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Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

We are often told that radical ideas about anything–whether it be religion, politics, or philosophies, can be tolerated as long as these ideas remain within the minority of individuals.

A US-based psychiatrist, Dr. Emanuel Tanay, offered some insight into the power of ideas that while emerging from a small minority, can take over whole populations and create massive impact. He also higlights that fence-sitters, or the silent majority–are complicit in any atrocities committed in the name of radical ideas.

Here’s Dr. Tanay’s Note:

A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War ll owned a number of large industries and estates.  When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.
 
‘Very few people were true Nazis ‘he said,’ but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools.  So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen.  Then, before we knew it,they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.  My family lost everything.  I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’


 
We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.  Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant.  It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
 
It is the fanatics who march.  It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide.  It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave.  It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque.  It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals.  The hard quantifiable fact is that the ‘peaceful majority’, the ‘silent majority’, is cowed and extraneous.
 
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people.  The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
 
China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
 
The average Japanese individual prior to World War ll was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.
 
And, who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery.  Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?
 
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
 
Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.
 
As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
 
Lastly, at the risk of offending, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.  So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands world wide, read this -think about it – and send it on.
 
Emanuel Tanay, M.D.
2980 Provincial St .
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734-997-0256
drtanay@umich. edu

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Patlabor 2 is a Japanese Anime (Cartoon) that waxes philosophical about war and peace themes. Here is a poignant dialogue between a policeman and government official that reflects upon these ideas. Also note the Japanese context portrayed here–their defeat in World War II and their position in the world then and now.

Is peace the absence of war? Or war the absence of peace? Is there such a thing as a just war or a unjust peace? What is civilisation if it is founded on the victims of war?

Next to religion, it is politics and its darker brother: war, that has moved society and civilisation towards various ends (sometimes folly).

Great insights from this cartoon. (Transcript of Arakawa’s monologue is below)

Arakawa:

You as a policeman, Gota, me as a self-defense force spook, what is it the two of us are actually trying to protect?

It’s fifty years since the end of world war two. We’ve lived our lives never having known war. Violence yes–but that’s recognized as criminal, never a time when the whole country was dedicated to legal violence.

Peace? Is it peace we’re working to protect?

What is peace meant for this country, for our city, for us?

All the effort and passion Japan put into the war ended in Hiroshima in defeat. Then the Americans came, bringing their nuclear deterrent, their cold war, their Hollywood chewing-gum war. And now all over the world there are bullet wars, civil wars, suffering, misery, death.

We’re a rich country. And what is our wealth built on? The bloody corpses in all these wars. They’re the foundation of our peace. We now put the same effort into indifference that our parents put into war. Other countries comfortably far away pay the price for our prosperous peace. We’ve learned very well how to ignore their suffering.

Gota:

No matter how repulsive the peace, it’s still vital to guard it. It may be an immoral peace, maybe an unjust peace, but an unjust peace is still better than a just war.

Arakawa:

I share your revulsion about “just” wars, if there ever was such a thing it was the war against the nazis, our allies Gota, our allies! But how many millions throughout history have died in the cause of what their lying leaders called “just” wars?

And yet it seems to me that the line between a just war and a unjust peace is very faint indeed. If the just war is a lie, is the unjust peace less of a lie? We are told there is peace but we look around us and even if we cannot give it words our lives tell us we cannot believe what we are being told.

In the end every war gives way to peace so-called, and every so-called peace is the dormant seed of war.

So it’s only a matter of time, til the hard reality of war sweeps away our illusion that the absence of war is peace. So I ask you again, what are we working to protect?

We enjoy peace on our T.V. screens while just outside the camera shot the war is raging. We forget we’re just a camera angle behind the battlelines. No, we don’t forget–we quite simply refuse to remember. That cannot go on. Sometime, somehow, we will be punished.

Gota:

Punished? By who? By God?

Arakawa:

Anyone in this world can be like God, most in a universe no bigger than their own minds, all-present, all-knowing, and yet impotent outside the confines of their heads. And what God cannot do, men will attempt. Unless. Unless we stop them.

They must be stopped. That is our task.

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