Older Letters to elected Officials and speculations on and about the subjects of war and recession, with links to today’s realities. Not much has changed, except for some of the faces of the players. Some issues are career opportunities for foot-dragging, do-nothing profiteers and cowardly politicians. It is plain that the People must lead.
Ltr to Ron Wyden, Senator, OR. – January 8, 2009
The ancient Arab-Israeli confrontation is not worthy of support on either side. Only some radical change of policy will break this savage inhumane cycle. The Senate‘s recent unequivocal support of Israel is disgraceful. Why do we support violence from anybody toward anybody? Why not give peace a chance? It has never been done, and we seem instead incapable of overcoming our religious, ethnic, and other generational prejudices. We support people who coach their children to kill their enemies’ children. This is madness. It is insupportable. The morass of the middle east does not reveal a champion for the United States to support, and Israel cannot claim the Holocaust as refuge or excuse for a holocaust of its own making that it refuses to stop. Hamas‘ despicable actions are not an excuse for Israelis to murder, and the dead children they describe as collateral damage are not an acceptable cost for their security.
Murder and violence are what they are, not the stuff of virtue, right, or decent national policy – Israel’s, Palestine‘s, or the United States’. I urge you to re-think this issue outside of its historic insanity – and the personal blindness of culture and peer pressure. Help devise an alternative approach to international murder and mayhem. Help, too, to take the United States off its century-long war status.
Yours in sorrow and regret. j
I am a veteran and senior citizen.
Ltr to Representative Earl Blumenauer, OR – July 26, 2005 10:32 AM
Subject: Please support House Joint Resolution 55, toward ending the Iraq occupation.
The war in Iraq has been a personal project for George Bush using American lives and treasure. I believe he is ruining the world’s finest military. For what? He fights like the boneheaded English general Kitchener at Gallipoli, who observing the troops running uphill against Turkish guns said, “Stout fellows these Englishmen, they always run for the thickest part of the fence.”
Added to which, Bush’s war toys don’t work? They do if they’re just designed to fill the pockets of his war-profiteering cronies; that’s what they accomplish.
I was glad to see that Rep. Jones is leading a bipartisan effort to press President Bush to create an exit strategy and timetable for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. Being an occupying force with no end in sight only fuels insurgency there.
I ask you to join the thirty other members of Congress already cosponsoring the resolution, and to support it by voting for it. Thank you for your consideration.
Personal historical view – February 14, 2007; 3-1-08 rev.
Colin Powell said, “Don’t get into war unless it’s absolutely necessary, and when we do, go to win, no half measures,” but it doesn’t apply very much in real life.
As a Vietnam veteran, I know Johnson‘s phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident fished us into war (I was drafted). He bought into the radical right’s communist containment scare. The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars wrote:
“In part, the process of deception has also been unintentional. Much of the rhetoric and many of the actions that have accompanied our… involvement have been ad hoc responses to situations of stress: a cumulative series of reflex moves and lunges produced by deepening executive anxiety, defensiveness, alarm, desperation, and even a sensed state of siege. Similarly in rhetoric, our ‘national honor,’ ‘[enemies] with nuclear weapons,’ and the goal of ‘peace with honor’ – all have misled the public. At the root of executive deception is a vast amount of executive self-deception – or, .to put it bluntly, stupidity.”
America blithely ignores offers of friendship and makes enemies as fast as we can throw the first sucker punch. This is not military sense; it’s a bad case of ideology and invention over reason and fact. But, Americans don’t run out when the fight’s tough – see: Khe San. We stood nearly twenty years (dating from Eisenhower putting the first American boots on the ground in the Fifties when the French got tossed out) while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam. Our prolonged stay, and side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the Bush leadership miasma.
We are now fighting a war for the health and life of the republic. Look at how the radical right Republicans and Tea Party and War Democrats have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor. The self-destructive insanity of the radical right way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.
These are politically motivated wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit. Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s current pursuit of it. End the war now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys.
We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!
COST OF DOING WAR WITH YOU: – 3/21/08
Ltr to Rep Blumenauer; Recession and the War
The recession will force states to cut back their budgets. Most likely, the cuts are going to affect the services that working families need to survive.
The Iraq war costs Americans more than $338 million a day. We borrow $343 million every day to finance it. Gas prices are close to double what they were before the war. Oil hovers around $100 barrel [sic].
That money could help people who are hurting. For less than we spend on the war, we could pay for affordable housing, healthcare, or education scholarships for hundreds of thousands.
Our skyrocketing debt is a growing drag on the economy, slowing recovery and robbing generations of a secure future. Iraq sucks up the resources we need to make our economy work again. MoveOn writes, “The tradeoffs are stark: bombs or unemployment insurance, billions for Halliburton and Blackwater, or help for people on the verge of losing their homes because of the sub prime meltdown?”
Economic forecasts will be grim as long as we continue to dump billions into a reckless war that has no end in sight. The excessive and increasing degradation of our domestic economy is an attack on the nation. Thank you for continuing to oppose this excessive, costly and ultimately criminal war.
A secret reformation helped to create the United States of America; it eradicated many of the weeds of prejudice; a spirit of freedom and moderation was diffused. The liberty of conscience was declared a common benefit, an inalienable right; the free government introduced the practice of toleration; and the narrow allowance of the laws was enlarged by the prudence and humanity of the times. In the exercise, the mind understood the limits of its powers, and the words and shadows that might amuse the child can no longer satisfy adult reason. – Paraphrase – Gibbon, p1937.
Maybe human civilization has progressed; it depends upon what you’re measuring. Human progress and perfectibility are two man-made ideals without much moral evidence to support them.
“One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.” – Travis at the Alamo quoting Thomas Osbert Mordaunt, Verses Written During the War, 1756-63.
“Sin sangre, y sin lagrimas, hay no es gloria.” – Santa Ana (“without blood, and without tears, there is no glory”).
“The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law. How far that or any other consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice is terrible to contemplate.” – Gibbon, p830.
Politician 1: “Why do politicians treat everyone else like idiots?” Politician 2: “Probably, because they voted for us in the first place.” — Poirot, “The Incredible Theft,” BBC, David Suchet.
Can America Prevail on Afghanistan/Pakistan Front? No! It’s Obama’s war now, and a Vietnam-like quagmire is dead ahead. by Helen Thomas, www.Minneapolis/St.PaulStarTribune http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/23-13