Thursday, December 15, 2011

War is Over for the Race Horse

War is over, if you want it.  This silly Christmas song jabs me every year.  One reason is, it is so catchy. I can't stop humming it.  My childhood was full of folk music the Beatles, and Peter Paul and Mary.   They sing an old folk song that Lennon (or Ono) used the melody for his Happy Xmas song.  The former was about a race horse.

I'll tell you why I think it is silly: the lyrics.  I'm supposed to be moved by their benevolence yet the poetry is so flimsy, that I am not.  It may be sacrilege to openly state that this song does not move me, even as I am nearly a pacifist.  It's just that it could be so much better.  "I'll be Home for Christmas" tells the story.  After saying that, today I'm making an exception.

"War is over if you want it".  I've always wanted war to be over, wanting it has made no difference.  War is a primitive response to conflict.  I can see how warring tribes thousands of years ago used it, but can't we evolve?  Packs of wild dogs war for territory, as well as primates.   

If we have learned anything, it is that war causes global suffering.  As our troops leave Iraq, even that will cause suffering.  Leaving a fruitless war you start, causes suffering, staying causes suffering.  It is a dead end.

Today it is nearing Xmas (or for some of you, Christmas) and once again I can't get that 'Old Stewball' melody out of my head.  Today a war IS over.  Today those children singing "war is over" as a descant to Happy Xmas has taken form.  Just like those angels who came to the shepherds, saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  A sliver of heaven on Earth.

I hope you have fun

I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the whole; for here more than elsewhere the part and the whole must always be thought of together.

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