"Look not to the politicians; look to yourselves." ~ Richard Cobden
Ten Ways to End War
(1) The foremost way to end war is to declare yourself to be a No War Zone. When powerful nations attempt to control the airspace above weaker nations, they declare a policy of No-Fly Zones, which reduces the subject nation to subservient status. Powerful governments attempt to do the same to each individual citizen whenever they can. If a state can control the airspace within the mind, dissent becomes an Orwellian term called crimethink. No less a dissident than Jesus Christ found himself guilty of such "thought crimes" against the state in his day. But only by refusing to be a mind-controlled participant to the immorality of state-sponsored terror--mistakenly called war--will an individual declare his status as a free and sovereign state as God ordained. Of course the consequences may be fearful, yet only when enough citizens declare the airspace within themselves as peaceful, free and sovereign, will war cease.
(2) Defend yourself, your family and your friends by whatever means you prefer, even at risk of injury or death to yourself, but ignore the sanctimony of the state. The great moralist Jesus condemned the hypocrisy of the state in no uncertain terms, especially in Matthew, Chapter 23 and got himself killed for his blunt outspokenness. To end war means to confront the powerful root causes of war, which abide today in exactly the same places identified by all great opponents of oppression.
(3) Refuse to be brainwashed by Hate. 1984, by George Orwell, detailed the tyranny of official, government state terror. According to the Newspeak Dictionary, a curious new language emerged and the dichotomy of hate disguised as love propelled the state (just as it does today), to conduct endless war while calling it peace. Not until each human refuses to be subjugated by the whims of powerful men conducting foreign policy as thinly disguised vendettas, will war end.
(4) Be a patriot in the truest sense. According to Ambrose Bierce and The Devil's Dictionary, a patriot is "the dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors." By refusing to follow every falsehood and fabrication wrapped in the flag--by those posers who scarcely served--a patriot becomes a Soldier for the Truth.
The veneer of patriotism is easily acquired by anyone willing to purchase a vinyl bumper sticker or a foreign-made flag, but the deeper love of one's country does not extend to blind allegiance to venal or nationalistic agendas invented by liars clamoring from lofty places. In his essay Civil Disobedience, Thoreau wrote of patriotism and duty: "The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies . . . . A very few--as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men--serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part, and they are commonly treated as enemies by it." The best definition of Patriotism might then be an accord with God and the planet we occupy, beginning with one's immediate community. Logically, to betray either would be the only treasonous acts.
(5) Adopt The Golden Rule. The great Jewish teacher, Hillel the Elder, summarized the Torah: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; go, study." This basis of the so-called Golden Rule was not unknown to Jesus. Now contrast the simple wisdom of these devout sages with the harsh government policies of self-proclaimed religious men, Ariel Sharon, George Bush and Dick Cheney, among others, and you understand Jesus' vehemence against the corruption of church and state in the aforementioned Matthew 23.
(6) Oppose tyranny by passive resistance or armed struggle. When the great Indian warrior, Chief Joseph, fighting one of the finest tactical battles against overwhelming odds across more than a thousand miles of rough terrain, ordered an end to the armed struggle, he did not cease an inner battle against tyranny. Likewise, when we consider the ironic parallels between American patriot Crispus Attucks--killed in the Boston Massacre--and the average Iraqi demonstrator killed in Baghdad, we immediately notice the eerie similarities. We have become the same British Redcoat villified in "The Patriot." Opposition to tyranny, by refusing to be a part of an occupying force, whether on the West Bank or in downtown Baghdad, is an incremental step to end war.
(7) Arm yourself but choose your weapons wisely. Yes, it is a mighty brave man who carries no weapons in America--mighty brave or mighty foolish. But what weapons must we choose? Body armor or moral superiority? Perhaps pistols and rifles protect moral philosophers like myself, and allow us to speak our mind freely, but a community protects itself. Witness the grassroots opposition to unpopular measures like the Patriot Act.
(8) Oppose the merchants of death. Yes, opposition to the Military Industrial Complex will get a man killed, (witness JFK) but not until citizens and statesmen restrain the profiteers of war, will war ever end. When Medal of Honor winner General Smedley Butler wrote an instructive little book called WAR IS A RACKET, he warned Americans how easily their Republic eroded into a full-fledged empire after succumbing to a military-industrial mentality.
(9) Vote wisely, but the lesser of two evils is still evil. Why vote for the duo-clones offered by Big Brother? Ask yourself: How Would Jesus Vote? (HWJV) Or would Jesus even bother? Certainly He probably wouldn't waste His vote on a pair of Herods in tailored suits. You could vote Libertarian, Socialist or Green and perhaps sleep with a clear conscience, like the citizens of Spain, or you could withhold your vote. The government outlawed euthanasia, but every four years the state gives us a choice of suicide by arsenic or Strychnine.
(10) Pray. The power of prayer should perhaps be foremost on this list. The prayers of a single just man or woman outweigh the whispered schemes and diabolical ambitions of a dozens scoundrels in the grand karmic design. Pray for peace with peace in your heart.