Open Letter to Congressman Kahele
As one of many Molokai residents who voted for you to represent us in Congress, I’m sad to hear that you not only voted for the nearly three quarters of a trillion-dollar FY 2022 U.S. military budget but also to increase it by an additional $24 billion. With so many issues facing Molokai and every island, I’m sure your voters could think of far better ways to use those funds. Don’t let the good work you’re doing for Hawaii be overshadowed by indebtedness to weapons manufacturers. You can win elections without them. Please learn from Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., a lesson we should have learned from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia: no amount of money spent on instruments of death can translate into victory of any sort beyond Wall Street. There are simply no military solutions for problems facing the world today (many of which were created by the U.S. and its allies).
As veterans, you and I are aware how frivolously money is spent on war while profiteers line their pockets. After more than $2 trillion, thousands of lives lost, and 20 years of occupation, the Taliban are back in power. Pouring more money into the bottomless pit of modern warfare won’t make Hawaii, America or the world safer. Only understanding history and cultures beyond our own, and good-faith diplomacy, will.
Be a voice of reason in Congress. Represent your constituents, not those tossing you breadcrumbs. Weapons makers don’t care about you, the people of Hawaii, or the dead from either side of any war anymore than they cared about Kaho’olawe. They care only about constantly increasing profits for their shareholders.
Moving the Pacific Fleet from San Diego didn’t make Hawaii safer. Nothing done today can be as beneficial for Hawaii as diplomacy. Not bigger weapons, not stronger missile defense, and not longer leases of sacred Hawaiian land. Please don’t help war profiteers paint an even bigger target on Hawaii’s back. Aim instead to demilitarize the Pacific Rim, if even just slightly. Please find the courage to do the right thing, even if it means a rockier road to higher office.
Jayson R. Mizula