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Letter: Red Wing, get a grip on just cause

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To the Editor:

On Monday Nov. 25, I attended the Red Wing City Council meeting in support of the resolution on the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternative Project. This is the second time a vote of support by the council was sought. A yes vote merely asks the council (or anyone else for that matter) to bring the issue of out of control military spending directly to our national senators and representatives for discussion. The council refused to even vote on it.

Even though more than one councilperson regarded the issue to be a just "cause," they steadfastly hold to the opinion that this issue is not in the realm of their jurisdiction.

I know city officials go to Washington, D.C., all the time for meetings. If MNASAP is not important enough to bring directly to our national leaders, I find that amazing when military spending impacts every problem we have in our community.

If the council regards MNASAP as a just cause, just who do they think is going to influence our national leaders? Will it be Joe Blow down the street who they will listen to? No, it's the movers and shakers (leaders) who command this attention.

The issue of unfettered control over our military budget will not go away and, in fact, I expect it to worsen unless we as a society get a handle on it.

Military spending has doubled since Sept. 11, 2001, to where 56 cents out of every federal dollar spent goes to military. That total does not even include the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which used borrowed money.

Our society absolutely must critically evaluate what this country needs to spend militarily to defend itself. It is far less than what you are led to believe. Believing this to be so is regarded to be unpatriotic.

Uncontrolled patriotism has become a narcotic to stop any discussion on military spending.

We had better get a grip on this and do it soon.

Bill Habedank

Red Wing

Bill Habedank is executive director of Veterans for Peace Chapter 115.

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