The Peace Movement

A little over a week ago, I wrote a letter to the editor to my local newspaper in response to yet another right-wing clone carping about how Bill Clinton "gutted" the United States military.

Today, another neocon responded to my letter, saying, "the same sappy and anti-Bush canards made in recent letters to the editor, i.e., Bush is in favor of torturing prisoners and incarcerating innocent people, were made ad nauseam during the political campaign, and the American people had the good sense to reject them and re-elect President Bush."

The man who wrote such deriding comments about my letter also referred to Democrats as "liberal, pacifist, anti-military" ideologues.

Aside from the "ideologue" aspect of that, he couldn't be more right – I am a liberal. I am a pacifist. I am against the military-industrial complex.

What are the alternatives? To be a conservative, warmongering, overzealous capitalist? I'll take my chances holding onto a little idealism.

The wars that are fought on this beautiful planet are always about one thing – money. You can argue that wars are fought over human rights violations, to protect people in harm's way, and to overthrow tyrants, but you would be wrong.

When you boil down war to its essence, to the reasons why the powerful have chosen it, you will find the almighty dollar.

This is the difference between being a "liberal, pacifist, anti-military" activist, and being willing to shut your mouth because you believe everything the government and your ninth-grade history teacher have ever told you.

There is a peace movement alive and well in this country today because some of us have not allowed our consciences to be slowly sucked away by the barrage of right-wing politics, radio, and fake news we experience every single day. We have not allowed "patriotism" to mean "supporting everything my government decides to do."

This Saturday will mark the two-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

For two years, our men and women in uniform have suffered away from their families, and many have died, and for what? It pains me to say that they have died for nothing, and perhaps you could argue that they died to free the Iraqi people, but they were not sent to free anyone. They were not contracted to free people.

The men and women of the United States military serve to protect this country and its citizens. They were sent to Iraq, or so we and they believed at the time, to save the American people from attack with nuclear and biological weapons. They were sent there to keep us safe, and that is their job, but the joke was on them, and on us.

There were no weapons. There was no threat. They died for nothing, and we now owe them a great debt for that.

Our soldiers have been lost by the millions since the beginning of the 20th century. Civilians have died in war or as a direct cause of war by the millions since 1900.

Stop the madness.

Join the peace movement – we aren't wimps. We aren't washed-up, pathetic, whiny liberals looking for political points.

We just don't want to see one more mother lose her son to a roadside bomb.

We don't want to see one more child starve and die due to sanctions and cut-off food supplies as a result of war and violence.

We don't want another prisoner, innocent or otherwise, to be tortured by representatives of the United States, or any other country for that matter.

If that is something to be ashamed of, then there is little hope of salvation for the world and the country we so love.

I said we owe our fallen soldiers a debt, and that debt can only be repaid when we have abolished war. It can only be repaid when human need motivates us over corporate interest. It can only be repaid when we have guaranteed that no more lives will be lost in vain.

What are you waiting for?

Sign up for a vigil this weekend in your area.

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