United for Peace and
- Please join us -- Silent Peace Vigils on Friday Afternoons 5-5:30
- Rain or Shine, let your silence be heard!
- Pro-peace or Anti-war messages only, please.
- No personal nor political bashing.
- Join those who share your concerns and take a stand for your convictions.
- Signs are provided.
- Meet across the street from the Post Office on College Street in Macon, Georgia.
Sisters Lee A. Johnson of Macon, left, and Peggy Johnson, a Navy veteran of Lexington Okla. right,
attend a peace rally at the Pentagon in Washington, DC
| Friday Afternoons
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|May 7, 2007, 6:36 pm
- The New York Times - www.nyt.com
The Peace Presidents
By Jean Edward Smith
On Feb. 8, 2004, George W. Bush proudly proclaimed to Tim Russert on “Meet the Press,” “I am a war president.” Like an 8-year-old playing with toy soldiers, Bush, an Air National Guard dropout, looked at war with vicarious enthusiasm. Contrast the attitude of the nation’s “peace presidents” – supreme commanders who led the nation to victory in the greatest wars the country faced: men who had experienced the grim reality of battle and wanted no part of it.
Ulysses S. Grant condemned war as “the most destructive and unsavory activity of mankind.” Surveying the carnage at Fort Donelson during the Civil War, he told an aide, “this work is part of the devil that is left in us.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower, another former general, was equally outspoken: “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, as only one who has seen its brutality, its futility and stupidity…. War settles nothing.”
Both Grant and Eisenhower were elected with expectations that they would put a victorious end to conflicts in which the country was then engaged. Both presidents did end the fighting. But not in ways that their bellicose supporters anticipated.
In Grant’s case, the frontier was ablaze, and it was widely assumed that the general-in-chief who had bested Robert E. Lee would make quick work of the Plains Indians who were slowing the nation’s westward expansion. That bet was misplaced. Grant admired the integrity and lifestyle of Native Americans and ordered an end to the slaughter. He reined in Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Sheridan (who seemed bent on annihilation), dispatched a brace of “humanitarian generals” to the West, provided aid and comfort to entice the tribes onto reservations, and replaced corrupt Indian agents with Quakers. “Grant’s peace policy” – as it is called by historians – brought peace to Great Plains without racial genocide.
Twice more Grant faced down the hawks clamoring for war — first with Great Britain, then with Spain. British-American relations had not recovered from the Civil War for several reasons: Irish-American expatriates were conducting cross-border raids into Ontario; conflicting claims to fishing rights in the North Atlantic often resulted in bloodshed; a boundary dispute in the Pacific Northwest lay unresolved; and the unpaid claims from Union shipping losses continued to fester.
Grant rejected the possibility of a military solution, and with the cooperation of the Gladstone government in Britain, he submitted the issues to arbitration. This marked a breakthrough in the settlement of international disputes and paved the way for the Anglo-American accord that survives to this day.
The issue with Spain involved Cuba. Portions of the island were in revolt against Spanish rule, and American public opinion demanded intervention on the side of the rebels. Grant not only refused, but deployed the Navy to prevent American freebooters from joining the conflict.
In 1952, Eisenhower was elected with the expectation he would win the war in Korea. After the election Ike went to Korea, measured the situation firsthand, and concluded the war was unwinnable. Without hesitation he negotiated an armistice. After Eisenhower made peace in Korea, not one American serviceman was killed in combat during the next eight years.
Like Grant, Eisenhower believed the United States should never go to war unless national survival was at stake. He resisted calls for preventive war against China and Russia, reached out to the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death and slashed the Defense Department budget. He declined to take military action to defend the Chinese offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu, stepped aside when Hungary exploded in 1956 and refused to deploy American forces in situations that might lead to combat without Congressional authorization.
When the National Security Council – Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Vice President Richard Nixon and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff – unanimously recommended the use of nuclear weapons at Dien Bien Phu to rescue the beleaguered French garrison, Eisenhower summarily rejected the proposal. “You boys must be crazy,” he told Robert Cutler, the national security adviser. “We can’t use those awful things against Asians for the second time in less than 10 years. My God.”
In 1956, when Britain, France and Israel colluded to invade Egypt, Eisenhower forced them to withdraw, toppling Anthony Eden’s government in London and threatening financial reprisals against Israel. That repudiation of what Ike called “old fashioned gunboat diplomacy” not only kept the peace but enhanced American prestige throughout the world.
George Bush and the neocons have no monopoly on glorifying military adventure. Madeleine Albright, President Clinton’s secretary of state, caused General Colin Powell a case of near cardiac arrest when she asked at a meeting of the National Security Council, “Why do we have an Army if we are not willing to use it?”
War is not an instrument of policy. It is an act of desperation. “Any course short of national humiliation or national destruction is better than war,” Grant told Prince Kung of China in 1879. “War itself is so great a calamity that it should only be invoked when there is no way of saving a nation from a greater [one].”
APRIL 25, 2007: "Buying the War"
BILL MOYERS: Four years ago this spring the Bush administration took leave of reality and plunged our country into a war so poorly planned it soon turned into a disaster. The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on.
Since then thousands of people have died, and many are dying to this day. Yet the story of how the media bought what the White House was selling has not been told in depth on television. As the war rages into its fifth year, we look back at those months leading up to the invasion, when our press largely surrendered its independence and skepticism to join with our government in marching to war.
The American number of troops killed in Iraq now exceeds the number of victims on 9/11. We have been fighting there longer than it took us to defeat the Nazis in World War II. The costs of the war are reckoned at one trillion dollars and counting. The number of Iraqis killed -- over thirty-five thousand last year alone-- is hard to pin down. The country is in chaos...
Read the entire transcript:
100 Iraqi civilians, on average, are dying each day
Posted on Sun, Apr. 22, 2007
What's life worth?
Americans are sissies. The death of 32 innocent students and faculty members at Virginia Tech, killed by a deranged student, sends us reeling. There's 24-hour news coverage. CNN sent everyone but Larry King to Blacksburg, Va., to be on-site, as did other networks.
On Wednesday, 230 innocent Iraqis were blown to bits in Baghdad, just another reminder that killers who are willing to die cannot be stopped, not by a gun control laws, not by 150,000 heavily armed American soldiers.
Yes, we're sissies, and thank God. I would never want our people to be so jaded by death that we take it for granted as a part of our lifestyle as they must do in Iraq to remain sane.
I want us to aspire to life, like the students who were calmly studying in their classrooms before the mayhem; preparing for what they thought would be a long life ahead.
I've looked at the various memorial sites. These kids had such bright futures. Such hope and promise. An environmental engineer here. A history student there. From Georgia we find a twin, Ryan "Stack" Clark, who was about to graduate with not one major but three, psychology, biology and English with a 4.0 grade-point average, according to WLTX in Augusta.
In our sissiness we trip over the odd. Liviu Librescu, a noted engineering and math professor, survived Hitler and the Holocaust, but couldn't make it past a rambling college campus just shy of the West Virginia and North Carolina borders and one sick student who happened to go to school there.
In our timidity we should remember that we are not the only people on Earth who want to live long and fruitful lives. We are not the only ones who rise each morning worried about our offspring. However, our worries are miniscule most times. If they're off at school, we wonder whether or not they ate breakfast or have clean clothes and what time they got in last night. Our minds have the freedom not to think that they might get blown up by an improvised roadside device, but now, with Virginia Tech fresh in mind, we do worry that an insane psychopath might cross their path.
It is a commonality of the human species: No one wants to die. In our country, nobody wants to think about dying. There's too much to live for. Those like Cho Seung-Hui, and other suicidal maniacs, are like a cancer - cells that don't behave normally. Something in the DNA misfired. It's beyond most of our sensibilities to even comprehend such lunacy.
But is it? We do turn a blind eye to the suffering of others. We look at the death totals in Iraq, the colleterial damage from our actions, and think nothing of it.
Sure, we worry aboutour troops and the almost 3,600 souls this wrongheaded effort has taken. Still, we have some among us who discount even those deaths by comparing them to the losses we suffered during World War II, as if that's a valid comparison.
For the most part, we dismiss the pain of others, even the suffering of our military families. It's out of sight and out of mind. We feel their pain only superficially. We accept without complaining that their loved ones will be away an additional three months after 12 months of hell as the price of volunteering to protect our worthless carcasses.
Somehow we don't equate the wails of sorrow we see broadcast from around the world with actual suffering - until we have a Columbine or Virginia Tech. Even then we feel our grief is more valid than their's. Here's news: It's not.
With or without our surge, 100 Iraqi civilians, on average, are dying each day. An estimated 70,000 have been killed since our invasion. They had families who loved them, too.
We must come to realize that death
is death, and just like the loved ones of the 33 students, including
the killer, who are in mourning today, we should mourn for all innocent
life taken, particularly those taken because of our actions, inactions
or national hubris.
Jews, Christians, Moslems :
Old Testament links US All under One Law
Moses brought new laws and new regulations for his people. Moses (peace be upon him) not only gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, but a very comprehensive ceremonial law for the guidance of his people.
As regards to Jesus (peace be upon him) he took a strong stand to assure the Jews that he had not come with a new religion or new regulations different from what Moses brought to the world. Jesus was quoted in the gospel of Matthew 5:17-18 saying "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill for verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Mohammad (peace be upon him) took the pains to assure what Jesus had assured before him to the world. Mohammad also came to fulfill not to deny or destroy what Moses had established and what Jesus confirmed.
You can read in the Holy Quran chapter 2 verse 62 "Those who believe in the Quran, and those who follow the Jewish scriptures and the Christians and the Sabians, and any who believe in God and the last day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."
Muslims have been warned many times in the Quran not to discriminate against any previous laws or scriptures that were revealed upon Abraham, Moses and Jesus and all must be believed in and must be admitted throughout Muslim behavior. The Quran stated in chapter 2, verse 136 "Say you: We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmail, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them, and we bow to God in peace."
That is why there has never been quoted any statement by a
against the person of Abraham, Moses or Jesus. It always has and always
will be, one law and one message from the Lord of Universe to the
Ahmed Yousef is a resident of Macon.
Macon-Bibb.com The United States Social Forum Louise's Peace Flags
contact: Lindsay D Holliday @ www.HollidayDental.com 478-746-5695 E-Mail