2017 World Resolution: End War Forever.

By Jerry Alatalo

“I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

– CHIEF JOSEPH

child-prayingAlphabet The gripping, searing and profoundly moving personal testimony of Stacy Bannerman during the recent People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War points out in a most powerful manner why war must become banished from this Earth forever. Perhaps people around the world can make ending war their collective, focused, top 2017 New Year’s resolution.

Ms. Bannerman is the author of “Homefront 911”. She was one of many men and women who testified during The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)

Words written by Ken Carey in his 1991 book “The Third Millennium” offer more texture and depth to the idea of making the banishment of war humanity’s #1 resolution moving into 2017. The following excerpt comes from Chapter 8 – “This Season’s Children” – in that extraordinary spiritual writing.

Clothed in words, what the grandparents, the ancestors say – it would be something like this. Do what we have always dreamed of doing but did not quite achieve. You do not know young ones what we had to work against, and how much easier we have made it for you. We feel as though we have almost done it; go one step beyond. Do what we have almost done – create a world where our descendants will not have to struggle and fight as we have struggled, as we have fought. A cooperative world, a peace filled world, created first in your hearts and homes. In our time this was our challenge; in your time it is yours. You see how well we met this task, this challenge.

We have done better than some, perhaps, and not as well as others. But it is no matter now. You are this season’s people. We speak to you children of the 21st century. Do not throw away your caution; do not open yourselves to those who would exploit you or deprive you of your rights, but please live with less fear than we did. The rights you enjoy today are here to stay. Armed struggle is not essential to the procurement of your daily bread; this much we have given you. There are still those who would take advantage of you, but they are fewer and less powerful than they were in our time.

The communication tools you have today make it far more difficult for those who would abuse power. Perhaps the most important lesson our lives have taught us is this:  you are always better off communicating with friends, with enemies, it makes no difference. Be open, honest… state your views as clearly as possible. Do not be afraid of giving away secrets. It is best to have no secrets; they are the source of much mistrust. Share with others who you are, your goals, your ambitions. We have found that on those occasions when we have communicated with our adversaries miracles have occurred across national borders, across racial lines, across economic and social barriers.

Breakthroughs of understanding have occurred. We came to respect those with whom we spoke, and they came to respect us. These are the friendships that have served us well in our lives. Agreement is less important than respect, for with respect agreement may one day occur but without it agreement is impossible. Honesty and openness will earn you respect. The times we fought when we did not need to fight we lost both the fight and potential friends. Count everyone a potential friend, then do what you can to make that friendship real.

Communication is a power much greater than confrontation – do not lose sight of that.

We have seen, as all the elders of our race have seen, that there is no scarcity of resources. The only scarcities have been of love and of imagination. As long as the sun shines and rivers flow, as long as the winds blow and ocean waves lap on these shores, there is no shortage of energy nor is there any thing over which to fight. Unless perhaps your basic needs are denied by another’s greed, then we would say yes defend your rights, but speak first. First use all your wit and ingenuity to avoid the conflict. Then if you must, defend what you must, but know you may well lose as much as you will gain. Use force only in defense and only as a last resort. There is no cause but defense that justifies violence.

No nation whose people are motivated for any reason other than defense can win a war in the present climate of the world. Perhaps this was not always true, but the wise ones among us have noticed this, and whatever its cause it is reality for the times in which you live. Can you understand? This is the real news. Consider what it means. No nation desires to lose a war, and if only a defensive war can be won we will not launch a war. Can nations battle in mutual defense?

If your youth pumps passion through your blood and you desire an arena in which to test your spirit fire turn to the athletic field, to the Olympic Games, to amateur and professional sports, to baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, curling, skiing, sailing, bicycling, dancing, cross-country racing… The options before you are endless.

Choose the field that best suits your nature; compete to your heart’s content. Enjoy the pursuit of excellence, compete in marketplaces and music halls, in fields and amphitheaters, but if you seek to enjoy your lives do not compete on the battlefield. Leave behind the old world’s greatest bane. Do not kill, do not destroy, do not main, murder and ruin. In the end you but do these things to yourselves – there are no others.

Let your competition be light-hearted and friendly. Celebrate the diversity of excellence. We have lived that you might know a brighter world. Do not throw away the promise we have given you; if you turn to violence in any of its forms you betray those of us who have gone before you and those of us who follow.

There are no winners in violent confrontation – only losers and more losers. Do not let the pursuit of excellence in your chosen field blind you to the excellence of another. See the same spirit in them pursuing the same excellence to which you aspire. Appreciate them in the same way you appreciate the skilled opponent who helps you hone and develop your skills. Appreciate them as you would a partner, a coach, a trainer who helps you transcend what you thought were your limitations.

These attitudes, simple though they are, lie at the heart of the world we want you to know.

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9 thoughts on “2017 World Resolution: End War Forever.

  1. I understand the sentiments expressed and I concur with the concept of banishing war from the earth but I am not a naive person: 70 years of activism and observation has given me the right to have a certain insight about Earthians. War, more specifically violence against the weaker, more specifically bullying, is the greatest part of the creature’s mindset. Just because some, even if there were as much as a billion of them, wanted to ban war, it will simply not happen. I can say that I am personally opposed to war, bullying and any sort of gratuitous violence. It is how I have trained myself to live. It is why I am an active conscientious objector, having refused to serve in my homeland’s military “service” when called. So I know where I stand, as an individual. But only as an individual can anyone stand opposed to war. War isn’t just militarily fought conflicts, it is a “need” within the normal Earthian that permeates everything. War is oppression, suppression, fear-mongering, malicious gossip, theft, mocking, abusing. Racism and misogyny are a huge aspect of that war: can we also declare these to be banished? Competitiveness is also war, and that includes, yes, your Olympics, which are nothing but an insult to the poor, a huge party paid for by the poor who can’t even attend the events (remember the latest Brazilian Olympics) and who could never participate. War is found in prisons and on the streets of every city on earth: poverty is also war: are we willing to ban poverty? Imposed famine so the rich can get richer on lands taken forcefully by corporations in cahoots with governments, that is war: are we going to ban corporate greed along with graft and corruption of global financial institutions such as the World Bank? Are we going to ban all organized religions seeing as they continually feed the evil of war? Are we going to ban injustice on all of its levels? War is innate to politics: are we going to ban all politics? You could successfully ban all militarily fought wars of aggression and still be nowhere, and wonder why? Because your problem is brainwashing and programming of the Earthian mind. That is where war must be banned – on all and every competitively oppressive or denigrating levels. The real war is global injustice and the Earthian mind has a million ready-to-spout reasons to support and even cheer such injustice. Take away the hypocrisy of those who talk about peace from their comfortable zones and entitlement and you find that Ayn Rand expresses the real Earthian mindset better than anyone.

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    1. Hello Sha’Tara,
      Thank you for taking the time to make a considerable and thoughtful commentary on the idea (absolutely ambitious) of abolishing war on Earth. You’re probably familiar with the concept of taking on the most difficult task of all when faced with a project or work, then going forward with those parts of the work which are less difficult. This might describe the idea of going after the hardest of all human tasks first – ending war – then moving on to the less difficult (by comparison) aspects of creating a better world for all people that you mentioned – namely racism, misogyny, poverty, greed, injustice, corrupt politics, false religions, etc.. On one end of the political spectrum are authoritarians and on the other are those striving for Utopia, a political perspective where you may have concluded this writer is positioned. Yes, I admit to being a Utopianist, or someone whose vision seems impractical, impossible and fantastic. Recent studies show the world spends over $1 trillion/year on war, and that figure might be far out of line with the much higher levels of spending actually occurring. Billions of words have been written through history on war and peace, and because the men and women who’ve written them found it necessary or important to do so progress in reducing wars and violence has been achieved. We enter some extra heavy duty psychological, philosophical, spiritual territory when considering whether Ayn Rand or some others describe human perceptions more/most accurately, and, being a rose-colored glasses wearing Utopianist, one might be forgiven for holding faith in the goodness of people at their essence. Thank you again for putting forth very challenging points. Here’s hoping events which develop in 2017 leave you, me and all of humanity pleasantly surprised and thankful. 🙂

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  2. Hi Jerry, no I don’t think banning war (assuming we’re talking of “hot” or war fought with murderous weaponry) is impossible. In fact, if you could give the warmongers a better way to make more profit and gain more power over people they’d probably give up prepping for war. The problem is, as always with people, plugging holes in dykes that are sieves. To ban “war” you need to ban the innate violence within the Earthian mind. That was the point of my comment. There’s your problem and it’s a problem that few have tackled and none have succeeded in solving. Even Jesus made a mess of it.

    Currently I do not see any progress being achieved in reducing war, quite the opposite in fact. So you haven’t had a world war for a bit but it’s not because people don’t want war, it’s because of MAD. Mutually assured destruction. So far no madman has pushed the nuclear button, and any major war is very likely to see that happen. So we have other kinds of wars, gruesome and horrible but “managed” by the elites so the whole world isn’t blown sky-high. At this moment “Obomber” as he’s so affectionately called, is doing his damnedest to start a war with Russia, or at least get a real good (and profitable) cold war going as his final legacy as figurehead ruler of the empire. Tensions are rising, not lessening.

    Hey, I’m a utopian also: I believe that the way to “peace on earth” is for every Earthian to embrace compassion as a way of life. Pretty wild, huh? That’s way past banning war, that’s delving right into the heart and mind of the Earthian creature; that’s telling it that it needs to change its mind about everything. I just raised a glass of white wine to your “Here’s hoping events which develop in 2017 leave you, me and all of humanity pleasantly surprised and thankful.” I’m giving you your wish, but I know it will not happen. There is a pattern established among Earthians which their history solidly backs, and as long as this current civilization endures, that pattern shall hold. War you shall have; it’s what makes civilization function. Maybe sad, but definitely true. People just don’t want to look at it honestly because it condemns their entire society. Well, friend, it needs judging and it deserves to be condemned. On to another year…

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    1. Sha’Tara,
      It’s clear that for humanity war is a very difficult habit to break. Just finished watching a 4-hour discussion on YouTube held in Norway about the Great Lakes Region of Africa, it’s history of conflicts and possible solutions. Keith Harmon Snow was one of the speakers and commented that until narcissists and sociopaths are prevented from running things peace won’t come to that or any region on Earth. Of course Africa’s problems with wars have as their source outside powers looking for control of the continent’s immense natural resource wealth, but without an effective international legal system which ends impunity for major war crimes it’s impossible to stop the war criminals. How to remove the violence from the Earthian mind?.. That’s the whopper of all history question, for sure. United Nations reform making it mandatory for all member states to ratify the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court or face mandatory expulsion from the UN seems like a good idea, and I’ve suggested it in many YouTube comments sections of videos pertaining to the ICC, including on Harvard Law School channel. Unfortunately, nobody seems interested as haven’t seen anyone propose such a reform. Oh well… at least we tried – Happy New Year.

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      1. Yes, some of us, having seen the problem, did try to make more people aware of their destructive, anti-life ways. Not seeing any fundamental change, and not desiring to return to being a cause crusader (I left my social, environmental and political activism behind decades ago because of the problem of ego) I’ve decided to live my life according to my own choices and devices; to serve and be available and “on call” to whomever is in need of legitimate help. So far that has worked very well, giving a high degree of independence and self-reliance through self-funding. If such is done out of pure compassion I discovered that the problem of ego is circumvented. So… compassion it is.

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  3. Stacy Bannerman’s testimony reminds us that our endless wars fought in distant lands have collateral damage on American families and corrodes our nation as a whole. Let peace begin with me.

    Jerry, thanks for reminding us to continue striving for an end to war. I wish you all the best in the New Year ❤

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    1. Hello Rosaliene,
      The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War was over two days at 6 hours per day. The Real News’ choice of singling out and featuring Stacy Bannerman’s talk was right on, as hers was one of the most powerful of all the testimonies. There might be a more accurate word to describe her talk, but searing comes to mind. War on Earth might end in the year 2017, 2020, or 2467, but it will end one day. Why not end it now, and save ourselves from any more unnecessary pain? Best wishes to you as well for 2017 Rosaliene. 🙂

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