Dear Editor,

“I want to know what it takes to remember when you know that you’ve heard it before, when a government lies to its people, and a country is drifting to war… I want to know who the men in the shadows are, I want to hear somebody asking them why, they can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are, but they are never the ones to fight or to die…”

So Jackson Browne wrote in 1986 in his song “Lives In the Balance” and so it applies to Mr. Trump, Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Bolton and all those behind the scenes people who are currently manufacturing a war with Iran. Has this country learned nothing since the Bush administration and the horrendous mess we created in the Middle East with the lies of that era? What will it take for mostly white middle age men to acquire emotional, ethical and moral wisdom? Is this primarily a Republican disease- to hide behind fragile egos to defend violence of horrific proportions? Are these the same people who will fight tooth and nail to defend unborn embryos yet think nothing of slaughtering thousands of foreign children and babies in the name of American justice and democracy? So Mr. Trump has withdrawn from a nuclear deal that more thoughtful people in the world considered to be working, and now seeks to provoke another war-or, at least, to expand it to another front in that part of the world.

And who will be one of our most loyal allies? Saudi Arabia, a nation that oppresses its female population and whose leader Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sanctioned the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This should not be acceptable to a civilized nation that claims to be the champion of freedom and justice. When a government drifts away from truth and facts and loses its moral compass, it becomes imperative for people of character to defend what is right and just for All people-not merely those of one particular nation or another. To do anything less is to equate ourselves with those nations we claim to be ‘demonic axis of evil’. The common person in Iran wants to live as much as the common American but is subject to the same propaganda from those in power as Americans are- which makes facts and critical analysis all the more precious. Centuries ago the world embraced the scientific method to sift Truth from the dark ages of ignorance, and that careful scrutiny is needed now more than ever. Be sure you have the facts before supporting anything so vicious as war, or anything else that affects the planet.

Wes Jacobs,