Thursday, May 31, 2007

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Memorial Day. Honoring War and the Fallen? Not Peace and Life Sam Keen on War copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org Granted on this a day en memoriam we might discuss the military record of our Commander-In-Chief. We could quibble about his service and his unwillingness to sacrifice his life for this nation. We might speak of the Vice President and his own hesitancy to enlist. Perhaps a focus on their folly would be wise; however futile. These men did as they did and do as they do. We will not change that through our rants. Our rage will not alter the world. Reflection on the topic of war might help begin a transformation. However, perhaps, contemplation, a conversation, and a concentration on peace are best. I listen to those that speak in praise of the men and women that serve, defend, and protect this country in battle. I wonder and inquire. Are we honoring the fallen in these traditional ceremonies, or do we revere combat. The President of the United States stands before a nation in mourning and states . . .Today we honor the warriors who fought our nation's enemies, defended the cause of liberty, and gave their lives in the cause of freedom. We offer our love and our heartfelt compassion to the families who mourn them. We pray that our country may always prove worthy of the sacrifices they made.Earlier on the Memorial Day weekend, Vice President Cheney, while delivering a commencement address empathically declared.“We’re fighting a war on terror because the enemy attacked us first, and hit us hard.”Our leaders make claims that we accept as valid. Yet, as I ponder I think otherwise. I muse. One country, one community, or an individual cannot intimidate another and think peace will prosper. Bullying does not eliminate bullying. Nor can a person, political system, or an armed...
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Measured Peace. Global Peace Index Ranks America Poorly Peace Train by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org It is official; America is not a nation at peace. We are not tranquil people. There is violence in our streets and we war wherever and whenever we can. According to the Global Peace Index, the United States ranks ninety-sixth [96] out of one hundred and twenty one [121] countries studied. This "superpower" is slightly more serene than Iran; yet less calm than Yemen. Interestingly, Iraq is considered the most violent of all countries. The Index, created by The Economist Intelligence Unit does not presume a possible correlation between Iraq and the United States. However, it might be said that what occurs in that particular Middle Eastern region is directly related to American politics. If we were to truly assess the doings in that sovereign State, we could easily accept that Iraq is merely an extension of the United States, a colony of sorts. Perhaps that is only my perception. Nonetheless, the two countries are unmistakably coupled. These two territories are separate from the tranquil land of Norway, which is listed as the most peaceful country in the world. Germany, with its notorious history was declared the twelfth among serene States. Even Cuba is calm in contrast to America. This small island nation is not nearly as violent as its Northern neighbor. Cuba was assessed to be fifty-ninth [59] among all countries. We might muse that one country is profoundly peaceful while another civilization is cruel; however, until now there was no way of authentically measuring such an estimation."The objective of the Global Peace Index was to go beyond a crude measure of wars by systemically exploring the texture of peace," said Global Peace Index President Clyde McConaghy. He said the inaugural effort proves "peace can...