To the Editor:
Why are we surprised that a U.S. soldier killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has arguably the most detailed open-source database on drone attacks, lists some ranges of the toll: between 2,412 and 3,063 people reported killed. Of them, between 467 and 815 were civilians and 178 of them children. U.S. soldiers are paid by tax payers to do this. They are trained to be killers of whomever the U.S. government determines as our enemy.
If we do not want our young people going overseas to kill others we need to stop paying for war, weapons, training for our young to kill and continued hospitalization and rehab for the injured and disabled soldiers. It is time for us to teach nonviolence instead of violence, especially during this time of Lent when we remember Christ's love shown to his torturers and murderers, his enemies.
We need to remember that Christ taught and lived nonviolence. He preached love of one's enemies, not killing or maiming them. He told us to pray for them and do good to them, not make life miserable for them. We need to change our ways by following the way of Christ if we are ever to have salvation and happiness in the world. Bring the troops home to learn nonviolence instead of killing others.
When Afghans kill others they are called "terrorists" When U.S. soldiers kill civilians they are called "freedom fighters," "heroes" and even "Christians".
Rev. Don Timmerman