Third Party & Independents Archives

The Struggle Between Peace and War

In America, deeply rooted in the war on terror, is a battle between two ideologies. One is the ideology of peace, which teaches that our violence has a consequence and strength through peaceful coalitions is the way to protect America. The second is the ideology of war, which teaches that reactionary response and strength through arms is the way to protect America.

It is hard to shake the second ideology from the American mindset. Throughout American history the dominate ideology has been the violent one. Strike hard, strike fast, showing no weakness of resolve. Under this thinking weakness will only bring more violence. Strength of arms, brutal coercion, and collateral damage all serve break the will of those who would harm America.

The war against terror is the epitome of such thinking. Bombing campaigns and invasion kill the terrorists who wage war against America. If we kill enough of them, they will learn not to join up with the likes of Usama bin Laden. Nations will no longer fund these groups as well. Once funding and support staff dwindles, so will terrorism, and thus ends the cowardly and stateless form of resistance. Those in support of this violent ideology accuse their opponents of having a defeatist mindset, saying the only way to protect America is through strength of arms.

In support of their violent actions, the Bush administration makes the claim that a free Iraq will be a beacon light in the Middle East. Bush himself said, "Instead of threatening its neighbors and harboring terrorists, Iraq can be an example of progress and prosperity in a region that needs both." What nobody inside the ideology will admit is the tradeoff between ending war in the region now, and creating another generation of terrorists for a war in the future.

The ideology of peace teaches that our violent reactionary responses to terrorist attacks create more instability and poverty in regions which breed future terrorism. This ideology teaches it is that very instability and poverty which fills the signup rolls, and the bloody example of war which instills the cold hearted resolve of suicide attacks. The violence creates the illusion of stability and peace, which in the end erupts into more violence.

An example of this is post World War I Germany where the conflict had wrecked their economy and internal forces eventually lead to the formation and strengthening of the Nazi party. What happened at the hands of Adolf Hitler is inexcusable, but without results of World War I, the perfect environment for Hitler to recruit his storm troopers would not have been possible.

The war against terror is another example the ideology of peace can use to counter the ideology of war. The brutal bombing campaigns and invasions have only further fueled extremist hatred for the United States. Terrorism signup has never been better. Poverty, rampant violence, and an overthrown government have visible psychological and physiological ramifications to the people of Iraq.

On January 14th, a 119 page report was released which includes the analysis of over 1000 U.S. and foreign experts. The report calls Iraq a "magnet for international terrorist activity" and says Iraq gives terrorists "a training ground, a recruitment ground, the opportunity for enhancing technical skills."

Perhaps the most striking is the statement, "The al-Qa'ida membership that was distinguished by having trained in Afghanistan will gradually dissipate, to be replaced in part by the dispersion of the experienced survivors of the conflict in Iraq." In essence, we may kill or discourage all of the terrorists of today, but a new generation is forming all around the death and the destruction. Our children will fight that war for us.

So, while the war on terror rages over in Iraq, at home we still struggle between mindsets of peace and war. Those of us supporting peace will perhaps be forever challenged by the idea of violence as the answer. We see the fact that this war has not achieved what the majority of people in support intended it to do by. We see that hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths have not reduced but instead enhanced hatred of our nation. We know by example that temporary peace may come out of the war against terror in the Middle East, but lasting peace will only come when we forever shuck the reactionary violence that has been so prominent in America.

Posted by Adam Ducker at January 15, 2005 12:35 PM