Letter: Take a closer look at ‘freedom’ claim

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Cataldo Perrone, spokesperson for Pratt & Whitney, was quoted in the Mountain Xpress as saying, “The military aircraft we power are engaged in defensive operations designed to help defend freedom around the world” [“Snapshot,” May 4]. I think we need to take a closer look at that claim.

Right now, two existential threats face humanity: climate chaos and nuclear weapons. And how have military aircraft addressed these threats? For one, they make climate chaos worse — much worse — since every flight has a massive carbon footprint. Dropping bombs from this aircraft furthers environmental destruction and carbon emissions, as does the cleanup and rebuilding.

On the issue of nuclear weapons, climate and environmental destruction would happen even quicker if those weapons are ever used. F-35s carry those weapons.

We should keep in mind that it took four U.S. presidents, 20 years, more than $2 trillion dollars, at least tens of thousands of people killed, hundreds of thousands of refugees and millions of lives damaged, using tens of thousands of bombs, for the USA to replace the Taliban with the Taliban in Afghanistan. How was that defending freedom? Did it increase freedom at home?

We have (or our allies have) also bombed Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq and probably a few more places in the last 20 years. How has that defended freedom? Are any of those places more free? Are we more free? I think the only freedom we brought to these countries and the USA was the freedom of the grave.

— Susan Oehler


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