Monday, August 29, 2011

Letter to the editor on the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Endless War

A friend and I edit a news aggregator/discussion site called EndlessWar at One of the site's participants, Mr. blobbohen commented that we need to do more than grumble about the NeedlessWars and do something. He wrote the letter that you see below.

Why don't you copy this letter onto Word, edit it to your liking, print and sign it, put it in a stamped envelope, write the address of your local paper's letters to the editor on the front of the envelope and send it in. How many letters can we get printed in one weekend?

Please let us know if you get this letter (with or without your edits) published and send us the link if you do.


Chris Ferrell

September 4th 2011

To the Editor

Memory fades. The September 11th attacks will be a decade old next week, but they continue to affect the fate of the United States to this very day. The wars of the United States continue to rage on in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they appear to have left the minds of most Americans. I rarely hear of anyone my age (or any age for that matter) speak of our presence in our Middle Eastern wars. This letter seeks to break the current attitude of indifference that now spans this country regarding its foreign occupations.

The United States government, pondering to stay in Iraq possibly beyond 2011 and in Afghanistan as long as 2024, appears poised to fulfill in an even greater capacity the role of a military industrial complex, a vast system grimly warned of by Eisenhower in his final address. It is at this point that certain questions beg to be asked: can our country afford this? Can we rationally put more money and soldiers' lives into two wars without any clear sign of an end? These are the kind of questions that matter when you are talking about something like the debt ceiling. These are the kind of questions you ask when you're talking about what kind of country you live in: one that cares about where it's money is going and what kind of danger that its soldiers face, or a country that is indifferent and disinterested about both subjects. Which one are we supposed to be?

I am not concerned about sounding depressing or unpatriotic because those are accusations that are to be leveled at the apathetic and politically oblivious. From what I understand of this country's history there was a time when, during the Vietnam War, there were body counts on the news every night. We were very aware of the death that was occurring where the gunfire was, with protests against being drafted and jail-time for those that refused to go when their number was up. But that is not the case now. We are at war, one of which is the longest war we have ever waged in our entire history, and absolutely no one is talking about it- outside of government officials, anyway. That is not an unfair generalization because it is true. Bleakly true.

Countries like Egypt and Tunisia have shown that they can liberate themselves. So I know where I stand on these issues of war: the combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan must end, now and in full. Ignoring our military is the best way to demoralize it- so I refrain from doing that. I support soldiers by demanding that they be brought home.

Our country is broke and bankrupt of innovation whether you blame Obama, Bush, or Congress as a whole. But it is not beyond redemption. Endless war need not exist if this country does not want it to.


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