The hard life

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – John F. Kennedy

At the time when the U.S. president said this the country was in a space race with Russia. There was a very real chance that they could beat the United States. This was Russia’s game and the president wanted to win so he said to Russia, “fuck you, we’re going to get there first!” I wish that he had said, “fuck you, go to the moon if you want to, we’re going to eradicate war and poverty.” He didn’t because as hard as going to the moon was, it seemed easier than taking care of each other.

This is a sad fact.

In reality, taking care of people is pretty fucking easy. That is no reason not to do it.

Seeds of peace

Have you missed me?

I’ve been through so much. I’ve had so much on my mind. I spent five days in a peaceful cooperative community in Harmony Park and then five days trying to reacclimate to my life in the city. There is so much that I want to write about but haven’t been able to. Instead I have put my feelings into a letter to my US Congressman, Keith Ellison.

Dear Keith Ellison,

I am writing because I am deeply concerned about your support for a limited military strike in Syria. I too am very troubled by the atrocities committed by the Assad regime and absolutely believe that a response is required. For a while I had resigned myself to the belief that a military strike was the best we could come up with but through much soul searching I am now convinced that we can do better… much better. I’m a huge supporter of yours and I’m counting on you to do better.

I hope that you will continue reading because I want to do more than just add my voice to the mounting opposition to military action; I want to help you regain your voice as an agent for peace.

First, we don’t need to respond with force to prove our strength. No one in their right mind doubts the capabilities of the US Military. To suggest that we need to respond with violence because it is the only language these tyrants understand is to lower ourselves to the level of a tyrant.

We can do better.

What is going on in Syria is a disaster and requires a response but what if we started thinking of military disasters the way we think of natural disasters? Yes, these disasters are caused by humans but what if we began to accept that people are part of nature? When an earthquake or hurricane strikes we don’t respond by bombing the earth and skies, we respond by caring for the people who have been hurt and displaced. As tragic and destructive as natural disasters are they bring out the best in us. What if we responded to the situation in Syria the way we responded to the earthquake in Haiti? What if we learned from our experience with natural disasters and did even better?

What if we could find millions of people who were so fed up with war that they were willing to leave their homes and everything they own to find peace? Instead of thinking of the Syrian people as victims, what if we thought of them as pioneers for peace? What kind of world would they build if they had our support? I believe that within the refugee camps lie the seeds for a peaceful, cooperative society like nothing we have ever seen before. Granted, this would take a lot of work but we have a lot of people who need work. They just need resources.

We have the resources. As you know, we’re not broke. For the cost of even a limited military assault we could provide billions in humanitarian aid. But that is beside the point. A military strike would not negate the need for humanitarian aid, it would simply be a waste of money and resources.

I’m not under any illusions. I realize that what I am suggesting is a complete paradigm shift that the US Government may not be prepared to make but my concern is not with the US Government as a whole, it is with you as an individual. I want you to be brave, to be strong, to be a voice for something better than war. It’s what the Fifth District expects from you and it’s who I know you to be.

Sincerely, J Evan LeFreak

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