On War and Peace

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(Picture provided by a dear friend from her personal collection)

Most reasonable people in this world do not want a war. There are some others, however, who think in extremes- extreme zealots who want to forward their religious interests, and more recently, we have seen extreme xenophobes here at home, who want to drive out all foreigners and build a wall all around the country! All extremist philosophy is same at its core, whether or not it is endorsed by a government. Extremism creates barriers and a sense of disparity which amost always leads to violence. In Trump’s America, can you imagine how many people such as myself will be killed before every last one of us is driven away from the country, forced to leave behind much of what we own, and the life we once had?

I am fortunate to have lived in New York for majority of my time here, where I have never felt like an outsider. Even with the current state of politics and polarized opinions in many parts of the country, people in New York, both Democrats and Republicans have remained sensible. And when I was in Michigan briefly, things were much the same. During my stay there I met a number of long-time Republican voters who voted Democrat in this year’s primary. (Sen. Sanders won in Michigan). With the primary in New York approaching, I have been encountering similar sentiment around here. I met an old friend few days ago who has always voted Republican but this year she plans to stay out of it altogether. I shared my views with her about the Sanders campaign but whether I managed to change her mind remains to be seen. I met another Republican friend few weeks ago who didn’t have the usual aversion to Trump that is typical around here but even he wasn’t sold on his fanatical rhetoric on immigration. He is indifferent to the violence inflicted in the name of interrogation, but does consider himself pro-choice. We had a long candid discussion about each candidate’s policies and I could see that although he did support Trump to a great extent, he wasn’t one of those people who wanted me out. So, like many others, he has decided not to vote either.

Anyway, I digress. What I am trying to say is that extremist tendencies threaten the very foundation of a democracy because they are in exact contradiction to everything that a democracy stands for. Extremists are a small group of people with the loudest voice, and they thrive on attention-seeking tactics. Like it’s true for the current presidential race, the same is true for international outfits like ISIS. By no means are they the true representation of a country, a culture or a religion. They are simply a small group of radicals with obnoxiously loud voice and who will go to heinous lengths to get the world’s attention. Well they have it now.

But should the US go to war with every miscreant in this world and give them exactly what they are asking for- a state of anarchy? Absolutely no. With great power comes great responsibility and the right way to wield this responsibility is to bring together other nations of the world to collectively and systematically eradicate such threats, and consider war only and only the last resort.

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Sen. Sanders has the same views on Iran building nuclear weapons. Before we consider going to war, we must make sure we have tried every available option on the table. When all else fails, war becomes a necessary evil, but not sooner.

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There is a great cost of war that everyone involves pays, and not just during the war but for years afterwards. So instead of spending the defense budget on deploying our troops everywhere, I think it might be more effective to use that money at home, on national security- on keeping the US borders secure, keeping the US airspace secure, keeping the US waters secure.

But surveillance shouldn’t have to come the cost of people’s privacy. I strongly suport Sen. Sanders’ stance on government’s collection of public phone records. I just don’t see how it can be justified when we still keep hearing of attacks here on the US soil. Consider the attack in San Bernardino for example. After months of squabbling with Apple over its security settings, the government was able to access the phone with the help of a third party. But have they found anything that could have prevented this tragedy? My guess is no because if there was something that the government could use against technology companies, they wouldn’t hold back. So I fail to see the rationale behind this kind of surveillance. The intelligence bureau does a great job but it needs to evolve faster than it has ever had to before because of the world we are living in. And in doing so, it should not compromise people’s right to privacy.

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This post covers two topics from the Sanders campaign website/issues page. Please follow below links to see each item in detail:

War and Peace

and, War Should be the Last Option: Why I Support the Iran Deal

Thanks for reading!

P

For more posts in the series ‘Bernie on Issues’ look under Current Affairs in menu 

 

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8 thoughts on “On War and Peace

  1. Excellent post and points here. It is a disturbing development on some levels that the ‘game’ has changed with groups like Isis, or people inspired by them. The traditional means of espionage have changed courtesy of technology, and the laws governing them have stayed much the same. The problem is also that people are just too reactionary about these matters than they used to be. The passion is good…but you need some basic facts to start off an argument I feel. I rarely go political on my blog but last year I touched on a few things that really bugged me. Such as, if you can’t point to a region or place on the map, you don’t get to make outlandish suggestions about how to handle the situation there like I have heard some of the candidates or some of their supporters say. You are right that the intelligence gathering services have to work harder than ever and it has to be a combination of technology monitoring and people on the ground. I certainly feel like we all have a right to privacy on some level.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you as always for your feedback! You nailed it in your comment- people have become too reactionary, too volatile. It seems like as a society we don’t believe in dialogue anymore, and finding peaceful ways to resolve dispute. We’re always up in arms, ready to go on the offensive the minute there is a conflict. I never thought I would write political pieces but I find it hard to stay quiet through this election!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome and you are so correct. We go from zero to a hundred these days in terms of volatility. And..this may be the first election where opinions will be changed by memes, instead of reading articles. Why read an article in the paper that breaks down the opinions when you can use a meme to sum up the salient parts. I’m not a fan of that, and its been shocking to me that a good and old friend of mine and firm Bernie supporter, who used to write detailed FB posts now has resorted to memes to say what he wants. Its a little alarming to me how little we ‘do’ discourse now 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, it is a very alarming trend. People don’t like to read in general- it’s turning into a lost art form! Anything more than 140 characters is probably too much text 😄. Well, that’s the new generation of voters!

          Liked by 1 person

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