Blessed are the peacemakers

musicmonkey
Founder
Posts: 2517
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:12 am
Favourite TV Show: The Leftovers
Quote: Nevermind, it's pointless
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact:

Blessed are the peacemakers

Unread postby musicmonkey » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:05 pm

Last night, I had a long voice chat with John in Delaware on gTalk. We talked about everything under the sun for several hours. We touched on pretty much every hot button issue today. Now John's a Republican and I'm a Canadian. I actually voted Progressive Conservative in the last election but only because I wanted the Liberals to take some time out, not because I necessarily supported Stephen Harper. Nevertheless, I'm happy to say that while John and I did not agree on quite a few things, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and look forward to many more with him.

The dominant theme that we discussed last night kept coming back to war and peace. I am traditionally a pacifist. I come from many generations of pacifists. It's interesting how worldviews can be so different. I have always felt that Jesus and his apostles preached and demonstrated pacifism, even to death (the stoning of Stephen). John views pacifists as "people who are unwilling to defend themselves or their country". Immediately I understood that the real problem is in the complete opposition of earthly values and Kingdom values. Earthly values will never see pacifism as a solution. Kingdom values will never see war as a solution.

It's worthwhile to define pacifism.

Wikipedia wrote:Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes. Pacifism covers a spectrum of views ranging from the belief that international disputes can and should be peacefully resolved, to absolute opposition to the use of violence, or even force, under any circumstances.


That said, John brought up many US-specific issues that Canadians do not face to the same degree - primarily the race issues of African Americans and illegal Mexicans. In many ways, when we don't understand the background or context of an issue we base our views as if the issue was isolated from its very context. This is why I believe it's important to learn about the background of issues before throwing in our 2 cents. And to that degree, I enjoy listening to an American's justification for their views so that I can better understand and learn another side to the story. More often than not, the story is much more complex when we learn about it from another point of view. The same goes for things like abortion or gay marriage. I think part of maturity is learning to walk a mile in someone else's shoes or at least trying to understand where they're coming from and at the same time, trying to see solutions through the lenses of Christ's worldview, not an earthly one.

John also brought up some valid points about how US, British and Canadian military efforts were used to stop both Germany (Hitler) and Japan (Hiroshima) in WWII which I am still chewing on. My grandparents and parents owe their very lives to the Allied forces in WWII.

John and I also amicably shared our differing ideas of how to resolve the conflicts in Iraq. Then John asked me whether force should be used to stop the ongoing conflict in Sudan's western region of Darfur. It got me thinking about how little the world really knows about peace building efforts and non-violent solutions to conflict resolution. If force was never used during WWII would Germany and Japan have been stopped? So is force the answer to peace? Or does violence only beget more violence?

Here are some additional terms.

Wikipedia wrote:Peacemaking is a form of conflict resolution which focuses on establishing equal power relationships that will be robust enough to forestall future conflict, and establishing some means of agreeing on ethical decisions within a community that has previously had conflict.

The process of peacemaking is distinct from the rationale of pacifism or the use of non-violent protest or civil disobedience techniques, though they are often practiced by the same people.


Wikipedia wrote:Peacekeeping, as defined by the United Nations, is "a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace."[1]. Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed. Such assistance comes in many forms, including confidence-building measures, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, strengthening the rule of law, and economic and social development.


Wikipedia wrote:Peace and conflict studies can be defined as the inter-disciplinary inquiry into war as human condition and peace as human potential, as an alternative to the traditional Polemology (War Studies) and the strategies taught at Military academies. Important aims are: Prevention, deescalation, and solution of international conflicts; Prevention of war.


While there may be many views out there promoting military action including war, I would like this thread to focus on the peace building process. Feel free to share links, thoughts, quotes, and related information.

catt
Major Contributor
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:20 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Blessed are the peacemakers

Unread postby catt » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:20 am

"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-- John Stuart Mill

musicmonkey
Founder
Posts: 2517
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:12 am
Favourite TV Show: The Leftovers
Quote: Nevermind, it's pointless
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact:

Re: Blessed are the peacemakers

Unread postby musicmonkey » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:37 pm

That said, do you not think that any peaceful solution is better than war?

catt
Major Contributor
Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:20 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Blessed are the peacemakers

Unread postby catt » Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:06 pm

I think sometimes peaceful solutions work. Canada has some examples of this in its history. Part of a peaceful solution has much to do with the unwillingness of one or both sides to fight. With my limited understanding of the history, the parties in Canadian history all had too much to loose by resorting to violence… fill me in…..

At this point we, as western civilization have no choice but to defend our selves to a tyrannical force that has promised our destruction. Out enemies in the mideleast have nothing, no economy, no future, no freedom and nothing to loose. Why do you think they are willing to kill them selves, to murder noncombatants?
Sad

musicmonkey
Founder
Posts: 2517
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:12 am
Favourite TV Show: The Leftovers
Quote: Nevermind, it's pointless
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact:

Re: Blessed are the peacemakers

Unread postby musicmonkey » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:19 am

catt wrote:I think sometimes peaceful solutions work. Canada has some examples of this in its history. Part of a peaceful solution has much to do with the unwillingness of one or both sides to fight. With my limited understanding of the history, the parties in Canadian history all had too much to loose by resorting to violence… fill me in…..


Okay, I'll fill you in. I think you've confused peacekeeping with national defense. Canada is not under attack so why would we resort to violence? Look outward at the world for a moment. Did you know that there are many ongoing conflicts going on today in: Israel and Palestine, Gaza Strip, Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, Philippines, Bangsamoro, Laos, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Kurdistan, Western New Guinea, Uganda, Senegal, Somalia, Kashmir, Nigeria, Nagaland (India), Brazil, Namibia, Russia, Côte d'Ivoire, Pakistan, Darfur (Sudan/Chad/Central African Republic), Pattani (South Thailand), Naxalite (India), Mexico, and North Lebanon. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ongoing_wars for more details.

Image

Canada has been at the forefront of peacekeeping operations around the world for 50 years. Former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson invented the term "peacekeeping" and Canada has always been one of the world's most committed peacekeeping nations. Canada has participated in the overwhelming majority of peacekeeping operations mandated by the United Nations Security Council. Tens of thousands of Canadians have served in more than 40 separate peacekeeping missions. Our steady activity in United Nations peace missions increasingly has expanded into regional or coalition missions mandated by the UN. We now support and participate in peace operations led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU).

In The history of Canadian peacekeeping, in 2003, the CBC wrote:Since [the Suez Crisis of 1956] Canada has been at the forefront of peacekeeping operations around the world. Soldiers, police and civilians have all played prominent roles in separating armies and in the resolution of conflicts in Cyprus, the Middle East, Haiti, Bosnia, Cambodia, El Salvador and Angola to name a few. Currently Canadian peacekeepers are serving in 14 operations in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.


Wikipedia wrote:Established in 1994 by the Government of Canada, the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (PPC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to support Canada's contribution to international peace and security. It was named in honour of Lester Bowles Pearson, former Prime Minister of Canada, who was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the inception of peacekeeping. [READ MORE]


In 1994, the Canadian government established the Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre. It provides research, education and training for peacekeepers from Canada and around the world.

At the 50th annual general assembly of the United Nations in 1995, Canada presented a study on the UN’s rapid reaction capability. The study, Towards a Rapid Reaction Capability for the United Nations, focused how to improve the UN’s ability to react quickly in times of crisis. So far, 19 of the report’s 26 recommendations have been adopted.

The Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal (CPSM) was created to honour the country’s long history of participation in international peace efforts. In addition, the Canadian government commissioned the National Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa, which is inscribed with the words of Lester B. Pearson: “We need action not only to end the fighting but to make the peace… My own government would be glad to recommend Canadian participation in such a United Nations force, a truly international peace and police force.”

In De Chastelain to disarm Northern Ireland in November 2000, the CBC wrote:Canadian Gen. John de Chastelain returns to Northern Ireland this week. He's helping to oversee the destruction of weapons held by the country's various paramilitary groups. The initiative is part of the Good Friday peace accord designed to end 30 years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. For his work on the peace agreement he was awarded Britain's highest award, the Companion of Honour.


Peacekeeping is an important aspect of Canada's national heritage and a reflection of our fundamental beliefs. It is a dynamic concept that responds to changes in the international environment in order to continue to develop security for people affected by war. Peacekeeping is also a significant component of Canada's foreign policy and our contribution to the multilateral security system. Fifty years of experience in peacekeeping and participation in an overwhelming majority of peacekeeping missions mandated by the United Nations Security Council has established an international reputation for Canada.

See also:

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peacekeeping
- Canada and Peacekeeping

Here's a list of Peace Studies Graduate Programs in the United States.
- http://programs.gradschools.com/usa/peace_studies.html


Return to “Peace & Conflict”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest