Clovis highlights America's eternal war economy

  Clovis, N.M., won its battle to keep nearby Cannon Air Force Base open (HCN, 8/22/05: Leavin' on a Jet Plane). This demonstrates that we are, indeed, a nation with an economy on an eternal war footing, where peace is just bad for business.

The Air Force wanted to close Cannon to save money. Now we are essentially subsidizing Clovis so that residents can continue to live in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed.

Clovis spotlights our hypocrisy. We say we are peaceful, but our economy is dearly dependent upon fighting wars and preparing for wars. How can we be a peaceful nation when so many communities like Clovis hitch their livelihoods to the war wagon and fight to keep it rolling?

My youngest son, Jacob, graduated high school this year, so of course the local military recruiters stuffed our mailbox with pitches. "You know, Dad, this might be a good way to get money for college," Jacob mused while perusing a brochure fictionalizing the lifestyle of a weekend warrior.

"Son," I said, "the military is not about money for college. It’s not about seeing the world and it’s not about learning a trade. The military is about killing people. If that’s not something you want to be a part of, then the military is not for you."

Art Merrill
U.S. Navy, retired
Prescott Valley, Arizona