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Bread and Roses - The Art of Surrender
Monday, 08 September 2008 09:11
by Jennifer Lynne Ziemann

The US is nearly seven years into a war with no discernible front lines, no discernible enemy, and no discernible leader of said enemy and most certainly no discernible end. Yeah, I know they like to throw around Bin Laden and Al-Quaida but Bush also throws around Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as terrorist groups that are the said enemy. Hell, with the exception of the Iran Revolutionary Guard the theoretical enemies do not even have a country for the United States to attack. On September 12, 2001, in a statement made by George Bush, the United States of America without the sanction of its citizens or Congress, declared war on terror; not a country, nor a person or specific group, just terror.

There have been an estimated 1,213,716 human snuffed out by the violence of this “war on terror.” Yet the United States of America still continues on the same path, by the same old ideologues, and the same military leadership that started us down another path of war.

How do you win a war that has no objective end? How do you win a war of ideals? And if America’s war on terror is based on spreading democracy, then why are we not invading Myanmar or even China for their oppression of Tibet and their own people? Myanmar cannot further our corporate interests, so basically helping them for the sake of bringing democracy does not compute profit wise for the United States. But China is better left alone. They have a huge customer base for US goods and provide us with millions for slave labor to support huge American corporations such as Wal-Mart. Thus, China provides all of these wonderful advantages to US corporate and national interests without the required invasion of yet another country.

The point is that our nation still operates under an outdated mode of globalization that simply does not work. It assumes that the national interests run adjacent with the interests of our corporations. A nation’s interests should reside in turning current for profit agendas such as healthcare, housing, food, strong infrastructure, and even peace and families into non-profit agendas. When this happens you can then turn these non-profit agendas into something you can share with the world. A new form of globalization, if you will. All of the above agendas are human needs and no country, corporation, or individual should profit off of human needs. Peace, the most important national interest becomes sustainable when you no longer pay a military to wage war. The military must be retrained for service to their nation as in providing infrastructure, housing, and sustainable energy. An army of peace-bringers is welcomed anywhere in the world.

Surrender is considered a nasty word in the United States of America’s political conscious. It is ingrained in our society that surrendering means giving up or losing. It is often used in reference to war. For example Senator John McCain’s nineteen cities “No Surrender Tour” referred to withdrawing our troops as surrendering to Al-Quaida.

But it is not just McCain that drums this home. It is the President, it is Congress, it is the military, and last but not least everyone who sits idly by and does not demand that we surrender this war. But in order to do this we would have to be willing to accept a new and truer definition of surrender.

When speaking of surrender we must keep in mind this: Humans do not kill instinctually to survive. Cats will chase and kill a mouse any chance they are given but a human has to choose to kill. It is not our nature to commit war. We choose to commit it.

We who believe in waging peace, not war, know that surrender truly means letting go of the egomaniacal need to win at all costs. We who understand surrender know that this means we do not need to be the victor or the “decider” on everything in life. Surrender means honoring the place you are and having the willingness to grow from it. Every nation as well as every person comes to a point in which the reality they live is no longer helpful or has simply become outdated. This is growth; we adapt and change in order to enrich our lives and the lives around us.

Nations become stagnant as well as their citizenry when they refuse to grow or learn from the past.

It is time that we surrender this so-called “War on Terror” and honor the place the United States of America has come to. It is time we come home and begin to wage peace, to invest again in people not corporations, and, yes, it is time to allow us the grace and honor of surrender.
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