I’ve met for years with Oklahoma friends to prevent another U.S. war in the Middle East, or anywhere. We opposed the U.S. war against Iraq for almost a year before it started – as millions did. We were not successful, and the protracted conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan seem in hindsight to have been misguided, unacceptably costly in blood, lives and dollars, and quite likely the basis for widespread anti-American sentiments, even the rise of violent terrorist organizations.
Years of hostile U.S. rhetoric aimed at Iran, from inside and outside the Trump administration, raise concerns that anti-Iranian talk and actions will lead to military action there, by intention or by mistake. Multi-billion-dollar U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia – those sales completed and more debated in Congress – seem consistent with intentions of people like U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and others that Saudi Arabia could be an ally of the U.S. in a conflict against Iran.
Millions of us in the U.S. oppose our administration’s racist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant statements, “tweets,” and campaign rhetoric.
This all strikes peace activists as sheer lunacy, considering the monumental needs of nature and the environment today for collaboration of nations to address real challenges too long ignored or denied.
It has been reported that half of animal life living on earth in 1970 is gone. Our growing human population’s appetite for living space and agriculture overwhelm considerations for animal life or habitat. The rate of extinction of species is the highest recorded since the huge asteroid 65 million years ago ended the age of dinosaurs. Today’s frequency of droughts, wildfires, torrential rains, floods, hurricanes, tornados and rising sea levels are alarm bells ringing constantly, but not heeded by our US Congress, apparently deaf to the warnings. Streets in Miami, Florida, flood at high tide almost daily in ways not remembered 50 years ago.
In short, the planet is at risk, or more correctly, human society is at risk as a result of our impact on the complex natural systems supporting life as we know it.
This seems a greater threat to civilization than Hitler and the Axis Powers in World War II. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, America’s industrial potential was awakened to produce ships, planes, tanks, bombs, artillery, rifles, helmets and boots. America was “all in” to defeat the enemy. At the peak of production, bombers rolled off U.S. assembly lines at the rate of one every hour.
An equal level of response is called for and justified to address the threat of global warming and climate change. Imagine if the nations of the world geared up to produce, not bombs and the machinery of war, but solar panels and wind generators to produce electricity; storage batteries for homes, schools, businesses and churches; electric cars, trucks, buses and high-speed trains to move people and goods with little environmental impact. Solving the environmental threats we face is not as complicated as sending people to the moon and bringing them home safely, done in 1969. All that is lacking is the political will to implement needed actions.
Millions of us in the U.S. oppose our administration’s racist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant statements, “tweets,” and campaign rhetoric. We are working to change U.S. policies that vilify nations and peoples considered enemies by people who profit from expenditures for war and jingoistic nationalism that presents a hateful and dangerous face to the world. We pray for peace, work for peace, and “wage peace” with our letters to newspapers and our members of Congress. May all humanity come to know – and soon – that we’re all family members on this little planet with the same hopes and dreams for our children, for Nature, and for the future of civilization on earth.
Cover photo: A boy pauses on his bike as he passes an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive