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Time to change course

Dear Editor:Recently I noticed the following headline on an AP story: “GOP Divided over Torture.” It seems that several Republican senators are trying to introduce an amendment to a defense bill that would limit the Pentagon’s ability to torture terrorist suspects, but the White House is threatening to veto it.Folks, any political party that is “divided” over torture is a party that has lost its moral bearings. Here’s another recent headline: “After 10-Year Hiatus, Pentagon Eyes New Landmine.” The Bush administration, which has refused to join 145 other nations in signing the Mine Ban Treaty, now wants to spend $1.3 billion to develop a new generation of landmines. Incidentally, $1.3 billion is almost the annual amount needed to provide basic protection against malaria throughout Africa, thus saving 600,000 lives a year.Folks, when our country is bucking international treaties to develop new ways to maim people, while at the same time dragging its feet on international aid, it’s time to question to priorities of our leaders.Finally, did you read about the Senate’s approval last month of an initial $4 million for research into a new bomb called the “robust nuclear earth penetrator,” which is designed to blow up underground bunkers that might contain weapons of mass destruction? Folks, when our elected representatives believe that “our” weapons of mass destruction are holier than “their” weapons of mass destruction, we are living in a very dangerous time.This militaristic madness must stop. We’re making enemies faster than we can torture, maim and kill them. We’re heading down the wrong road, both morally and pragmatically. It’s time to admit it and change course.Dave ReedCarbondale


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