Thursday, August 8, 2019

No to $1.7 Trillion for New Nuclear Weapons in the US

(Editor’s Note: The following is a response by Vernon Naffier of Des Moines, and a copy of the petition write-up that Stephen Miles wrote on 
You will see the disclaimer by at the end of this article.  There was full permission to post and reprint from both Naffier and  Although the write-up from was originally accompanied by an invitation to sign a petition, I have taken those sections out because of the time that has elapsed from the time of the write-up and sending of the invitation.)

By Rev. Vern Naffier

 I take this opportunity to forward a message from MOVE ON requesting a response.  Patched in below is my comment in my response to MOVE ON and our legislators.

When Jesus said that as time goes on we would hear more and more of wars and rumors of war, he did not mean that this is in accordance with the will of our Maker. He taught rather that it is a sign of the degeneration and depravity of humankind.  The obscene amount of money invested in weapons of war and military incursion into other countries is a malevolent symptom of the culture and pathology of war-making.  Those -  including societies and nations - who live by the sword tend also to die by the sword, maybe not immediately but in repetitious, torturous movements that always eventuate in the tragic  killing and dying of many - without any sight of lasting, ameliorative resolution.  Every war engenders another consequential war.  Holy Writ calls for the conversion of our swords into plow-shares, that is, into instruments of peace.  Jesus warned about the great harm that comes to the nation which does not learn the way of peace and instead exalts its investment of resources in the machinery and conduction of war.
Rev. Vernon Naffier

By Stephen Miles

This week, Congress is considering $8.7 BILLION for fighter jets so plagued with problems they may never work. They’re making the first down payments on $1.7 TRILLION on new nuclear weapons. And they’re adding even more to the over $6 TRILLION our endless wars have already cost us.
The Pentagon Budget is outrageously and astronomically excessive. We are spending more today at the Pentagon than we have since the height of World War II — mostly to pad unnecessary budget lines for endless wars, failed weapons, and corporate handouts.
It’s beyond time for us to redirect the TRILLIONS spent on weapons for yesterday’s wars toward desperately needed investments in a better tomorrow. That’s why a HUGE COALITION of progressive organizations is coming together to fight for cutting wasteful Pentagon spending to fund pressing priorities like climate change, income inequality, and our broken healthcare system.

The U.S. spends 9 times more on the Pentagon than on education or most other domestic programs. Yet even when Congress says it’s curbing this insane budget, it just fiddles with the margins. [1]
This year, the Trump administration proposed a 750 BILLION dollar Pentagon budget. The Democratic-led House response: 733 BILLION dollars.  We need to change the debate entirely, and with a heated contest brewing ahead of the 2020 election, candidates are considering big ideas like never before.
Win Without War has joined a huge coalition of organizations calling on Congress and the 2020 Presidential candidates to think big and commit to redirect $2 trillion over a decade away from weapons for yesterday’s wars, and toward the priorities of tomorrow — and the bigger we can make this demand, the more impact we’ll have.
Thank you for working for peace,
Stephen and the Win Without War team
[1] National Priorities Project, "Military Spending in the United States

This message was sent to Vernon H. Naffier by Stephen Miles through MoveOn's public petition website. MoveOn Political Action licensed and paid for this service, but does not endorse contents of this message.

Rev. Vern Naffier is an activist and retired pastor of Des Moines.  He currently serves on the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace, an organization which plans the Palm Sunday Procession and Prayer Service for Peace as well as other events. is an organization that enables ordinary citizens to write petitions as well as other activities.  From their website:  “MoveOn is where millions mobilize for a better society—one where everyone can thrive.
Whether it’s supporting a candidate, passing legislation, or changing our culture, MoveOn members are committed to an inclusive and progressive future. We envision a world marked by equality, sustainability, justice, and love. And we mobilize together to achieve it.”


  1. I'm a pediatrician who helped found the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in 1981 when I was in pediatric residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. I'm currently a member of the Sacramento Chapter of PSR, focused on preventing nuclear war, protecting our environment, decreasing gun violence and other peace issues.

    I'm writing on my own personal views, not representing any organization or campaign. But I must say I strongly support Tulsi Gabbard for President and I feel an urgency to get her message out. She is the best qualified based on her military & legislative experience, and the strongest voice among the democratic candidates articulating the growing danger of nuclear war. Witness Trump's resumption of the nuclear arms race (the $1.7 trillion on new nuclear weapons). She knows first hand the high cost of war and the fact that America's regime change wars since 9/11 have made us less safe, worsened the terrorism backlash and at a high cost in lives and dollars ($6 trillion plus). We still spend $4 billion per MONTH in Afghanistan alone without good results.

    This tremendous cost & effort distracts us from addressing pressing needs at home such as combating climate change & environmental degradation, building a green energy economy, covering all Americans with a basic level of health care, rebuilding infrastructure, bringing down the high cost of advanced education and improving our schools. Tulsi's positions are not supported in much of the mainstream press, but I think she is accurate in her analyses and is trying to wake up America. She has tremendous courage and takes a lot of flak for her efforts. I've been looking and hoping for a candidate like her for many years.

    On the particular issue of Syria, my understanding is that she went on a fact-finding mission with Congressman Dennis Kucinich to talk to the Syrian people, and while there was invited to talk with Bashar Al Assad, which she did, along with talking to opposition groups against him. She understands that a build up of US military efforts in Syria is a requirement for setting the military stage for war with Iran, a war that John Bolton is pushing for, and that would be far worse than the Iraq War from which Dick Cheney & Halliburton made billions in profit. Sadly, Pete Buttigieg supports keeping US military in Syria. He previously worked for former Secretary of Defense William Cohen who played a large role in directing miliatry actions in Iraq & Kosovo under Clinton, so I question if Pete is a peace candidate.

    Tulsi asks the tough questions about what is really going on and what will keep America safe - that is her soldier's heart. She has a amazing intellect to boot. I've offered my consultative expertise to her campaign on issues of children's health care and helping children with special needs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders. Please strongly consider supporting Tulsi in her bid for the democratic nomination. You can find out more on the Tulsi 2020 You Tube website with dozens of informative videos about her positions, and her campaign website at Tulsi

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