Peace Through War

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Peace Through War
From birth many of us are taught the values of our country, and once we are older we learn the values of other countries whose beliefs differ from our own. And though we may speak different tongues, believe in different gods, and live in entirely different places we are all relatively the same. We look nothing like those who live on the opposite side of the world and may live entirely different from them, but still we are the same for we each eat, dream, laugh, cry, and struggle to survive in this constantly changing world. War—one of the many things we share—catalysts many problems.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said “we make war that we may live in peace,” and though he said it over two thousand years ago, his words still ring true today. During World War I, two hundred and forty men died every hour for four years from 1914-1918; two hundred forty men paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country in order to obtain peace, and yet thirty years later, there came another world war. That is roughly eleven million young men all over the world. Even in our present day and time of 2009, we live in the midst of a war. When does the vicious cycle end or rather where did it all begin?
The idea of a Utopian society has fascinated man long before Sir Thomas Moore’s book was even a thought. For many civilizations in our own country the idea of a “perfect society” was the basis for colonization. Douglas MacArthur once said that ending wars would not mean Utopia, but it would mean the end of a “great road block” in the development of the human race. However wonderful the idea of a Utopian world might be, the fact remains that it will never happen no matter much we desire peace.
Since the dawn of time there have been wars even before modern day man entered the equation. Cicero lived from 106-43 BC, some two hundred years after Aristotle, and yet he claims that there is only one reason to go to war, and it is so we may “live in peace unharmed.” Once victory is obtained we can spare those who were not “blood thirsty and barbarous in their warfare”. Once we obtain this victory, is there really peace or merely an illusion of peace? After World War I passed thirty years peace or rather the travesty of peace, as Germany bided her time until she could strike back. In a letter to the troops prior to D-Day Eisenhower wrote that they were free men of the world marching for victory and an end to the “tyranny of the Nazis”. Ironically, Hitler was saying relatively the same thing to his troops about the Allies.
George Orwell says “people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf,” and he is right. We sleep peacefully at night only because somewhere in our world our soldiers stand ready to give their lives to protect our freedoms, and far too often we ignore their sacrifice. For our soldiers Vietnam was perhaps the most brutal war ever fought, but a semi-peaceful time did follow.
We are at a crossroads in which we can either try to change our ways in order to establish more times of peace, or we can sit back and watch our wars ravage our planet until there is nothing left. Some people believe that the next world war will destroy our planet and kill all living things. We only have this one chance to live here on this spinning planet we call Earth. Will we continue to destroy it with bombs or try to end approaching world wars, some of which have been going on for thousands of years? World peace may never see reality; however, it is as Benjamin Franklin once said, “there never was a good war or a bad peace”, and he is right. Even if world peace will never be anything more than a dream, it still gives us hope and as Lin Yutang said, “hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”





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Shereen.R said...
Jun. 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm
Wow , Your article was amazing and so moving. I feel youve put words we all would like to say but dont know how to in this page. Great Job.
please check out my article ( The somber Photo) it has the same theme. And I would love to read comments from you
 
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