Thursday, February 15, 2007  
Here's a letter I sent to the San Diego Union Tribune in response to one Mr. Carmody who was rather unhappy that the San Diego police had been called out to help assure the protests last year were safe and peaceful.
Dear Editor,

Apparently Thomas Carmody would prefer protesters to go to Washington, DC to protest the war and leave San Diego out of it, so as not to tax the local police force.
I, too, would like to recognize the local police for their ability to calmly patrol the protests and enable their fellow citizens to engage in their First Amendment privileges.
I would also like to remind Mr. Carmody that this war is a force that gives the San Diego region meaning. San Diego plays a very important role in making this war possible, and benefits greatly from the defense money for which this region sells its soul and its youth.
Here are but a few examples:
The San Diego region is home to the Marines, the Navy SEALS and the Airforce, all of which pour money into the local economy and whose presence in the civilian population makes this region a sitting duck for attacks.
Some of the most horrific war crimes of this conflict have been committed by Camp Pendelton Marines. Several Navy Seals have also been implicated in abuse.
San Diego-based Titan Corporation sent hundreds of interpreters to Iraq, thus facilitating the war and the occupation. Several of these interpreters also helped facilitate the abuses of Abu Ghraib.
San Diego-based SAIC scooped up numerous non-bid and bid contracts for Iraq, including the production of American propaganda and the planting of false stories in the Iraqi media.
Our congressional representatives have worked hard to funnel DOD money to local contractors, thus further greasing the war machine and their own careers.
Military recruiters recruit heavily in the barrio and other disadvantaged neighborhoods, thus ensuring frontline fodder. Over 15% of the official casualties come from California.
According to National, the war in Iraq is costing San Diego alone, $1,700,000 and San Diego County is contributing $3,900,000,000. You and I have already paid $1,275 each. That is alot in a region whose police are underpaid and overworked. It is a staggering amount when you consider the fact that California schools rank near the bottom of the schools in the nation, and San Diego schools are near the bottom of that, Little wonder then, the recruiters look for and find new recruits who have few opportunities before them.
Yes, war is a many-splendored thing, made possible, in large part by a region that feeds and feeds on the war machine: San Diego.
Which is precisely why the protests are here. Washington may command, but the San Diego region answers the call to the tune of thousands of dollars, war crimes and war dead.
And that, Mr, Carmody, is the price we all pay.

and what I would like to say here is this: regions such as San Diego have become defense money whores. As long as a region's economy becomes inextricably tied to the Military machine and profits from war, as long as the military housed in regions such as San Diego continue to agree to ship out by merely appearing for deployment, as long as we continue to say "support our troops!" without questioning why these people were not better educated so as to have more options, so as to be able to question the logic, the shellgame and the out and out lies that have brought about their presence, as long as regions like San Diego continue to be apologists for a rogue administration, as long as we permit the sham courts that allow plea bargains on war crimes, then the US will be able to continue to occupy Iraq and roll through Iran and whatever other nation is in its sights. As long as regions like San Diego enable this administration and its vassals, we, the American people, will be perpetually at war with someone, perpetually draining our national coffers and sacrificing our youth to conflict because we no longer have the money to educate or give them health care.

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