Letters to the Editor: “Oppose war? Don’t start one…”

“Oppose war? Don’t start one…”

At first reading, Brian Dubie’s plea for the funding the aerospace
industry seems unassailabl
e. But the underpinnings of his arguments are built on rhetorical quicksand. Dubie addresses very broad questions as if they were established facts, and reaches contradictory conclusions. He claims, for one example, that our air superiority keeps us out of wars.

This is absurd.

However, I believe it is the underlying assumptions his article depends on that Dubie hopes to pass off to the voting public. So instead of trying to argue with his conclusions, I want to challenge the foundations on which they seem to rest. Here, then, from his article, are his basic premises:

Strength is the way to achieve peace.

Overwhelming air superiority keeps us out of wars.

The “Star Wars missile defense system” actually exists in reality, “silently protecting” us while we sleep.

Iran is building a nuclear arsenal to attack America.

“Good intelligence” from aerospace technology is the basis for military action. Invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and assassination by “unmanned drones,” protects “our interests.”

The aerospace industry is critical to our Economic Security.

Having a bigger military budget than all other nations combined keeps us secure.

These assertions, implicit in the Dubie article, cry out for
fact-checking. The facts as I understand them follow, point by point in order:

There is no way to peace: peace is the way. We are in our tenth year of war because of our overwhelming air power.

“Star Wars,” though born obsolete and unworkable, is still costing taxpayers billions, and “silently protects” nothing but lucrative contractors’ cost overruns.

There is no evidence that Iran is capable or intends to produce nuclear arms.

“Good intelligence” was never considered when we invaded Iraq and
Afghanistan, on the contrary, intelligence was manufactured to fit Cheney & Comapany’s war plans, and derived by widespread torture to justify continuing their failed policies.

The invasions and drone strikes, killing hundreds of bystanders even in allied countries, have turned millions of good people against America and recruited bad ones for terror groups.

The aerospace industry is so vast and politically connected that it is actually writing our laws and setting our foreign policies for its own interests.

Ten years of war have utterly failed in their purposes of
securing either our safety or our “interests” (not to mention “Freedom and Democracy” for those we invaded).

Along with our obscenely huge military budget, has bankrupted America and corrupted our government.

Please consider that this is not merely my humble opinion versus that of a ranked military fighter pilot spokesman for the aerospace industry; rather, it is a comparison of Dubie’s underlying assumptions, or “narrative” as Secretary Rumsfeld liked to say, against the real world according to wiser heads than mine, which sources I am quite prepared to cite.

The question is not whether you think the one percent or the ninety-nine percent are right, or which of us is the grownup in the room. The question is, what is your view of life? Are we stuck in a dark and fearful past of kill-or-be-killed, winner-take-all and devil-take-the-hindmost? Are we doomed to more of the same?

Before answering this, perhaps even by dismissing it, please consider that the greatest and most lasting achievements in poetry, music, literature, science and art, not to mention social and political structures, may be humanity’s answer to that question. And when somebody tries to convince you that we need to build more and more dangerous weapons systems, at greater and greater cost, with no end in sight, they are proposing to answer that critical question in your name, with your taxes and your childrens’ future. And that’s when it’s probably time to speak for yourself, as is your birthright. It is a question whose time has most certainly come.

Peter Barus

This entry was posted in Afghanistan, American Military Culture, Iran, Iraq, Military Industrial Complex Revisited, National Security State, Nuclear Weapons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s