US Activist Urges Politicians To End Militaristic Paradigm, Redirect Funds To Social Needs

US Activist Urges Politicians to End Militaristic Paradigm, Redirect Funds to Social Needs

US peace advocates are calling on politicians to change the militaristic paradigm that prioritizes the Pentagon budget over the social needs of the people, renowned American antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan told Sputnik on Friday.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th October, 2018) US peace advocates are calling on politicians to change the militaristic paradigm that prioritizes the Pentagon budget over the social needs of the people, renowned American antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan told Sputnik on Friday.

Sheehan spoke ahead of the "Women's March on the Pentagon" planned for this weekend, and initiated by her.

"The main goal is to reenergize the anti-war movement," Sheehan said. "We are not just against [US President Donald] Trump and the wars that are happening now, we are against the whole paradigm of militarism that takes money from our schools, from our communities... We have to change that by changing where our resources go to."

The United States, Sheehan added, has obscene amounts of homeless people, hungry people, uneducated children and the most pitiful health care system of so-called first world nations.

Sheehan said 60 percent of ever US tax dollar goes to the "war machine" and the Pentagon. The problem has and will remain the same no matter who is president, be it Trump or Hillary Clinton or former president Barack Obama, she argued.

"We need to educate people that they are suffering and struggling because of that, that it is a systemic problem, not a personal problem," the activist added. "Our goal is to change the hearts and minds of the people here in this country, to recognize it doesn't matter if you get Trump or Clinton or Obama, the wars are going to continue, unless we stop them."

Sheehan noted that this weekend's protest includes a coalition of people and organizations who believe that the war machine in the United States is run by both Democratic and Republican parties.

"If you get a Democrat in the White House, obviously, the wars don't end," she added. "We call ourselves a non-partisan march on the bipartisan war-machine."

Sheehan's son, US Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during a mission to rescue fellow US troops on April 4, 2004 in Iraq, and was decorated with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his actions.

His loss prompted his mother to become an anti-war activist.

"We were against the war before he was killed but didn't know how to express that. After he was killed I just felt that it was my duty as a human being to expose the lies that took the United State to Iraq, that killed my son," she explained. "But after I'd been involved for a while I recognized that [former US President] George Bush wasn't the problem, that the war in Iraq and George Bush were just like symptoms of a larger disease of capitalism and imperialism."

Sheehan went on to say that the march on Sunday is just a kick-off to the coalition's anti-imperialist activities that need to be expanded. The movement has to be international, she added, because they have to care about all the women of the world and their families, and their communities, and their countries, Sheehan said.

"We care about all women being free of the oppression of US imperialism," Sheehan said.

Sheehan said the event will start on Saturday with workshops at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Washington focused on issues like self-defense for women and the war in Yemen.

On Sunday, she noted, the activists will march on the Pentagon from a nearby metro station from 12:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) followed by a rally that will last until 4:00 p.m. (2000 GMT). Sheehan believes that a few thousand people will join the march on Sunday.

The speakers will include former colonel and ex-State Department employee Ann Wright, who left the State Department in 2004 after the United States invaded Iraq as well as Jill Stein, who was the presidential candidate of the Green Party.

Members of Dragonfly Inter-tribal all Woman Drum Group as well as Musical guests , including Ariel Zevon, the Raging Grannies, the DC Labor Chorus, Pam Parker, Sheri Bauer-Mayorga and Ben Grosscup, will also participate, according to the march's website.

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