Afghanistan and Iraq Highlight Our National Priorities and Choices

NPR has a story about how the U.S. military is spending $20.2 billion for air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If we are going to have troops in that climate, providing air conditioning is absolutely the right thing to do. But that figure should make us all wonder about our national priorities.

After all, as Alternet's Joshua Holland noted on Twitter this afternoon using data from the National Priorities Project, $20.2 billion could also:

  • help 9.9 million children get health insurance
  • give 2.4 million university scholarships
  • hire 295,267 elementary school teachers
  • create 2.5 million Head Start slots
  • provide wind energy to 11.6 million homes
  • hire 337,522 firefighters

So, what does this say about our national priorities?

Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center Presents: Fitzgerald and Gould onThe AfPak War

The Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center, Friendly Favors, and The Peace Alliance invite you to a potluck and presentation by the first American journalists in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion – what they have learned, what are the possibilities and what we can do to influence the outcome.

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are a husband and wife team of international journalists who, after 3 decades of closely working in and on Afghanistan, are considered among our top experts on this troubled land. Their latest books are  Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and Invisible History, Afghanistan's Untold Story.

The event will be held on Friday, April 1, from 6-9 p.m. at the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Click here to RSVP or for more information.