It doesn't take a trip to Yuma to uncover some contrary opinions (just a few mouse clicks reveal that there is a serious problem there with depleted uranium pollution) and those cool pictures of choppers blowing dust around also indicate that the Army has disturbed so much surface soil that the ecology of the desert has been irrevocably changed - not unlike massive commercial development. That's a bit more than a few fires kindled by exploding munitions.
The juxtaposition with Ray Ring's piece on suicide presented a stark contrast apparent in the U.S. and especially in the West: We have the best weaponry that money can buy, but parts of our health care system are now little better than some of those Third World countries we like to invade. Our priorities are to protect our investments worldwide, but we ignore our primary asset - our people. This shortsighted fascination with expensive gee-whiz technology has helped undermine our global standing, and will only continue to diminish our security.
Claude Ginsburg Seattle, Washington