From Christopher Boardman:
News that an American soldier went on a rampage and killed 16 civilians, mostly women and children, in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan, should anger Americans of all faiths and political views. There is no good that comes from such senseless acts of violence, and it puts a dark blotch on America’s reputation.
A few years ago I sponsored a resolution in the New Harford Democratic Club asking the club to disavow the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan. The measure was voted down, much to my disappointment. Also in 2010 I ran as a candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, as I did in 2006, against the war in Afghanistan, just as I previously had opposed the war in Iraq. I was not elected. Rather than dwell on issues like I am too old, I am too heavy, I am not good-looking enough, I don’t stroke the local media enough, I don’t have enough money, it is my firm conviction that the American people and voters of Harford County are just fine with the fact that others must die for American security, and the goals don’t even have to be well-defined. Violence is not the answer, simply, but Americans view violence as okay, as long as they can avoid responsibility for letting their tax dollars pay for it.
We have seen the terrible destruction that mostly young men wreak when they go on shooting rampages in the United States. (Don’t change the gun laws, by the way, I am sure many will say, but not me.) Just because the violence affects others in other countries who may worship in a different way does not make the violence any more acceptable. Have we no shame? Why can’t the United States be a peaceful, peaceable country? Isn’t all human life God-given and sacred?
There are so many needs that need to be addressed on this planet, economic, medical, educational, nutritional, it should be clear we should not be devoting the resources to violence and mayhem. I have written to national leaders again and again and it seems they never listen or learn.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is the only person I know who was never elected to an office in the U.S. who has a national holiday in his name, and that is not because he perfected violence against his brothers and sisters. It is because he summoned moral authority to bring change about in a peaceful way. Dr. King was probably the most important leader in our nation in the 20th Century. When are more Americans going to live and learn by his example?