1.01.2006

"an idea whose time has come"

Howard Zinn writes:
The war against Iraq, the assault on its people, the occupation of its cities, will come to an end, sooner or later. The process has already begun. The first signs of mutiny are appearing in Congress. The first editorials calling for withdrawal from Iraq are beginning to appear in the press. The anti-war movement has been growing, slowly but persistently, all over the country.

Public opinion polls now show the country decisively against the war and the Bush Administration. The harsh realities have become visible. The troops will have to come home.

And while we work with increased determination to make this happen, should we not think beyond this war? Should we begin to think, even before this shameful war is over, about ending our addiction to massive violence and instead using the enormous wealth of our country for human needs? That is, should we begin to speak about ending war—not just this war or that war, but war itself? Perhaps the time has come to bring an end to war, and turn the human race onto a path of health and healing.
The always-optimistic Zinn ends his essay with this simple statement:
My hope is that the memory of death and disgrace will be so intense that the people of the United States will be able to listen to a message that the rest of the world, sobered by wars without end, can also understand: that war itself is the enemy of the human race.

Governments will resist this message. But their power is dependent on the obedience of the citizenry. When that is withdrawn, governments are helpless. We have seen this again and again in history.

The abolition of war has become not only desirable but absolutely necessary if the planet is to be saved. It is an idea whose time has come.
Read the essay here. Happy New Year, Mr Zinn. You continue to inspire me.

3 comments:

Echo Mouse said...

THAT was the best opinion piece I've read in a long time. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Happy New Year! :)

Jill said...

Very interesting. I do think we still have a long year in front of us.

L-girl said...

Hi Jill, welcome to wmtc! I see you are from Homer, AK. We have very fond memories of that lovely town - huddling on the beach, grilling halibut, and finding great mugs (still our favorites) at a pottery gallery.

Happy New Year - to you too, Echo Mouse. :)