Your Views: ‘War is not the answer,’ just as King suggested
Al-Qaida was not present in Iraq when we invaded in 2003. Al-Qaida is in Iraq today and has recently established a stronghold in Fallujah. Remember Fallujah? Hundreds of American soldiers were killed or wounded in Fallujah.
In the Iraq War, we destroyed the Iraqi institutions that provided a semblance of security in that country. The collapse of these institutions left a vacuum that al-Qaida was happy to fill. We and the Iraqi people are now less secure than before the war. The cost in human lives was tragic; more than 4,000 American soldiers dead, an estimated 150,000 Iraqi civilians killed.
The killing continues. More than 7,000 Iraqis died in violent terrorist attacks last year.
Since 2004, U.S. drone strikes have killed more than 3,000 people in Pakistan and Yemen. Hundreds have been innocent civilians, including 175 children. Less than 2 percent of those killed are considered high-profile al-Qaida targets. Twelve members of a wedding party were killed in a drone attack in Yemen last month.
In a recent Gallup poll involving 66,000 people in 65 nations, the United States was ranked No. 1 as being the biggest threat to world peace. For perspective, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea tied for fourth place.
In a 1967 speech titled, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “War is not the answer.” We need to reflect on this statement as we commemorate the life of Martin Luther King on Jan. 20.