Many of you enlisted in the military because you love your country, and you believed you were defending a democratic society. If so, then you will be bothered by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which permits constitutional rights to the “voice” (money) of corporations. This granted multinational corporations control of our government and the American people. True democracy–your voice–has been silenced by lies and a never-ending paycheck to the 1%.
This paycheck I’m referring to is in connection to our involvement in the on-going wars in the Middle East including, but not limited to, Iraq-Kuwait 1990-1991; Iraq no fly zone 1991-2003; Iraq war 2003-2009; Afghanistan 2001-present; Libya 2011; Yemen 2010-2011; an ongoing near-war with Iran; US military aid in Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and others in the region. According to Jeffrey Clements, author of Corporations Are Not People, it “is a multitrillion-dollar (investment) to protect the oil on which we have depended on for too long. We expend so much in that region because it is highly strategic for one main reason: we depend on its oil.”
Our society’s dependence on oil has fueled the financial interests of fossil fuel corporations for decades, making it “one of the biggest corporate welfare recipients.” (Clements, 1) More than double ($72 billion; between 2002-2008) is spent on oil industries compared to the investment of alternative energy resources; approximately $29 billion, with nearly 50% of those funds invested in the corn-ethanol industry—proven to be inefficient in significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions, let alone our gas prices or curbing our dependency.
As representatives of our country, it is especially crucial that members of our U. S. military are awakened to this reality, as this new amendment extends to the health and welfare of your loved ones, and is ever-widening the gap between rich and the poor.
This testimony was disclosed by a soldier currently in the US Army Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), who prefers to remain anonymous out of fear of repercussions. He is a Specialist and an MP out of Fort Lewis. Prior to his enlistment he was very pro-military and for the war in Iraq, and has since changed because of his involvement.
“How I feel about the issue at hand is that it’s really insulting and shows how we are viewed by the government—us the military and us the citizens. Obviously just being there would not secure what they needed, they knew that there would be casualties. The fact that my life as a soldier was viewed as an acceptable loss, and my tax money as a US citizen was viewed as expendable cash to fund (if that’s what you want to call our economic standing) this “effort” is insulting on as many layers as can exist.
“More so these corporations are not only able to buy politicians to ensure this happens so they can make a few million, more dollars for their various trust funds and an additional yacht is spit in the eye. If a solitary person attempts to offer money to a politician for personal interest it is labeled as bribing. He is viewed as being corrupt and he is tried as such in court. A corporation and billionaires are able to do this and it is now labeled as campaign donations.
“This is a blatant abuse of power. It is irresponsible of us as citizens to allow this to continue; the biggest mistake this country made was allowing money to be put into politics. How is it considered to be ethical for this official to decide the potential outcome of my life, and the life of my comrades when his whole basis of the decision is the amount of money he can profit off it.
“It is said that every man has his price. I feel that this has been proven by politicians. Their children are well enough off they won’t have to join the military. So what harm will come to them? I feel, yes, it ultimately is their fault for making the decision and for allowing corporations to pay them.
“I am not an economic genius or even that educated, however I feel a few steps could be taken to prevent this. By disallowing these blatant bribes from corporations, our high value individuals would be an amazing first step. Money is what the deciding factor is in these decisions and I feel I was ignorant for not believing it at the time.”
Soldiers and veterans, we need your voice in Move to Amend. The Tacoma and Olympia affiliates are the closest to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and your involvement is highly encouraged and welcomed: we need your time, your leadership abilities, your signatures, your passion for restoring America’s foundation. We need your help to overturn Citizen’s United and make it clear to the US that we will not accept corporate money buying out our elections to further their own interests. By doing this work, we are paving the way for future generations who will be heard by their government when the majority declares “We don’t want to go to war!” We need to work together to end Citizens United and restore the true voice of democracy to the people, for We the People.
Move to Amend is a nation-wide movement collectively working to call for a constitutional amendment that will overturn Citizens United in an effort to abolish corporate personhood. Find your local affiliate today www.movetoamend.org. K.T. Cox was a former intern at Coffee Strong and worked with Move to Amend Tacoma. She is an Evergreen graduate and is currently teaching in China.
Move to Amend National, sign the petition: www.MovetoAmend.org