Letter: Work together to create peace on Earth

The songs and prayers of Christmastime are beautiful, but they can mask rather than illuminate reality. The reality is that we have become numbed to our reliance on war. We devote as much to military spending as the next seven largest-spending countries combined. We deployed troops to 138 countries in 2016, according to the U.S. Special Forces Command.

Particularly tragic is our military activity in Yemen. We have been aiding Saudi Arabia and its coalition for over 1,000 days in their war on Yemen. It’s not just that U.S. weapons are being used against the Yemeni people. We provide the Saudi coalition with midair refueling and intelligence, in addition to U.S. direct military action in Yemen. Yemen is starving, with over 8 million people on the brink of starvation. Its health facilities are in a shambles, and cholera affects 900,000 people. Yemen needs humanitarian assistance, but that is impossible without peace, and peace there is impossible unless we stop our military involvement there.

It is good to sing about peace and pray for peace. Rather than being lulled into a warm cozy feeling, let this season’s messages of peace inspire us to face reality and take up the heavy burden of working for peace. A good start would be to tell our two senators that the U.S. needs to stop its military operations in Yemen. Phone calls to Sen. Chuck Grassley at (202) 224-3744 and Sen. Joni Ernst at (202) 224-3254 take just a few minutes.

Ed Flaherty

Iowa City


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