Hopefully, no one is under the impression that pacifists believe we shouldn’t be in the business of supporting our nation's veterans.
“The cost of war is expensive and that the cost of war does not end when the last shots are fired and the last missiles are launched. The cost of war continues until the last veteran receives the care and benefits that he or she has earned on the battlefield.”
“If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, then don’t go to war.”
The reason I often speak out against the promotion of policies that perpetuate war and the myths of war is for the very simple reason that I feel the best way to help our veterans is by putting an end to all wars of choice and, in time, wars altogether.
It's out of a sense of deep patriotism and love of country (but not blind nationalism) that I seek a resolution to the senseless bloodletting that has permeated our current culture since its inception and that has increased dramatically since the end of World War II in our quest primarily to acquire cheap oil with which to keep our armies, cities and economy running smoothly.
Ultimately, we don't help our country or our children by closing our eyes to the destructive, lethal effects that war has on all of us, not just the victims. The best way to help ourselves is to open our eyes and endeavor to end our addiction and reliance on war as a means of getting what we want, recognizing that burying our heads in the sand and using self-deception to avoid dealing with the truth is, in the final analysis, harmful to us all and a death knell for the human species.
We must face reality head-on, as our reliance on oil is destroying the planet's ecosystems which we need for our very survival, and without a habitat, life on Earth isn't sustainable.
"The first condition to modify the reality is to meet it.”
This is why I solemnly urge the powers that be to begin to look at war in a whole new light. We must begin the process of looking at warfare as if it were not a given that we are obligated to wage it in perpetuity, but as a temporary evil, a failed diplomacy, that can and must be wiped off the face of the Earth as soon as possible if we wish to realistically entertain any hopes of survival as a species.
Let us begin to see and talk about wars in a new way, by broadening the scope of our conversations, to see war in its larger context, as a temporary, nonsolution to the problems of humankind that must be stamped out once and for all. The conversation must take on a larger scale and scope to cover the futility of its use as an effective method of coercion that will sustain our needs as a society over the long haul.
Otherwise, we will continue to wrap much of our self-identities, our self-worth and our emotions in a need to carry on the legacy of violence and destruction until such time as we commit collective suicide. Take heart, once the soul-searching has ended we do find light at the end of the tunnel, with the keen understanding that we can still believe in ourselves and our country without believing in the necessity of war as a tool of domestic policy and foreign diplomacy. An understanding that we will never find lasting peace through war is key to our survival.
“Peace cannot be kept through force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
We must begin to speak of war as a form of coercion with an end in sight and that lasting peace is not merely just the dream of a handful of bleeding hearts who are incapable of dealing with reality, but rather the only safe path we have before us if we earnestly wish to secure the future of our sons and daughters and generations to come. The concept of lasting peace is no longer just wishful thinking, it’s a flat-out necessity, and there is always more than one way to skin a cat.
If those in power fail to properly support those who put their lives on the line to achieve their aims, and the aims of their masters on Wall Street, then we owe it to ourselves to recognize the fact that, after all, we do have the option of pulling the plug on wars altogether or face the imminent prospect of our society eventually self-destructing as all empires do once they acquire an insatiable need for territorial expansion and control.
The annals of human history are replete with such examples of expansion and collapse, from the Roman Empire, to the Greeks, to the Nazi Reich, and so on. Without fail, this has always been the fate of dying empires and, unless we do something to avert catastrophe, this, too, will be ours.
“The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.”
“We should not be paying a whole lot of attention to those who got us into Iraq in the first place. Those who pushed us into war in 2003 and told us that there was no history of ethnic conflict in Iraq, that the occupation would be easy and that it would be paid for with proceeds from Iraqi oil were wrong then and they are wrong today.”
--Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
The next two images are outdated as annual U.S. military expenditures easily exceed more than one trillion dollars after all lying and subterfuge are accounted for.
Here's what one trillion dollars of well-spent money could do for the American people in the near-term.
There is no shortage of viable solutions to our problems, despite what we've been told. The problem is disseminating the truth to the American public and getting them to act on that truth once they recognize things for what they are. For starters, get involved, join movements, organize, start a political revolution and lend Bernie Sanders a much-needed hand as he needs your support just as much as you need his.
"Don't hate the media; become the media."