Letter: Working for peace in Asheville and WNC

Graphic by Lori Deaton

As we in and near Asheville dedicate a new Peace Pole downtown on International Day of Peace, Friday, Sept. 21, in the Elder and Sage Community Garden, I ponder how peace and violence are interwoven into our daily lives locally.

As of July in Asheville, [eight] people had lost their lives due to violent acts, [according to Asheville Police Department statistics]. Meanwhile, angels of peace daily feed hungry bodies and provide health care to hurting persons in our community. Bruised, battered and raped women seek help from agencies like Helpmate, while Pisgah Legal Services finds peaceful solutions for people who are evicted from homes or denied needed benefits.

Working for peace, often in the midst of violence, happens every day here and all over Western North Carolina.

Nothing can be more local than peace, and many locals deserve praise for the work they do daily to bring peace into the lives of homeless, the sick, the hungry and the oppressed. Even groups like Brother Wolf bring peace into the lives of our pets.

Nevertheless, amidst so many peaceful acts in our area, programs like Low Income Energy Assistance, rural and community hospitals, Medicaid, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, food stamps and Supplemental Security Income are threatened because ever-increasing sums of our taxes are annually dumped into bottomless coffers of our military. Working for peace in our community also includes local advocacy for bringing war dollars back home to fund programs that make peace possible to thousands of people right here.

While [eight] persons this year have lost their lives in Asheville, four U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan during the same time period; 11 in Iraq. We’re glad that most of our soldiers come home alive, but even their Veterans Affairs hospitals are now threatened with privatization, which most veterans think will be detrimental to their care. North Carolina estimates that 32.9 per 100,000 veterans in North Carolina commit suicide. …

Consider this: More than half of all discretionary spending (funds in the federal budget that aren’t already obligated to be paid to fund such things as Social Security) is taken from our local communities to fund wasteful programs dictated by the military-industrial complex, that many even in the military don’t want.

For 2019, that amount is more than $717 billion, an increase of $160 billion more in the next two years than the previous budget. Imagine what Buncombe County’s share, $281.83 million would be available to pay for here at home:

Working for peace means working for a better allocation of funds in our federal budget. It means responsible budgeting for future needs and cutting our federal deficit.

• 3,804 clean energy jobs or

• 5,072 infrastructure jobs or

• 2,818 jobs with supports in high-poverty communities, or

• 31,697 Head Start slots for children, or

• 29,984 military veterans receiving VA medical care, or

• 262,748 households with wind power, or

• 71,459 adults receiving low-income healthcare, or

•162,297 households with solar electricity or

• any combination of the above (source: White House Office of Management and Budget and other federal agencies, interpreted by the National Priorities Project).

Working for peace means working for a better allocation of funds in our federal budget. It means responsible budgeting for future needs and cutting our federal deficit. …

Working for peace is about saving lives of local young men and women, of preventing ever-increasing suicides and drug overdoses here in Asheville.

Being peacemakers also means protecting our environment from the country’s worst polluter, the U.S. military. It’s about constructing for our families’ lives, not destroying our land, air, water and people.

While our own deaths from war are now very low, Consortium News estimates that 6 million people have died from war-related causes throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa since 9/11.

Our Peacemakers of the Year will be Christian Peacemaker Team members Palestinian-born Yousef Natsha and wife, American-born Rachel Joy, both of whom now live in Asheville. Yousef, a filmmaker, recently finished a documentary called Hebron.

So come observe International Day of Peace Friday, Sept. 21, 11:30 a.m. at the Elder and Sage Community Gardens on Page Avenue in downtown Asheville. Help us dedicate our new Peace Pole there, featuring the phrase “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in English, Spanish, Korean and Cherokee. Bring lawn chairs and signs telling others where you want peace in the world.

— Rachael Bliss



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51 thoughts on “Letter: Working for peace in Asheville and WNC

  1. B.E. Vickroy

    Re: The “bottomless coffers of the military”. & ” bringing war dollars back home to fund programs that make peace possible to thousands of people right here.”

    Nice thoughts, but please consider the murderous “ISMS” of the 20th century which required military efforts to keep them from murdering even more than they did. A total of 123 million people died in all wars of the 20th Century, [ 41 million alone were victims of genocide and other mass murder).

    Wanting or wishing for peace is universal, even among people who are not ‘needy’. But as long as there are creatures such as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Che Guevera, & the Castro brothers we stand in need of a strong military. There will be precious little peace without our military who sacrifice for us.

    The Peace Movement & the Soviet Union – Vladimir Bukovsky May 1 1982
    “Marching under the banner of “Peace to the People! from the very first, Bolshevik ideologists were aware of how powerful a weapon for them the universal craving for peace would be—how gullible and irrational people could be whenever they were offered the slightest temptation to
    believe that peace was at hand.”

  2. Richard B.

    Miss Rachel, it is really fun to play in our own backyard, while ignoring the good, bad, and ugly beyond our well trimmed hedges.
    And that is why we indulge our children in their innocent years, while gradually exposing them to the real world, with all its beauty and hatred.
    We do this so when they become responsible adults they will be able to balance these two opposites in perspective.

    This includes keeping ourselves updated on events beyond our hedges, and the history of our country and culture, and how it informs the world in which we live. In so doing, we learn that the United States, for one (and there are several others), have kept the world at large from being taken over… controlled, by the dictators and despots of the world, such as those Mr. Vickroy cites above.

    With the possible exception of the Vietnam War, our military has kept the wolves from our yard, to allow you and others of all persuasions to pursue our various interests, and to live in peace with our families and friends. DO NOT take for granted this freedom. To do so insults all those around our globe that have and continue to suffer under the tyranny and terror of ugly, evil people. But not here.
    NOT because it could not happen here, then or now, because it could, but because the people of this country have refused to be subjugated to evil by remaining stronger than those who would impose their terror on us, if we allowed it.

    This does not happen by marching and parading and holding vigils and all the good intentioned but guilelessness activities, even on a global scale and sanctioned by the United Nations on Sept. 21st.
    It happens by our young men and women signing up for our Armed Forces, committing to training, teamwork, and yes, perhaps dying so that you and I can enjoy whatever we wish to pursue, in peace.

    To get you started in this endeavor of balance, I submit the link below which is just one of the many, many examples of the injustice and true suffering of peoples in other lands, peoples that have not enjoyed the peace enabling lives that a strong military ensures. Put this in your browser, maybe send them a pic of the Peace Pole. It may help them endure their terror.


    • B.E. Vickroy

      Richard — The link you provided didn’t work. Is the following link to the story that you meant to reference? — THE WEST’S REAL BIGOTRY, REJECTING PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS. —
      Fair warning to any who click onto this link … some gut-turning pictures of mass graves of Christians killed by [“peace loving”] Muslims. Proof that the 21st century doesn’t lack for monsters equal to or surpassing those of the 20th. And further underscores the famous line attributed to Thomas Jefferson “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Let the sentinels on the watch-tower sleep not, and slumber not.” 7 members of my immediate family have military service in war and what passes for “peace”.
      https://www.acrookedpath.com/2017/02/07/wests-real-bigotry-rejecting-persecuted-christians/ .

    • ed sacco

      If you support our wars, how about giving examples of their success and the necessity to kill innocent children
      and or kill parents of children and destroy rather than create goodwill toward all.
      Even more egregious is your belittling Rachael who you obviously don’t know. I know her and her
      dedication to peace and justice while reaching out for those in need.

  3. John Rhodes Penley

    I am a Vietnam era Veteran and I support this letter. Most of the conservatives today , including Trump and his family and I bet all the commenters here did not serve in the military and promote war and write angry comments about those who promote Peace but lets be honest it is easy to write letters but not so easy to serve in the military and then promote Peace.

    • B.E. Vickroy

      Hello John Rhodes Penley – first of all, my “thank you for your service” is said with some understanding of what that cost you. My dear brother in law’s Vietnam service scarred him for life. No, I personally have never served [except in the way wives & mothers do] but many male members of my family have. And of the 3 still living, all voted for & support President Trump.

      Furthermore, veterans supported Mr. Trump over Hillary Clinton 60-34 percent in 2016, and, according to polling,continue to support the president at far higher numbers than the overall electorate. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/commentary-americas-military-and-donald-trump/

      I seriously doubt that any thinking person “promotes war”. History teaches us two things about war. 1st, that being prepared for war has a better chance of peace, than being unprepared. –2nd, that falling for the promises of “PEACE” from tyrants soon brings either subjection or war. You know Chamberlain’s famous “Peace in our time” boast, as he waved the paper signed by Hitler promising peaceful coexistence.

      Because pacifism was dominant in public opinion before both world wars, we were woefully unprepared, and tyrants were emboldened by our pacifism and small outdated military. Appealing to the universal desire for peace, peace, peace has caused many to die in battle or chains. Did you see my earlier post citing one tool used by Communists to gull public opinion was to promise peace?

      Mr Penley, I don’t doubt your sincerity or that of the letter-writer. Please don’t doubt the sincerity of those who see something other than peace in organized peace campaigns.

      • Lulz

        They want peace but at the cost of military failure. Their real goal is to bring the nation down and make it an equal to others. They see the US as the main instigator of war in the world. Not the Chinese who are arming up. And not Islam, who are never called out for being religious extremist and using it violently to carry out its ideology. Trump is the first person to call out what has been the policy of appeasement for many years now. And while the leftist believe it’s based on hate, it really is based on self preservation and to stop the literal destruction of the nation.

        Many are indoctrinated to believe weakness is a virtue.

    • Lulz

      How can you support peace with so much hate in your heart? You’d see conservatives as monsters for some odd reason. LBJ put you in Vietnam bud. And was the main cause of it getting out of control. But lemme guess, Nixon was the bad guy lulz.

      Problem with people of your age is you never grew out of that era. I see you guys (presumably vets for peace) are pretty vocal during republican administrations yet eerily silent when democrats control things. That tells me you let party dictate your reasoning. Sorry you got put in SEA. But blame LBJ’s micromanagement of the war that caused what should’ve been over in no time, a long protracted war in the name of political chess and tippytoeing around to not offend the Chinese and USSR. Now what we have is an actual part of the culture that wants military failure in the name of political power. And they reside on the left side of the spectrum. Something to think about.

      Letter writer insists that the military budget is the cause for less social spending. But doesn’t include the tens of billions spent on people that shouldn’t even be here. That of course doesn’t register because they hate the country. Or rather I should say those that are part of it. And conclude the best way forward is to replace the population with immigrants.

      • B.E. Vickroy

        Hey to all on this thread. At first blush, this series of videos seems to be off-subject. But on they key words of PEACE – not on a grand-scope-scale, but this young couple helping an older guy clean up the property that he could afford – it was cheap because it was trashed… a lot of work for an old guy on his own… I see the basics of loving human contact in what these folks are dong – the epitome of PEACE that is attainable within each person’s sphere. Hope you won’t send the men to fit me for the backward-sleeve shirt …enjoy… :) https://youtu.be/J9Zem7iUFVg https://youtu.be/9L2v1VsaWx0
        BTW 1 Corinthians 13 – charity = love = peace

  4. John Rhodes Penley

    Just like the Democrats and the Republicans and mostly everyone who is on the Left with mass media access nobody will mention massive military spending,the new nuclear weapons and militarization of space buildup and the threat to all of us from it all that is going on now. Thank you for doing it.

    • B.E. Vickroy

      JRP— In the name of PEACE you cover the political gamut of bad guys. Conservatives in your first post, and now DEMs, REPs and almost everyone on the LEFT. All are conjoined to hide the truth about something that is a threat to ALL of us. Please cite the source of your particular knowledge. That is a serious request, not a snarky GOTCHA.

      Re: “MASSIVE military spending”. It is probable that there is some graft within the budget. [My former Congressman spent 8 yrs in prison for defense contract graft] And I grant that there is SOME of that kind of thing in the 2019 defense budget. But military personnel are set to get a 2.6% raise, plus approving a boost in the number of troops. Meeting the challenges of [MASSIVE] Russian and Chinese troop & equipment build up will require military spending. Something of concern: A new Russian nuclear-powered submarine fleet, capable of launching ICBMs armed with hypersonic weapons, will be ready for war by 2024.

      I suggest that the only hope for PEACE is to let tyrants know that you are ready and ABLE to defend yourself. Patrick Henry speaking in opposition to his time’s pacifists : “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”

    • B.E. Vickroy

      Strap on your scuba gear and go for a dive off San Diego. At about 80 ft you will find evidence of previous periods of GLOBAL WARMING. [GASP] Whole villages were submerged. No doubt because one of Trump’s ancient cousins didn’t recognized that man-caused-global warming was a serious NATIONAL THREAT. Oh where were the prehistoric cousins of today’s progressives? IF ONLY

      Reference: California’s Ancient Maritime Heritage::
      “”The rise in sea level over the past 10,000 years has resulted in submergence of many archaeological sites. One well known area at the edge of the La Jolla submarine canyon has yielded more than 2,000 stone bowls, from depths ranging up to 80 feet. This site is a submerged village, dated by archaeologists at 4,000 to 5,000 years old. A great deal of information on sea level changes and the ancient cultures that first colonized California can be learned at such sites.””

        • B.E. Vickroy

          First of all. Do you mean to infer that the present flooding in your state is the result of GLOBAL WARMING – excuse me, the current term is CLIMATE CHANGE.

          NOAA calls the great flood of 1916 “The worst flooding in recorded history to hit Asheville and western North Carolina…….. According to historical data from the region, the remnants from two tropical systems that passed near the area within a week led to the flooding.”
          Ref. Encyclopedia of NC:
          Geological evidence along the Outer Banks clearly shows that hurricanes have, for centuries, been frequent visitors to the state. The first severe storm recorded in North Carolina took place on 6 Sept. 1667. Hurricanes in 1752, ’69 & 1803, ’15, ’21, ’25, ’96, ’99 wrought damage at least as severe as your present “under water” condition. All well before man-created CLIMATE CHANGE had been coined to explain these kinds of disasters.
          Finally, please see the video below. Narrated by physicist Will Happer whose lengthy bonafides far surpasses those of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

          • Peter Robbins

            First, Will Happer is not a climate scientist and is not an authority on climate change. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2017/feb/21/trumps-potential-science-adviser-william-happer-hanging-around-with-conspiracy-theorists. I’m not impressed with his maverick opinions.

            Second, actual climate scientists have been warning for decades that the intensity of hurricanes, on average, would increase as average global temperatures increased (both because the surface temperature of ocean water determines hurricane intensity and because higher sea levels increase storm surge). We are currently experiencing that trend. https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes/. An increase in average intensity, of course, does not imply that every new hurricane will be stronger than all previous hurricanes (just as an overall increase in major-league batting averages would not mean that every player – or indeed any player – will break the single-season record this year). But we can reasonably say that global warming did, in fact, play an important role in increasing the destruction that North Carolina just experienced from Hurricane Florence. (And it didn’t help the legislature passed the infamous King Canute law, which forbade local governments from relying on sea-rise predictions when making decisions about coastal land use).

            All of this is taking us a bit off topic, though. The point I was making in my original comment was that the current administration – for all its flag-saluting bravado, parade plans and dreams of space force – is showing little regard for the conclusions of the Pentagon concerning the serious threat to national security posed by climate change. That should be alarming to anyone who favors a strong defense. As you know, military people do not have the luxury of believing what they want to believe. They must respect the facts on the ground, in the air, and on the water — because people die if they don’t.

            Now don’t get me wrong. I found spot on many of your observations about pacifist naivete, but we have to be willing to acknowledge that shortcoming in whomever it appears. And so, in the spirit of fellow-traveling, let me leave you with this last illustration of how dangerous it can be when a clueless flower child from the sixties is unable to recognize evil in the world, even when it’s standing right next to him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0bZ54fVkh8. See ya.

        • B.E. Vickroy

          Peter — I just now tried to send my response for the 3rd time. Same result as other 2 times. It was in no way ‘”uncivil”, so don’t know what’s up.

  5. B.E. Vickroy

    Peter — We seem to have gone far afield from the PEACE focus of original letter to Russian interference in 2016 election [maybe in earlier as well?

    But back to climate change as a point of national security. You may not have looked at the video by Will Happer. He not only IS a climate scientist, but in his lifetime has been a leader in developing methods and tools to measure climatic conditions. Some of the measuring guides used by today’s climatologists were devised by him. Perhaps his REAL experience and UNDERSTANDING of what comprises “weather or climate” has inoculated him from the junk science that so inflames current opinion.

    So about Will Happer -* a physicist. *Taught at Columbia & Princeton for 50 years. *Published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. *Wrote one of the first books on how carbon dioxide emissions affect the earth’s climate. *Served as Dir. of the Office of Energy Research at the USDOE. *He invented the “sodium guide star”, which is still used on most big astronomical telescopes to measure and correct for atmospheric turbulence, that is for the unpredictable movement of air and water. *Is an expert on the earth and it’s atmosphere, as well as on the long-term predictive climate models, and that they DON’T WORK. As he said, “Aside from the human brain, the climate is the most complex on the planet” *No computer-generated MODEL can analyze the dynamic complexity of our planet’s air and water exchange and movement. When science and academia become politicized, the search for and understanding of real scientific truth is thrown under the bus.

      • B.E. Vickroy

        Peter – Couldn’t access the WaPo site. But found it at Anchorage Daily News. Very interesting. And hopefully basis for future informative research — for instance on how that methane might be harnessed for positive impact, rather than negative.

        Granted, these lakes and tundra are thawing. And in anticipation of sea level changes which may or may not manifest, certainly building or staying at sea level should be examined. But that still doesn’t address the main bone of contention here .. that such events are caused by mankind.

        Geological evidence demonstrates that similar phenomenon have occurred in past millennia. Which brings me back to my argument of misplaced [dogmatic] trust in climate-models which place the cause as being man-generated. Back to Will Happer’s extensive experience in measuring, tracking, & analysis of complex climate variables across the planet, & across time. Which includes his experience with computer models that attempt to predict climatic conditions decades in advance. Popular ‘scientific’ enthusiasm notwithstanding, THEY DON’T WORK.

    • B.E. Vickroy

      Peter — Re: your “intensity of hurricanes, on average, would increase as average global temperatures increased ….. We are currently experiencing that trend” We are both citing NOAA as a source to support our opposite views. But, as to “intensity increase”, how does that comport with NOAA’s dubbing the GREAT FLOOD of 1916 “the worst in recorded history”?

      I found another NOAA site with charted data to measure the intensity and frequency of hurricanes decade by decade. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml There does not seem to be an increase of Cat 3,4,5 storms over the decades. 1941-’50 had 10. Anyway, hope that chart will be useful to you.

      Re: your “higher sea levels increase storm surge”. In my earlier post regarding evidence off the coast of San Diego shows that there has been significant sea level rise over the centuries. If that was caused by global warming, it was well before the internal combustion engine was even thought of. Hence, my skepticism about how “scientific” are the arguments supporting the cause [& therefore the prevention] of global warming/climate change.

      • Peter Robbins

        Oh, please. The number of hurricanes is different from the intensity of the hurricanes that occur. The effect of global warming on the number of hurricanes is not yet known, as the NOAA site says. I already addressed the difference between averages and single events. Rapid climate change caused by human activity is different from climate change that occurs naturally over much longer periods. What climate scientists overwhelmingly agree upon is that (a) human activity is the principle driver of the rapid climate change we are currently experiencing , and (b) that the rapid change we are currently experiencing is a threat to be taken seriously by responsible people. I, for one, do not want to trust national security to wishful thinking — whether the subject is climate change or Russian interference with our elections or anything else. But you’re free to ignore the danger and hope for the best. What could go wrong? See you at the Peace Pole.

        • B.E. Vickroy

          Peter – Re: “The number of hurricanes is different from the intensity of the hurricanes that occur ”

          Sorry you didn’t get a chance to look at the NOAA chart, which counts hurricanes by category for each decade. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml There does not seem to be an increase of Cat 3,4,5 storms over the decades. 1941-’50 had 10.

          You will note that between 1851 and 2004 there were far more Cat 1,2 intensity than the 3,4,5. Further breakdown of data – in 153 years 3 Cat 5s – 18 Cat 4s – 71 Cat 3s. There doesn’t appear to be much change in either frequency or intensity over that period of time. MAJOR [Cat 3,4,5] 28 in 1851-1900 -;- 42 in 1901-1950 -;- 31 in 1951-2004 That seems flat to me. With the exception of the 1941-1950 decade – total of 24 in all Cats; with 10 majors. Must have been one horrific decade. BTW not sure if I mentioned, this chart is for strikes in ALL of the nation.

          Peter, let all other points of discussion rest. We can both point with assurance to alternative views. Waste of our valuable time. Romans 15:33 :) I grew up with earthquakes, now live under tornadoes, but hurricanes seem a special kind of awful. Stay dry.

          • Peter Robbins

            Okey doke. But just let me point out wind speed accounts for only a tiny part of the destructiveness of a hurricane, anyway. Rainfall and storm surge are by far the biggest factors. Check out the USA Today article I cited below (from the local paper) on Hurricane Florence. It quotes a climate scientist who blames global warming for the recent upsurge in rainfall during hurricanes, which is hardly surprising since warming results in more evaporation. The story promises that a peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal will be forthcoming on the subject.

  6. B.E. Vickroy

    Peter – I wasn’t able to read the NYT article or find it in other news searches. But have spend a very enjoyable few hours traveling to the Orkneys as I searched for answers to questions that I think are important to assess the “rapid increase in coastal erosion since 1970”. Every thing I could find had the imprint of Jim Hanson, and appear to be sourced in his report. Since news articles seldom delve into the minutia of a report, he may have covered questions that conclusions cited in the articles raised.

    Did the NYT article have charts of erosion levels by decade or over time? Without such data, how do we know that there have not been other periods of rapid erosion within a span of 1 or 2 hundred years? Has the alternate exposure of harder and softer rock striations been taken into consideration as a factor in rate of increase? Have natural changes to the underlying coastal seabed [affecting wave height and force] been taken into consideration?

    I grew up in Encinitas CA [coastal San Diego county] Though the Pacific storm waves are nothing like those endured by the Ornkeys, the cliffs at our shore were in a constant state of change. Over my 80 years, I’ve seen whole houses, and a church fall over a collapsing cliff. I’ve seen our beach morph from a broad expanse of sand to a narrow strip of stones. The point of my comparison, is that there were many reasons given for the eroded cliffs which might just as easily be factors in the problems that the Orkneys are having with erosion. My questions reflect some of the reasons that were given to us

    Well enough of that. One more thing. History is replete with the lies and mistakes made by “experts”, some in my lifetime. I am a skeptic when there is a rapid acceptance of “FINDINGS” and the equally rapid demonetization of anyone who questions the conclusions. Global Warming / Climate Change has very rapidly become a HOLY COW about which nothing can be questioned.

    BTW sea levels have fallen as well as risen over recorded history of this island. No record exists of how rapid the rise or fall was. http://www.landforms.eu/orkney/cliffs.htm

  7. C. Heil

    I did investigations for the Fed; this included 9 years total with DoD. Most of the money for DoD goes to the corporate officers of defense contractors. Not nearly enough goes for the welfare of the enlisted military members and their families. In addition, in today’s type of insurgent warfare we see in the Middle East and Africa, where the opposition uses land-based weapons, mines, IEDS, and often travels by truck rather than huge troop air/land /sea transport means, I’m not sure we need such large weapons systems. The US might want to evaluate this type warfare and scale its approach accordingly. And as far as the nuclear build-up goes, read about the capabilities of ICBMs with MIRVs and see how you feel about anyone surviving that type warfare. (I’d rather be at ground zero and vaporized than live to die of radiation sickness from the all the radioactive particulate matter that will travel to contaminate our air, land, water, food sources, etc.) I believe everyone has the right to stand for themselves and defend themselves, but the US spends more on relatively useless weapons systems than any other nation, lets our troops suffer the consequences with inadequate housing, needing food stamps to feed their families, and worse, letting those who have served twist in the wind by not providing adequate care for their physical, mental, and emotional well being. If we are going to spend on DoD, let’s first ensure there really is a ‘there, there’ by getting accurate intelligence. (Have they found those Iraqi WMD’s yet? After all, the US has directly and indirectly caused the implosion of the Middle East over that; I believe both W. Bush and Rumsfield later admitted to questionable intell, and the lies about Vietnam have been airing for years now.) Let’s funnel more money to rebuild the VA, let’s take care of military enlisted families, let’s tailor weapons systems to today’s war, and let’s use the money that will not be needed if this is accomplished for health-care access, education, housing, infrastructure, and food for all those who do not have them. Most of all, let the US develop a policy of talking about conflicts with the opposition before killing our people and the people of other nations in wars that are based on lies.

    • B.E. Vickroy

      C H – Re: Shameful treatment of troops and vets. Based on personal experience, NO ARGUMENT, YOU BET, AMEN!!!

      ==Re: Military funds better spent on civilian needs. Not so sure about that. Plenty of ‘wiggle-room’ in expensive studies about the love life of an earthworm or similar boondoggles, to keep military funding AND not go into crippling debt AND meet the needs or our own people. But the folks benefiting from those misspent funds have a strangle-hold on the ballot box, so don’t hold your breath.

      ==Re: Current warfare being more low-tech, land-based , so maybe we should ”rethink” investing in large weapons systems.” Which isn’t to say that both Russia & China can wage both high and low tech war, and it might behoove us to develop weaponry because they do have an edge on troop manpower.

      ==Re: Being blown to smithereens by nuclear war. The point of developing and stockpiling such weapons is that the bad guys will hesitate to attack. And just because those weapons were never used, doesn’t mean they weren’t effective in deterring war.

      ==Re: Hindsight’s gibes about ‘missing’ WMDs. Iraq DID invade Kuwait. Hussein HAD used chemical warfare on civilians as well as troops. Iraq DID have a chemical weapon stockpile. So believing wrong intel. on WMD’s isn’t so far fetched.

      ==For another example of failed INTEL, how about Pearl Harbor? After-the-fact it appears that there was ZERO INTEL. Was anyone awake? Putting most of our ships in one harbor seems stunningly stupid!

      ==Pointing to INTEL failures closer to home. Fidel Castro’s Communist ties were plain to all willing to notice.[apparently not to our INTEL folks]

      ==Re: ” develop a policy of TALKING about conflicts with the opposition BEFORE killing our people and the people of other nations in wars that are based on lies.” Not always effective. We WERE talking to Japan while they planned and carried out a devastating SNEAK attack. And Chamberlin’s PEACE IN OUR TIME talks turned out to be BASED ON LIES.

      ==And back to the original subject of this thread – organized PEACE rallies. They are the biggest and most insidious lies of all – effectively used by tyrants of every ‘ISM’ out there. And the scam still works. Same-old-same-old. I’m sure that PEACE POLE will scare off any bad guys out there. Talk bout bad INTEL!

      • C. Heil

        BE Victory: I guess you’ve never had a loved one suffer and die because they had no access to health care when pre-exiting conditions disqualified them from insurance. I’d like to see more money go to health care for everyone than squandered by DoD contractors.

        Nuclear weapons have been used. The US used them on Japan. I respect your opinion, but with the policy of keeping peace thru MAD, I fear at some point a launch, whether by intent or accident, will happen. Let’s see how that shakes out

        From whom did Saddam get the materiel for his weapons? You don’t have to look far online to see photos of Rumsfield with him when Rummy was on Reagan’s staff. The US provided the materiel because we viewed Saddam as an ally against Iran. There are also photos of Reagan meeting with Taliban officials in the WH. They were our ‘allies’ when fighting the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan. We provided weapons to them.

        Pearl Harbor. There is still a buzz that the WH and maybe DoD knew Japan was planning an attack. And rather than talk thru it all, if I remember correctly, the US and Japan expelled each others’ diplomats and ceased relations some wks before the attack.

        We won’t agree, but it’s good to discuss.

        • B.E. Vickroy

          CH- My son-in-law’s cousin died from cancer that could have been treated except for the VA delay delay delay. Finally, they just told him to go home and die. After his death, his wife of many years committed suicide and my son-in-law had to clean up the mess. I won’t even go into the HELL that my sister must go through in a yearly audit for her oversight of her disabled son’s VA benefits. This paper isn’t big enough to hold all that could be said about that shamefully administered agency. Cleaning up after a broken-hearted wife shoots herself, is beyond awful, as bad as anything my Vietnam Vet son-in-law had ever seen, especially while still mourning his uncle. Pres. Trump hasn’t yet cleaned up the VA mess, but he is at least trying.

          I’m too angry to respond to your other comments. They are mostly HORSE TWACKLE anyway. No more. Organized peace campaigns are straight from the Communist playbook. Join in that misguided activity if it gives you pleasure. Too many people have died under that cynical banner for me to continue to give it any more of my time.

          • C. Heil

            B.E. Vickroy: I apologize for misspelling your name in my last response.
            I’m sorry for the suffering your family has endured, and it sounds like much of it is from war.
            I tho’t you were a reasonable person with whom I could have an honest, forthright, and civilized debate, but obviously I was wrong. I wish you the best.

  8. B.E. Vickroy

    CH I missed the misspelling … you should see how people manage to mis pronounce it … but nothing like my maiden name BARTECHKO …but have long ago gotten used to a slip of the tongue now and then.

    Re: ”honest, forthright, and civilized debate, but obviously I was wrong. ” Scan through my other posts. I used up my weekly supply of forthright, civilized, honest…. sorry, you got into the discussion too late. No kidding, please read through the other posts, not just mine. Seems pretty even-handed back and forth of viewpoints. An occasional bit of snarkyness, but on the whole not bad. Maybe next time.

  9. Virginia Daffron

    Hi folks,

    This has been an interesting discussion of the connection between the pursuit of peace and the threat of climate change, but I hope we can depart from the dueling links at this point to keep the thread focused on the points raised by the letter writer.

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