It’s Time for Peace-Based Policies

By Thomas Heaney

Reject the call for additional wars!

Photo: Google Images

The idea of being constantly at war seems to be permanently burned into the rightwing psyche. Our ugly recent history was enabled by George Bush & crew’s hawkish, fear mongering support. There was far too much personal profiteering from the horrors of war in Iraq.

The well documented accounts of contractors like Custer Battles and Blackwater Security are shameful disgraces to our national legacy. These schemes should have been stopped before they were hatched. The US military itself was also implicated in scandals like Abu Ghraib. These deliberate abuses of taxpayer dollars violate any vision the founders of the US would have had in mind for what this country and its elected government ought to be doing.

Despite well-known, documented cases of big buck abuses and the huge total cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, serious consideration of another war with Iran, possibly led by either the US or Israel, is now being discussed as if it could be a legitimate course of action. It is not.

Preemptive war against Iran should be decisively rejected as the immoral action it would be. We should take no more steps down the unsustainable path of resorting to war first. We need to get permanently out of the war first response mentality. Moreover, we ought not trust the same folks who got us into the last bogus war adventure. In addition to being immoral, we can’t afford it as we have pressing domestic infrastructure priorities to address.

As we are winding down the Iraqi War we should be ramping up efforts to find peaceful resolutions to the situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Continued war-time operations and use of drone weapons in these countries only undermine the credibility of the US as a promoter of peace in the world. The sooner we end these operations the better.

Thankfully, President Obama has abandoned the frequently heard bootstrapping, characterization of “War-Time President” that President Bush conferred upon himself. He should now make good on his promise to shrink the footprint of the US military. Our sense of national priorities needs to be realigned to fit the a peace-first agenda.

Domestic infrastructure has been woefully underfunded. The President should keep insisting that critical projects such as expansion of clean energy (especially wind and solar), highway maintenance, railway construction, and incentivized necessary industry modernization encouraging environmentally safe education become national priorities. Related to this, raising education standards including pushing for better access and outcomes at all levels needs to become a reality especially where funding of public schools has been an issue.

We should be pursuing a better, stronger workforce strategy by engaging labor unions. Republicans would do well to call off their domestic war on all things related to organized labor. All workers, public and private need to be able to afford to consume the goods and services they produce. It is strange that the elephant-symbolized party seems to have forgotten such a basic lesson from our own history.

We owe a legacy of peace and a modern infrastructure to leave the future generations in the best position to maximize their own hopes and dreams for peace and prosperity. Sadly there is seldom any mention of peace on the right. Prosperity is viewed through the vague notion of better jobs somehow achieved by ever lower tax rates. Neither of these claims have been substantiated by recent history.

The mini war on the President himself and virtually all he has tried to do legislatively should make it clear that peaceful populism is not in the repertoire of today’s Republican and Tea Party candidates or their ALEC minions. This obstructionist coalition should be voted out. We need peaceful populism now more than ever.

Editor’s addition: The Tea Party’s war on mass transit – Salon

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