April 18, 2004
A Piece on Peace by Guest Blogger Mark Silverstein
Reading the article on where the Peace Movement is today moments after seeing the headline about the Israeli assassination of Hamas leader Al-Rantissi led me to ponder just what is peace? Is it the absence of war? Was Spaulding Gray at peace when he threw himself into the East River? Were Ghandi and King architects of peace with their non-violent movements before their violent assassinations? Are the hundreds of thousands who swim to our shores, steal across the desert under the stars, or hide in shipping containers thinking they will find peace in the land of milk and honey and Harlem, Watts, and Cabrini Green?
As a child of the fifties and sixties, growing up in the shadow of Viet Nam, my reality was a sign made with your index and middle fingers. Many pointed out it was the reverse of Churchill’s victory sign. No matter what symbol you choose: the two fingers, the one that resembles the Mercedes logo, or any other of your choosing, the concept of peace is inexorably linked to justice. Here again, you may choose your symbol. I myself like the blindfolded lady with the scales, but I’m not sure how well she’d do in a peaceful sit-in on the streets of Baghdad. What I’m getting at is as I have moved on in years I have found that not everyone shares my views. So, how can I expect they would share my views on the best way to achieve peace. Concerted random acts of kindness may provide a starting point. Attempting to understand what the other side means when they speak of peace and justice may help. Recognizing the causes of evil and terror and what each of us can do to curtail its spread short of military engagement. And, finally, realizing, that no matter how big the Peace Movement becomes, when they not only have a volunteer armed forces, but mercenaries willing to fill in the gaps, peace will only be achieved when those trained to fight are trained even better in getting along.
Mark Silverstein is a writer in Yorba Linda, California
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Hanan: I have a cousin, Mark Silverstein. But he lives in San Clemete, CA. Small world!
Posted by: Richard Silverstein at Sep 9, 2004 9:14:32 PM