I’m breaking my summer silence once again to declare, for what it’s worth, my strong opposition– to the United States’ new bombing campaign in Iraq, the return of military hostilities between Hamas and Israel, and the ongoing war in Ukraine which is increasing the likelihood that Putin will order Russian troops to invade Ukraine, possibly drawing a military response from NATO and/or the U.S. The United States has a hand in all three military conflicts, one directly (Iraq) and the other two indirectly by failing to apply the proper diplomatic/economic pressure on Israel and the government of Ukraine.
I certainly support our humanitarian dropping of food and water to the many thousands of refugees trapped on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. But the U.S. bombing now occurring around Erbil, while being done in the name of protecting Americans there, is likely to inflame and bolster the ISIS militants in other parts of Iraq and Syria, and perhaps put the surrounded refugees in greater danger. Our bombing also draws us back into a war in Iraq, despite Pres. Obama’s pledge not to send ground troops. Airlifting Americans out of Erbil seems to me the better course of action.
For an astute, brief analysis of what our misguided Ukraine policy is on the verge of allowing to happen, see this piece in The Nation by Katrina vanden Heuval and Stephen F. Cohen.
And for thorough, honest, “on-the-ground” reporting beyond the mainstream on the fighting between Israel and Hamas, see the +972 online magazine.
If you’d like to send a quick email to President Obama urging him to reject further military strikes in Iraq,(and/or support a true cease-fire between Israel and Hamas), Code Pink has set up a helpful form.
Sometimes voicing opposition to war here in the United States feels like a futile and foolish endeavor. Many of us keep speaking for peaceable, nonviolent international interventions, while our government– a leading democracy headed by some intelligent, enlightened people in many respects– keeps reaching for its incredibly large, expensive store of weapons. Even our Democratic president, a man more intelligent and enlightened than most, cannot refrain from waging war. Or we keep supporting other nations in their violent responses to political conflicts.
But I cannot believe that speaking for peace, standing for peace, is ever a waste of words or time; war, it seems to me, is the method of those who have lost faith in human reason and human reconciliation. For war and its kin–torture, oppression, hatred–ends up killing, wounding. and enslaving people in the name of saving or liberating them. So I will keep at it, keep pleading for reason and faith and an alternative kind of courage, joining my small voice with others around the world writing, singing, speaking and grieving for a better way.