Here comes the water.
All I knew, all I believed
Are crumbling images
That no longer comfort me.
I scramble to reach higher ground,
Order and sanity,
Or something to comfort me.
— Lyrics by “Tool”
Unimaginable anguish, fear and despair must be gripping all those in Texas and Louisiana in the path of the flood waters. The rest of the nation watches and grieves. How on earth will there be recovery from such massive devastation? According to the Guardian, the financial damage Hurricane Harvey has inflicted could eventually be as high as $100 billion. How will that price tag be paid? How many lives, especially of uninsured people, will be changed forever by massive debt? How much will the U.S. government step in to help out?
Experts predict that because of global warming, the cataclysmic changes that it has wrought and the lack of thoughtful infrastructure in our cities, more intense weather-caused crises will happen. Increasing amounts of money will be needed over time. Will we run up against the massive amounts of U.S. dollars that maintain our gigantic military system with thousands of troops and weapons, including nuclear weapons for which the U.S. is planning buildup even in the face of a global nuclear ban treaty? The treaty, agreed to by 122 nations, will become international law after the first 50 nations sign on to it starting Sept. 20. Why do we spend so much on our military budget and consider spending even more?
According to Pete Dolack in “Military Spending is the Capitalist World’s Fuel” for CounterPunch, the entire history of capitalism is built on violence. “Violence has been used to both impose and maintain the system from its earliest days. Slavery, colonialism, dispossession of the commons, draconian laws forcing peasants into factories and control of the state to suppress all opposition to economic coercion built capitalism.” The U.S. needs to pour money into the corporations of the military-industrial complex in order to maintain the system, and because the U.S. is the top dog in the world capitalist system, it’s up to us to do what is necessary to keep ourselves and our multi-national corporations, in the “driver’s seat,” according to Dolack.
Doesn’t all that water in Texas and Louisiana mean we need to cut way back on military spending and evolve from force to diplomacy in order to make sure that we can support our people, protect our environment and become a true world leader?
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.