Cap Times, October 1, 2019 – Bob Israel
Dear Editor: The proposed “beddown” of F-35s at Truax sounds like a cozy sleepover, much as “collateral damage” could be your kitty knocking over a vase. Euphemisms like these grease the skids of disinformation as surely as past promises about airport noise flipped the truth on its butt:
The 1990s construction of a new runway was supposed to reduce overflights and noise on the north-south flight path. It didn’t. In 2018, a retired USAF Colonel claimed the incoming F-35s would be quieter than the current F-16s. Now the Guard’s own IES says no.
The most vocal organized supporters of the beddown live far from its expected impact and their claims of dire economic consequences should the jets not come here are false: we have no shortage of jobs, and in fact employers complain of a dearth of skilled applicants. What we do lack is affordable housing, which basing the F-35s here will exacerbate by making the nearby homes of low-income and minority Madisonians uninhabitable. Their invocations of national security needs are baseless: if the F-35s aren’t here they’ll go somewhere else because, as President Eisenhower predicted, the military-industrial complex always gets what it wants regardless of the cost to the American people. Yet “our” leaders, dazzled by the promise of federal dollars, are cowed into submission.