WNC Veterans for Peace have stood vigil against our many wars for over 17 years, but we moved the vigil online in order to follow the “stay at home” orders. I have been told by the Mountain Xpress that our country’s foreign policies and many wars are “not a local issue.” I think they are very much a local issue. We are all impacted by the decisions made by the clowns in D.C. to fund weapons, bombers, drones and other instruments of war instead of providing universal health care, hospital beds, protective equipment and ventilators for our own population. This is a local issue that is having a local impact right now.
The USA is leading the world in aggressive action against poor brown and black people on the other side of the world (none of whom have ever hurt anyone on U.S. soil) just like we are leading the world in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. The USA is exceptional all right, like in exceptionally bad for its citizens and the rest of the world. We are destroying and poisoning parts of the planet with these wars. Our wars have caused many refugee camps. These camps are going to be breeding grounds for the novel coronavirus. They are going to be devastating for the people trapped in those camps, but they are going to impact us, too.
As a matter of fact, this pandemic is going to hit our many military bases and military ships pretty hard, too. That is what happens when you put a lot of people in one place and you have an easily transmittable virus going around the world. It spreads.
But the truly infuriating part is that all these trillions of dollars spent on useless and evil activities could have been used to help people here at home. And locally, we are going to pay for that now and well into the future.
And once the stay-at-home orders are lifted, local Veterans for Peace will vigil at Vance Monument at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday once again. It looks like we will be doing it for another 17 years.
— Susan Oehler