My Turn: In service to peace

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 12:44:07 AM. Each year, in preparation for a Veterans Day program, the newsletter of my community asks that all veterans confirm the community’s record of their branch of service and “war time service location.” Upon reading this year’s request, it occurred to me...
Each year, in preparation for a Veterans Day program, the newsletter of my community asks that all veterans confirm the community’s record of their branch of service and “war time service location.” Upon reading this year’s request, it occurred to me that “war time” has become normal time. At least since the Vietnam era the United States has been involved in perpetual war fought in one country or another against a diversity of “terrorists” and their supporters. This brave new world is rife with fear, suspicion and hegemony. Since the end of World War I, United States international policy has been split into two opposing movements. The first movement embraces nonviolence, negotiation and amenable resolutions as instruments of peace. It was launched with the U.S. Senate ratification of the international Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact, signed by President Calvin Coolidge on Jan. 17, 1929. The pact reads in part that the signers “condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.” It also adds that the parties agree “that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.” The primary instrument of the second movement is military power. Its mantra is “peace through strength” backed by superior weapons and a warrior class. This movement is...Read more
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