Peacemakers suck…REALLY???

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By Kenneth Justice

~ Last week at coffee I sat with a Jewish lawyer friend of mine and we were talking about the ongoing conflict in the Middle East,

Want me to tell you how to get the United States to quit involving itself in all of these conflicts in the Middle East; instate a draft and all the suburban kids will start protesting like they did in the 60’s and the President won’t be so quick to send troops anywhere ever again” he said

My lawyer friend’s idea is that because the military is voluntary, all the young adults who don’t join the armed services are lulled into never standing up and voicing their opinion. But if there was a mandated draft that forced every young adult in the United States to the join the military, there would be a national movement to end war.

The United States is an interesting nation. If you’ve ever traveled to Washington D.C. or driven throughout the East Coast, you’ll see a massive number of war memorials. In fact, every single state and major city throughout the United States has war memorials; monuments, buildings, statue, and other such edifices devoted to talking about the wars the USA has been involved itself.

Almost nowhere in the United States are monuments to men and women who have devoted themselves to lives of being peacemakers.

It’s written, “Blessed are the peacemakers” yet for every small statue of someone like Dr. Martin Luther King, there are a thousand statues and monuments devoted to reminding us we have been a warring country.

It’s an interesting society we live in; people like General MacArthur and Eisenhower become national heroes and even President…..but why don’t we celebrate men and women like Plato and Socrates? Why don’t we celebrate philosophers and great thinkers who’ve devoted themselves to thinking and writing about things of a higher nature?

Walking around Washington, D.C. you’re impressed with the magnitude of the WWII, WWI and Vietnam War memorials. They are colossal structures which impress upon the viewer the idea that war is something the United States is good at. But is this something the USA should be proud of; being good at war???

No matter where you live, whether in the United States or somewhere in Europe, no doubt there are statues and monuments somewhere in your vicinity devoted to war. The next time you see them, remember the verse, “Blessed are the peacemakers” and see if you can find any evidence that your community celebrates peacemakers…..my guess is you’ll come up empty.

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,

Kenneth



Categories: Culture & Society

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18 replies

  1. UK visitor observation: Spot on – and still remember finding it a little odd.

    • That’s strange, there are war memorials in virtually every city, town and village in the UK. There are also loads of statues to generals, politicians and admirals, who led British soldiers to war.

  2. How about a memorial to all those failed entrepreneurs we owe so much to? We are a great nation because so many entrepreneurs have tried and failed, paving the way, without recognition, for others to succeed.

    • Ohhh, I like that! One thing that makes the US unique is our willingness to risk failure. People take a chance, fail, file bankruptcy, start over. That adventurous attitude has a whole lot to do with why we’ve prospered as a nation.

  3. war fills the coffers of the corporation . . . peace fills the mind with dangerous things like (Lennon’s Imagine)

  4. Cheers to Philosophers and Peacemakers. 😊

  5. Agreed. But I still think that the draft is a bad idea. Forcing peacemakers to go to war? I don’t think so!

  6. Some individuals are simply not cut out for war, hence all the PTSD. As for those who are cut for it…they make me very nervous.

  7. True that. Unless you count war memorials. Like the little children caught between two asshole parents fighting. Bless those for trying to make whatever peace they were assigned to.

  8. “But is this something the USA should be proud of; being good at war???” First of all, isn’t “being good at war” somewhat of a non sequitur? And second, based upon every “war” after WW II, can one even suggest that the USA is good at war? I think we’ve been pretty damn lousy at war.

  9. You are certainly right about the war memorials, but the MLK memorial in DC is also large and impressive and, surprisingly, focuses almost more on his role as a peacemaker than as a civil rights activist. Not as centrally located as the WWII one, but still very nice.

    I’m generally very anti-war, but I think there are times, like WWII, where it’s very clear that someone had to stand up to tyranny and I think that’s worth recognizing and respecting. I also think it’s important to recognize the tremendous amount of life lost in a pointless conflict, as the Vietnam Memorial does. I don’t think that one glorifies war but reminds us – forcefully – of the costs of going into it without clear and compelling reasons.

  10. Perhaps Nelson Mandela might be an exception to the rule, but a rare exception.

  11. I thought the point of war memorials was that soldiers are, in a way, peacemakers? We go to war to get peace out of the other side (or, maybe this doesn’t happen, but ideally it is so). Remember WWII because it brought us peace from a dogmatic, racist, fascist society with plans to impose this on everyone else. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I don’t think war memorials are usually meant to romanticize war, but meant to remember what we had to sacrifice to get that peace. Just a different perspective.

  12. It’s a memorial to the sacrifices made–with a father who served in Vietnam and a son currently serving overseas, I don’t look as those memorials as anything less than a reminder of the price paid for freedom.

  13. It’s a bit of what you bring to the table on how you interpret war memorials. By your blog you see a glorification of war by these memorials, I see the price that was paid because of the memorials. Starting with the Civil War; memorials arose for common soldiers onward to WW II, Korea, Vietnam. I would ask anyone, if they’ve seen the Vietnam memorial to close their eyes; Do you see it? Do you see how it starts very low with just a few names? The farther you walk into the knoll, the larger the blackness of the stone grows, much like the despair of war. You go from seeing 10 to 50 to 100 to thousands of names of young men who died in service to United States of America. Some never got to get married, come home to kiss their wife or mother one last time, or to see their children grow old and become parents. It’s to me is a reminder, that people give their future away when they go to war, whether they wanted to or whether they wanted to help forge a better future.

  14. Maybe it’s because war (defense) is- according to our founding documents- one of the VERY FEW legitimate functions of government. The government has to put up all those monuments to remind us of how important it is. It has to ‘defend us’. Of course, most of that so called defense is not really defense at all, but really offensive attacks on other people/countries we really have no business getting involved in.

  15. As Winston Churchill famously said ‘jaw jaw (ie talk) is better than war war’ – and he would know, he took part in several wars and knew what a ghastly business it is, even if sometimes necessary.

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