Violence of F-35 won’t make us safer

Wisconsin State Journal, Sept 22, 2019

I left the recent public hearing about the F-35 fighter jets coming to Traux Field in Madison certain the associated health and environmental costs of this $95 million fighter jet will grossly exceed any potential economic benefit.

I was not swayed by all the people in caps with logos brandishing polished posters and pamphlets claiming that the excessive noise — which will disproportionately affect minorities, low-income residents and children — can be adequately mitigated.

Prior to the proceedings a fervent, young F-35 advocate assured me that our city will be safer because it makes retaliation possible in the event of an attack. With growing tension in the Middle East and the president’s increasingly erratic behavior, I share her longing for security. But her mindset, one widely evidenced at the event, is what disturbs me most about the F-35.

How will this first-strike weapon, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, differentiate between those who are good and those who are evil? How will it limit its undeniably toxic effects to some targeted area?
As Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.”

Pamela Minden, Madison