We must not be complicit in murder, regardless of the circumstances

I appreciate the local writings of Dan DeWalt, Tim Stevenson, and others who try to bring fact, common sense, reason, and human decency into addressing the disasters we are facing throughout our crumbling world.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to bring people together to address the problems we face because we lack common ground, hindered by increasingly locked-in religious, cultural, political, and ego-protecting beliefs. Most of us fall back on some or all those beliefs when we feel cornered and don't know what else to do. It is known as survival.

I'm challenging myself - and you, if you choose to join me - to find common ground in stopping the act of murder. A simple definition of murder: "The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another."

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas murdered thousands of innocent Israelis. In retaliation, Israel is now murdering thousands of innocent Palestinians.

Actually, this carnage started before Oct. 7, as both sides have been murdering and persecuting innocent people for many years. Some would say that collateral damage (I hate that dehumanizing phrase!) is the nature of war, always has been, and always will be. It's a very sad commentary on our humanity, and lack thereof, but that is who we are as human beings.

I offer no solutions to the conflicts raging throughout the world; that's beyond my knowledge and abilities. But I feel confident in saying that we must not be complicit in murder, regardless of the circumstances.

Please join me in demanding that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, U.S. Rep. Becca Balint, U.S. Sen. Peter Welch, Congress, President Joe Biden, and all our leaders stop using tax dollars, and our military-industrial complex, to support murder.

Instead, we should use our financial and military powers as leverage to steadfastly demand that minimizing civilian casualties be a priority equal to accomplishing military objectives.

Yes, that's ransom in some ways of thinking, but I think of it as a reasonable requirement for making our financial and human investments.

As Virgil and others have said: "Love conquers all," which is unproven, but I believe to be true. The best chance we have for love to prevail is to stop patriarchy, misogyny, racism, and fascism, which will probably occur only when people who identify as women (or those having innate female qualities) assume worldwide leadership roles.

Until then, let's at least agree to stop being complicit in murder.

Michael Szostak


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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