Wednesday, December 24, 2008

War, Military, Police, Prisons, Public Works

The following was written in response to a query about how returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans should be treated, and a seperate question about "public works":

I haven't given much thought to returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, other than to sympathize with the horrible experience that they must have had/been having. I have as much if not more sympathy for the aggressed upon people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Then there is the wounded on both sides of the"wars". War results in a very high cost of health care, and outrageous physical suffering, in addition to the emotional suffering of families and unwounded citizens, the deprivations of being in a war zone, and of course the direct costs associated with feeding the military industrial complex and the costs of arming the "terrorist" resistors. All these are HUGE opportunity costs for the peaceful development of equitable, sustainable, modest communities.

Ideally, I'd like to eventually abolish the military. Other than the unpopularity among reactionary Americans, there would be issues of transition of employment for military and other types of "security"personnel like police and jailers. Then there is the issue that people go into these positions because of a lack of other economic opportunities.

Fidel Castro said that we are all policeman, meaning that we should all follow moral code in all aspects of life and help straighten others out who are acting immorally or amorally. I have given a lot of thought to the prison industrial complex and the unfairness of such system. The ideal would be zero incarceration. I suggest employment transition planning for the guards and policemen, and citizen review boards for prisoners because I am sure that many have been unfairly prosecuted since, especially for the poor, there are never any or very little in the way of investigations on the behalf of their defense.

With regards to public works, I think that public and private monies should be allocated to rebuilding our neighborhoods and facilitating the transitions that I have talked about in this note and previously, and other matters that I have not yet addressed (such as agriculture, pollution, fisheries, energy and other natural resources, and education, which I have only mentioned under the terms sustainability and environmental/public health).

With much love and care,

Mike Morin

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