On this Nov. 11, let’s don’t study war no more

Armistice Day became Veterans Day when memories of World War I were overwhelmed by the holocaust of World War II. Then wars which saw America’s young men and women sent into harm’s way around the globe followed one another in agonizing succession and have doubled up with Iraq and Afghan-istan.
In every war, monumental or incidental, America has lost soldiers who should be mourned. Each one of them can also be a reason to teach peace. Not the sticky, sweet peace that accordians praise, which, in reality, translates to a never-never land without conflict and also without purpose beyond providing everybody with everything in a field of dreams. No, that Utopia never was, never will be.
The peace to teach is hard, complex, and un-comfortable. It starts with an affirmation of life, of intelligence and a conviction that violence is evil.
Veterans Day should be a time to look history straight in the eye. With an unblinking stare let every one of us say aloud that World War I was not a war to end all wars; that World War II did not save the world for democracy; that the civil war in Korea has not yet ended; that the war in Vietnam was not about falling dominoes; that whatever else is being accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither of those devastated lands has learned democracy, become a force for modernization or faces a fu-ture that will be an im-provement over its past.
As we focus our minds on all of the Americans who died or were maimed in all of this country’s wars — and that is our charge on Veterans Day — let us come to the reasonable conclusion that while war may sometimes be forced upon our nation, it is a blunt instrument that always, not sometimes, but always, is the wrong answer to whatever grievous problem prompted a nation to turn away from reason and begin to murder.
There is nothing easy about the peace the world needs.
It requires humility, compassion, a willingness to work slowly, painstakingly, to find solutions to problems that leave all involved alive, uninjured, still able to celebrate their humanness.
It is not a peace that creates winners and losers. A lasting, productive peace doesn’t require surrenders or victories.

THIS PIE in the sky peace is a vision world leaders and practical philosophers have had over and over again through the centuries.
After World War I, the League of Nations was the world’s bright hope. Or, to be more accurate, the hope of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and many, many others who saw so clearly that killing people creates rather than solves problems.
Immediately after World War II, a movement started in this country to create a world government. The vision was to create an organization that could do for all the world what the United States had been able to do for itself — three generations after it had tried for four horrible years to find a solution to its differences through slaughter in its civil war. Some of their idealism was put to practical use in the creation of the United Nations, which also was born in great hope. The World Government movement itself spread to many nations and attracted many Americans to its banners but died from the poisons of the Cold War and the anti-communism crusades.
Before and after those organizational efforts to provide structures that would guide people through conflicts to peaceful resolutions, men and women with other visions of ways to govern large or small — sometimes very small — groups of people explained themselves. Some were laughed off stage. Others lasted longer. None became na-tional leaders or attracted enough followers to make a worldwide difference — although Wendell Wilkie came close with his One World theme.
Wilke and the World Government movement offer roadmaps away from war toward know-ledge-based problem-solving that honors human dignity and re-jects war.
Veterans Day should inspire us to follow those stars.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.