I have a horrible sense of déjà vu.

Recently, every four years, the Democratic and Republican parties nominate candidates who don't threaten the interests of the rich and powerful. Every four years, these candidates boast how tough they will be in dealing with international situations. Every four years, there is little consideration about how disastrous this strategy has been.

About 2,000 years ago, Seneca the Younger said: "We are mad not only individually but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders, but what of war and the much-vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples?"

Apparently the U.S. public long ago reached the point that widespread killing of the other was so acceptable that it didn't merit discussion. For example, according to a 1995 article by Professor Ronald Takaki, Secretary of War Henry Stimson struggled with the moral issues raised by WWII. According to J. Robert Oppenheimer, before the approval of the use of the atomic bomb, Stimson expressed dismay at the "appalling" lack of conscience and compassion ushered in by the war. Stimson stated that he was disturbed by the "complacency, the indifference, and the silence with which we greeted the mass bombings in Europe, and, above all, Japan."

In 1948, Gen. Omar Bradley said: "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living."


Despite these warnings, we continue to accept this madness. For example, since 2001, the U.S. has led, participated in or supported aggressions against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Gaza, among others. These areas are devastated, and their surviving populations experience hell on earth. The 2003 U.S.-led attack on Iraq, a war crime of unbelievable proportions, also played a major role in the creation of IS and the ensuing chaos in the Middle East.

It's long past time to end the madness of war. Let's turn the U.S. into a nation respected for its support for the rule of law instead of a nation feared due to its illegal attacks on weaker nations. President Eisenhower expressed a similar view in 1953. He said: "A nation's hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations."

Instead, when we need a "statesman," we now have both the Clinton and Trump campaigns demonstrating their hawkish views, with Hillary Clinton perhaps being the greater threat to peace.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's "Peace Train" runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.