POST FOR PEACE!
The response to the Post For Peace Blogothon has been wonderful. Thanks, everyone, for standing for peace in this time of war. Because, to paraphrase the words of reggae singer Cedella Marley Booker, if you don't stand up for truth, then you'll fall for anything!
Here are my thoughts, also posted at The Blue Republic, with a surprise announcement at the end.
A Chinese proverb says that time changes nothing; people do. When we apply that proverb to the problem of peace, it is sometimes difficult to know just what is effective in trying to create and sustain it. In this country, people who actively work for peace, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, the Crawford Peace House and many, many others, are often reviled and ridiculed for disagreeing with the war in Iraq. On this 4th of July, I’d like to propose that peace is patriotic. Peace makes us all stronger!
So what is peace? Peace is a puzzle that requires work. Peace is more than the absence of conflict. And peace making is more than stopping war. It includes embracing democratic ideals and protecting human rights.
To create peace, we must work for peace, law, order and justice as opposed to war, chaos and revenge. Violence creates more violence. Peace work includes insuring the continuation and strength of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution and fighting those who would water down or eliminate our basic rights.
To sustain peace, we need international treaties such as the Geneva Conventions, and we need to follow them without picking and choosing which parts suit our political agenda. We need to actively listen to and cooperate with other institutions that promote peace, such as the United Nations, instead of acting like the U.N is our lapdog. Assassinations, torture, wiretapping, and preemptive war are all counter to peace.
In 2003, just prior to the outbreak of our invasion of Iraq, TIMEeurope.com asked their (mostly European) readers: "Who really poses the greatest danger to world peace? Iraq, North Korea or The United States."
The publishers recorded nearly 700,000 responses. And the tally was: (6.7%)North Korea, (6.3%) Iraq and (86.9%) The U.S.
The Europeans feared that we were the biggest threat to peace and the Iraqi war has confirmed their worst fears about us. Numerous factors, such as justice, power, national interest, ethnic rivalry, hunger, the environment, values, human nature, and economics, have an impact on world peace.
Today's real borders are not between nations, but between powerful and powerless, free and fettered, privileged and humiliated. Today, no borders can separate humanitarian or human-rights crises in one part of the world from national-security crises in another. Conflict and wars often lead to poverty and economic problems that continue the cycle of poverty and unrest and more war. Scarcity of resources, greed and lack of education contribute to war as well.
Sustainable development is also a factor in creating peace. Sustainable development is more than just the maintenance of resource flows; it requires that community members are in agreement about which shared interests override their individual ones. Ending poverty and war go hand in hand with peace and are dependent on creating a social organization to facilitate social consensus and peace. And sustainable development must be created in ways that do not destroy the environment of the region.
With these issue in mind, I'd like to announce that I am partnering with The Blue Republic to create a sister website, The Peace Train.org, whose mission is to explore the ways that we can all work toward a better understanding of what peace is. Additionally, its goal is to serve as a hub for peaces activists around the country and hopefully, the world, and to help in the work of making peace a reality. We will be adding to this site over time to include other features, such as a place to coordinate antiwar activities regionally.
This is a huge undertaking and I want to publicly thank Jeff and Dude for their support and help. Dude has single-handedly volunteered his time to do the physical setup of the site. Without his support, I could not imagine getting this done. I have so much to learn. I also want to thank all the others who have given me support on this project. You know who you are.
Dude and I have a lot of ideas and welcome your further help to make this both an interesting, educational and useful place to come and work (and play) for peace. If peace is to become more than just a mantra, it must address the specific needs of people in specific communities through their own collective and collaborative efforts. Let’s all join together as a community to work toward making peace a reality. So I urge you to come on over to The Peace Train and join! (It's free!)
And Glenda will stick around here as well, at least for now.
Here is the blogroll of all those who put in the time on their 4th of July holiday to POST FOR PEACE. Please visit these sites and see what they had to say:
Earl Bockenfeld's Radio Weblog
Tnkrkell in Space or a Gay Grad Girl Growing Out
Elizabeth Branford- Consider The Boot
Advocate 1 and Brandon-Coalition for a Republic Free America
Enigma4ever - Watergate Summer
Sumo - Summo Merriment
Beth - Here I Am
James - Genius Of Insanity
Betmo - Life's Jouney
Celtic Fire - celticfire
Weezielou - weezielou
Divajood - Journeys With Jood
Michael Bains - Silly Humans
Peacechick Mary - Knock Knock
BZ - Intrepid Flame
JM - John's Blog
Stella - Swiftspeech
Mary - Get Your Own
guerillasinthe midst - GUERRILLASintheMIDST
Dizzy Dezzi - I'm Jus' A Lil' Dizzy!
Time - Time
The Poetryman - Poetic Justice
Pissed Off Patricia - Morning Martini
Sarah - An American Aries
Charlie - Highland
Lorraine - Here's The Thing
Snave - Various Miseries
Libby - The Impolitic
Lew Scannon - Unbrainwashed
Ron Nasty - The Nasty Page
Diane S. - A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door...
Grish - The Weekly View
Ann - The Tulgey Wood
A Rose Is A Rose - Ravings Of A Semi-Sane Madwoman
Changeseeker - Why Am I Not Surprised?
Kvatch - Blognonymous
Cali - Nite Swimming
Dusty - It's My Right To Be Left Of Center
Steve O. - Naked Politics
John Good - Left In Aboite
Tabor - One Day At A Time
Angie - Ang's Weird Ideas
Donnie McDaniel - The Katrinacrat Blog
Glenda - Glenda In The Land Of Oz
Elizabeth Branford - The Blue Republic
RJB- Words Have Power
Robin Andrea-Dharma Bums
Amy- Assembly of Divine Realities
Elizabeth Branford - Lose The Noose