October 13, 2018 - No. 35

Critical Questions Related to War and Peace

Important Events in Coming Period

No to Foreign Warships in Halifax Harbour!
All Out to Oppose Annual
U.S.-Led War Conference in Halifax!

Women in U.S. Organize March on Pentagon
Fight for an Anti-War Government, a Peace Economy
and a Democracy Where We Decide!

- Voice of Revolution -
War: A Community Issue
- Lynn Marie Petrovich -

Behind the "Single Largest Private Investment
in Canadian History"

LNG Canada Project in Northern BC
- K.C. Adams -

More Shenanigans Surrounding Trans Mountain Pipeline
Trudeau Government's Definition of "Getting It Right"
- Peggy Morton -

Brazilian Presidential Election Moves to Second Round
The Fight for Democracy Intensifies
- Margaret Villamizar -

Critical Questions Related to War and Peace

Important Events in Coming Period

The urgency of the questions of War and Peace cannot be emphasized enough. Several important events are taking place in the coming period related to this serious matter. On October 21-22 a Women's March on the Pentagon is being organized in the United States. This is also a significant event for Canada, which has been integrated 100 per cent into U.S. Homeland Security. This stand is also important because it rejects the pressure on women and others to give up their anti-war outlook and accept war and aggression as the high ideals where, whether in Afghanistan or elsewhere, U.S. and NATO-led invasions, occupations and other war crimes are said to be carried out in the name of upholding the rights of women and girls.

Other events include the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. In Canada the occasion is being used by official circles to promote war preparations between rival blocks today in the name of "Lest We Forget." It will no doubt also be used to promote the notion that the needless death of Canadian youth in the brutal slaughter of World War I was Canada's "coming of age" that earned it its independence from the British Empire. Today, it is invoked to claim that Canada has earned its place at the table with the big powers to divide up the spoils of war and to cover up its integration into the U.S. war machine, not to mention the people's opposition to imperialist war for the past 100 years. This warmongering is unacceptable and events that bring out the true character of that war and the significance of Canada's participation in it will be held across the country.

In Halifax, No Harbour for War is opposing the Halifax War Conference to be held November 16-18. Other actions are planned to defend social programs and the need to increase their funding. Issues related to budgets and the need for more investments in social programs are related to the demand to eliminate funding of the imperialist war machines. All of these issues are in turn related to who decides the direction of the society, whether to go to war and how to defend the peace, and the fact that, at this time, governments represent private supra-national interests over which citizens exercise no control.

The newspaper of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization, Voice of Revolution, points out that U.S. wars of aggression and occupation are crimes which serve today to destroy the human productive forces worldwide. They are not politics by other means which are subsequently resolved through negotiations that reestablish an equilibrium on a peaceful basis. On the contrary, their aim is the destruction of whatever the U.S. imperialists cannot bring under their control through bullying and threats. The greatest cost of the U.S. imperialist wars of aggression and occupation and war spending is to the human and natural environment and to the relations among humans, and between humans and nature.

TML Weekly calls on Canadians to get involved in anti-war actions and go all out to discuss how to establish an anti-war government which orients the economy and social policy in their favour. The crucial issues of war and peace speak to the need for a new direction for the economy and political affairs, one that is anti-war and pro-social. They point to the fact that we need the renewal of the political process because governments do not act in our name.

In this issue, TML Weekly is reporting on some of the important events and developments related to the crucial questions of War and Peace.

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No to Foreign Warships in Halifax Harbour!

Haligonians have a long history of protesting visits by warships. Photo of May 29, 2012 action.

On October 5, the French Rubis-class nuclear-powered submarine L'Améthyste arrived at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater in Halifax, the first such visit in two years. Speaking on behalf of the organization No Harbour for War, Allan Bezanson unequivocally rejected the presence of the submarine. "We want Halifax to be a factor of peace in the world and a zone for peace," he told the Chronicle Herald. He pointed out that the comings and goings of these warships is usually tied in with war exercises.

Margaret Conway, Canadian Forces Base Halifax spokeswoman, confirmed this, noting that hazardous material training was conducted on October 3 to test the emergency response plan at the base. "It's like a fire drill, right? The likelihood is not big at all, but it's so that we're prepared and that we can test all of the different pieces that are working together," said Conway.

A Department of National Defence spokesman presented the visit of the French warship as an innocuous matter, stating that it is merely stopping to resupply. The fact is the French navy is used to conduct aggression in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, besides marauding in the South Pacific, the Mediterranean, Adriatic and other seas. The role of the French navy in U.S.-led aggression against Syria, aimed at regime change, cannot be denied because French ships have been involved in airstrikes on Syria in "retaliation" for chemical weapons attacks spuriously attributed to the Syrian government. As well, France, together with the U.S. and Canada, staged a coup against the Aristide government in Haiti. To say its submarines are merely "resupplying" in Canadian ports is disingenuous to say the least. To present the involvement of Canadian territory and bases in war and aggression as a matter of mundane business reveals a bad conscience.

Bezanson also pointed out that the USS Hué City has been docked near Casino Nova Scotia. Named after a battle in the Vietnam War, it is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser whose very name betrays its aggressive purpose. Bezanson explained that it had "just returned from war exercises held jointly with HMCS Halifax and HMCS Toronto off the coast of Nova Scotia." He decried the presence of numerous U.S. warships, which have been in port since May. Many warships from the U.S. Navy are sent to ports around the world for Columbus Day (October 8 this year), he said.

No Harbour for War repudiates the government's pressure on Haligonians to accept the presence of foreign warships in Halifax Harbour as business as usual. It upholds Haligonians' longstanding opposition to Canada's participation in war and aggression and their demand that Halifax be a Zone for Peace. They reject the arrogance of the U.S. imperialists and their allies who seem to think they can lay claim to Halifax. Their very name says: No Harbour for War!

For Your Information -- History of the USS Hué City


Hué City sailed March 11, 1993, for her maiden Deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare Commander for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier battle group (CVBG). Principally operating in the Adriatic Sea, Hué City developed the air picture and transmitted it to command centres afloat and on shore. Hué City also monitored the safety of United Nations relief flights to Bosnia, ensuring Serbian aircraft did not violate no-fly zones.

While conducting training near Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in April 1994, Hué City was directed to serve as Destroyer Squadron 22 flagship in support of sanctions against Haiti. Hué City sailed for her second deployment March 22, 1995, with the Theodore Roosevelt CVBG. Hué City took station in the Red Sea, where she provided air coverage to the Combat Air Patrol enforcing the no-fly zone in Southern Iraq.

Hué City sailed for the Baltic Sea on May 24, 1996 to participate in operations involving forty-eight ships from thirteen nations. The operations focused on tracking air, surface, and subsurface targets in a multinational task force. Hué City deployed on April 29, 1997, to the Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare Commander for the John F. Kennedy CVBG. Hué City operated in the Adriatic Sea, overseeing all air activity in support of naval operations.

In 1999, Hué City sailed for counter-drug operations in the Caribbean Sea. Later that year, Hué City participated in Baltic Operations, a multinational exercise consisting of fifty-three vessels from twelve nations.


Hué City conducted multinational exercises in South America while acting as flagship in UNITAS 2000 Caribbean phase. On June 26, 2000, Hué City sailed to New York City, as the reviewing ship for President Clinton and his family, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group (COMCRUDESGRU) 12 in the International Naval Review 2000.

As part of the George Washington CVBG, and in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hué City set sail in support of defence and humanitarian efforts off the coast of New York.

Ships and aircraft of the John F. Kennedy CVBG commenced use of the Vieques Island inner range beginning September 24, 2001, in conjunction with their Composite Unit Training Exercises (COMPUTEX). The exercise, which began the week prior, also utilized the northern and southern Puerto Rico operating areas, and involved complex battle group training events, naval surface fire-support training and air-to-ground bombing.

Hué City then took part in Underway No. 10, one in a series of tests leading to the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Operation Evaluation (OPEVAL) scheduled for Spring 2001. The CEC system provides the capability to cooperatively engage targets by a warship using data from other CEC-equipped ships, aircraft, and land-based sensors, even in an electronic-jamming environment. It also provides a common, consistent and highly accurate air picture, allowing battle group defences to act as one seamless system. The test, off Wallops Island, Virginia, simulated missile firings from some of the Navy's most technically advanced ships against unmanned drones.

As part of the John F. Kennedy CVBG, Hué City took part in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-1, with Phase I of the exercise running from January 19-26, 2002 and Phase II running February 7-14, 2002.

In March 2002, Hué City was part of John F. Kennedy CVBG as it relieved the Theodore Roosevelt CVBG, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In May 2002, during a three-day Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) exercise off the coast of Djibouti, Africa, Hué City fired hundreds of five-inch rounds in support of Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise 2002 (MEUEX '02) at more than 60 targets that included tanks, bunkers, and various military vehicles. Hué City joined the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct this first of its kind exercise in this little-known region of northeast Africa.


Prior to 2014, Hué City successfully completed consecutive deployments to the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea.

On April 14, 2014, Monday evening, a fire broke out at just after 6:20 pm local time while Hué City was steaming about 200 nautical miles northeast of Bermuda. The crew fought and defeated a major fire in one of the main engineering spaces without suffering any injuries. The ship's executive officer was relieved by the head of Carrier Strike Group 8 in June 2014 for "failing to ensure his crew properly stowed hazardous materials" which subsequently caught fire. According to the investigation report, bales of rags caught fire after they had been improperly stored in an exhaust uptake trunk. The fire caused over $23 million in damage and required over nine months of repairs. It also caused Hué City to miss the planned deployment to Europe.


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All Out to Oppose Annual U.S.-Led
War Conference in Halifax!


This year's U.S.-led "Halifax International Security Forum," referred to by many as the Halifax War Conference, takes place in November. An anti-war rally will be held to protest it on November 17.

Halifax must not be used as a "launching pad for aggression and schemes to dominate the world," No Harbour for War spokesperson Alan Bezanson says. The call for the November 17 anti-war rally explains:

The 10th annual Halifax International Security Forum will be convened November 16 to 18, 2018 as a platform for warmongering and empire-building of U.S. imperialism and the NATO bloc, in which the Trudeau government is fully embroiled.

Warmongers from more than 90 countries will join Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan and some 300 others at this Washington, DC-based forum. According to the Department of Defence, their aim is to "learn from each other, share opinions, generate new ideas, and put them into action."

No Harbour for War explains the history of these Security Forums:

The first forum in 2009 was dedicated to popularizing NATO's then new "security doctrine." Ensuing Forums have provided a stage to justify U.S. and NATO wars and interventions around the world. Since 2012 the forums were to be self-financing but to this day it is the Canadian taxpayers who pay all the bills.

It is unacceptable that Halifax, or any Canadian city, be used as a venue to plan further crimes against the peace and the peoples of the world. As part of Making Canada a Zone for Peace, we demand that the Halifax International Security Forum be banned from Canada.

Let us put the question of war and peace on the table for Nova Scotia workers and people.

Bring your banners, bring your music and statements and, most of all, bring your friends to oppose this war conference.

In a radio interview on the Rick Howe Show, Bezanson elaborated why the presence of foreign warships in Halifax must be opposed and the dangerous nature of the Halifax War Conference. Both are examples of how Canada is at the disposal of U.S. imperialist aggression, he said. He called into question the dogma that Canada should be a member of NATO, and that consequently Halifax should be made available to other NATO members, regardless of the people's opposition to Canada's membership in NATO and its participation in war and aggression. He also rejected the backward promotion of the propaganda that foreign military personnel spending tourist dollars in Halifax is a boon to the local economy. Spending for military aggression is actually a detriment to the economy, he pointed out. Money spent on the military should be spent on public services which are deprived of much needed funding,

Canada is not at war and only requires a coastal defence force, Bezanson said. Why does it participate in war exercises with NATO countries, and who are its enemies that it is doing so? Bezanson asked. Canada does not have enemies that would require it to take part in such exercises, he said.

Regarding the Halifax War Conference, he noted that going by its agenda this year, the war conference is preoccupied with portraying Russia, China and the African continent as sources of aggression which pose a danger to Canada. He pointed to the large numbers of high-level military personnel and others who are brought to the conference in a manner which covers up that many of them are actually war criminals for the deeds they have already committed and all of them can be called war criminals for making plans at this conference which constitute crimes against the peace. The conference has eight open sessions and 28 closed-door sessions where the public will not know what goes on, Bezanson noted. Depriving the public of information is done in the name of security and the national interest to make sure that anyone who opposes such a self-serving conception of both security and the national interest can be criminalized as a danger to society. No Harbour for War opposes the use of Halifax to plan aggression and war.

Bezanson pointed out that No Harbour for War opposes the war conference's entire agenda. He highlighted one particular agenda item, "100 Years On: Are We Tired of Winning?" -- a reference to the centenary of the end of World War One. The organization opposes the commemoration of this anniversary with militaristic propaganda. What such a topic really says is that we still live in a time of war between vested interests. Those involved in the conference have still not learned that the people oppose wars of aggression to take over the lands of others and to repartition their domains. These wars of aggression and occupation immiserate the peoples, he said.

No Harbour for War is calling on everyone to oppose the Halifax War Conference.

(Photos: Halifax Mediacoop)

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Women in U.S. Organize March on Pentagon

On October 21 and 22, women in the United States are organizing an anti-war march on the Pentagon to demand the complete end to the wars the U.S. is conducting abroad; the closure of foreign bases; and a significant cut to the Pentagon budget, to instead fund healthy social programs in the U.S. There will also be sister actions across the country.

The march is taking place on the 51st anniversary of the 1967 anti-war event in Washington, DC of more than 50,000 people, and subsequent marches on the Pentagon. It is in response to continuing military aggressions by the U.S. and to table an anti-war agenda for activists at this time. The organizers point out:

More than 50,000 people marched on the Pentagon on October 21, 1967 in opposition to the escalation of U.S. imperialist aggression in Vietnam. An anti-war rally was held at West Potomac Park near the Lincoln Memorial where 70,000 people had gathered for a concert by musician and peace activist Phil Ochs. Both groups joined together and marched; this action was to be known as the March on the Pentagon. During 1967 there were numerous anti-war marches across the country in all major cities, including New York, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

These actions and the subsequent protests and demonstrations of the 1968 presidential elections would lead to the call for a general strike which culminated in the mobilization of 500,000 protestors in another march on the Pentagon known as the Vietnam Moratorium, which took place on October 15, 1969. A month later, due to the success of the first march, another rally was held.

On October 7, 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of apprehending those behind the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001. U.S. forces have remained in active occupation, making the illegal and immoral war in Afghanistan the longest foreign occupation in U.S. history.

In response to the ongoing U.S. military aggression across the globe and the continuing bi-partisan increases in Pentagon funding, we are calling for a 21st century March on the Pentagon on the 51st anniversary of the massive 1967 march and all the subsequent marches. The bloated military budget is draining our communities and families dry of precious blood and treasure while decimating nations and peoples who have done nothing to us.

The organizers explain the title, "Women's March on the Pentagon," was chosen in direct response to a leader of the recent Women's March who said, "I appreciate that war is your issue, Cindy [Sheehan, initiator of the Women's March on the Pentagon], but the Women's March will never address the war issue as long as women aren't free."

"It is the belief of many of us that NO woman is free while the U.S. spends trillions of dollars bombing millions and militarily occupying over 150 countries around the world," the organizers point out. They explain further:

The anti-war/peace, anti-imperialist voice has been shut out and marginalized. We are in solidarity with pro-social and environmental movements, [and urge them] to address war and the preparations for war. War affects us all in one way or another. War destroys the natural environment. This is not, nor will it turn into, a Get Out the Vote Rally for the Democrat half of the War Party. This is a principled call to action: We Must March for Peace and Against the War Machine.

For more information:

Cindy Sheehan: CindySheehan@MarchonPentagon.com
Emma Fiala: Emma@MarchonPentagon.com
Bonnie Caracciolo: bosmarch2018@gmail.com

For March on Pentagon events click here. For sister marches click here.

March on the Pentagon, October 21, 1967

The October 21, 1967 march on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, is considered one
of the first major national protests against the Vietnam War. At the Pentagon they were blocked
by soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division and during the course of the demonstration U.S.
marshals arrested nearly 700 people and 47 were injured.

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Fight for an Anti-War Government, a Peace Economy and a Democracy Where We Decide!

A salute to all those participating in the Women's March on the Pentagon in Washington, DC October 20-21 and all the sister demonstrations in cities across the country. Organizing to put the issue of war and peace on the agenda and bring out its relationship to the many fronts of struggle for rights is a vital contribution to building and uniting the pro-social, anti-war movements of the peoples. The demands to Close All U.S. Foreign Bases and Bring All U.S. Troops Home Now are main ways to contribute to peace and building relations of mutual respect and benefit. This is what the peoples here and abroad want and are fighting for in many different ways. The U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization (USMLO) joins all those working for the success of the action and for continued efforts in the future. We are putting forward as a unifying call and aim: Fight for an Anti-War Government, a Peace Economy and a Democracy Where We Decide!

Political Power Key

We are all contending with conditions of retreat of revolution, where the most reactionary forces have the offensive and are imposing a brutal counter-revolution on the peoples. This is seen in the broadening of U.S. crimes of aggression and interference with no regard for rule of law, as well as the anti-social attacks at home. Defending the so-called national interest is being used to justify U.S. terrorism, in the form of drone warfare, sanctions, regime change, the attacks on immigrants and refugees, police killings, mass incarceration, further criminalizing protest and more.

Conditions are now such that public governing institutions -- like Congress, the Courts, and elections -- are dysfunctional. They do not sort out conflicts among the rulers, as the many fights between and within the military, presidency and intelligence agencies show. Nor do they serve to perpetuate the notion that there is the consent of the governed. All that is left is a government of police powers, where governments act with impunity and arbitrary violence against the people and their organized resistance. The rulers are no longer concerned with legitimacy, only with preserving their power.

While U.S. rulers are on the offensive, it is also the case that their system has shown itself to be unsustainable and unfit for human existence. The massive human productive powers that exist CAN solve the problems faced by humanity, like poverty, inequality, climate change and nuclear war. The human beings who collectively produced these powers are capable of controlling them and unleashing them in the interests of humanity. But it requires political power in the hands of the people. It requires the power to decide the affairs of society, including providing a new direction for the economy and politics.

Recognizing the significance of these relations and the need for political power, USMLO puts forward as a unifying call and aim: Fight for an Anti-War Government, a Peace Economy and a Democracy Where We Decide! All those calling for peace, closing bases, divesting from the war machine and fossil fuels; calling for equality and rights to housing, health care, jobs and education; defending Mother Earth and opposing the energy and war oligopolies; and all those standing up for rights have an interest in taking up the aim of an anti-war government. We need a government that responds to the demands of the people, the broad majority, to end U.S. wars and contribute to defending the rights of ALL at home and abroad. We need a peace economy that provides a new direction that stands against war and for rights. Steps in that direction can be taken today. For example, in New York, there is a proposal to close the Niagara Air Base, used for drones and mid-air refueling of jets to bomb Yemen, and instead turn it into a solar farm. United actions that recognize pro-active aims, like an anti-war government, are needed. Demonstrations today are mainly for purposes of uniting people, taking a public stand for the public, developing political discussion on aims and strengthening the organized character of resistance. In conditions of a government of police powers, the issue is not so much how many are in the streets, but rather how demonstrations, conferences, public forums, independent media, all contribute to elaborating common aims and common thinking.

Political Discussion from Our Vantage Point

We need political discussion on how to look at problems from our own independent vantage point and organize in such a way that change to our advantage can be brought about. It is necessary to break with the vantage point of the rich, which says our role is limited to appealing to them to do what is right and just. Our role is to organize to be the decision-makers, to decide what is needed to win political power and take steps to get there.

For example, in elections our role is not mainly to vote or not vote. It is to fight to be decision-makers every step of the way, from deciding the agenda and the candidates and more generally developing an electoral process that empowers the people to govern and decide. This includes demanding now that all candidates take a stand on issues of war and peace and issues of democracy.

An anti-war government requires a new direction for politics and the economy. It requires a modern democracy, where the rights of all are at the centre and the right of the people to govern and decide is advanced. All those demanding peace and justice have an interest in demanding a modern democracy, where we decide!

We welcome debate on this issue and urge all to join the Fight for an Anti-War Government, a Peace Economy and a Democracy Where We Decide!

Voice of Revolution is a publication of the USMLO.

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War: A Community Issue

War affects everyone. While some are adversely affected more than others, there is no one that escapes the war machine's reach. One example in the United States is war funding. The defence budget is mind-boggling. The U.S.'s 2019 Pentagon budget supports 883 overseas bases and is lethal to humanity. Instead of terrorizing our brothers and sisters abroad, the billions of dollars spent on war could be used for a host of issues at home including almost every one that people take to the streets about. From education to health care and from infrastructure to the environment -- the war machine strips money, time and attention from all of it. In some cases, U.S. imperialism not only prevents these issues from receiving the time, energy and money they need, but it also exacerbates the problems.

The U.S.'s Toxic 2019 "Defence" Budget

[...] More than one hundred years after World War I, we are engaged in endless wars, expensive, costly endless wars. In addition to the vast human toll, how much does endless war -- and a growing number of U.S. bases around the world -- cost financially each year? This is an attempt to do a reasonable calculation of the cost in public taxpayer dollars of our hundreds of bases stationed around the world (those which are mostly outside the theatre of war), commencing with the end of The Great War. I undertook this exercise using my decades-long background in accounting, available public reports, articles, research papers, books (to connect the dots), interviews with current and former military personnel, and common sense. Well, as much common sense as possible given the U.S. military budget is the largest of any country in the world, as much as the next 10 countries' military budgets combined.

Among the many resources used in this analysis was the 116-page "Defense Budget Overview, U.S. Department of Defense [DoD], Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request" (The Report), in which the 2019 request was $686.1 billion, an increase of 13 per cent or $74 billion, over 2018.

The Report is less a "defence" budget; rather it is more a document oozing threats to worldwide lethal annihilation:

"The strategic goals for Fiscal Years 2018-2023 reflect the Secretary's priorities:
(1) Increase the lethality of the Joint Force;
(2) Strengthen U.S. alliances and build new partnerships;
(3) Reform the Department to reinvest resources in warfighter priorities" (The Report, p. 9-3).

If the planet is our community, the U.S. is the bully in the neighbourhood. References to the word "lethal" are sprinkled no less than three dozen times throughout The Report ("more lethal force" (p. 2-6), "technology innovation for increased lethality" (p.1-1), "increasing the lethality of new and existing weapons systems" (p. 3-2)).

Among the DoD's goals is the Orwellian "preserving peace through strength" and "protecting the American way of life" (a way of life in which every minute four people are served with eviction judgments, 30 million have no access to health care, $1.5 trillion is owed in suffocating student loan debt, and 63 per cent of the population cannot afford a $500 emergency repair).

Were it not for The Report's dire (yet fully funded) predictions for world domination, one would think this budget request was satire. From page 2-4, the Foreign Affairs Strategic Approach for the upcoming year states: "To succeed in the emerging security environment, the Department and Joint Force will have to out-think, out-maneuver, out-partner, and out-innovate revisionist powers, rogue regimes, terrorists, and other threat actors."

And again, the number one goal is to "Build a more lethal force."

In a world where money is no object, The Report specifically details the following purchasing priorities for 2019:

- Increasing the strength of the Army, Navy, and Air Force by almost 26,000;
- Buying ten combat ships ($18.4 billion);
- Increasing production of the F-35 aircraft and F/A-18 aircraft ($12.7 billion);
- Enhancing deterrence by modernizing the nuclear triad; and
- Increasing the emphasis on technology innovation for increased lethality.

Additionally, The Report states: "The DoD has expended more munitions than planned over the last few years, primarily to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), leading to higher demand to replenish munition inventories" (p. 3-6). Addressing these needs, the 2019 budget request increases by over 28,300 the amount of production for the following munitions:

- Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems;
- Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems;
- Joint Direct Attack Munition;
- Small Diameter Bomb 1 (includes spares);
- Hellfire rockets; and
- Army Tactical Missile Systems.

Total increased cost in the 2019 budget for these munitions is $8.1 billion (p. 3-7). In a surprise (yet not really) admission, The Report states that "major power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security" (p. 2-1).

But let us back up a minute. More historical perspective is relevant at this point, if only to grasp the enormity of U.S. spending over the last 18 years on endless wars around the globe.

War Funding

One hundred years ago, World War I financial costs for the U.S. were about $22.6 billion, which is $328 billion today, adjusted for inflation. The 2019 DoD budget request is $686.1 billion, or twice what it cost the U.S. during WWI in today's dollars.

Included in the DoD 2019 budget request of $686.1 billion, is $89 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which predominantly funds the wars (operations, in-theatre support, classified programs, coalition forces, counter-ISIS training, security, etc.). Specifically stated areas include Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and "other mobilization" sites.

According to The Report, OCO funding alone for the 18-year period beginning in 2001 through 2018 totalled $1.8 trillion (p. 1-3), or almost $101 billion per year -- an amount which approximates the annual combined budgets of the U.S. Department of Education ($60 billion), Department of Health & Human Services ($18 billion), Department of Transportation ($15.6 billion), and Department of Labor ($9.4 billion). [...]

883 Military Bases Around the World and Growing

Pouring through various documents, publications, books, and research papers, I developed a list of countries with U.S. military bases outside the U.S. This list includes U.S. territories (Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico) and bases in 183 countries, on seven continents and seven bodies of water. This number does not include U.S. embassies and may or may not include other sites such as lily pads (smaller, temporary, and/or not authorized sites) and special operations sites.

Some publicly available documents, from the U.S. government, contradict one other. For example, the Army's most recent average cost per person is just under $100,000 ($94,300). However, other Defense documents calculate average cost per person at $55,000. I could not find a single, comprehensive document which accounted for the total cost of overseas bases (additionally, many excluded the cost of bases on U.S. Territories), so I took data available from a number of resources to calculate the costs contained herein. Where contradictions occur, I so note.

Buildings and Structures

I started with the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request which acknowledges $2.6 trillion in assets on the balance sheet of the Department's books (p. 6-2). Of these assets, another report -- The Base Structure Report Fiscal Year 2017 states:

The DoD manages a worldwide real property portfolio that spans all 50 states, eight U.S. territories with outlying areas, and 41 foreign countries. The majority of the foreign sites are located in Germany (120 sites), Japan (121 sites) and South Korea (78 sites) (p. DoD-6).

The Base Structure Report identifies a total of 4,793 sites worldwide, at a value of $1.046 trillion, covering 27.2 million acres of land. Of the 883 sites identified, The Base Structure Report verifies 110 sites located in U.S. Territories and another 517 sites overseas, for a total of 627 sites outside the U.S. with a September 30, 2016 value of approximately $200 billion.

This worldwide portfolio of 4,793 sites on over 27 million acres includes:

(1) Buildings: "The DoD occupies a reported 275,504 buildings throughout the world, valued at over $705 billion and comprising over 2.2 billion square feet (p. DoD-8)." The buildings include administrative, community facilities, family housing, hospitals and medical, maintenance, production, operation and training, research and development, testing, supply, troop housing, mess facilities and utility and ground improvements.

(2) Structures: DoD structures throughout the world are valued at over $162 billion.

(3) Linear Structures: DoD manages over 112,931 linear structures throughout the world at a value over $178 billion. Linear structures are facilities whose functions require that it traverse land (examples include runways, roads, rail lines, pipelines, fences, pavement, and electrical distribution lines).

The difference between my estimate of overseas bases of 883 and the 627 mentioned in the Base Structure Report may be reconciled as follows:

(1) The DoD will be undergoing one of the largest consolidated DoD-wide financial statement audits in Fiscal Year 2018, which will involve both general funds and working capital funds. A focus of the audit will be "the discovery of Real Property and General Equipment not being recorded in the proper system (p. 6-3)." (It is anticipated, based on prior audits, that not all overseas sites assets -- i.e. buildings, roads, and structures -- are recorded on the books of the DoD.)

(2) The 883 bases include 95 sites which are smaller sites and may or may not be in the Base Structure Report.

(3) The Base Structure Report identifies 517 sites worldwide (exclusive of U.S. Territories), but a count in the detail in this same report (pp. DoD-70 to DoD-85) resulted in a total of almost 600 sites.

Combatant Command Exercise and Engagement

The Report identifies ten Combatant Command Exercise and Engagement programs and lists the following nine:

- USAFRICOM (Africa);
- USCENTCOM (Kingdom of Jordan);
- USCYBERCOM (virtual environment);
- USEUCOM (Europe);
- USNORTHCOM (homeland defence);
- USPACOM (Korea);
- USSOUTHCOM (Latin America);
- USSTRATCOM (nuclear deterrence);
- USTRANSCOM (full spectrum global mobility).

The Report's costs include:

(1) Fixed costs which are costs that do not change if a particular site is not occupied. Examples include: rent/mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance.

(2) Variable costs which do change based on occupancy. Examples include utility consumption, repair and maintenance, cleanup, trash removal, increased costs due to surrounding neighbourhood activity.

A 2013 Rand Corporation research report, acknowledged that overall costs are higher overseas even when taking host-nation support into account. I took a conservative approach in the following calculations.


Of the roughly 2 million military personnel, including reserves and National Guard, approximately 12 per cent, or 238,000 are deployed to overseas bases (outside of OCO). Personnel includes base pay, payroll taxes, bonuses (sign on and incentive), pension, uniforms, transportation, basic training/boot camp, life insurance, education, weapon assignment, and annual allowances for uniform and weapon upkeep. In order to calculate this cost, I started with the daily basic pay for military personnel, and built upon that cost with the aforementioned burdens, and pro-rated amounts for overseas costs.

Annual Cost of Personnel:  $22.9 billion


Transportation costs include Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy and National Guard and represent costs to move personnel to overseas locations and back. According to The Report, "Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces, 2011," average annual cost for overseas transportation per person was $5,200, and varied depending on place of deployment.

Annual Cost of Transportation: $1.3 billion

Maintenance of Facilities

The DoD occupies or maintains buildings, facilities, and linear structures worth over $1 trillion worldwide. The value of the overseas portfolio is about $200 billion, covering about 50,000 structures. Applying a standard no-less-than-one-per-cent-per-value of the asset, plus insurance, plus capital improvements, and contingency, I came up with annual cost of maintenance of overseas (including U.S. Territories) bases.

Annual Cost of Maintenance of Facilities: $7.5 billion


The 2019 DoD budget request includes an increase in the OCO budget of an additional $17 billion for facilities construction overseas.

Previous and current year construction projects include:

- The Kaiserslautern Military Community Center in Germany, an eight-storey, 844,000 square foot Air Force facility which includes a 350-room visiting quarters, a four-plex movie theatre, Power Zone, Outdoor Living, Toyland/Four Seasons, food court, new car sales and other vendors in a U.S.-style mall layout, and a two-storey climbing wall. It is intended to house about 50,000 military members and their families. Construction costs are difficult to ascertain (because the Air Force is not tracking the total cost of this facility, which has experienced multiple construction-related delays, deficiencies, and overruns). Total cost is expected to exceed $215 million.

- New construction of the Landstuhl Military Hospital in Germany, which is expected to be slightly less than $1 billion ($990 million) and to be completed in 2021. This hospital is expected to replace the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as the military's main European medical facility.

- New construction of the medical material warehouse at Kadena Air Base in Japan. Cost for this building is expected to be more than $20 million.

Total cost of construction for the three aforementioned facilities is over $1.2 billion.

Taking into account the cost of overseas construction, the DoD 2019 budget request for overseas construction and applying a multiplier factor, I came up with a conservative estimate of the annual cost of construction (because not all money will be spent in one year's time.)

Annual Cost of Construction: $4.8 billion

Health Care

The DoD 2019 budget request acknowledges health care costs run about 9 per cent of the DoD budget (excluding long-term care or disability-related or permanent injuries.) Health care costs include use of Veterans Affairs facilities, Tricare, and combat casualty care for members and their families.

Annual Cost of Health Care: $5.9 billion


Estimated cost of training for overseas personnel takes into effect (a) direct equipment parts, (b) fuel costs, (c) post production software costs, and (d) indirect support costs. Calculating training costs for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and others, and considering total historical costs per year for NORTHCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM of $980 million in 2012 costs, I applied annual cost of inflation increases, and with contingency, came up with an annual cost for ongoing training exercises for military personnel.

Annual Cost of Training: $1.0 billion

Environmental Remediation

Environmental contamination is a by-product of weapons and ballistic testing and training for all divisions of the military. Add to that burn pits, depleted uranium, destroyed species on both land and water, poisoned water supplies, and ongoing cleanup of nuclear testing fallout, to name a few.

As an example, Guam, at 210 square miles, is home to dozens of U.S. military bases. Its ecosystem suffered tremendously when brown snakes were introduced to the island, entering over the decades with U.S. military equipment. These 2 million brown snakes have shorted out electrical systems, devastated new tree growth, and knocked out entire species of birds.

According to Science Alert, "10 of 12 bird species native to Guam had vanished, including a kingfisher that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth." The military has spent no less than $12 million alone trying to eradicate this problem.

Annual Cost of Environmental Remediation: $1.3 billion

Allowances and Site Costs

Allowances and site costs for Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy include base allowance for housing, overseas housing allowances, cost of living allowances, and family separation allowances. Average annual cost per person is $25,900.

Annual Cost of Allowances and Site Costs: $3.3 billion

Military Family Support

The 2019 DoD budget request for military family support totals $8.1 billion and includes: (1) child care and youth programs; (2) morale, welfare, and recreation; (3) warfighter and family services; (4) commissary; (5) Department of Defense overseas schools; and (6) Military spouse employment.

Annual Cost of Military Family Support: $2.4 billion

The above cost estimate does not include:

- Extended medical and long-term care of partially and permanently disabled veterans;
- Legal costs of criminal activity committed by military personnel at permanent base sites;
- Payments to communities for reimbursement of base-related neighborhood costs;
- Negotiation, legal, and otherwise for land protection, remediation, and extraction of resources.

Cost of Personnel: $22.9 billion
Transportation: $1.3 billion
Maintenance of Facilities: $7.5 billion
Construction; $4.8 billion
Health Care: $5.9 billion
Training: $1.0 billion
Environmental Remediation: $1.3 billion
Allowances and Site Costs: $3.3 billion
Military Family Support: $2.4 billion

Total Annual Cost of Military Overseas Bases: $50.4 billion

Overseas Contingency Operations (funding the wars): $89.0 billion, included in The Report.

Total Estimated Annual Cost of Overseas Operations: $139.4 billion

War is not normal activity. The DoD 2019 budget clearly articulates the ramp up of military forces, the expansion of military "solutions" worldwide. Conversation is desperately needed about the U.S.'s lethal role in the destruction of our planet.

Lynn Marie Petrovich is a guest blogger on Cindy Sheehan's Soap Box Radio Show.

(Edited slightly for style and clarity by TML)

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Behind the "Single Largest Private Investment in Canadian History"

LNG Canada Project in Northern BC

"Single largest private sector investment in Canadian history"
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

LNG Canada project, marked in gold, officially launched October 2, 2018.

Both the BC Premier and the Prime Minister were on hand in Vancouver on October 2 for the official launch of LNG Canada's $40 billion project to export liquefied natural gas. The two political representatives of the private oligopolies had been patiently awaiting the decision to proceed announced earlier in the day by Shell Global's Maarten Wetselaar, representing the consortium of Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Corp., Petronas, PetroChina Co. and Korean Gas Corp, which jointly own and control LNG Canada.[1]

Wetselaar told the assembled media, "The governments of Canada and British Columbia have helped to ensure that the right fiscal framework is in place to make sure that the pie is divided in a just and fair way."

The "pie" to be "divided in a just and fair way" is the bounty in new value arising from workers extracting natural gas from Northeastern BC using the method of hydraulic fracturing; building a 670-kilometre pipeline to transport the natural gas to Kitimat on BC's northern coast; constructing a natural gas liquefying plant in Kitimat to cool the natural gas and transform it into LNG; and building and using special LNG tankers to ship the LNG to customers abroad.

The "right fiscal framework" is an array of pay-the-rich schemes that guarantees a substantial profit for the five oligopolies and construction monopolies involved in "the single largest private sector investment in Canadian history."

LNG Canada has devised a budget of about $16 billion to construct in Asia the component modules for the LNG plant and terminal, and transport them to Kitimat. Another $24 billion is budgeted to buy the capacity to work of miners and construction workers and pay for the value of the machines and material necessary to mine the natural gas, build the pipeline, assemble the LNG plant and terminal, and set the entire operation in motion. LNG Canada has already sub-contracted TransCanada Corporation to construct and operate the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline.

A senior BC government official at the press conference said the initial "financial incentives for the project" are budgeted at $5.35 billion. No figures for federal "financial incentives for the project" were announced but billions of federal money are widely known to be available from Infrastructure Canada. The Trudeau government's Budget 2017 set aside $10.1 billion for pay-the-rich schemes for trade and transportation infrastructure projects.

BC NDP Premier John Horgan at the announcement said, "Ours is a province of unlimited potential, and the responsibility of this generation of British Columbians is to make decisions that embrace and preserve that potential. Today's decision by LNG Canada to invest in northern BC demonstrates that balancing our economic, environmental and reconciliation priorities is possible. It's a balance that will benefit the people of BC as we build a cleaner economy."

Mr. Horgan would not acknowledge the contradiction in his statement regarding "Who decides?" In one sentence he says that responsibility to decide resides in "this generation of British Columbians." In the next sentence he speaks of the oligarchs of LNG Canada deciding to proceed with the project. This contradiction is profound and cannot be easily dismissed with rhetoric of "balancing" this and that, and general enthusiasm that at least something is being built and work is available for thousands of workers to create value.

The financial oligarchy decides or the people decide; this contradiction stares humanity in the face. The working people need to bring into being new social and political forms and human relations where they the people can decide the direction of the economy and have control over their economy and the entire "pie" they create through their work.

(To be continued: An examination of the impact of the LNG Canada project on the natural environment.)


1. See previous item on LNG Canada: "Theft of Canada's Resources in Northern BC: Who Benefits from LNG Canada's Natural Gas Extraction, Liquefaction and Shipping Project," K.C. Adams, TML Weekly, May 5, 2018.

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More Shenanigans Surrounding Trans Mountain Pipeline

Trudeau Government's Definition of
"Getting It Right"

Following the August 30 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in Tsleil-Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) (2018 FCA 153), the Trudeau government said it would not appeal the ruling that blocked the Trans Mountain Expansion oil pipeline project, due to the government's failure to properly consult Indigenous peoples whose territories would be affected. Instead, it has started two processes which it claims are new and designed to "get it right" this time round. What does it mean to "get it right" this time when you are the Trudeau government? 

The government made two announcements. The first concerned the court's conclusion that the National Energy Board (NEB) failed to consider the impact of increased tanker traffic in the Salish Sea arising from the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and its responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act. In response to this decision, the government tasked the NEB to carry out a review and produce a report by February 22, 2019, a period of 22 weeks.

The second announcement was that it will not appeal the decision of the Federal Court to the Supreme Court of Canada, but will carry out "Phase II consultations" with 117 Indigenous "groups" impacted by the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project. The government has appointed Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, as a federal representative to oversee the consultation process. The announcement stated that Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi "will begin by talking to groups about how to get this process right this time. We will ensure that Indigenous voices are at the table as we move forward in this process."

What is meant by "getting it right" is an important question. The federal government has also made it clear that while it will carry out a new round of consultations and a brief review of project-related impact on the marine environment, the TMX will go ahead. Mitigation of negative impacts of the pipeline must be "economically viable." While this term is not defined, it can only mean that the "right" of the private owners -- in this case the monopolies who are committed shippers -- to enrich themselves must be upheld.

What the Trudeau government means by getting "the process right this time" is revealed by how it is going about it. It sent a letter dated September 26, regarding the reassessment of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Project, to "the impacted Indigenous groups" and "concerned Canadians." The letter asks for comments on the following: 

1. Should project-related marine shipping be included in the assessment;
2. Views on a draft list of "Issues for the Reconsideration Hearing;"
3. The design of the hearing process to be used for the Reconsideration;
4. Which government departments or bodies the NEB should require information from during the hearing.

The deadline for responses was one week. Responses would then be considered and a final list of issues published.

An open letter to the NEB sent by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) condemned the process imposed by the NEB to reassess the TMX. "We condemn the ways in which this process is currently operating. Pre-determined questions, ridiculously short deadlines, and obvious rhetoric to try and avoid the inclusion of the impacts of increased tanker traffic off the BC Coast, despite the Federal Court of Appeal ruling that the previous assessment was insufficient due to the omission of marine shipping indicates that the NEB's re-assessment only has one goal in mind: to push this project through to completion, despite Court rulings, public opinion, and Indigenous opposition."

The UBCIC points out that the government has committed to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) without reservation, which acknowledges the right to "free prior and informed consent." The government then violates it every step of the way.

The NEB has already set the agenda for consultation, and predetermined the questions and issues. It is meeting with "impacted groups" as if they are conducting a marketing study. It does not even address the Indigenous peoples concerned or local communities comprised of citizens and residents who are part of a polity responsible for its all-sided well-being, including that of the Indigenous peoples. Marine-related shipping is clearly a crucial question on the West Coast of concern to the Indigenous peoples and Canadians. Responding to agendas set by others does not constitute genuine consultation, as the UBCIC points out. It is not going to fly.

The inability of the government to match words and deeds reveals the crisis in which the democratic institutions are mired. The outlook of the rich that by virtue of their private ownership of the socialized economy they have the right to make all the decisions is in contempt of the real owners of the land and the public good. It is in contempt of the Indigenous peoples who have never ceded this territory and whose very existence is under relentless attack. It refuses to recognize the need for a new direction to the economy and the rights of the workers who actually create the added-value. Decisions which involve consequences on such a broad scale must be in the hands of the Canadian working class and people and the Indigenous peoples.

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Brazilian Presidential Election Moves to Second Round

The Fight for Democracy Intensifies

Demonstration in São Paulo, October 10, 2018 following election results, expressed peoples'
determination not to return to a dictatorship under Bolsonaro.

On October 28 a second and final round vote will be held to elect the next president of Brazil given that the first round did not yield an outright winner. The two contenders are Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) who received 46 per cent of the eligible votes cast in the first round and Fernando Haddad of the Workers' Party (PT) who received just over 29 per cent of the vote. The original PT candidate, former President Luis Inácio "Lula" da Silva was prohibited from running thanks to the Brazilian Judiciary's continuation of the constitutional coup against the polity which targets the PT.

In this election, the financial oligarchy which staged the constitutional coup to remove the PT and change the direction of the economy has entrusted Bolsonaro, a former army captain, and his running mate, a retired general, to win the election so that they make sure the economy favours the financial oligarchy not the people. A lot is riding on the election results for the big domestic and foreign business interests who have already engaged in every kind of unscrupulous and criminal activity to remove the PT.

The presidential candidate for the PT, Fernando Haddad, is a former PT Education Minister who also served a term as the mayor of São Paulo. His vice-presidential candidate Manuela D'Ávila is a former student leader who has been a legislator at both the federal and state levels for the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) for Rio Grande do Sul. Their program is aimed at ending the neo-liberal nation-wrecking imposed on Brazil by the financial oligarchy after President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office two years ago in the constitutional coup.

As soon as it was known that Bolsonaro had been denied the first round victory he had hoped to achieve, the people's forces went into action to unite all those who could be united to stop the financial oligarchy and militarists from successfully carrying out an electoral coup in the second round.

In the opinion of the PCdoB, the realization of a second round is itself a major achievement of the democratic, popular and progressive forces and a setback for Bolsonaro's candidacy. The PCdoB points out that Bolsonaro's candidacy was catapulted by the monopoly-owned media, large economic and financial groups and sections of the state apparatus. These forces unleashed a major operation, including illegal actions such as the whirlwind of fake news that was circulated on social media, to try to obtain a win in the first round.

The work between now and October 28, the PCdoB points out, involves building a broad democratic front in support of a Haddad presidency. They are appealing to those whose candidates did not reach the second round, to voters who spoiled their ballots, left them blank or abstained from voting, and others who voted for Bolsonaro without understanding the interests he actually represents and will serve should he take over the presidency.

São Paulo, October 10, 2018.

Even though voting is mandatory for those eighteen years and older in Brazil, over 20 per cent of the more than 147 million registered voters did not show up to vote. More than 10 million cast blank or spoiled ballots.

Former candidates and members of other parties, organizations and religious groups have come forward to throw their support behind the PT's candidacy and contribute to preventing a Bolsonaro presidency and what it would represent for Brazil. This week thousands marched in São Paulo and Porto Alegre demanding the preservation of democracy and declaring Dictatorship Never Again! Actions of different types are being held in the spirit of the massive Not Him marches organized by women all around Brazil and worldwide on September 29.[1] University students in São Paulo, Brasilia, Porto Alegre and elsewhere are holding meetings and organizing to build an anti-fascist front around the "Brazil Happy Again" coalition for the second round vote. High school students in Belem, in the state of Pará, walked out of school in defence of democracy and the right to education.

The situation in which Brazilians find themselves reveals the need for the political activists to mobilize the people on a massive scale to deprive the ruling elites of their ability to claim a mandate for the dictatorial rule they want to impose in the name of democracy. The power to control matters of importance that affect the lives of the people lies in the people's hands and they are striving to use it to deprive the ruling elites of their power to deprive the people of what belongs to them by right. Fights for empowerment like the Brazilian people are currently waging will have to be fought over and over again by putting the full weight of their organization and strength in numbers behind the task.

The working people all over the world stand as one with the Brazilian people in this battle of history-making proportions.

Student gathering in Rio de Janeiro, October 10, 2018.

Porto Alegre, October 11, 2018.


1. See "Massive 'Not Him' Demonstrations Held All Over Brazil" and "Montreal Rally in Support of Brazilian People," TML Weekly, October 6, 2018.

(Photos: Midia Ninja)

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