”What is Truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.” (Francis Bacon)
Not even what is Truth, the abstract concept, but what is true? Where is the truth behind all the politicians and their rhetoric? Where is the truth in the media? Where is the truth? What’s right? What’s honest? What’s right?
“Let us understand: North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.” (Richard M. Nixon)
I think America’s doing a fine job of humiliating itself.
“I’m not going to be the first American president to lose a war.” (Richard M. Nixon)
World War I was called “The Great War” because it was such a horror that at the time it was inconceivable that there could be another such war. And then came World War II. And Korea. And Vietnam. And the Faulklands. And the Gulf War. And the War on Terror, just to name a few. Why are we still at war?
“It’s reasonably clear that the official reasons for the war cannot be taken seriously. The Bush Administration is carrying out a serious assault against the general population. They have to prevent people from paying attention, and the only way anyone has ever figured out how to do that is to terrify them with tales of monsters who are about to destroy us.” (Noam Chomsky)
There’s no question that there are monsters out to destroy us.
But it seems that sometimes we are the monsters.
“War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose that our people understand and support.” (Colin Powell)
I agree. War should be the last resort. I don’t think it is, though.
“When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.” (Plato)
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then initiate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews; summon up the blood.” (William Shakespeare)
How many lives does it take to close the wall up with our dead, or with the enemy’s dead?
“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” (Jeannette Rankin)
War always comes at an unbearably high cost.
“The opposite of war is not peace, It’s creation.” (Jonathan Larson)
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. . . . The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged ino the dark abyss of annihilation.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Sometimes my sister and I are joking around, being juvenile, and we’ll start the touching game. You know the one I mean, where your parents holler from the front seat that from now on, no one is to touch anyone. And we’re quiet for a moment or two, then one of us will slowly reach out an index finger and touch the other. That leads to more touching until we’re punching each other. And one of us will usually say something like, “Dad! She hit me back first!”
“A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” (WOPR, from the movie War Games after learning the futility of “playing” Global Thermonuclear War by playing a seemingly endless series of Tic-Tac-Toe with itself)
There are no winners. There are only losers: wives who have lost their husbands, sisters who have lost their brothers, brothers who have lost their sisters, parents who have lost their children, children who have lost their parents, nations with people who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their families, their innocence. For you believe your cause is just, and I know mine is. You know that God has ordered you to wipe us out, just as I know that you are the Godless enemy.
I’m not saying I’ve got all the answers. I just have a lot of questions.