Please forgive me for pontificating on one of my hot-button issues. Perhaps it is because I grew up during the Vietnam War era, but I despise war.
I read in an April 29, 2016 New York Times website article that sixteen U.S. military officials are being administratively disciplined due to the prolonged accidental bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in 2015.
I understand that under stressful wartime conditions accidents happen, that decisions often must be made quickly with limited information, etc. But I think that makes it even more crucial to find alternatives to war.
What if instead of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, one in the U.S. had been hit? What type of discipline would the United States government have sought for the offending country? In 1898 the U.S. went to war with Spain, and a primary reason was an explosion on the U.S. military vessel Maine that apparently was caused by a fire that led to an accidental ammunition explosion, as stated by a History.com piece, among others. How would the United States government have felt about an accidental hospital bombing in the U.S. by another nation's military? What about all the accidental bombings of civilians, including wedding parties, in other countries by the U.S. military?
I think that the U.S. military is creating more terrorists than it kills by its military actions. Personally, I am tired of the war-mongering American military. As a March 27, 2016 Los Angeles Times website article noted, "Syrian militias armed by" the FBI and others armed by the CIA "have repeatedly shot at each other."
If the U.S. had not been involved in major military actions in Iraq and Syria, I think that ISIL would not have risen to power. Most persons in Iraq were probably happier and better off before the U.S. overthrew Saddam Hussein than they are now. Iraqis had more freedom of religion, and probably more dependable electrical power, water supplies, and experienced fewer violent deaths.
The U.S. has provided arms to a huge number of countries, often to oppressive leaders who used their weaponry to abuse their own people. Our nation even provided aid that helped Osama Bin Laden. He was called a "freedom fighter" and "sponsored by the CIA" according to an opinion piece on DefenceJournal.com. Numerous other sources note that U.S. military aid benefited Bin Laden in his fight against Russia. Other U.S. military aid helped Saddam Hussein in is earlier years. And the U.S. currently supports an oppressive Saudi Arabian government, among others.
Even in our own country the abuse of Native American Indians and African-Americans has been horrendous. And we fought a horrible Civil War; that war led to the end to legal slavery in the United States. But many countries around the world abolished slavery without fighting a war to do it. Why didn't or couldn't we? I think we could have with better leaders.
Long before the Civil War, some leaders sought to abolish slavery in the U.S. For example, although Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, he apparently strongly disliked slavery and even condemned slavery in at least one early draft of the Declaration of Independence. If that segment had not been deleted, would slavery have been abolished earlier in the U.S.? Maybe our country would have remained part of England, never seceded, and the Revolutionary War averted. Jefferson in 1784 again sought to end slavery in a proposal that was narrowly defeated in the Continental Congress.
Somehow we must learn to solve problems peacefully. Sadly, those of us in the United States often do not know about abuses committed by U.S. military forces overseas. Even in the horrendous Abu Ghraib tragedies, the government denied them until photographic evidence emerged. And I think the first person that was prosecuted was the person who took the photographs.
Let's seek to love even our enemies as Jesus taught. Let's seek to "be good and do good" as Buddha advocated, as stated in approximate translations of his words into English on various websites. I think treating people fairly will help make this country and this world a much better place and greatly reduce the violence. You may think that I am naive. Maybe I am. And if you have a better alternative, I'd love to read or hear about it. Thanks for taking time to read this diatribe.
NOTE: This article is almost identical to one the author posted earlier the same day (April 30, 2016) on another website.