Saddam, Vietnam and regional planning
This space routinely points out some of the absurd profundities of the conservatively challenged.
One such group is the cut-and-run-from-Iraq crowd. It seems to me that removing despotic dictators (Saddam Hussein) is the preferred means by which to deal with these lowlives—as opposed to this country’s previous warped foreign policy of propping them up when it served our purposes. But no. That isn’t good enough for the new flower-power crowd because, as they keep telling us, war is bad, we don’t belong in Iraq, and, of course, George W. Bush is Satan. In any event, they channeled all the anti-war freaks still on an acid trip from the 1960s, and suddenly it’s Vietnam and 1975 all over again.
But just for giggles, let’s consider what happened after the anti-war crowd got their wish when we cut and ran the first time and let Saigon and all of South Vietnam fall.
An estimated 1 million people were imprisoned in re-education camps, where they were subjected to abuse and torture. According to the U.S. Department of State, most internments were from 3-10 years—some as long as 17 years. Some 165,000 people would eventually get out the hard way. They died. (See Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, www.dartcenter.org.)
That was courtesy of the give-peace-a-chance crowd. This is what happens when otherwise well-intentioned malcontents get their pantyhose in a bunch and protest anything without fully considering the potential consequences of what they seek.
I get that same liberal spin from the people who constantly carp about the growth in the Truckee Meadows. It’s typically couched as “quality of life” issues.
Newsflash: The state of Nevada is one big open space. Yes, yes, I’m all for parks and the like. However, consider that it takes money to maintain them. And you aren’t going to bring tax revenue from developers by making it harder for them to develop. Oh yes, and when you do, that drives up the cost of homes. Exactly how does that help those of more moderate means to reach that American dream of home ownership? (Answer: I suppose it doesn’t, unless you’re a socialist who’s trying to put a whole class of people on some government program—or a liberal protesting “growth.")
“Growth” is not necessarily a bad thing. Development brings jobs. And not just construction jobs. And not just locally. There is literally a truckload of products that go into every new home—the result of and necessity for many people’s livelihood.
The chief advocate of anti-growth here is PLAN (Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, www.planevada.org). Their site contains an RG-J op-ed article wherein they claim, “If you want an idea of what Reno-Sparks will look like if these [growth] proposals go through, check out Phoenix, which is running out of water while proceeding with annexation plans some 65 miles from center city. Better still, if you like urban sprawl and the misuse of natural resources move to Phoenix! Or move to Las Vegas, where our bigger sister city is engaged in an uncontrolled boom that is bound to go bust when the market for gated communities and theme-park casinos runs its course.”
I’ve lived in Phoenix and evaluated my own potential development projects in Las Vegas. They differ from the Truckee Meadows in one important aspect. They require xeriscaping—that is the use of native or other vegetation that doesn’t require additional watering to survive.
Unlike say, here. Perhaps the anti-growth types should advocate for a better use of resources rather than just condemning “growth.”