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My Turn: Take it from a veteran: War is not the answer

It may be easy for people who have never experienced war to write it off as spending a few bucks to get rid of a monster. For those of us who know what charred flesh smells like, who can still hear the screams of a man whose legs have been blown off, who still wonder if there is a hell, and if that is where we will end up to pay for the blood on our hands – war is a very serious thing.

Syrian soldiers are no different from American soldiers: patriotic, brave and convinced that they are fighting for freedom, their God and country. When the Senate and House vote on the authorization for use of military force, they are voting to go in and kill human beings. Especially with the reality that we are supporting al-Qaida and other equally brutal groups in Syria, and that we have no idea how this will pan out, who will control Syria, or what the blowback might be, using military force against Bashar al-Assad’s regime is about the worst thing we could do.

The vast majority of Americans agree, with polls showing less than 20 percent of Americans supporting this. So why are some of New Hampshire’s representatives still unsure about what they are going to do, or leaning toward supporting yet another Middle East war when this vote comes?

If any of our representatives vote for this new attack, they are voting against the people and for military contractors, whose stock has skyrocketed with the news of a new attack. They are voting against the people and for al-Qaida. They are voting against the people and for the oil companies. They are voting against the people and for more spending on bombs and death instead of taking care of our needs at home.

Detroit is bankrupt. Our roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair. The national debt is now more than $16 trillion. Children are starving, homeless and going without medical care. As President Dwight Eisenhower said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”

If any of our representatives vote for this, they are failing in the truest sense to represent us, and we the people should see to it that their political careers end with that vote.

(Will Hopkins is an infantry veteran of the Iraq war and executive director of New Hampshire Peace Action.)

Thank you, both for your service and this comment. My uncle was a WW2 Naval Officer who received 7 battle stars and a Silver Star. Like you, it taught him to abhor all war, and he despised all wars to the end of his life.

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