy – this time it’s the Islamic State (ISIL). The Obama Administration and the two previous ones have waged wars or conducted bombing campaigns in Iraq under a shifting set of rationales. Each was said to fulfill the need to protect “our vital interests as a nation and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks.”
This endless war has resulted in more than one million deaths, millions of refugees – more than 10% of the population – living abroad or internally displaced, and massive destruction of vital infrastructure, including water treatment and electrical power plants. The heavy metals, depleted uranium and other toxins produced by the bombardment of Iraqi cities, as well as the massive open-air burn pits used to cheaply destroy toxic waste products generated by the war, have caused alarming and increasing rates of cancers and birth defects.
ISIL did not exist ten years go. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and its installation of a Shiite-dominated government led to heavy-handed repression of the Sunni population. As a result, ISIL now rules over a large area in Iraq and Syria. Millions of people, including many Sunnis, abhor its reactionary agenda and persecution of dissent; but it has the passive support of many Sunnis because it has defended them from violence and repression.
The U.S. cannot erase an ideology by bombing, or heal sectarian conflicts through the barrel of a gun. The narcotic effect of air strikes, which spare the lives of U.S. soldiers, while killing others, takes the story off the front pages. The bombing inevitably causes widespread suffering among innocent people, serves as a recruitment tool for ISIL, and causes more people to hate us.
This unconscionable and perpetual war on the people of Iraq also wastes billions of dollars that are desperately needed here at home. Martin Luther King’s words ring true: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on the military than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” And, at a time in the history of our planet when its very survival is hanging in the balance, our country’s domination of the Middle East is all about speeding up the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – even though climate scientists are united in calling for fossil fuels to be left in the ground if life on the planet as we know it is to have any chance.
It is also an “inconvenient truth” that the U.S. military is one of the biggest carbon polluter in the world. Join us in building a people’s movement that demands an end to war and an urgent transition to clean, renewable energy. We strive for economic and social justice for all. We say Earth Care Not Warfare!