Ever since the latest atrocities in Israel occurred last Saturday, Edwin Starr’s iconic 1969 song “War” has been going through my brain. And in case you aren’t familiar with it, here are the opening lines: “War, huh, yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothin’.”
And then today I read an essay by Dr. Naomi Wolfe, another Substack author I greatly admire, entitled “Please Calm Down: The Importance of Staying Centered in a Global Crisis.” https://naomiwolf.substack.com/p/please-calm-down?utm_campaign=email-post&r=3zhyj&utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email
In it she writes: “It is an especially difficult time in which to feel or express anything but horror and grief. … I don’t think anything that claims synthesis right now, or a unitary point of view, is honest or even sensitive.”
I thought about that statement and … disagreed. Which is why I posted a comment on her substack page saying, that while I shared her horror and honored her perspective, I felt impelled to give an answer to the current Middle East crisis that would be, by its very nature, perhaps insultingly simplistic. And I apologized in advance for that.
Since the topic was already on my mind, I figured I’d share what I wrote to her with you, and then expand a little.
A commentary on war
I do not (that I know of) have a friend or family member currently subject to all the atrocities. I haven’t stood in the streets and beheld the spilled blood, nor witnessed first-hand the dismemberment of peace, hope and yes, bodies of those known and unknown. If I had, I honestly don’t know if I could say what I’m about to say or not.
But … when will it be enough? When will humanity rise in its humanity and say, “Stop!”
I am not an expert on Middle East politics or any politics. I’m a human being who is exhausted by all the endless, needless, heedless bloodshed and carnage worldwide—and not just in Israel and Gaza.
When will we refuse to be cannon fodder for elites who fund both sides of every war—indeed who plan, initiate and profit from them? When will we “get it” that we have been deliberately driven into conflict over and over to suit globalist agendas?
When will we “get” that opinions over what god said what to whom and when simply don’t matter? That beliefs are only that? Beliefs not truth. Like elbows, everybody’s got them.
When will we “get” that skin color doesn’t mean jack? That every culture has ethnic traditions and, “Hey. Isn’t that cool? We can learn stuff from each other!”
When are we going to get that there is enough land and resources for all once we set aside egos and petty differences (which we’re programmed to believe are important enough to die for) and get on with the only real evolutionary move possible on this planet? And I don’t mean wait for the globalists to tell us what to do in their Not-So-Great Reset.
When will we come together? Despite everything? When will we finally refuse to pick up a gun, no matter what? When will we demand peace and build it?
A not new sentiment
Perhaps the American suffragette Julia Ward Howe said it best back in 1870 in her Mother’s Day Proclamation to women around the world—which I have quoted here after altering it just a bit to bring it up to date and include the men:
“Arise, all humans who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands and wives and lovers shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons and daughters shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women and men of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons and daughters to be trained to injure theirs.
“From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession. Let us meet first, as human beings, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let us then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, woman as the sister of woman, each bearing after his/her own kind the sacred stewardship of Earth, and in the name of humanity, without limit of nationality, promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”
In frightening times it’s just human nature to look to powerful people to lead. To stand back and hope and pray for salvation by someone else’s hand. To shy away from responsibility and think “Other people know better than me. I need to trust them to make things right.”
But the thing is, our “leaders” do not know better than us. Our “leaders” are not the ones marching into battle getting blown to bits as we do their bidding.
Despite pious words to the contrary, our leaders have all sorts of vested interests to protect—political leverage, influence, and financial gain. They do not care if people live or die. They never have and they never will—not as long we’re living in a world that equates leadership with power and power with force.
Might and brutality are tools of domination, not peace. And war? War is simply good business.
So, enough with waiting for the self-interested politicians to hammer out another peace accord that never provides peace! It isn’t intended to. Peace, if it’s to be birthed for real, has to happen within each and every one of us.
Remember the peace moment that happened during Vietnam? Thousands refused the draft. Millions marched. Artists, writers, musicians like Edwin Starr, protested through their individual mediums. The world was on fire with the idea of brotherly love and rebellion against “the Establishment.”
Well, here we are again.
Except this time ‘round it’s up to all of us—the people of all colors and ethnicities and backgrounds—individuals, families, neighbors, states, and nations—to insist on peace by not participating in violence any longer.
It’s time we came together to talk about ways to heal. Ways to communicate. Ways to settle old scores and inequities and find justice together. Ways to work together. Grow together. Publicly. Privately. In restaurants and bus stations, airports and bars. On the airwaves, in taxicabs, in schoolrooms and yes, in legislatures.
And these conversations have to happen with safety.
Agreements have to be made to ensure authenticity, respect and boundaries. Elders, psychologists, healers, ministers, mediators, shamans, medicine men and women—all those who can maturely and in a non-partisan fashion help hold space—need to offer to help guide the talks.
And then we need to talk!
Much love and aloha ~