Letter to the Editor of The Reformer: April 3, 2016
War is dangerously stupid. In this era of climate change, it is an overwhelming threat to the survival of humanity. War is incompatible with any long-term solutions to the effects of climate change. Humanity either wins by people and nations helping one another globally or loses by people violently turning toward nationalism and fighting over scarce resources. Civilian war fatalities always far outnumber combatant fatalities: witness especially Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Dresden, Iraq, Syria. In light of the indiscriminate destructive power of today’s nuclear and conventional weapons and the danger of accidental or intentional unleashing of nuclear weapons, the “Just War Theory” used by many churches to validate warmaking – has been discredited for decades by theologians. Yet, our nation is now engaged in war in several countries with no end in sight. The Obama administration has committed to renewing the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile at a cost of $1 trillion over the next 30 years, a clear violation of the United Nations Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which requires that nuclear-armed nations set a date for complete nuclear disarmament. We cannot use the brutality of ISIS as a valid reason for continuing our warmaking. ISIS is the creation of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and depends upon our war against it to survive.
Where does the primary responsibility to end warmaking lie? Certainly, it begins with the United States: 1. The only nation to detonate nuclear weapons on civilian populations. 2. The nation with the world’s largest military that consumes nearly half of the world’s total military budget. 3. A nation that depends upon half of the federal income tax to do so. Let us learn from our spiritual leaders – Jesus, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others – that “evil cannot drive out evil”.
Our nations’ warmaking would not be possible without the cooperation of its’ citizens. It needs soldiers to do the killing and federal taxpayers to pay for the killing. On Tax Day, Monday, April 18, from 10am-2pm in front of the Brattleboro Food Coop, learn how to not pay for war by stopping by the literature table of the Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters.
For Pioneer Valley War Tax Resisters,