The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
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
| Heck, No, I Won't Go... To War! ||Jan 23rd. at 11:20:25 pm EST|
|Owl Starlight (Aliso Viejo, CA) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I'm 17, and fortunately I don't have to register for the draft at 18, being female and an only child. However, I had been seriously considering a career in the US Navy (even going so far as to join the US Naval Sea Cadets for a time), and my thoughts have since changed greatly.
I've been raised Democratic, though I have my own ideas. I definitely don't like Bush (I call him the Shrub). First things first, yes, my political ideas, such as they are, do factor in pretty heavily: these are, however, my opinions alone and I don't expect to hear agreement from anyone. Now, to the meat and potatoes.
First, I seriously call into question the motives behind this war. In US History in my school, we just finished a look at US imperialism. Imperialism is defined (roughly) as going out and taking over other people because they have something you want, and often doing so under the covers of racism and/or religion. The statement came up that that sounds an *awful* lot like what's going on today, in Iraq. The commodity is oil, the excuse is political dominance and religious racism. Iraq is very heavily Muslim, and I've not noticed any concerted efforts by the American government to say "Hey, these people have valid beliefs and we shouldn't hate the entire religion just because of a few radicals with some twisted views!" Hardly. I know I've mentioned this before, but after 9-11, American rallying cry was "God and Country," under the symbols of the flag and the Christian cross.
Now, Saddam Hussein made a fool out of the Shrub's father. Bush Sr. has basically been reelected, and firmly controls American politics through his son. So it makes sense that Jr. would go pick a fight with Iraq, when viewed through that lens.
The Bush family's fortune is in big Texas oil (and war, they made money selling oil to the Nazis in WWII, right alongside John D. Rockefeller). American plans are to remove the current Iraqi regime by fabricating a war, and put in a regime based on the American government: of course, this means that all of the officials will be US-friendly. In other words, puppets. Ousting Hussein essentially means that a good portion of the world's oil supply is under US control, if indirectly. Since those men would be American puppets, of course they would listen if Bush asked them to step the oil production down. At the same time, America's goes up (and there would have to be a trade-off, of course, something's in it for them). Bush's family (and close friends) then makes barrels of money from drilling American oil and selling it in place of Saudi and Iraqi oil.
Second point, will it *really* make *any* friends over there to the US? Everyone tells me that the Iraqi people are misled by government propaganda (lies). Well, lied to or not, they genuinely love the man. As many enemies as he has, he has just as many admirers in his nation.
Last, it's not Saddam we need to worry about so much as his son. He's dangerous, admittedly, but Saddam's son is more dangerous than Papa. Papa leaves office for any reason, Junior steps in, and even Iraqi officials don't like him. I've heard him described as "cutthroat," if that is any indication of this man's activities.
Would I go? Would I die, if needed? Not on my life, or anyone else's! I was raised with a respect for life that, had I applied for the military, would have forced me to take a non-combatant job. Wicca, for me, has only reinforced that: how could it otherwise? This era of technological weapons and mass media seems to make men into pawns, so that their blood doesn't leave a stain on politician's hands and doesn't affect American culture deeply. I do not see a solution to this dilemma that is agreeable to all, but if the warmongerers could be silenced for even a week, I'm certain a solution could be found that doesn't involve war, or militaries, or the needless waste of men and women's lives.
Thanks for your time.
- Owl Starlight
| I'm Sick Of FIGHTING! ||Jan 24th. at 2:54:01 am EST|
|Lady Morgaine Le Faye (wallingford, CT) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I don't want to cope with the armed conflict.I want it to stop. I do not see why we can not just weed out the terrorists or whatever "bad guys" the government is looking for and deal with them forthrightly, and leave the innocents alone. The only ones we seem to be fighting and killing are the innocent bystanders, and ourselves. This does not solve the problem. I think, if anything, politicians are the problem and I have not ever agreed with the actions they are taking. It makes for interesting conversation in my family, since my mother( who is also Wiccan) and brother are both in the Army. She is retired and does now share my views, however my brother and father are gung-ho to go over there and blow stuff up! I have very liberal views, as I thought they did, but since everything started, most of my family is showing their true colors and are more closed minded than I thought possible. While they have drill, I go to anti- war protests.. I do not have a problem voicing my opinion, but I often find myself at a loss for words to back it up.
| War Only When Necessary Not For Political Or Ego ||Jan 24th. at 6:21:39 am EST|
|foreverknightfan (Dardanelle, Arkansas) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I am of the generation that still remembers Vietnam. My father served in Nam and I remember in 1973 going to a base event that included MIA bracelets. My father is stillbitter about Nam being apolitical war and the uneeded loss of life. IMO war with Iraq is asinine. If the people want to overthow Hussein they can do it themselves. Apparently if USA fighting forces ( and lets face it most in that war WILl be American soldiers, not our " allies") actually try to take over the Iraq cities by land the populace is ready to kill them all. And for what? A delayed reaction to what Iraq did to many folks some years back? The supposed terrorists living there? Yes what happened on 9/11 was horrible and yes there are certain fanatical Muslims who hate Americans enough to kill us all if they could. We cannot police the world. If the poeple of a country want their rulers overthown, they will have to do it themselves, because if we do it for them, they will blame us for interfering.
I have heard some Muslims, including some Muslim teenagers in America defend the 9/11 tragedy. This in AMERICA. Whatever we do, war or not, they will not agree with. And frankly I am not willing to risk lives for a cause that can be handled without war. WHen the battle is justified, when the risks are worth it, when there is no other way, then yes we HAVE to fight in a war. BTW the " Gulf war" was a battle, not a war.
| Never A Reason For War. Never. ||Jan 24th. at 6:35:48 am EST|
|Horse-head (United States of America) ||Age: 25 - Email |
War means death for thousands, due to the actions of a few.
War causes the problems it seeks to allieve.
War is solace for those who fear that their enemies may be right.
And wars are triggered by people who cannot harness the power of words.
The very fact that the United States sees war as an option proves that we are no better than our enemies.
We may very well "win" this war. But at what cost?
I fear my own people.
| Peace ||Jan 24th. at 12:07:49 pm EST|
|Ericka (nh) ||Age: 38 - Email |
Who benefits from war? Our young children we send over sea? The poor? Are there any oil company CEO's children in the military? Big business, Big money. Big mess. If we bomb, then we have to pay to clean up there country. What about the homeless in our OWN country? We can't even take care of ourselves and we want to run another? How much more can we destroy of our planet, we only have this ONE. Universal PEACE is everybodys dream, SOME feel it necessary to CONTROL others. We shouldlearn from precedence, Vietnam. No WAR is a good WAR. PRAY FOR PEACE.
| "When Will They Ever Learn...?" ||Jan 24th. at 2:59:08 pm EST|
|Foxheart (New Hampshire) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Sorrow is the only word I can use to describe my feelings about war and the upcoming violence against Iraq. I quoted a popular anti-war song above (not remembering the artist or title) because it is so as and so true. I have also heard someone say that nobody ever wins a war. People die, they kill. Killing is against every moral code known to humanity, Wicca included. War is horrifying. Since the dawn of history people have been waging wars against each other over land rights, immagined offenses, real offenses, and in the name of progress. War never created peace, only death. War never brought anyone comfort, especially not to those who lost a loved one to the ravages to it.
Most Americans have not been deep in a war zone. To be honest neither have I. But war is not cool. War breeds fear, hatred, malace, contempt between contires and individuals. War destroys lives, environments, countries, and spirits. War costs money, blood, tears, and sweat.
Next time your government asks you to go and murder people in the name of freedom, try to imagine what it feels like to have your leg blown off by a land mine or your lungs melted and seared by noxious gas fumes. Imagine what it would be like if you held a child in your arms whose chest had been shattered by a bullet from a machine gun.
Pretty images huh?
| Lions, And Tigers And BIG OIL...oh My! ||Jan 24th. at 3:43:32 pm EST|
|diesel (washington) ||Age: 46 - Email |
there certaintly seem to be alot of bike riders out there that NEVER use plastics of any sort. are these also the same people that are vegetarians but also wear leather shoes?
BIG OIL....what a rallying cry for fools. good grief.........
do any of you even realize where all that oil goes? what it is used to make? not just gasoline, dear ones, try every I.V. bag....and the list goes on and on. so the next time you are in an auto [errr...excuse me....BIKE]accident BE SURE to tell the emergency room people that you don't want to use anything that BIG OIL has produced.
and by the way, are you reading your email on a computer?
yeah.....i thought so.
start thinking for yourselves. there's a novel thought. no one WANTS a war...but sometimes there is no choice.and it's not about oil.
conflict is sometimes necessary.
how many of you that preach "it's against the wiccan reed to kill" have had an abortion or are pro choice?
common sense should really kick in here........
do you even know who is printing those silly no war signs? do you care? it's the peole's communist party. and we know how swell those communists are. boy....they have such a GREAT track record in the human rights department.
it's so american and so great to have your own opinion and express it freely.
just try to make sure that it really is your own opinion.......do your research.
and use your brain............that's what the god's put it on your shoulders for afterall...........
| And......... ||Jan 24th. at 4:30:44 pm EST|
|diesel (washington) ||Age: 46 - Email |
i forgot to add that it would be great if we could just pick off the few royal pains [like saddam] that cause so much pain and suffering in the world.but , alas, the days of throttling really annoying people and throwing them in the bog are over.during the holidays i mourned this fact quite often.LOL. my ancestors had such a great idea............ what a shame to have to throw it out in the name of modern society.ah well...what can you do?
| Unless You Have Served... ||Jan 24th. at 4:53:40 pm EST|
|Ironfox (Wendell, NC) ||Age: 33 - Email |
Merry Meet everyone,
O.K, here is my two cents worth. I served in the US Navy for 13 years and in the NC Army National Guard for two years before getting out on medical problems. I love my country and would have retired from the Navy if I could have. I firmly believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion but the topic of War should be left to those who have served and fought for their country. The United States should drasticlly change it's foreign policy. I think we should go back to pre WWII isolationist policy. Maybe not as extreme but we do not need to fight a war three or four fronts. The country as a whole should concentrate on improving life in the U.S.A before going anywhere else. Once we eliminate poverty, homelessness and other problems, then we can try to do things outside the US Borders. In my younger days I voted almost entirely Repulican but as I get older I can not even stomach most of the things this War mongering party is trying to do. If our beloved CinC(Commander In Chief) has his way, all Non Christians would be purged from American Soil, including those of us who fought for our country to have the right to practice and worship who we want to.
| I Don't Know, WHOSE War? ||Jan 24th. at 5:48:29 pm EST|
|Amused (Boomfook, USA) ||Age: 777 - Email |
Conflict is part of life, woven into the very fabric of the universe. From the teachings of my tradition, I know this to be true. The Samos and Giamos principles contend with each other, and in so doing, create the universe. Day contends against night, summer against winter. The predator contends against the prey. The Gods, the Shining Ones, contend against the demonic spirits of falsehood and corruption.
Sometimes it is necessary for humans to fight, to defend themselves against an aggressor, or to BECOME an aggressor, in order to get something that they need, or, more often, that their children need, to survive. There is nothing wrong with this. Given my own beliefs, I can hardly condemn all wars, or say that war is always an evil.
However, war is always a serious matter, a matter of literal life and death. It is the most intense and all-encompassing form of violence possible to human beings, never to be entered into lightly, or without the most serious of reasons. When considering a war, any war, we must ask ourselves, is the war truly necessary to OUR community?
To ask this question, we must figure out who our community is. Who are WE? We know that we are Pagans. Are Pagans also Americans? Since 9-11, the answer of the Bush administration, and of Christian America generally, has been an unequivolcal NO. No matter how much we may believe in the ideals of the Founding Fathers of America, no matter how much we may want to be Americans, and believe in America, the American people have told us in no uncertain terms that we are suspect, that we are without the same rights as everyone else, that we are unwelcome, not wanted in the War on Terror, not a part of the American Nation.
That being so, and it is, whether we like it or not, then we must belong to a new, or very old, nation, the PAGAN Nation, a people unto ourselves, despised by all, universally held up to ridicule, but growing stronger just the same. We are not Americans, nor British, nor French, nor Irish, nor Australians, nor anything but Pagans, the people of the Goddess, the Stewards of the Earth. We are not a numerous people, and nobody loves us.
So, then, are the War on Terror, or the War on Iraq, necessary to the Pagan Nation?
1. The War on Terror is a war against Islamic Fundamentalists, who wage war against everyone not of themselves. They attacked all peoples when they attacked the World Trade Center. On the face of it, this IS our war. However, things are not simple. There is clear and growing evidence that they did so with the knowledge and cooperation of the Bush Administration. How, then, can we ally with one set of the attackers against the other? Actually, we can, with patience and a bit of cynicism. We can cooperate with one group of attackers to destroy the other, while making sure that our allies do not grow stronger due to our efforts, but that we grow stronger instead, and then turn on those very allies, in order to defeat them, and so to make the world safe for OUR way of life. This is a long term project, on the order of decades or centuries, but it is our only way through the passage ahead.
2. The War on Iraq, however, is a war for oil, when there is already plenty of oil in the world market. The Bush Administration has not convinced me that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9-11, nor have they shown why we need to spend human lives to reduce the price of gas by a few cents. Further, the War on Iraq is a means for the demogogue to cement his power, and he has used it, and will use it, to crack down on dissidents, including us. It is not a war that will do anything to help our community. We have no reason to support it. Indeed, everthing I have seen so far argues that it is a fatal distraction from the War on Terror, and the prelude to an open-ended war in the Middle East that cannot in victory for anyone but the terrorists. On the other hand, to prevent the War on Iraq will undermine the dictator's power, and will lead to his fall, which can only strengthen the Pagan Nation.
So, there you have it. I am for any war that is good for PAGANS. The War on Terror may or may not be. The War on Iraq certainly is not, and is not, therefore, our war.
| Good Quote ||Jan 24th. at 6:53:10 pm EST|
|Blade Alywyn (Riverside, MO) ||Age: 33 - Email |
War does not determine who is right. War determines who is left.
| True.......... ||Jan 24th. at 8:12:26 pm EST|
|diesel (washington) ||Age: 46 - Email |
war does only determine who's left.....and we are all the offspring of the strongest survivors.don't kid yourselves.
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