Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - January 1, 2010

Letter: Where did Obama's hope for change go?

Dear Editor,

Barack Obama was elected president by a populace hungry for change and still believing in the possibility of government of, by, and for the people. While it is true in his campaign Obama said that he would shift emphasis from Iraq to Afghanistan in the "global war on terror," his continued focus on a military solution rather than a more humanitarian approach to the roots of terrorism promises a continuation of death, misery, and squandered resources.

Most disappointing to those hoping for change was his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech which resembled a thinking-person's version of the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war. Obama is an intelligent man -- he must get it that war to end terrorism only creates more of both. Clearly, there are other motivations for war without end.

There is an alternative to continued disappointment over the failure of our elected leaders to keep their promises. Pleasantonians 4 Peace, a group of Tri-Valley residents, holds a candlelight vigil on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in front of the Museum on Main Street in Pleasanton, where we reflect on the human and monetary costs of war, honor our veterans who have sacrificed, and visualize a more peaceful world.

In the immortal words of Pete Townsend, we have met the new boss and he's the same as the old boss. We've tried electoral democracy to end these wars. It's time to try direct democracy. We hope you will join us.

Matt Sullivan (Pleasanton City Councilman)

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