Rebuilding, at home and abroad |

Rebuilding, at home and abroad

(This letter was labeled as an open letter to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.)Dear Editor:I carried the sign: “Just War or Just Oil?” that you wrote about in the New York Times, January 2003. I was also a co-founder of Colorado Communities for Justice and Peace and organized the Peace Rally in Aspen with Hunter Thompson. I offer this as context for my current position.War is not the answer, but community policing may be. I did not support our invading Iraq. The attack on the World Trade Center, suicide bombings, drilling holes in heads, prison torture, genocide, gang violence, honor killings, rape, etc. are all crimes that should be dealt with under the rule of law, not as part of a war on terror. I do not support continuing the war in Iraq but I would support committing whatever resources of funding, manpower, equipment, diplomacy, etc. it would take to shift gears to a truly international peacekeeping and rebuilding mission in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Somalia, etc. and to do the same at home for our inner-city schools and poor communities.The Iraq Study Group already determined at the outset that there was no political will to support such an effort and in so doing, doomed any hope of success; which is not about winning, but about creating a prosperous sustainable peace in the future for all. What we need now is leadership with the moral clarity, vision and humility to ask of us Americans, to make the necessary sacrifices today not for tax cuts for the wealthy, but to invest in alternative sources for energy independence; dealing with global warming; security, including community policing and international peacekeeping missions; education; health care; immigration; etc. I personally would be willing to pay tax dollars and serve in any way that I could and believe that most other Americans would if asked.However, to be successful, our motives must be above reproach. I am not a pacifist. I am interested in the reality of what is and what works in ending suffering. Please help me to spread the word so that “we the people” may lead that our leaders may follow.Tricia McKenzieAspen