Are you safer today? by Dr. E. Faye Williams
1/17/2020, 6 a.m.
We have an impeached president in our country because he has done so much destruction to our country. He has even destroyed who others believe we are.
Many Americans have lost faith in who we once thought we were. I’ve heard Americans talk about being embarrassed to travel abroad because they have no way to defend what has happened to our country.
Now, as a result of the extreme actions taken by the man in the White House, we have an added reason to fear traveling abroad. Once we’re identified as Americans, we are fair game to those who want to pay back America for what the occupant in the White House has done without a logical explanation.
The administration held a briefing to explain why the occupant of the White House started the groundwork for a war without authorization from Congress. Even as our top military officials stood behind President Trump as he tried to justify ordering the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, it was obvious they were thinking about the John Lennon song “Imagine” with another commander in chief.
Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who is definitely not known as one who would likely vote for anything with which I agree, came out of a briefing that was intended to justify the killing of Gen. Soleimani speaking in angry words and proclaiming it to be the worst military briefing he’d heard since coming to Congress. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, stood with Sen. Lee before Democratic senators began their assessment.
Democratic senators described the administration’s explanation as “incredibly without facts,” “deeply concerning,” “unacceptably vague,” “thin on facts” and on and on.
With that kind of criticism, I’m reminded of former Secretary of State John Kerry’s question when he asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?’
So many voices today indi- cate that no matter how badly we think of Iran or its dead general, “Trump’s unilateral actions have brought us to a point where we are at greater risk than we had before killing Iran’s general,” Mr. Kerry said. “Now there is no way at all the world and the U.S. are safer with the steps Trump has taken.”
Vice President Mike Pence’s speech on this matter was mysteriously canceled. Now I am wondering what he would have said.
I’m a Dick Gregory disciple, meaning I’m anti-war. I know when you identify as anti-war, you’re called some awful names by those who I suppose would rather be “pro-war.”
I am unapologetically pro-peace. Some of us have paid dearly for being pro-peace. In April 1980, my good friend Mr. Gregory went to Iran in an effort to protest Iran holding 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage after taking over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. He did it while reducing his meals to water and fruit juice. He vowed to continue his hunger strike until the hostage situation was resolved peacefully.
He returned to the United States on Sept. 9, 1980. (The hostages were held 444 days until Jan. 21, 1981, and released just minutes after the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan.)
Mr. Gregory always protested injustices. In September 1968, he went to Marquette University and spoke on behalfof anti-Vietnam War activists who’d seized and burned draft cards from a Selective Service office in downtown Milwaukee. In the late 1960s, he became friends with John Lennon. Together, they made the anti-war anthem, “Give Peace a Chance.”
War still is not the answer. We are less safe today as we have a president who seems determined to rule by war. We’re not safe so long as President Trump is in the White House continuing to act irrationally. Let us “Imagine” a world without him.
The writer is national president of the National Congress of Black Women.