Evolving Peace

A site that is progressing for the goal of everlasting peace within ourselves, our family, our friends, our country and our planet !

Sunday, December 24, 2006

So This is Christmas

"So this is Christmas, and what have you done? War is over if you want it…" As we approach the New Year we all have a lot to learn from the past. The War in Iraq still aluminates over us in a very negative way but we are coming closer to an end. A year ago, “stay the courses” was the presidential prerogative, but now things have changed. Debate fills the air on whether to immediately pull out or add more troops and seek a gradual end. The President now instead of using the old baseless rhetoric he says "we're not winning, we're not losing." The American public is speaking but the President is continuing what he had done leading up to the war and that is ignoring the facts and logic. Things are not working in Iraq and things have to change, we the people are not calling for more but for an end. Wake up George!!!

So while we all pontificate on how to end the calamity in Iraq, we can all come together and realize that war is not the answer. Over 65 years ago, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II. There is some debate on whether the US government knew that there was an eminent attach on Pearl Harbor, but those warnings were ignored. The population overwhelming supported entry into the war. The population was gung-ho and every where one turned the war effort stood strong. Legendary, film maker Frank Capra made propaganda films; the series “Know your enemy” depicted the Japanese as subhuman species and merciless barbarians.

Left out of popular culture was that most Americans did not know where Pearl Harbor was at that time. President Roosevelt purposely spoke in his “Day of Infamy” speech that our forces were attacked at Oahu not Hawaii because at the time Hawaii was not even a state. Hawaii did not become the 50th state until August 21, 1959. To the Japanese the United States had entered their sphere of influence and combine with an oil embargo, Japan perceived that United States policy was an act of war.

War was in full force in the Pacific had full attention been had been given to the defeat of Japan. While war atrocities are well known for Germany, Japan had not been without its own act of inhumanity was in the brink of collapse. Early in the war, crimes were committed against the civilian population in China. In December of 1937 Japan brutally attacked the Nanking region of China and began executions of suspected military combatants. This horrific event known as The Rape of Nanking had attributed 100,000 to 300,000 deaths, depending on the perspective.

Japan was the United States’s prerogative and little attention had been given to the European front. The famed D-Day invasion did not take place until June 6, 1944. Battles roared throughout the Pacific. Islands of the Pacific were no longer tropical paradises but sweltering hot theaters of hell. War was a bloody game, hundreds of thousand Americans died and millions of Japanese died as a result.

Strategically the US began a campaign of firebombing Tokyo in February of 1945. Official policy was to try to remove the will of the people in continuing the war. There are some who consider the bombing to be a war crime as well. But as victors of a war, that debate has been left behind. Forgetting about Tokyo, the most horrific acts of the war occurred on August 6, 1945, with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and a few days later one on Nagasaki. Years of man’s supposed evolution came down to that, in a matter of mere minutes a whole city could be annihilated.

There has been plenty of critical debate revolving around the dropping of the bombs due to the brutal devastation to the innocent civilian populations. Although, the Soviet Union had just declared their involvement into the war with Japan, the US decided to use the atomic weapon not once but twice. Some theorize that the US did not want to allow the Soviets to gain that much influence in the region, so there was a rush to use the atomic weapons. Popular history has noted that the bombs were important to expedite the surrender and as a mere prevention of any further American causalities, unfortunately at the hands of innocent civilians. The war was over and the allies celebrated with glee.

Sixty years later we see that the nation of Japan and Germany are no threats towards any other nation. The populaces of those countries had seen the effects of war first hand and have become adamant proponents of peace. Whether it is because they were beaten down to submission or that they have collectively realized that war is brutal, neither country remains a threat to world peace. This past December 7 at Pearl Harbor, the remaining survivors of the attack gathered for what may be the last time. Two years ago American Vets of the D-Day invasion returned to shores of Normandy. Many of these individuals are still traumatized by those events and some still do not talk about their experiences. So while the memory of World War II begins to fade, the notions it was the last “good war” fade with it too. War is death and destruction and nothing comes from it.

The other day President Bush affirmed that the United States is not winning the War in Iraq. Amongst his rhetoric are calls for increasing troop size as an alternative to “staying the course” and a complete withdraw. Lost in the world of five second sound bites on the news is the reality of war. Thousands of Americans have died or been injured and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died or have been displaced. War is not a pleasantry and I hope that with each passing day that we are one step closer to ending this war and all other wars. The tide has shifted, the people do not support this war and there is a new Congress pledging to propose an end to the war. As I drive through the streets of Vermont and see the signs, “Vermont Says No To War” I visualize seeing “US Says No To War.” “So this Christmas and what have you done…The War is over if you want it."

Robb Kidd

“War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.” Jimmy Carter


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