Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Why War?

Wars have never been fought for ideals or ideas. Wars are not fought “to end all wars” or “to make the world safe for democracy.” They are fought over natural resources and for economic and political domination and they make a lot of people a lot of money.

Sadaam Hussein was not a good person. That is not why the US invaded Iraq. If the US government were concerned with “evil” it would not be supporting brutal regimes in Turkey or Indonesia. It would not have subverted the governments of Chile or Nicaragua to name a few. It would not have invaded Grenada. It would not have bombed Yugoslavia.

After September 11 the people of the United States had a chance to look closely at and reevaluate our government and it’s foreign and domestic policies. We had a chance to ask ourselves, “Do we want more money for weapons of mass destruction, more young men and women deployed across the world for war and armed “peacekeeping?” Do we re-prioritize in favor of national health care, more money for education, mass transit, more concern for the environmental destruction that is picking up more and more speed, more time to participate in this democracy?”

The majority of people have decided in favor of the latter, but this doesn’t make billions and billions of dollars for the people who make everything from the weapons to the body bags to the K-rations. When we speak about the military budget we should remember that the money taken from the public coffers, money earned by generations of working people, goes to the corporations who make the weapons that kill people and the planet itself. In spite of their patriotism they do not sell to the government at cost.

The Bush organizations “war on terrorism” has already stripped us of the few democratic rights we have. Oh we still have the right to buy several different models of gas guzzling, mega-polluting SUV’s. We still have the right to shop at the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club of our choice, but not the unionized Shop Rite or Laneco. We still have the right to send our children into the military gambling that they’ll survive long enough to use their GI benefits to further their educations. We still have the right to work until we drop so we can afford housing, healthcare and contaminated food.

What makes a terrorist? Hopelessness and desperation. What makes terrorists target America? Some people say it’s because they are jealous of our “freedom” and our lifestyle. Americans work longer and harder than their counterparts in other industrialized nations. We are more productive as well, but we receive less and less compensation for that achievement. Where does the money go? 40% of the wealth in America is owned by 1% of the people. Our lifestyles reflect this as more and more people work more than one job just to keep their heads above water, retirees are forced to go back to work and even families with 2 full time working parents earn incomes that are below the poverty line. In the meantime the tax dollars we work until May to pay are used to shore up anti-democratic leaders in El Salvador, Turkey, Columbia and Indonesia to name a few. They are used to develop and produce some of the most horrendous weapons of our time-cluster bombs and nuclear waste “bullets” that have brought horrible death and destruction to the people of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The priorities of the people who manufacture arms, who own oil companies and who already own most of the wealth created in America are not the same as mine. I do not support an invasion of Iraq or any other country.