Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Where are the Doves?


image borrowed from ibankcoin.com


Where are the Doves?

“The 20th Century was the most murderous in recorded history.
The total number of deaths associated with wars exceed
187 million people.”--Eric Hobsbaun.

As Miss Kentucky replied to the judge’s inquiries for the Miss 
America crown, “I just wish for world peace & brotherhood.”
     As John Lennon & the Beatles sang, “Just give Peace a
     chance--all we need is love.”
           As the stoned rebellious hippies used to chant, “Make
           Love, not War”, flashing the peace sign.
                  As Gandhi used to say, “There is a sufficiency in
                  the world for man’s need, but not his greed.”
                      As Christians preach, “Love thy enemy”.
                             As poets write Poetry for Peace”,

I look at the unassailable data, the sad & hard truths, 
that human nature proves to be more bellicose than
it is peaceful--& this creates strife between siblings,
spouses, sports teams, neighborhood street gangs,
state & federal legislators & paralyzingly partisan 
politicians--& when scrutinized we find, to our dismay,
that there is no actual down time without conflict, chaos,
& cataclysmic events.

Yes, facts do lie, misrepresent & distort the truth,
                depending on which part is taken out of
                           context, before it becomes perverted,
                                   or re-channeled to better fit the selfish
                           needs of the pollsters & politicians 
                                   & professional manipulators--but I tell
you that rock hard data exists relative
                           to wars & their deadly consequences,
                staining the pale pages of history
                           with the blood of both the warriors
                 & the innocents caught up in the warfare.

1900    the Boxer Rebellion  (35,000)
1904    Germany vs. Nambia  (65,000)   
1904-05  Japan vs. Russia  (150,000)
1910-1920  Mexican Revolution (250,000)
1911  Chinese Revolution (2.4 million)
1903-1923  Ottoman Empire vs Italy, Armenia, & Greece (3 million)
1914-1918  World War I  (20 million)
1917-1921  Russian Revolution (5 million)
1918-1920   Russian Civil War  (1 million)
1928-1932   Chinese Civil War  (2 million)
1931  Japan vs. Manchuria  (1.1 million)
1932-1933  Soviet Union vs. Ukraine (10 million)
1936-1937  Stalin’s purges  (13 million)
1936-1945  Spanish Civil War (1 million)
1939-1945  World War II  (55 million)
1950-1953  Korean War  (3 million)
1964-1973  Vietnam War  (3 million)
1966-1969  Chinese Cultural Revolution (11 million)
1975-1979  Khmer Rouge, Cambodia  (2 million)
1977-1988  Soviet Union in Afghanistan  (1.3 million)
1991  Gulf War (85,000)
1996  War in the Congo (4 million)
2003-2011  Second Iraq War (160,000)
2011-2015  Iraq & Syrian Civil Wars (700,000).

Today Presidential candidates posture & squabble with each
other a full year before we elect a new President--but who is 
talking about making plans for peace?  Fear is the daily 
companion, & terror is the watch word & reality. Politicians
are panicking, playing right into the lethal radical Islamic 
plotting--the Holy War is upon us, another World War looms.

Innocent blood is just beginning to flow.
The beautiful doves are being slaughtered by the hawks.
The peaceniks are being battered & shouted down.

Where in the murderous midst of the bloodshed & carnage
is the hope, even a faint whiff of Peace? If it is there, I cannot
find it. I think it will have to just appear, materialize out of the
abysmal darkness like a magnificent white unicorn accompanied
by divine trumpetry & edict. On that triumphant day, I swear,
I will whole-heartedly embrace it. 

Why must War precede
Peace? Why is Peace so fleeting?
God only knows, not I.

  

Glenn Buttkus

14 comments:

Annie Jadin said...

A fitting poem and prompt for the anniversary of John Lennon's death.

brudberg said...

Why do we seem to think that peace is just the interlude between the wars?... a pause to breath before murdering begins... So sad really... do we think peace is too boring to live in, are we killers for the kick of it... I just cannot understand it.

Victoria said...

Ah, the history prof reappears. My entire lifetime, with the exception of very few years, have been lived during a period of war. What is it in the human soul that cannot choose peace? Is it hormonal? More likely pride and the inability to listen and accept differing viewpoints.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is so powerfully written! I especially love these lines:

Why must War precede Peace?
Why is Peace so fleeting?
God only knows, not I.

Beautifully executed :)

Maggie said...

I love the final stanza, before the haiku.

Grace said...

History told us that so many have died, and some more will be killed with the kind of hatred we are spewing to those who are different from us ~ I find it hard to believe that peace will eventually come in my lifetime but if it does come, I too will embrace ~ Indeed peace is so fleeting ~ Enjoyed this one Glenn ~

Carol Campbell said...

These are the questions that humanity needs to ask itself and we need to also individually! Very sobering and well written piece!

Mary said...

I agree that peace is so fleeting. It pales besides all the wars that there have been and continue to have, named or not. I think when a day of peace emerges many will dance in the street; but I am not readying my dancing shoes as I have little hope that this day will come. Your facts are stunning, Glenn.

lynn__ said...

"Just the facts" are horrific...unless man is transformed, he's bound to repeat the insanity. Proof to me of man's depravity and need of salvation. Thank you for a sobering history lesson and posing tough questions...fantastic finale!

Sabio Lantz said...

Yep, carnage is our favorite hobby.

Marina Sofia said...

An impassioned plea - with plenty of facts to back you up!

S.E.Ingraham said...

Why war? Here are the answers I hear when I ask friends, strangers, colleagues, others: number one - religious differences, and one group's seeming insatiable need to convert all to their way of believing or kill all that don't change; number two (and this gets switched with number one all the time) - greed, avarice, anything that applies to the bottom line - and no matter what any country says about why they go somewhere to fight, there is always an underpinning of greed attached, be it land, oil, other resources (I, for one, believe water will be at stake in the not-too-distant future)... and other than that, there's not much ... you get tyrants who want to control everything, but even they are maniacal and greedy and usually zealots of some form or another. War is not often that complicated, but it does, like life, go on.

Bodhirose said...

I agree with Sabio. It's obvious to me that people "like" war. There has to be a consensus among a great many people to create the endless battles that have existed since there have been people on the planet. There is an agreement that we must go to war for this or that reason, and most of those reasons are based on hate, greed and fear. I used to think that we had come a long way in our acceptance and understanding of those that we perceive to be different than we are, but I'm wrong. Bigotry and hatred is alive and well in our country...a country that I used to be proud of.

Kate Mia said...

Peace.. a balance
that never
empties..
soul..
so filled
with heart
and spirit..
overflowing
Love garden
nurturing place
of trust.. peace
starts at the
breast..
warm
nipple
and not
a rubber
one.. Peace
babies grow
face to breast
where sucking
is human comfort
without a
plastic
taste..
peace.. truly..
a touchy feely
thingie.. and without
this overflowing essence
of chalice.. fear becomes gold..
hate
becomes
goal.. NOW
Love is Peace
iS Love letting Go
filLinGoverfloWinG
when
trUly REAL..:)