Archive for the ‘peace’ Tag

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Imagine That — I’m Still Anti-War.

July 16 2014

Most of us have heard John Lennon sing

“You may say I’m a dreamer,… but I’m not the only one.”

And some of us, after another morning dose of news coverage full of death and destruction, feel the need to reach out to others to see if we are not alone in our outrage. With about a dozen assorted ongoing conflicts in the news everyday, and with the stories becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable. And what becomes of our planet when that sadness becomes apathy? Because we feel helpless. And we turn our heads and turn the page.

Currently, I’m full of hope. That hope springs from the multitudes of people that our band has been fortunate enough to play for night after night here in Europe. To see flags of so many different nations, and to have these huge crowds gathered peacefully and joyfully is the exact inspiration behind the words I felt the need to emphatically relay. When attempting to make a plea for more peace in the world at a rock concert, we are reflecting the feelings of all those we have come in contact with so we may all have a better understanding of each other.

That’s not something I’m going to stop anytime soon. Call me naïve. I’d rather be naïve, heartfelt and hopeful than resigned to say nothing for fear of misinterpretation and retribution.

The majority of humans on this planet are more consumed by the pursuit of love, health, family, food and shelter than any kind of war. War hurts. It hurts no matter which sides the bombs are falling on.

With all the global achievements in modern technology, enhanced communication and information devices, cracking the human genome, land rovers on Mars etc., do we really have to resign ourselves to the devastating reality that conflict will be resolved with bombs, murder and acts of barbarism?

We are such a remarkable species. Capable of creating beauty. Capable of awe-inspiring advancements. We must be capable of resolving conflicts without bloodshed.

I don’t know how to reconcile the peaceful rainbow of flags we see each night at our concerts with the daily news of a dozen global conflicts and their horrific consequences. I don’t know how to process the feeling of guilt and complicity when I hear about the deaths of a civilian family from a U.S. drone strike. But I know that we can’t let the sadness turn into apathy. And I do know we are better off when we reach out to each other.

“I hope someday you’ll join us,…”

Won’t you listen to what the man said.

— Eddie Vedder


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Jon Stewart “Let’s turn to overseas.  A week ago, just one week, seven days, it seemed the only way these United States might avoid war with Syria, was through our usual semantic shenanigans.  We would bomb them but we’d call it a freedom play date.  You know what I’m talking about. But, over the weekend, the winds of war shifted dramatically.”

Don Lemon (CNN) 9-14-13 “After days of negotiations, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s top diplomat have reached an agreement that could end Syria’s chemical weapons program.  They sealed the deal in Geneva, one that could leave Syria with no chemical weapons by the middle of next year.”

Stewart “I can’t believe it, we pulled, we managed not to have a war with somebody.  I don’t, you don’t get a war, and you don’t get a war, and you don’t get a war. Everybody doesn’t get a war…..So, we get to take Assad’s chemical weapons.  We don’t have to kill anyone, and we did it all just by the talky talk.  There’s only one way to describe that.”

Sen Lindsey Graham 9-14-13 “It means nothing, so this is a debacle.”

Stewart “Graham, why can’t you take no war for an answer?”

Graham “The reason I wanted to strike Assad is to punish him.”


Stewart “Lindsey Graham isn’t alone in feeling that this successful use of diplomacy to achieve our goal, is the worst defeat in American history.”

Pundit on CNN 9-15-13 “I just don’t see how this is a good outcome for anybody.”

Sen John McCain (R-AZ) 9-15-13 “I think it’s a loser.”

Fox host 9-15-13 “It ends up being a hand off to Vladimir Putin.”

Fox pundit 9-14-13 “I have never seen a fiasco like this from a US President.”

Stewart “What am I missing?  We might contain a dictators chemical weapons stockpile without having to kill innocent civilians in the process, or invading a country and creating more, there’s only two explanations, for how this fellow there (last Fox pundit), the Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot, has never seen a fiasco like this from a US President.  A.) he’s only six months old, he’s one of them Benjamin Button type dudes, …, and he worked for Regan, never seen a fiasco like this, Iran Contra, or B.) Paul Gigot doesn’t understand what the word fiasco means.  What?  A threesome with hot girls now, but I’m supposed to go collect my lottery winnings.  What a fiasco…..The only thing that they like less than that we’re not bombing now, is that we might not bomb.”

Fox host 9-15-13 “It appears that the threat of force has been taken off the table.”

Pundit on Face the Nation 9-15-13 “I think that it does take the use of American force, pretty much off the table.”

Pundit 9-13-13 “I think that the armed response really is off the table.”

Stewart “It’s not off the table.  The armed response is never off the table.  Who believes the armed response is off the table.  This is America, have you seen the table? (shows a picture with the top of an aircraft carrier as a table)–where-s-my-war-

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Fareed Zakaria “But, first, here’s my take. Yasser Arafat’s body has been exhumed for investigation, bringing back memories of the unpredictable Palestinian leader and the Middle East in which he operated.

The news broke at a time when a conventional wisdom began to take hold that the Middle East today is much more dangerous, unstable, violent and anti-American than before. So let’s take a look at the facts.

In the 1980s, the newly empowered, radical Islamic Republic of Iran unsettled the region with its promise to spread its revolution elsewhere. Lebanon was in the midst of a bloody civil war that engulfed not only itself but also the Palestinians and Israel.

Iran and Iraq fought a gruesome war with over 1 million casualties. Hezbollah attacked U.S. armed forces directly, forcing a humiliating withdrawal from Lebanon. A CIA station chief was tortured and killed, and U.S. secrets and interests compromised. And that was just in one decade.

Or consider those days from Israel’s point of view. During the 1980s, Jerusalem faced well-armed regimes in Iraq and Syria, leading members of the so-called rejectionist camp that urged permanent hostilities against Israel. No Arab regime other than Egypt would dare speak openly of peace with Israel. The official charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization called for the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian state. Arafat’s chief tactic was terrorism against Israelis, Europeans and Americans.

Today the Soviet Union has collapsed, Saddam Hussein is gone, the Syrian regime is tottering. Israel, on the other hand, has grown to become a regional military superpower.

Its defense budget is larger now than that of all its neighbors put together. Its technological advantages put it in another league. The Palestinian Authority affirms Israel’s existence and works with it regularly.

Iran remains a real threat, but it is isolated, sanctioned and contained like few other countries in history. It is also roiled by discontent at home and facing the combined opposition of the secular Arab states, Israel and the Western powers.

Amidst the disorder, there is a broader contest for regional power. Israel has by far the most powerful economy and military, but it lacks political power for obvious reasons. Turkey has economic and military power as well, and it also has growing regional clout.

Egypt, meanwhile, is the natural leader of the Arab world, but at the moment is not in a position to dominate. Its economy is a shambles, its military second rate and under pressure from its people, and its democracy still very fragile.

President Mohamed Morsi’s recent power grab is worrying, but the public opposition to it has been reassuring.

So the Middle East today is mixed, complex region that is changing fast. Grand generalizations about it are likely to be undone by events. But it is a more vibrant, energetic, open, even democratic place than the Middle East of a generation ago.”