The Return of Peace
I’m choosing to enter the debate of American public discourse instead of remaining silent, voicing my opinion and dissent against what I see as corruption and untruth in service of evil. For we have pursued a path of untruth which has led to these many crisis, out of which we will be very lucky to avoid having started a world war.
The first day of Spring brings the hope of renewal to the Northern half of the world, where budding bushes & trees become awakened from their winter slumber. However, this past winter was the warmest ever recorded, having felt like spring for many weeks. Perhaps the renewal most needed today is that of hope itself, especially for peace to a violence weary world. For today not only inaugurates Spring, but also welcomes Palm Sunday, the Christian celebration of Jesus’ return to Jerusalem to much expectancy and exaltation. Some people expected that Jesus would come to lead his people, as they had been expecting the return of a Messiah to lead their people during Roman occupation. Yet, Jesus returned on a donkey, which would have been recognized in his day as symbolizing a return in peace. A return on a horse would have represented something quite different, but the choice of donkey demonstrated Jesus’ commitment to Peace, which he lived until his last day.
Were Jesus to return to Jerusalem today, he’d find anything but Peace as far as the eye could see, and then some. The land of Jesus today, as well as the entire region of early Christianity, is deeply awash in violence and war. Jerusalem itself is separated by a large wall monitored by heavily armed security, the result of decades of violence between the Israeli state and the native Palestinian population, who were forced to cede most of their land to the Jewish state with the rest occupied. Outside of Israel, neighboring countries have seen years of extreme violence in the form of war, which has caused such destruction as to force some 10’s of millions of Iraqis & Syrians from their homes, while many millions of others have perished through sanctions, violence and war.
Unfortunately, we’ve been fed a narrative to explain and rationalize this violence as being necessary for the West to defend itself against the potential enemy of Terrorism. However, the past decade and a half of the “War on Terror” has been anything but a defensive action. The rationale by the US to invade and occupy Iraq & Afghanistan has proven false, became anything but the promised liberation, and in fact served to create a larger insurrection, launching a wider war across the entire swatch of North Africa east all the way to central Asia. However, that rationale is typical of Western military interventions, created for public consumption as a simple digestible story plausible enough to be true, and false enough to be laughable. For the real reason is hidden in plain sight, even actively debated publicly, although mostly confined to policy level discussions. However, its not difficult to piece together, considering a network of Think Tanks and analysts publish these on the web, mostly ignored by a distracted public.
The US decision to begin the War on Terror started in the late 1990’s, when several policy wonks suggested a coming war with Islam, whose believers mostly lived in countries whose hydrocarbon reserves accounted for nearly 70% of world total. These reserves were in contention between East and West world powers, yet the US took it upon itself to use military force to “protect” these vast areas from foreign competition. It took a “New Pearl Harbor” event to launch the war, which has raged and expanded ever since. The “prophetic” words of a Samuel Huntington and others seemed almost that, prophetic, at least to the unsophisticated believers looking for an excuse to fight an enemy. For the Ruling class, they proved simple enough to justify the gearing up of the Military gravy train, where trillions of dollars spent on war have gone to private investors and corporate partners.
Would the message of Jesus, Love towards God and Peace towards others, change so radically as to support violence, war, occupation, torture & terror for economic reasons?
That’s something to ponder during this week remembering Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for peace.