• 63°

Isn’t it time for us to give peace a chance?

It was once said that, “if mankind does not put an end to war, war will put an end to mankind.”

We’ve heard this, we’ve all shaken our heads in agreement when these words are echoed, but is this warning taken to heart?

Or is the idea that war is ever justified so deeply engraved into our minds that we believe in a just cause for killing?

The war in Iraq has, so far, killed more than 800,000 civilians and has seriously injured more than 1.5 million while only killing 30,000 enemy troops.

Those hurt most are those who did nothing wrong. So how is war justified when those who are the most punished are the ones who are innocent?

Am I saying that there’s never a cause for anger or acts such as the Holocaust should be viewed with indifference? No, but we must have a different outlook on causes and effects.

If we hadn’t imposed such horrid economic conditions upon Germany with the Treaty of Versailles perhaps Hitler would never have been able to garner such attention and persuade so many.

Maybe if we didn’t colonize the Middle East for hundreds of years and exploit their people for our benefit there wouldn’t be such indignation against us to motivate ordinary men to become terrorists.

When we wage a needless war against a tyrant, we also wage war against the victims of the tyrant. And when we impose grueling sanctions on Iran we are only starving their already deprived citizens.

But sadly those who are against war; those who protest for peace and bringing our troops home are labeled as traitors, unpatriotic or even that they are against our troops.

Although it would be very difficult with a family so rich in military history as mine for that accusation to stand, it does however strengthen my disdain for war.

The idea that it is fathers, brothers, sons and daughters who are being killed makes the idea of war even more atrocious.

I would only ask those who are so quick to pull the trigger on military might, what has war ever accomplished?

The more people we kill, the more terrorists we recruit. What do we hope to accomplish in Afghanistan or Iraq?

We remove people we dislike from power, put in our puppets, destroy bridges and pay to build them again until we grow to dislike our own puppet.

When will we as a people become tired of this vicious cycle of power, greed and murder? When will we learn to spread our democracy through peace and diplomatic means rather than through forceful occupancy that has proven to never work?

There is nothing left to accomplish in the desert of empires but more loss and more resentment, and it is time to realize that war is nothing but a barbaric remnant of human history and must be put to an end.

I encourage all who are reading this and feel a need to do something to help change things for the better to e-mail or write your congressman or congresswoman, your senators, and even your president to bring these wars to a rapid and responsible end.

Tony Burge, Jr.

Ironton