Public Comment at the Port of Olympia Commission Meeting

Here is a copy of written testimony that I submitted earlier this evening at the Port of Olympia's Commission Meeting. I also gave oral testimony. They had a long agenda, so I kept it brief and outlined the major points:
  • The war is illegal.
  • the war is unethical.
  • The American Service men and women are not to be blamed, condemned or even necessarily judged, but the war planners are culpable and are to be held accountable.
  • We in Olympia have an opportunity to send a message, loud and clear: Abuse of the American Military is unacceptable, and we will not enable it via the use of the municipal port for military shipments destined for Iraq.
That was the gist of what I said. Think it'll make a difference? I have been hammering away on this issue with the port commissioners for 3 or 4 months now, so that we are getting to know each other somewhat. Though I don't think all of them would be too terribly distraught if I gave up and stopped commenting on the militarization of our municipal port.
Here's a link to the Port of Olympia's web-site. Meeting minutes will be published within the next month or so.
Port Commission Meeting
Public Comment
November 14, 2005

Dear Commissioners,

Congratulations on your recent electoral victories, Commissioners Pottle and Telford.

I am here to express my dissent toward the ongoing use of the port for military shipments, so long as the shipments serve to further the war effort in Iraq.

The American people were deliberately deceived – duped into supporting a war that was and is based on faulty assumptions and criminal motives:

• There have been no significant WMD caches found in Iraq – this was the primary factor in the marketing and build-up to war.
• The Iraqi people have not been liberated. In fact, Iraq has been plunged into a bloody chaos of widespread violence and systemic corruption and collusion between the newly established Iraqi government and its US and British overseers.

Various groups have thoroughly and rigorously documented the fabrications and lies of the administration and its associated war-planners from well before the war up until the present day. The truth of the matter is not hard to find, unless there is an intentional effort to hide and be shielded from it. I suggest looking at the stratagems and dictates of the neoconservative think tank PNAC (Project for a New American Century) and also the points of intersection between the policy makers and the press via the WHIG (White House Iraq Group.)

The concept of invading another country, and conquering it so as to secure its natural resources is anathema to the vast majority of Americans. That is why they had to sell us a bill of goods, and market this effort as a “war against terrorism.” In reality, the war has only exacerbated international terrorism and changed the landscape of Iraq into a bitter, divided place. It has split the power of one despotic leader into the hands of many, smaller ones – so that ultimately, tyranny will be more difficult to eradicate for the Iraqi people

A war of aggression is against the law under both internationally and domestically recognized legally binding codes of conduct. One reason we have local government is to provide a check against any potential abuse or tyranny of the federal or state governmental systems. I am here to urge the commission to take a stand against a federal government that has gone horribly astray.

We have an opportunity to speak out against this bad excuse for a war by establishing a moratorium on military shipments. So long as this current White House administration and its associated interests seek to abuse the US military with unjustified and illegal use, they deserve to have access to the port denied.

I oppose this war on ethical, as well as legal grounds. I am not condemning the military service men and women, but rather the planners of this obscene war effort. It’s time to bring the soldiers home, my hope is that we can do our part in Olympia to make that happen.


Robert Whitlock

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Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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