Extracted from Niki Todd’s article in the Friend this week
This is not a rule to be followed when it suits us. It is an absolute. We have not got the freedom to choose as and when and with whom we apply it.
Mankind has found wonderful cures for all manner of unspeakable illnesses and yet we cannot seem to cure the recurring ill of perpetual warfare, which plagues our planet.
Over the last thirty years, successive UK governments have unrelentingly rolled out our nation’s war machine and sent huge numbers of troops off to active service all over the world, only to have those same young men and women come home, many of them as broken souls.
A country of unenlightened marauding hordes . . .
We have not only inflicted mortal wounds on political enemies, we have also wrecked the lives of many of those armed forces personnel, both Us and Them, who have committed atrocities of war on their fellow humans.
We have sent our troops out across the world, into active service, for nothing other than political gain and, indeed, it is questionable whether any gain at all has been made, save that of acquiring for ourselves the reputation of being a country of unenlightened marauding hordes . .
The ‘developed’ world has spent fortunes on armaments that could have fed the starving millions
We have spent fortunes on armaments that could have fed the starving millions of the world. Instead of arms we could have bought medicine, supplied water for all those who live with a daily grind of extreme want, worry and weariness. We call ourselves the ‘developed’ world. We have certainly developed. We have developed weapons of unspeakable ferocity that we have used to gain power and resources . . .
It’s about time we, as a nation, took a long hard look at ourselves . . .
We, as individuals, have not got the right to kill and maim those we disagree with.
It’s about time we, as a nation, took a long hard look at ourselves and made a decision whether we are going to ban the British armaments trade, put people before profit and make sure we do not go down as one of the most uncivilised, unenlightened eras in history. Starting small is always enough. Caring counts, but caring is not enough without action.
‘Thou shalt not kill’ (Exodus 20:13)
Sabine K. McNeill adds this message by email:
On this 68th anniversary of the use of atomic weapons on Nagasaki, regardless of what else is going on, we could not fail to mark the occasion. This is one of the best talks you’ll ever hear on war, its role in American history and its role in human life. It’s by the late, great historian and author Howard Zinn, who himself was a combat vet in WW II, a bombardier who came to greatly regret his involvement in the so-called “Good War.” Deeply thought provoking and worth your time. Video: http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/24237.html