Friday, August 24, 2007

Justice, NOT Peace As Our Core Value



Community Columnist Thomas Biel ("Foreseeing a future of peace";
August 24, 2007) is wrong when he maintains that, "Peace is at the epicenter of our ethical core". Justice occupies the center of our national will.

If peace were at the core, we would be the subjects of an unjust and most unpeacefull British Empire OR a nation divided into two parts, one slave owning and one not, OR a people standing by while Nazis completed their genocidal insanities and Imperial Japan enslaved the East OR detached observers of an Iraq where a tyrant continues to murder his own nation's minority peoples and the citizens of his neighboring nations. We might also remember our war like dedication to justice which resulted in independent Cuba and the Philippines free of Spanish misrule.

Our nation's wish for justice derives from a tradition which took 300 years for crusaders to finally react to the war-orientated injustice of Muslims who, most unpeacefully conquered and unjustly ruled the Middle East and parts of Europe; And longer to expel those most unjust tyrants from Iberia, Hungary, Greece, the Balkans and parts of Italy AND to defeat their further invasions at the borders of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and, on a much better "9/11", at the gates-and-walls of Vienna.

What should be taught in all places is that evil must be actively resisted so that justice may be done AND what the price of such resistance has been and will be---Unless the American People wish themselves and other humans to be the slaves of unjust tyrants.

I suggest that Mr. Biel go back to the books and study some real history before he again misinforms your readers.

Respectfully submitted,
James Pawlak

Foreseeing a future of peace
Posted: Aug. 23, 2007
I'm looking at the mission statement for the International Baccalaureate high school curriculum that is in place in a few high schools in Milwaukee.
The mission states that one of the goals of the program is to develop students who will help create a more peaceful world. As a teacher of the curriculum, I feel good to be part of a peace movement.
To think that teaching peace is some kind of left-wing political agenda would be an over-reaction, to say the least. The concept is not anti-military or so naive to think that we can somehow make war disappear. What needs to be questioned is the direction of the U.S. military buildup, the choices that go into using military force and, basically, how to consider living more peacefully with the rest of the world.
The idea of teaching peace also would coincide with the heart of the world's religions, so those who might see the teaching of peace as somehow politically loaded might consider their religious beliefs and look at the fundamental teachings of their respective creeds and note that peace is not some kind of liberal dogma.
Peace is at the epicenter of our ethical core.
Unfortunately, around the world, the competition for global, regional and even neighborhood power places peace on the periphery of priorities. Our nation, too, finds it difficult to act according to the ethics of peace. Instead, America has armed itself in the name of God, freedom and democracy and has made war more profitable.
It is sad to think now of the many American soldiers, the many Wisconsin soldiers, who are doing what they consider their duty, serving honorably in Iraq, and who are told they are liberators when they are the pawns of the profitable business of war.
It is sad to think that our government has invented a war without telling the truth about its reasons.
It is sad to think of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died while our government insists they are being liberated.
It is sad that to oppose war, to oppose the massive buildup of arms and to question the motives of the superpower mentality is considered unpatriotic and a sign of weakness.
Both Democrats and Republicans have contributed to building America into a massive military corporation.
But under the Bush administration and due to the consequences of its war in Iraq, we have reached a point where the integrity of freedom and democracy has been put into jeopardy and risks becoming meaningless.
Fifty years ago, President Eisenhower warned of the rise of the military industrial complex and the danger of "the disastrous rise of misplaced power."
Will this generation lead the next toward the intellectual and spiritual courage and strength to demilitarize - not abolish the military but reduce militarism - and place power where it should be, in the unlimited resources of human potential for creation and not destruction? Will we teach peace or continue to foster allegiance to an ideology that divides the world into the crusaders for freedom vs. the evildoers as justification for the continuation of military domination?
Whether in Sunday school or in public school, the questioning of what democracy, freedom and peace really mean has to be part of the dialogue.
The questions need to be asked. If not, we fail our mission statement.
Thomas Biel of Milwaukee is a high school English teacher for the Milwaukee Public Schools. His e-mail address is

Mihi persuasum est odisse acerbe.

No comments: