Letter: Say no to war industries in our county

Graphic by Lori Deaton

In 1997, I moved to Asheville because I found so much pleasure and joy and meaning in the rivers, mountains and lands in the Southern Appalachian area. I especially enjoy and cherish the Blue Ridge Parkway, on which I have often traveled, hiked, camped and kayaked the rivers nearby. These rivers, lands and mountains hold a deep spiritual connection for me.

Biltmore Farms asked the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to allow a rezoning of the areas around the Blue Ridge Parkway. The commissioners have voted to allow it, in spite of 30 people who spoke against it, just as they voted to give the Pratt & Whitney plant $27 million in tax incentives. Jack Cecil (who, through an accident of birth, owns this land) has stated that he wants to build an aerospace industrial complex there alongside the French Broad River and the Blue Ridge Parkway. A-B Tech plans to build a training center to educate people to work in these military industries.

I fear they will destroy the lands and the views from the Blue Ridge Parkway forever, even though they claim otherwise. The commissioners approved the rezoning, claiming it will provide good jobs. I believe that is a false promise.

In the USA, our main industrial export is weapons. We ship them out around the world. Our biggest expense is the military and the military-industrial complex. It is the most heavily subsidized industry in our country.

Have you noticed that the U.S. military is not winning any of these wars we started? Have you noticed that they did not protect the USA on Sept. 11, 2001? Have you noticed that Israel was not able to protect its citizens from Hamas on Oct. 7? Have you noticed how badly things are going in Ukraine? Have you noticed how much worse off the people of Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Afghanistan have been since the U.S. military bombed and sometimes invaded their countries?

Pratt & Whitney makes engines for F-35s, which the U.S. has given to Israel. The money never leaves the USA, but the weapons and F-35s do. It is socialism for the military-industrial complex, paid for by our tax dollars.

Israel has used those F-35s to drop weapons on Gaza, Lebanon and Syria this year — and every year — for quite a while. This bombing really increased in the last couple of months. The people on the ground know where those jets and bombs come from — the USA.

If you care about Indigenous people or LGBTQ people, know that those bombs are being dropped on them. If you care about children, know that those bombs are being dropped on them. If you care about brown or Black people, know that those bombs are being dropped on them. (With the exception of the war in Ukraine, nearly all U.S.-made weapons have been used on brown or Black people for decades now.) If you care about the environment, know that making and dropping bombs from fighter jets is about the worst thing you can do to the environment.

So please ask yourself: Are you OK with using U.S. taxpayer funding to allow Israel to bomb other foreign countries with weapons that we make? Are you OK with your local and state taxes helping these weapons industries? Do you think that destroying our natural environment in our backyard to make things that will destroy other parts of our small planet will somehow lead to a better world? Is this the road we want to continue going down? Can we not find a better way?

— Susan Oehler


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Say no to war industries in our county

  1. Marc McIntosh

    Bless it! Pitiful how these same few fools will not stand up against all these sky rise apt. And hotels that are being erected in our face! Stop your whining , if you gave a crap about the future of our children ( oh you prob don’t have children to contribute to the future ) you would see past your ignorance and see further education, jobs!

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    With the democrat war machine in power, more ammunition is needed, so remember that President Trump will protect us from WW111 !!! TRUMP 2024!

  3. Voirdire

    Between the delusional far left woke folk and the seriously demented far right MAGA zombies there is nowhere to go here other than forward with this P&W plant and more like them unfortunately. We need a robust defense industry now more than ever…. it’s that or China and Russia ( …and Putin, Xi and the wannabe again Rump) get their way and we all become slaves of the “state”. It’s that simple …pretty much anyway …again, unfortunately. sigh.

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