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Apr 7, 2006
Courage for peace 2:57 AM
Today I submitted this in part to the group Peace and Non-violence network... I want to share it with all who might be interested...

Courage for peace

We have a very complicated question when it comes to different kinds of wars and I'd like to be nuanced and well-informed. Sometimes one states one's opinions shortly and others do the same, and we get the situation that "nothing another can say or do will change my mind..." - then a dialogue can get futile.

One thing that has long made me frustrated is that building peace is a long perspective undertaking, but war is short time destroying. Often we who advocate the long run project are suddenly asked to solve the crises in the middle of or after the destroying, when the destroying forces are desperate and don't know how to get out of the disaster they've created.

So in a nuanced dialogue we have to know where we are in the process from original peace to new peace again. We need to look closely on what happens, who comes into the process with what ends and what means and at what point. One can see it from the angle of the long history of humankind, from the shorter span of a nation's history or from the short perspective of the life cycle of a human being.
Today I'll concentrate on the last one...
I happen be from a nation that has been attacked by bigger and stronger powers, as I'm orginally from Finland. We Finns know a lot of lies and propaganda were used in these wars. We know that the winners write the history. We know, too, that without the resistance made, things might be even worse for the nation we come from.

Now, it takes courage both to live and to die. It takes courage to defend life, to reproduce life, to keep up the good things we like to have in a decent society. Mother's still risk their own lives to have their babies, nurses risk their lives caring for sick people, men's lives are full of health hazards and risks. So to be alive is to risk to die.

When we look around in the world, what is needed? People who are brave enough to join the long time project of peace or the short time project of destruction in wars? What life, what death of your own are you willing to take into account? I certainly agree that it matters what an individual is ready to stand up for.

Long before there is a war coming up we can demand from our governments that any problem is to be solved in ways that are peaceful and cooperative, and this is difficult enough for the citizens to do, when there's too much power in few hands, so a man must surely be brave
to stand up for what he believes in, when he is for peace and non-violence.

The US were very dominating in the trials at Nuremberg, and ever after no soldier can claim that he only obeyed orders, because very clearly and strongly the responsibility was placed on the shoulders of the individuals - and in fact correctly, as individuals are the only ones who can act.
Especially Americans and we other Westerners are responsible, with our constitutions proclaiming and educating us about our rights and responsibilities. The presidents are not out there moving the feet and the hands that kill in the wars. A collective moves only when the individuals move. When having democratic constitutions especially, the people are responsible for their leaders and we can't hide behind them if they are irresponsible.

I want to remind us of the point that wars are the worst kind of terrorism and the worst kind of damage to the environment. But after little or tremendous suffering and damage all wars have to come to an end - it is always best to immediately look for solutions as, to put an end to a war, you have to look for solutions anyway, you can't get around it - the war in Iraq will end, the war in Palestine will end, the wars in Africa will end, history teaches us that all wars end. They much better be stopped beforehand or after the first incidents - with much less suffering and damage.

People can't fight modern wars without preparations, and tremendous efforts back up modern destroying of other people and their countries. Boys from ordinary families aren't prepared for war, they have to be trained for it. If they are not well trained in the army about the realities of war, they don't know what it means to take an oath to fight a war loyally. If they are well-trained it has taken a lot of time and money to make them so. And from a mother's point of view I think that this military training, if thorough and realistic, is a brain-wash, in which everything constructive and loving and peaceful a mother has taught her children and built up through years and years with lot of self-sacrifice (which is still true in our part of the world, too), all this is washed away and back-grounded, even ridiculed. All compassion and respect for life is traded in for values of a contrary kind.

From a mother's point of view all these resources that go to preparing for wars would be much better used to prepare us all for peace, to train us to find peaceful solutions to any problem that arises. This would also take time and money. This would need men you can rely on, too. This would need intelligence and imagination, good leaders and healthy principles. This would bring women's and men's talents together in cooperation and it would end the whole mentality to be prone to use violence as soon as a man feels the least threatened. This would bring peace to all walks of life, also to the streets and the families. I honour the men who are ready to contribute to this common project.
I'd love to be part of it!
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Posted: Apr 7, 2006 3:01am


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Doris N.
, 2, 1 child
Lund, Sweden
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