This I Believe

Entered on February 19, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: peace

I believe in PEACE.

Unfortunately, I really believe that the world, especially the U.S.A., is going to hell in a handbasket. But I am saved by my unflinching status as an optimist- A cynical optimist or an optimistic cynic. Perhaps because I am a bit older now (51) and have lived through a lot I find myself questioning and being outraged by things that make no sense:

According to Wikipedia, there are between 1.5 and 3.5 million homeless people in this country, and it is estimated that up to half of them may be veterans. Yet almost every other vehicle I see has one of those ubiquitous ribbons slapped on the back which reads: ”Support our Troops”. I am as anti-war as they come because I believe my family made the ultimate sacrifice to support this country: My only brother, Willam Allen Lee , a United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal was killed in Viet Nam in 1968.

I believe also in the eternal strength and beauty of the human spirit. I believe it is possible that my brother or another war fatality like him could have been the one person who could change the world.

I may be cynical yet I believe I am lucky to live in a country in which I can criticize our military aggression and I am able to do so because of my brother and the thousands like him who died to help protect my right to dissent.

I believe, to borrow a Sixties slogan, that “war is not healthy for flowers, children, and other living things.” I strongly believe no family should ever have to suffer as mine did when William Allen was killed. I believe no one ever died from talking. I believe that military aggression is analogous to playground tyranny. Once deep into the fight, neither opponent can simply quit fighting and walk away. To quit or withdraw (prematurely?) is considered a sign of impotence. So often the evil Mr. “T”-testosterone is to blame. I believe it takes far more courage and integrity to walk away from a fight than to keep swinging

I believe this current war is about far more than terrorism. I believe that “terrorist/terrorism” has replaced “Communist/Communism” as the new evil buzzwords because those in power know that people are easier to control when they are afraid. I believe most Americans nowadays are as paralyzed with fear as they were back in the Cold War Fifties. We now live in a climate of racial profiling, a new “Red Scare” is upon us and I believe it knocks the humanity and common sense out of most folks.

But many are absolutely sure that this war is wrong, such as my sister, who erected a 6 foot lighted peace sign in her front yard for this year’s neighborhood holiday decoration contest. She (who used to vote Republican) has vowed to not take it down until this war is over. I believe in her and her convictions and I believe in PEACE.