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Comments by Stan Penner - 31 Aug 2007


Violence causes dehumanization and a lot of violence is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in many other places on this planet of ours. Killing people is ugly (I’ve identified a murder victim for the R.C.M.P.).

A soldier wrote home, “It’s so hard when I am up close. When I see the faces of the people, I can’t bring myself to kill them. But when I am farther away just shooting artillery shells then I can do it, as long as I don’t see their faces.”

Sad to say, young men, and now sometimes women, too, often not past their teens, are expected to be hardened killers.

As George McGovern, during his 1972 presidential campaign put it, "I'm sick and tired of old men dreaming up wars in which young men do the dying.”

Or let’s listen to some words from the book Soldiers by John Keegan, et al., “Old soldiers never die, but ninety-nine soldiers in a hundred are pitiably young, and they die in their millions, without beginning to guess why it is that life asks that of them.” Who speaks for them?

MOTHERS OF THE WORLD, DON’T ALLOW THAT! SPEAK UP! Don’t let your children die in their millions, and when they’re pitiably young yet, and, according to Keegan, most don’t even know why they’re fighting, killing, and dying. Fathers, of course, should speak up, too, but if men can’t, or won’t stop wars, maybe the women will.

When Dan Rather was on a hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, he went into the hold of the ship and heard only one word from the lips of those wounded young soldiers, some with multiple amputations. What was the word? you may well ask. It was “MOTHER.” As Dan Rather puts it, “None called for father, or for doctor or nurse. Only mother.” Mothers, the world over, are you listening?

Yours sincerely,

Stan Penner

P.S. Dan Rather’s words are from “THE CAMERA NEVER BLINKS TWICE” by Dan Rather with Mickey Herskowitz in a Reader’s Digest book “Today’s Best Nonfiction.”

P.S. # 2 Below are some quotes; should you care to use them, or some of them, somewhere, somehow, that would be appreciated.

“Give me the money that has been spent in war and I will clothe every man, woman, and child in an attire of which kings and queens will be proud. I will build a schoolhouse in every valley over the whole earth. I will crown every hillside with a place of worship consecrated to peace.” ~Charles Sumner

“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?’" ~Eve Merriam

” Sometimes I think it should be a rule of war that you have to see somebody up close and get to know him before you can shoot him.” ~(Colonel Potter “MASH”)

”If you wish to be brothers, drop your weapons.” ~Pope John Paul II

“War is the only game in which both sides lose.” ~ Walter Scott

“War is the blackest villainy of which human nature is capable.”~ Erasmus

“… I had finally become anti any kind of war for whatever reason.” ~ Giles- much beloved (especially by the common soldiers) World War II British cartoonist

“War is not heroics nor is it pride/ It’s a shame to lose all those precious lives…/Where’s the glory? Never again!” ~War Amps of Canada in their theme song, NEVER AGAIN

“As far as I am concerned, war itself is immoral.” ~Omar Bradley, U.S. five star general, known as the “GI’s general.”

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