Dear editor,

Imagine for a moment America has undergone an attack from a foreign nation. Incendiary bombs have been dropped on the West Coast. Fires rage out of control. Over 80 people were killed in one town as it burned and several other villages have been leveled. The attack is relentless.

The Gulf Coast was also hit. Bombs leveled much of southern Louisiana. Many have died, thousands are left homeless without food and water. More is coming. There will be no mercy.

The East Coast has been bombarded. Flooding in New York and Philadelphia has killed many. More are left without shelter or life support. Worse is to come.

An emergency session of congress has been called to launch retaliatory measures. Mirroring actions taken following the 9/11 attacks, all-out war is approved. All the money needed instantly appears and no politician asks, or cares, where it came from.

Returning to reality, America is under a relentless attack. All of these catastrophic events have occurred and will continue. But change two words – attack from a “foreign nation” to attack from “global warming” – and the politicians cry out. “Wait! How are we going to pay for it? What about the national deficit? What programs must we cut to fund this? Whose taxes must we raise? What about inflation? We’re mortgaging our grandchildren. We’ll filibuster this irresponsible budget.”

The dribble goes on and the attack continues. One must ask – why will politicians fund war, but not defense against global warming? Follow the money. War is profitable for the rich, the arms industries, and the politicians they fund. Fighting global warming is a threat to the rich, to oil and coal executives, to huge public subsidies to the fossil fuel industries and the politicians they fund.

Since Vietnam we have been lied into one military disaster after another. If we are painfully honest, none of these were “defending” America. The needless death of thousands of our youths and millions of children, women and men in the nations we illegally attacked, simply enriched the billionaires and politicians profiting from the military/industrial/congressional complex. It is the predatory reality former Republican President Eisenhower warned us about.

But years before Eisenhower, Major General Smedley Butler, the most decorated marine in U.S. history at the time of his death in 1940, was speaking out against the profit-making motive for war:

“I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers.” “WAR is a racket. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War [I]. How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy?”

“Veterans for Peace” honor Butler to this day.

We are now being told China and Russia are our enemies. But it is the U.S. arming the countries bordering these nations, deploying military ships in their coastal waters, and breaking arms control agreements. No Chinese or Russian troops line U.S. borders with Canada or Mexico. No Chinese or Russian warships patrol our coasts. Ending the war in Afghanistan requires a new cash cow. Trillions are to be sucked out of the public purse to support nuclear arms “upgrades,” “Space Force,” and a new cold war. No matter it is suicidal madness.

Yet Americans remain undefended. Undefended from hurricanes, tornadoes, fire storms. Undefended from collapsing bridges, crumbling roads, lead pipes poisoning our children. Undefended from a healthcare system that leaves millions without healthcare and is the leading cause of bankruptcy leaving families homeless and destitute. Undefended from parasitic pharmaceutical corporations and billionaire health insurance executives. Undefended from the Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision which made corporations “people” so the rich could purchase “our” politicians. Undefended from Wall Street corruption that led to collapse in 2007/8 and then used public funds to reward criminal banking CEO’s for impoverishing millions of working Americans. Perhaps most of all, we remain undefended from the U.S. Department of Defense and the military/industrial/congressional complex bankrupting our nation and leading all humanity to disaster.

The world no longer has time for imperialistic insanity. We, the people of planet Earth, urgently need to come together for the sake of all. We must end for-profit military adventurism, and actually defend the people of America and the world.

Dave Svetlik of Kronenwetter

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.