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Of War and Peace

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Saturday, 15 May 2010 16:29
'In-Country-2', a photograph by Bob Lopes of a photograph left in a plastic bag during a rainstorm at the Vietnam Memorial Wall, 11/15/92. (photo: Bob Lopes/The Wall

'In-Country-2', a photograph by Bob Lopes of a photograph left in a plastic bag during a rainstorm at the Vietnam Memorial Wall, 11/15/92. (photo: Bob Lopes/The Wall

 

 

Reader Supported News | Perspective

What did you do in the war, Daddy?
Which one, Child?
The one before I was born.
You were born into war, Child.
- John Cory -

ebastian Junger was on the Daily Show talking about his new book, "War." I did that "look inside the book" preview on the net and it was déjà vu all over again for me as I read this passage: "... the first night at the KOP, O'Byrne heard a strange yammering in the forest and assumed the base was about to get attacked. He grabbed his gun and waited. Nothing happened. Later he found out it was just monkeys that came down to the wire to shriek at the Americans."

No matter how much it all changes it all stays the same.

There was a place about five klicks off LZ Stinson between Vinh Loc and the Tra Khuc River we nicknamed Monkey Mountain. It wasn't a mountain really, more of a big pile of rocks and dirt and thran grass and banana shrubs. And it was home to a nasty, ill-tempered, sadistic commune of rock monkeys. The little hairy bastards would wait until dark then toss rocks at us. All night.

The FNG always yelled, "Incoming! Grenade!" We'd laugh and then tell him about the monkeys. The FNG stopped yelling so loud. But everyone knew that one night Charlie might actually lob a Chicom grenade alongside a monkey-rock and then we'd all be fucked.

Vietnam. Afghanistan. Same-same GI. Same-same. Love you long time.

What is war after all, but a classic love story - boy meets gun, boy falls in love with gun; boy and gun live unhappily ever after.

I spent a lifetime one afternoon with my friend Jack M. He was one of Brokaw's "Greatest Generation," a moniker Jack said was bullshit to sell books and had no meaning. Office door locked and a bottle of good bourbon shared between us, Jack pointed at the photos on the wall. The twenty-year-old kid version of Jack stood next to Clark Gable, movie star and bomber pilot - their squadron in WWII England.

One by one across the black and white faces from long ago, Jack conducted roll call. For some he smiled, for others, he spoke reverently, and for a precious few he wept quietly and whispered, "God rest their souls. I remember them as though it was yesterday."

A little over fifty years after the end of his war and over twenty years after the end of my first war, we sat together and remembered what we could not forget.

That war is beautiful should chill our bones. That war is ugly is too gentle an adjective for a process that rips apart human flesh and drowns our soul in blood. War is electric. War is anesthesia. War is vicious and mundane.

The savage nobility, the sacred rite of passage and bonding of war gets portrayed as one of the most intense religious and spiritual experiences a soldier can ever have in this life. We glorify that "band of brothers" fusion of war.

But no one ever questions what that says about us, our society, about how trust and faith and love in one another can only have profound meaning if experienced in the violent carnage that is war. Otherwise, it don't mean nothin'.

In October of 1969 we humped the Big Green wearing black armbands in solidarity with the first Peace/Vietnam War Moratorium. There were over 250,000 people in Washington, DC with an estimated 2 million people across the country in small and big towns who donned black armbands and paid tribute to the soldiers and civilians killed in the war. The Peace Moratorium was the largest demonstration in US history. All they wanted was to give peace a chance.

We don't need an Anti-War movement. We need a Pro-Peace movement.

The thing they never tell you, the lie of all lies, is that you can go to war and then come home.

You can't.

Whenever I write about war, someone (usually a guy) will email me that I'm the reason that we (America) lost Vietnam and thank god things have changed and America now supports the troops - professional troops - not draftees and Communist hippies like me but real soldiers like the guys who won WWII.

Decades down the road we are still fighting Vietnam, still longing for the glory of the last good war, and still demeaning peace as un-American. War is our oxygen and our DNA. How can a soldier come home from war when we are still at war with ourselves?

And what of the REM Riots? My term for the nightmares that wake you in a cold sweat, chasing your breath because you don't know where the hell you are, the Rapid Eye Movements that leap and claw the darkness in search of escape.

What of the village child who wakes screaming at the growling rumble of passing aircraft, remembering the last time she heard that sound it brought her world to an end? Impersonal flying metal death with hi-tech targeting that mistook her parents for insurgents and her village as a safe haven for the bad guys. She wipes her frightened eyes with the stump of an arm where her hand used to be and promises revenge.

And what of the families who watch their spouse and parents go off to war - again. A third and fourth deployment while kids try to figure out where they fit in this society of family values and war. Which kid gives up their childhood to become the caretaker and consoler of the younger brood? Which child cries in the dark, afraid they will forget what their mother's kiss and hug feels like? Which child secretly steals the bottle of aftershave from the bathroom cabinet and sprinkles it on their pillow so at night they can smell dad and maybe dream of him?

My god how did the violent bonding of war become more noble and precious than the bonding of mother and child? Of father and child?

On 18 April 1945, Ernie Pyle was killed on a small island near Okinawa. A draft of a column he wrote for the end of the war in Europe was found in his pocket. Here is part of what he wrote: "... Dead men by mass production - in one country after another - month after month and year after year... Dead men in such familiar promiscuity that they become monotonous. Dead men in such monstrous infinity that you come almost to hate them."

We have come to accept the monotony of war, the mundane infinity of the dead, and the glory of the cause however vague, however deceitful, as long as it is wrapped in the flag like a soldier's coffin.

But something wicked this way comes. It is already happening, another Pinkville, maybe worse. Sy Hersh tells us it's out there like a diseased corpse waiting to be exhumed.

Don't tell me that war is inevitable, that we've always had war and we always will. That's a cop-out excuse to rationalize turning a blind eye to this garden of evil.

So what do we do, you ask?

I'm not an educated man and I don't have powerful contacts, but if you believe in "We the People" then surely we can ignite a Pro-Peace Movement. Surely we can encourage and vote for candidates who will stop funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And if that means a primary challenge to an incumbent - so be it. And we can send letters and emails and petitions to Congress and their staff demanding an end to war.

But here's an idea: A National Picnic For Peace Day!

Why not? We have Twitter and Facebook and blogs and the whole Internet to organize and schedule. Maybe have it on Labor Day? Why couldn't we fill Central Park, Griffith Park, the Mall in DC, Ghirardelli Square and local town squares across the country? 1969 was 2 million people - why not 5 million people today?

Veterans and their families, Union members and non-Union workers, come together in a giant picnic for peace. Mosques and Churches and their congregations.

How American would that be? Burgers and hot dogs and potato salad served up by we the people sharing photos of loved ones and stories of their dreams and hopes in life, even videos for the kids to see from their parent in Iraq or Afghanistan. Just a moment to touch the screen and pretend we're touching love. And who knows, maybe we can get people all around the world to share that day with us - from Amsterdam to Sydney to Kabul to Tokyo, what a message that would send. What a beautiful day that would be!

I know everyone is busy but let me ask you a question: If we're too busy for peace, aren't we're too busy for war?

I can see it in my mind. No politics. No Democratic or Republican signs or slogans. No Hitler pictures. Just a banner that says "Peace." And displays with photos and videos of our loved ones in and out of uniform and families sharing with one another and people celebrating life and hope.

Imagine all the people - to borrow from John Lennon.

Just imagine.

 


 

Reply to An Open Letter From Daniel Fletcher - Peace Day

 

Dear Daniel,

Thank you for being part of Reader Supported News and for your active participation in these forums. I do appreciate your comments and input and those of everyone here. I have included your letter below.

I understand your concern about the potential crass "commercialization" of a Peace Day. But wouldn't that be a wonderful worry? I'd rather have people shopping for Hallmark Peace Cards than shopping for caskets. If peace became as profitable as war, man wouldn't that be something?

I understand that a National Peace Day is a dream but we can make it a reality. Yes, it is only one day - to start. One day becomes two and then three and soon you have a whole week of Peace Days.

You spoke of a day of mourning for the ravages of war. Do we not already have those - Memorial Day and Veteran's Day that was originally Armistice Day? We have The Wall with its black granite mirror-like surface so that when you stand reading the names of the dead you can see your own reflection. And still we bury more sons and daughters.

I think we need to stop mourning the dead and start protecting the living.

I can't speak to your ideas on prayer. I'm not religious but I know many people who are and who find solace and meaning in their faith and I would never presume to speak for them. But I am sure that many churches would welcome a Day of Peace movement. They have in the past.

You may be right, the day after our celebration of peace, people will go back to business as usual. I don't think that means they forget and if they do - shame on us for not keeping in touch with them.

Folks used to send "care packages" to grunts in Nam. They sent soap and toothpaste and writing materials and shaving items and Screaming Yellow Zonkers. What a treat Zonkers were, I mean that black box with red, yellow and blue writing was a treasure of entertainment with such quips as "Open the top, and turn the box upside down. If the Zonkers fall out, this is the bottom. If they fall up, this is the top. If nothing happens, this box is empty." Funny, the things you remember from war.

In some packages came a card with a yellow sunflower logo that read: "War is not healthy for children and other living things." There was a medallion in the package I received and the organization was Another Mother for Peace. Supporters and volunteers included Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Robert Vaughn, Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds and Lauren Bacall among many, many more.

But AMP was Mothers who wanted nothing more than peace and ended up having a worldwide impact. Average middle-class mothers, a television writer mother, and artist mother that wanted to send a Mother's Day message to LBJ. I still remember them and I still have the medallion.

It won't be easy, getting a Peace Day. It will take a hell of a lot of work and organizing and communication and then - a miracle happens! But nothing happens if we don't try and nothing changes unless we change it. I like listening to Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee doing "People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield, a song that has a rich history of its own based on one man's non-violent work for equality.

One woman made a speech in 1851 Ohio that is forever remembered, "Ain't I A Woman." One woman helped the Underground Railroad free many. One man stopped the tanks in Tiananmen Square. One man led a Salt March that helped a nation gain its independence.

One person. One day. That's all it takes to start. Like Peggy Logue, a current mother for peace and her book, "Skin In The Game: Journey of a Mother and Her Marine Son."

You seem like a leader, Daniel. Maybe you are the person to start in your area?

You and I are veterans of war. We are survivors. Don't we have a moral obligation to push for peace the same way we pushed for terrain and survival, not only for ourselves but also for our men and comrades?

And in the end, is not peace forgiveness for all of us?

Take care, brother.

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# Daniel Fletcher 2010-05-17 14:23

An open letter to John Cory:

Like you, I am a vet. I worry that your Peace Day dream will be co-opted rapidly. Hallmark Peace Day greeting cards; drink concessions at the picnics sponsored by Cokacola; Peace Day sell-a-thons at the local car dealers, etc. I worry that a Peace Day event will end up substituting for substance. What about the sharing of pictures of families and loved ones destroyed by our wars. Why not instead a day of mourning for all of the ravages of war...a day of atonement...a day for being mindful of the peaceful opportunities lost to collective violence. Why not a Memorial Day to remember all the victims of war and a day of prayer that we may aspire to the greatness we are capable of through peace. I urge you to consider the people who will celebrate peace day and then go about doing business as usual the day after. Yes, celebrate life but can we simply do so forgetting all of the life we've destroyed? Is it right to seek peace without seeking forgiveness?

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+8 # Guest 2010-05-15 23:08
Poignant. Very sad. God help us...
 
 
+5 # Guest 2010-05-16 11:28
Quoting Billy:
Poignant. Very sad. God help us...


God's done a pretty poor job so far. I suggest we try to help ourselves.
 
 
+5 # Guest 2010-05-16 13:03
Absolutely correct Jim. As long as we continue to beg for God's help we'll keep right on doing what we've been doing. ALL armies believe God is on their side. Isn't it possible that God, whatever that turns out to be, is waiting, rather impatiently I would think, for humanity to stop praying for help, to get up off it's knees and accept responsibility for it's actions. We raise a child to surpass the sum total of what it's been taught in order to become a self-sufficient adult capable of taking care of themselves without having to phone home every five minutes for "guidance". Maybe it's time for people to give "God" a rest and start figuring out our own problems beginning with the notion that war is somehow inevitable, that God is on our side and that we're powerless to stop.
 
 
+2 # Guest 2010-05-16 13:06
Excellent article. I already posted a comment but here's one correction. Clark Gable was not a pilot. He was a waist gunner on a bomber for a short period of time. Rumor has it Hitler put a price on his head.
 
 
+1 # Guest 2010-05-17 16:23
An open letter to John Cory:
Like you, I am a vet. I worry that your Peace Day dream will be coopted rapidly. Hallmark Peace Day greeting cards; drink concessions at the picnics sponsored by Cokacola; Peace Day sell-a-thons at the local car dealers, etc. I worry that a Peace Day event will end up substituting for substance. What about the sharing of pictures of families and loved ones destroyed by our wars. Why not instead a day of mourning for all of the ravages of war...a day of atonement...a day for being mindful of the peaceful opportunities lost to collective violence. Why not a Memorial Day to remember all the victims of war and a day of prayer that we may aspire to the greatness we are capable of through peace. I urge you to consider the people who will celebrate peace day and then go about doing business as usual the day after. Yes, celebrate life but can we simply do so forgetting all of the life we've destroyed? Is it right to seek peace without seeking forgiveness?
 
 
+1 # Guest 2010-05-20 17:03
Hello John Cory,

I am deeply touched that you would reply to me directly. I am honored. You remind me of how steeped I have become in my own regrets. When it comes to mourning there never seems to be enough but ya' know? I need to shake this off before I become too set in my ways. Indeed, Peace Day greeting cards trumps caskets!

I am troubled that our victims are so easily forgotten, those we called enemies who were only defending their homeland as we would our own. However, this concern is eloquently addressed by celebrating and striving for peace, for isn't a respectful and considerate striving for brotherhood the essence of peace itself?

I can contribute time and energy to this purpose and I am beginning to realize that if I don't act on my appreciation for life, for peace, my grief will not end. We both survived for some greater purpose than to live in anguish, the kind so many of us vets have.

Ironic isn't it, that love can be so buried in pain. Well, where to begin?
 
 
+15 # Guest 2010-05-16 00:20
Boys love war. Just look at what video games they are playing. More women in powerful places - at least they think of the children.
 
 
+5 # Guest 2010-05-16 03:50
Quoting gen:
Boys love war. Just look at what video games they are playing. More women in powerful places - at least they think of the children.


Unfortunately, women in powerful places hasn't proved to be better than men, just more of the same, a different sex pursuing the same lust for power.
 
 
+3 # Guest 2010-05-16 11:09
Hillary Clinton voted for war in Iraq (no matter how she later tried to rationalize that she didn't really vote for war..) I believe that vote cost her the nomination. I suspect she voted for something, knowing it was wrong, but wanting to strenthen her reputation as strong on "defense"...I sadly must agree that women politicians are no better than men when it comes to military violence!
 
 
+3 # Guest 2010-05-16 12:34
Larry is a bit naive. Women in Congress number only 17% - not enough to create critical mass, to vote as a block with their own agenda. Women as Secty of State work at the pleasure of the (male) president in a system designed and perpetuated by men, where violence is respected and negotiation regarded with suspicion. Men fight peace - an oxymoron, but that's their self-made trap.
 
 
+2 # Guest 2010-05-18 21:43
The problem is not gender, but extreme material wealth.

Extreme wealth erases gender, and humanity.
 
 
+8 # Guest 2010-05-16 01:07
What an excellent statement, and a really great idea.
 
 
+11 # Guest 2010-05-16 01:24
Yeah let's go for it! US out of .. ( you fill in the blanks ). Peace is the answer.
Thank you John Cory
 
 
-12 # Guest 2010-05-16 07:25
But what happens when they come here? Just give our country over?
 
 
+12 # Guest 2010-05-16 07:57
Quoting Annamarie Bernath:
But what happens when they come here? Just give our country over?

That has been the Fear motivation for most of the Gun Crowd and frankly the logistics of an invasion into America are insurmountable by standard military 'boots on the ground" soldiers. The USA is a very large country to occupy so look within for the enemy for he is us. We will succumb to the greed and power of our fellow Americans, Bankers, Corporations, wealth accumulators, and by the propaganda being fed to us by our own Media. The truth is, that our enemy is within.
 
 
+8 # Guest 2010-05-16 09:37
When was the last time any country or group even thought of starting a war with us? The same BS that gets into too many wars. Indeed, the enemy is within.
 
 
+12 # Guest 2010-05-16 09:26
Who is this "THEY"? The folks that have been bombed and had their lives destroyed by American 'drones'? What are THOSE folks saying? Perhaps it's time to begin to see the world from THEIR viewpoint. What are THEY to do when THEY (we Americans) come over "HERE." Remember we ARE over THERE. But that THERE is THEIR HERE!!!

Defending our country is a lot different than invading Iraq, Afghanistan in hopes of "stopping THEM before THEY get US!

It IS insanity — this US and THEM view of the world. Meanwhile there is a plume of oil created by US casting a dark scum of death across the ocean floor that will effect US and THEM alike. And our current wars are about OUR greed for ever more oil in the Middle East, for what?

If we REALLY don't want THEM over HERE, perhaps we should heed the "Golden Rule" and and GET OUT OF THERE!!!
 
 
+4 # Guest 2010-05-16 23:01
I think that this is the best comment I've ever read because it is so encompassing. I do love John Cory's idea and it can be done. I would love to see the word " Peace" emblazoned everywhere on that day BUT preceded by a HUGE campaign in the mass media which won't happen because the media are war profiteers too.
Remember what William Hearst said, "Give me a war, and I will sell it" he also sold lots and lots of newspapers. The deck is stacked against peace loving people and for countries that will give the media and war profiteers a war, UNENDING WAR , unending profits for a bunch of slimeballs while the people bleed.
John Cory, talk to Bill McKibben who did a brilliant job getting the @ 350.org to help you organize this great idea.
 
 
+9 # Guest 2010-05-16 11:30
They (you) already did come here.

And yes, we the aboriginal people of this land, apparently did just give "our country over" for worthless pieces of parchment called "treaties".

I was born a prisoner of war, to a prisoner of war who was the daughter of another prisoner of war, ad finitum. And the genocide continues.

Remember the line from HAIR the anti war/pro peace musical.
it went something like this:

Hud: Wait a minute, let me get this straight...You want me a Black man to go to Viet Nam to kill the Yellow man in order to protect the land the White man stole from the Red man?

All "you" people have done since you arrived is destroy our rivers. massacre our indigenous wildlife, destroy our forests, kill or imprison our people, and now you, through more greed are destroying our oceans and its inhabitants.

When will you ever learn? When will you ever learn...
 
 
+4 # Guest 2010-05-16 20:19
Quoting Annamarie Bernath:
But what happens when they come here? Just give our country over?


Gee Annamarie, are you worried that "they" might do to us what we did to "them" when we took over someone else's country? Perhaps we should worry. "They" might be inclined to be just as bad as we've been. I suppose it would serve us right if we were treated in kind. Oh, but that would bad because when we do it, it's Manifest Destiny, a good thing, and when "they" do it, its' just wrong.

Too bad that we still tend to think like children.
 
 
+4 # giraffee23 2010-05-16 04:43
My heart hurts for your pain, John Cory!
Your suggestion is like a peaceful "revolution" -- a "statement" --- to our "government" that the money and power they derive from waging war is not what "we the people" want or need.

Americans do not even care about our American children who have drunk, dope using abusive parents. I have a grand daughter who can no longer "see" me because her parents want to "protect" their lifestyle. My LV, NV petition to keep contact with my granddaughter was shuffled to a new judge in 2009. He wiped his calendar of my case. I appealed but the NV SC calendared it “early” – not allowing "oral" -- New Judge is so connected with the "mob" and the higher "mob judges" I will never get my evidentiary hearing to overcome the rebuttable presumptive reasons of the parent (my son, who claimed “unfettered rights” as reason). My granddaughter was in my care from ages 2 years- 5 years (after her mother died). I cannot even say "I love you" -
 
 
+9 # Guest 2010-05-16 04:58
"My god how did the violent bonding of war become more noble and precious than the bonding of mother and child? Of father and child?"

How indeed?

But perhaps it did not, really. It's a lie we are being told and sold, Junger's book included, for the benefit of those who always benefit from wars. Until we stand firmly together in the name of peace, that lie will be repeatedly written in our blood and that of our children.

Let's do the Picnic for Peace. Just one day a year dedicated to peace -- how sad, and yet how revolutionary. Let's pick a date and do it.
 
 
+6 # mmysko 2010-05-16 05:36
Excellent piece. Thank you. I'm wondering: Couldn't we say that, in a sad way, it really is "un-American" to decry war? It seems to me that by "American" we mean all-powerful, superior, a winner, the boss of the world. The old lie that is "Dulce et Decorum pro patria mori" rests squarely against another lie: that the "patria" is all-good, blessed, chosen by God, superior to all nations, and therefore deserving of the most power.
 
 
+13 # Guest 2010-05-16 06:22
When Dennis Kucinich was running for president, he talked about creating a Peace Cabinet. What a wonderful idea, what a great president he would have made. The problem is, I think that modern elections have turned into beauty contests, and someone like Congressman Kucinich doesn't have a chance.
 
 
+8 # Guest 2010-05-16 16:10
Kucinich didn't lose his bid for the Presidency because of a beauty contest problem. He lost because he refused to sell himself to the corporatocracy. Therefore, he didn't have the money to buy the election. Also, he won't compromise his principles. In a word, he's a man of integrity, which means he doesn't stand a chance of ever attaining the White House.
 
 
+3 # Guest 2010-05-16 18:52
Very well said, Denise, I totally agree.
 
 
+6 # Guest 2010-05-16 07:20
We had peace in the park rallies. Annually. People came and gave their services for free to each other, we supported each other, we fed each other. The press wouldn't cover it. Part of the argument was that it wasn't patriotic, and it didn't support our troops. What about the rest of us citizens who want a peaceful home life. What about those of us who want our loved ones back from war making? Where is our patriotic duty to each other as citizens. Oh, that's right, the boys fight for our right to be free to support them, but the other citizens shouldn't be contaminated with our push for peaceful solutions because we are not patriotic for taking the path we prefer.
 
 
+4 # Guest 2010-05-16 08:15
Very wonderful article. Thank God for my internet connection, where I have a chance to read articles like this one, for no one is talking about peace in our main stream media. Smedley Butler should be read by every American. Peace picnic is a great idea,, but not once a year,, we should have one every week, then it just might have an effect. And the cause should not be linked to any other advocacy,, not animal rights, not marijuana legalization,, not abortion issues,, just peace. How about a peace picnic the first Sunday of every month? We are a young world, with still little international law,, and until we have some form of international law enforcement, there will always be war. If 2400 civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2009 is not a crime, what is ? War is in fact crime, and until it can be prosecuted in a court of law,, we will have war. Over one million Iraqis dead from violence since we invaded,,true crime. We can begin conversations about this with everyone we meet, and write.
 
 
+4 # Guest 2010-05-16 09:44
Skin in the Game: Journey of a Mother and her Marine Son has just been published. In my book, closing chapter, I say,'We are not all warriors on the battlefiled. But maybe we can reduce the number of battlefields and the number of warriors on the battlefiled by choosing to use our gifts to bring peace. I realize the potential for violence is in each of us and maybe that is where we start to end war by quelling our own personal violence, our own personal anger, intolerance and hatred. we can become warriors for peace." Yes, I believe we need a PEACE movement. Love Peace. Peggy
 
 
+5 # Guest 2010-05-16 09:56
The reasons we go to war are nearly always found to have been falsified, baseless and for some political gain. The politicians who lead our youth and the victims in the country being invaded to slaughter never lose their own sons and daughters. I pass a military airbase that trumpets the low-flying aircraft make "the sound of freedom." We always hear about how our soldiers fought for our freedom, but when has that been the case? Not Vietnam, not Iraq, not Afghanistan, not Kuwait, not Granada...... Sadly, the brave soldiers always die not for our freedom, but for a politician's posture of strength. I hoped Obama would be different, but we're sill in Iraq, he increased the troop levels in Afghanistan, and actually joked about predator drones. We never learn, never even (John Lennon again) TRY peace.
 
 
+4 # Guest 2010-05-16 10:40
War, is in part, an accumulation of anger between every day people which grows and festers until we are all caught up in the irrational anger coming from a hundred-thousan d sources.

Ask yourself, if you cannot be at peace with your neighbor, how can we expect our leaders to make peace with one another?

We have ways to resolve our anger that are far better than war. But it means you have to look at yourself, your motives, your relationships, your fears. To quote someone else, "we have the right words now, we call it THE WAR ON TERROR". Yes, we are terrified of taking a long, difficult look at ourselves. The path to peace is not through someone else's neighborhood but through our OWN backyard.
 
 
+3 # Guest 2010-05-16 13:40
WW II was fought by draftees. They had no choice, but they served and died. WW II ended with atomic bombs. No big acts of heroism there.

There will be no Peace party, because there are very few companies that I can think of that manufacture items primarily for Peace- GM, and possibly Ford, and these easily converted to war products during WW II.

How do we organize to proclaim a Day of Peace? How do we let our "representative s" know we want PEACE? I've written and called my "representative s" so many times, but how do we organize?
 
 
+5 # Guest 2010-05-16 16:41
If we really want peace, let's start by ending our support for Israel.
 
 
+2 # Guest 2010-05-16 18:24
Name a date. For the peace rallies.
 
 
+2 # Guest 2010-05-16 18:35
Thank you for writing this and yes Labor Day and a Peace Picnic all around the world - Just Imagine!
 
 
+3 # Guest 2010-05-16 18:54
Support your public radio station and PUSH THEM to cover the issues of 9/11, endless war, corporate dominance, why some presidents have gotten shot; stuff that's part of our history as Americans and someone should report on the taboo subjects---one thing that does not sit well with me is all that video catching World Trade Center 7 falling to the ground in one fell swoop, looking an awful lot like a controlled demolition. WTC 7 is the third skyscraper that fell down. It was a huge building. There were many cameras rolling that day, by the time it fell. The official explanation is that it fell because of fire. Try as I might, I just can't see it. And that means I start to wonder about the other two buildings. How can I know? But wouldn't it be nice to see some reportage on those investigations? Where's all that transparency we thought Obama was going to bring to us---& why do I feel only mystfied, I wonder, by this woman he's chosen for Supreme Court Justice? Her Monsanto thing scares me.
 
 
+1 # Guest 2010-05-16 20:45
I am all in favor of peace but I simply must confess my stupor over all of the time worn platitudes I hear. Every single plea for peace I am reading here rings true but I know that an organized peace day picnic and raising our pleas for peace to a defening crescendo...wil l make not one whit of difference on those who will wage it for all of the economic benefits that come with waging war.
What I do not hear is the kind of sacrifices people are willing to make if we are to make the military industrial complex entirely unprofitable. Do any of you know the amount of us that will have to be immolated, destroyed, in order to raise the consciences of those who would wage war, to stop it? Are you willing to risk the equivalent of Christ's crucifixtion in order to break open the hardened hearts that need to be opened up? Will one million of us fasting unil death, another million dousing themselves in gasoline and striking a match be what it takes? Honestly, probably so. Any volunteers?
 
 
+5 # Guest 2010-05-16 20:51
AlittleHawk is right. Many are right. Read history. War is about greed. No war was ever fought without the support of the government, the churches, and business. We live in a country where 5% own 95% of all assets: land, capital and control of labor. We are a nation of wage slaves suffering from illusions of grandeur. The people will never have political power until we change the way elections are financed. Only then will good people be able to run for office, do what their hearts demand, and remain in office.

Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and they is us."

Peace Picnics are merely a gesture without real political power. Otherwise, we're preaching to the choir!
 
 
+6 # Guest 2010-05-16 21:40
The generals and admirals in the pentagon are obviously calling the foreign policy positions in the Iraq, and Afghan/Pak wars. These are wars for strategic control of oil. This is logically connected to Obama's energy positions that support vast off shore drilling, as well as oil, gas, and coal federal subsidies. If these federal financial policies instead subsidized solar, wind, geothermal, and other really clean eco-sustainable energy, there would be no wars in the middle east and central asia, and we would all be living in an environment (air, water, food, and soil) free of life destroying pollutants. The pentagon, fossils fuels, the banks/financial institutions, military/indust rial complex, political repression, and corruption, are all part of our political/econo mic system. They work in symbiosis, and this is rapidly moving in the direction of total big corporate control of the federal government.
 
 
+2 # Guest 2010-05-16 22:06
Incredibly--thi s is a fresh and new idea. Worth building a national movement around: A Peace Picnic. How to move that from just a good idea into an idea that can move thousands of people to the picnic table?

I'm reminded of Chris Hedges wonderful book: WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING. Peace Picnics would be a great counter-cultura l experience across the country. Si, se puede!
 
 
+2 # Guest 2010-05-17 11:37
Quoting Tom Ambrogi:
Incredibly--this is a fresh and new idea. Worth building a national movement around: A Peace Picnic. How to move that from just a good idea into an idea that can move thousands of people to the picnic table?

I'm reminded of Chris Hedges wonderful book: WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING. Peace Picnics would be a great counter-cultura l experience across the country. Si, se puede!


A great counter-cultura l experience? Well guess what...I bet there would be plenty of corporate sponsors willing to participate! Wow! A national picnic party for peace! A day of BBQ's, party hats, balloons, soda concessions and the whole bit! Whee! We'd get to feel good for a day, warm with the rosy glow of having done something...and then what.
For God's sake, how about a national day of fasting, wearing sack cloth, ash pressed against our foreheads, a day of mourning, crying and self flagellation. How about a day of shared grief, a day of atonement? No?
 
 
+4 # Guest 2010-05-17 11:59
Wars are glorified, as in Avatar, with it's portrayal of Tree-Hugging Hippies, armed to the teeth, and Gandhi toting an AK-47. Along with Peace Day, we need a Department of Peace. The Government wont find peaceful solutions, until it establishes a forum for planning and implementing them.
 
 
+1 # Guest 2010-05-24 15:51
Thank you John for this. Let's start and we can perfect as we go.
 

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