About peace and war

By: Laura Viera A
Translated By: Carolina Correa
Photos: Nessa Twix
“If you want peace, prepare for War.”
- Publius Flavius -

It is quite a paradox when war enablers claim that fighting a war in order for peace to prevail. I am no expert but this seems quite absurd to me. The “If you want peace, prepare for war” (Latin: Si vis pacem, para bellum) is an adage was adapted from a statement found in Book 3 of the Latin author Publius Flavius. It was found centuries ago and yet these words seem to echo in our everyday life.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.
We don’t need to go so far into our history. Sadly, every decade has seen war and many generations have suffered due to it. The two great wars, World War I and II, will tell us that their triumphs were gained at a huge cost. The triumph of the First World War proved to be of a short duration. The victory itself spread the seeds of the Second World War.

Taking this into account, it would seem that one of the most pressing issues is the prevention of war itself.

There are people rooted in ideological positions. And, that is ok. We all get to have our own opinion and thoughts about the world. However, this does not mean that people get to walk all over each other to make their ideas prevail. And, here is the problem itself. People are not going to change their attitudes and opinions overnight.

On the other hand, the dangers of war, the paths to violence and the need for peace have been well documented. Somehow, all though I can’t seem to figure the reason why, the United States of America appears to have taken on the role of ‘guardian of the world capitalist order’. This involves a continuing American influence and intervention in the affairs of other countries.

But, why is this attitude an option? It seems as if they have a drive for war in their core fundaments, as if they seek it. If there is no war or conflict, they create one under the false pretense that they must intervene in order for the people to have better rights.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

I must say that they are not the only country that thrives on conflict. Examples are many; let’s start with the Korean conflict. It was based on the division between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north and the Republic of Korea in the south, both of which claim to be the government of the whole country.

Another example was the Apartheid. A system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP), the governing party from 1948 to 1994. Under apartheid, the rights, associations, and movements of the majority black inhabitants and other ethnic groups were curtailed, and white minority rule was maintained.

I could go on for ever with example of war around the world. I would never reach an end.

An additional point of interest is that, throughout war men are too busy in militaristic activities to think of social improvements. It is only during peace that a literacy campaign can take place. Even the proper working of democracy itself is possible only in times of peace.

The issue of war and peace has always been a pivotal issue. Nevertheless, the blood soaked shreds of humanity lay dispersed in several hundred battle grounds, particularly on the soils of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cried for peace, peace and peace on the earth.

Since 1945, the United Nations and its specialized agencies, have been consistently and strongly advocating the need for the preservation and promotion of peace against war. This has not worked at all.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.
Nations all over the globe have spent a lot of money and effort on defense mechanisms. But despite this massive increase most people don’t feel much more secure. Wars have not brought peace.

The desire to invent more effective weapons to defend has been constant but, truthfully, it’s done nothing to prevent war. Many political and military leaders therefore feel they must have the most powerful weapons possible.

It is important to comprehend that wars don’t happen by accident. Wars need people who are prepared to kill and to be killed.

Surely there are people who don’t need persuading. But more often people fight because it’s what they’re paid to do.

Furthermore, the military are often dissatisfied with what weapons they have. They want something ‘better’, and certainly better than the weapons the ‘other side’ has. To get money from government to upgrade their weapon resources, military representatives may exaggerate the ‘strength’ of a potential ‘enemy’. Without a threat, after all, there is no real justification for having big, expensive weapons; so sometimes a ‘threat’ will be imagined or invented.

Sadly, many people are becoming resistant to the horrors of war.

It seems that we need to receive a crash course on peace; a peace education of sorts. We need to take account of inequality, discrimination and their relationship to violence, aggression and warfare.

Peace can only be achieved by reducing, or eliminating, division and discrimination.

Peace promotes democracy. As a matter of fact, peace can rule over ignorance and superstition, over illiteracy and immorality, over disease and physical suffering, over poverty and governmental oppression.

When peace conquers something it does it via non¬violent and bloodless manners. They cause no grief to humanity and do not damage life or property.

War causes streams of blood and indescribable mayhem. Only the victories of peace leave no maimed limbs or mutilated bodies, no ruined cities or scorched fields. Victory in war is gained at a heavy cost of life. Conversely, the victories of Peace are perpetual. They do not annoy any nation and their fruits are enjoyed by everyone. The triumphs of peace, on the contrary, involve no carnage of human beings.


Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

All in all, there is no part of the world has escaped the menace of war. There is nowhere that modern weapons or armies cannot reach. Anywhere in the world you can find people who will use guns to get their own way.

One elementary way of defining peace has been to say that peace is absence of war. This ideal provides a basis for cooperation, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that prevents warfare. People on demonstrations demand peace now and peace with justice; some are accused of disturbing the peace. Some search for inner peace while others insist on peace with honor.

 


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