Thoughts after attending the War Museum in Ottawa, Sept. 2, 2010
- Wars used to end when both sides ran out of arrows. And we call those people primitive!
- It’s easy to start a war. There is always one group who hates another group and wants to get rid of them and then the second group wants to stop the first group who then wants to stop the second group, etc.
- War does not solve the problem; it is the problem.
- Even when war starts out as the solution it ends up as the problem.
- The war dead don’t talk of peace but if they could they would.
- The dying soldier grieves for a time; the widow and orphans grieve for a lifetime.
- Bullets can be removed; so they made cluster bombs.
- Burns can heal; so they made phosphorous weapons.
- Soldiers can run; so they made guided missiles.
- The dark can cover soldiers up; so they made night vision goggles.
- Pilots can refuse to fly; so they made unmanned drones.
- When humans turn against each other, the heavens weep.
- War clouds are just that — clouds waiting for the sunshine.
- War is inevitable only if you believe it is.
- How can it be honourable to kill a fellow human being?
- The Stone Age is looking better all the time.
- Dead men tell no tales but what a tale they could tell!
- You can’t shoot ideas.
- You can’t push your enemies off the world; maybe that’s why it’s round.
- War is to society as graffiti is to Rembrandt.
- In Flanders Fields the propaganda grows.
- Blood doesn’t spill; it’s ketchup that spills, blood spurts out till it’s gone.
- Drones are the weapons of cowards.
- We were not made for the killing fields.
- Let’s strike up the band and give the big shiny medals to those who prevent war.
- Instead of pre-emptive war let’s have preemptive peace.
- Armistice is the beginning, not the end. The hard work of healing and reconciliation must begin.
- Without making war we have all the time in the world to negotiate peace.
- “Peace!”—the shout heard round the world.
- Praying for peace is good; paying for peace is even better. Support our peace groups.
- Diplomacy should be like baseball: if the first team fails, send in the next one and the next one. Practice makes perfect.
- An unarmed man is the most intimidating enemy.
- The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child does not include the right to be a child soldier.
- War is the worst weed in life’s garden.
The War Museum is spectacular with artifacts from all of Canada’s wars. But I have to differ when it claims people have always had wars. The Marshall Islanders didn’t even have a word for “enemy.”
Next year there will be a peace section in the Museum thanks to Canadian Voice of Women for Peace.
Shirley Farlinger, Toronto
G20: Sticking the Public With the Bankers’ Bill
The present global situation is quite bizarre. When I was a young man, about 70 years ago, we had institutions that were known as “jails.” This is where we kept the law-breakers, behind closed doors, in buildings surrounded by a high wire fence. Today, we have progressed to a state where our global leaders, our law-makers, meet behind closed doors surrounded by a high wire fence.
To ensure that global leaders could do their planning without interruption, our government had charged the Toronto police force with that responsibility. It was also arranged that a substantial number of police personnel from Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal, [the latter complete with horses] would assist in keeping the unruly hordes on the outside of the fence from tearing it down.
Due to the wonders of computers and the internet, the majority of people in the industrialized nations are much better informed today than they generally were during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. People everywhere were concerned. They had a reason to be anxious. Global leaders decided to cut government deficits, which were contributing to a drastic increase in the national debt of many nations. In short, the G20 would stick the public with the bill for the banker’s crisis!
Leo Kurtenbach, Cudworth, Saskatchewan