Time to speak out against war with Iraq
Now that the Republicans have increased and improved their control over the nation’s federal government and all the many agencies it employs, it is more important than ever that private citizens, people like you and me, clarify their thinking, dust off their principles, and exert all the pressure they can over the things that transpire in Washington, D.C., especially in matters of life and death such as war. This letter is intended to be one small step in that direction.
As regards the president’s often repeated threats to wage an undeclared war against Iraq (unilaterally if necessary), it is of course possible that the president has only been bluffing. If so, that is a dangerous course to follow. It would be hard to guess how many people have been killed by such tactics. It is more likely that the president truly believes he is acting totally in the nation’s best interests in trying to bring about U.S. control over the large oil resources that are buried under Iraq. But even here it is reasonable to question the president’s motives. After all, he and many of the people he has put in positions of power are oil millionaires.
Further, this objective must also be questioned. It should be obvious to any reasonable person that at the rate we are now using up the world’s oil reserves it can’t be too many years before that well is going to go dry. Doesn’t it make more sense to start developing alternative energy sources while there is still some around? After all, the development of alternatives is going to be difficult and costly, and it would surely be less traumatic if we could work into it gradually. The president and his men don’t seem to be impressed by this prospect.
However, it seems to me there is an even more important consideration that we as a people need to consider: Is the use of violence and the threat of violence a reasonable and effective solution to the problems we face? We need to look honestly at the fact that the human species has never before been in the position it now finds itself, with weapons of mass destruction so powerful that the continued development and dispersion of them could very well bring about the demise of humanity. Apparently what is needed is world-wide growth in spiritual development . more faith in the power of good to overcome evil and an acceptance of the fact, supported by history, that the violence and destruction of modern warfare do not solve any of our problems but rather add to their continued growth and development. It is my belief that if the money and thought and planning we now put into the military were instead used to help some of the earth’s severe problems of poverty and environmental degradation, humanity’s brightest years could still be before us instead of being threatened by extinction.
A phrase that continually comes to mind is “the arrogance of power.” How else can one describe the mind-set of the president and his advisors. One has to ask, if atom bombs are a good way to preserve peace, wouldn’t it be a good idea for all the nations to have them? “Oh no,” you might say, “not people like Saddam Hussein. After all, we are a kind and generous people.” But may I remind you that the United States is the only nation that has ever dropped atom bombs on anybody, in the process killing about 200,000 people. Further, how would we as a nation respond if some foreign country should act as though it has the right to be in control of our natural resources?
Last Saturday all over the United States there were demonstrations by just ordinary people like you and me against the president’s drive to wage war on Iraq. Our government, Republicans and Democrats alike, need to start listening to the voice of the people. Isn’t that what democracy is all about, government of the people, by the people and for the people? Write or call your congressmen.
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Writer, builder, artist, English composition teacher, outdoors educator, caver, coal miner and Christian philosopher aren’t titles commonly associated with a single person, but are apt in remembering the life and times of Stan Badgett.