U.S. needs to explore alternatives to war

Letter to the Editor

Jimmy Carter said, “The existence of war is incompatible with our basic needs as human beings — stable homes, food, health care, a life free from fear and persecution.” Most of the world agrees. For modern technological society, war is obsolete.

Because we are as hard-wired for conflict as we are for language, war can seem biologically inevitable, even though it’s incompatible with our basic needs.

But just as language does not assume English, conflict need not assume war. There are a million ways people and societies express their need/desire for conflict, from cards, chess, video games on a tiny scale, to endless political institutions, laws and so fourth within a bigger picture. Without war.

An old joke goes: “Tell you what I’d do if I were in charge. Nuke em! End of story.” To which the reply is, “That’s why you’re not in charge.” The point is that despite the inevitability of conflict, morality, good sense and good judgment can and must keep it within boundaries.

With the Bush administration, we have lost many of those essential boundaries, at the terrible cost of many thousands of innocent lives, sickeningly shown to most of us in Iraq and Lebanon every day. But with good sense, we can still non-violently kick the bad guys out and change some of the immoral behavior going on in the name of the United States. We must find ways.

To me, war was the ultimate evil of the last century. In the spirit of Jimmy Carter, let’s bring peace to this one.

Kirby Rowan