Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq., President of the National Congress of Black Women (Courtesy Photo)
TriceEdney – As I write this, the United States is only hours away from raising our flag over our embassy in Havana, Cuba, formally re-establishing diplomatic relations with the Cuban government. Re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba follows the well-publicized, controversial submission of a nuclear de-armament agreement with Iran to Congress. As expected, mixed thoughts about these agreements fill the airwaves supporting or casting doubt on their eventual outcomes. Without question, these two significant foreign policies decisions will loom large in determining the future of our nation and the world.
I welcome these events with optimistic enthusiasm and see them as an opportunity to heal old wounds in the therapeutic baths of diplomatic conversation and dialogue. For this, I thank President Obama. I thank him for incorporating principles of peaceful conflict resolution into the logic of governance.
Many of the President’s critics attempt to demean and disparage him by labeling him “a community organizer.” Putting my own interpretation upon many of his decisions, I see wisdom that springs from the experience of living among and working with us “common folk.” I see many of his decisions tempered by and predicated upon their impact upon the general population. His decisions sharply contrast those of the privileged few who live in the insulation of their wealth and who have the luxury of keeping their hands clean in the presence of dirty jobs.
Once again, in the run-up to the Presidential Election of 2016, we hear the hue and cry of those whose first instinct is to engage in war. This week, Jeb Bush attempted to revise history by claiming that the current unrest in Iraq is the result of the withdrawal of US troops by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. He made this statement without acknowledging the responsibility of his brother’s administration for lying us into war and the fact that President Obama was elected on his promise to end the war.
If those assertions were not so patently political and deceptive in their presentation, they would be laughable. What is not laughable is Bush’s promise, if elected president, to expand hostilities by re-deploying troops to the region. What is tragic is that Bush’s position is the accepted position of all but one of the current Republican candidates for president.
This sentiment of rejection and war-mongering carries over to the multi-lateral nuclear disarmament agreement with Iran. By rejecting the agreement with Iran, the “chicken-hawks” who propose and promote war acknowledge their willingness to spend the nation’s wealth and waste the lives of thousands of our young men and women in a politically cavalier adventure. They do so knowing that, by virtue of their wealth and status, their children and loved-ones can opt-out of harm or danger. They would plunge head-long into war without exercising the logic or possibility of peace through negotiation.
One can only be led to believe that the “chicken-hawks” serve a higher master than those they were elected to represent. Considering the wealth that accrued to corporate interests during the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is plausible to believe that the higher master is corporate greed. If true, we must remember President Eisenhower’s warning, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex…We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”
I believe that President Obama gets this. He understands, like Eisenhower, who said,” Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”
President Obama has dared to ask the question, “What’s wrong with talking?”
Dr. E. Faye Williams can be reached at: www.nationalcongressbw.org. ,or 202/678-6788