Letter: Alternatives to Militarism

To the Editor:

Our country is again considering a military attack, and against a country that has not attacked us. I cannot imagine that there is a citizen in the United States that is not appalled at the use of chemical weapons against the citizens of Syria, so I can surely understand that differing people of good will and intention might not agree about this issue. However, I see no reason for us to take this step unless we are sure that the result will be to stop the use of such weapons and will be to the benefit of the civilians of Syria. I do not believe either of those goals would be achieved by a U.S. military strike. To the contrary, I believe this will only inflame the situation.

Why will we not even acknowledge that a coup has taken place in Egypt where thousands have been killed? Are we acting from less than noble ground, since we used white phosphorus and napalm in Iraq? Is it not true that factions of the Syrian rebels have also used chemical weapons? And I am devastated at the thought of the civilian casualties that will result from our action.

Martin Luther King is quoted as saying, “The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit.” It is a source of great sadness to me that our country’s military budget surpasses that of the next 14 countries combined. My hope is that our government may come to realize that we no longer control the militarism so rampant in our culture, but that it has become the tail that is wagging the dog; it is my hope that we will move in the direction of again being a voice of moral courage and an example to the world. A good start would be putting a lot of the money now designated for war toward humanitarian relief and economic development in poverty-stricken countries.

Betty Edson



Letter: Imagining an Alternative Scenario

Friday, September 6, 2013

To the Editor: The Sept. 5 letter from my good friend Betty Edson calling for alternatives to militarism sent my imagination off on a “what-if” scenario involving the largely disappointing and ineffective United Nations. What if that organization represented (as I think it was intended) the moral force and conscience of the world’s nations and had, in the immediate aftermath …