"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." - Mahatma Gandhi
I open with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest supporters of peace that this planet has seen.
I have been greatly disturbed by an article I found on the BBC News website this morning that is talking about 'rebranding' the "War on Terror" .
WHAT THE FUCK?
Since when is war a marketing exercise? Why rebrand a war? So you can sell it more effectively to the droves of people who are no longer buying into the death and destruction being caused? They are looking at 'rebranding' (read: marketing) the war "The Long War" because they want to sell us the view that a war, extending for 20 years is what is on the cards. And we had better like it.
"The Long War" sounds a lot softer than "The War on Terror", don't you think? Terror is such a harsh word, an ugly word. Besides, a war on terror and all those who engage in terrorist activities would mean that terrorist cells throughout the world would need to be targeted. And goodness me, the only terrorists on the menu for this war are Al Queda. Ooops. We mis-sold the public on that one.
I am not a believer in war. I am a pacifist. Gandhi's words are so true. And if you are looking at the Buddhist view of cause and effect, if you begin with creating a cause based on violence and murder, you will have the effects that will run along the same vein. Needless to say that karmically, getting the public to buy into a 20 year long war, is not a good thing.
Interestingly, it's controversial to be against war. Have you noticed that? That established ideas seem to be in favour of killing other people, maiming them, stealing their freedom. Think of the protestors against the Vietnam war. Think of Gandhi.
When everyone is going on about how the war will establish freedom and peace, have they actually stopped to think that freedom and peace can be achieved without terrorising (yes, terrorising) a nation of people?
Gandhi was not afraid of being controversial and opting for passive resistance. He wasn't a soldier. He said: "You should be the change that you want to see in the world". Now how profound is that?
Why don't the presidents go and engage in a bout of boxing with each other? Sounds stupid, doesn't it? So, the leaders sending armies in to do that job for them sounds more reasonable? In every playground in every school in the world, there is a bully. The bully gets his friends to help bash the heads in of the kids he wants to intimidate. Every bully is really a coward.
It takes courage to find peaceful solutions to problems that face a nation. It takes courage to step away from the calls to "nuke 'em all".
If only one leader stood up and declared that he would be the change he wants to see in the world.