For a little over two years, each Saturday at noon, a group of people
have gathered at Washington Park near the War Memorial to witness for peace.
This group is composed of members of the Fire Mountain Chapter of the
Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Rachel Corrie Chapter #109 of the Veterans
for Peace. Both organizations are
opposed to the use of war as a tool of international relations.
We believe that by questioning this policy of our government we are in
fact serving our nation. We believe
that it has been shown that the current administration lied and manipulated
intelligence data to convince us to support their desire to subjugate a
sovereign country that was no threat to America.
International law that developed during the Nazi trials
in Nuremberg after the Second World War holds that attacking and invading
another country that poses no threat is the primary war crime.
The genesis of this letter is that occasionally people will respond to
the signs that we hold during our vigils. Several
women have stated that they have sons in the military in Iraq and castigate us
for not being supportive of their relatives.
Generally they then speed off without stopping to talk.
We believe that it is our duty to increase public awareness of the actual
costs of war. The real costs are
not limited to money although the billions wasted prevent our society from doing
many worthwhile things. The best troop support is to be honest about the fact
that the U.S. government has placed our children in a situation where they
commit war crimes to protect themselves. Recent
polls show that seventy percent of the American public have concluded that the
invasion and occupation of Iraq was a mistake.
We support the troops with our prayers and hope that they do not have to
kill or be killed in order that international corporations can maintain access
to petroleum reserves. We support
the troops by seeking justice for veterans and other victims of war.
We support the troops by joining with Military Families Speak Out and the
recently formed Iraq Veterans Against the War in the call to bring our children
home now. You cannot be
all that you can be if you are dead or maimed in body or soul.
The recent election showed divisions in our country that have been
fostered by the fear-mongering of the current administration.
In order to counter this deep mistrust we need to look for and commit
ourselves to healing acts of truth and reconciliation.
I encourage the mothers of these troops and anyone else driving by to
stop and talk. I think that you
will find that we can agree on the necessity to seek peaceful alternatives to
war. A yellow vinyl sticker on the
back of a vehicle does nothing to support my nephew who is in Iraq right now.
Promoting peace is the greatest support we can give him and the others we
have placed in harms way.
POB 397 Pe Ell WA 98572