Letter: Level of militarism simply unsustainable

Editor,

On the front page of the Dec. 19 edition of The South Whidbey Record a headline reads “Growler meeting may draw a crowd” and on page A4 the headline of the “In Our Opinion” reads “Federal agency needs to hear from a wide range of voices,” and since I could not be at this meeting, I wanted to add my voice.

I will not mince words here. The Navy wants to operate in an unfettered fashion, to fly thousands of Growler operations, creating an unacceptable sonic abuse of this region, to conduct “war games” all over this corner of Washington state, including parks on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Navy wants to use parks as a training area for stealth attacks by Navy Seals, and use the surrounding area for weapons testing, and trash the environment that we all call home.

I think it is valuable to mention the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. Commonwealth, at this point. This is the home of approximately 50,000 residents. Similar to the population of Whidbey.

The Navy is seeking to use two of these islands for live-fire exercises that would include artillery, mortars, rockets, amphibious assaults, attack helicopters, warplanes, etc. Sound familiar, Puget Sound citizens?

Residents explained to the Saipan Tribune that “the training would destroy native forests and coral reefs, kill native wildlife — including endangered species — and destroy prime farmland.”

I would refer anyone to look at what the Navy refers to as its “take list.” This is an estimate of whales and other marine mammals that would be killed due to this activity in our region.

This is apparently an acceptable tradeoff for the Navy.

Activists for the Marianas sued the Navy and, of course, a U.S. district court sided with the military. Sound familiar?

Activists have appealed saying, “This is a life-or-death struggle. If the Navy’s plans go forward they will turn our homeland into a militarized wasteland.”

This level of militarism is absolutely unsustainable and American human beings must come up with better alternatives to this type of environmental trashing before everywhere becomes a “War Games Testing Site.”

Dan Freeman

Clinton

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