Tag Archives: war

Jane Agrees. Give Peace A Chance. Now, Why Can’t We Get Everyone Else On Board?

I just finished watching most of a documentary called “The U.S. vs. John Lennon.” I say “most” because the dvd kept skipping at about 2/3 of the way in so I gave up trying to finish it.

It was fascinating. What I saw of it, anyway. It covered history at a time when I was alive but not very aware.

No, I wasn’t a pothead. I wasn’t tripping on  acid.

I was 3.

As in, years old.

But that period of our history has always fascinated me. So much so, that when I was in high school (wearing tie dye and walking around barefoot and protesting the god-awful hot lunches) my friends would often say I was born in the wrong era.

At various times of my life and for various issues, I have swung both sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes more left, sometimes more right. Usually hovering somewhere in the middle.

I love peace. I want peace. I pray for peace.

Make love, not war.

Wrapping my head around why war is necessary? Very difficult for me.

For ME.

And for some of you.

But not everyone. There are bullies out there. And the self-righteous. People afflicted with severe tunnel vision. And people who will think their way is the only way until the day they die. And they’re even willing to die trying to make you and me think the way they think.

History has taught us that.

I remember a recent discussion with my husband about the wars around the world. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Mexican drug wars. I said, “If we could just declare peace why can’t the killing just stop? What if we truly did practice the non-violence messages of Ghandi, King and Lennon?” My husband shook his head, “That would mean everyone would have to agree with you. And they won’t. You have to defend yourself. Look where it got the Tibetans.”

All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

A beautiful, amazing, wonderful, glorious message. The problem is, everyone has to be on board. Everyone has to be willing to compromise. And compromise is difficult. Because then no one is happy. Each involved has given up something for the greater good. Leaving the perfect opening, the perfect opportunity for dissent to rear its ugly head and stir up conflict again.

As short-sighted as I believe some peace-loving, political activists can be – their message is perfect, simple and pure. And their efforts to swing everyone their way is difficult but, oh, so admirable.

What saddens me, is how futile their efforts seem 40 years later.

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Filed under Be-Causes, Ponderings

The Fairer Sex? Not Any More

Women and war. I was happily stuck in the stereotypical mindset that the two just don’t mix.

In recent years, when I’d hear about female suicide bombers, I’d quickly skip over the story. I would tell myself it’s merely a strange anomaly. Or I’d picture a tortured woman, fearing for her children taken hostage. She was drugged and while she was unconscious they strapped a bomb to her and threatened to kill her children if she didn’t carry out their orders.

The attack that happened three days ago has been weighing heavy on my mind. I wrestled with whether to write about it or not. But I’m so distressed by this woman’s actions. I decided to investigate.

Sadly, all of my preconceived notions are wrong.

Instead of stories of women being forced, against their will, to perform these horrific acts I found stories of women calmly answering questions in a government office before reaching under their bra and setting off the device. Or women pretending to be pregnant, with a bomb carefully tucked underneath their clothes. All women. All ages. According to U.S. military statistics the youngest female suicide bomber was only 13 years old.

I love the customary image of a woman.  We are the nurturing sex. We protect life. I imagined that if women held the majority of leadership roles around the world there would be no war. And I’m dumbstruck, sitting here, wrestling with article after article telling me that I’m mistaken.

One article suggests that the work of female suicide bombers is not a new phenomenon. They’ve been around for more than 20 years.  From this 40-something-year-old perspective, 20 years is nothing. To me, it IS a new phenomenon. And I sit here wondering why? Why is my beautiful, idyllic convention being shattered?

And when I start to wonder how we have failed each other, why women are now willfully joining the ranks of male suicide bombers I can’t help but take a good, hard look at the human race and how we’ve resolved conflict in the past. War. Violence. Killing. It’s been going on as long as man has walked the Earth.

I remember, as a teen, comparing the male world leaders at war with each other to overgrown boys, fighting over a toy. Testosterone taking over their senses. I was smug in my vision of my fellow sisters. Calm. Rational. Wanting only peace.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

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Filed under Observations