For What It’s Worth …
O When Will We Ever Learn …
A “famous” talk show host quoting an official once said, “The purpose of war is to kill people and break things!” The simplicity of that statement is dangerous and erroneous. According to any decent standard, war must always be a response of last resort. The purpose of war must always be to curtail the aggression of an enemy who will not yield to the standards of human decency.
We are tempted to think we have developed surgical warfare by which the enemy is neutralized and the innocent are protected. Consider the chaos in the Middle East, the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the dangerous extremists’ movements at home and abroad. Remember Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In all these situations, innocent people were and are killed. Shall we consider the killing of the children in Israel, Gaza, Iraq, and so many other places collateral damage? If our heart breaks over the plight of so many innocent victims, then, we must raise our voices in the cause of justice. This violence must end.
We have convinced ourselves that war is the answer. Might does not make right. The religious communities of the World and neighborhood must demand an end to violence as the solution to everything. We support those organizations and political leaders who seek diplomatic solutions, based on tough negotiations, by which the rights of all are insured.
Mighty Nations with great power have a responsibility to restrain their impulse to meet violence with violence. As difficult as it might be, the future of the World and the real lives of real children require humane responses in times of conflict and division. The root causes of aggression must be understood and injustice must be confronted. Enemies are made when injustice is tolerated and the plight of innocent victims ignored.
We have used our technologies to develop weapons of great power and destruction. The time has come to use our power in the service of others. The impulse to violence and revenge has led to the slaughter of innocents throughout the World. The least we can do is demand humanitarian aid and relief for those who survive. Wars may end but the violence and hatred that results injures generations not yet born.
More than enough things have been broken; far too many people have been killed. The rockets must stop, the bombs must cease, the guns must be silenced. We join our voices with the Interfaith Community of the World in begging the Divine for guidance and seeking an end to violence in all its forms.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
The Interfaith Peace Project