There is much to welcome in the latest issue of ‘Abolish War’, the newsletter of the Movement for the Abolition of War.
Pointing out that this September saw the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the 10 years of the war on terror, with its death, grief, ruined lives and countries, it grimly emphasised that ‘war is terror’.
The chairman, Sue Gilmurray, recalls “one of the loyal citizens of Wootton Bassett, well-known for paying their repects at the repatriation of dead British soldiers, said firmly in a TV interview, “I am 100% behind our troops – and 100% against the war.”
She also quoted a line from a song:
“You leaders and you fighters, when will you comprehend that any fool can break things – a wise man learns to mend?”
A theme emerged, which many readers will welcome: an emphasis on looking at the alternatives
MAW committee member David Partridge, provoked by John Gray’s article Perpetual Warfare, asks: “What about rehashing MAW’s vision of the world?” He continues: “No way can war be taken out of the equation. Yet no way do we hand in any pacifist pass card either. Abolition of war and conflict remains the dream, will always. But, without so much as a tweak of an acronym, with one bound we are in new terrain altogether.
“Wait for it:
“The Movement for the Abolition of War should, must become The Movement for the Alternative to War. It’s so simple. From day one no western or world leader can get away with the ‘delusion’ that every non-military path has been explored, it’s time to bring on the gunboats.”
He then quotes Gray; “ …the curtain is about to fall on the absurd and gruesome spectacle of the past decade, when the west waged unceasing war to avoid confronting its true position in the world” and ends:
“Abolishers unite! Alternativists unite! So, let’s get down to the real business of de-delusioning, wherever it manifests itself.”
In the editorial, which can be read following the link given above, Lesley Docksey also goes down the ‘alternativist’ route, urging us to:
– sit down and plan the society we want to bring about, both global and domestic; we must plan how we can share this world, not just with each other, but with all the other forms of life that call this planet home.
– build our future now. Start small. Look around your community and ask yourself not what changes would you make, but what changes can you make to help create a fair, inclusive and peaceful community.
– think big. Our nation, and beyond that, the global commons are simply larger communities, but they share the same dynamics, the same potential for petty arguments and conflict, the same mix of self- interest and compassion for others. If we can build peace in our communities, we can build peace in the world.
– when the politicians and arms manufacturers arrive on our doorstep, telling us they only want to ‘protect’ us, we should be able to say, ‘No. This is how we want to live, and how we will live. No further discussion or consultation needed.