Lynn’s Corner – Fall issue

From “The Conversation”Benjamin Neimark Senior Lecturer Lancaster University in consultation with Sustainability researcher Cara Kennelly say shrinking this US war machine is a must for climate mitigation. Studies show that action on climate change demands shuttering vast sections of the military machine. There are few activities on Earth as environmentally catastrophic as waging war. Significant reductions to the Pentagon’s budget and shrinking its capacity to wage war would cause a huge drop in demand from the biggest consumer of liquid fuels in the world. In 2017 the US military bought 269,230 barrels of oil a day and emitted more than 25,000 kilotonnes of CO2 by burning those fuels.

Remember Green House Gases heating the planet and killing coral reefs and reeking climate havoc with all life? Why isn’t our foreign policy stepping up? Those wars everywhere? Let’s cut these wars out and work on our democracy here at home. You can’t bring democracy at the point of a gun or bomb your way to peace. That’s proven. Close the 800 bases worldwide, decommission all the nuclear missiles and let’s use the savings for humanitarian needs. Yemen is suffering terrible hunger, Afghanistan has extreme hunger too, address this everywhere since we can afford to since $3Trillion is not going to rebuild the entire nuclear Arsenal. Nukes are illegal.

Have you found yourself singing lines from Peter, Paul and Mary? Jefferson Airplane, Cat Stevens’, Peace Train? I hear, “ when will they ever learn , when will they ever learn” and on a hopeful note, “People, get together now, smile on each other,” These 60/70’s era ballads and Peace songs express my feelings of futility and desire for peace on earth.

The deep sense of betrayal among allied Afghanis abandoned during the hasty departure of our military from Kabul, is grievous. No conclusion to twenty years of Afghanistan war, as Biden says, spying and drone war will continue by way of “Over the Horizon” operations. That’s a continuation of random bombings of civilians. That randomness is the vary definition of terrorism. The September 13, New Yorker article by Anand Gopal is a fascinating set of interviews of Afghan locals. The 70 percent of the population that is rural suffered terribly under drone attacks. That constant threat of random death that could befall families driving to a sister’s wedding, or having tea in a sunlit field-is torture. They may be better off with Taliban rule if these drone attacks stop. They’re main income, a cash crop, was destroyed under the US coalition which left locals to starve.

The recent senate hearing brought out a frank ‘general’s review’ of the twenty years war. It was a disaster of bloodletting and wasted taxpayer investment. That is borne out again. Still no official will admit our ‘over the top’ military revenge for 9/11 was about accessing the vast Middle Eastern oil reserves. These military intrusions in the Middle East were about protecting and delivering pipeline oil, says Charlotte Dennett author of The Crash of Flight 3804. A thrilling story of CIA activity from the early days of oil discovery to now. There are pipeline maps and maps of military skirmishes that fit perfectly together. The US hired the Taliban when it was a Soviet Russian war, to guard the TAPI pipelines.

Why would a country flunking their own democracy test “move to dominate entirely incomprehensible countries with their entire military might” After the 2011 killing of 9/11 instigator Osama Bin Laden, what was the reason to stay except for plunder? It was certainly not for women’s rights.

In 2015 the Department of Defense built “ the worlds most expensive gas station $43Million in Afghanistan. It should not have cost more that $500,000. The idea was to use plentiful Afghan natural gas instead of importing fuels. The cost of converting a car to be able to use natural gas was $600 -equal to a years wages for the locals. The project failed. Who enables the pentagon to throw money away in far away countries? We need checks and balances.

Will voters elect to office legislators who will cut back on pentagon larges? The poor DOD performance requires accountability, we must tighten the purse strings.

Our military is the biggest consumer of fossil fuels on earth, yet they are not accountable for their own carbon pollution? This would be a good time to commit DOD to net zero carbon like countries everywhere must do. It’s nonsense to let the military be exempt from pollution measures when they are the main polluters.
Just how confused and lost our military approach was, is made clear in the Gopal New Yorker article. Massive amounts of money went to paying off Taliban. In one case Gopal reports, it was the uncle of an Afghan army member who was Talib and regularly bombed an essential bridge, soon the uncle was on the payroll, paid to not bomb this essential bridge. There was little to no comprehension of what makes this culture tick.
When will we ever learn to stop the lavish taxpayer larges to the Pentagon? Those who invested in Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics etc etc won a handsome stock profit off the war. Our legislators benefitted hugely though-the lobbyists for the Merchants of death, Raytheon garnered over $310 billion in weapons contracts since 9/11, while spending $2.5 billion to buy influence. Raytheon’s lobbyists, campaign contributions and personnel in high government offices.

From WILPF disarm/end wars, the biggest weapons profiteers in the world should get public shaming, divestiture campaigns and moral condemnation. Here are some contacts for the worst offenders:

Lockheed Martin,6801 Rockledge Dr. Bethesda, MD 20817 ; 972-603-9818

Boeing Defense, Space and Security, PO Box 516, St.Louis, MO 63166; 314-232-0232

Bechtel National, 50 Beale St. , San Francisco, CA 94105; 415-768-1234

Honeywell/ Kansas City Plant: 14520 Botts Rd. Kansas City MO 64147; 816-488-2000

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