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Letter: America’s long history of war casts shadow on its claim to greatness

To the Editor:

People claim that this country is the greatest and the most civilized in the world.

Really? Let's see.

Since the inception of this country there has probably not been more than 20 years of peace at one time.

It started with a revolution to fight and kill for our independence.

American Indians were killed indiscriminately as we expanded west.

We fought the English in the War of 1812, with Mexico in 1845, the Civil War between the states in 1860, with Spain in the Spanish American War in 1898.

There was World War I in 1917, World War II in 1941, the Korean War in 1951, Vietnam in 1965, Afghanistan, Desert Storm and many other conflicts in the Middle East, and in other parts of the world.

Blacks were slaves from 1619 until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Many have been killed and persecuted for reasons I can't comprehend since then.

Before the end of the Second World War, two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. The bombs were dropped not on military targets but on civilians, with a death toll of more than 150,000 people! The excuse given was that it would bring the war to an end. It didn't matter if civilians would be killed.

If we are the greatest country in the world, can you imagine how other countries are compared to us? Shouldn't we be fed up with all the wars and the way we treat other people? But I believe that as long as there are more good people than bad, we might still achieve greatness and civility.

Manuel Ramirez

Crest Hill

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