Getting out of the war trap

On the social media pages of fellow liberals of various stripes, there have naturally been a lot of discussions about the upcoming presidential election.

Some say we need to vote for the “blue” mainstream candidate, because otherwise we will be wasting our vote and the “red” will win.

Others are fed up with the two mainstream parties and insist that we have just got to choose different even if it means taking a risk.

I have tended to side in the latter camp more and more, although I certainly understand why people want to play it safe. And in fact, in the past two elections, I have “voted blue” just to be “safe.” (In years-past elections where I voted for an alternative third candidate, we liberals ended up getting the presidents we really didn’t want.)

And really, Biden is not a bad candidate; he means well and he has accomplished some good things.

But, we need to really push to dismantle the persistent belief that war is necessary or helpful in any way.

What I see as the task of grassroots citizens is to keep pushing all of our political leaders to stop seeing war as an option. Dropping bombs on “enemies” only enriches the pockets of the defense contractors, who often supply both sides.

Even the apparent “victors” of war, their lands and societies are left in ruins. It’s a dead-end path.

I have often felt that USA society suffers from collective PTSD as a result of waging war.

The question inevitably comes up, what are we supposed to do when another country invades one of our ally countries. For example, what were we supposed to do when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Well, we can’t invent a time machine, but it would be great if we could go back to when Russia threatened to invade Ukraine if NATO expanded. We could’ve listened, and not admitted any more new members.

And, we needed to tune in to Russia’s motive, which is/was likely fear-based. (Same with Israel, in regard to Palestine.)

Since we didn’t do it back then, we have to start now. We could start by stopping the flow of weaponry. Stop feeding the war. Knowing that it doesn’t work.

If we decide that war isn’t an option, people have to stay at the table and talk. Even if they can’t talk directly to each other, they need to get intermediaries. And also to get alternative perspectives from other nations, various organizations.

One organization we should all follow and support is Veterans for Peace.

Recently I have become a life member of Veterans for Peace (I am a civilian but civilians can join too.) The group is a great source of strength and inspiration for advocating the stance that war is not an option. It won’t happen overnight, but it is a very worthy and necessary task. If we pull together, we can help our leaders muster the political will to stop making war an option.

Almost all of the politicians, even the so-called left-wing ones, are too entrenched in the military industrial complex. It’s not that they are bad people, it’s just that that’s how politics goes. I think the only way to get out of this war trap is very strong grassroots pressure. We can talk about how expensive war is; we can talk about how bad it is for the environment; we can talk about how it destroys the fabric of community.

We just have to keep harping on all of these unacceptable factors.

One of the best ways to be an eco activist is to push our politicians to make war not an option. I really love that Veterans for Peace focuses so strongly on the relationship between climate change and militarism.

Suggested action step: Become a member of Veterans for Peace.