“I realize how much we are taking the money that should be going to these positive things, but instead, putting it into war machines that kill and destroys,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, after pointing out that a considerable population in the U.S. are homeless and lack access to primary health care. At the same time, the military budgets of the country kept rising.
CODEPINK is a women-led organization based in the U.S. that has been opposing wars and militarism since 2002. Over the past 20 years, members of the organization have traveled to several war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria to meet refugees, organize campaigns, and raise anti-war awareness across the U.S.
A recent campaign they organized is delivering signatures to the headquarter of PBS and protesting against their decision to take down the documentary Voices From the Frontline: China’s War on Poverty.
While explaining the reason for such an action, she pointed out that rising homelessness is a problem for all cities across the country. Even though living in Washington D.C., the country’s capital, she still witnesses homelessness just within her community. “So it is very important for us to do everything we can to learn how other countries are dealing with poverty,” Benjamin said.
In a recent interview with CGTN, Benjamin gave her take on the U.S. foreign policies and the reason for CODEPINK to organize campaigns to stop U.S. aggression towards other countries.
CGTN YouTube Channel
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Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.
Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
China is the third largest country in the world by area and the largest country in the world by population. Properly known as the People’s Republic of China, the political territory of the country includes Tibet and Hong Kong. The capital is Beijing.
Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.
Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.
Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest.