Monday, March 05, 2007

Paths to Peace

The Pax Romana extended beyond the boundaries of a single society and was maintained by the first truly professional military to achieve a sustained peace, imbued with civil pride and duty. Highly developed training and regulation allowed it to maintain stability across vast territories with extreme efficiency of numbers. This peace through force has been highly beneficial to the development of civilization.
On the other hand, many have given their lives over to peace, rejecting violence of any kind. Buddha in ancient times and more notably Jesus Christ, who has had such a profound impact on the world today culminating in the influence of the United States, founded on unwavering faith in Christ. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and others have set the example of fighting injustice and living for the sake of others. Their pioneering idealism elevated man's moral understandings, creating a more just and compassionate world for everyone.
Drastic change in lifestyle, devotion to severe discipline and most importantly the willingness to give up ones life for another are common in both vocations. Politics is their meeting ground. It was the military leadership and devout faith of George Washington that brought victory in the Revolution and contributed to the creation of the most advanced political system in the world. It was the idealism and willingness to go to war that lead Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War to bring an end to slavery, cleansing the sins of the nation. Franklin D. Roosevelt preserved freedom and democracy from the powers of dictatorial fascism that sought world dominion in World War II. Could you imagine the alternatives?
And it is the same in Iraq. It was perhaps not even five seconds on the evening news and quickly passed through the news cycle without comment last week. Fourteen Police were rounded up and executed by insurgents for a supposed crime committed by three other officers, but more significant, embedded in the story not even gaining its own headline, was the report of two families being gunned down for attending Sunni-Shiites reconciliation events organized by the United States. In reality many Imams and political figures have been taking stands for peace and speaking out against terrorism often with fatal consequences.
Yet the peaceniks of the United States, not able to recognize the pure evil embodied in the insurgency, give no recognition to the military, religious or political peacemakers of our age giving their lives in Iraq.
Should we expect otherwise? Now holding prominence in the United States is the baby boom generation that, contrary to any past religious discipline, embraced drugs and free sex. They spat on our soldiers returning from Vietnam and closed their eyes to the millions who died because of the retreat they forced. It is a generation, whose most vocal representatives, rejected the values of their parents and now, obviously not trusting the upcoming generations, seek to dictate what we drive, eat and do in our own homes (I’m speaking of smoking not other acts that have always been illegal).
As our politicians recognize those who marched and suffered in the civil rights movement of the 60’s, facing off with the evils of segregation, shouldn't we recognize those standing and giving their lives for freedom in Iraq? The Imams, the families of influence, political leaders and the common man of Iraq are giving their lives daily for peace, to end religious and ethnic intolerance. Where are the voices in the United States speaking out against evil and injustice being inflicted against the Iraqi people? Where are those willing to lock arm and arm, Muslim, Christian and Jew together with representatives of nations from around the world, to march the streets of the insurgency for peace? Truly such a march would be done in the very face of death and those in participation deserving of admiration. It is a march our Soldiers and Marines make everyday.