Letters to the editor

Addressing Congress on March 16, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said to President Joe Biden, “Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

In my view, if Biden was in fact “the leader of the world” and “the leader of peace,” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would not have happened. If Biden engages directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, I believe that the fighting would end quickly. Sooner or later, this war will conclude with a negotiated settlement. Let that be now!

Russia has stated that it will stop its invasion if Ukraine declares neutrality, acknowledges Crimea as Russian territory and recognizes the independence of the breakaway Donbas republics.

Instead of pursuing negotiations on those terms, which could lead to a potential cease-fire, the U.S. is working with its NATO allies to continue the build-up of arms in Eastern Europe and Ukraine. Do U.S. leadership and NATO really want war with Russia?

If one’s product is a weapon, one’s market is war. In 1961 outgoing President Dwight Eisenhower warned us of the U.S. military-industrial complex, which I believe has now become the military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think-tank complex that foments war around the world.

U.S. taxpayers concerned about inflation and the climate crisis can’t keep paying the likes of Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics to build weaponry to kill people and destroy things while the world’s families suffer the atrocities of war, go hungry, lack housing and health care and yearn for ecological well-being.

While Biden is presented daily with opportunities to become the world’s peacemaker, it’s time for U.S. taxpayers to end the war industry’s power over Congress and begin regarding the whole world as our community. Our vulnerable planet is too small for us to think otherwise.

Harold A. Penner


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