Promoting peace is the greatest support

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Editor, The Chronicle

     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.        

 

Larry Kerschner  POB 397  Pe Ell WA 98572