Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Personal Note

By Arthur Palmer                 Posted 25 January, 2013

This blog. under the caption Arthurspeace, has now seen a good many articles posted on it during the year since it commenced. The writers have been many and varied, from all over the world, but there has been very little comment from me personally. I have been content to let others hold the floor, believing that they had something to say that we would do well to consider. Sometimes I had reservations about what they wrote. Or questions I wished to ask the writer. I’m sure that others had similar reactions.
So this year I plan to inject more personal comment, and hope that others will do the same, so that this blog will have an element of dialogue, questioning, or even debate, about issues which affect our lives and the future of this planet. We have arrived at this point along many different paths. On the way we have had to discard much that we had once regarded as Truth, while still holding fast to some kernel of truth that has proved its worth. The internet allows us to listen to each other and share our understandings, our doubts and our hopes.
Some of the writers listed here have harsh things to say about the human costs associated with war.  The last 100 years has seen almost unbelievably tragic loss of life, most of it civilian, as Empires have contended for dominance. Now it is the US, UK and NATO armies that are under scrutiny as they try to secure outcomes that favour their national interests. In spite of their overwhelming firepower there appears to be no resolution that offers hope of a better society emerging, without years of tuition from another god than Mars. In reporting on this turmoil one is liable to be labelled anti-American, since US military forces are so much in action and calling the shots. I beg you to take seriously the words of Agnes Keith, a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp in Burma during WW2. In the Preface to her book “Three Came Home” she wrote this:
``“The Japanese in this book are as war made them, not as God did, and the same is true of the rest of us. We are not pleasant people here, for the story of war is always the story of hate: it makes no difference with whom one fights. The hate destroys you spiritually as the fighting destroys you bodily.”
   “If there are tears shed here, they are for the death of good feeling. If there is horror, it is for those who speak indifferently of ‘the next war’. If there is hate, it is for hateful qualities, not nations. If there is love, it is because this alone kept us alive and sane.”
The articles and my comments here are chosen with this in mind.  We have to become more efficient in speaking another language that we learn from empathy and compassion. The language of war and violence is costly beyond endurance. We must become more aware of those who have little power to make their voices heard, who are the main sufferers from this madness.
I hope that this awareness will grow in this new year of 2013.

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