Are we safe? | Letter

At the recent local meeting concerning the jet noise problem a lot of valuable information was presented. Studies about the effects of noise on the human body were cited. It was also noted that many of the harmful effects presented have actually been documented by the Navy. However, thereis one issue that has not been mentioned and, in fact, the opposite has been asserted. It occurred to me that the presence of an expanded military base, especially one that is said to be as important as NAS, does not make the area safer. Given the exercises that are said to be for readiness in case of a possiblewar with Asia and given our far westerly, coastal location this scenario could easily make the area a target.

The military must continually justify its existence. In the past saber rattling and the philosophy of a strong defense being based on a good offensive strategy has actually led to war. History is full of examples where one side’s preparation for a strong defense has led to another side seeing a lopsided balance and taken the defense build-up as a preparation of war. WW I is one big example. As long as we view ourselves as the global cop and as the “good guys” in a world of “bad guys” we will have to deal with global violence. It has also come to pass this preoccupation with outside issues has turned inward (Viet Nam, Iraq). Often, the road to peace is through diplomacy and an emphasis on neutrality. The issue here is the impact on our standard of living. At what point do we say the adverse impacts are not worth the semblance of security during a time of peace?

Jack Pedigo

Lopez Island