So?

Richard Cheney at the White House, 1976, when he was Gerald Ford's Chief of Staff.

I could not believe my eyes and ears as I watched vice-president Dick Cheney saying "so?" There was a look on his face which said a lot. He was responding to an ABC News reporter who told him, "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting." Cheney's response came before the question was even finished being asked: "So?"

It translated into a very loud and clear "I don't care" to me.

4,000 US soldiers are dead, 100,000 are physically or mentally harmed. And about a million Iraqi lives lost.

May God forgive our nation for killing and harming so many people based on lies crafted by our government.

As I watched in sadness, the first thing I thought was Madeline Albright's now infamous response "it was worth it," on 60 Minutes of CBS, when the then Secretary of State was asked if the death of half a million children killed by the UN sanctions on Iraq was worth it.

To me it's a question of our humanity and a question of our democracy.

We are a bit inhumane when we take the lives of other people so lightly. God has said in past scriptures and repeated the same message in the Quran that "... whosoever kills a human being for other than murder or for spreading mischief in the land - is like taking the life of the whole humanity and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the whole humanity." (Quran 5:32).

Democracy is so far the best system humanity has developed for running its affairs. However, politicians, Americans and non-Americans, must always be reminded that democracy is government by the people for the people. If the American people are tired of having their children, spouses and other loved ones killed in a war that is illegal according to international law and one that has made our economy suffer, their wishes do matter.

But unless the grassroots keep an eye on its leaders, whether it is Cheney-type Republicans or Albright-type Democrats, public opinion will matter less.

As the citizens of the only superpower in the world, we have an extraordinary responsibility towards the world. Americans becoming more active in politics, demanding more from their elected officials, keeping an eye on how our tax money is used and keeping them responsible to their promises is utterly crucial for all of us.

And Americans are thinking about it. This is one reason self-identified moderates and self-identified independents are growing in greater number than Democrats and Republicans.

May God bless the peace and justice movement in America. They keep speaking the truth. They are the salt of the earth. At one time, people were not listening to them. But they kept talking in many creative ways. One group even aptly named itself Voices in the Wilderness. They were few. But now America is listening.

However, the cost of this war for humanity has been very high.

I hope that the peace and justice community will liberate itself from the prison of its tax -exempt box. It is time for the American peace and justice movement to pay more attention to the political process and develop strategies to support candidates truly committed to peace. We must elect peace candidates, defend them, and make those who betray responsible through grassroots democracy.

That is the way America and the world of peace will win.

 

"Richard Cheney with another member of the Ford administration staff at the White House" by Marion S. Trikosko - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.08531.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Richard_Cheney_with_another_member_of_the_Ford_administration_staff_at_the_White_House.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Richard_Cheney_with_another_member_of_the_Ford_administration_staff_at_the_White_House.jpg

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