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A lesson the US forgot about Iraq? Prosecute war criminals like General McMaster, don’t spread their “lessons”

COLORADO SPRINGS-- Whose fault is it that America is "forgetting the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan"? We never learned them... Instead of prosecuting war criminals like General "H.R." McMaster, fans of neoliberal genocide like the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council celebrate the yahoo and let him infect public minds about how the atrocity of TEL AFAR was a victory and not the crime against humanity it resembles. What was this bastard's kernel of wisdom about his fine-tuning of a counterinsurgency technique which dates to America's Indian Wars? Don't be afraid to call genocide a "win". Uncritical Gazette reporter Tom Roeder quotes McMaster saying Americans should be "unabashed." Unabashed! Goddamn moral degenerate and we stand him up in front of crowds without a noose and scaffold! We have only ourselves to blame that our blimpneck officers congratulate themselves for their lessons learned.

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

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

Ft Carson shredding casualty records

IS THE US-ARMY-BEDMATE-GAZETTE GOING TO REPORT THIS STORY? Salon Magazine was leaked helmet-cam video showing the 2006 deaths of two US soldiers in Ramadi, by friendly fire, which the US Army is still attributing to Iraqi insurgents. Within hours of breaking the story, soldiers working in Fort Carson offices were ordered to shred the documents relating to the slain PFCs. Fortunately Salon was leaked this development as well. Watch the video. Pay no heed to the warnings of graphic violence and profanity. What the tape reveals is the inanity of all the soldiers' conduct. First, a very imprudent peek through a window at a US tank, which more than likely prompted the tank to fire. As a result, the helmet wearer is knocked to the floor, a soldier on the floor above is wounded (and dies), and another on the roof is killed. What followed was discussion about whether the tank had fired the single round, countered by the commanding officer repeating that the official attribution would be mortar fire until a report proved otherwise. Despite that fact that all the soldiers coming up to the commander are reporting that the tank had fired, and he tells them "I agree with you--." Also, during the entire sequence no other shot is heard. It will be interesting to see what Fort Carson intended to accomplish by shredding the records of PFCs Albert Nelson and Roger Suarez. In particular because some of the documents were spirited aside and sent to Salon. Was the Army intending to produce revised versions to support their official report of the soldiers deaths?

Fort Carson’s boot on your 4th of July

I just love the Gazette's headline on their July 4th front page: POST IS KEEPING TABS ON ITS 'BOOTPRINT'. Is it a cute eco play on words, or an ironic malapropism? About collateral damage, Rumsfeld famously said the US doesn't do body counts. I am reminded of course of George's Orwell's foretelling: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." Certainly the PR crew at Fort Carson meant to imply the equivalent of an environmental footprint in Army lingo. But footprint is itself no longer the literal track left behind you as you walk. It has come to mean the space you occupy, or the resources you consume. Or that of your computer or the printer on your desk for example. The portion of surface resources which each item displaces. There must be a semantic fallacy which applies here, a mixed semaphore perhaps? As if you could tell me "put a sock in it." And the Army would add "Put a BOOT in it. HA HA." If the Fort Carson sustainability spin doctors want to call the Army eco impact a "bootprint" instead, it probably is more accurate. Their activities have devastation-unleashing consequences. And as the interviews in the article reveal, the warrior's real passion is in the warfare, hybred-whatsits be damned. On this Independence Day when we're all wishing ourselves "Happy" Patriotism, let's reflect on the full context of Orwell's 1984 passage: Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

No Army expansion into Pinon Canyon

PUEBLO, COLORADO- The Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition (PCMiSCRAP) folks are parking semi-trailer billboards along I-25 to make certain the US Army expansion team gets their message. The ranchers have also scheduled their own public meetings to preempt the Army "Public Scoping" PR presentations. KIM, COLORADO- The Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition will give the public an honest chance to comment on the proposed military expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, on three consecutive nights, just prior to the Army's scoping hearings which will exclude testimony on the subject. PCEOC hearing times are: Tuesday, May 20, in Trinidad Trinidad State Jr College, Massari Auditorium from 4 to 6p Wednesday, May 21, in Colorado Springs Crowne Plaza Hotel, Salon C (Grand Ballroom) from 3 to 6p Thursday, May 22, in La Junta Otero Junior College, Mc Bride Hall #137 from 4 to 6p Army officials announced scoping hearings to discuss bringing additional troops to Fort Carson but said the hearings have nothing to do with the proposed expansion of the PCMS. The communities of Southeastern Colorado know this is not true and that the two issues are undeniably linked. "The Army knows that a majority of Coloradans, a majority of state lawmakers and a majority of federal lawmakers oppose the expansion," said PCEOC President Lon Robertson. "By excluding any discussion of PCMS from the scoping hearings, Army officials are attempting to avoid a difficult subject and skirt federal law." In 2007, Congress passed and the President signed into law a military appropriations bill which outlawed all funding on the proposed expansion of the PCMS. "If the Army held a hearing on expanding the site, they'd violate the law so instead, they are pretending that increasing the force at Fort Carson will have no impact," Robertson said. "In reality, if they get more brigades at Fort Carson, we know they will turn around and demand more acreage on which to train them. "And the real question is why won't the Army take no for an answer?" Robertson said. "This has been dragging on too long and even the threat of expansion is having devastating effects on our communities and economy." The Army is behaving lawlessly and now it seems they don't even follow their own guidelines set by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRACC). The additional troops cited in this latest effort completely exceed the numbers stated in the 2005 BRACC report. The Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition, or PCEOC, is a broad-based coalition representing communities across Southern Colorado in their opposition to the proposed military expansion. PCEOC members include business owners, teachers, students, elected officials, ranchers, environmentalists and many others. The coalition is united in its opposition to any expansion of PCMS. No funding, no expansion.

USA acronyms want Pinon Canyon again

May 8 PSA from the DECAM/NEPA coordinator at the FCPAO: (Release 08-056)   FORT CARSON, COLO.-- Part of GTA effort: USA issues NOI to prepare an EIS for bringing IBCT and CAB to USAFC and the PCMS, against the NAA. PUBLIC SCOPING MEETINGS (to hear NAA!) are May 20 in TAD, May 21 in COS (6:30PM Crowne Plaza Hotel) and May 22 in LHX. Glossary: PSA -Public Service Announcement DECAM -Directorate of Environmental Compliance and Management NEPA -National Environmental Policy Act FCPAO -Fort Carson Public Affairs Office GTA -"Grow the Army" USA -United States Army NOI -Notice of Intent EIS -Environmental Impact Statement IBCT -Infantry Brigade Combat Team (3,900 soldiers) CAB -Combat Aviation Brigade (2,800 soldiers) USAFC -United States Army Fort Carson PCMS -Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site NAA -No Action Alternative TAD -Trinidad, Colorado COS -Colorado Springs LHX -La Junta (Airport codes) Wikipedia explains this GWOT acronym: AWR — (Alpha Whiskey Romeo) Allah's Waiting Room. When engaged, insurgents have a tendency to flee to the same building (the AWR), at which point the troops radio in an air strike.

Mercury Fulminate in Fountain Creek

I noticed something about the Rampart Range cleanup controversy but don’t know if I posted it here. A few months ago (before the Range became, as always, a sheet of impenetrable ice) there was a story in the Indy about it. Only, the focus was on Lead. Lead, it was pointed out by the Anti-environmental people, is hard to dissolve in water. Therefore it wasn’t in any way responsible for the sudden spike in toxins in the Manitou spirit-water. What’s worrisome, though, isn’t the lead, (carcinogenic sure, but not as much as) Mercury. As in, Mercury Fulminate. Not pure mercury, but a tarnish or rust of mercury, mercury nitrate. And, yeah, water soluble. But the primers in those millions of rounds of ammunition popped off up there every year, the primers are made of mercury fulminate. Some .22 caliber rounds have no smokeless powder at all, just mercury fulminate. Remember when the Cowboy Star President, Ray Gunn, got busted in the head and shoulder with a .22? and there was a mini controversy about the ammo… because it had Mercury Fulminate in the slugs as well, making them Explosive. And, of course, the AFA and Ft Carson have their gun ranges and rifle ranges as well. Thing about mercury fulminate, it’s the most common detonator both for the shells which toss the projectiles, because it is SO very reliable (trust me, you strike that stuff with anything and it’s going to pop…) the explosive projectiles and the bombs released use it as a primer/detonator as well. for the same reason. Just before I came up here, some of y’all were in a dispute with Ft Carson over the ammunition waste metals. The Army basically told everybody to STFU and it ain’t none of our damn business what kind of poison they’re pouring into our water supply. Oh, and I DID mention this once… at Camp Casey one evening. What the Army had said about “Our troops need to use the same types of ammunition in their weapons in training as they do in the Global War on Terror”… this is important… that includes the DU anti-tank ammunition. That, you know, could be another reason they really really don’t want people to think about the CAUSES of cancer.

It’s in the percentages

Apparently 30% of the most recent batch of Army recruits do not have a high school education. And by the Army's own findings, 30% of soldiers returning from our occupations have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And a Colorado Springs school district has revealed that 25% of the children of the Fort Carson new arrivals are "Special Needs" students. Americans, and Colorado Springs in particular, have to live with these percentages. Are we 25% screwed or 30% screwed? At least we don't have to look at these guys across the sights of their guns. Iraqis do, and over one million dead Iraqis it may now be deduced were 100% screwed. I mean it, I find it an absolute nightmare to imagine soldiers in positions of authority, making life and death decisions over others, who don't know right from wrong, history from high stakes poker, or intelligence from drunken stupor. How do you reason with someone whose only motivation is their next beer? Where they'd just as soon shoot you dead than worry about regretting not shooting you? It's a war crime to subject civilian populations to rule by incompetents. Just because Americans elect a certified idiot for president is no indication that anyone else, certainly not a more cultured society, would want their lives overseen by uneducated amoral brigands. Unprincipled Colorado Springs businessmen salivate at the houses, cars, loans and strippers they can sell to uneducated soldiers. Colorado Springs residents better think hard about whether they make good neighbors.

Jan Martin marches to a new drummer

I wonder what it is that happens to citizens as they move up the ladder of authority, that without fail they become protective of the powers that be. I have my ideas.   Colorado Springs should welcome the infusion of more Amy funds to be all that it can be. Erstwhile populist Jan Martin went from community activist concerned about our city's growth, to being a City Council member singing their tune. Addressing the PPJPC meeting today, Martin spoke in favor of bringing more soldiers to Fort Carson, and in favor of a megalithic development that promises to swallow a lot of our downtown flavor, both in the interest of "stimulating economic growth." Pity. Jan Martin will tell you that she now has the constituency of the city to think about. Don't you like that about our representatives? They have to represent everyone else. We hear it from Skorman to Salazar, from Morris to Merrifield. You don't get that from the stooges put into office by the real estate developers and business leaders. They serve the interests of those who brung them. We work hard to elect like-minded populist politicians and they wind up too moral to take sides. Well, that's a theory. I'm inclined to imagine that when someone rises to prominence in this or perhaps any city, they're paid a visit by a waste management associate. You've seen the type, big hands, monosyllabic, with a simple message. If you do anything to rock this boat, anything, we'll plow our truck into your daughter or granddaughter as she walks home from school. OTHERWISE, best wishes with your new vip status, enjoy yourself. We're behind you all the way.

Colorado Springs military community

I was working on a poster to protest the Ft Carson expansion meeting, to challenge the notion that more military investment will benefit the city. Will it? FIVE MAJOR MILITARY INSTALLATIONS ALREADY AND THE CITY AND COUNTY ARE BROKE. But I picked up a brochure at the meeting which boasts that our city is beneficiary to more than the five. Did you know there's a Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Division charged with Service, Support and Advocacy of the military. Specifically: - To sustain and cultivate the long-standing tradition       of support to our military community and; - To advocate and facilitate defense industry growth. The Colorado Springs military community comprises:   North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)   US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM)   Air Force Space Command   US Army Space and Missile Defense Command /       Army Forces Strategic Command   7th Infantry Division -Fort Carson   21st Space Wing -Peterson AFB   50th Space Wing -Schriever AFB   United States Air Force Academy   Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station   302nd Airlift Wing (AFRES) -Peterson AFB   310th Space Group -Schriever AFB   Space Innovation and Development Center (SIDC)   Joint National Integration Center (JNIC)   Joint Functional Component Command -         Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC-IMD) Regional non-DoD organizations include:   Military Affairs Council (MAC)   Area Chiefs of Staff (ACOS)   Defense Mission Task Force (DMTF)   Colorado Defense Mission Coalition (COMC)

On JAN 14 let us not expand Ft Carson

Please attend the upcoming Fort Carson expansion town hall meeting at the Antlers Hilton on January 14. Let the pro-military, pro-business representatives know what you think about making Colorado Springs even more dependent on poor paying jobs, predatory businesses, and skyrocketing social problems. Only developers, car-dealers, pawn shops, strip clubs, liquor stores, social workers, jails and mortuaries benefit from a higher soldier population. The rest of us suffer increased crime and their children's behavioral problems in our schools. Plus can you imagine the Army is going to use an expanded Ft Carson as pretext to seize Pinon Canyon for their maneuvers?   Has there ever been a city to prosper by hosting military bases? Colorado Springs is awash with Defense Department facilities and look where it's got us! El Paso County is cutting services left and right. Soldiers reduce the tax base, they pay fewer taxes, they register their vehicles out of state, and their spouses require more social services. As a result, El Paso is scaling back its County Health Department. For starters they're closing the STD clinic by next year. More soldiers = fewer STDs? I don't think so.

Ft Carson has ample waves of grain

Our own Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) lauded the news that Colorado Springs will be hosting more soldiers. Said he of Fort Carson: "It is one of our nation’s premier training locations and has ample space to grow and host additional units and missions." despite the best lobbying efforts of area ranchers and residents. Though the PCMS expansion has been put on hold for a year, an increased troop level at Fort Carson will give the Army justification to push for more land. By "ample" do you suppose Salazar means the asked-for half million acres, or the planned-for 5 million leaked by a whistleblower?   Democrats do what for us in Washington? Do they advocate for any constituent at all, beside the corporate and military interests?

Waste Management Inc.

We've all seen those garbage trucks going around in circles, with big signs painted on them that say that their landfills (dumps) are pristine centers for wildlife! Such an ethical and ecologically concerned company is Waste Management! This below is what the CEO of this fine company pulls down in salary with his BS about 'Keeping America Beautiful' and other such Waste Management Inc. PR. David P. Steiner Chief Executive Officer Waste Management Inc. The proxy statement for Waste Management Inc. uses the new SEC executive compensation rules. In 2006, David P. Steiner raked in $5,601,287 in total compensation according to the SEC. However, according to the AFL-CIO's calculation method*, he raked in $6,541,198 in total 2006 compensation. With all the pro Green rhetoric coming out about subjects like the supposed Fort Carson 'sustainability' projects, etc., it pays to keep a sceptical eye on these corporate Green cons. Interestingly, Waste Management Inc. supposedly promotes the FreeCycle Movement. You can see how effective that is by judging how little actually gets recycled here in Colorado Springs where those Waste Management garbage trucks roam the streets boasting of how 'Green' they are. If they are so Green, then why haven't they used their influence to get the Colorado Springs City Council to come up with a real recycling program? Worth mentioning, too, is that their HQ is Houston, Texas, which is hardly the pristine center of environmentalism. In fact, that city is a toxic dump. Oh, and if you want to go out to one of those 'wildlife refuges' built by Waste Management Inc's fine endeavours?... then check out this one in California. Wetlands Landfill Expansion

Defense industry’s so-called gravy train

Senator Ken Salazar described Colorado Springs as a crown jewel in our nation's defense arsenal. The Pikes Peak area is indeed a magnet for the weapons industry because of our military installations. We have Fort Carson (3rd Armored Cav), Peterson AFB (Missile Space Command), Schriever AFB, of course NORAD and the Air Force Academy. We even have a land-locked high-altitude facility for the Navy. We're often reminded that the military keeps Colorado Springs afloat. In fact the County Commissioners, City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, egged on by car dealers and land developers, seize at every chance to lure the Defense Department budget to this city. Currently they're trying to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, against the unanimous desires of the Southeast area ranchers, the state legislature, even much of the city population. Now, consider this incongruity: over the last several years, both El Paso County and the City of Colorado Springs have had to cut back their services to save money. At a time when the war business has been flush with income! County offices have reduced their hours. The city has abandoned many services altogether. Street medians are no longer maintained by city crews. Toilet facilities at city parks have simply been left locked. The only reason we've been able to grow the police force is by paying for them by issuing more citations. Let's call that a nuisance tax. The gravy train is a lie, isn't it? We pay for the military presence in Colorado Springs with higher crime, predatory retailers, porn joints, all the low wage jobs required by businesses which cater to soldiers, and as a result, a disproportionate drain on our social services. What do we get in return? An impoverished infrastructure and the dubious privilege of schooling our kids with offspring very likely disadvantaged by troubled families and questionable role models.

Solitary confinement blocks for Ft Carson

Mark Lewis has been sent photographs taken by an alert Southeast Coloradan, of trucks laden with strange cargo for the Ft Carson PCMS. Strapped to each truck bed are several self contained units, of what appear to be modular living quarters, if your idea of a studio apartment is a single room, five foot by ten. On one end of each there's a window in the form of a single narrow slit and at the other end a door with a similar window and a small utility door. If you were to imagine a place to conceal the Man in the Iron Mask in 21st Century prefab construction material, this would be it. The modular design looks like they're made to fit into a honeycomb, reached by way of metal grates. A recent executive order has cleared the way for military bases to house civilian detention facilities. I imagined barracks like the WWII internment camps. These accommodations look more suited to Guantanamo.

Acacia Park IVAW sentry-duty-a-thon

On Friday November 16 until Sunday November 18, the Colorado Springs chapter of IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR will be manning a "Tower Guard" in Acacia Park downtown. This will be a 12-hour a day vigil atop a scaffolding guard post, a motif pioneered earlier this year in DC by veteran Evan Knappenberger, minus assault rifle, minus orders to shoot anything that moved. This weekend local IVAW soldiers will stand atop their own guard tower and all are invited to visit and show their support. It's a brave thing for these ex-soldiers to come out against the war in [Ft]Carson Springs. Let's encourage them!

Tom Warren- GreenGo pimp for the Pentagon

Tom Warren feigns being a folksy, bearded, hippy ranger-ranch type, and is the perfect Pentagon GreenGo pimp to be in charge of the public's manipulation by the military to put Fort Carson expansion into place in Pinion Canyon. He heads up DECAM and talks 'environment' a lot, while pushing for the Pentagon's toxicity to be implemented into the local area. 'Aw Heck' he seems to exude smilingly, 'We're going to become the best Wild Life refuge in The Land!' Sure the Pentagon will be, Tommy. They always are for sure. I'm sure that the wildlife are doing just great out at Chernobyl, too. And out where all the Depleted Uranium has been dropped in The Balkans and Middle East. And the wildlife certainly must love the Pentagon's Agent Orange spread all over in SE Asia, since it keeps the human predator population down. You're right, Tommy, the Colorado birds and deer need the Pentagon to take it all over! And be sure to help us be efficient in energy use for folk out there on base, Comandante Tommy. What an act, and what an actor! We pay the tax dollars, and they then buy the comedy routine by military GreenGo propaganda pimps, like this guy, Tommy Warren. What suckers the American taxpaying public certainly are to do this! I had a chance to meet this snake in person last week, and talk about a corn ball. He offered to waive the fees if any of us wanted to be sucked into the inside of his 'sustainability' act that was playing inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel that week. We preferred to protest planned Pinion Canyon expansion by the military outside in the street instead. Go Army! Be all you can pretend to be! How silly some of this corporatized pretend Green stuff coming out actually is. After he gets done here, Maybe Tom Warren can apply for the PR pimp position out in Amarillo for the Pantex atomic bomb factory there? He would be perfect talking about how irradiation keeps the beef all sanitary and what not. The Pentagon, land for many uses... blah, blah, blah. For more about Tom's work to keep suburbia from encroaching on Fort Carson (poor Fort Carson!) and bird habitat read about Comandante Tom's contributions here... Save the rare birds, sez Tom Warren. by making your local military establishment grander! For Tom Warren's military connection see name #11 on Fort Carson military list here. What a con artist this guy is pretending to be part of the civilian community! This seems to be the new thing where police and Pentagon people come to community meetings out of uniform and play like concerned civilian community types.

The Pentagon’s green baloney

The Fort Carson Fourth Annual Community Sustainability Conference is playing in town right now, and is part of The Pentagon's green baloney program. You might want to take in some of the last sessions over at the Crown Plaza Hotel off of Circle & I-25,and offer up your suggestions that the military use solar power to deliver their future hydrogen bombs and that they now move to require all soldiers to become vegetarians while doing military service, etc., etc. lol... This idea that the US military is part of any sustainability effort is quite laughable one would think? Unfortunately, there are always some gullible, yet ecology oriented people who will always buy into even the most outlandish notions put forward by those who hold power in our society. But really, what's the use of pushing for a more ecologically oriented military? Are we really interested in a more Greenly done destruction, since the job of the military is simply to destroy other peoples' economies? Or did some of the Colorado Springs local community want to forget about that? Sustainable? How 'bout the US military just cleaning up all the toxic messes they have already made across Planet Earth? I suggest that they start with SE Asia and then head westward. We can give all our soldiers in uniform sticks with hooks on the end so that they can go around walking through the fields picking up land mines and depleted uranium fragments, and give them suction devices too to help clean up Agent Orange and other chemical weapons residuals that they have used in the past that might be found in leaves and dust that children with deformities now play in. Dear Pentagon, we urge you not to litter.

Militarizing society everywhere

America's 'War on Drugs' is creating disaster across the planet. This week it came home to my neighborhood, as the Colorado Springs police closed down a whole block on Madison Street, of all places, to do its Swat Team training. Helped in this endeavor by the local Jewish Synagogue, who loaned them a house to use, about 20 cops, 5 dog terrorists, and 12 pig mobiles wasted the afternoon away playing with their toys. Switch now to a new Brazilian film, Tropa de Elite, that shows how this nonsense plays out in the poor neighborhoods of that great South American country, as the very same militarized policing units act as death squads, all in the name of 'fighting drugs'. Switch to Afghanistan where a US occupation army pretends to be fighting the spread of opium. Switch to Colombia, where the US death squads pretend to be fighting cocaine. It's time to get the police out of all our neighborhoods, cut the Pentagon down to size, and fight the expansion of Fort Carson into yet more of SE Colorado. Aren't you tired of them militarizing society everywhere?

Ken Salazar lulls people to sleep on Pinon Canyon expansion

Senator Ken Salazar wants to look like he is leading an opposition to military plans to expand Fort Carson. Unfortunately, many are buying it, but his 'opposition' to base expansion is without any principles behind it and is totally superficial. Just what does 'a one year delay' really mean, anyway? One thing it certainly is not, is it is not any real opposition to the constant American militarism at all. Unfortunately, most of the ranchers opposing the Pentagon buying up their land also support the constant war making of the US government. In fact, both Salazar and many of the ranchers themselves, support more military bases being built and more bases being enlarged. The ranchers just don't want it done with land they own. A 'one year delay' allows Ken Salazar to placate this constituency without having him do anything of substance. Later when plans move ahead once again (as if they there will even delay at all!) he can surrender after having pretended to lead the good fight. 'Oh sorry, Guys. We just weren't able to win.' The ranchers are in dire peril. This 'delay' is meant to disarm them and it appears to be working. The momentum they have built up in building their opposition to Fort Carson expansion is now on dry ice. What appears to be a minor victory may well turn out to be just one more phase of their undoing. As to the pro Peace community as a whole, this episode of their activism shows how weak is their lobbying legislative approach to everything. Instead of building a movement that demands CLOSING all these damn bases down, they have tired to needle and beg a completely pro-war legislator, Ken Salazar, to play their supposed Saviour in a truly docile style. This is a strategy guaranteed to produce constant disappointment, and constant continued war. It is our job as activists for Peace to tell the truth and to try to create new structures that would aid our work to stop the Pentagon. Instead, many of us only seem to desire to be lulled to sleep by people like Democratic Party Senator Ken Salazar. Voting sheep asleep, it seems, is all some want to be. Base Closure Now! That is really what the Justice and Peace Commission should be demanding. We have way too many of these monsters and they are destroying the entire base of the American economy. We are not just against expansion, we are for closure of these bases. And Kenneth Salazar is not going to come along and be our friend on these issues, and it is unseemly to always be begging him and pretending that he is our friend, when he most certainly is not, never will be, and doesn't want to be. Kenneth Salazar is a true American militarist politician, and is

Call out Alliant Techsystems & CACI too

Other military industries complicit in war crimes in Iraq have offices in Colorado Springs at Academy and Fountain Blvds.   ATK Alliant Techsystems is the leading supplier of Depleted Uranium, which is poisoning the Iraqi populace as well as our soldiers. Ft Carson vets who father children with birth defects will know whom they can hold responsible.   Likewise, CACI International provides "security solutions" to our boys overseas. Celebrated, ie leaked, examples were the torture methods employed at Abu Ghraib.   To be fair, abuses at Abu Ghraib were also administered by Colorado Springs neighbor TITAN CORP, now L-3 Communications Titan Group.   Isn't it amazing that so many culprits of Iraq atrocities are represented in Colorado Springs, at ACADEMY AND FOUNTAIN?! Our visit on Tuesday will be straight into the midst of these callous profiteers.

Military takeover of Southeast Colorado

It was a disappointment to read about a potential betrayal of the rural folk who cherish their family farms and ranches and don’t wish to sell to the Army at Fort Carson, and again last week in Colorado Springs when only pro-military leaders and the Chamber of Commerce expounded on the need for expansion. What a terrible hoax to think anything connected with war business could be considered a “crown jewel” and “national security keystone.” It is ironic that an area in Colorado, one of the most scenic and naturally beautiful states in the U.S., is being taken over by the military-industrial complex. Even though there was no chance to be heard last week, there are many folks, including former military, who question why a Fort Carson expansion should be considered necessary at all, much less for the health of our local and state economy. What happened to tourism, health, fitness and agribusiness for which Colorado is a natural, and the great potential for jobs in the needed alternative-energy fields? A moratorium on military expansion makes sense because of the growing sentiment that U.S. involvement in the Iraq war needs to end. With more taxpayers and legislators agreeing that we need to pull out of Iraq, isn’t there a possibility Fort Carson could be reduced in size, rather than enlarged? Instead of more battleground experience, we need to have people trained in renovation, rehabilitation of infrastructure and individuals, health and human services and educational endeavors. If fear of terrorism is predominate, have you thought of telling the war-machine lobbyists in Washington that you don’t want your state to become a terrorist target by having so many of our strategic war components in such close proximity? (Printed in Letters to the Editor in The Independent, Sept. 6)

Fish out of water in the park

We spent Labor Day afternoon in the shade of a newly planted tree, upwind from a gargantuan new fountain/sculpture at the center of Confluence Park, rechristened post-9/11 as America the Beautiful Park. Perhaps our city councilmen were thinking that Katharine Lee Bates, looking down from Pikes Peak, might have been describing just the spot where Fountain Creek meets the Platte, before the city spread out. Now this land sits in the lee of our coal-fired power plant, until recently a lowland neighborhood of unpaved streets and homes with sofas on their porches. If the rest of Colorado Springs residents dared to drive into this white 9th Ward, before it was razed, we would have noticed the bare feet of the unemployed I'm sure. Our city's perfect dry high altitude protects our homes from Orkin pests. The lone exception is the area surrounding the steaming cooling towers. It is notoriously roach infested. Perhaps it's best that the humidity now feeds a vast public lawn between a riverfront trail and railroad tracks. (We receive two coal trains a day along this track, and when Ft Carson deploys its heavy armor, this is the place to see it. You feel the gravitational pull of the endless procession of Abrams tanks, as impressive as the now-interminable first tracking shots of the Star Wars battlecruisers.) We stared up into the cloudless sky and thought about our city's ideal environment, unmarred today by its poor crackers and poorly educated nuts. The park was none-too-crowded, regulated by its access and limited parking. Plenty of adults and children were playing in the fountain, but not too many so as to crowd our blanket. The park seemed a perfect example of successful gentrification of the wrong side of the tracks, but for one point. There's something about animated water sculptures that gets in my craw, and today I caught a glimpse of what it is. The Julie Penrose fountain in ATB Park, which resembles a large Hotwheels loop-de-loop, and the downtown Uncle Wilber Fountain, are two popular public works which draw children in the summer days, to splash about in the heat. They're public art with a practical application I suppose. Squinting into the watery mist, I recognized that application: the hijacked city fire-hydrant. Middle class America left the jacking of hydrants to the land-locked urban neighborhoods, preferring to build public pools for their children. Swimming pools could provide respite and recreation, plus physical exercise and jobs. The fire-hydrant, as I saw today, is a throwback to not much for your money. It's running through the sprinkler for cement bound fat kids. Exuberant, elated, screeching with glee, none-the-less fat children acquiring no aquatic experience, their energies taxed for nothing, offered poor prospects and a poor excuse for an afternoon.

American Cowards, a big herd

An article by Conn Hallihan titled Death at a Distance: The US Air War indirectly highlights the political cowardice of the American people as a whole, the politicians of both the corporate parties that the American people have been glued to for so long, and the Pentagon itself. The article focuses on how the Americans are turning to using pilot less drones to bomb targets located in civilian areas. This has certainly become the American Way, another cowardly war fought by technocratic cowards, directed by political cowards, and tolerated quiescently by a cowardly American population as a whole, that flat out refuses to up its level of currently minuscule protest against what is being done in its name. This Wednesday I got a brief glimpse of the cowardly rats gathering together once again to move towards yet another expansion of the US military-industrial complex in something called Fort Carson Piñon Canyon expansion. Only the people directly effected by losing their ranches seem all that motivated to oppose yet more base, more bombs, more soldiers. The rest of the Colorado population appears to hardly give a rat's ass about the issue, and that's who was gathered inside the city government building to nod and pose for the cameras...rat's asses. And the rat's ass king who was there at this meeting has got to be Senator Ken Salazar. What is the relationship between pilot less aircraft murdering children in foreign lands from way up high and this planned expansion of one of The Springs' local bases? My short answer is that you are just another American coward if you don't get out and try to fight these creeps on both issues. Many of you liberal do-nothing voters put Ken Salazar into office with your votes, and yet most of you haven't the courage to get out and do anything to stop this King of political cowards from getting off the political hook for his constant double speak. I'm not advocating that you do this, but Democratic Party liberals really ought to be burning down their local party HQ instead of voting for your creeps once again. Instead, you seem to be just another part of this long herd of American Cowards supporting continual war. Get off your asses and demand that America stop murdering kids in foreign lands with pilot less drones and by starving them and their parents. You don't need this damn Fort Carson at all. Your vote doesn't count so don't use the fact that you vote to excuse your complicity through your constant inaction.

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