Zumwalt-class a Destroyer of Lives
I am writing regarding the christening of the Navy’s Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer that is going to take place on June 18 at Bath Iron Works. I do not believe many things that the Navy, or the Pentagon states. Those two entities are masters of deception in many ways. However, the designation of the ship as a “destroyer” is one instance where they speak the truth. Does it strike anyone else as being sadly ironic that a vessel that is designed for destruction, including the destruction of who knows how many human beings, would be blessed in the name of Jesus Christ, also known as the Prince of Peace?
Human being are not all this destroyer will destroy. How many opportunities for the betterment of the lives of people are being destroyed as our government chooses to spend over $4 billion for this destroyer of lives? That money could do an amazing amount of good if it were funneled into things that actually improve people’s lives, such as education and health care. The government could even put that money into dealing, for once, in a realistic manner with a genuine threat to our national security...the very real threat of climate change, which even the Pentagon understands and acknowledges (not withstanding the fact that it does have the single largest carbon boot-print on the planet).
How many lives, among those beings who live in the sea, will be destroyed by this destroyer? It is well known that the Navy’s use of sonar can wreck havoc on the lives of marine species, disrupting biologically important behaviors such as feeding, breeding, migration, and communication. It can raise stress levels, lowering animal’s ability to successfully reproduce, and making them more susceptible to disease. And sonar use can and does result in hearing loss and other injuries, as well as death. Not all sonar victims wind up mass-stranded upon some shore: those that do are likely just the tip of the destruction iceberg.
And what of the lives of people living in places such as Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island in South Korea? Although the people there overwhelmingly opposed the building of a navy base on their shore, and have non-violently and heroically resisted its construction on a daily basis for going on 9 years, sustaining fines, imprisonment, and injuries at the hands of police, the base is now complete and soon will port US Navy warships. Perhaps this very same destroyer. Those people, who even today continue to resist, have had their village, their sacred places, and their once-beautiful environment destroyed by this base.
Yes, this Zumwalt is a Destroyer … of lives, opportunities, and peace. I do not believe the Prince of Peace would ever bless such a thing.
By Russell Wray
Note: Russell is the artist who painted the banner at the top of this letter