Lawrence Wittner: Vieques is now a major Superfund Site, with cancer and other disease rates substantially higher than in the rest of Puerto Rico. Also, with its traditional economy destroyed, the island suffers from widespread poverty.
The Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower warned against the dangers of developing a military industrial complex. It appears that when all you have in your toolbox is hammers, everything looks like a nail. The articles below give a sense of the many ways we use all of the hammers we've invested in.
WJ Astore: The new “cold war” is all the rage within the DoD, even though China and Russia are regional land powers, having little of the arsenal of global power projection in which the U.S. takes so much pride.
Ellen Birkett Lindeen: Violent conflict is not inevitable. Just as people can be taught to kill in the armed services, they can be taught to use other methods of interaction.
W.J. Astore: Aren’t warriors supposed to be on the receiving end of elemental violence as well as being the inflictors of it?
Paul Haeder: There are resisters to this global hyper power disease that we have been infected with in America that professes a USA-rules-the-world mentality. Dan Shea is that Vietnam Veteran for Peace. He puts his actions where his mouth is.
Marcy Winograd: The text of H.R. 1795 conflates the national interests of the United States with those of Israel and undermines efforts to reach lasting non-military solutions to political conflicts.
W.J. Astore: Throughout my life, the U.S. “defense” establishment has consistently inflated the dangers presented by foreign powers, which brings me to the current Pentagon budget for 2020, which may reach $750 billion.
Steve Early: Unfortunately, going to war—or even just training for it—can be a life-changing experience in ways never mentioned by military recruiters with a quota to fill.
William J. Astore: Any ambitious government project to help improve the plight of working Americans is quickly dismissed as profligate and wasteful, unless, of course, you’re talking about national security.
Kathy Kelly: We, in the United States, have yet to realize both the futility and immense consequences of war even as we develop, store, sell, and use hideous weapons. The number of children killed is rising.
Hakim: With your reason and compassion, you see through all the current peace negotiators of the Afghan conflict: beneath their emperor’s clothes, you see that they are naked war executioners.
WJ Astore: Despite all the harsh realities of U.S. history, such as periodic bouts of anti-immigrant fervor, the inhumanity of slavery, murderous labor strife, and so forth, America nevertheless had an ideal, however imperfectly realized, of openness.
Kathy Kelly: Impoverished people living in numerous countries today would stand a far better chance of survival, and risk far less trauma, if weapon manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Raytheon stopped manufacturing and selling death-dealing products.