About Peace this Time: War Free World?

Since this class is not only about war, but also about peace, I decided to make this post more about peace than war. Indeed, the majority (probably all) class blog posts that I have read seem to condemn war and support peace. Indeed, some of the texts that we have read for class tell stories that are horrifying to hear—living them is a different story, but they also speak about dreams (hopes) of peace and love. Ishmael Beah’s Long Way Gone presents quite a touching story—quote by this kid:

”I talked briefly about my experience and my hope that the war would end—it was the only way that adults would stop recruiting chil¬dren. I began by saying, “I am from Sierra Leone, and the problem that is affecting us children is the war that forces us to run away from our homes, lose our families, and aimlessly roam the forests. As a re¬sult, we get involved in the conflict as soldiers, carriers of loads, and in many other difficult tasks. All this is because of starvation, the loss of our families, and the need to feel safe and be part of something when all else has broken down. I joined the army really because of the loss of my family and starvation. I wanted to avenge the deaths of my family. I also had to get some food to survive, and the only way to do that was to be part of the army. It was not easy being a soldier, but we just had to do it. I have been rehabilitated now, so don’t be afraid of me. I am not a soldier anymore; I am a child. We are all brothers and sisters. What I have learned from my experiences is that revenge is not good. I joined the army to avenge the deaths of my family and to survive, but I’ve come to learn that if I am going to take revenge, in that process I will kill another person whose family will want revenge; then revenge and revenge and revenge will never come to an end . . .” (Beah, 199).

True, this story is touching because it comes from a child, and we, humans, tend to sympathize with children ore so than men and women; however, men and women are too humans, and these are, after all, the parents of these children whom we sympathize with, and many of them are civilians (or were forced into the war). The bottom line remains that the majority of these people wish, dream of and seek peace. It might be thought that war today is not as lethal as it was back in WWII and we tend to hear about lesser numbers of people getting killed; however, its (the war) emotional effect is still the same:

”… on the first day of school in Freetown, all the students sat apart from us, as if Mohamed and I were going to snap any minute and kill someone. Somehow they had learned that we had been child soldiers. We had not only lost our childhood in the war but our lives had been tainted by the same experiences that still caused us great pain and sadness.” (Beah, 202).

These passages make me wonder if peace is ever possible in this world.

Obama promotes nuclear-free world

”Today the Cold War has disappeared but thousands of those weapons have not.” He pledged to reduce the US nuclear stockpile, and urged others to do the same.
But as long as a nuclear threat existed, the US would retain its nuclear capability, although it would work to reduce its arsenal.”
“… He said his administration would work to bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force in order to achieve a global ban on nuclear testing.
The agreement would ban all nuclear explosions for any purpose, but cannot currently come into effect as nuclear powers such as the US and China have not
ratified it, and India and Pakistan have not signed it.”

President Obama’s statement is promising and it (hopefully) indicates a new mentality that seeks peace instead of more war. Nonetheless, it is not good that until today, only selective countries are criticized for their nuclear programs (peaceful or none-peaceful), while other nations possess such weapons without being criticized by anybody. I am hoping that this is only the beginning, and soon later positions will change and all nations will be treated equally without condemning Russia’s allies and supporting the allies of the United States. Regardless anything, it seems like there is hope, as long as the US is finally considering (or at least discussing) making this world nuclear free. This also revives hope of war-free world and although the dream is quite difficult to achieve, it is possible as long as some leaders (and people) realize the necessity to avoid children (and men and women) the horror and tragedies of war.

Ishmael Beah’s Long Way Gone


4 Responses to “About Peace this Time: War Free World?”

  1. Jesse Says:

    I like how you connected Beah’s and Obama’s messages of peace. I also think it is important that you brought up that it is not only children being affected by war, which every citizen of the world is, especially when it comes to nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are possibly the greatest threat to humanity right now. I am more scared of them than any natural disaster or really anything Mother Nature could throw at us. It is a scary image to see Iran and Korea testing new nuclear technologies and not because these are countries the U.S has shaky relations with, but that more countries are advancing on this technology. And to me it is completely logical that they are. Why are some countries allowed nuclear weapons and others not? The U.S. has to expect other countries would develop these countries if we have them. It is probably always going to be a constant power struggle when it comes to nuclear weapons. However, with Obama’s views and his popularity in the world, maybe we can come to a point where this is a nuclear weapon free world. That is not technology people should be in possession of, we are far too foolish and hasty. Then as you said maybe we can progress to a world that is smart enough to move beyond war as a way to solve disputes. Great post and connection.

  2. meg3212 Says:

    I really like this post because everything we have been discussing in class seems to be centered around war, destruction, loss and death. It is nice to focus on peace for a change! I also liked how you brought up the point that Beah and his friends are just kids when the war struck their village, but all people, whether they are kids, teens, or adults sought peace during the war. That was one of the main themes that jumped out at me over and over again; the idea that Beah and his friends were only children when they went through this. I also thought that it was interesting to point out the part where they were at school and the rest of the students sat apart from them, as if they were scared of the former soldiers. THe bottom line, is that Beah and the others are still kids at heart, despite the horrific events they went throughin the past few years. Also, it was interesting that you connected today’s president and policies to the idea of peace. I often thought that the war that was happeneing in Beah’s country was so far away. But the reality is, that it wasn’t that long ago, and the potential for wars to break out is something that is a reality in places around the world. Also, the idea that some countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons,and some not does not make any sense to me. It seems like a power struggle between countries, and those who are allowed to have them will remain at the top.

  3. My Comments « Worlds Colliding Says:

    […] From the Other World […]

  4. Comments « Three Little Birds Says:

    […] About peace this time: War free World? […]

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