I concur with a previous letter writer’s gratitude to the Press Herald for supporting the sharing of alternative points of view on the war in Ukraine (“Lucky we can disagree with government policy,” April 22). He proffers that our country has made “mistakes and blunders.” I observe the war in Iraq was not initiated by mistake; It was a planned, well-documented initiation of a devastating 20-year occupation with death, destruction and mayhem. Thanks to Daniel Ellsberg’s exposure of the Pentagon Papers, we know the stream of lies that persisted throughout the Vietnam War.

Whistleblowers John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning and the currently imprisoned Daniel Hale can describe what the inside of U.S. prisons look like. Each shared information about our war-making that was hidden from those of us paying the bill. They sacrificed for the people’s right to know the truth.

Without a real debate in Congress (or in most mainstream media outlets) about why, rather than insisting on negotiations, we are sending billions of dollars to feed a brutal proxy war, it’s up to us to talk with each other. And to seek sources of information that shed light on the lies of the day. While the war profiteers’ wealth grows exponentially, our neglected physical and social infrastructures scream for relief. Mistakes? Blunders? An empire in decline? Let’s keep the debate alive.

Mary Beth Sullivan

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