February 20, 2003

What Is Peace?

I found this thoughtful post from Peeve Farm, on the meaning of peace, over at Insomnomaniac. I've excerpted part of it here, because I found it did a good job expressing some of what I've been thinking these last months.

Peace isn't the absence of war. Peace is the willingness to accept certain risks in the world landscape, on the understanding that other people won't take advantage of us-- because they're taking on those same risks for the same reason. Peace is a mutual understanding reached by a unanimous community of similarly-minded peoples, with an absence of hatred and resentment, with common goals and an inherent incentive toward cooperation and friendship. Peace isn't something you get if you just lie down and cover your head with your hands while the other kids hurl rocks at it. That's called surrender, not peace. And it's what comes about when your vision of "peace" is simply "not fighting anymore", even if that includes self-defense.

"America isn't under attack", some say. But one has only to look at the desires of our enemies, expressed in so many press statements and propaganda videos and sermons, to realize that the only reason we're not suffering more attacks right now is because they lack the means, not because they aren't really our enemies. They are. They say so every week. And sooner or later, 9/11 will happen again, or something worse. To disagree with that possibility is to ascribe to them immense fecklessness and unwillingness to follow through on their own threats. I don't think that's a tenable logical position. these are human beings we're talking about, but human beings deeply and thoroughly convinced that it's their duty to do whatever is in their power to destroy us. They've already declared war on us, and they're dead serious about it. For us to march for peace under such conditions is to proclaim that we can bend spoons with our minds.

The problem still exists; the threat is still real, because the hatred is still real. The hatred is of what we are, not of what we do; and so short of changing fundamentally what we are, there is no solution to that hatred other than to remove the immediate threat by whatever expedient force is necessary, and then work on defusing whatever cultural and religious schisms divide us from that part of the world that currently wants us dead.

This is only part of a much longer post, and I encourage you to go read all of it.

Posted by Ithildin at February 20, 2003 5:52 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

Thank you for referencing my site here, but I just want to give credit where credit is due and let your readers know that I did not write this excerpt, I pulled it from Peeve Farm (link is on my site).

I do think your readers should drop by peeve farm because, as you said, it is longer and it is excellent. Thanks again for passing it on!

Posted by: Deb at February 20, 2003 6:12 PM

The link is to Peeve Farm, but I don't think I worded it all to well :) Been a looong day!

I'll go try and make it make more sense.

Posted by: Ith at February 20, 2003 6:16 PM