Using wars to find peace.

World War One began a hundred years ago. Billed as “The war to end all wars,” it was but the beginning of more than one hundred years of continuous war fought somewhere, wars that have cost trillions of dollars and killed tens of millions of people both civilian and military. One wonders why we continue something that is so costly in human and money. The answer is fairly simple. War is also very good business. And it employs a lot of people. Japan, where I live, has had a peace tradition since the end of World War 2. For years, the U.S. has nudged Japan to a more active role than simply defending itself. Currently the Japanese government is developing a radical new, very maneuverable fighter plane. It is also working with universities to develop more weapon systems. The reason is obvious: there is a lot of money to be made. Weapon sales is a huge business for Israel, which admittedly uses Gaza to test its latest weapons.

“Giving up war at this moment in history,” writes author Winslow Myers, “resembles an addict giving up his addiction, only to find he must face not only life without the crutch of drink or drugs, but also address the underlying life-challenges the drink or drugs allowed him to avoid. It involves a painful awakening from a trance, a giving up of resistance to reality as we come to see where and who we really are. . . ” (“Life Beyond War”. To read the entire article, click on the title.) War, and depending on military solutions to problems, keep the slaughter going. There are better ways, but very little commitment to exploring them. Recovering from an addiction is not easy, but it is possible. It is also necessary, both in human and environmental terms, as modern weapons are “the single greatest source of environmental pollution on the planet” (Winslow Myers’ article).

We are, like it or not, linked together with every other thing. If we want a liveable future for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we must recognize that, give up our “specialness,” our biases and our hatreds and begin treating others and every other thing with respect. We must also give up our reliance (addiction) on militarism to solve our problems, as that, like taking “one last” drink or hit, only makes them worse. Does this mean giving up in the face of danger? No, it does not. It means seeking peaceful solutions to problems first. If someone breaks in my door and threatens my wife, I will try to calm the invader down. If that does not work and the invader becomes more threatening, I will do whatever I can to take him down. Then I will call the police to take him away and lock him up.

Treating everyone and everything with respect, as you and I would like to be treated, is, after all, the best way to a new, more viable life.

More on this in later posts.

About gwpj

Originally from Seattle, I now live in Sapporo, Japan, where I write, explore this city, read widely, and ask questions about things that i see as important. I'm also an author, with three novels published ("The Old Man and The Monkey", "Grandfather and The Raven", and "Bear: a story about a boy and his unusual dog"). For more information about my writing, drop by my website, at
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15 Responses to Using wars to find peace.

  1. robert okaji says:

    Alas, we have so few social policies based on respect for/of individuals. Wealth wins out.

  2. This is a very sobering and disturbing article. So ignorant am I, that I did not know Israel had its own defence industry. I thought they got all their weapons from the US. Like you I am shaking my head as I watch this news on TV, and read and watch documentaries on the First World War and reflect, as the political skies darken over our heads, how much more civilised and understanding we have become in the last hundred years, or possibly not

    • gwpj says:

      It is a very sobering and disturbing article, Peter. Even more so having recently read John Dower’s “Cultures of War”, which explores the huge shifts in war making since WW1. It is chilling. If you haven’t yet read it, I recommend it. It’s available both in Kindle and paper.

  3. Jerry grant says:

    War is a condition of mankind…it is ingrained in our’s hopeless..the few really gentle peaceful souls in the world are powerless to change anything…

    • shatara46 says:

      Jerry… I used to think it was hopeless until I realized that the end of war had to rest within me. And so I wrote myself a little short story to illustrate my thought… a simplistic parable, granted, but food for thought.
      THE MOST SACRED THING – a short story
      [thoughts from ~ burning woman ~ Sha’Tara ]
      The people had gathered by the thousands to hear the message broadcast in the great square. It said, “It is my sad duty to announce that our sworn enemy has decided to invade our nation. All negotiations have failed and the country now stands helpless. For we have nothing to send against him, nothing to stop his hundreds of thousands of ground troops supported by tanks, APC’s and heavy artillery. He will be sending his thousands of jets to bomb and strafe from his mighty carriers now cruising near our shores. His great guns are soon to open up and devastate our towns and villages, destroying any resistance to their marching advance should anyone dare offer such. All this despite our most earnest entreaties that we have no weapons to mount any kind of defense or counter-offensive. There is nothing that I, your king, nor your duly instituted government can do now. We must leave post-haste and hope for a day when we may return to you. This message was pre-recorded. You may return to your homes or try to flee. The choice is yours.”

      Stunned, the people turned away, bowing their heads in silence as they walked back to their homes and loved ones. What could they do? What should they do? Wait for death to rain from the skies, or come tearing through the flimsy houses seeking whom it may devour? The situation indeed seemed utterly hopeless.

      The enemy was within sight of the capital city, the first city it was going to penetrate and subdue when a panicked message came to the Commander in Chief of the invading army.

      “Cannot proceed further. Have encountered the enemy and all our forces have ground to a halt. We must turn back immediately or surrender. Please advise.”

      The Chief asked for a video hook up to his front lines. “I want to see this enemy for myself!” he thundered. What secret weapon of mass destruction do these effeminate people hold to threaten our might? Show me!”

      The cameras displayed the wide black front of the invading army at a complete standstill. Panning ahead the Chief was struck dumb. For there, walking towards his mighty army was a young woman, bareheaded and barefoot, carrying a child she held carefully wrapped in a shawl.

      “Damn her,” he yelled. Damn her for coming against us with the One Thing we cannot defeat: the Most Sacred Thing. How close will she come to us? How much courage can one girl posses? If only she would turn and run away now we could proceed with impunity.”

      In the sandy open pass between sea and city the would-be invincible army confronted its nemesis. It could not proceed further, for despite the willingness to fight wars and to conquer lands for resources that were not theirs to have, the invaders were nonetheless a civilized people. To proceed they would have to kill this mother and her child in cold blood, and do so right there, in front of the cameras and not only the entire army, but the whole nation, would be witness to this ritual killing. Then it would no longer be a civilized nation but an outcast from the family of humanity.

      Desperate to make her run back and try to hide, the Chief ordered: “Open fire all around her, but don’t hit her!” The guns opened up and the girl, using her shawl and raising her arms to protect her baby, stood while death flew within inches of her. Soon she was covered in dirt and sand. Her arms were covered in blood from ricochets grazing her skin. She stood still in the midst of the inferno.

      “Cease fire!” The guns fell silent but remained trained in the direction of the woman.

      How many guns were pointed at her and her child? The girl didn’t know, but she knew there were enough that if they fired directly at her, she and her child would, in an instant, be scattered in small bloody pieces all over this soil, the soil of her land; the soil that had nourished her people for millennia. And she knew also that had she not come here to die, her life and that of her child as slaves to this mighty conqueror would not have been worth living.

      She did not turn. She did not run away. For she had come of her own free will and choice. No one had sent her. She knew her course of action. She had always known. She came forth to confront the invader because such was her purpose.

      Shaking the dirt from her shawl, she folded it upon the sand and sat on it lotus fashion. Opening her blouse, now covered in dirt and blood she suckled the screaming infant, calming it down until it settled peacefully to the breast.

      The planes were recalled; the great guns turned down and locked. Tanks and APC’s turned towards the shore and the foot soldiers prepared to walk back to their landing transports.

      But not before, as one, they cheered the woman on the sand as loudly as they were able. Such a cheer as had never been heard on the planet. A cheer of victory. The spell of death was broken.

      • gwpj says:

        Bingo! That’s why I’ve never lost hope Gerry and shatara46. I’m reminded of Badshah Khan, one of Gandhi’s followers. When his people were faced by an invading British army, he organized them into a nonviolent army. Dressed all in white, they marched toward the British soldiers, most of them Indian. After firing their guns briefly, the soldiers put down their guns, even though their officers commanded them to fire. Badshah Khan had won. The British turned around and left his people alone. He lived to age 98. At 96, Pakistan’s government had him under house arrest for speaking out for nonviolence and peace. He never gave up. That’s the young woman shatara46’s little story. There is no reason to give up. What seems hopeless SEEMS that way.

    • shatara46 says:

      Another thought. We exist within a web of transmutable energy. Life is the re-ordering of energy. When we develop mantras like, it’s hopeless, or there’s nothing anyone can do, such are creative thoughts and our minds work with that to fulfill the desire. Conversely, when we focus on changing a condition in our mind, then the mind works just as effectively at changing that condition to match the desired outcome. This isn’t like the foolishness of “The Secret” and the thousands of “positive thinking” books foisted upon a greedy, selfish populace, but a reality within our grasp. I am mankind, the only “mankind” over which I have control should I choose to exercise that control. I change myself and that tiny bit of mankind changes. If I do this through compassionate selflessness and detachment I no longer care, or worry, that no one else apparently does not follow suit. I have changed the world by creating a living micro reality within the macro. Within that micro reality I live my joy and I am empowered to confront the sorrow of a sad world without losing my own joy – ever. Banished is hopeless anger, frustration and depression. I have entered a world that the Matrix of death cannot enter, or in the ancient belief, I walk between worlds – literally. This gift cannot be given to anyone else since it already exists within each and everyone. It only needs be given light and nurtured into blossoming. It’s a secret garden.

  4. Killing fellow humans is easy!
    – Helping fellow humans is easier!!

    • gwpj says:

      This is definitely true Ali Masoud Abbasi. Sad to say, it is something we seem to find no time for. There is no money in it; for war trillions are easily available. Ironic, is it not?

      • Sha'Tara says:

        Ironic? Or is something else the cause of this Earthian condition, or should I say, conditioning? My thoughts each time I come across such comments or discussion is, why don’t people who say they care actually ask the most important question, which is WHY, and then expect to discover the most important answer – which is contained in the question. Ostensibly, for thousands of years, some people have sought to bring about peace only to come face to face with the inevitable: that the more people there are on the planet, the less peace there is. So, the question is, why won’t people live in peace – not can’t, but won’t. If this is due to man’s basic nature, then why even question it; why not accept it, as we accept sun and clouds, clement and inclement weather? But something tells some of us that killing each other is not rational, nor proper. In fact the waraholics have to constantly fabricate excuses for launching and continuing their wars; excuses that “people” will buy. Why do people buy these excuses, even people whose religions condemn the taking of another’s life? The basic question remains “WHY?” And any self-empowered individual can immediately “see” the answer to that basic question. But no one wants to confront their own private demons, the ones who will so readily reveal the answer, and from that answer should emerge the need, the passion to change one’s nature. Asking rhetorically “can the leopard change its spots?” the bible blatantly lies to cover an agenda of control spanning thousands of years and moving between three basic powers: religion, the state and money. The answer, as Shakespeare remarked, “lies not in out stars but in ourselves that we are underlings…” i.e., controlled by forces that keep us less than human; that make us into inhumane creatures and this inhumanity is conducting a spiritual and mental de-evolution of man. Yes, the human “leopard” can change its spots because it is the one creature that can change its mind. But again, that takes self-empowerment, and aren’t most individual Earthians deadly afraid of going there? Yet it’s not a complicated road, it just demands everything of an individual: a willingness to lose everything to gain understanding and the inner power that protects one from going bonkers with the sudden influx of information counter to everything the System teaches. Willingness to stand alone and still among the maddening crowd, family, friends, associates. Willingness to take responsibility of one’s own life for everything that life is involved in, no excuses allowed. Willingness to feel the rips and tears within one’s heart as empathy reveals what the real world is like, as opposed to the Matrix psy-op presented through managed history, managed mass media, managed universal education and bought and paid for pundits from every type of professional persuasion. “Why do we cheer at destruction and yawn at creation?” is a question asked by “G” in the movie “Holy Man” and it is a legitimate question. WHY?

  5. gwpj says:

    I couldn’t possibly have said it as well myself Sha’Tara. Thank you for stopping by and contributing your wisdom.

  6. Sha'Tara says:

    | can reply: thank you… but you give us the incentive to look within and to speak up – that is the teacher’s unmistakable gift to the student willing to hear… and listen. So, thanks for looking at my “test paper” and being encouraging. Though we are not that far apart in years and have never met, I consider you a respected elder.

    • gwpj says:

      Thank you once again Sha’Tara. I’m 81, by the way, which isn’t so old as I once thought it was. One of my favorite-but-odd-looking cars is the Nissan Cube. I think it’s kind of cute. 🙂 I haven’t been blogging much, but have several drafts to work on once I find sufficient time to sit me down and complete them.

      • Sha'Tara says:

        I had a chuckle about the “Cube”! I haven’t got much time to blog either, as you can see. I have a sort of rule that one should spend nine-tenths time observing, assessing and researching and one-tenth writing. Then delete four out of five “writings” and what remains should be not too bad an offering. I’ll get a notice when you post your next “new post.” Eighty one? I’m sixty eight going on five hundred, and living in what I call “sudden death overtime” since I passed fifty. That was supposed to be my exit but somehow, due to the fact that I don’t use the medical system, don’t use drugs, eat vegetarian and spend as much time alone in nature as I can (kayaking the Fraser river mostly) that door closed on me and I’m still here. So I use my health and retirement benefits to run a little handy-person, general maintenance “business” to help people who otherwise would not be able to hold on to their homes. It works well and I don’t have to log in to so-called “charitable organizations” or have police clearance and a special “pass” in order to provide help when needed. Not do those who rely on me need to have their needs “assessed” by some anally retentive bureaucrat in an organization’s office. If individuals only realized how little power the really big organizations have; that their power is solely dependent on lies and fear-mongering. It is this awareness that sustains my belief that the globalist agenda of total control is doomed to fail, even if it makes great gains currently and seems like a behemoth that cannot be stopped. Anyone of us can be just like the young mother and her baby in my short story: The most sacred thing – posted to Burning Woman on WordPress. Perhaps you’ve already seen it. We can stand up to “it” if we determine what our life’s purpose is. If we do not, then no, we are not empowered to act except as our oppressors want us to.

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