Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The Human Factor
Look what we have done to the people of Iraq. How will we ever rectify a military invasion of a country that was and is absolutely no threat to the United States? There are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and grandchildren that were or will be injured or killed as a result of this invasion and occupation. There are the brave men and women in our military, who have or will come home in caskets. Many others will survive with physical and mental injuries that will deeply affect their quality of life. The numbers are hard to comprehend, so I put the statistics in human terms and I feel so very sad for these people. There is no justification for what our government has done.
Last summer I attended the regional conference of the Department of Peace Campaign. I talked with Congressman John Conyers from the 14th Michigan congressional district. I asked him if there was some classified information our representatives and senators were given that convinced so many to vote for the invasion of Iraq. He looked at me and said, "We all knew Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with September 11th." I had the need to hear the truth from someone in Congress. I thanked him for his honesty.
Since the massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on December 29, 1890, our government has ordered 132 military interventions in the United States and throughout the world. Since 1922, there have been twenty one instances of military action in the Middle East. (1) Is our world a better place? Do we feel safe?
Our country is always poised for war. We have a huge military industrial complex that creates thousands of jobs manufacturing and selling weaponry to our military and other countries. We have more nuclear bombs than all other countries combined. Is our world a better place? Do we feel safe?
The United States accounts for 47% of the world's total military spending. The United States spends five times more on the military than China, and eleven times more than Russia. Our government also out spends Iran and North Korea by a ratio of seventy-two to one. (2) Is our world a better place? Do we feel safe?
We need a change of consciousness; it is time to take a stand for waging peace. Martin Luther King explained it so well when he said, "True peace is not merely the absence of some negative force----tension, confusion, or war; it is the presence of some positive force---justice, good will and brotherhood." We have the resources and expertise to become a nation that works for the end of human suffering. It is up to us to create the political will to make it happen.
1. Ziauddin, Sardar. Why do People Hate America; New York, MJF Books; c2002; pp. 92-101.
2. Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; www.armscontrolcenter.org