Letter: Time to organize and build peace

We cannot blame just the jihadists (al-Qaida, ISIS, etc.) for the incredible level of violence and terrorism in our world today. Truth be told, the U.S. military is the largest and most devastating terrorist entity on the planet. Our military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria have all but destroyed those countries in toto. Many thousands of innocent civilians have been killed, maimed and terrorized — their families completely distraught and broken.

Between 2002 and 2012 our CIA maintained dozens of “black site” prisons around the world, where torture and prisoner abuse were rampant. The U.S. government is the largest arms dealer the world has ever known, continually selling billions of dollars’ worth of bombs, guns, fighter planes and helicopters, to the likes of Saudi Arabia and Libya. Though we pride ourselves in reducing our “boots on the ground” in the Middle East, our weaponized drone attacks have killed or injured thousands of civilians. We have a long history of backing coups and supporting corrupt, repressive regimes around the globe. Our government surveils all its citizens and nearly everyone else on the planet, and it actively prosecutes whistleblowers.

We must start owning up to the vast devastation we have rained upon our earth and its inhabitants. And then we must do all in our power to stop this insanity.

Resist, organize, build peace!

David Hempel

Iowa City

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