In his Aug. 30 Opinion piece, columnist Douglas Rooks erroneously claimed, “the nation isn’t at war” (“Will we make our system work?,”).

In fact, the United States has been engaged in warfare in Afghanistan continuously for the past 17 years, the longest ongoing conflict in our nation’s history. Nearly, 200,000 active duty service men and women remain separated from their families overseas.

Critical funding for public education and infrastructure projects continues to be diverted to finance military actions. Young people now old enough to vote and enlist have never experienced life during peacetime. While many Americans are sheltered from brutal realities of the ongoing war, it is dangerous and irresponsible to misconstrue that experience with actual peace.

We must not allow ourselves to become so desensitized to ongoing war that we accept it as the norm. To put a spin on a phrase by George Orwell, war is not peace, freedom is not slavery, and ignorance is not strength.

Jonathan H. Strieff

South China

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