sure is hard to give peace a chance in America, as recent
with Russia and Ukraine show. The Washington consensus is all about
weapons and more weapons, of economic sanctions, i.e. economic
warfare, of not being seen as a pitiful
as Richard Nixon once said during the Vietnam War. America can never
stand on the sidelines, even when its national security interests
aren’t even threatened. Something must be done, something
forceful, something involving troops and weapons and ultimatums that
could very well escalate into disaster.
Washington insiders always talk of “all options” being on
a metaphorical table, meaning the most violent ones, including war,
for the president to choose from. They lie. Because the one option
that’s never on that imaginary table is peace.
might be the children
but perhaps America is more godless than it knows. Or maybe it just
worships the god of war, a
It’s discouraging to face the obstacles to peace in America,
because these obstacles are not going to be removed just by singing
songs and writing articles or even by protesting. What is truly
needed is a mass movement against war, as we saw during the Vietnam
War years, but even that mass movement took years to have an impact.
And it was motivated as well by resistance to the draft, which no
short list of the obstacles to peace is sobering indeed:
mainstream media. It’s owned by major corporations and
advances corporate agendas. It smears antiwar voices as naive (at
best) and often as traitorous
Antiwar voices simply aren’t heard on the MSM. Instead,
colonels and generals,
as well as senior ex-CIA officials, are put forward as unbiased
voices of reason as they promote the most hawkish lines.
absence of a draft. Let’s face it: the youth of America are
much more likely to resist war if they have to risk their lives. But
America has an “all volunteer force,” and if these
volunteers are sent off to war, that’s what they signed up
difficulty of launching any kind of sustained protest nowadays.
Ready to gather in the streets to march against war? Sorry, do you
have a permit? Covid restrictions may prevent you from gathering.
And maybe we’ll move you to a special “free speech”
zone, which I assure you will be far away from media cameras. What
good is protesting if you gain no traction because few people see
you and the media ignores you?
get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s impossible to give
peace a chance. Just that it’s very difficult, given the power
structures of our society and our collective national ethos. It’s
mind-boggling that America has so many agencies for “defense”
and “intelligence.” We have the Pentagon, the Department
of Homeland Security (a domestic
something like 17 intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA, the
list goes on. State and local police forces are now heavily
and generally unsympathetic to your right to assemble and to protest
vigorously. Get a job, commie peacenik!
society’s heroes are U.S.
or the “thin blue line” of police that “protect and
serve.” Those who are committed to peace are generally not
viewed as heroes, at least not by society at large. Again, Christ may
have seen peacemakers as God’s children, but in the U.S.
there’s a preference (judging by gun sales) for Colt
to overcome these obstacles to truly give peace a chance is perhaps
the most pressing issue of our age, given the risk of war going
nuclear and ending most life on our planet. Readers, I don’t
have easy answers, but I’d begin with Ike’s
about the military-industrial complex in 1961, JFK’s peace
in 1963, MLK’s
against the Vietnam War on April 4th, 1967, perhaps even John
Lennon’s song “Imagine.”
do we imagine — and then create — a new reality that
favors peace instead of war? How do we pursue a just and lasting
peace with ourselves and with all nations that Abraham Lincoln spoke
of near the end of the U.S. Civil War?
words are there. The vision is there. Tapping the nobility of
Lincoln, Ike, JFK, and MLK and their antiwar messages is possible.
JFK said in his “peace speech,” to believe that war is
inevitable is a “dangerous defeatist belief.” I’m
commentary was originally published by Bracing