During the 1960s, politician after politician said that if we do not stop the communists in South East Asia they would take over the continent. The Domino Theory would take place where, if not stopped, every country in that part of the world would fall to communism.
Fifty years ago President Kennedy sent large numbers of American troops into Viet Nam to help the South Vietnamese government fight Ho Chi Minh’s army of communists. We all know where that led the country; 58000 American men and women came home in body bags and thousands upon thousands came home wounded physically and mentally and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese slaughtered, their country devastated structurally and economically.
Since then, president after president has told the American people there is a need to go to war. In 2003 then President George W. Bush told us Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and if America did not preemptively strike Iraq, Saddam would be a threat to the US and American interests in the Middle East.
We now know how false those claims were and we also know where that has led the country. Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, America has suffered physically and emotionally from the seemingly never-ending visions of death and destruction coming from the Middle East. Thousands of Americans dead, or so wounded their lives will never be the same and countless numbers of Iraq and Afghani citizens killed or maimed and their countries devastated by the protracted military conflict.
Now today, President Obama wants to attack Syria’s leader for the use of chemical weapons against his own people, which killed an estimated 1400 civilians in a Damascus neighborhood held by insurgents who are fighting the Bashar al-Assad led government in a now two-year civil war. The president and Secretary of State John Kerry have been telling the world we must bomb Syria to show Assad that the use of WMDs such as chemical weapons will not be tolerated and America must do something.
Wars and attacks come with a price tag. Meanwhile the city of Philadelphia is so strapped for money for schools one principal has asked the parents of each child for over $600.00 because the school cannot purchase needed materials. Teachers are now facing a 13% pay cut and the city had to borrow money to pay support staff.
American roads are crumbling, bridges are rusting away, and families are struggling to put food on the table as more and more people fall into poverty. The economy is as sluggish as it was 5 years ago. Today, the American work force is at 1973 numbers. Yet the military industrial complex fights on, making money for a small number of people while over 190 million Americans fight to make ends meet.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost over $1 trillion dollars and each day the amount gets larger and larger. In the American intervention in Libya, the USA fired 191 cruise missiles at $1.4 million dollars each. Experts have said the probable course of action against Syria will be some place around 60-70 cruise missiles fired on targets from off shore naval vessels which have been massing in the area.
America cannot sustain a constant state of war. I am against any military action against Syria, just I was against every military action since 1963. It is time America stops being the policeman of the world and become great again at home.
As more and more Americans struggle to survive, the ‘American Dream’ has become just that: a dream. They wake up wondering how they will pay their electric bill or how will they make the lives of their children better. The American dream is slipping away from the reality of many who call America home as men in uniforms and $1000 suits decide if bombing another country is in America’s best interest.
I wonder how many schools we could build or how many roads could be repaired for the cost of all the wars in my life time. John Lennon sang many years ago:
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace