A MODEST PROPOSAL
By Xeno Campanoli
** Why not sponsor Brother Military Bases of troops from other countries right here at home? **
United for Peace of Pierce County
March 8, 2008
TACOMA, Washington -- It occurs to me that the main thing we really lack in this great society we live in is a certain balance in the macho/military aspects of the way we do things. So, I realized that just as the Sister City Organizations promote peace by having relationships with other cities around the world, thus bringing sympathy and understanding for the kinds of lives and thoughts others have in their circumstances, so, in a kind of Golden Rule way, we here in Tacoma, and by extension throughout the rest of the country, could sponsor Brother Military Bases of troops from other countries we are now occupying here in our own midst, in our own neighborhoods, perhaps quartered in our own homes, just like those we bring to those places around the world which provide resources for our troops of the "more than 737 military bases spread around the world" that we sponsor for them (Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [Metropolitan Books, 2006], p. 5).
I can see it now. We can take Tacoma's Wright Park, for instance, and create right there a military base for Iraqi soldiers where they could perhaps supplement our own police departments, and generally help keep the peace. Since they may not be as well armed as our troops, and given the present need for jobs and our standing in the world as the great arms manufacturer and dealer, it will help our economy to bring arms to these armies we are sponsoring. Perhaps we can invite the Japanese Navy to take up a permanent military base in Thea Foss Waterway, and we can certainly set aside a major part of McChord AFB, perhaps all of it, for members of the German and Italian Air Forces.
Perhaps next we could make little enclaves for others who haven't yet had the good fortune to experience a full-fledged U.S. military base on their soil. For instance, we could take Tacoma's University of Puget Sound and swap that out for a counterterrorist training school for soldiers from Somalia, the Congo, Nigeria, and other places where we may not have had actual bases, but where our troop presence and military and financial policies have made a serious impression. Wouldn't it feel good to let troops from those countries come and live with us and share in the prosperity and modern weaponry which our country is so prolific in generating, and do it right here in our own home town!
Yes, I think this kind of thing might be very popular -- and more than that, I'm sure that practically every other country in the world would feel the people of the United States are finally moving more towards the kind of balance and perspective that we have long deserved to achieve.
So, I hope many of you will join with me in this great new idea. Call your congressional representatives soon suggesting they back Xeno's Brother Military Base program. We can certainly finance it with taxes on the military arms industry, who will gain great advantages from this kind of policy.
--Xeno Campanoli lives in Tacoma, Washington, and is a member of United for Peace of Pierce County.