The writer, of Grand Island, is a retired United Methodist pastor and a longtime member of the board of directors of Nebraskans for Peace.
It seems to me that our beloved America has moved into a permanent status of “never-ending war.”
We are currently engaged in a number of wars that have not been approved by Congress. Few seem to question this ongoing status and its drain on our economy. It’s as if to question it is to be disloyal to those who serve or have served in the military.
Though I have never served in the military, I have several family members who have faithfully served.
To them I am grateful. I have no argument with the military itself. I question, however, the idea that our nation’s peace and security can be achieved by our military alone.
I also question the trillions of dollars unaccounted for, the trillions drained from our nation’s budget to wage a war on “terrorism.” It should be clear to us by now that terrorism cannot be ended with military power. So far, most of our military efforts have only led to increased terrorism.
According to Kimberly Amadeo, a U.S. economy expert, the United States spends more on defense than the next nine countries combined. Recently, I learned that though our military budget is in the trillions of dollars, this budget is not audited. It is unaccountable to Congress or any other agency.
Big industrial corporations line their pockets with fat profits while robbing our nation of critical funds needed to restore our infrastructure and provide desperately needed, critical human services.
Our military is often used to uphold corrupt dictators in foreign lands who support exploitive U.S. interests, interests that deny a decent living for local citizens in these lands.
Many end up fleeing to our shores in hopes of finding a better life. Tragically, our U.S. foreign policies often breed terrorism and create more refugees. Yet, we are told that these people are “illegal” and that our “national security” is at stake should we give them refuge.
We are told to get used to “permanent war” because there are lots of evil people “out there” wanting to take over America. “Be afraid … be very afraid” is the persistent “line” to which we are exposed. Fear keeps us from thinking clearly and exposing the lies to which we are subjected.
I believe that seeking the common good for all Earth’s population is the surest way to create lasting security. Getting used to “never-ending-war” is deadly advice. War always creates more problems than it solves.
I, for one, intend to continue holding our congressional delegates and our president accountable for where we spend the money in our U.S. Treasury.
This is a moral issue. Our military defense budget needs to be cut back in order to free up dollars for more effective causes. Lasting peace does not come through military force.