Red Hill, collateral damage, a bigger picture

The Hawaiʻi Congressional delegation must do what’s necessary to ensure that the U.S. military comply with the order of Governor David Ige to shut down Red Hill.

Furthermore, until the U.S. Military demonstrates they can be trusted to operate in Hawaiʻi without further jeopardizing the health and welfare of our community, all lease extensions, and expanded military operations now under review, must also be put on hold.

The military officials responsible for the safety and integrity of the Red Hill facility have consciously, actively, and continuously misled the public, the Department of Health, (DOH), and the Board of Water Supply (BWS), as to the frequency and seriousness of past and present fuel leaks.

Those who know the history of Kaho’olawe, Pōhakuloa, and Mākua, will tell you nothing has changed.

A look at recent and ongoing global actions of the U.S. Military will only reinforce the fact that they are by nature secretive and destructive – with little to no accountability for civilian or environmental collateral damage.

That’s what the contamination of Hawaiʻi drinking water is to the U.S. Military – collateral damage. Like the multitude of drone strikes that kill thousands of innocent civilians in countries all over the world, the poisoning of people and the environment in Hawaiʻi is simply collateral damage necessary to maintain national security.

It’s time we say no more.

The U.S. military presence in Hawaiʻi has continually expanded since the first naval station was established at Pearl Harbor in 1908 until today when the military controls 22% of all land on Oʻahu, with approximately 206,000 acres and over 20 installations located throughout all the islands.

To be clear, I am not a pacifist. I believe we need a strong military to defend us against the bad guys of the world.

But enough is enough already. The United States is the largest arms dealer in the world. We maintain troops and weapons on 750 bases in at least 80 countries around the world and spend more on our military weaponry than the next 10 countries combined.

Numerous proposals to expand or extend the military presence in Hawaii are being pushed forward now by the U.S. Military and Hawaiʻi’ Congressional delegation including; thousands of acres at the Poamoho Training Area in the Ko’olau mountains in north-central Oʻahu, the Kahuku Training Area and the Mākua Military Reservation on Oʻahu, the Pōhakuloa Training Area on Hawaiʻi Island, and a proposed $1.9 billion radar expansion at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauaʻi.

Each of these projects must comply with the Federal and State laws governing the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process which requires an evaluation of direct, indirect, secondary, and cumulative impacts. The law also prohibits the segmenting and piecemeal review of related projects.

In addition to environmental, health, economic and cultural impacts – a comprehensive EIS must include an analysis and thorough evaluation of Hawaii’s potential role in any future global conflict.

There is no more important secondary impact than the increased likelihood of Hawaiʻi being a military target because of the growing U.S. military presence in the islands.

Until the U.S. military is willing to agree to this level of disclosure and said disclosure is accepted and agreed to by the residents of the State of Hawaiʻi, any and all expansion must stop.

Please take the time today to call; Senator Brian Schatz (202) 228-1153, Senator Mazie Hirono (202) 224-6361, Representative Ed Case (202) 225-2726, and Representative Kaiali’i Kahele (202) 225-4906.

Stop Red Hill. Stop it all. Enough already.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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