President Barack Obama has announced that he’s putting “boots on the ground” in Syria. That expression seems to gloss over the human cost of war. Our war policies continue without consideration of the debts incurred nor for the pain and trauma suffered.

Who are our allies there? Why are we allied with them?

Start with the Saudis. Any contention that we’re involved in wars in that region because we care about “democracy” is belied by our alliance with the Saudis. This is a repressive anti-democratic government.

The Saudis have given financial support to al-Qaida and to ISIS. The men who attacked the United States on 9/11 were mostly Saudis. They were neither Afghans nor Iraqis.

Our government has just made a huge arms sale to the Saudis, who are using those weapons and U.S. intelligence to bomb Yemen. I don’t understand why we or they want to bomb Yemen.

Then there’s our unwavering support of Israel. I can understand our support for the existence of Israel. I cannot understand why we support the Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. I see no benefit in supporting the constant theft of Palestinian land and homes by West Bank settlers. I can’t understand our support for the recent destruction Gaza and the wasting of so many lives.

It’s time to quit our blind support of Israeli policies, which threaten Israel’s own safety as well as that of all the surrounding peoples.

Politicians keep talking about the national debt. It’s not Medicare, welfare, or Obamacare that is running up the debt. We could pay for all of that and fix our infrastructure, fund our schools, public transportation and switch to renewable energy — if we stopped conducting these unfunded and endless wars. We risk the start of World War III. Why?

Abby Shahn


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