I am proud to have spoken out against Operation Enduring Freedom on Friday. It's about time people start speaking the truth. When one's government is committed to killing peasants in distant parts of the globe one should ask hard questions. Perhaps the type of questions one might face in the afterlife. What would Jesus do?
History from the standpoint of the dispossessed or the darker races, shows the blood and greed which built this empire. Let's clean up our own back yard first. Our government is a wholly owned subsidiary of global corporate masters whose religion is profit and control.
What goes around comes around and this country should be an example of selfless foresight adopting peaceful, sustainable values. It's our dream. At least we try. We have only our chains, forged of fear, to lose. It's the struggle, the journey itself rather than the destination, wherein lies the meaning of life.
Certainly whatever powers hear American prayers for victory must hear Afghani wailing as another village takes an airstrike. Twice we bombed the Red Cross. I don't see a moral differentiation between their violence and ours. We're not on the high ground this time. It's no "just war."
I believe that patriotism is a quality which questions and corrects its leaders. There is nothing inherently virtuous in waving or saluting a flag. A flag is like money, it's the values of the nation or bullion behind it that give it worth. A bankrupt nation -- one which favors the powerful -- deserves at least a critical examination. Blindly following the dictates of rulers sells citizenship short. Exercise your franchise fully.
I acknowledge that my sympathies differ from the officially endorsed militarism paraded before us in the media. It was an act of courage in a small town to do such a thing. This was new to me. I hold no illusion that my acts have a measurable impact on the course of events. I do find it empowering to follow my conscience.
If the world is a dangerous place it is largely because of the suffering of poverty. Awakened people must lead the way to just and lasting peace. The hired hands at the wheel of state sure won't. They're sold on war. Permanent war preparations are a basis of our economic model.
All we ask is for good citizens to stop and think. Get that corporate media out of your head and ponder how attacking Afghanistan (or Palestine or Columbia) will bring peace. An enforced "quietude" with everyone under the gun is not peace. And a world in which the gap between the rich and poor increases over time will surely not stand.
Over our history Americans have embraced denial. We drop our garbage at the curb and it is magically gone forever. Out of sight, out of mind. We dare not see things as they are. The people perish for lack of vision. From the ashes of war sprout the seeds of terror to haunt future generations.
(The writer is a resident of Brainerd.)
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