Ben Cohen and Roger Waters join organizations from Europe to South America in calling on President Biden and the US Congress to cancel the manufacturing and training of the F-35 fighter jet.
At a time of economic uncertainty, climate crisis, and the need for peace and stability for people and the planet, more than 220 organizations are uniting in an international campaign to end the United States’ F-35 program. Citing “the damage done overseas, the cost of the program to the taxpayer, the inefficiencies and failures, the environmental impact of the F-35s, and the effects of the training on local communities,” the grand coalition of organizations is joined by Ben Cohen, Roger Waters, Noam Chomsky and others in signing a joint letter to President Joe Biden and members of US Congress.
“I have joined more than 200 organizations around the world in calling on the US government to end the disastrous F-35 fighter jet program because as a global community we need to dramatically change our priorities.” Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, continued: “To the people of the countries where the F-35 is sold and produced, it is time to demand a reinvestment in life, not in war.
The organizations signing the request represent human interest groups from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Paraguay, Germany, Spain, Kenya and Switzerland. With the United States intent on selling the F-35s to countries around the world, the citizens of those countries are pushing back against the program and those sales.
“That concerns many of us in the country.” explains Ruth Rohde, member of the board of the Arms Information Center in Germany.
“Germany is seeking to purchase the F-35 to transport the American nuclear weapons stationed here. Not only will this represent a significant and unnecessary financial burden, but it will also support the disastrous and indefensible threat of nuclear war on and from the ground. German.
The coalition points out in the letter that not only is the F-35 program an extension of dangerous militarism, but the jets themselves have proven themselves to be a flawed and exhausting machine. Even House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith called the F-35 a “rathole.”
“The global community is fed up with overpriced, underperforming weapons systems like the F-35. It’s a complete waste of taxpayers’ money causing damage overseas and here in Vermont. Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Vermont local, continued, “The only beneficiaries of this project are the executives of Lockheed Martin. Real security is knowing that you can see a doctor when you’re sick, not a bumpy fighter jet that can’t fly near thunderstorms.
Cohen, along with many Vermont-based organizations, represent working-class families who are unwittingly subjected to the physically and mentally damaging F-35 training program that terrorizes their neighborhoods. The noise caused by the F-35 reaches 115 decibels, which particularly injures and injures infants and children, the elderly and the disabled. The F-35 has 300 to 600 takeoffs and landings per month. Residents of Madison, Wisconsin are next on the list to be subjected to this privacy breach.
The campaign to end the F-35 program is led by CODEPINK: Women for Peace as part of their overall goal to end the war economy and create a stable and sustainable planet for all, not just the few. one.
“The F-35 program is a microcosm of the military-industrial complex. Every year, the US government pumps huge sums of money into the program while leaving places in the US without clean drinking water for months or years. Maintaining this program any longer will have adverse effects on human life and the earth. Danaka Katovich, National Co-Director of CODEPINK.
The letter is being emailed to White House and congressional staffers this week and hand-delivered directly to select members of Congress.
The letter itself is only the start of the campaign. An international day of action is set for 2023 with thousands of people from four continents taking to the streets to stop President Biden from including the F-35 program in his proposed defense budget to Congress for the fiscal year 2024. By action 2023, the more than 200 organizations will petition their elected officials and educate the public about the real dangers and consequences of continuing the F-35 program.