Aloha Mr. Lemmo,
I oppose the US Navy’s proposal to expand training operations to the shore waters of south Molokai. The US military is the worst polluter on the planet beyond just their consumption of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil every single day. Their footprint is enormous, operating from 800 bases in close to 100 countries, with personnel deployed to over 150, according to Politico. America is engaged in combat in dozens of these countries, and all out war in over half a dozen. The price tag is in the trillions, and loss of life incalculable if you take into account disease, famine, and poverty that linger long after the bombs stop falling. They’re currently training for this in the sky above Molokai and if they have their way, they’ll also train in the same place that many people go paddling and fishing. What they train for is the antithesis of aloha.
For good examples of why the military should not be allowed to train here, we don’t have to look any further than Kaho’olawe, but Bikini Atoll and Vieques are also prime examples of islands deemed expendable. There’s no reason to think Molokai is viewed any different. The military proved this when they turned part of Kalauapapa into the Makanalua Bombing Range back in the 1940’s. Medicine was needed then, not bombs. Medicine is what is needed today. Molokai deserves to be healthy but taxes fund war and training and never seem to find their way here in meaningful ways. The military flies in to give out free eye exams and glasses every couple years but people are aware that it’s tax dollars paying for it and it’s not out of the good of anyone’s heart, it’s a pr stunt.
Let’s not forget that it was the military that painted the huge target that remains on Hawaii’s back when they moved the Pacific Fleet here in May of 1940, it was the military that ran the internment camps, and the military that has shown zero respect for Kanaka Maoli and the ‘aina. History has taught us that America’s interests do not align with Hawaii’s, and that’s not about to change. As someone who has trained, and followed orders using that training overseas, I oppose the military training anywhere near Molokai. As a resident of Molokai who has been blessed to help take care of this ‘aina, I oppose the further desecration of Molokai in any form.
If one single human being, monk seal, sea turtle, fish, bird, bat, or any other living creature is inconvenienced mush less displaced or harmed in any way by the navy’s proposed training, it should not even be up for debate, it should never be allowed to happen. If they are allowed to train, this is not simply going to go away. Members of this community are not afraid of civil disobedience and either the navy is completely ignorant of history or this is an attempt by the navy at provocation for some reason. The land and waters of Hawaii have already been devastated enough, the Hawaiian people have already suffered enough.
Jayson R. Mizula Ho’olehua