You are here
Home > Local News > Activism > Ft Carson conducts pro forma town hall to clear way for environmental impact of proposed helicopter brigade

Ft Carson conducts pro forma town hall to clear way for environmental impact of proposed helicopter brigade

Occupy Colorado Springs protest at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jan 26, 2012
OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- Ft Carson’s environmental PR team held what’s called a “draft Environmental Assessment,” prerequisite to their addition of a Combat Aviation Brigade to America’s “Best Hometown in the Army”. Except for a car-dealer and realtor giving their attaboys, the citizens comment section weighed solidly AGAINST expansion of war-making and war-training. In true pro forma, Garrison Commander McLaughlin shrugged off the opposition, stating that public input would be answered while the army proceeded as planned. And that’s where Occupy will have something to say.

The fundamental message from OCCUPY WALL STREET, and from the global movement at large, is that it’s the people who are in charge. Whatever corrupted system may have wielded the power to bring the world to the brink of chaos, the authority must be returned to the people. OCCUPY makes clear the people do not have to sit idly by while their rulers make decisions against their interests. OCCUPY reminds us the people will have a say in their own destiny.

An army hearing, about what it plans to do, in defiance of public outcry, is nothing that self-respecting citizens have to take sitting down. They didn’t, citizens came from as far as the Southeastern plains to present their testimonials, but after the citizen comment period ended, the holders of the meeting made certain to conclude that the Ft Carson expansion was advancing regardless. This inhospitalty even after almost uninterrupted patriotic fawning over Ft Carson’s soldiers and the role they play defending our liberty.

While everyone falls all over themselves to THANK A SOLDIER, let’s not confuse respect for deference. America is not ruled by a military junta. The Department of Defense is not our governing body. For all his authority and swagger, this camp commander does not overrule us citizens. WE are the boss of the army. We are his CHAIN OF COMMAND. When the people of Colorado Springs, the people of Colorado, or the people of the United States express our will, it’s the army’s role to say “SIR, YES SIR.”

I’m deeply troubled by an officer of the military who pretends that his fellow citizens are but a temporary impediment to his military plans. When a room full of citizens tells this commander that they don’t want helicopters over their airspace, I expect him to take heed. To do otherwise is purely insubordination of his superiors. All this patriotic militarism may be going to his head. This is a soldier after all, sworn to protect our constitution and America, meaning its people. DO YOU HEAR ME SOLDIER?

If you think I sound disrespectful, let me inform you that I’m a veteran too, of ANTIWAR actions. One of which involved a soldier of higher rank than this one, running up to me as I silently held a sign, and attacking me with his fists, knocking me over. CSPD policemen had to pull him off. I did not press charges, but I could have. That was not only assault. An officer of his stature knows it was worse than that: it was an attack on his chain-of-command. What incalculable gall, to presume to treat me as a subordinate upon whom he could visit his accustomed violence. On a citizen!

And that’s what’s got me worried, about where all this soldier-worship leads. Only a couple weeks ago, at a weekly sidewalk peace bannering, a fellow activist was approached by a soldier and sucker-punched in the face, right out of the blue, while his wife cheered from their car. Are you kidding me? This deference to soldiers has got to stop.

These are soldiers, and we’re right to thank them. Theirs is a thankless task. Well not thankless, they ask, and are given unending thanks. But theirs is a task no one wants, to have to dehumanize yourself, be made to kill, maim, torture, rape, often it turns out, exactly under orders. We’ve learned that soldiers are sometimes commanded to kill everyone in a 360 degree radius. “Free Fire Zones” mean to kill every living thing in sight. We learn too that pissing on your dead victims is taught as a coping mechanism, to dehumanize your adversary so as to suffer less PTSD and less guilt. And we’ve learned that the military has no followup plan to reintegrate their soldier-monsters to a life post-service. Homeless vets from Vietnam onward are a testimony to the incompatibility of war service in horror zones to a return to normal civilian life. When the army creates killer-thugs, it means to dispose of them in further war zones, it means for them to re-up, or die prematurely from DU exposure. Yes, soldiers are to be thanked, but kept at arm’s length, like Fukushima heroes, radioactive. By design, their duty rendered them untouchable, to them eternal thanks and goodbye, unless you are prepared to weather the propensity to antisocial violence and domestic abuse the veterans of fragile countenance bring back with them. Certainly we cannot elevate the more hardened professional killers, who know only means foul and heartless, to positions of authority above citizens.

It irks me to no end to be goaded by this camp commander, who after hearing the public speak, admonished us in the end that our protestations will amount to nothing. How dare he, this insubordinate would-be coup leader?

Shall OCCUPY remind you, America is ruled by its people. This is a Democracy. WE THE PEOPLE are in charge!

Yes it may look right now like the suits are in charge, the men behind you, patting your back, the men with businesses who profit from war-making. In other cultures they are known as war profiteers, and in other periods of history they are executed. Who should profit by war? Well another aspect about OCCUPY is that these business vultures have been put on notice their time has come. No sustainable model of global democracy has room for predatory warmongers who keep wanting to pull their fortunes from war.

The people will be in charge of this nation, not the military or its business enablers. And when the people say enough, it’s going to be the military’s place to do the people’s will. If the people say no helicopters, or not in my airspace, or stop with your immoral wars, the army better stop its posturing, or find itself in the brig. Thank you soldier, but stand down. When the people tell you to stand down soldier, you had better do it, on the double.

For my part I will not decline to press charges a second time against military careerists who overstep their authority. And I will not again brook one iota of insubordination from someone sworn to serve this country. We American citizens are in charge of what’s done in our name. Do you hear me soldier? Sir, Yes Sir? Wise move soldier.

One thought on “Ft Carson conducts pro forma town hall to clear way for environmental impact of proposed helicopter brigade

  1. The posting of the Helicopter Brigade is fait accompli, by Col. McLaughlin’s own statements. It is up to “we the people” to limit what they are allowed to do in Colorado. We need to make their activities so limited that they will find a more receptive place to station the brigade. I am in favor of taking the money budgeted for improving Fort Carson’s airfield and using it to heal the damaged soldiers we have, thereby helping heal society.

Leave a Reply

Top