By Scott Steward
As of yesterday’s UN, report there are over 5,000 dead in Gaza, 14,000 injured,1,000 missing. Instead of a ceasefire, more bombs. The tragedy is leading to a multi-regional war.
The US has the power to stop this, but if you don’t speak up for peace, you will find we are primed for war. Look at how we declared a war on Iraq under false pretense. We entered Afghanistan after the Russians spent two decades failing to quell anti-west fundamentalism, that before we even started our twenty-year war there also ending in retreat (better that than continue).
What amount of good work could have been done with $21Trillion dollars over those 20 years? (the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars). How much more understanding and common ground could have been gained with people wearing or not wearing hijabs. What amount of good work could we do for Palestinians and Israelites with the hundreds of billions and tens of thousands of lives we are about to lose on a war there?
For some in the US, the Israeli Palestinian conflict is the way into a war with Iran. US troops are all about the conflict zone and surely some will be killed. Self-defense could then be cited as the rational for our further involvement. Correctly or not, Iran will be identified as the source of hostility and loss of life. The Arabophobic hegemony will have its war with Iran. That plan is obvious and stupidly tragic. The lives of Palestinians and Israelis would be an afterthought. Israelis, Palestinians, Iranians, Americans - everyone needs to condemn this plan.
The Palestinian crises is the longest US military engagement in our history. In this most recent predictable escalation, in Palestine and Israel, we see the result of militant culture producing impossibly entrenched feelings of retribution on both sides. Decade after decade. In the face of that hurt and fear, I feel compelled, required, to use my freedom of movement, my freedom of speech, my security of shelter and food to speak to my leaders and say - do not let this continue!
A call to stop this waste is necessary and can make stepping back at any moment possible. We can always step back. We just did it in Afghanistan. Are things better there, no, but a military solution was never going to work. So why would we every think it would work now?
We need to stop giving up on the hard work and instead go to war. War is the easy way out for those of us not in uniform. Are we that lazy or uninspired?
If we can avoid a multi-regional war, we might be able to get back to the conversation of insisting on peace between Israel and Palestine. For 70 years the US has always held almost all the cards of influence, in this conflict. We have not dealt well because we have not consistently insisted on peace and by avoiding the harder choice for compromise and peace, the world could be at war again.
Stand up to the war status quo. War needs to be the exception not the rule. Write, call or show up at the office. Mike Thompson is in Woodland today. Congress should INSIST ON A CEASEFIRE to accompany Aid to Israel. That’s the first step.