by Andrew Stephens-Rennie
As I was looking through my feed reader, I noticed an interesting post by Fr. John Dear, on Gareth Higgins‘ blog from earlier in December, discussing Obama and Afghanistan. If I had noticed it earlier, I would have posted it alongside Brian’s reflection, “Swords or Peace?.” I didn’t post it then, but here it is:
It doesn’t seem to matter that most Americans want the war to stop, that most Afghanis want us out. It doesn’t even matter that only a hundred Al Qaeda members remain in Afghanistan. The rest have taken refuge in Pakistan. Our new war president says the war must continue.
“You would think that we don’t have enough to do here at home,” Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich said this week.
You would think that we don’t have 47 million Americans who go to bed hungry, 47 million Americans who don’t have any health care, 15 million Americans who are out of work, another 10 million Americans whose homes are threatened with foreclosure, people going bankrupt, and business failures. All these things are happening in our country and we’re acting like a latter-day version of the Roman Empire, reaching for empire while inside we rot. We have to challenge this because our future as a nation is at stake. If we continue to militarize, we lose our civil liberties, we lose our capacity to meet our needs here at home.
We have money for Wall Street and money for war, but we don’t have money for work. We have money for Wall Street and money for war, but we don’t have money for health care. We have to start asking ourselves, why is it that war is a priority, but the basic needs of the people of this country are not? And how are we getting the money to pay for the war? We’re borrowing it. We’re going deeper into debt. We’re mortgaging our future. We’re creating conditions where we will become less democratic because we can’t meet the most essential needs of our people. This needs to be challenged. And it needs to be challenged in a forthright way. The issue is the war; the issue is America’s reach for empire. The issue is our inability to meet the needs of people here at home.
Obama and his generals are dead wrong — this I insist with so many others. The war is illegal, immoral, impractical and plain foolish. It will further divide us. It will lead us into debt beyond our means. It will sow the seeds of terrorist attacks to come.
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