2006/07/04

Independence - A Post for Peace

So let me start by saying that I don't think that I have anything really interesting to say on the subject of peace. I'm not even sure I know what peace is. So let me start with another subject, Independence and maybe I'll find a way to get around to peace.

Most countries celebrate a "founding" event. With some it's the day the country was recognized by a foreign power or former colonial master. With others it's the day of victory or the day that independence was negotiated. But in the United States we don't celebrate any of those days. No, we celebrate the day that independence was declared, in essence the day we recognized independence within ourselves.

Americans as a whole are an independent lot. Early immigrants wanted to worship independently, and came to North America to be free of religious oppression. Pioneers craved opportunity and independence from reliance on others. Colonials sought and achieved independence from England. Texans and Californians sought and achieved independence from Spain/Mexico. Our Constitution created three co-equal, independent branches of government. States act independently and with greater autonomy than in almost any other nation.

Indeed, America is at its best when it's people think and act "independently", and by this I don't mean without considering others but rather not letting others think for them. And herein is the problem. Independence is under attack. The current administration has decided that independence of thought, independence of spirit, and independence in government are passe, and they are working hard to crush these three ideas using the so called War on Terror as a mechanism.

So now I'm going to state a premise: War is sometimes necessary and should be moral, short, targeted, proportional, and defensive. The War on Terror and it's main theater of operations, the War in Iraq, are none of these things. Quite the contrary, this war is immoral in its justifications and conduct, long by contemporary standards, indiscriminate, disproportional, and offensive. In fact, the only thing that you can say about the Iraqi War is that we've already achieved the one noble goal that we could attach to it: We've given the Iraqi people the freedom to think and act independently, and now...we should leave.

And so...finally...I believe I have something to say about peace: We have the opportunity to wage peace by having the courage to leave Iraq. Why? Because peace is not objective. Peace is subjective. It's in our minds. It's a state of mind. It's a level of maturity and a clarity of thinking that compels us to only engage in war when it's necessary, moral, short, targeted, proportional, and defensive. Peace is more than the absence of war, it is the understanding of war, and therefore peace is within each of us--not out of our reach and not out of our control.

Peace is a battle that we wage with ourselves, a battle that we should all fight to win, a battle that we are supremely capable of winning because we already won the battle for independence...on the day we declared it.

- Part of Glenda's Post for Peace Blogathon. Check out all of the other great posts!

27 Comments:

excellent! peace IS within each of us. Here's to it!
Peace is a state of mind..excellent Kvatch :)
I'll have a peace of the action...
powerful- yet simple. well said
Ghandi is a roll model in the peace category, but by his example we see that the pathway of peacefulness is a lot harder than waging war - and the stakes are just as high:

"The rishis who discovered the law of nonviolence in the midst of violence were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves known the use of arms, they realized their uselessness, and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through violence but through nonviolence."

Great post Kvatch. Blog on all.
Well said, Kvatch. Happy 4th...
Thanks everyone and happy Independence Day to all.

(I feel like discovering some peace...through little toy soldiers. Think I'll go and spread some around. :-) )
Peace is a battle that we wage with ourselves

So true my friend!

Peace on, baby! Peace on!
Well said, Froggy. Bravo!
You've managed to trump the neo-con message of Peace for America at any cost, with one of Strength and Responsibility for the opportunity for Peace for all. War really is necessary sometimes, and I think you've clearly and intelligently illustrated when that may be.

This Administation, and its subserviant cowards in Congress, have failed to meet those conditions in Iraq.

Peace, indeed!
Hey Michael, thanks for fine-tuning the target, so to speak. (Who knew I could skewer a neo-con message? :-) )

This post was actually very hard to put together. When I finished the first published version. I hadn't even really pulled together the notion that peace and independence are both "states of mind". In fact, it didn't really dawn on me till I reread the post, and then I had to rewrite the second and last paragraphs.
There you go froggy, now just make it pithy!
Here's to spreading peace along with independence.

Nice post from a different point of view. If you weren't a frog, I'd kiss you. I already have my prince. :)
Ah, that frog is such a logical guy. Wish we could put this in a capsule and feed it to the Bushcos. Well done, Kvatch.
I already have my prince. :)

Well PoP...as the Frogette likes to say, "You've got kiss a lot of princes, before you find your frog." :-)

Ah, that frog is such a logical guy.

Thanks Mary. You don't know how big a compliment that really is, as I consider myself to be far to shallow to treat most subjects with the depth that they deserve. Hence all of the poetry, fake news, photoshopping, and other stuff I usually employ.
Good job,Kvatch. Thanks for droppin by today,too. =)
Kvatch, Thanks for the post.
Kvatch, this is a deep piece of thinking and I really agree wth your ideas. We should leave now. Hope we are able to do lots more collaborating in the future. Thanks!
this has been very thought provoking for me. you do sum up very well what is different about Americans, something that had been beyond my grasp.

the very independence that founded your nation is now being made a mockery of.

-One Nation Under Surveillance- (you can get that on a tshirt ya know)

change from within oneself, the only change that matters and that will make any difference. well said.
I'm having a hard time coming up with the right words to discribe just how really great that post is...so I'll just say great and not pontificate. Really awesome. It made me glad that I participate in your blog as a commenter.
I posted on this post here.
Well done, Frogman.
Callooh, Sumo, PT, John, and Donnie. Thanks so much. You all are too kind. Really, the credit should go to Glenda for such an inspiring Blogathon. So Glenda...thanks for inspiring all of us.

And to the Station Agent, thanks for linking the post. Always appreciated.
Fabulous post. Really well said and an angle I hadn't considered.

peace
This may come from the meditation and yoga I've been practicing the past couple of years, to me peace is a state of mind, a condition of being. Peace is most often defined in the negative, the absence of violence. As a positive, peace is the presence of serenity. Therefore, peace can be found even when surrounded by chaos.

As long as we define peace as the opposite of violence, peace will always be a temporary thing. In this mind set, we can only experience peace after we have felt violence. Only when we can find the Tao of peace as its own nature can we break the cycle of violence.

Of course, this philosophy makes me sound like a liberal weenie.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
~ John Lennon
As long as we define peace as the opposite of violence, peace will always be a temporary thing. In this mind set, we can only experience peace after we have felt violence.

My point was that peace is not just the absence of war, but state of mind that includes an understanding of war, and, like independence, it's a state of mind that we create, not one that is given to us or thrust upon us.

And therefore I don't think that our observations are all that different. So what does that make me, I wonder? A liberal weenie frog? :-)

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