Monday, 3 November 2014

Who Did It?

Practically all the critique on the snatching of Christian Peacemaker Teams laborers in Iraq has concentrated on some thought that the abductors, Swords of Righteousness Brigade, speak to an alternate periphery Muslim development which is overwhelmed by the sentiment of dread and wrecking the undertaking of modifying Iraq. Request from insightful individuals of great will have come to me asking for knowledge on the sources and reasons of prisoner taking in Iraq. In the event that and when we find who did it, we will need to face the shadowy world society that offers ascent to terrorism.

This may be the time to stop for a minute and analyze what we comprehend worldwide as the society of dread. In my voyages I have recognized individuals don't promptly recognize state upheld dread and fear that may become out of gatherings remotely subsidiary with state power or plainly autonomous. The utilization of fear in the backing of military targets has been connected with war for a long time. Roman armies, Genghis Khan and their antecedents including Alexander the Great depended on wanton demolition of property, assault, and looting of regular citizen populaces in their battles to prevail over and quell the adversary. Both Christian and Muslim sponsored official and informal developments refined these practices to cleanse their limited understanding of the confidence and to case or secure blessed destinations.

In the wake of illumination considering, especially in Prussia with Frederick the Great there were exertions to create appropriately uniformed and restrained armed forces who would not blend so roughly with regular citizens. Global social affairs started to likely detail guidelines of fighting to secure regular citizens and detainees, and as far as possible on multitudes of occupation. In a wide verifiable sense this development to bring the danger of war under a web of control help us to remember comparable endeavors to characterize simply war advanced by St. Augustine in the fourth century. Following three centuries of endeavoring to practice pacifism the congregation turned into the religion of the domain and in this new connection the congregation couldn't promptly get rid of the Biblical idea that Christians ought not murder, that actually God's adoration ought to be unmistakable as adherents strolled in the light, and that adversary adoring must be polished as a key precept of the confidence.

In the supposed Christian west there are advanced deliberations to bring limits to war by edification internationalists and the inheritors of simply war considering. Different contracts and conventions are set up that endorse treatment of prisoners and rules on the treatment of regular people for multitudes of occupation. In the wake of this becoming assortment of universal law and the recuperation of adversary adoring teachings among Christians, governments have depended on two track war making.

The general population face of war making are the uniformed fighters with their chaperon weapons of advanced fighting including assorted types of cutting edge supplies regularly advocated as being inalienably less damaging. The other track, the shadow side, contains war making at substantially more horrible level that can be viewed as the application of fear on foe populaces including regular folks. A considerable lot of us decide to see the unmistakable statements of the security express, the uniformed officer, however are perplexed by or pick not to accept that "enlightened" countries Christian, Muslim or Jewish, hone death, torment, devastation of entire urban communities with faintly lit underworld programs.

Regardless of the way that insightful military antiquarians report that these interpretations of dread once in a while accomplish the sought closures of national security, organizers and lawmakers keep on uing these methods. At the point when national pioneers talk about aggregate war they mean the application of uniformed military quality and the utilization of death squads, projects of fear, deadly method for investigation, and the true and typical devastation of urban areas like Fallujah. Aggregate war incorporates the utilization of both over the ground conciliatory or military method for impacting the political process and also underground dangers, deaths and backing of rough change when it is considered important to attain national security end. Anything goes.

This two track strategy is no place a larger number of evident than in unfolding of the American knowledge of nationhood, the first political test of the illumination, an outline which at its center still entrances individuals far and wide and gives trust that oppression can be toppled, notwithstanding the way that the United States accomplished nationhood at the cost of an aggregate war against a local populace and the nonattendance of interest of slaves and ladies in the body politic. In WW II the rug shelling of German urban communities and the nuclear besieging in Japan redefined aggregate war,. With the utilization of shadowy agents, in nations as far and wide as possible from Iran to Guatemala developments have been foiled, obliterated, upset. At the point when developments, outfitted and unarmed are viewed as hellish cursedness to national security engages they may be assaulted with weapons and paramilitary bodies from the shadows. In the US and somewhere else this secretive style was adjusted for household purposes and connected to Dr. Martin Luther King and others through disinformation battles. The wrecking of developments by shadowy undercover war with its specialist disregard for regular folks and any guidelines of war is one of the absolute most critical supporters to the society of terrorism in which we now attempt to work.

The purpose of watching this careless history of present day aggregate war is this. American individuals comprehend their legislature has authentic national security concerns and they accept that these concerns are by and large followed up on with limited utilization of fighting in the soul of their "illuminated" constitution. While the populace of the world think about the US constitution they have likewise been the beneficiaries, for as far back as 100 years and more of the shadow side of aggregate war.

Friday, 8 March 2013


Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent, conflict behaviours and the freedom from fear of violence. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the establishment of equality, and a working political order that serves the true interests of all. In international relations, peacetime is not only the absence of war or violent conflict, but also the presence of positive and respectful cultural and economic relationships.

Friday, 11 May 2012


Arecaceae or Palmae (also known by the name Palmaceae, which is considered taxonomically invalid, or by the common name palm tree), are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. Roughly 202 genera with around 2600 species are currently known, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates. Most palms are distinguished by their large, compound, evergreen leaves arranged at the top of an unbranched stem. However, many palms are exceptions, as palms in fact exhibit an enormous diversity in physical characteristics. As well as being morphologically diverse, palms also inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests to deserts.

Palms are among the best known and most extensively cultivated plant families. They have been important to humans throughout much of history. Many common products and foods are derived from palms, and palms are also widely used in landscaping for their exotic appearance, making them one of the most economically important plants. In many historical cultures, palms were symbols for such ideas as victory, peace, and fertility. Today, palms remain a popular symbol for the tropics and vacations.

Sunday, 30 October 2005

Peace Talk: Signs of the Times

Peace Talk: Signs of the Times
Signs of the Times for Peace Talk

This is a little piece I wrote in October 2005 for On Earth Peace, Gene Stoltzfus

In an age when millions are anxious about their security and long for structures that bring peace, the sign of hope that a peace church can bring people everywhere is breathtaking. Peace and hope incorporate both our personal life styles and our ability to organize competently, explain our vision clearly and live out this vision in our homes and communities. Our work together up to this time has been preparation, like pilot projects where our faith and confidence are tested and our skills refined. Forty years of peace work has taught me that our world is waiting for us to move beyond pilot projects to invite the nonviolent Gospel of peace to become fully visible and an active choice for every citizen of the human family. This can be the defining sign of the 21st century.

Twenty years ago during the discussions about the founding of Christian Peacemaker Teams I realized that despite so many voices to the contrary a sizable minority in our churches were joined by many other mainline and evangelical groups, and Roman Catholics representing a potent force for world peace. I believed that if organized we could fundamentally impact spiritual health, social structures and the perceived legitimacy of war and killing for nations and neighborhoods striving to achieve justice. The incredible power of active nonviolent peacemaking is the premier sign of our time. People of faith have witnessed the effectiveness of nonviolence to push back killing and violence often with amazingly small doses of organized action. We no longer need to be surprised by this.

The effectiveness of nonviolence has been adequately tested but we are in fact caught in the history that still waits for us to demonstrate this power fully. Over the last 20 years I have carried on conversations about nonviolence and faith in more than 20 countries often with people who are open to active nonviolence but until it is demonstrated more comprehensively, they believe the threat of the gun must be maintained in order for society to be secure. The final elimination of military force, armed police and armed national and international guerilla action will be accomplished when a broader culture of nonviolence that rejects the gun is expanded exponentially beyond the millions of people and the organizations they support.

As the statistics of human and economic costs of the Iraq invasion rise, we can feel our hope tested, and we see anger and revenge lurking within. But there were important signs of hope here as well. Never since formative period of the church in the centuries after Jesus life have churches world wide been so unified against war as we witnessed in the period immediately prior to the April 2002 invasion of Iraq. Isn’t this a sign that there are millions of Christians who may voluntarily consider the invitation to no more killing and nonviolence inherent in the Gospel of Peace?

But, this sign of hope must be placed in perspective because elements of the Christian community are expressing the same kind of fundamentalism found in other religious streams that are mean spirited, violent and engage in narrow search for a parochial chauvinistic body politic. When these voices are strongest, it is tempting for us to forget that light overcomes darkness and hope expressed with kind and firm words, and active nonviolent love in the public marketplace is a sign of victory that we are helping to invent. In my work of peacemaking I have found that every strand of Christian can be invited to the circle of Bible study, prayer, worship and the central thread of Jesus’ peacemaking. However, when we are caught in a confined liberal or evangelical ideological conviction we are tempted to eliminate the possibility of authentic common prayer and the effective expression of the Gospel of peacemaking.

Our tendency to get caught in the negative foibles of our ethnic life, organizational and church life, the legacy of racism and domination thinking, keep us from being the dancing signs of hope we are created to be. These foibles and yes, sins have driven many of our colleagues into solitary individualism, cynicism, or depression. Hopeful people organize themselves, work together and sustain their efforts over long periods despite individual tensions and great national differences. We also learn to celebrate and worship in ways that lift up the unity of our souls and the Gospel of Peace while respecting various paths to spiritual abundance. The most treasured but often overlooked sign of our age is the hope demonstrated by peacemakers. It is contagious and inviting. It leads to deeper spiritual life.