That we may wage war no more

Thanks to The News & Advance for reporter Shannon Keith’s May 27 article on World War II veteran Jack Myers.

A couple years younger than Myers, I was a senior in high school when the war ended in September 1945. When I started college the next autumn, the few of us who were not veterans were powerfully influenced by the war memories shared with us by our slightly older veteran classmates.

So I understand Myers’ claim that WWII was the last “justified war.” He is blunt: “Every war since is due to politicians, and they have sacrificed a lot of American lives for nothing.”

Whether we agree with Myers or not, let us have the honesty and courage to keep asking what we have actually accomplished in the “wars” since WWII, in the Korean “conflict,” the Vietnam War and especially in more recent interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Fellow U.S. citizens have died in these interventions. Now the Trump administration is being pushed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton to show more toughness against Iran and others. Trump has called for increased military spending even as the Pentagon cannot — or will not — accomplish an honest audit.

All this while our major national concerns, health care, infrastructure, affordable higher education, a rational and humane immigration system all need better funding.

Dwight Eisenhower, our most famous WWII veteran, warned us in 1961 against the growing power Of the “military/industrial complex.” We need to listen to him and to Jack Myers.

PETER KJESETH

Lynchburg

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