PN hatemongers

Letter by Bettina Cohen

Demonising one group of people (nation, religion, ethnic origin, political party) is the job of war leaders, who need to whip up hatred against “the enemy” to counteract any conscience about inflicting injury, death and destruction!

Pacifists do the exact opposite! They find out the good on all sides! In a conflict they find out how to resolve it, ie what the true cause of it was (fear, greed, feeling superior or inferior, revenge or having made a treaty with a participant). Greed is more likely among the arms traders, who encourage conflicts to sell to all sides. Modern war does not profit either side of actual fighters.

Whipping up hatred will profit arms dealers – so why does Peace News do it? Please could we have news of resolving conflict, people of different backgrounds working together for a common good! (not just going to the beach, a camp, a protest march, a demo!), but creating something together! An orchestra, growing food, a Peace Park like the nature reserves between USA and Canada, when they were at war and Jordan and Israel more recently.

Reports on the “daring” exploits to smash up parts of a harmful factory may appeal to those who relish similar war stories of rather more daring military operations! Does interrupting arms manufacture for a few hours or days do anything to encourage people to leave such employment? Or could we aim to offer our young people more useful jobs that will then feed their idealism of working for the common good?
Can we have reports from people who are working for worthwhile projects, (not marching or shouting!) whether small local jobs (such as building a cycle way) perhaps starting as volunteers until recognised as a useful means of helping children to cycle to school that might get funded or part of a bigger organisation, working as carers, health researchers etc willing to train in what is needed? As for “drones”: war is unfair! Each side wants to protect their own people (except those who encourage suicide bombers). That may be by using bows and arrows from a secure castle against people with handheld spears or bomber planes against those not yet having enough anti-aircraft guns. Making and trading in all means of causing injury, death and destruction is wrong.

Editor response: We hope that the Bamiyan Peace Park story, Wales youth bike ride and the article on the No Borders music festival in Calais in this issue will help towards satisfying a desire for the content mentioned above. -Eds