A Vietnam Vet on the Way of Peace

It is an old message in keeping with the season. This is the way of peace:overcome evil with good, hatred with love and falsehood with truth. These are words familiar to many. It is what Jesus taught.

These are words we expect Jesus to say, right? Are they just idealistic rhetoric, readily dismissed as impractical? So it would seem. Governments ignore them. The question still remains what did he understand about the way things work that we do not yet understand?

In our immaturity, we have followed the war way justifying killings with more killings–the end justifies the means. There are many examples. the newest are assassinations using our “techno” prowess with unmanned Predator spy planes to kill our “terrorist enemies.” We use labels to depersonalize the other. After all, terrorists have killed some of our own. We must kill them before they kill us, so the rationale goes, justifying any means we choose to kill “the enemy.” Overcoming evil with more evil will not result in a good end. We only create more terrorists.

We used depleted uranium shells in the Gulf War, poisoning the environment where they were used for years beyond counting. Their use and wide dispersal is a suspected cause of the higher cancer rated among Gulf War veterans as well as a higher incidence of birth deformities being seen in the children of southern Iraq. An evil means with an abominable end. The means determines the end. The end justifies the means philosophy is a prescription for an endless cycle of wars that squander the human and finite resources of the planet.

We have not yet learned that what we give another we give to ourselves. This is the Golden Rule principle. There is no separation between any of us in a spiritual sense. Evil cannot be overcome by more evil. Only a good means will result in a good end. This is the way the Universe works–a prescription for peace and harmony that Jesus understood and taught.

We have only to look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to observe the truth that war does not work. Violence is its own reward. Only a just peace that forsakes violence will work. Yet America follows a similar well-worm path which will only bring us more grief and not the peaceful future we desire. It is the war way, the way of blood and tears, littered with corpses of the dead, not the extraordinary or visionary path that will lead us to a sustainable peace and bright future.

Jesus did not say that overcoming evil with good would be easy or that to get there might require great courage and sacrifice. After all, Jesus gave his life to show us love’s way. It is our only hope of transforming an enemy into a friend. When we follow the war way we are out of harmony with God’s way and suffer the consequences.

Fear is our greatest enemy. Fear builds missile defense systems, fear makes war, fear creates a Homeland Security Department eroding our freedoms, Fear brings us closer to fiscal and spiritual bankruptcy than lasting peace. We address symptoms of problems not cause that is fundamentally spiritual. The governing principles of the Universe are love and goodness that we have chosen to ignore. We build “fortress America” deluding ourselves into believing this is the way to a secure and peaceful future. All the while we are more like lemmings stampeding towards a cliff, unaware of imminent disaster.

Peacemaking must first begin with our self. There is goodness in each of us, a higher self, a bit of diving programming–the Kingdom of God within, apart from our false or ego self. Not one has come to life without purpose. Popular culture would have one believe we are our bodies but we are spiritual beings with a perishable shell. The Prince of Peace taught the way to inner peace through denial of the false self and seeking after God.

Wars will be impossible when many more have found inner peace and reflect that light into our troubled world. In the words of Robert Frost “…and I, I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” Good will prevail in the end. When depends on us. It remains for us to choose divine power–love over war–and create peace on Earth and goodwill towards all.

Don Ross, Viet Nam veteran, former bush pilot and longtime resident of Fairbanks, Alaska. He can be reached at: ross@counterpunch.org


More articles by:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings