Independence - A Post for 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!
"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.
(I feel like discovering some peace...through little toy soldiers. Think I'll go and spread some around. :-) )
So true my friend!
Peace on, baby! Peace on!
This Administation, and its subserviant cowards in Congress, have failed to meet those conditions in Iraq.
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.
Nice post from a different point of view. If you weren't a frog, I'd kiss you. 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.
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.
And to the Station Agent, thanks for linking the post. Always appreciated.
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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
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? :-)