Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Delusions of a Peacenik

As I mentioned prior while handing out some good ol' Lee Greenwood hate, the kids and I were enjoying some cheap and fun star spangled goodness this weekend. In addition to some genuine displays of patriotic fervor, the almost-justifiable but incessantly obsessive POW-MIA presence (because 'Nam was around 40 years ago despite the delusion of the second Rambo movie), the vacuous clueless with red,white, and blue over every skin patch and orifice, and the wholly cheesy patriotism by wrote (said insipid Greenwood), there were two groups that caught my attention, because both of them are built on people that lack a mind.

The first was some fire and brimstone brigade. I guess they were out there because there was *gasp* alcohol being served. Had I not been pressed for time, soggy, and managing those adorable little pains in my ass, I'd have had to torment the shit out of them. Just because. I will note that the county in question (Mercer county, Ohio) had one of the highest per-capita rates of alcohol consumption in the country (and my sister, who lives there, considers it a point of pride (she could drink a fish under the table in her heyday)). The brimstoners should realize they're preaching to the (Catholic, therefore drunk) choir.

On a related note, I think the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses must sense my vibe, because they never seem to knock on my door. Woe be to them if they do.

The second group (and I apologize for not writing down the website so I could mock them more accurately) was a bunch of peaceniks hanging out by the road with the standard slogans of the day. And while I usually like to just mock them (as they are usually a mix of stupid youth and damn dirty hippie), I decided to actually look at the idea pf peace on Earth, and ask how it can be achieved.

Now despite my occasional war-mongering statements and glorification of the realities of war, I am like most people in the sane world. We don't like war. We don't want to see our sons and daughters and fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters sent off to foreign lands to have their parts blown off and/or return home draped in flags.

But I'm assuming that the dolts standing out in the hot sun on Sunday with signs asking the ignorant to "honk for peace" believed peace can be achieved by declaring peace, sticking daisies in the guns of armies, understanding the plight of murdering terrorist sons of bitches, and getting Kim Jong Il laid (because if any world leader needs to get laid...).

Unfortunately, I've come to see what peace is really about. Peace is not achieved by the absence of war, but by defeating (and especially by killing) the enemies of peace.

So peace comes down to a choice. Do you choose to achieve peace by submission (to whatever repressive authority), or would you challenge the evil of the world and create peace that is lasting (at least until the next tin horn dictator shows up)?

In other words, don't give peace a chance. Make peace a reality.


Satyavati devi dasi said...

Peace isn't about killing... didn't you ever see the movie War Games?

"Enemies of peace"? This is an euphemism for "people who disagree with us".

You will never achieve peace by killing.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

And PS. I used to sit and talk with the Mormons and the Witnesses on my front porch all the time.

They don't come around here, though.. we live too far in the woods.

Anonymous said...

I actually think you can achieve peace through killing.

Take a bully for instance. Once you stick up for yourself, the bully will realize that he cannot push you around and will leave you alone. Now of course it is not that black and white but the theory is still the same.

What can honestly be accomplished by standing in a circle singing Kum Ba Yah? Seriously? Muslims will try to kill us whether we fight or not. At least by fighting we give ourselves a chance.

I think we all want to avoid wars and killing. That doesn't mean it is always possible.

Shaw Kenawe said...

What can honestly be accomplished by standing in a circle singing Kum Ba Yah?

Actually, independence from the British Empire. See: Ghandi.

And Civil Rights. See: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both those men believed in nonviolence to achieve their goals. To be sure, there were elements of violence, since once their movements for independence and equal rights started, they could not control every faction that joined in the struggles.

Dr. King adopted Ghandi's nonviolent tactics to achieve his goals of equal rights for all American citizens.

That is not to say that nonviolence will convince radical Muslims to stop their murderous actions agains nonMuslim countries, but merely an example of Kumbaya-style nonviolence that worked.

BTW, not all Muslims, as we know, are radical and seek to destroy us.

We have a large population of Muslims in this country; and as far as I can determine, they haven't participated in any subversion to overthrow our government or to kill all of us infidels.

rockync said...

Peace cannot be acheived by killing and fighting - this would be called oppression, not peace. Shaw beat me to the two most obvious examples.
Those stupid dirty hippies Ghandi and King understood that "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
How about this? The common people simply stop fighting each other - put down their weapons, stand side by side and say enough, no more.
It is a lofty goal, and not very realistic by most people's standards but it could happen, one changed mind at a time.
I suggest you google "The Shift movie" and watch the trailer. The are a large group of people world wide that are tired of the violence and that number grows every day.
A good example of modern day peace without violence would be the Czech/Slovak split, called the Velvet Revolution because it happened so peacefully.
You should study the teachings of the great peacemakers before claiming to know what peace is all about.

My internet issues are finally solved (bad Dlink) so I'm back on line and ready to annoy and enlighten. :)

Anonymous said...

Okay I should have said radical Muslims. I realize that they are all not trying to kill us.

You bring up Ghandi and MLK but these are far different times. Different obstacles.....suicide bombers, nukes, biological and chemical warfare are very different than what Ghandi faced.

Do you honestly believe that we can solve all our problems by putting down our weapons and talking? What should we have done at Pearl Harbor? Hitler? What about the Civil War? The Revolutionary War?

Please explain to me (in all sincerity) how we can keep peace throughout the world in this day of age without war or violence?

Anonymous said...

One more note, I'm not saying that circumstances have not been settled peacefully. I acknowledge that, I just feel it won't work all the time.

rockync said...

Jennifer - all the wars you cite were not fought for peace - they were fought for conquest and to put down the aggressors - King of England,Nazi Germany, Japan, etc.
Wars are never waged for peace.
Ghandi and King did not live in far different times - they both faced much violence and hate and both were eventually assassinated while promoting peaceful solutions to societal ills.
I think we are talking about two different things here:
One is the resolution of violent conflicts.
The other is the prevention of violent conflicts by peaceful means.
And yes, I believe if everyone were willing to put down their weapons and talk WITH each other not AT each other that most all problems could be solved. Everyone would have to respect and revere each life represented by each person.
Do I believe that is likely? No. But that in no way diminishes the desire for peaceful solutions and the continued struggle to obtain it.
BTW - that little bit of snark in my previous comment was lobbed at Patrick, no you - just wanted to clear that up. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying! :-)

I'll get back to ya when I have a little more time!

Satyavati devi dasi said...

As a side note, biological and chemical warfare are ancient (going back at least 1000+ years to the Crusades if not earlier). Suicide attacks are nothing new (Kamikaze pilots?). Nuclear weapons have been part of the picture for 60something years now.

Things are not so different, nor are people. Peace is radical. It's a lot more difficult than war. It involves seeing your 'enemy' as a 'person' instead of just a 'target', and admitting that perhaps you have things you need to correct as well. It's so much easier to just wipe out everyone who disagrees with you.

Patrick M said...

I apologize for the lateness, as I was struck by laziness (took all my effort to get the post up on Wednesday), then had to reload my laptop at work (as Windows 7 conked).

I should clarify a little further. Wars are not fought to make peace, but the net result of fighting those who would make war is peace. Furthermore, the threat of war, as experienced in most of the Cold War, did create, in the end, a peace without war.

As for Ghandi and MLK, they were fighting an enemy that could not be beaten by violent means. And they didn't work for peace, they worked for equality and freedom under oppressive circumstances.

And there is a wholly appropriate time to use nonviolence, and that's when a society must be changed to achieve something.

Saty: When you have an enemy that seeks war, seeks your destruction or domination, and seeks to wipe you out for disagreement, do you suggest sitting by for wholesale slaughter.

The reason MLK succeeded in his nonviolence is because he knew that a large portion of America could see the injustice of segregation and Jim Crow, just as they had seen the inherent evil of slavery. Nonviolent resistance in those circumstances empowers the weak and the meek to take a stand and do the right thing.

On the other hand, the Jews learned that passivity against someone who doesn't value life, equality, or freedom (like Hitler) results in lots of dead bodies on the deck. And in those circumstances, or when religious zealots seek to rack up body counts, there is no option but to fight, win, and achieve peace.

To quote some of that sci-fi that I like to: "Never start a fight; but always finish it."

(bonus points if anyone can name the series, the character who spoke it, and the actor who portrays the character (and I can answer them all without looking))

Patrick M said...

Shaw, Rocky: Sorry if i left you out by name in answering Satyavati. This is what you get when I'm juggling kids too much.

TRUTH 101 said...

Why are you dissing my man Lee Greenwood and the peaceniks and POW's Patrick? I'm proud to be an American. Where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I'd gladly stand up next to you and pay more taxes so you and your kids have affordable health care still today. There ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the U.S.A!

rockync said...

Patrick - the result of war is not peace but a cessation of hostilities.
Peace comes when each person can look every other person on earth in the eye and NOT want to kill him.
Ghandi once said,"YOU must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Bringing peace to the world happens one person at a time.
Yeah, most of us relaize we are no where near that yet, but the idea is, it COULD happen someday.
That's what the peaceniks are about; trying to raise the consciousness of the human race, one person at a time.

dmarks said...

SDD: "You will never achieve peace by killing."

It sure worked in WW2. When the Axis Powers were stopped, using warlike methods.

It sure worked in the 1990s when NATO stopped Serbia's multiple genocides through bombing.

Rocky: "That's what the peaceniks are about; trying to raise the consciousness of the human race, one person at a time."

They should start with the Hitlers, Saddams, etc of the world. Because if you don't stop it there, there won't be any peace.

Patrick M said...

101: You suck so very much. :)

Rocky: [Oh Great One] - the result of war is not peace but a cessation of hostilities.

Not if one side (that is fighting a just war) really wins. Take a look at WWII. We beat the Germans, the West became allies, the East became repressed (but would have been our allies). And Japan changed philosophically as a country and embraced peace. It took atom bombs and a few hundred thousand civilians, but the result was the end of Imperial Japan. That was the last war we fought to total victory.

That's what the peaceniks are about; trying to raise the consciousness of the human race, one person at a time.

And while we're trying to do so, others have to defend them until we can all be raised.

Now I don't say we shouldn't strive for peace. But while I genuinely see the best in most people, I also understand human nature is predatory. As any animal high on the food chain, we fight for dominance. And all the enlightenment in the world will never completely drive that from us; nor should enlightenment completely remove this, as our nature has allowed us to advance in an evolutionary sense.

To clarify, I agree with the sentiment. But while we may extent the hand with an olive branch, our other hand should always be near our rifle should the need arise.

dmarks said...

You have a sensible, informed view of history, Patrick.

How effective would it have been to deal with the Axis powers during the mid 20th century by laying down in front of their tanks and putting flower bouquets in their howitzers?

In situations like this, the so-called "peace activists" end up working for a world with more war in it. Their stand ends up letting the aggressors keep attacking and expanding, without limit.

rockync said...

Patrick, first you argue that WWII brought peace and yet acknowledge that most of Eastern Europe was repressed.
When one side "wins" the other side "loses". There is no peace just defeat.
If war could actually bring peace then WWI should have done the job and there would have been no need for WWII.
WWI left Germany in a shambles, the people broken and set the stage for Hitler's rise to power.
That was NOT peace.
Peace is like the dog who adopts and cares for a kitten (we've all seen one of those stories or a variation). Although historically, the dog and the cat are supposed to be enemies, they both choose to behave in a mutually rewarding way, putting aside hate and ill will.
Just because men insist on continuing the global testosterone- fest, does not negate the ideology of peace.

Patrick M said...

Rocky: Patrick, first you argue that WWII brought peace and yet acknowledge that most of Eastern Europe was repressed.

No, I stated that it brought peace. And if you notice, the repressed half was controlled by the repressive USSR. And you conveniently omit japan, which was true success (and peace).

And that's why I cite WWII and not WWI (or Korea or Vietnam, or the first Gulf War): Because a total victory was not achieved. An armistice was signed that ended the war. There was a winner declared. But the Germans had been crushed, then left to fester. But after the second World War we took our enemy and rebuilt them, set them on the right path, and now those countries are free countries at peace with us.

As for testosterone, when the tin horn dictators and killer religious fanatics of the world are gone, then there will probably be no need for us to use it. Until then, though....

rockync said...

"But after the second World War we took our enemy and rebuilt them, set them on the right path, and now those countries are free countries at peace with us."

So, it wasn't the war that brought peace but the rebuilding and embracing of the citizens of Germany and Japan....
Your war argument is still not holding up.

Patrick M said...

We couldn't have built the lasting peace without the devastation that the war brought. It created the circumstance that our subsequent efforts would be received well, rather than as an occupying force.

rockync said...

Perhaps then, if we had reached out to the Germans after WWI, helped them rebuild, embraced them as friends, there would have been no fertile ground for Hitler to take hold and thus no WWII...
In the world we live in, war is sometimes necessary and even if not necessary, it is inevitable that someone will go to war. But it is NOT war that brings peace but the actions of human beings when not at war.
If we ever get to the place where all people desire peace, there will be no need for war - that is the point of the peace movement. Yes, it is idealistic and some would say naive, but it COULD happen, it is within the realm of possibility if you accept that most all thing are possible.
Peace is not a product of war but something that manifests in spite of war.

Patrick M said...

Rocky: I'll agree, up to the last sentence, mainly because we're going to end up going around in circles otherwise. :)

To use the Japan example, and to relate it to addiction, it's only after a country hits bottom that they can begin recovering. And the only way to convince an Imperial Japan to consider peace was to show them the futility of war. With atom bombs.

Of course, that doesn't bode well for the USA in some aspects (Afghanistan, specifically).

rockync said...

OK, Patrick, we aren't going to agree on everything here and we both have had our say.
Let's call it a draw and move on...