Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.
International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education,
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University
A careful study of recorded history reveals that humans in general have often tended to resolve their differences through violent wars. They have never learned that in a war everyone is a loser and no one a winner. However, the worst part of this story lies in the fact that tens of thousands of innocent people, amounting to millions, are massacred brutally. Those who are responsible for such a massacre refer to those unjustly killed merely as collateral damage!
Wars Tinted with Corruption
To this end, many books were written to enable people judge properly and objectively the organizers and promoters of wars. The best way to eliminate an evil is to expose it fully by all means. Politicians in general have many things in common, one of which being what may be termed to bedouble-talk. This means in theory they say one thing while in practice they do another. As a whole, the welfare of their people does not occupy top priority in their modus operandi. Usually their actions are geared toward the interests of the powerful.
One of the latest books, which has just been published in the USA is entitled: Rainy Street Stories -- Reflections on Secret Wars, Espionage and Terrorism by John William Davis from Athens, Alabama. He is a retired intelligence officer who spent many years in Europe, Asia as well as in North and South America serving as a soldier and civil servant. His involvement in wars caused him to write this book to share his war-related experiences with others. The best way for us to eliminate wars is to comprehend their cause.
Needless to say, World War II had a degree of influence on the author in addition to the several global conflicts that followed over the next 60 years. The terrible experience the Germans had under the NAZI regime was shared by many others who lived under dictatorial governments. Of course, we all know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Regardless of the nature of a nation’s government, if there is corruption the people are bound to suffer immensely sooner or later.
One of the misconceptions in the minds of most government officials lies in the belief that American strength overseas is best demonstrated by the building of never-ending military bases everywhere. Just as the Americans never felt at ease with the British military on their shores, other nations everywhere do not feel at ease with the American military in their backyard. In spite of this, the USA continues to saturate the oceans with American warships and deadly military bases that eventually augmented the number of US enemies among the people of various nations.
Theory versus Practice
Among various elements of secret wars we have a fully organized spy and counterspy networks. Coincidentally, this has made headlines recently when Europeans nations, including Germany, learned about the spy network the USA organized in their countries. Imagine if China and Russia were to organize a similar spy network in the USA. Will the American government accept this event silently, without saying anything? Most likely it would raise a pandemonium.
The involved book happens to talk about episodes of this nature with great clarity. It reminds us of the fact that when governments are determined to solve problems with violence, their statements are generally full of lies and they are quite misleading. They recruit thousands of young men and women to be sent to fight in wars which are mostly immoral and illegal. The result is always the same. Many are killed while others are wounded, become blind, legless or armless. Besides, many suffer perpetual brain damage.
Veterans need to be viewed with an eye of compassion. The sufferings they went through both physically and psychologically are often atrocious especially that all of this could have been avoided through diplomacy and healthy dialogues on a mutually beneficial basis. When soldiers all over the world try to describe war they generally come to the same conclusion: War is hell and should have never taken place. When some individuals take steps to destroy buildings and kill innocent people we call them terrorists.
However, when other type of individuals, commonly known as soldiers, take similar steps in destroying buildings and kill innocent people, we refer to such atrocities as “national defense and security.” In other words, people in general are indoctrinated by their respective news media to interpret such massacres as acts of heroism! In view of this, we may realize why many humanitarian organizations tended to describe the military as a terrorist organization sanctioned by the government.
The weapon commonly used by many government members who seek to wage never-ending wars may be described as “fear.” This leads to paranoia and once we become haunted with this element we lose all control over common sense, as we lose the ability to reason any longer. The reason why Adolf Hitler managed to take full control of Germany and led it to World War II is attributed to his ability of instilling fear to the point of paranoia in the German people. This was very unfortunate especially when the Germans as a whole opted to solve problems through healthy dialogues rather than through wars.
Four Kinds of Freedom
Shortly after World War II started, US President Roosevelt reacted to the tyranny of Adolph Hitler by speaking on what he termed to be the four freedoms people should enjoy any moment. They were as follows: (1) The Freedom of Speech, (2) The Freedom of Worship, (3) The Freedom of Want, and (4) The Freedom of Fear. These four freedoms are meant to provide a nation’s people with a sense of security that would give them the opportunity to select the most beneficial elements from among a variety of alternatives.
Without the freedom of speech we deprive ourselves from having a variety of viewpoints to see things into true perspective. Without the freedom of worship we may not have enough spiritual strength to disarm ourselves from needless mistrust. Without the freedom of want we may find it hard to imagine a world of interdependence where we could see with clarity that our needs everywhere are basically the same. Without freedom of fear we cannot really use our mind constructively when it comes to the solution of crucial problems.
The sad experiences derived from World War II inspired outstanding individuals to help build a better world for posterity. One of such individuals was Karol Wojtyla of Poland who later became Pope John Paul II. He will now be canonized as saint in April 2014 by Pope Francis. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who will also be elevated to sainthood in the future has replaced hatred with love as well as pride with humility in her effort to create a better world.
Human nature as a whole seems to function in the same way especially when it comes to power. In fact, we are all familiar with the proverb: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Theoretically, the three branches of government in the United States have been viewed as ideal. But in practice things are different regardless of all good intentions that we may enlist. These three branches of government consist of the President, the Supreme Court and Congress. Each was meant to balance the power of the others.
Let us make a few comments on these three branches of government beginning with the Supreme Court. This consists of nine individuals. Each one is nominated by the US President and then approved by Congress. They are appointed for life. Considering that human beings are all subject to making mistakes, the fact that such members do not have a fixed time to serve many problems are bound to arise that make us difficult to solve. For example, fairly recently the Supreme Court stated that corporations are people. A corporation is always referred to as “it” never as “he” or “she.”
Hence, corporations now can donate to their preferred political figures money without limit. This has opened the way to power abuse and corruption. The members of the Supreme Court should serve only for a fixed term and not for life. President Truman restricted the President for up to two terms only. On the other hand, both the senators and congressmen can be re-elected indefinitely. This way the corporations can always have their products boosted by the government, regardless of whether they are beneficial or harmless to people.
The time seems to be ripe when the US Constitution could be seriously reviewed and updated. Since this document was written times have changed drastically and new and more effective approaches should be adopted in the best interest of the entire nation. For example, the right to bear arms needs to be thoroughly re-evaluated. More innocent people die by guns in the USA every year than in all the major countries combined including China. One of the strengths in the US Constitution lies in God’s recognition and in prayer.
The needless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq weakened the American economy. With the money spent on these wars, poverty in the USA could have been eliminated and the homeless would have had adequate homes. Besides, the USA could have provided all Americans with free education and free health care. On the eve of World War II, Pope Pius XII said to both the British and the Germans that in a war everyone is a loser and no one a winner.
In fact, Germany lost the war and its economy collapsed and people were poor everywhere. On the other hand, the British won the war and its economy equally collapsed and people were poor everywhere. Historical episodes of this nature were all carefully illustrated in the recently published book – Rainy Street Stories: Reflection on Secret Wars, Espionage and Terrorism. Copies may be secured from www.redbikepublishing.com or by contacting the author John W. Davis email@example.com at any time.
November 2, 2013