Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006 | I think one reason why the airport proposal was shot down in flames had something to do with transparency. The motives to develop the last huge parcel of real estate have less to do with the need for a new airport per se, than with the complete redrawing of the map of the city, enrichment of the developers at the expense of San Diego’s quality of life for years to come and the needs of the Marines at Miramar.

It seems clear to some that concerns whether this city can handle more air traffic will come at a huge cost to San Diegans, too. One of the more laughable elements of the scheme is moving I-15 to accommodate new runways. Moving I-15 would cause massive tie ups on that artery for years during reconstruction and the people who proposed it would likely face bitter resistance that would echo politically at many levels here. Another under appreciated concern has is Iraq. Perhaps it didn’t occur to the master strategists of San Diego, but this country is at war. Marines have much to do with wars and they need places to train to be able to win the wars they’re sent to. Miramar is a key component of that concept; one that the public obviously has more affinity for than the Airport Land Grab League.

This is unsurprising; We the People tend to take wars seriously since many of our friends and associates are fighting them and do not tend to look fondly on those who aren’t part of the show and who are more concerned with making another fortune at our – and our country’s – expense.

This split between the needs of the Marines, the war fighting capacity of the United States and the avarice of the developers and their shills was a bit too obvious, too transparent, and disgusting to many.

Those who sent this country to war may find that it bears certain costs not tabbed in ledgers clutched by accountants; some of those costs get paid in time, results and direction of the future. San Diego has paid these kinds of costs before, in 1915, 1935 and after WWII. We may pay them again in the form of keeping Lindbergh or not acquiring Miramar. That’s tough luck, but if that is all the current wars cost San Diego, we should consider ourselves supremely lucky.

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