Rambling Prose...

Rambling Prose...
.Let's take a walk together.....

Monday, November 4, 2013


  This is my fourth post in the series: 
    What Do I Believe Now?


My title was inspired by a saying from Mahatma Gandhi:  
"There is no way to Peace.  Peace is the Way!" 

 Deepak Chopra, the bestselling spiritual author, was inspired by Gandhi's saying, and in 2005 he wrote the book "Peace Is The Way...Bringing War and Violence to an End."  Both Gandhi and Chopra have influenced my thinking regarding this subject, along with many others such as The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Wayne Dyer,etc., and interestingly, Carl Sandburg who once wrote..."Someday there will be a war and no one will come!"

  My father had made the military a "career"...first as a solider in World War II, and later enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1947, and eventually retiring as a Chief Master Sargent in 1965.
I served in the USAF from 1958 to 1962, received an Honorable Discharge, and finished my BA and MA on the "GI Bill of Rights."
Dad was certainly not a "war hawk", and my politics back then were decidedly moderate.  

It wasn't until later in life that my beliefs about peace and the futility of war evolved.  While I believed that World War II was "necessary"for the protection of our country, wars and major military operations since that time have "generally"not been justified. 

The Korean Conflict (1950-'53), Bay of Pigs invasion (Cuba 1961), Vietnam War (1961-'73), invasions of the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama (1965-1989),  the Gulf Wars of 1991, military actions in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo (1993-1999), Iraq (2003-2010  ) and Afghanistan (2001 to the present), have been bloodstained chronicles of American history that many of us would like to forget. Over seven decades of wars and military actions have had an adverse affect on our national psyche, and lead to the extermination of millions of people.

The Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War were waged in order to "stop the spread of Communism.  Korea was the first armed conflict of the "Cold War," and essentially ended in a draw.

Vietnam was the longest conflict the U.S ever fought (until Afghanistan), and the first war lost by the United States.  Popular opposition to the war had much to do with its ending in 1973. 

Invasions of the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama...and later, Somalia and Haiti, were "justified" as necessary to protect America "interests" by over-throwing the current governments and replacing them with one "friendly to the United States."

The Gulf War actions were ostensibly to protect Kuwait from an invasion by Iraq, but most historians acknowledge that we were primarily protecting our oil interests.

U.S. and NATO air strikes on Bosnia in 1994-'95 were carried out to prevent "ethnic cleansing".  And in 1999, U.S.-led NATO units bombed Serbian forces in Kosovo, who were killing the ethnic Albanian population.  ( These two actions by the United States and NATO were justified under the circumstances.)

America invaded Afghanistan in 2001.  It was justified as we believed the Taliban government was harboring Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist group that was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States.  We never found bin Laden (but killed him later in Pakistan), and the al-Qaeda groups dispersed to other areas of the world.  We are still fighting in Afghanistan as I write this blog.  A majority of Americans feel that we should have withdrawn our forces years ago.  People continue to die everyday!

America invaded Iraq in March 2003, and we were told by the George Bush administration that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction", and he was a current threat to the United States.  Both of these statements were lies!  American troops withdrew from Iraq on August 18, 2010.  American troop deaths: over 4,500; wounded: in excess of 32,000!  The Iraq war was unnecessary and costly.  "Faulty intelligence manipulated for ideological reasons..."produced this horrible outcome!

All of these military conflicts, with few exceptions, have accomplished little or nothing of real substance.  

Korea:  Since 1953, American troops have been helping the South Koreans, deter aggression from Communist North Korea.

Vietnam:  After loosing this war to North Vietnam in 1973, we are now trading partners with them and Vietnam has been unified as a Communist nation.

Gulf Wars:  Were inconclusive, and eventually lead to the Iraq War in 2003.

Afghanistan:  The longest war in American history appears to be coming to an end.  However, as before the war, the Taliban will undoubtedly run the government once U.S. and allied forces leave in 2014.

Iraq:  The U.S. was forced to leave the country in 2010.  By most accounts, Iraq's fragile government can't govern their nation, and incidents of violence occur daily.

So I return to my original premise....War Achieves Nothing!  

History is replete with facts that back up this truism.  However, you need to read accounts that are unbiased, not censored, and not edited by writers interested in slanting or reinterpreting history.  

Wars have interesting endings.  Once, not long ago, we were told that the Germans, Italians, and Japanese were our enemies. Now they are all our friends.  (Governments had to make them our enemies so we would kill them!)  Communism was evil and the Cold War was a nuclear game of "chicken" between us and the USSR.  The Berlin Wall came down along with the myth that Communism was the wave of the future.  Now the Russians are "almost" friends, we trade with Vietnam, the Chinese are undergoing a "capitalist make-over",and some day, off in the future, the Middle Eastern countries will not hate us...as they do today! (Just even money on this bet for now!)

Is Peace the Way?  For me, and increasing numbers of people in the World. the only answer is Peace!  Most of us have come to realize that wars don't resolve the underlying issues that cause governments to fight other nations.  Diplomacy should be the first step, not the last!  

Till next time....


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