Room to train our warriors
Piñon Canyon, east of Trinidad, Colorado
a friend in southern colorado had tipped me off to the controversy that was brewing over this but couldn't tell me what the land was wanted for... i did a search of the local newspaper but couldn't come up with anything... now, i see what the fuss is all about...
The U.S. Army wants 418,000 acres of private ranch land to triple the size of its Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, a training area considered suitable -- some would say essential -- for preparing American warriors to do battle in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The 1,000-square-mile facility would be 15 times the size of the District.
Several dozen ranchers and members of 15 county commissions that voted to oppose the project find themselves pitted against the Pentagon and Colorado business interests in a struggle over property rights, personal heritage and the contested priorities of national security.
In Piñon Canyon, where prehistoric dinosaur tracks lie near a surviving section of the 1800s-era Santa Fe Trail, the Army sees an opportunity when other training grounds are overtaxed by the demands of war. The move is also part of a long-term reorganization of the armed forces.
To Colorado business leaders, the expansion would help consolidate and enhance the state's growing role as a military hub: It is home to Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Northern Command.
The land under discussion is an arid plateau that occupies a sparsely populated slice of Colorado near the New Mexico border. It lies alongside 235,000 acres acquired by the Army in the early 1980s. The open spaces provide rambling room for 67-ton tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to practice maneuvers within a few hours of Fort Carson, home to a dozen Army units.
i grew up in colorado springs, one of the most military-obsessed (NORAD, Peterson AFB, the Air Force Academy, Ft. Carson, military retirees), right-wing (rabid libertarian, neocon, movement conservative, 24 per-centers), christian fundamentalist (Focus on the Family and at least a hundred similar organizations) towns you will ever run across, so it's no surprise to hear a colorado springs chamber of commerce shill spouting something like this...
Brian A. Binn, president of the military affairs committee of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, said the benefits to the state economy and national defense are clear. If the ranchers triumph and the training site is not created, he added, other states would be all too willing to accept the troops and the business.
"We have to look sometimes at what's better for the national defense, the greater good," Binn said. "It is a national security issue. The men and women of our armed services deserve nothing less."
the issue isn't jobs, altho' that's one way to frame it... it isn't about needing more space to train our military, altho' that's certainly another way to frame it... it isn't about private property, altho' that's ANOTHER way to frame it... and it isn't even about preserving and protecting the environment, altho' that's yet ANOTHER way to frame it... it's about the fact that the united states is a militaristic, war-mongering country with an insatiable appetite for controlling as much of the world's resources as possible, and an unending need for warm bodies to toss in the path of death and destruction... don't believe me...? take a look at the very well-chosen word carefully and unobtrusively placed in the first paragraph of the above wapo excerpt... did you catch it...?
IN THE U.S. ANY MORE,
WE HAVE WARRIORS!
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