Really, What Can You Say?
by James Glaser
May 17, 2011
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I am sure you have met them, people from either major political party who are trying to get you to join their side. Yes, there are some wonderful people in the Republican Party, and the same is true with many in the Democratic Party. These people really believe they are trying to help our country by working for one of these two political movements.

My problem is I don't like the fact that under the leadership from both of these political parties, we are constantly killing people on the other side of the world, and pretending that those deaths make our country safer.

Yes, I know both the Democrats and Republicans are under the illusion that we are killing terrorists who would be here killing us if we were not over there killing them. Most Americans believe our country is trying to do good things when we attack some country. We pretend that we bring freedom and democracy with our bullets and bombs, but the truth is that bullets and bombs are designed to kill or maim, and they do that well.

In modern warfare, more civilians are killed and maimed than the troops doing battle. We may never know just how many innocent civilians we have killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, because we don't count those numbers any more. The last time we kept that count was in Vietnam, and we learned there that we had killed over one million. Now we have decided with numbers like that, we'd best not keep a running total.

War has become a huge part of our economy. At the end of the Cold War, we had no idea of how to get out of a war economy and take advantage of the peace we had won. As President Eisenhower warned us, the Military Industrial Complex has taken over Washington and control of both of our major political parties. War now means money, power, and prosperity for much of America's industry. Here's the harsh and sad reality: neither the Republicans nor the Democratic Party know how to convert us to a peace-time economy.

So, what do you say when someone from one of our two major parties tries to recruit you to help them stay in power or get them into power? Well, what I have come up with is this:

"I can't. Your party is pro-war. I'm not talking pro-defense here; I am talking about how your party and our government has made war a huge part of our permanent economy."

Most party recruiters will think for a minute and try and tell you that their party is different from the other party, or they will have consumed way too much Kool Aid and will hit you with the Terrorist War line about how our cities and towns will be bombed if we stop fighting over there. By the way, "over there" is any place but here.

However, once in a while you get somebody who is still able to think for themselves, and they start asking themselves the questions I have. What are we going to do to get our country off this endless war economy? Just who is controlling our foreign policy? And, is it possible that the real reason people what to hurt us is our killing, maiming, and pushing our form of government in so many countries?

I believe that trying to reform either the Democratic or Republican Party is impossible, or in the very least, a much harder task than starting over with a new political party or expanding one of the third party choices we have now.

I know with another election coming up, people are going to ask you to take a side. Think about what you are going to say to them.

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