Our Wars Are Killing Us, Too!

The United States spends more on military arms, equipment and personnel than any other country. More than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and England combined, according to the National Priorities Project. We sell most of the weapons that countries like Saudi Arabia, England and others buy.

In no small measure, the business of the United States is war.

Between our foreign policy and our defense spending, we create markets  for weaponry and wars and then pivot to respond to the siren cries of those markets.

And, while the U.S. Defense Department stands resolute in its commitment to respond to climate change to protect its bases and national security interests, the Department is a major source of greenhouse gases as a profligate burner of fossil fuels.

The No War 2017 Conference at American University in Washington in September sought to find paths to link the anti-way and peace movements with the climate and environmental movements. That effort naturally puts the U.S. military at the center of the debate.

The conference was a project of World Beyond War, an international peace organization.

I was invited to speak about the successful fight to prevent the open burning of 16 million pounds of munitions propellant at Camp Minden following an explosion of a small amount of some of the materials in 2012. After a strong grassroots effort that engaged thousands of northwest Louisiana citizens in the fight, the area’s congressman, one Senator, and a dedicated state representative.

While at the conference, I conducted several interviews, three of which are included in this podcast.

In order of appearance they are (bios in the links):

Colonel (Ret.) Ann Wright;

Alice Slater;

and Nick Mottern.

They constitute roughly the second have of the program. I talk about the conference and Camp Minden in the first half.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Joint Allied Commander in Europe in World War II, left office with a nationally televised Farewell Address. In it, he warned Americans to guard against the influence of the Military Industrial Complex. The video of the full 16-minute speech is below.