Institutionalizing Crimes Against Humanity in Spokane, WA


It’s 5:00 AM. The rough thrust of jet engines rages over our roof near Corbin Park. Perhaps it’s a routine commercial flight coming in a little low, or . . . a strategic bomber on a death run in my neighborhood.

With Fairchild AFB as the target for the 2nd annual Mobility Guardian exercise in Washington State, taking place over three weeks in September 2019, it’s a tough call. And it does not take much imagination to feel the anger and distress civilians feel in “operational countries” around the world where the U.S. military’s “force projection” is taking place year round. Since becoming aware of the increased noise pollution and frequent flights created by the military exercise, even the sound of a garbage truck or a hoped up Chevy zooming down Buckeye Ave. are enough to get my hackles up and looking for a refuge. I’m sensitive to every single flight overhead, passenger plane, FedEx, UPS, or Air Force. It’s like an attack every two minutes.

When three fighter jets blasted right over my house, I became angry. I complained to neighbors, who calmly stated, “That’s the sound of freedom.” Well, for me, and I am certain for many people in nations around the globe, it is the sound of a military occupation. That’s right, OCCUPATION. [Thank God we don’t have the flyovers and buzzing of drones . . . yet.)

The MIC (military, industrial complex) has done a great job of distributing the seeds of militarization into every state, and many (80+) countries, creating a dependency that also requires an allegiance. It’s the old, old mafia trick: “You wanna try my pizza? Old family recipe! You like it? Now, you owe me. Pay up or else!” (Remember Eisenhower’s warning was about the “military, industrial, congressional complex.”) In a similar way, the well-educated, well-read Weimar Republic succumbed to Third Reich propaganda in Germany.

So what’s the price we are paying in Spokane County for the occupation of a military force that has shown itself incapable of a financial audit, perpetuated Crimes Against Humanity throughout the entire world, and left an environmental footprint of devastation in virtually every place it has appeared?

This article is written to “Indict Fairchild AFB, Not To Praise It.” For we have been lulled into believing, sleepy little American town that we were, that the military is protecting us, and that patriotism is composed of nationalism and the resulting distrust and demonization of others, who are therefore deserving of cruel treatment, theft of their resources and labor, and deprivation of health or economic wellbeing of any kind.

While there are many, many reasons to discredit, arrest and detain military operatives, let’s name a few:

  1. Pollution of the aquifer, harming drinking water of communities surrounding Airway Heights, WA. Pollution extends to previous plumes of TCE and PCB pollution, making FAFB a Superfund cleanup site. Also worthy of mention is the air pollution from military training, maintenance, and ceremonial flights.
  2. Conducting wartime refueling missions, without a war declaration, of aircraft committing Crimes Against Humanity in the bombing of civilian sites, food crops, water supplies and domiciles in Yemen, and the Horn of Africa.
  3. Reverse engineering of the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) program based at FAFB where Mitchell & Jessen Associates created and applied actual torture regimes to pilots to help them develop resistance to interrogation, but then turned that treatment onto “military combatants” in the Iraq/Afghani war theater to produce “learned helplessness” as a way of removing one’s personality so as to gain access to their strategic secrets; all this in violation of every international treaty, convention, military code, and the U.S. Constitution, as verifiable war crimes. This case, Salim vs. Mitchel,l has been sent back to Judge Quackenbush as crimes were identified but no punishment prescribed. The International War Crimes Tribunal has been notified of this miscarriage of Justice.
  4. Misguiding youth as to the components of a Peace Culture, using propaganda to influence students to think a military, rather than a diplomatic response to communities in crisis is appropriate. This is done via persistent presence of military recruiters on campus, at school events, and in classrooms where active target practice takes place, and after school “clubs” where cybersecurity hacking is taught.
  5. The Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, largest in the nation, forcing children to march, in military style uniforms, in formation, while exposing them to large military vehicles, floats of old veterans, and military jet flyover of the city. Combining this with the Lilac Festival, a celebration of the budding of youth and Spring, leads children to believe that “royalty” is the outcome of militarism, when actually it is a recruiting devise designed to encourage impressionable children to become killers.
  6. Operation “Mobility Guardian,” an exercise held in Spokane County to extend confidence in the U.S. military’s goal of “full spectrum dominance,” actually lands foreign troops and equipment on U.S. soil, at huge expense to all taxpayers, and imposes military activities upon the peaceful population. Without even being attacked, the Air Force has created a war zone in our state.
  7. Undermining of the public infrastructure in Spokane County, by increasing the number of airmen and their families, the number of aircraft based at FAFB, and the use of public lands, roads, bridges, airports, and trains, plus water, air, and ground for militaristic operations. Importing 400 airmen and their families into a region with a zero percent vacancy rate is overburdening our infrastructure.

As the largest employer in Spokane County the Air Force at Fairchild would be expected to provide leadership of a high quality when interfacing with our civilian population. Instead we find a lack of intelligent management due to an emphasis on militarism and an ideology of “creative destruction” whereby livable systems are disrupted so private corporations can profit by installing cheap, unsustainable substitute systems, thereby undermining our community’s stability. If a true accounting were to take place, the net loss to Spokane County taxpayers and citizens in general because of this military occupation, would overwhelmingly outweigh any contribution that Fairchild Air Force Base could ever make in any attempt to justify its continued existence in our region.

Our proposal is to immediately begin conversion of Fairchild Air Force Base to an Enterprise Zone, to include activities geared toward a sustainable future. This would also include an International Educational Campus and a Peace Park. The recently conditioned runway infrastructure would only be used to provide humanitarian relief for communities experiencing emergencies around the world.

A civil society depends upon harmonious relationships with all members of the human community with special attention upon the livable environment. The Community of Spokane would be well recognizable into the future, by decommissioning Fairchild AFB, as one of Caring, Compassion, Cooperation and Concern for all living beings and systems. It is time to throw the occupiers out so we can get back to enjoying life with our neighbors and our nature.

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