November 2008 Postcard

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As you prepare for the upcoming elections and begin campaigning in earnest at home during this recess, please listen to your constituents. These are some of the issues that are important to me:

I want you to try to fix the economy and lower energy prices.

Please stop sending our young soldiers off to war. We were told they were confronting evil and protecting Americans, but I fear they are actually ruining the lives of Iraqis and Afghans. And please help us take care of our wounded soldiers when they return.

Don’t bomb Iran or Pakistan—or any other nation that is not attacking ours.

Please stop spending my tax dollars on military aid for Israel. I demand an ethical U.S. foreign policy that rewards makers of peace, not war.

altA pair of combat boots, part of “Eyes Wide Open: An Exhibition on the Human Cost of the Iraq War,” seen in Chicago’s Grant Park, May 24, 2007. (AFP photo/Pool/David J. Phillip)

The United States is spending $10.3 billion on the war in Iraq every month. That’s $123.6 billion a year. More than 4,158 U.S. troops have been killed, and another 30,635 have been wounded. Those numbers will be greater by the time I find a stamp.

The U.S. has given almost $114 billion in direct aid to Israel over the past 60 years. The $3 billion or so per year that Israel receives from the U.S. amounts to about $500 per Israeli.

What about spending that money here at home, on health care, education, infrastructure and saving homes? Why not try to repair lives instead of destroying them? How about trying to improve our image in the world instead of making people hate us?