Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Earth cries out for transformation

Wars take a long time to end. Therefore, peace takes a long time to start. When the legacies of war continue to take lives, cause disease, and blow up farmers and their families, equipment and animals, can we find peace? What if the Nazis had planted a few million landmines in the US and those mines killed people every year? Would German apologies be accepted so readily?

This is exactly what we did to Vietnam, just to cite one piece of one example from a very large data set. We left that country in a state of complete wreckage, toxicity, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and ruined infrastructure. It was in abject poverty. Yes, the Vietnamese 'won'--they evicted the American empire and had the communist government they wanted. It was such a pyrrhic victory for them and a resounding loss for the US. War=two big losers and millions of small losers and a few war profiteer winners.

It is long past the time when war was ever adaptive except for the profiteering elite. All war is war on the Earth. The Earth includes us, along with soil, water, and air. In Vietnam, they are still struggling to remediate the massive attacks--chemical and antipersonnel bombs--we made on their very land, on the jungle, on the wetlands, on the rural villages, on the civilians, on the generations. Babies are still being born deformed, 150,000 so far.
USAID has contributed $82 million to the start of the dioxin (Agent Orange) and UXO cleanup in Vietnam, a small but important first step (VietNamNet Bridge, 27 March 2014). If we completely converted the Pentagon budget to remediation and compensation, we might make a good number of friends and we would lengthen our lifespan as a nation and as a species. We would employ millions and save millions. Could there be a better transformation?

VietNamNet Bridge (27 March 2014). Da Nang airport dioxin contaminated soil project set for April.

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