The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

* Obama in Iraq * Military Spending * Drone Attack Protests



An Iraq war veteran and a member of the board of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Kokesh said today: "Obama's plan is to continue the indefinite presence of 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and have an increased reliance on private contractors."
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The military budget is being released in more detail. Many are advocating military spending as a form of economic "stimulus."
Senior program associate at the Arms and Security Project of the New America Foundation, Berrigan wrote the piece "Is the Next Defense Budget a Stimulus Package?"
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Pentagon head Robert Gates is reportedly calling for a rapid increase in spending on attack drones.

Haber is co-coordinator of the Nevada Desert Experience, which is organizing a vigil at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada until April 10. He said today: "It's here that the squadron that controls Predator and Reaper drones is headquartered. These crews in Nevada actually guide the drones that kill civilians as well as 'high value targets.'"
Kelly, co-founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, said today: "Antagonisms against the U.S. in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq will be reduced when we actively respond to the reality revealed to the U.S. by the drones' own surveillance cameras: severe poverty and a crumbling or nonexistent infrastructure. Human interaction, negotiation, diplomacy and dialogue, not surveillance and bombing by robots, will ensure a more peaceful future at home and abroad.
"We can't see what the drones' 'pilots' can see through the camera-eye of the surveillance vehicle. But, we can see a pattern in the way that the U.S. government sells or markets yet another war strategy in an area of the world where the U.S. wants to dominate other people's precious resources and control or develop transportation routes." Kelly recently wrote the piece "The Drone War: A Closer Look."
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A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.