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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 95 - 1/19/2003
How Do You Feel About War?
‘Yes I'm talking about this war dance/ A patriotic romance./And I know all you poets/Have seen it all before…’ – Colin Moulding, XTC
Colin: ‘The words were originally prompted by the Falklands War in 1982. But it was too much on one piece of history. Then along came the Persian Gulf War and I put the revised lyrics to a new piece of music. It was time to bring war out of the closet again.’
And again, it would seem. How do you, from your own spiritual perspective or tradition, view and/or cope with the ideals and realities of war and armed conflict?
Do your political leanings influence how you feel?
Do you have a difficult time explaining/defending/advocating your position to other Pagans or Heathens? Non-Pagans?
| Reponses: There are 153 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| War For The Sake Of Politics ||Jan 20th. at 1:07:59 am EST|
|Celticmoon (Oklahoma) ||Age: 53 - Email |
This particular war on "terrorism" frightens me because it is so vague. We have a president that speaks before he thinks, such as: "your either with us, or against us": Bin Laden 'dead or alive', and so on. Now to save face, he is putting the American people in a dangerous situation.
In World War II, we suffered a direct military attack from the Japanese government that wanted world domination. We KNEW who the enemy was. We had an immediate declaration of war from Congress, and the war was supported unanimously by the American people. What happened to going after Bin Laden. I haven't heard Bush mentioning him lately. If I remember right, weren't all the 9/11 hijackers Saudis? And we want to invade Iraq?
Now, are we planning to invade any country that we "think" may be harboring terrorists, or a country that "maybe" has weapons of mass destruction? "Either for us, or against us", remember? Our "intelligence" community couldn't find Bin Laden, and the weapons inspection is in no way conclusive, so now what? Are we going to war just because Bush wants to make sure all countries know he is serious? He is on one bad ego trip!
Also, since our government likes to work in secrecy, how do we know the dribbles of information we are tossed are accurate and tell the whole story? Should we trust what the government tells us? I think we all know the answer to that one!
As time goes on, Americans are beginning to speak out against a war without concrete evidence of weapons of mass destruction. I also hope the American people will wake up and realize the Patriot Act could very well be our downfall, and the terrorists would win without firing a single missle.
No country can come close to our military power and finances. BUT, we can be torn apart from the inside by a war without an end in sight that cannot be won, and a breakdown of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which has already started by way of the Patriot Act.
May the Goddess bless us.
| War Is Never A Good Thing... ||Jan 20th. at 1:31:13 am EST|
|Andor (Santa Barbara, CA) ||Age: 28 - Email |
War is never a good thing, no matter what the reason or the goal. War is horrible, war is costly in blood, in money, in so many ways. War has no real winners, no matter what the out come. War should be avoided... at almost all cost. Almost all cost. Can we always avoid war? Unfortunately no.
Even though war is never a good thing... some times it's not as bad as the other things that man tries to do to one another.
We have to be honest with ourselves and the rest of the world. We have to take responsibility for what we have done to the world. When ever, where ever possible, we need to attack the source of conflicts in the world and not our fellow man.
There are evil people in this world, no doubt. What makes a person evil? For me, an evil person is anyone who intentionally attempts to strip another person of rightfully obtained property, dignity, or life. Should evil people be stopped? Yes, so long as a greater evil does not have to be committed to do so.
I know the world will not turn into to a happy, hippy love-fest anytime soon, it may never. Should we give up on ever becoming a world full of enlightened, caring people? Never.
Do I know how to solve the problems in the middle east? No. Do I think I can prevent the war in the middle east? No. I alone can not solve the worlds problems, I alone cannot prevent war.
What can I do then? I can do a lot, as long as I try. Try to understand myself and try to make myself a better person. Try to understand those around me and around the world. Try to accept others even when their beliefs and values may differ from mine. Try not to deprive others of what is rightfully their's. Try to make those in power accountable for their actions. Try to make the world a better place.
When enough of us try, then indeed, we will change the world.
| War, What Is It Good For... ||Jan 20th. at 1:39:07 am EST|
|David Aquarius (Renton, WA USA) ||Age: 44 - Email |
War. The conflict between two opposing forces.
Is it a necessary evil? To be a necessary evil, there should be no other feasable alternative. For one to accept a necessary evil, there must be no other course of action possible. All choices would be worse that the evil you choose.
War always has alternatives. In the past, even recently, the case could be made for the decision to go to war. But now, with the advent of high tech sciences, we can see the formation of conflict before a war occurs. These conflicts can be directed to agencies that will mediate them, bring about a peaceful solution. If deadly force is used, it is in self-defense, immediate self-defense.
There are always those who look to past wars and historic battles with an air of nostalgia. They see the 'glamour' of war, the bravado and the sacrifice. What they fail to remember is the reality of war.
War is blood, it's the unattached body parts of your friends and family.
War is pain. The anquish of a lost child, either as a soldier or a civilian. The sorrow of friends and co-workers who must deal the the loss.
War is fear. It is being placed in situations where you must unlease horror onto people you have never met.
And what of these people we fight? They aren't enemies, they are people others have demonized and told us are enemies. And these people have been told that we are an enemy, demonizing us and our families. War is about lies, it is about fear and hatred. It is about ignorance.
There is no honor in war. No glorious battles, nor victories. In war, all parties lose. In war, there is only blood, pain and death. War is anti-human.
From the title, an answer...
| War From Someone Outside The Propaganda ||Jan 20th. at 2:47:58 am EST|
|Skeggi (New Zealand) ||Age: 32 - Email |
From what ive seen everyone is divided on this subject. In this country it seems to go along the lines of generational differences. Basiclly the younger people dont want war, the older people dont nescessarily want it but they trust the US to do the right thing.
Younger people dont trust the US. They tend to be very cautious about America pushing its weight around and frankly without proof believe that Bush decided sometime ago that war was what he wanted.
It seems that when you are not prepared to do what the states declare you should you are putting yourself in a very vunerable position. I dont think there should be a war and i dont think we should send any aid to the American/ British task force unless the UN declares that this is necessary. The UN is the only protection available to us as small countries, and America seems determind to throw this protection to the wolves.
Are we going to see more trade santions (we have some against us already) because of our nuclear free policy?
i also think that before America condems anyone for Terrorism they should have a long hard look at the direct and indirect acts of terrorism they have been a part of over the last 50 years.
I hope war can be avoided and i hope the world sends a message to Bush to pull his head in.
But I have a feeling im going to be dissapointed.
| Let Me Think About It...NO! ||Jan 20th. at 7:24:21 am EST|
|jade (canada) ||Age: 16 - Email |
first of all i'm a canadian, and you (the americans) might not believe that this affects me, but it does. i believe in world peace, but i also know that this is practically impossible. power is a big issue here. oil is what represents power, the states want it. personally i believe that they are a bunch of bullies. to prove that to you, check out the website www.whatreallyhappened.com you'll be surprised to know the truth about the americans, and their government. i not only oppose this war as a pagan, but also as a person. the world is my future, and i want to have one to live in! it's evident that many people feel this way, and the people who do are obviously the educated ones, the ones that aren't listening to the propaganda, but getting out there and finding out the truth. i am sincerely sorry for all the uneducated people, hey, there probably the same people who voted bush in in the first place! and we all know what a REAL LEADER he is. support the war on terrorism? ok, the states are the terrorists, they're the ones who kill the most people (because they have the power to do it), they are the real threat. they'll get what's coming to them! there should be no war against iraq, or any other country unless there's a good reason. quite frankly, the states don't have a good reason. like i said, check out the website (www.whatreallyhappened.com), you might learn something that's true!
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| The Weeping Of A Thousand Thousand Years ||Jan 20th. at 8:08:16 am EST|
|Starlight Bunnybutt (FL, USA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
"The spear in the Other's heart is the spear in your own, you are he." - Surak
If I were to strike off your hand, my wrist would bleed. Can you not hear the weeping of a thousand thousand mothers over the bodies of their children? Would you bear the lash or strike down the one who hits you? Do you think he does not have a mother who once suckled him and called him her only love?
Were our wars necessary, would they have come about if they hadn't been caused by a society that found violence against others necessary? If our insistance on war did not foster the culture that raised the warmongers, could we then see how each being is our kin?
Shall I cut out my right eye to see a better tomorrow? Is such a tomorrow possible if it is built on the deaths we reap today? Change is not made by the violent man, but by the man who sees a way other than violence.
Wisdom and enlightenment tell us that peace is the only path towards a peaceful future. To paraphrase a very wise Vulcan: "Reach out to those whom have wronged you with peace. And if he should strike you again, offer peace. And if he should strike you dead you go offering him peace. In this way shall your life be peaceful." Surak ("Spocks World", Diane Duane)
Perhaps a culture that lived that way would be destroyed by the first who wished to conquer them. The question to ask is if a culture that believes any other way deserves to live.
| Harm None ||Jan 20th. at 8:12:44 am EST|
|Amber Moon (Kansas City) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I agree with Xius, and most all of the other posts. Harm none means exactly that, and includes self. So, defensive measures yes. . . but oil for weasel-eyed Bush, no.
| My Thoughts ||Jan 20th. at 9:20:48 am EST|
|Mathair Cat (TN) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I grew up with a strong pride in being American. My father is a Vietnam Vet, my ex husband is a Gulf War Vet, my brother is a Gulf War Vet (all of which were devoted Methodist and Catholic). My current husband who is pagan-is a vet as well. Even though I have great pride in my country, I am not blind to it's "behind closed door" tactics & bully like behavior-like Jade commented on his/her posting. Not all Americans are deaf, blind and dumb with pride that they are gun ho for blood-there are times that we have been sent somewhere to help and save lives, even though I don't believe we should be the "police force" for the world. I for one didn't vote for Bush and don't agree with his actions now. All though his actions after 9-11 I felt was justified. However, a war with Iraq is just insane! It will lead to no world left for us all to enjoy-no matter our religion or race. Bush is the war monger and no matter if Iraq complies or doesn't there will be a war. I don't believe it has anything to do with oil--but more for the fact that Bush's father had an assassination attempt on him from Sadam. This is about revenge and hate, pride. What ever happened to "living better is the best revenge?"
I have five children--living next to an Army base they have all ready seen the outcome of war. Friends Dad's not coming home. I don't want them to have to grow up with it as a daily routine. As a woman, a mother, wife and friend who happens to be a proud Pagan American, I don't want this war. If I could--I would try to stop it before more blood soaks her body.
| I Don't Trust Dubbya But.... ||Jan 20th. at 9:43:08 am EST|
|Dragon's Blood (Amarillo, TX) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I'd like to point a few observations out..... You see, it's not about oil..... or really politics.... It's about being pushed around. I've noticed, in recent years, that these small Arab countries have decided they would like to take on the "Big Dog" on the block. It seems as though their mind set is that if they can take the on the US then no one can stop them. What they tend to forget is that this dog has teeth and we bite back. I believe they forgot due to the years of relative peace we had before the Gulf War.
Because we're a large country, and these countries who are litterally attacking us are rather small, we're looked at as bullies. You know what? Fine. I think we need to start looking out for #1 and those that don't like us for protecting them, their way of life, and the people they love so dearly can fin for themselves. That ain't gonna happen though, we care too much not to. War is not always a good thing, but when alternatives fail before they can be tried (personally, I'd like to see Dubbya and Saddam put on boxing gloves and fight it out. lol), it's very much a needed evil. I respect our millitary and our ally forces, in peace and war time. If I were able, I would be out there with ya'll fighting.
| Comments From A Vet ||Jan 20th. at 10:09:57 am EST|
|Pestillence (USA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
As a U.S. citizen, a former soldier and a pagan I have a few comments about those who have a descending opinion about this country and a few opinions of my own. I volunteered to defend this country not based on the fact that this country was perfect or always right but to protect those basic freedoms that make this country the place that most people on the face of this planet want to live. We have our problems as a country I will admit but name me a country on this planet that doesn't. You see for every problem you give me about this country I can give you two reasons it's better. I do believe that our president has gone way to far in the name of antiterrorism to the point of being vengeful and almost terroristic himself. Our president only has so much power though, he is not a dictator and in a couple sort years if we as a nation don't like the out come of his actions he is gone. I know it's not perfect but it's a better system than Cuba's don't you think. I will admit that when we as a nation start something we are like a bulldozer but it takes a lot to get us started because this fight with Afghanistan was fifteen years in the making. As far as our "back door" terrorism. Come on people are we that ignorant to think this is the only country on the face of the planet to do things like that I mean we have to keep up with the Jones's as it where. It's the only way to keep this place free and safe. If you don't like the way it works leave. If you are from another country please fix what is broken were you are before you tell us how to fix our problems. I did not sacrifice my body and bite my tongue on my belief because I wanted to torture myself but because in my own way I was fighting for the greater good of this country and in the belief that in the future I won't have to bite my tongue. That's the beauty of this country, one day you have no rights(nonwhites,women) and the next you do all because you wanted it to change.
| Global Consequences ||Jan 20th. at 10:41:21 am EST|
|Serenity (Pennsylvania) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Jade, I feel your anger as you type. I personally resent being pigeonholed and labeled the way you are attempting to do. Americans are not evil. Iraqis are not evil. Canadians are not evil. Terrorist acts have been committed. This is fact. But these acts were committed by governments. The common man had very little to say on the matter. How do we decide who is evil, then? Who cast the first stone? How far back do we go? People need to realize that we are a global community. And, as a global community, we have the responsibility to treat each other with tolerance and respect. Do we squabble with our neighbors? Yes, occasionally. Do we invade their homes and kill them? And, if we do, are we right to do so? And if we do, are their kin justified in seeking revenge? Where does it end? Stop the insanity. Stop the bloodshed.
We are one big family living in one big house. Let's all realize this before it is too late. How do I feel about war? My father is a Vietnam Veteran. My grandfather was a vet of WWII. My great-grandfather was a vet of WWI. My great-great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War. My grandfather died last year. He had Korsakoff's syndrome. It's a dementia brought on by chronic alcoholism. I consider him a casualty of WWII. My father suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder and has "jungle rot" on his feet that he still suffers from. He has had skin cancers, possibly brought on by his exposure to Agent Orange in the DMZ. He suffers from horrendous nightmares from things that he saw as a 19 year old kid. If you do not announce your presence as you are coming up behind my father, you are likely to get an elbow to the face. This is courtesy of the United States Marines Corps' programming to turn my dad into a killing machine. Unfortunately, they neglected to deprogram him. I thank them for the first part. It kept my dad alive during a "police action" where we had no business being in the first place. My friends have uncles who were not so lucky. You can find their names carved in granite on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. However, he is a victim of WWII as well. Due to the stress of the "war to end all wars", my grandfather became an alcoholic. He abused all seven of his children. My sister and I are victims of the "police action" known as the Vietnam War. We were horribly abused as children. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, for the most part due to the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father as a child. These are some of the less severe consequences of war. How do I feel about war? War hurts. War leaves physical, psychological and emotional scars not only on those fortunate enough to survive, but on their children, and on their children's children. War brings nothing but pain, grief, suffering and loss; loss of life, loss of potential, loss of innocence. I say once again. Stop the insanity. Give our children a chance. Give our grandchildren a chance.
| What IS It Good For? ||Jan 20th. at 11:10:35 am EST|
|amy wallen (southampton, england) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I feel the reason why people are so sceptical about war is because we are learning that when a government, no matter which one, tells us they are going to war, we have to ask questions. In the case of the currently planned war with Iraq, there appears to be no evidence to support the claim that war is necessary. In the case of recent wars – Afghanistan, Kosovo and the first Gulf War, for example – there is evidence to suggest that these wars were not necessary.
Simply because we can vote for our president, or prime minister, or whatever, does this mean we have to keep quiet when they do something we disagree with? I hope not, because one of the hallmarks of a democracy is free speech. To say those of us opposed to our governments’ policies should leave is like saying free speech is not allowed. To say that with regard to public opinion on the war in Britain is ridiculous, because the vast majority of people here oppose the war.
I am not from the US, and I accept that the British government has plenty of problems, but a war waged by the US affects the whole world and I really do hope as a citizen of the world that I have the right to speak out against it.
I join with many across the world in saying that I utterly oppose a war on Iraq and condemn both the Bush and Blair administrations for trying to impose this war upon us and upon the innocent Iraqi people who will no doubt suffer terribly should a war take place.
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