On Tuesday, August 9, the Cincinnati Peace Committee held a memorial at the World Peace Bell in Newport KY to remember and honor civilian casualties of war. August 9 is the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city of Nagasaki, Japan which happened 3 days after the annihilation of Hiroshima. 120,000 people were killed on these 2 days and tens of thousands would later die of radiation exposure. Most of these people were civilians.
In spite of the attempt to protect civilians with international treaties, the killing of civilians during war is an even larger problem today. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that civilian fatalities account for more than 90% of all deaths in the wars that started since the 1990s.
Recently there was a report that US led airstrikes in Syria accidently killed more than 80 civilians, mostly woman and children. This tragedy was practically ignored by the US media compared to the coverage of the terrorist attack in Nice that was of the same magnitude. The US media mostly ignores civilian casualties of war caused by the US. This lack of media coverage leaves our citizens woefully uninformed as to the loss of life and terror we inflict on the people of other nations, and results in our lack of understanding as to why there is such strong and growing anti-American sentiment.
We believe that US citizens need to be aware that our military is killing more civilians than soldiers in our ongoing wars. We need to demand that our nation find other ways to make the world safe for us and for democracy, a way that is better than our current reliance on violence which kills innocent people and gives birth to terrorists resulting in even more violence.
US history shows us a better way. Before the signing of our constitution, the states formed a confederation and each had a militia that was called out to resolve disputes between the states on the battlefield. With the signing of our constitution we became a federation of states and we agreed to solve our disputes in the court of law instead of on the battlefield.
We can do that now at the global level by transforming the United Nations into a democratic, representative federation of nations and agreeing to solve international disputes in the court of law instead of with military force. Imagine the money we would save and how that money could be better spent to deal with social issues and care for our planet. Imagine the lives we would save: lives of our military men and women as well as civilians. Please check out http://globalsolutions.org/issues/global-democracy-governance to learn more about the issue of global democracy and governance.