People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Eliminate U.S. military. Reduce U.S. military spending to zero

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commented 2018-01-19 18:34:24 -0500 · Flag
There is no legitimate reason to keep 50% of military spending or even 25%. Even 25% is an enormous number.
commented 2018-01-14 19:36:29 -0500 · Flag
I think “zero” is an inappropriate number. We are a political party and our candidates should be able to stand up in the presence of their opponents and defend GRP policies. “Zero” is not a defendable number because it takes only one credible counterexample where a military force would be needed in order to make it look irresponsible. We could argue about the best number, but “50%” is certainly in the range of good policy for the GRP. It is far beyond what any Democrat would support and it would make a radical difference in the use of military as an instrument of foreign policy. Making a 50% cut would face enormous practical difficulties, but once it was worked through, you could look for further cuts.
commented 2018-01-05 16:15:39 -0500 · Flag
commented 2018-01-04 18:18:44 -0500 · Flag
Let’s start with supporting closing US military bases located in foreign countries.
followed this page 2017-12-26 12:25:09 -0500
tagged this with Good 2017-12-26 12:24:11 -0500
commented 2017-12-23 23:41:36 -0500 · Flag
I like the spirit of this proposal and the thorough manner it is proposed. I think it’s worth discussing. My preference would be to call for an immediate cut of 75% in military spending with further cuts as soon as feasible. Beyond the budget, I think calling for specific actions make our platform strong, such as closing foreign military bases, dismantling all nuclear weapons, defunding new weapons programs, and bringing all troops home. There may need to be some “military” spending, just to close operations and re-purpose materials and personnel in a responsible manner. The demand to cut military spending should be coupled with creating new jobs in other sectors like education, social services, and environmental protection.
Our security is based on the solidarity of working people across borders, not the threat of war.
The Key Value “nonviolence” seems to vacillate between pacifism and humanitarian interventionism. Unfortunately, I don’t see it giving us clear guidance.
I see the purpose of the platform as setting out immediate demands. I think David makes the point well, that our differences with the Democratic Party and the capitalist-imperialist system is not a matter of degree. Our vision for a different society must be more than the sum of planks in our platform. I don’t think we can expect the platform to be the full expression of our values.
I am disturbed by the notion that the platform limited what Jill or other candidates could say. I think candidates should be free to explain how immediate demands in a platform relate to a grand vision. I even think candidates should be allowed to disagree with the platform, so long as they notify the Party before being nominated, and make the Party’s position and their differences clear whenever the issue comes up while campaigning.
A new world built on peaceful foundations has no need for militaries. Militaries only exist to separate working people from each other and the wealth they produce. The only real way to abolish military spending is to abolish this wretched capitalist-imperialist system and replace it with the international solidarity of all peoples. No law in Congress can do that. It must be built by the workers themselves in their factories, shops, fields, schools, churches, media, co-ops, unions, and neighborhoods.
tagged this with Good 2017-12-23 22:55:09 -0500
commented 2017-12-23 22:51:27 -0500 · Flag
Proposals imbued with wishful speculation about the possible belong either to the sphere of utopian (or of ideological) politics. Not to the order of Green (ecological) politics. We are neither pacifists, nor people who find it possible to justify war as an instrument of foreign policy. Far too many voters are convinced by the idea that the government is interested protecting them. But the ecological significance of dis-armament dating back to the early 20th Century have been pragmatically unsound. Unilateral disarmament may easily threaten those dependent on the current level. The proposal carries not the slightest suggestion of how the liberal territorial nation-state is to survive the eschewing of violence as an instrument of protecting its citizens and inhabitants. The Green-Rainbow Party is not equipped to survive the disappearance of international agreements.
tagged this with Impractical 2017-12-23 22:23:43 -0500
followed this page 2017-12-23 22:22:51 -0500
commented 2017-12-23 21:20:03 -0500 · Flag
Title: Eliminate the U.S. military. Reduce U.S. military spending to zero.

Sponsor: David Rolde (davidrolde@comcast.net), seeking co-sponsors

Vetting: Requesting review and feedback from GRP Platform Committee

Background: The GPUS Platform Section D.1.n. says “ The United States government must reduce our defense budget to half of its current size.” This GPUS platform plank apparently prevented Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka from calling for larger cuts or elimination of the military budget during their presidential campaign last year. Jill did say we should reduce the military budget by “at least 50%” but could not go further because of this platform plank. Therefore some of us, while we still supported and voted for Jill & Ajamu, were unable to hold campaign signs that said “Vote for the Greater Good, Not the Lesser Evil” as we were voting for Jill & Ajamu as the lesser evil. 50% of the U.S. imperialist war machine and weapons of mass destruction would be less evil, but still evil.

The Greater Boston Chapter of the GRP once had a flyer that said “Immediately Cut Spending for War & Empire by 50%” implicitly recognizing that war & empire is the only purpose of the U.S. military but explicitly seeming to be ok with continuing war & empire going just at a 50% level.

In the question period at Ajamu Baraka’s recent talk in Roxbury, GRP activist Mike Heichman mentioned that (Democrat Party-oriented) Mass Peace Action advocate for 20% reduction of the military budget while the Green Party is for a 50% cut. This fact makes it seem that the difference between the Democrat Party and the Green or Green-Rainbow Party is just a matter of degree of how much reform we want.

The Green-Rainbow Party and Green Party need to be clear that we are for an end to war and oppression, not just for a reduction or a kinder gentler imperialism. We need to be clear that we are working for revolutionary transformation and that this is fundamentally different from liberal Democrat reformism.

The way to achieve even a reform of cutting the military budget in half is to make the maximal revolutionary demand so that, if we are strong enough, the regime will be forced to make a reformist compromise. Starting off with demanding the compromise is wrong, both because it is a weak negotiating position, and because in calling for reformist compromises we fail in our duty to use our status as participants in the electoral process as a soapbox to clearly speak out about our key values and the need for deep transformation of our society.

Proposal: 1. The Green-Rainbow Party calls for the elimination of the U.S. military and reduction of U.S. military spending to zero.

2. The Green-Rainbow Party will issue a statement: “ Whereas half of annual U.S. military expenditure is still more than twice the military expenditure of the next highest spending country, and is approximately equal to the combined military expenditure of the second and third and fourth highest spending countries; and Whereas U.S. military spending serves no useful purpose and is used solely for imperialist war and to enrich arms manufacturers; the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts recognizes that cutting U.S. military spending in half is not enough. The Green-Rainbow Party calls for the elimination of the U.S. military and reduction of U.S. military spending to zero. The Green-Rainbow Party will not support spending any money on offensive military attacks, invasions, occupations or threats against countries anywhere in the world or on producing or buying weapons which would be used for these purposes. The Green-Rainbow Party calls for a complete transformation of U.S. spending and economy out of weapons, war and colonial occupation.”

3. The Green-Rainbow Party will include a plank calling for the elimination of the U.S. military and reduction of the U.S. military budget to zero in any Green-Rainbow Party platform document that we may come up with.

4. The Green-Rainbow Party will communicate our position to the GPUS and will push for the GPUS platform to be changed to be in line with our position re reducing U.S. military spending to zero and eliminating the U.S. military. We will ask the GPUS to stop using the term “defense” to refer to U.S. military spending as the U.S. military does no legitimate defending. Two examples of changes that should be made in the GPUS Plaftorm are 1. that Section D.1.n should be changed to call to “reduce our MILITARY budget and spending to zero” (instead of “reduce our defense budget to half of its current size”; 2. GPUS Platform Section D.1.e. should be removed. This plank says “The U.S. is obligated to render military assistance or service under U.N. command to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions.” This should be removed as the U.S. military is the problem and will never be part of the solution to a problem.

5. GRP State Committee asks our State Committee members, GRP Adcom and officers and directors, GRP Platform Committee and other committees, and GRP reps to GPUS and GPUS Committees, and GRP members in general to implement this proposal once adopted.
published this page in 2018_Winter_Statecom_Meeting_Proposals 2017-12-23 21:14:40 -0500