Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bushies refuse to learn from the past

Excerpts of letters to the editor I wrote in the Biloxi, MS paper The Sun Herald’

I applaud the Anglican Bishops from Central America on their statements concerning U.S. involvement in their region.

We commit, allow and turn our backs away from many atrocities because we want to better our position in the third world. Our government puts the best spin on these episodes whenever they see the light of day and claim it’s all in an effort to fight communism. But are we truly any better when we endorse the same human rights abuses as our foes? Does it matter what side of the fence the bullet came from when you lie dying?

Personally, I suspect the fight against communism is more often a fight for economic influence disguised as a fight for freedom. When we support a country whose government mutilates human rights we hand an ideological victory and propaganda tools for the insurrectionists to use against us. Where they suppress speech we should encourage it. Where they use violence we should react with kindness, food and medical care.

We should never provide military assistance or have close diplomatic ties with any country that violates the civil liberties of its citizens.
We have economic ties with China and listening posts into Russia. These benefits evidently carry more weight than the blood spilled by democratic students. Policies such as this soil the Stars and Stripes far more than any match.
11 Feb 90

We have absolutely no business putting troops on Saudi soil in support of oil interests and countries with no respect for human rights. We are not there in support of human rights. We are not there in support of freedom because freedom doesn’t exist there and never has.

Our men and women will be spilling their blood in the sand because we have no energy policy. The Reagan administration abandoned all of President Carter’s energy programs and our dependence on foreign oil has increased ever since. The oil companies have fought every incentive for decreasing our dependence on foreign oil and now they want our troops to protect their interests and our gluttonous appetite for black gold. This soon-to-be war is about money, greed, power of the elite and foreign oil consumption.
26 Aug 90

Too often it seems many people of this country view world relations as a football game, us against them, with absolutely no consideration of how we arrived in our present situation and to whether our conduct was and is ethical or in the best interests of all parties involved. If you raise any questions or concerns about how your team plays the game, you are branded as ‘unloyal’. The other team is dehumanized to ease our feelings as we ‘tromp’ them.

International policy is not a game. Real lives are at stake. We must truthfully analyze our involvement, past, present and future. It is our duty as Americans to express our concerns to our elected officials regarding how we feel about U.S. support for tyrants.
20 Dec 90

It is immoral to keep a people held hostage under a dictator by providing him the weapons and money he needs to stay in power, then turn around and wage war against these same people because the tyrant becomes unacceptable. This same situation in Panama left hundreds if not thousands of civilians dead. We face the same situation in Iraq. This makes the war immoral and any targeting of noncombatants is sinful.

For these reasons I will not and cannot support this war. If backing our troops means I believe this war is right then I don’t back them. If supporting our troops means I pray for peace, for their safe return, for few casualties in the event of war and for the families at home, then I do support them.
18 Jan 91

This wasn’t a moral or just war. Our past involvement in the region has us holding much of the blame for the conditions which led to this fiasco. The people of Iraq, who have been held hostage by Saddam Hussein for many years, were victimized by him……and now they have been victimized by the United States.

Possessing the ability to carry out a decisive military victory does not justify our actions; rather the results of this war vividly illustrate the moral bankruptcy of war. Our victory was incomplete with the only positive outcome the liberation of Kuwait from a tyrant and the restoration of its’ original corrupt government.

Sanctions would have accomplished this goal, but instead our lack of national patience spread devastation across the region. The people of Iraq have suffered extensive physical damage and loss of life into the tens of thousands. Devastated, bankrupt nations are unable to make war reparations. Peace could have been reached before the fighting started if the president hadn’t insisted on reparations to Kuwait which are unlikely now and would be immoral and unjust if forced. A civil war encouraged by President Bush has led to the slaughter of thousands with no help or aid from the United States when it was desperately needed.

The president’s recent decision to aid and protect the Kurds is too little, too late, but welcomed just the same. We are responsible for this disaster. We are losing the peace and if we hope to turn it around we cannot walk away from the situation we put in place.
10 May 91

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