One matter that should be very clear from the Cindy Sheehan experience is that
neither George W. Bush, nor his administration, nor his supporters in the public
media or the countryside are about to admit that the Iraq War of Conquest was
a mistake. No matter what the evidence of lies, no matter what the "intelligence"
really said, no matter what the damage to the nation and its citizens and soldiers,
warmongers will be warmongers.
Moreover, political parties in the so-called but no longer seen "loyal
opposition" no longer have the political strength or wherewithal to stop
wars in progress. Wars take on inertia that makes them almost impossible to
stop once initiated. A big reason for this phenomenon is likely the financial
benefits of warmongering to professional politicians, who tend to be of the
investor class and who often benefit financially from military spending, which
is now a huge portion of the entire U.S. economy.
Peacemakers and peacekeepers need to learn that wars must be prevented, not
stopped. Peacemakers must anticipate causes of war. Peacemakers must see the
signs of impending war, such as claims by their government that "all options
are on the table", or outright dismissals that war is an imminent option.
Peacemakers must give close attention to the inevitable demonization of foreign
nations and their leaders, which is a sure sign of the process that leads to
The peaceful must find ways to speak truth to government deceit in real time.
The peaceful must oppose war as an instrument of foreign policy on the grounds
that wars waste property and lives and often victimize the innocent and civilians,
and thus must be considered an outdated method of solving human conflict. Peacemakers
must oppose ALL war and especially pre-emptive wars that are aggressive and
not defensive in the least. Peacemakers must develop coherent, logical, truthful
arguments to instruct the public as to the harm caused by war to even the victors
of military conflict. Peacemakers must devise strategies to influence public
debate when emotions run high in favor of war, such as at times of grievous
tragedy, such as immediately after the attacks of Pearl Harbor or 9/11/2001.
John Lennon had it right -- we must give peace a chance. Edwin Starr was right
when he said that "war is good for nothing; it can't give life but can
only take it away".
We need more entertainers, more musicians, and more celebrities to espouse
the peace movement for the younger generation. The Vietnam War resistance sprang
to a large degree from young people who were at risk of being drafted in a conscript
army. A volunteer army of today poses less of a threat to those who refuse to
volunteer, but we need more brothers and sisters and cousins of veterans to
oppose the war, and not just mothers of casualties. We need Crosby Stills and
Nash to spur "young people (to be) speaking their minds (on the wrongful
We need to prevent the planned war against Iran. We need to prevent war on
North Korea. We need to prevent war against Venezuela and Syria and Cuba. We
can see them coming, and we have to prevent these wars. We need religious leaders
and celebrities and young folk and we need politicians and soccer moms and ex-military
and wise elders and young parents and environmentalists and poor folks and everyone
to oppose war and to prevent the next one.
What if they gave a war and nobody came? What if the politicians had to hold
bake sales to finance wars? What if politicians and rich folk had to raise armies
from their own children? What if the public stopped wars by preventing their
governments from starting them?
We must prevent the next war while simultaneously stopping the current one.
We can do it and we must.