letter, Daily Local News, 7/13/10:
The sentiment behind your editorial, “Keep the politics out of this war and honor our heroes” (July 9) is understandable — but naive. Wars are political in nature — nothing more, nothing less — and you can’t take the very essence of war (politics) out of war by just wishing it weren’t so.
Middle-aged and older (predominantly male) politicians who are not threatened with loss of their own lives in wars are the ones making the decisions to wage wars.
Wars are waged for political reasons. For example, in this country, our politicians are failing every day to face this country’s energy issues and therefore keep waging wars for oil.
As another example, the two major political parties are engaged in a deadly game of one-upsmanship to show the voters who’s more “manly” by waging war. Doves need not apply for politicians’ jobs because our voters want the “manly,” warmongering guys to run this country. It’s all about politics — how to win office and how to keep it.
So, while your editorial is understandable, its wishful thinking does not coincide with reality. We have lost over 5,000 American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan (that number climbing incessantly), plus hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in those wars. Yet the country keeps yelling blindly and numbly “rah-rah!” and “support the troops!” while sending them off to die.
And only those politicians who yell with them, like automatons, can keep their jobs. It’s all political.
As the song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” asks, “When will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?”
In the meantime, the flowers keep fading and dying.
Director of the Chester County Peace Movement