Z-Net Piece on US MIlitary

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Sep 10 11:58:02 MDT 2001

good timing ...

i just received in the mail 20 minutes ago a letter from one of my
local US representatives (Chris Shays, CT), in reply to a form
protest-letter i filled out on US Navy use of LF towed array sonar and
its possible detrimental impacts on sea mammal life.


In Shay's response, he assured me by explaining how he had "contacted"
the Navy with the concerns. He in turn had received a letter from H T
Johnson, Asst Secy of US Navy stating that "There simply is no
adequate alternative to SURTASS LFA for meeting the nation's need to
detect and defend against foreign submarine threats and to ensure the
safety of our forces."

Yeah, right.

The only rational military use i can think of for these systems is to
assure the integrity of US submarine fleet in an offensive posture,
for example, sitting off European coast, aiming missiles at SU or some

Johnson went on in his letter to Shays:

"The Navy recently completed exhaustive and costly research in order
to assess the environmental impacts of SURTASS LFA. The Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) thoroughly addresses potential environmental
impacts of low frequency sound on the marine environment, ... the Navy
utilized the expertise of independent, highly respected scientists
from Cornell University and Woods Hole to design and conduct the
unprecedented research."

in other words, the Navy researched itself and everything is OK.

But, on a final note from Shays" "You may also be interested to know
Congressman Tom Lantos and I are Co-chairs of the Congressional
Friends of Animals Cacus. We will continue to work in a bi-partisan
manner to protect animals ..."

Clearly, attacking SURTASS solely from the point of view of its
environmental dangers is a weak strategy, as many Congress-people like
animals. Welcome to the real Animal Farm.

As Herman notes, there is zero serious challenge to US military policy
anywhere within the core spectrum of US political opinion. i've been
talking with some people at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)
about organizing protest to Bush's plans for missile defense
systems. Even though many UCS personnel are actually against any
missile defense, it was felt that taking a stand based on the
inadequacies and irrationalities of the existing proposed system was a
better strategy.

les schaffer

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