Peace, Not War

Jimmy Carter, in accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, said, War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.

I do not believe that war is necessary at this time.  I am disappointed, disturbed, and depressed by the direction our administration is taking.  Rather than a force for peace in the world, our saber-rattling and escalating threats are creating an expectation of war.

I am opposed to many of Bush’s policies, but the war-mongering is the most frightening to me.  We should reduce defense spending and put that money into social programs and raw science.  We should unilaterally disarm and become a model of non-proliferation.  We should increase our role through diplomacy and meaningful treaties.  We should lead the world through finding new ways for all of us to prosper and flourish.

We should not be threatening first strike engagement with nuclear weapons. 

Of course, terrorism is a real threat to our safety and the well-being of all humans.  But it is not a cohesive threat.  We cannot act upon it as if it were the new Soviet Union, with thousands of wildly dangerous and technically sophisticated missiles aimed at us and a politically savvy state behind their use as a deterrent.  Terror is more diffuse.  The risk to any one person and the risk to the entire planet is much smaller than in the Cold War.  The likelihood of a localized event is much higher.  Our ability to prevent and control that event is much lower.

There will be terrorist attacks in the future, and people will be maimed and killed.  No matter what we do.  But building a war machine will in no way help that, and it may make them more likely.  Understanding and active engagement with the world, with peace as the goal, is key.

Peace to you and yours.  To all of us.  Even to the Bush administration.

Further reading:
Brenda Laurel: … the proposed war was not in keeping with American values.
Michael Moore: Operation Oily Residue: War Is Fun When You Know You Won’t Die
Mad Magazine: Gulf Wars 2: The Clone of the Attack (via Dave Winer) … we are experiencing technical difficulties … (also via Dave Winer)

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