Sunday, June 22, 2008

waist deep in the big muddy

Nations are not thugs. They are bodies of intelligent people. Their claims and causes and charges are either just or unjust. They would practically never push their claims, causes and charges to extreme issue if they were met with kindness, intelligence and wisdom by the nation with whom they are in dispute. In any case, fighting will not settle whether the claims were just or unjust. It will only settle which nation can mobilize and handle its fighting forces and its economic forces the better. When the war ends, it will be found that there was an equal amount of "thuggery" practiced on both sides, that terrible things were done to force the final victory. Multitudes of innocent persons will have suffered. The little children of the two countries will be the main victims. Lands will be made desolate. Social progress will be arrested. The poor will be swamped with taxes for an entire generation. The mutilated men will drag out a broken life to the end of their days. A large part of the "facts" used to arouse patriotism and to stir the fervour and the fierceness of the fighting spirit will be discovered to have been "propaganda". And yet not one single thing will have been done to determine where right or justice or truth lay in the issues involved.

Rufus Jones (1863-1948) from 'Faith and Practice of the Quakers' 1927

pete singing waist deep in the big muddy this song was written to be symbolic of u.s. experience in vietnam, however, it is just as relevant and fitting as a song symbolic of the iraq occupation.


photo: parking lot on hampshire road, cleveland heights 2008

7 comments:

Ernest de Cugnac said...

I didn't know this quote, or this song. But as you know my own reasoning has made me reject war.

I liked the Rufus Jones quote - you may not know it, but it's in your style; I thought it was you at first.

tut-tut said...

Interesting . . . I thought the same as Ernest, above! But I do know that Pete Seeger song, very well!

Have a soothing Sunday . . .

d. chedwick said...

The little children are always the main victims, and it's really unreal how much of a bad childhood can effect the child as an adult-- broken lives for many of them, and the cycle continues, w/ propaganda etc.. -- this is a great quote --I never heard of Mr. Jones before.

Colette Amelia said...

I love that paragraph! I am putting it in the vault!

It is so good to be able to come by and get some excellent tutoring on so much...keeps me from feeling a void of school.

cbb said...

I think it was former U. S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark who said, "The greatest crime since World War II has been U. S. foreign policy." Here's hoping that change is possible... and thanks for so assiduously promoting peace in the meantime, Kimy.

lettuce said...

i initially thought it was you too, kimy.

don't you ever just despair? the worse of it is the cycle, as ched says...

WAT said...

NO MORE WAR

And yet, I fear the Israeli-Iran conflict is just around the corner.

:(