April 15, 2006

To the editor:

All measures of public opinion now show a clear majority of people opposing the over three year-old war in Iraq. Yet Mr. Bush and his cohorts have made it clear that they will "stay the course," regardless of the consequences for the people of Iraq, for US soldiers and their families, for our nation and for the world.

The task before people of conscience is to stop the war. If democracy were functioning in our nation that would be a rather simple task. Unfortunately this isn't the case.

None of the federal officials who "represent" our community--not Bush or Walsh or Clinton or Schumer--are willing to heed their constituents and support plans for a full US withdrawal accompanied by assistance for international efforts to help Iraqis rebuild their nation. So, what are we to do?
I wish I had a clear plan that I am confident would end the war.

We can write letters to the editor, make demands of our federal representatives, talk to our fellow citizens, march, demonstrate and fast. Yet the war continues, more deaths each day, more hopelessness for the Iraqi people, more resources stolen from desperate needs in our community (a staggering $603 million from Onondaga County) and shipped to Iraq.

While I have no grand strategy to present, one of the small steps I am taking is to redirect my federal income tax money away from the war to support the kinds of programs which are desperately needed.
Instead of paying for depleted uranium weapons, I'll support a soup kitchen. Money that Bush would use for new bombers to attack Iraqi civilians, I'll give to Oxfam to help helping people in war-ravaged communities lift themselves out of poverty. Funds used to buy "positive" stories in the Iraqi press will be used to support independent media like "Democracy Now." Rather than supporting the construction of permanent US military bases in Iraq, I'll support organizations working for nonviolent solutions to domestic and international problems.

We have a choice as a nation. We can either give up on democracy, or do everything we can to stop this war and the other horrors committed in our name by the US government. I hope we choose the latter.


Andy Mager
559 Buckingham Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 559-7058