Tell your representatives to stop sleepwalking their way to war and self-annihilation

In light of our nation’s latest mad act in the war in Ukraine – deciding to send advanced tanks to Ukraine, opening the gate for other NATO countries to act in kind – I wrote today to my three Congressional representatives (the rookie Rep. Ezell in the 4th Congressional district, and the veteran Senators Hyde-Smith and Wicker), telling them that I oppose any further escalation of the conflict and demanding (ha!) that they take whatever actions they can to end the carnage through diplomacy and a negotiated settlement.

Continuous escalation of the war is flatly suicidal, playing chicken with a heavily armed nuclear power. NATO is gambling that the same Russian leader that war hawks describe as a 21st-century Hitler will watch his nation suffer defeat, humiliation, and collapse before defending it, if only in the last resort, with nuclear weapons. Make no mistake: there is no “limited” nuclear option. Once the missiles launch , there is only one possible, inevitable outcome – total annihilation.

But there’s more to ponder here than just the lunacy of pumping more and more arms into Ukraine. This is how empires die, fellow citizens and social workers: Runaway militarism combines with physical and social infrastructural rot to drain away, vampire-like, the last drops of the nation’s life-blood. Perhaps you’re thinking this is a hyperbolic, wildly over-the-top judgement. If so, consider: Congress and the president insist on giving the Pentagon, this year like every year, more money than it asks for (money that the Pentagon admits, also year after year, that it cannot account for). At the same time leaders of the new Congress and the White House are almost certainly already in negotiations over just how massive the cuts to signature social welfare programs – especially Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – will be in order to “rein in the national debt.”

Unlimited funding for war and the arms industry, austerity for everyone else. We cannot sit by silently watching this happen. Even if we fail to change the incomparably self-destructive course our nation is on, we have a duty – I would argue an existential duty – to go down trying.

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