By Don Hamilton, Ocate
I am writing in response to Mr. Benito Duran’s letter regarding the proposed Cannon Air Force Base night flights over Northern New Mexico. I am certain that he believes these flights are necessary and that they will help keep us safe. However, I believe this perception is based upon a myth.
That myth is that the armed services — here I mean as directed from the top down, not the servicemen and women — are acting to protect ordinary citizens from outside threats. Unfortunately, as is pretty clear upon even a cursory investigation, our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan are in the interest of corporations and the wealthy who own and run them.
Oil is central to decisions as to where to go to war next. The oil reserves in Iraq and the pipeline that will run through Afghanistan are good examples.
Other factors simply involve keeping some sort of war going on somewhere as much as possible, so that the military-industrial complex can continue to manufacture and sell weapons.
Often the news we hear is colored so that it appears we are in danger, when we actually are not at all in danger. This induces us to cooperate with the larger agenda. The Nazi Hermann Goering stated this nicely: ”Naturally the common people don’t want war. ... That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
There are legitimate questions about the official reports of the 9/11 events; the Bush administration pushed the “weapons of mass destruction” fear as a reason for these invasions, even though they knew that Iraq had no WMD. As a result, our military, supposedly in our service, is killing innocent civilians by the thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan. The suffering in Iraq is immensely greater now than whatever happened under Saddam Hussein, and much of the suffering under Hussein’s regime came as a result of the embargo we initiated. Thousands of children died of malnutrition.
We also use spent uranium in our weapons, immorally and illegally disposing of nuclear waste in ways that will poison innocent humans for decades to come. Is this what we want? Is this moving us toward peace in the world? I think not.
I do not want our military training anywhere for these sordid missions, especially in my skies at night. Isn’t it time we look to peaceful solutions rather than war? As Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk said, regarding the devastating war in his home country: “You say that negotiating peace is very difficult, but is it more difficult than war?”