Letter to the Editor: Are we any safer today?

^ Posted Jan. 29

Editor:

It appears that the federal government is finally about to submit a budget. As these matters directly affect all in Virginia, I wish to present some thoughts. Most of these are related to an article in the "New Yorker" on Jan. 18.

"Every gun that is made, every warship, every rocket launched signifies a theft from those who hunger, and are not fed, from those who are cold, and are not clothed. This world at arms is not spending money alone; it is spending the sweat of the laborers; the genius of its scientists; the hopes of its children ... this is not a way of life that makes sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

These are not my words. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke them on April 16, 1953. But they are still very true today.

Today the U.S spends more on defense and intelligence than all of the countries of the world combined. In defense alone we spend more than the next 20 nations combined, 13 of them are allies.

Are we any safer than a person living in Canada, Singapore, New Zealand or France? Are we smarter, better educated, healthier, have longer life expectancy, infant mortality rate? Do we have fewer homeless people, a higher standard of living?

We have over 300,000 service men and women overseas. Are we safer?

This is the conversation our elected representatives need to have.

Danuel Smith, Edinburg











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