FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Vermont No-Fly Zone?

by THOMAS H. NAYLOR

For months the debate has raged in Vermont over the possible replacement by the Air Force of the Vermont Air National Guard’s aging fleet of F-16 fighter jets with state-of-the-art F-35 jets. Not only will the controversial new fighters cost $115 million a piece, but they will be significantly noisier than their predecessors.  For that reason the debate has been framed primarily as an environmental impact issue.  As many as 2,000 homes near the Burlington International Airport might have to be abandoned, if the screaming meemies are adopted.

But there is a much more fundamental question that seems to have garnered all too little attention from Vermonters.  Why does Vermont need any fighter jets, whether they be F-16s or F-35s, based at the Burlington International Airport?  From whom are they trying to protect us?  The Québécois, Yorkers, or the New Hampshire Free State?  Or does someone truly believe that either China or Russia might attack tiny, irrelevant Vermont?  What would they do with it?  Imagine the thrill of an outside invader capturing Vermont’s state capital Montpelier, which has a population of less than 10,000.  Vermont has no permanent military bases, few military contractors, no big cities, and no strategic resources other than an aging nuclear power plant.

I believe all military aircraft should be banned not only from the Burlington International Airport but from Vermont’s airspace. Vermont should become the country’s first military no fly zone, just like Libya was during the recent war.

Although Vermont has no anti-aircraft guns or missile launchers to shoot down intruders into its airspace, it does occupy the moral high ground.  It could become a role model for other states and small countries to follow.

Obviously the U.S. government will challenge the Vermont military aircraft ban, but the Vermont Attorney General should doggedly pursue the case until the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the ban.  Just as Vermont town meetings have in the past called for a ban on nuclear weapons, the end of the war in Iraq, and the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, so too could they call for a ban on military aircraft in Vermont’s airspace.

A Vermont no fly zone, or perhaps just a call for one, would send a clear signal to the White House, the Congress, and the rest of the nation that, “Enough is enough.  We are sick and tired of the condescending arrogance of the American Empire and its foreign policy based on full spectrum dominance, might makes right, and imperial overstretch.  We are utterly disgusted with President Obama’s drones, Navy Seals, death squads, and kill lists.”

Who knows, maybe Vermont’s moribund, complacent war mongering Congressional delegation, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch might get the message too?

Thomas H. Naylor is Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of AffluenzaDownsizing the U.S.A., and The Search for Meaning.

 

More articles by:
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail