The 2012 US Presidential election will determine a lot of things. Not least it will determine just how tired Americans are of war.
The last time Congress formally declared war was during World War II. How has that “let’s just authorize the use of ‘force'” policy been working out for us? Depending on how you date it, the length of the war in Afghanistan has now surpassed Vietnam; at best, it’s not there yet but is swiftly catching up.
Money is being spent at record rates. Americans are dying. Humans are dying. Civilians—families, children—are being killed and wounded, in Iraq and Afghanistan—among others. War crimes are being committed that should make every one of us feel ashamed and angry.
Are we okay with this?
Are we okay with allowing this to continue?
Obama was supposed to be the Peace President. Instead, he has allowed both conflicts to continue, has yet to close Guantanamo Bay, has dispatched troops to other countries and approved drone attack after drone attack…. As a recent CNN article concluded, Obama is good at war.
Is being good at international, undeclared war what we want from our president? Do we really believe that these actions are making America safer? Really? Is it so hard to see that we are creating the next three generations of terrorists, right here and now? Wouldn’t you want to become a terrorist if this happened to someone you knew, someone you loved? Is it so hard to hear the drum-drum-drumming in the distance—are we all going to look surprised after we reelect Obama, or a pro-war Republican like Romney, and suddenly American troops are in Iran? (Oh, they want to have nuclear weapons: what, like we have? like Israel has? like China has? They are an imminent threat—just like Iraq was, with all those WMDs?)
2012 matters. These endless wars have made America bankrupt, financially and morally. We have lost international credibility; we have lost lives. We must elect someone who will stand for peace. We have had enough of war.