conducted is, to some extent the ongoing killing of people with drones, essentially using a video game technology to control real guns and shoot real people without ever having to actually confront or arrest them or show a badge or make these people face a trial or even have their day in court. But whether war exist in the form of troops walking down your streets or drones flying over a city a thousand miles away, there is only one way to stop it and that's peace. And this Christmas is as good as any to start and keep peace forever and ever!
We Need Peace!
Since 2001, there is no peace in the world, and if things continue the way they are going, it may be that an entire generation will grow up into adulthood without ever knowing a day without war. Today, if you're under the age of fourteen, you may be that generation. The world is better off without war, and the truth is that if everyone wanted it badly enough, then we would have peace.
And this Christmas season, we need peace more than ever, because the truth is that war has become more and more easy to continue. To think that a war can continue this long without any sort of re-thinking of it either politically or financially is absolutely ridiculous. No war has ever gone on this long without having a good amount of criticism on the subject of whether or not to allow it to continue. And despite changes in the targets and objectives, it all seems like the same war, because essentially it is.
And now, in the case of the Syrian refugees, we are starting to see some of the consequences of the war that is being waged. War is forcing people out of their homes and even their countries because it so brutal and so constant that they see no other alternative. There is no doubt that this new wave of refugees is due to the increased hostilities in places in the middle east.
At last check, this seasonal occasion is still called Christmas and celebrates the birth of the baby Jesus, and there are still approximately 1 billion Catholics around the world and Pope Francis has stated:"A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war — piecemeal though that war may be — a little here, a little there, and everywhere, there is no justification. God weeps. Jesus weeps."
We Don't Need War. It Needs Us
War is often 'sold' to the public as something that the public needs. We're told that we need it, to defend ourselves or to protect our way of life in some supposedly necessary and substantial way. The truth is that War more likely needs us. It needs our support, through tax dollars and other means of political support to keep it going. Bereft of our support, these wars would likely end quickly and abruptly.
The unfortunate problem is that most politicians are stupid and evil and would rather do whatever they can to win our support for the war rather than support the public and end the war, all of them, forever. The easiest way to get people to accept war is to make it affect those that are in a terrible position to defend themselves in the first place, such as poor people. It also helps if the war is far away, so that the people who are killed are not personal friends of the soldiers that being sent off to fight.
But unfortunately all these tactics only serve to delay the inevitable questioning of the war, of the costs of keeping the war going, both in lives, injuries (both mental and physical) and the cost to the taxpayer who is usually footing the bill so that the rich don't have to pay their fair share (like those cheating corporations in the Cayman Islands and other places). War needs us to think that War is necessary, but it simply isn't. And we don't need to believe that we need War at all.
No Matter How we honor our Dead Soldiers, They Are Still Dead
There are always ceremonies and remembrances and there always will be. And there should be memorials for our soldiers, especially those who have paid the ultimate price. But a million remembrances only remind us that those that are gone are gone. There is no 'best way' to honour the dead. The only true way to pay respect to the soldiers is to end the war, hopefully so that no more have to die.
It is only respectful that any country, our country should take care of our veterans, especially for the injuries they've suffered and the service they've given. We need to honour our dead for the sacrifice they've given, but the best war memorial is the one that we never have to build. If we were all finished with building war memorials, it is hopefully because there have been no wars and because no one has died. And certainly that is best memorial to our soldiers from all countries.
Much as Peter Gabriel predicted, there are no longer any frontiers to war. There is no land to win or retain or protect. There is no war of defense against an army that is encroaching on our territory via water or airspace. There is only war for war's sake, hopefully in far away places, taking our soldiers to 'somewhere else' to supposedly defend some other people against something like 'terrorism' or 'insurgents' or an enemy that can likely never be defeated. Modern war is against anything, any threat anywhere, even if that enemy doesn't threaten us or the borders of our nation. The only frontier is in our minds and how much war we will accept and condone before we stand up and say 'no more'.
But all of these things help keep War going. The threat only has to exist in our minds, and no enemy has to be identified or take responsibility or even exist. Politicians say 'no boots on the ground' as if that's a great thing. But there are no reason to have 'boots on the ground' when you can have drones in the air. There are no bullies, no borders, no boundaries, no boots and no reasons to stop the war except to grow a heart and a conscience and to stop the killing simply because it is wrong and to create some kind of Peace.
The Christmas Truce
Those of our readers who are war enthusiasts in the sense of historical interest have always made the same argument for which soldiers were those that had it the worst and were therefore the toughest of the tough. And it usually ends with a claim for those soldiers who fought 'in the trenches' in World War One. Even the expression 'in the trenches' has come to mean the hardest of hard places and with good reason. The soldiers of the First World War fought, stood, sat and slept in mud, filth and cold, damp tunnels and holes in the ground that they dug themselves. And if they didn't get hit by a bullet when they stuck their head out of the ground, they might just as easily have been killed by poisonous gas or come down with an illness from unsanitary conditions that could be potentially fatal.
When they stood their ground they were shelled, when they marched forward or retreated they walked over the bodies of their comrades. The land in-between the two fronts of opposing armies was known as 'no man's land' because there was literally no one alive in that place.
But there is a certain truth about World War One that the Generals of all the armies in the World would likely not want you to know. One hundred and one years ago, those very soldiers that we regard as the 'toughest-ever' did one thing even tougher: They made their own truce, unofficially, and on Christmas Day.
They defied their respective armies' orders and not only did they stop fighting, but shared stories and food and played football together in 'no man's land'. And just in case you think this was a fluke between a handful of 'rogue' soldiers on either side, then check Wikipedia, which estimates that ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND soldiers were involved in this little Christmas Miracle.
And this Christmas Truce idea has carried on since then, with real ceases in hostility to mark the occasion and usually to the anger of military authorities. As much as pundits and angry television politicos would scream that the peace-lovers are not helping the troops, it seems clear that it isn't the soldiers who are opposed to peace. Is it the Generals who hate peace? Is the politicians? Is it those angry pundits? There is no reason why we can't have peace this Christmas and there is no reason why that peace can't last forever.
War! published circa Dec 8, 2014