We want our country to work for peace. But since September 11, 2001, our country has chosen war as its first response.
At the beginning of your first term, hundreds of people signed a letter asking you to favor moral advisers over military advisers. That request is even more urgent today.
Your administration took an important step away from war with the Iran nuclear agreement, but that has not ended the many other destructive military interventions we are engaged in.
We are bombing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. We supply the Saudis with bombs and cluster rockets for their war against Yemen.
We bombed Libya and the repercussions continue to be disastrous. We resupply Israel with weapons after each attack on Gaza. We committed dangerous and unpredictable acts of sabotage against Iran's nuclear facilities. We threaten Iran with war unless they follow our orders.
Howard Zinn, a World War II veteran who later became one of our country's greatest peace activists, said, "Between war and doing nothing there are a thousand possibilities." A letter to the editor written just after 9/11 suggested that instead of bombs we drop loaves of bread on Afghanistan. Wouldn't the world be a better place today if we had followed that suggestion?
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his brilliant 1967 speech at Riverside Church, wondered if America could develop the maturity required to stop our war against Vietnam. With so many voices today crying out for more war and labeling opponents as weak, it would take an act of courage and maturity to set our country on the path to peace instead of war.
For the sake of our children and all the children of the world who are denied their right to life, we urge you to break the chains of militarism that make our world a poorer place. We want you to choose the more courageous and mature path of making peace.
Veterans For Peace, CPL Jonathan J. Santos Memorial Chapter 111
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If you are satisfied with the letter as it is, you can sign it, have friends sign it, and send it to the White House. Yes, you have to use a stamp and an envelope, but it might show President Obama that we are willing to do a little more work than just clicking a button.
Also if you want to help us reach our goal of ten million signatures (Why not!), forward the letter to your email lists or post on Facebook. Make copies and give them to your friends, even add a personal comment or re-write the whole darn thing if you like, but please, take a little time to tell the President how you feel.
If you wish to add your name/signature to this letter, please email Veterans For Peace Chapter 111.