Evolving Peace

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Armisitice Day

A Return to Armistice Day


Veterans Day, the day Americans honor those who served the country in what they believed was a just and patriotic duty, was originally called Armistice Day.  It was created in honor of the end of World War I. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of 11th month the so-called Great War had ended. The day signified what was supposed to be the end of war. How nice would that be! John Lennon once speculated in a famous song,  "Imagine all the people living life in peace..." It would be wonderful if everyone could have such a vivid imagination.

Imagine if President Woodrow Wilson had been successful with his proposal called the League of Nations. President Wilson proposed that this league would create harmony between the world's governments. The league failed in its infancy since the United State's Congress rejected these idealistic ambitions. Instead of the world joining together as one, it was left to fend for itself. Germany was in a state of disarray from the War and under utter destruction from the war the people where in search of blame. Along came the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party.

The Nazi party favored a strong corporate system that effectively left the masses powerless. They dictated strategic removal of individual rights in favor of security. Most of the power elite within the US supported the actions of the Nazi's including the Walker and Bush families. American business applauded their actions and profited heavily. The power structure knew of the atrocities towards the Jew's and other "undesirables", but profits were substantial.  It was not until the tragic events of Pearl Harbor that the United States got involved. Hawaii was not a state yet, but Americans rallied in droves.

While the Germans, Italians and Japanese did murder thousands of innocent people. The United States and its allies were not of higher morality. The Japanese internment camps within the US were some of the most inhumane conditions. The first atomic bomb uprooted the inhabitants of the Bikini Islands. Today, we are paying those descendants millions of dollars for our destruction of their ancestral homeland. The horrific fire bombings of Tokyo and Dresden, both cities of no military significance, caused the death of innocent people. Topping it off, the only usage of atomic weapons in war, were the
tragic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Americans rejoiced when the war was over, but what came next?  The Cold War.  We found a new military conflict whose goal was supposedly to stop the spread of communism and the demonized Soviet Union. Despite the creation of the United Nations, the world continued to spiral in chaos. With a new enemy emerging, came a rise in opportunity for profits.  President Eisenhower warned the nation of this in his farewell address, to be aware of the rise of the Military-Industrial. "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."  Other leaders did not heed his call for peace.

Despite these warnings, America was led in another direction. The war in Vietnam, where the public was told that we must stop the spread of communism, began and unnecessary violence continued. The Communist Domino Theory was purported by war hawks that told the public that communism was coming to get us. Americans bought it despite prior claims that Ho-Chi Minh was the George Washington of his country, and
was liberating his people from European colonization. Despite years of involvement and 56 thousand Americans died and millions of Vietnamese. Did communism spread? Today many American businesses are thriving in communist Vietnam.  Were all those deaths in vain? Were that many deaths worth it?

Years later, openly and covertly the United States has funded billions of dollars to brutally dictatorships under the guise of democracy or the Drug War. Within the Western Hemisphere Panama, Columbia, Nicaragua and Chile became battlefields with the full backing of the United States policy. Despite the United State's stated intentions more drugs entered the country and popular democracies were overthrown.

In the Middle East, funding for weaponry became a US priority in foreign policy.  Billions of dollars went to Israel, including nuclear weaponry. Saudi Arabia, a brutal religious theocracy, became a top US ally. Bin Laden, and his following became a crucial ally in Afghanistan to help defeat the Soviets. Iraq received weaponry to fight Iran. While all this was occurring, the Soviet Union fell. Thus, leaving the United States as the lone superpower. This was an unprecedented time in world history.

Many idealists saw this as an ideal opportunity for world peace. Only the United States can lead the world to peace, but has it? In the 1990's, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. George Bush Sr., under the guise of the United Nations, led an assault to remove the invading army.  Many of the Muslim population saw permanent military installations entering into their holy lands. With the combination of the close partnership to the Saudi Royal family, many see the US actions as a partnership in their oppression. For the last decade, including President Clinton's administration, countless bombing raids
have been made on Iraq, further hampering peaceful resolution.

Then, under the direction of a group called the Project For A New American Century (PNAC), there emerged a call for a new United States policy. This right-wing think tank consisted of such people present and former members of the Republican Party and Bush Administration, including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle,
Richard Armitage, Dick Cheney, Lewis Libby, William J. Bennett, Zalmay Khalilzad and John Bolton. In their stated mission, they declared that they needed a "catastrophic and catalyzing event � like a new Pearl Harbor" to captivate the American public in support of their global agenda. Just as they ordered, September 11 happened and once again
America was at war.

While we all sit around and watch the events unfold, more and more information is being revealed that the Bush administration has intentionally deceived the American public with its intentions of war. Reports from the British Downing Street Memo, reveal that Bush's intention was to "cook the books." Ambassador Wilson's op-ed in the
New York Times reported that the claims used by the administration about Saddam's quest for nuclear technology, were false. The outing of his wife, Valerie Plame, shows their deliberate actions to try to silence any critic of their intentions. We have learned now through, special council Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation that the White House Iraq Group (Whig) was formed to dictate their planned policies. Former Chief UN-Inspector Hans Blinx has repeatedly stated that the Bush administration has lied about Iraq�s weapons programs. Today, even the CIA states that Saddam had no capabilities. So what are we fighting for?

Still, we as a public have the audacity to listen to the claims that we must stay the course. While "progress" has supposedly been made, with the ratification of the constitution, a constitution in which women virtually has no rights. Contrary to the claims by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld that they are at the final stages of the insurgency, the insurgency is rising. How much real progress is being made? Secretary State Condoleezza Rice now perpetrates that we may be in Iraq for ten plus years, and this war may have to spread to Syria and Iran. What makes anybody think that spreading war will obtain peace? Polls by
British Military officials confirm that more than eighty percent of the Iraqi population wants foreign military involvement removed. We already have an administration that has lied about the reasoning�s for war, and what about it's continued involvement?  The war must stop.

So, I sit back and reflect onto this Veteran's Day and I look forward to a day that we can call "Armistice Day" again. The meaning of Armistice is "a state of peace agreed to between opponents so they can discuss peace terms."  What a noble concept. Here in the United States, Armistice Day was changed to glorify veterans of wars to a grandeur state. Strategically, the notion of supporting your troops is indoctrinated into us everyday. Those little yellow or red white and blue ribbons on every car on the highway tell us that we are supposed to support our troops. Meanwhile, in Washington, those same politicians who voted for the war are the same politicians whom voted to cut services for veterans. Large numbers of homeless are veterans; as well there are already homeless veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Veteran's hospitals and health services have been
drastically cut, "support your troops?" On this day I honor those who choose to do a job that they were told was a noble cause.  It is not their fault and they do not deserve their fates. They, unfortunately, have not been informed on the real reasons behind these actions. It is time for us as a human race to bring about a new armistice day.

"Peace it is the only way."

Robb Kidd

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At November 12, 2006 8:04 AM, Blogger Libertarian Jason said...

Excellent post.

Here's to the end or war!



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