Why aren’t wars, the costs of militarism , and DU
major election issues?
American journalist, Amy Goodman, raises an important question about U.S. election issues. Goodman writes: “Just days away from crucial midterm elections, WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower website, unveiled the largest classified military leak in history. Almost 400,000 secret Pentagon documents relating to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq were made available online. The documents, in excruciating detail, portray the daily torrent of violence, murder, rape and torture to which Iraqis have been subjected since George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished.” The WikiLeaks release, dubbed “The Iraq War Logs,” has been topping the headlines in Europe. But in the U.S. it barely warranted a mention on the agenda-setting Sunday talk shows.” (See http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/10/27 Also see http://www.democracynow.org/2010/10/26/wikileaks_founder_julian_assange_on_iraq)
Trillions of dollars have been spent on armaments and the illegal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now widening to Pakistan, and elsewhere with no end in sight. Millions of people have been killed, injured, and/or made refugees by these wars. Meanwhile in the U.S. tens of millions of people are out of work or underemployed, losing their homes, life savings, and standing in food bank lines. The trillions spent on the wars and armaments to kill and destroy abroad, could and should be used to create much needed jobs at home, to keep people in their homes, feed people, provide medical care, and clean up the environment, etc. In short, the wars and military spending are stealing and wasting the resources for everything that is genuinely needed.
Here on Hawaii Island, the military continues bombing at the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) known to be contaminated with Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation, and very few, if any, candidates are speaking out to stop it.
The Army is stonewalling community involvement in seeking the truth about the full extent of radiation contamination at PTA. The Army has repeatedly made unreliable safety claims based on questionable assumptions, scientific methodology, and no peer reviewed studies. The bottom line is this. The Army does not want to risk having to shut down Pohakuloa if it is determined that the presence of DU and other military toxins pose a threat to the health and safety of the troops who train there and residents and visitors of Hawaii Island. While the Army says that health and safety are the primary concerns, in truth, continuing the military mission trumps all.
Malu ‘Aina calls for an immediate end to the U.S. illegal wars of occupation, and major cuts in military spending and increased spending to meet human needs. Locally, we call for an end to all live-fire and activities at PTA that create dust. Comprehensive independent monitoring and clean up of DU, unexploded ordnance, and other military toxins should be done at military expenses. The entire process needs to be transparent and have the confidence of the community, which to date is sorely lacking.
Political candidates and citizens alike — where are our voices on these important issues?
Why the silence?
1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622. Email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Oct. 29, 2010 – 476th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office