Monday, December 13, 2010

War and Peace

By tradition the holiday season is the time to think of peace.  Doves, the symbol of peace, are common on greeting cards. 

Man has yearned for peace since the beginning of time.  And yet, more ruinous wars are fought with each generation with more lives shattered with each successive combat.

In my lifetime I have seen too many wars and the devastation that ensued.  I was in high school when WWII broke out.  The draft was immediately put in place.  At my graduation ceremony there was a sobering moment when the young men in the graduation class who were already in one of the services were asked to stand.  Half of the boys stood up and we all knew that meant they would go directly to war.  Some went to their deaths; or to lives shattered by the horrible things they witnessed or had to do.  It was called combat fatigue then, but is now diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder.

WWII was followed by a few years of relative peace for Americans, but soon some of our young husbands were sent to the Korean War.  This was followed by the Viet Nam war in time for our sons to be drafted into that terrible conflict.

My son enlisted in the Navy to avoid the Army (or to void being cannon fodder, as they then said).  I was fortunate that he was a good musician and was accepted into special services and served his time during the Viet Nam War in the Navy band on aircraft carriers.

We all know the suffering that the two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan,  has heaped upon many of this generation.  The war in Afghanistan rages on unabated with six more families getting  the word yesterday that their young men were killed.  Instead of celebrating this Christmas, they will be in mourning.  They join too many families that have gone through this unspeakable pain.

While the wars have stolen our youth and depleted our treasure,  until 9/11, they have been even more catastrophic for our enemies.  It is always the innocent who pay the most terrible price in any war.  And for what? 

Unless a country is attacked, I believe that wars are started by a few corrupt powerful men for pure greed.  Oh yes, they give us the platitudes that it is for our safety and the war is  necessary. Nonsense!!  I am an old woman and have seen enough exploitation of the masses to know that this is the most venal of manipulation.  Brain washing on a large scale is the way to control we, the people.   Tragically,  it works.  

I am sure you have heard the old 'saw' that as long as there are two men and one woman there will be war.  Of course, that's trite but there is a kernel of truth in the statement.  While we are programmed to fight or flight, I cannot believe that this includes war.

During this season when we yearn for peace let us refuse to be manipulated into continuing the dreadful war in a country far removed that has ruined so many lives   Let us rise up en mass and demand an end to the Afghanistan war that continues to hemorrhage death and destruction. 

Peace is taught by all religions; let us demand of our leaders that they listen to the 'word' and follow its precepts. 

My wish for all is a peaceful world.  My special wish for you is a joyous holiday season.  May good health and happiness be yours in 2011 and may we see an end to war.


Kay Dennison said...

I think you make a great case here. I came of age in the VietNam era and saw what it did to many of our guys. It's happening again!!!

I agree with your good wishes but am enough of a skeptic think that peace isn't going to happen any tome soon!!!!

Darlene said...

*Kay Dennison - I am sure you know that I am pragmatic and I can only hope for peace, but I share your skepticism.

Looking to the Stars said...

Amen! Very well put. I think leaders who want war should be the ones to fight, not the people of their country.

Thank you for all your emails & the email christmas card. It was Beautiful!!!!!

You have a wonderful Christmas, are you going to see your kids? We are going to be home. My in laws celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on the 29th, they are taking a vacation to Santa Fe, NM so we will not see them this year.

take care :)

Xtreme English said...

Yes...Following your example, we should keep peace in our sights always. Thanks for leading the way so often, Darlene! May the peace of this season shine in your heart, mind, and life....xo

Darlene said...

*Looking to the Stars - I agree that if a leader takes a country to war, he should be in the front lines. There would be fewer wars, for sure if that happened.

Yes, I will be seeing my kids. Hooray!

Xtreme English - Thank you for your very nice words.

Rain said...

The problem is some profit from war. And profit is the god of too many in this country no matter what they give lip service to :(

One Woman's Journey said...

Darlene, thinking of you. I remember you were one of the first that welcomed me to the blogging world about 2 years ago.
From a sincere heart - Wishing you and yours peace, happiness and health.

Darlene said...

*Rain - My point, exactly.

*One Woman's Journey - We have come a long way since we started blogging, haven't we? Have a joyous Christmas.

janinsanfran said...

I'm with you, as you know. Yesterday I photographed a Vets for Peace antiwar action and it made me terribly sad -- and so glad they keep trying to be heard.

Freda said...

This is a poignant and purposeful post, (sorry the alliteration was a mistake!) Sometimes I despair of the ways we all fall out in the world. This is a time to think about peace and to try to share the message. Thanks

Freda said...

This is a poignant and purposeful post, (sorry the alliteration was a mistake!) Sometimes I despair of the ways we all fall out in the world. This is a time to think about peace and to try to share the message. Thanks

Darlene said...

*Janinsanfran - It is so sad to see these beautiful young men and woman go to a war that can't be won. I hope the Vets For Peace can make their voices heard in the Halls of Congess.

Peabea said...

It is sad that in this day and age "the word" is being taken out of most things and the leaders are most apt or prompted to ignore it. I so agree that these wars are for profit only, and now since seeing things being made in Viet Nam, I am of the mind that some wars are started so the profit makers can tame the country enough to put our factories there. Great post and you make some really good points.