Give Peace a Chance

by David McGoy


People are so angry. Thatís what worries me most. Even more than another terrorist attack, the anger welling up inside us, the rage we solicit from others, keeps me in fear. Our true enemy is not Bin Laden, or Afghanistan, or even Palestine. Our enemy is hate. The anger, the wrath, the utter evil, is what must be eliminated.

I was angry too. I wanted to grab an M-16 and take out as many of those sick bastards as I could. I wanted to take off in a flying war machine and raid the hills of Afghanistan in search of Bin Laden and any others who dare test the resolve of the United States of America. I applauded the presidentís vow to ďhunt down and punishĒ not only the perpetrators of this unimaginable terror, but ďthose who harbor themĒ as well.

Iím with you. Iím waving my flag, too. Iíve seen and heard all the nightmares. Iíve witnessed the strength and courage. Iíve felt the pain and cried. The culprits must pay dearly for what they did. But when Bin Laden is dead or captured, there will still be an enemy. He will still be in Afghanistan and Palestine and the Middle East. There are plenty of others carrying a grudge against America. The enemy is even here, within our own borders.

The enemy is hate.

Try not to pin it all on the Arab community, though they are worthy of their share. Lest we forget that three other recent acts of terror in our country (Waco, Columbine, Oklahoma City), were all committed by red-white-and-blue-blooded Americans. Hate is everywhere. The events of September 11 seem to have brought out all the hate in us little people too. And thatís why Iím afraid of where weíre going after World War III is over.

This is bigger than all of us. Itís the Holy War to End All Holy Wars. Armageddon. The big one. Check any holy book you like, and you will find a prophecy that goes something like this:

There was a time when hate ruled the world, and then love came and took over. And those on the side of love lived happily ever after.

Iíve seen plenty of hate. So I must ask: where is the love?

Everyone believes God is on their side. Truth is, God is on nobodyís side. All God wants for humankind is what we want for ourselves. What happens to us is entirely up to us. Like a loving parent, God does not dictate, but rather helps us along our path. Want to eat from the tree? Go right ahead. Want to hate? Be my guest. Want to wage war? No problem. We can eat from the tree, or we can obey God. The choice is ours. So I ask you this, America: when the war is over, what do we do to eliminate our true enemy?

People cannot fathom love at a time like this, nor do they seem able to envision what is required to bring about peace on a societal level. It takes more compassion and restraint and righteousness than this country can muster. And thatís what has me afraid. People are talking about preserving our way of life with war and vengeance. If we simply retaliate, then all we will do is escalate. And I donít think anyone is ready for more horror.

Consider that this conflict is thousands of years old. It has raged far longer than the puny two-and-a-quarter-century existence of the United States. So why are we in the middle of it? If we are going to war, I want to know whatís truly at stake, because itís not just terrorism. Palestine and Israel are next-door neighbors, literally a stoneís throw away. Yet in order to resolve their differences the Israeli enemy travels halfway across the world, lives here for a year, takes flying lessons, hijacks our planes, and flies them into our major structures.

What did we do to deserve that?

If your child came home from school all bruised up and told you that someone started punching and kicking them for no reason, youíd say, ďPeople donít just do this kind of thing for no reason.Ē So Mr. President, while youíre hunting down and punishing the enemy, please try to find out why these guys did this. Is it truly a mindless, indiscriminate act of moral terror? Or do they have some twisted reason for killing thousands of innocent Americans and destroying billions of dollars worth of corporate infrastructure? What was the message they wanted us to receive? What cause are they fighting for? If itís about a piece of land on the other side of the world, why are we involved?

The answers to these questions are lost in the rhetoric of politics and foreign policy. But I wish our leaders would take some time to examine the conditions that allow such hate to fester and build up to this level. I wish our leaders would decide that no human being anywhere should have to live under the type of fear and chaos we have suffered for the past five days. But I donít think peace and happiness through all the land is really on anyoneís mind right now.

And thatís what scares me.


Give Peace a Chance by David McGoy

© Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.


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