I could give you everything you want, happiness -
- comfort - nourishment, I would. But you would still ask for more. I
know I would. I want Peace on Earth.
on Earth is a request by many people this time of year. Strangely
enough, stores don't carry it. Coupons aren't available. Peace on Earth
is not on eBay or Amazon. How do you get it?
Peace on Earth is like shoveling a parking lot of snow. It's a big
task, that could use some help... or at least some heavy machinery.
Let's make this clear. Peace on Earth is the absence of war. If there
is no war, congratulations,
you've got Peace on Earth. Wouldn't that be great?
I don't hear everyone agreeing.
Unlike shoveling a parking lot full of snow, which could be done with a
pickup truck and a front-end plow, Peace on Earth needs people power.
People make war. Guns and missiles and protective shields don't make
war (we'll get back to them). People decide to go to war and fight and
And the reasons are basic, negative emotions -- hate, fear, revenge,
and greed. The strongest of these reasons is greed.
The reasons can be covered up by religion, but no major religion is
based on hate, fear, revenge, or greed. Religions are better than that.
Or they should be.
The reasons are covered up by defense, which also should be better than
war, but the most effective defense is a good offense. That
offense and defense functionally the same thing, despite the fact that
countries don't have a Department
And the reasons for war are covered up by words. War is sugar-coated in
words and propaganda. Words can rally up the basic, negative emotions
in people, outshouting Wellstone-like cries for peace. Words can veil
realities in generalizations, stereotypes, over simplifications, and
War on Concepts
cannot be fought to end war. You cannot have a "War
to end all wars" or a "War on terror" or even a "War on wars." It's all
still part of the proliferation of war. Fighting will not stop war. The
exception, of course, is nuclear annihilation, which would kill
everyone and most everything. The cemeteries are full; we cannot fight.
That's one way to get Peace on Earth, but not the way most people want.
Too often, people fight wars because war is thought to be their only
hope. That's nuts. War is a hell, not a hope. But people think that
they do not have other choices.
There are always possibilities. There are always alternatives.
Alternatives include negotiation, mediation, separation, trade,
embargo, agreements, nonviolent protests, listening, talking, respect,
assistance, delay, and time. Another alternative, probably the easiest
to request and the toughest to grant, is forgiveness.
None of the alternatives are easy, but then neither is war. In war, a
big bad bully of a nation can pick on a much smaller, weaker nation
because the battle is thought to be easy. But then an alliance of
nations can form overnight to defend the weaker nation. There are no
easy wars, and there are no clean wars. Innocent people get hurt and
killed in war.
Getting to Peace on Earth means stopping war and preventing war. If war
is the escalation of negative emotions, it is easier to consider the
alternatives to war before the first shots are fired. Wars are preceded
by failed alternatives.
There can be architects for peace. War only has demolition experts with
new weapons that will better distinguish the enemy from the innocent,
which was the justification for all previous weapons.
The weapons for war are always advancing. That's one way of looking at
it. Another way is that the weapons of war are always making their way
to the other side. Weapons inventors are always creating their weapons
for both sides whether they know it or not.
The world first faced the
prospects of all-out nuclear armageddon during the Eisenhower
administration. But when he left office, President Eisenhower didn't
warn the country about that. He warned the country about the
military-industrial complex, saying:
We must guard against
the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous
rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and
knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge
industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods
and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
- President Eisenhower 1-17-1961
War costs lives, liberties, security, and money. Lots of money. People
could get rich on war.
How much money, annually? China spends $65 billion (2nd highest).
Russia spends $50 billion (3rd highest). France spends $45 billion (4th
highest). The world spends $500 billion, not counting the U.S. The
United States spends $650 billion. And the $650 billion disappears
quickly. We haven't been the alert citizenry that Eisenhower wanted us
Thousands of companies profit on military spending. Here are the most
expensive U.S. contractors:
Martin, Bethesda, MD
Boeing, Chicago, IL
Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles, CA
General Dynamics, Falls Church, VA
Raytheon, Waltham, MA
KBR - Haliburton, Houston, TX
L-3 Communications, New York, NY
United Technologies, Hartford, CT
BAE Systems, Farnborough, England
SAIC, San Diego, CA
$ 6 B
$ 5 B
$ 4 B
$ 4 B
$ 3 B
& F-22 fighter jets, Hellfire missiles
F-15 fighter jets
aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines,
combat vehicles, guns, ammunition,
guided missiles (world's largest
surveillance & reconnaissance
Blackhawk helicopter, missile systems
Typhoon & Harrier fighters,
aircraft carriers *
information services -- WMD claims in Iraq
Who doesn't want Peace on Earth?
Losing the War on Peace
Lyndon Johnson (D) and George W. Bush (R) were both afraid of losing
their quagmire-like, civil-guerilla wars during their presidencies.
There should be a word for that, a Johnson-Bush.
A Johnson-Bush is a president who will keep fighting a
pointless, goal-less war that cannot be won... which couldn't
military-industrial complex, since a long-term,
goal-less war is a treasure chest to them.
ego is a barrier to peace. The president is afraid of being remembered
for losing a war. In the case of Johnson, it's weirder because he was
afraid of losing the Vietnam War, and he was afraid of winning the war.
He was afraid of it escalating into a nuclear confrontation against the
Soviet Union and China.
Economists say that war is good for the
economy. Ecomonists get a lot of things wrong like that. War is not
good for an economy or its people. Wars like the Iraq War II
the national debt at a staggering rate to fund the military-industrial
complex. Which makes you wonder, why have a war at all? Why not just
funnel money to the military-industrial complex without a war? Well,
someone might reply that there needs to be a reason... like the reasons
for the Iraq War II. If anyone ever says that "war is good for the
economy," the correct response is "no, pillaging and plundering
are good for the ecomony."
War is where people lose.
Fighting for Peace on Earth
Peace on Earth is
something everyone wants, but no one wants to fight for.
doesn't make much sense to fight for Peace on Earth, but if Peace on
Earth matters, shouldn't something be done to achieve
called for "an alert and knowledgeable citizenry" to balance the
machinery of defense with peaceful methods and goals. That's not
exactly Peace on Earth, but maybe it's close.
How do you get Peace on Earth? You argue for it. You listen to those
arguing for it.
You work on it. You work on the alternatives. You delay war. You help a
president accept a Johnson-Bush
and move on. When economists say that war is good for the economy, you
tell them they are confusing war with plundering. You talk the
military-industrial complex out of the push for war, as an employee or
a stockholder or as a concerned citizen. You promote facts over
propaganda. And you emphasize that you can be a patriot and can stand