Joe Burton: Making a peacemaker

September 16, 2013 

Making a peacemaker

I agree with the writer of the Sept. 14 letter “Diplomacy first” that our government could demonstrate leadership as a global peacemaker if serious diplomacy instead of military action were considered the most important and first action in settling conflicts. That would require more investment in peacemaking. Currently, about 4 percent of our federal income tax dollars are budgeted for international affairs compared with over 50 percent for the Pentagon.

There are other actions that would help make our country a global peacemaker. One would be a strict adherence to international law and agreements in treaties that we have ratified, including the Geneva Conventions.

The U.S. would stop being the world’s largest exporter of weapons and, in particular, end the sale of arms to any country that our State Department identifies as an abuser of human rights. This would include countries like Saudi Arabia that the Pentagon might claim have strategic importance.

Finally, our country would be known for its generosity in providing humanitarian aid when there are natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and man-made disasters, such as the current civil war in Syria. What the U.S. would not do is use our bombs and missiles to destroy infrastructure, kill innocent people and create refugees.

Joe Burton

Raleigh

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