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War And Peace: In Song And Poetry-Part 1

"The journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step. So we must never neglect any work of peace within our reach, however small." - Adlai Stevenson

"A child does not have to be taught how to be happy or the ways of love. It is fear, hatred, & prejudice that have to be taught. And from the condition of the world we can see that unfortunately there are some very good teachers." - anon

"I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

[Anyone who has read my blog on a semi-consistent basis realizes that I am an unabashed and un-apologetic peacenik. Maybe I'm left over from the horrible images stuck in my mind from the Viet Nam disaster. Who can ever forget the picture of the little girl running down the road, naked, after just being napalmed, or William Calley's atrocities...the list is endless. Those who don't heed the past are doomed to repeat it. I wonder. Is that a self-fulfilling prophecy? Can the cycle be broken? There is a myriad of poetry and song lyrics that address both topics: 'peace' and 'war/hatred'. For the next set of blogs, I'm going to make my blog out of "borrowed" words. There are others who can deliver the message so much clearer than I.

In the meantime, I also am unshakeably convinced that each and every one of us AS INDIVIDUALS can and MUST find ways to make a difference. A discussion over coffee at the kitchen table with your neighbour, a letter to your congressman or member of parliament, an interceptor in school-yard "fights", whatever. Don't say, "Yeah, I should, I know, but what can just one person do?" How about forming a Peace group, then you've instantly doubled your strength, or if you're not an organizer, joining one. Talk with a soldier or his family about why he joined the armed forces, or better still, invite him and his family over for dinner so you can have a true discussion....both ways. Who cares if you know him? Try and get informed about what motivates the apparent on-going necessity. Ask them if they couldn't fight just as hard for peace as they do for war. Anything....but something. If you have other ideas, add them on as comments to share with all the readers. I'm not egomaniacal enough to believe that I have all the answers, or even that some of my ideas will work. But what's wrong with at least trying?

Write a blog about it, and ask your blog readers to ask all THEIR blog readers to drop by here with a comment....either view. We need to understand each other. It's not enough just to protest the other guy. Personally, I hope some of you, ideally all of you, direct others here or link to this entry in your blog.

Personally, I have contacted the "War Resisters Support Campaign" which is a Canadian group helping out soldiers who go AWOL due to their conscience. They know the sentence could be death by court-martial, but is usually just a long prison term. They know it may break up their family, cause rifts with relatives, be unable to return to the land they love and belong to for the rest of their lives, or risk being arrested. But they come anyway. That, to me, is bravery in the face of danger. That, to me, is what soldiers are taught.

We don't need to wait for George Bush to be out of office before anything can be done. WE don't need to wait until the three-year extension to Canada's commitment in Afghanistan that was voted on last week expires, sitting back with a sigh saying "Oh, well". Today's a good day to start. You may save a young lad's life because of it. Wouldn't that be worth it? It's already too late for the 4000 or so Americans killed and 30,000+ injured, or the 82 Canadians slaughtered. For what? That's what I need someone to explain to me. For what? I just don't get it. Do You

"War Child"

Who will save the war child baby?
Who controls the key?
The web we weave is thick and sordid,
Fine by me.

At times of war we're all the losers,
There's no victory.
We shoot to kill and kill your lover,
Fine by me.

War child, victim of political pride.
Plant the seed, territorial greed.
Mind the war child,
We should mind the war child.

I spent last winter in New York,
And came upon a man.
He was sleeping on the streets and homeless,
He said, "I fought in Vietnam."

Beneath his shirt he wore the mark,
He bore the mark with pride.
A two inch deep incision carved,
Into his side.

War child, victim of political pride.
Plant the seed, territorial greed.
Mind the war child,
We should mind the war child.

Who's the loser now? Who's the loser now?
We're all the losers now. We're all the losers now.

War child.

-lyrics from "War Child"
courtesy of "The Cranberries

[Click on the image above to get the REAL message. They're never coming home. Their families are broken. Their kids will grow up without two parents. Check out the background. THAT is the cost of this war, all killed in action. It's not the estimated trillions of dollars (yup....trillions) it will cost the U.S. economy. ]

Deep Peace

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace deep peace
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you
Deep peace of the wandering wind to you
Deep peace of the flock of stars to you
Deep peace deep peace
Deep peace of the eastern wind to you
Deep peace of the westeren wind to you
Deep peace of the northern wind to you
Blue wind of the south to you
Pure red of the whirling flame to you
Pure white of the silver moon to you
Pure green of the emerald grass to you
Deep peace deep peace

lyrics from "Deep Peace"
courtesy of "Donovan"

[Wouldn't it be cool if you could get the principal, or all the teachers, or some of the teachers, or a bunch of the kids together, and along with the A-B-C-D's and the 1-2-3's (click on pic above), they also investigated the idea of P-E-A-C-E? Political correctness be damned.]

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

Wow! Clicking on the pic of Bush really blew my mind! All those lost souls......and for what?
It's a bloody shame that it has come to this. We are our worst enemy!

Oh, Oh, I am passionate about this, but from the other end of the opinion spectrum :) I fully support the soldiers who are in Afghanistan, and while I think it is a travesty that people have died in the line of fire, I think they are there to help the non-Taliban civilians - who are the vast majority of Afghanis. If all the soldiers from the UN led mission left, then yes, those soldiers could be safe here in Canada, but what about the innocents who live and were born there, and unable to leave. Peacekeepers are helping to rebuild a country that has suffered so much political unrest due to the US and the USSR having pissing wars. Our army is voluntary, and every person who joins does so with their own free will. I'll have to look in to WRSC; never heard of it, and I never knew there was a problem to leave.

As for the US soldiers in Iraq, I think that is a joke; that is pure politics at work, and Bush scares the hell out of me.

Do I wish there was peace - damn right. But there isn't, and I think it would be worse if the countries who could help restore order only sat back and watched.

I have to apologize in advance, because I really don’t want offend anyone, so I hope I don’t. But here goes… This is SUCH a difficult topic, because there’s really no “black” or “white” when it comes to war and peace. No one WANTS war (well, no one in their right mind, anyway) – not even George W. Bush. And the venomous hatred spewed at him (by both liberals and conservatives) often saddens me – people want “love” and “peace,” but apparently hatred is okay as long as it’s aimed at George W… (it’s interesting that I hear more negativity and anger aimed at HIM than I ever hear aimed at the Iraqi insurgents – the people who are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for killing and maiming their fellow Iraqis and the foreign troops who are working so hard to stabilize the country.)

The difficult thing about “peace” is that it’s something ALL parties must AGREE upon in order to have an effect. Since it is, in a way, the ABSENCE of action, everyone must be assured that NO action will be taken. This is certainly a concept that can work when all parties can be REASONED with – but what happens when you’re dealing with people who don’t listen to reason? What happens when you’re dealing with someone who is willing to wrap himself with explosives, walk into a market filled with innocent men, women and children, and blow himself up? The idea of “peace” is lost on someone with that sort of mindset.

And what if you’re merely a bystander – if we see someone being mistreated, do we turn our backs, or do we try to help? What if the offender WON’T listen to pleas or reason? What if the only way is to use some kind of force? Do we refuse to use force because it might result in our OWN sacrifices, and therefore simply allow the mistreated individual to suffer? How is that better than getting involved, and attempting to make a difference, and HOPING for a better life for those who are mistreated?

Of course, war is NOT always the answer… but unfortunately, “peace” does not always work, either. I agree very strongly with the second quote you posted above – children don’t know hatred and intolerance until they are TAUGHT hatred and intolerance. And I honestly believe the ONLY way to have peace on earth is for parents to STOP teaching their children to hate. That’s where it starts, and that’s where it has to end. As long as people continue to indoctrinate children with hate, there WILL be conflicts and war – the change must start at the beginning.

One last thing – I could never say that all the men and women who have died in Iraq died for “nothing.” (By the way, the “war” in Iraq ended after about two weeks… everything since then has been, interestingly enough, an attempt to KEEP THE PEACE. An effort, which, unfortunately, has been repeatedly thwarted – NOT by George W. Bush or the U.S. or crazy Republican lawmakers or whatever the general popular consensus is, but rather, by those people who WILL NOT be reasoned with and REFUSE to “give peace a chance.”) The men and women who have died in Iraq gave their lives to protect their OWN countries, and OTHER counties as well – the sacrifice they’ve made is just astounding to me. We are SO BLESSED to live in the countries we live in, and to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy. (And don’t worry, the presidential election is this year, so George W. Bush will soon be gone. And then we can start complaining about the NEW president. :))

Wow, I’m sorry this got so long! I don’t talk about this kind of stuff very often, because I don’t like to get too negative or offend people. And I know my views are probably totally different than yours and many people who read your blog, so I honestly hope no one is offended. (Personally, I’m glad people have different points of view – the world would be very boring if we were all exactly the same… :))

Peace and war,love and hate is never easy to discuss especially when there is politics involved and so many differing opinions. It's not easy, but it's something that has to be done, even on a small scale of a dinner conversation or getting involved in local groups that you support. You opening even this dialouge challenges us to think about what we believe and support and to take some kind of action on those beliefs. I find that when you put real faces to the consequences of war (like in that picture of Bush) it really hits home and can spark some pretty interesting dialouge.
I am proud of our peacekeepers and the efforts they make to restore broken families and war-torn areas. I'm proud of the soldiers who have made the choice to go and fight for their countries. I have pride for them, however I wish with all my heart that they didn't have to do these jobs. Cori is right, it would be far worse if we as a nation just stood back and watched. I think there would be far more casualties.

Oh and feel free to tell me/others on my blog to check your post out! I don't mind! I'm glad you came by! :)

"A child does not have to be taught how to be happy or the ways of love. It is fear, hatred, & prejudice that have to be taught. And from the condition of the world we can see that unfortunately there are some very good teachers." - anon

Okay, so how do we stop those "teachers"? Maybe if we send Jack Layton there to ask nicely they might start teaching love? Would it have worked with Hitler or Uncle Joe, he of the Ukrainian genocide? Somehow I doubt it.

I too am passionate about ending all wars but I'm also realistic and a cynic and I know it will never happen no matter how much we wish it...ciao

I hear Lisa & Rositta loud and clear.....and they do make sense. They have stated many good points...even if most of us have our head in the sand.

But really.....it is our tolerance of violence & violent behavior that is a big problem.

There is much to be said on both sides of the coin....only through education and debates...honest communication will we ever solve our problems.

We have to talk about it..constantly....and have faith...that we can & will resolve our problems.
Maybe it's wishful thinking..but we have to start somewhere...and that place is in our homes.\

There should be no tolerance for hate, racism or violence. There has to be a better way.

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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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