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Domestic disputes heighten war risk

I hope all you who are eligible to vote in today’s election have either done it or have a plan to do so. I like to think that those who read my column are concerned citizens who realize their duties. I can only vote in one election, but I’m concerned about eight.

Local elections have been becoming more partisan during the years, but today we’re seeing school board candidates running as Republicans who oppose “woke” and “inclusion” in their mailings, but in public discourse, they mention only listening to parents and bettering test scores.

Then, if elected, they ban books, censor teachers and replace administrators. They see traditional schools and libraries as threats to their political agenda.

Nationally, our new Supreme Court justices used a similar technique to get elected. After assuring senators that they respected Roe vs. Wade as “established law”, they quickly voted to overturn it. They followed up by ruling that states had to fund religious schools if they provided funds for students at any private school.

And two or three justices are destroying the standing of the Court by voting in cases after receiving extravagant gifts from persons who would benefit. The Supreme Court doesn’t have a code of ethics, because no one imagined senators would appoint people without ethics to the highest court in the land. But it’s happened.

And Speaker Michael Johnson has suggested that we pay for aid we send Israel by cutting the IRS auditing budget. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cuts would lower revenues by $26.8 billion over the next 10 years.

Johnson apparently laughed at the report. How could a budget cut increase the deficit? Pundits immediately pointed out that the House’s new, very religious leader did lie. Maybe he feels it’s okay if he phrases something as a question?

More important, however, is that the House supports helping Israel but not Ukraine.

Robert Reich explained why this is a danger.

“Ukraine is fighting to stop Putin’s aggression. If Ukraine loses this war, Putin will be emboldened to push into Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and every other nation he claims was once part of the Russian Empire. America will be drawn into a violent confrontation.”

China might also be emboldened to invade Taiwan.

So far NATO allies are doing their part to support Ukraine and have given up importing oil from Russia. The U.S. is now Europe’s chief supplier; in many countries customers pay between $6.50 and $8.00 a gallon.

And, after an attack by Hamas, Israel is now attacking Muslims in Gaza. The U.S. is urging that they not kill civilians, but Israel sees Hamas tunnels and command centers everywhere.

Friday and Saturday Israel bombed an ambulance convoy, three hospitals, and a UN-run school. Israel said they had destroyed an underground command center; Hamas said the attacks raised the total Palestinian deaths to over 9,000.

Israel is also involved with fighting Hezbollah along the Lebanese border and Palestinians in the West Bank. Two aircraft carriers the U.S. sent to the Mediterranean to discourage the spread of fighting have been attacked by drones from Iraq.

Members of Biden’s team are visiting other Muslim countries in the Middle East promising U.S. backing for a two-country solution. Don’t fire on Israel; help us get the Palestinians off reservations in Italy and onto their own land with their own government.

Meanwhile, Trump adherents in the U.S. House are cutting all support for Ukraine, backing Israel in whatever it does, and cutting funds for the Environmental Administration, Bureau of Land Management, and Interior Department.

They’re not helping matters.

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