Anti-war is not pro-peace?

Human peace sign on the Magyar Heroes SquareI’ve heard the point made twice now. First someone complained after a rally that they were the only one to speak in favor of peace in the midst of exclusively anti-war sentiments. Then another person asked me, if instead of the anti-war statements I was soliciting, could they submit ideas that were pro-peace?

“Of course!” I told her. To be inclusive was my main intent, but I really wanted to ask, what to you is the difference? And I’d like to put the question to anyone: what distinction are you making between ant-war and pro-peace? Are you thinking that someone against the Iraq War is not necessarily against all war? Because I’m thinking someone who is pro-peace is not necessarily taking a stand at stopping this war or any other.

There are enough people sidestepping the issue of war, ignoring the War in Iraq, afraid to speak out of turn or against the grain or outside of the norm. The I’d like to teach the world to sing peace people would seem to be choosing the non-confrontational route while the tanks roll onward. Our mantra must be peace, but our bodies must be set against war.

It’s so easy to criticize someone who is anti, because they can be accused of offering no alternative. But need there be an alternative to war? Just stop it. If I catch you strangling your little brother in the bathtub, need I suggest an alternative method for you to dispatch him? No. Cut it out. Period. Let your brother be.

Anti-war voices were accused of being too negative at election time. Too anti. But were there any politicians we could support? If more candidates had expressed being opposed to the war, we could have been pro- those candidates! Instead, look at the batch that we got, a Democrat majority, but too few of them against the war, I’m sorry, pro-peace.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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