Letter to the editor: Be anti-war in action, not only word

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Friends, Liberals, Progressives,

Last week, President Obama asked Congress for war powers to combat in Iraq and Syria. Last week, I also participated in a discussion — “Nonviolence and Social Change” — in which humanists at Carnegie Mellon arrived short of committing to nonviolence, accepting instead that violence can be needed.

This is hardly insulated. Who right now is committed to nonviolence, opposes war, and is pro-peace? We all did detest the War in Iraq once, and not without cause. What cause withholds us then from still detesting it?

The multi-nationality of our coalition? On Feb. 6, the Jordanian bombs killed as indiscriminately as ours. The limited, pointedness of our efforts? On Feb. 15, no precision bombing in Iraq was able to prevent atrocities in Libya.

Is ISIS more threatening to the United States and more brutal than Saddam Hussein? Hardly — only more public. The politics, party, or prizes of the new commander-in-chief? I hope not.

Violence does not prevent violence. Do two decades of continuous war against these people not illustrate this? Violence only causes more violence.

Do the atrocities in every day’s headlines not illustrate this? The question is not, “How do we destroy violence?” but rather, “What causes these atrocities?”

I was born in 1996. In 1990, they had bombed my uncle. In 1998, they bombed my older brother. In 2003, they bombed my school. But they stuck around, so I trusted them, even though they killed two people from my church. In 2011, they left and things only got worse. And now they’re bombing us again? I’m 19, Iraqi, I know death from them, and I hate them for it.

If humanists do not sympathize with our fellow humans, who will? If liberals don’t resist the force of violence, who will? If progressives revert to war, who will lead the peace?

We say the words. On Jan 19, we said: “Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” On Oct 2, we said: “My religion is based on truth and non-violence.” On Sept. 2, 2013, we said: “War never again! Never again war!” On July 3, 2008, we said: “I am absolutely committed to ending this war.”

If we are anti-war, let us be anti-this war. If we are non-violent, let us be against this violence. And if we are pro-peace, let us be peaceful.

End this War!

Vincent DeGeorge
Doctoral Candidate
Materials Science and Engineering