It is easy to preach peace in time of peace and war in time of war. What is harder is to decide once and for all to repudiate war, and to stick to it, no matter what. Is there ever a 'just war'? I honestly don't know. But I know darn well, that even if the war starts off as fulfilling the Just War criteria, it doesn't stay that way for long.
Listen to the words of Martin Bell, writing on the Movement for the Abolition of War website: "We have reached a state of affairs where for our own survival, and that of our planet, we cannot afford a future like our past. We face new forces, of global warming and nuclear proliferation, which threaten our future as never before. I suggest there is a further danger, perhaps less obvious and unperceived, but just as far-reaching in its implications: this is that, for those who govern us, war has become not a last, desperate resort when all else has failed, but a policy option to be plucked off the shelf like any other. We have seen this most recently and appallingly in the war in
. ... It
was a war of choice - just as the Great War of 1914-18 was a war of choice." Iraq
It is now generally accepted that World War One was a senseless waste of human life. But most folk would argue that World War Two was justified, on the grounds that Hitler had to be stopped. However, like most wars, this too soon got out of hand, and both sides bombed civilians indiscriminately, culminating in the unprecedented horrors of
and . Nagasaki
And today, this country, the
Kingdom, is one of the major players in selling armaments
to the world, being the second biggest exporter after the .
For example, as Jo Lewington writes: "The tension between United States India and Pakistan
makes South Asia one of the most volatile regions of the world, yet the supplies
arms to both countries. UK Government officials and ministers, of both major parties,
actively promote these sales, with personal interventions and an active
presence at arms fairs in both countries." We are also one of the two
leading exporters of arms to UK .
Not a record to be proud of. Israel
Which makes it ever more important that the witness for peace should be heard.