In the June 29 Advocate’s editorial section, a syndicated column by Richard Reeves (“Get us out of Afghanistan”) told us what I have been saying for years: Our government doesn’t work for the good of the country, and it doesn’t care about the average citizen. Our government has failed us for years, and the damage is now beyond repair.

The George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, with their misguided approach to fighting terrorism and their disregard for the consequences, have brought us to the brink of financial disaster. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have lost not only the lives of good young men and women; they have generated obscene costs and inextricable debts.

Along the way, the influence of huge international corporations has allowed shifting of good American jobs to foreign countries while our own unemployed citizens suffer through a second coming of the Great Depression. Obama’s campaign promise to bring back those jobs to America has been blithely ignored, and his promise of new jobs has a hollow ring.

The Bernie Madoffs of the world might be bad, but we could have survived the bank crisis and the investment fiascos that beset us in recent years. What has destroyed us is the government’s desire to plunge us willy-nilly into every international conflict in the name of preventing terrorism or protecting Americans, all the while piling up debt that most Americans couldn’t imagine and didn’t understand.

In previous letters, I noted these problems and predicted that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could not be won and would only bankrupt our country. History has proved my point. Only an idiot (or a president) could say that there has been any lasting success in either country.

Where we go from here will depend on the strength of our people’s will and the sensibility of our government. The former is a given; the latter must be questioned and must be fixed. Our government seems to be responsive to the influence of huge corporations and various radical or special-interest groups, rather than to the majority of the people. My only hope is that if we choose new representatives in Washington and make them understand the plight of the common man, something good will begin to happen.

If we continue on our current path, we will see our country slide into obscurity and our children into poverty. Obama’s news conference on June 29 offered some potential solutions, but the problems of our country are not going to be solved in glib news conferences. If we don’t give up our reckless wars around the globe, we will spend ourselves into oblivion.

G.W. Cantrell

retired engineering manager

St. Gabriel