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War And Peace: In Song And In Poetry - Part 2

"For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change." - Ingrid Bengis

"Wars generally do not resolve the problems for which they are fought and therefore... prove ultimately futile." - Pope John Paul II

"As you reach your goals, set new ones. That is how you grow and become
a more powerful person
." - Les Brown

[First, thank you all so much for leaving your thoughtful comments on my previous blog. To me, it shows two things: first, at least five people are giving some level of thought to the issue (with a special thanks to Rositta for being a first-time commenter...much appreciated!), and second, it will never be possible to get eveyone to "agree" on "a solution" (although I'm sure we all knew that already. It would be naive and candy-cane-lane-dreaming to think otherwise). So does that mean we have only the two options as expressed by some of you? "I wish there would be peace, but I'm realistic enough to realize that there will always be war, so why fight it (pardon the pun!) So what the hell can I do about it? I sure can't stop the Iraq war, so what is the point of my blogs, anyway? Good question!!

The young teenager was helping her Mom get the Thanksgiving turkey ready for the family gathering and, as she always did with both the Christmas and Thanksgiving turkey, she carefully cut off the wings, and tucked them in the roaster down beside the bird. The young girl asked her Mom, "Howcum you always cut off the wings like that?" The mother thought about it a second, and answered, "Well, that's the way MY mother always did it." Persisting, the girl asked, "So why did SHE do it?" "I don't really know" came the response, but now you have me curious too. Let's call her and find out." So the appropriate call was made, the converstaion took place, and the results were the same ("Because Grandma always used to do it, and who's going to argue with Grandma's cooking!! But now you've got me curious, I'm going to phone her and find out." The call was made, the question asked, and the reply was "I never had a roasting pan big enough to take the whole bird without it hanging over the edges and dripping fat in the hot oven, so I chopped off its wings first."

Sometimes, we fight wars just because we always have. It clearly and obviously is a method that doesn't work to solve any problem it might have set out to accomplish, so again we're back to our black-and-white choice. What is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL is that we recognize that the "essence" of "war" changed in the early 1900's in World War I with the introduction of mustard gas as a weapon. It was the first weapon that murdered indiscriminately, and all we've done in the last century is continue to refine the concept, and become more immune to the inevitability of the results. Do I moan and groan and say I can do nothing, or do I get on the phone to Bush and order him to withdraw the troops immediately, and pass a law saying that no country can ever partake in a war again. Rather stupid, obviously. What we're missing is, there are a million other options available to each of us as individuals. Pick one that interests you and you're able to do.....then do it. That's all. Simple.

I wear this bracelet to remind me of this concept all the time, every day. Imagine that you are the "ball" at 2 minutes after noon, and your most bitter enemy (let's say the suicidal, murderous Taliban, for instance) are the ball at 2 minutes to noon. Well, as I see it, there are two ways of fusing those two into one (and I DON'T mean "same", I mean 'tolerant'. You can go to war, and attempt to jump the chasm between you, with 4000 soldiers (so far) dropping into the pit, 90,000 plus civilians going along with them, untold suffering and damage never to be restored, irreplaceable artifacts and manuscripts dating back centuries being lost in the process, or you can turn around and go the other way. (Perhaps that's what was meant biblically by "turning the other cheek..." Of course it won't happen this time, it may not even happen in Tibet, or any of the other 31 wars being fought today as you read this.

The following is a list (totalling 32) of some of the ongoing conflicts around the world: (list courtesy of Wikepedia)

Start of Conflict War/Conflict Location Death Toll

1948 Internal conflict in Burma Burma over 7,000
1964 Colombian Armed Conflict Colombia unknown
1967 Post-Six-Day War Israeli-Palestinian conflict (including al-Aqsa Intifada) West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel unknown
1969 Communist and Islamic Insurgency in the Philippines (including OEF-P) Philippines est. 160,000 [1]
1975 Conflict in Laos involving the Hmong Laos 2,000 - 3,000
1980 Internal conflict in Peru Peru ~70,000[citation needed]
1983 Sri Lankan civil war Sri Lanka ~70,000 [2]
1984 Turkey-PKK conflict Kurdistan and Turkey unknown
1984 Free Papua Movement Western New Guinea unknown
1987 Second Ugandan Civil War Uganda ~12,000[citation needed]
1988 Somali Civil War (including 2006 War in Somalia) Somalia 300,000 - 400,000
1989 Kashmir conflict Kashmir unknown
1990 Casamance Conflict Senegal unknown
1992 Conflict in the Niger Delta (including Nigerian Oil Crisis) Nigeria unknown
1993 Ethnic conflict in Nagaland Nagaland, India unknown
1999 Second Chechen War North Caucasus, Russia 28,000 - 113,000[citation needed]
2001 War in Afghanistan Afghanistan 17,000 - 27,000[citation needed]
2002 Islamic insurgency in Algeria Algeria unknown
2003 Iraq War Iraq ~151,000 [3]
2003 Insurgency in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 273
2003 Darfur conflict Sudan 200,000 - 400,000
2004 Balochistan conflict Balochistan, Pakistan unknown
2004 Waziristan War Waziristan, Pakistan 2,600 - 7,100[citation needed]
2004 South Thailand insurgency Pattani, Thailand ~2,500
2004 Naxalite (Maoist) insurgency in India Certain parts of India unknown
2005 War in Chad Chad ~1,400[citation needed]
2006 Mexican Drug War Mexico ~2700[citation needed]
2006 Fatah-Hamas conflict Gaza Strip, West Bank 265[citation needed]
2007 Second Tuareg Rebellion North Niger and Mali 56[citation needed]
2007 2007 Ogaden conflict Ogaden, Ethiopia ~1,500
2008 2008 unrest in Tibet TAR, Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu, PRC ~10-100[citation needed]
2008 2008 invasion of Anjouan Comoros, Anjouan unknown

Do we care about the others?

As a matter of happenstance beyond my control, I happened to be born into a Christian home in a western democratic country. People the world over tend to become very attached to three major things, their family, their religion and their country. I am no longer a Christian. I simply can't square statements as simple as "Thou shalt not kill" or "God made man in his own image", or "Jesus loves you" when we certainly have no compunction to kill. God must have been a lonely, homeless, disease-ridden, selfish, bipolar, cancer-ridden, armless druggie, and Jesus must have been a fag. None of that matters, of course, because we all choose our own depth and point of view in matters of faith. I consider myself deeply spiritual, with a sacred, strange and compelling attraction to the Haida Indians of British Columbia. So much so, that I am most likely going to be getting the following as a tattoo on my arm very shortly.

But I digress. I have also just begun to read a book called "Eastern Religions for Dummies". In reality, I am totally ignorant of their beliefs, so how can I have any understanding? Look, I'm certainly not trying to brag here, or shove this stuff in your face. I'm just saying that there ARE things that you, as an individual, can do, if you choose to do so. The consequence is whatever we leave behind us for our kids to clean up tomorrow.

Just to emphasize, let me say once more.....for the time being, let the soldiers jump into the abyss on our behalf. In the meantime, turn around and do what you CAN do. Be imaginative. And here's the real true, workable all-inclusive secret to what I believe I'm saying. The bracelet I've shown you is only two-dimensional, implying that we all have to "be on the same page" to get anywhere. WRONG! We live in a multi-dimensional world.

Imagine a tennis ball, and make a random mark on it with a felt marker. Now, make a second mark just a fraction of an inch from the first one. Now, count the number of paths there are to get FROM that dot to the other one, and don't forget the shortcuts by cutting through the middle of the ball too. Nobody says your line has to be a straight one. Most likely, along the way, you're apt to pass someone else, who, by being "in the same place", implies that they pretty much share your views. Can you learn anything from them, or them from you? Do you want to walk together for a little while at least? Just have the goal of getting there, and then figure out how you're going to do it. How much time and energy are you willing to put into the effort? If it turns out not to work, take the "path less-travelled". Take the fork in the road and see where it takes you. What's the harm in trying. The answer to that is simple. We get exactly what we ask for and are willing to accept. Tough love, but that's what it's truly all about. Pick the path that appeals to your tastes and talents. I suppose what I'm saying may come across as arrogant. I'm simply trying to use myself as an example of a couple of the untold billions of things that could be done to move us from 2 minutes past noon to three minutes past, assuming the folks between two and three minutes past more or less share our same views. As you move further away from the "2 minutes past" position, you obviuosly will run into deeper intransigence, less understanding, more aggression, and the suicidal Taliban. You'll also no doubt run into the three thousand kids who died of Malaria today in southern Africa because they didn't have netting over their cots when they slept last night

An interesting juxtaposition as the 4000th soldier was murdered this weekend in Iraq.

Kill For Peace

Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Near or middle or very far east
Far or near or very middle east
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
If you don't like the people
or the way that they talk
If you don't like their manners
or they way that they walk,
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
If you don't kill them
then the Chinese will
If you don't want America
to play second fiddle,
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
If you let them live
they might support the Russians
If you let them live
they might love the Russians
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
(spoken) Kill 'em, kill 'em, strafe those gook creeps!
The only gook an
American can trust
Is a gook that's got
his yellow head bust.
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, it'll
feel so good,
like my captain
said it should
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill it will give
you a mental ease
kill it will give
you a big release
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace
Kill, kill, kill for peace

-Lyrics courtesy of The Fugs
from the song "Kill For Peace

Peace Now

Everybody is talkin' 'bout peace in the world
oh yeah
everybody is talkin' 'bout peace in the world
but ev'rytime I hear a hungry baby cry

I ask peace now show me your face.

Peace now
show me your face
Peace now
show me your face
Peace now
show me your face
Peace now
show me your face.

Can't you hear me:
Peace now
show me your face
Peace now
show me your face
Peace now
show me your face
Peace now
show me your face.

Everybody is talkin' 'bout freedom and life
oh yeah
Everybody is talkin' 'bout freedom and life
oh yeah
but ev'rytime I see the trouble 'round the world
I ask freedom show me your face.

show me your face...
Everybody is talkin' 'bout peace in the world
oh yeah
Everybody is talkin' 'bout peace in the world
oh yeah
but ev'rytime I see a young soldier die

I ask peace now show me your face.

-Lyrics courtesy of Udo Jauuml;rgens
from the somg titled "Peace Now"

PEACE, LOVE and pass it on......

I can agree with everything you say.....because my country is not at war....I love peace...
For many years there was 'chaos & drama' in my home...till I asked myself a simple question.....Do I want chaos or peace......and I chose peace...and voila....my home is peaceful.

I'm neither violent or aggressive....but let someone harm my children..or grandkids.....let some drugged-upped asshole enter my house..and I catch him attempting to rape my grandchild........should I have mercy on his poor soul?
Should I sit him down and have a 'Dr. Phil pep-talk'?
No......I would pick up the nearest baseball bat...and I bet you...I would hit a home-run. His raping days would be over.

Is that a violent act? Yes...it is...but its my job to protect my grandkids.....you can't talk sense to a violent rapist....

I'm just using that as an example.
If you can talk your way out of any violent altercation.....great...but if you can't...tread lightly and carry a big bat.
I don't know what I would do if I were President. Sometimes talking works and sometimes it doesn't.

All I know is I can teach my grandkids love, tolerance, acceptance......but I fear for them and the world we live in.
I would love to find an answer..so that one day we can all live in a peaceful world.
Peace begins in the home....education is a must...blogging about it helps to educate and encourages debate which is a good thing.
Keep it up Rick...it's a start.

Thought provoking as usual! Will have to pick up the Dummies book - I am fascinated by the eastern religions, and would love to have a better intro to them.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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