After a drone strike in Iraq to assassinate a top Iranian general, President Trump is on the verge of starting war with Iran.
In addition to the violence and deaths that will directly result, war spending steals resources from the people. Every dollar spent on bombs could have been a dollar spent on making sure every person in our country has comprehensive healthcare, as most other countries of the world already do. Every dollar spent on tanks and aircraft is a dollar that could have gone to rebuild our schools, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, or protect our drinking water and the environment. The US military is one of the largest contributors to climate change in the world, and war will only intensify the environmental destruction. War isn’t good for anyone except the military-industrial complex that profits from war – suspicious that current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper previously worked for Raytheon, a huge military contractor that stands to profit from war spending.
Many politicians are debating the Constitutionality of Trump’s action, but not enough are talking about the morality of what he’s done. Starting wars is not moral, regardless if he properly informed Congress or not. Both Republicans and Democrats are not as opposed to war as they claim to be, as both overwhelmingly voted in favor of increased war spending, now up to over $700 billion a year. Recent documents have already shown US officials lied to get the country involved in Afghanistan and Iraq and keep us there, we shouldn’t believe the calls for war with Iran are anything more than lies either.
I am contacting the offices of our district’s Congressmembers – Representative Conor Lamb, and Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey – to demand they take immediate action to halt war. The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which gives the President power to unilaterally launch attacks and war, should be repealed, but we need more than just that. We need to withdraw all troops from the Middle East, rollback the military budget, and close overseas bases. We need to end the sanctions against Iran, which hurt everyday people and not even the leaders that are supposedly targeted by such sanctions, and work for diplomatic solutions forward.
In the meantime, we can and must directly oppose war with action at home here in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf and the state legislature must immediately withdraw all Pennsylvania National Guard members from the Middle East, as well as oppose any further deployment in the president’s wars. It is not immediately clear to me how many Pennsylvania National Guard members are currently deployed overseas, but at least 30 more were deployed to the Middle East only a few weeks ago – every single one of them should come home immediately. If I was already serving as state representative, I would be introducing such legislation to withdraw the National Guard right now, as has already been done in other states like New Jersey.
We must do everything we can to pull back from brink and stop war. We cannot bomb our way to peace. Peace Through Non-Violence is one of the 4 Pillars of the Green Party, we Greens will continue to speak out and take action for peace. Instead of bombing the Middle East, let’s rebuild our public water systems and our schools at home. Let’s spend our resources on a Green New Deal and saving life and the planet, instead of war, death, and destruction.