Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peacemaking versus Warmaking

Insightful points from an article by Dave Zarembka of Friends Peace Teams:

"Let us imagine that in the last decades the international community had supplied everyone in_____________[Fill in the blank with one of the many places on earth where war is destroying humans]
with clean water/sanitation, basic medical care, universal primary education, decent housing, and those other things are are needed for a wholesome life. To do this for the whole world would have cost much less than what is presently spent on the military.

At the beginning of the genocide in Rwanda, all expatriates who wished were evacuated (while their Rwandan colleagues were left behind
for slaughter). This included 257 Americans.

However one American, Carl Wilkens, a Seventh Day Adventist aid worker, evacuated his wife and four children but refused to leave his Rwandan colleagues himself and stayed behind. During the genocide, the interahamwe were closing in to kill the Tutsi boys at an orphanage that Carl was supplying with food and water.

By chance, Carl ran into the Rwandan Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda, and asked him to call off the interahamwe.

This the Prime Minister did and the boys were saved. In other words, this one American who stayed behind saved more Rwandans from genocide than did the total US Government with its military might of fearful bombs, ships, guns, and billions of dollars."

Now, of course, those who argue for military might--probably will--point out that usually such an appeal by one caring human like Carl Wilkens will go unanswered. But that isn't the point Zarembka is making.

"What if there were 150,000 Tom Fox's [a peace witness in Iraq who was murdered by the Islamic militants] or 150,000 Carl Wilkens in ____________?"

What if we in the United States and other countries spent as much money on mission and peace outreach as we give to their governments to conduct war now, and pay for past wars, and create new weapons for future wars?
by David Zarembka,
coordinator of the African Great Lakes Initiative of Friends Peace Teams

*Read David Zarembka's whole article in PeaceWays, a magazine of Friends Peace Teams.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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