Online peace witness?

Will Shetterly is talking about creating a peace group online. Will just floated this idea today, so it’s still a pretty malleable project. Read his blog post, and if you want you can sign on in comments.

This crazy war in Iraq and Afghanistan has begun to really gnaw at me, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to take action. I’m planning to go down to Washington to participate in the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq’s worship and witness event April 29-30. I’ve been considering heading down to the Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partnership’s Washington celebration of MLK on January 19 (hey, E, can I stay at your place if I come down?)

But I’m not sure worship and witness is enough. So I told Will I’d help him out with his online peace project.

What about you? What do you think might be an effective way to bring pressure to bear on Washington to end the Iraq/Afghanistan war — and go beyond that to truly promote peace in the world? Street demonstrations seem outdated, but will Web 2.0 movements be enough? What do you think?

7 thoughts on “Online peace witness?

  1. E

    Of course, come both times. I’ll be here for both events. Good luck traveling during MLK weekend — there’s that inauguration thing going on, too.
    Peace and light,

  2. Jean

    Call me cynical, but I doubt that demonstrations of any kind — actual or virtual — will have any effect. Does “Washington” really give a hoot what some well-meaning protesters have to say? Is any government, or any mass of people, really interested in peace as a way of living in the world? I doubt it. War is an industry; war creates jobs; war is easy to understand. Peace? I’m all for it myself (as they say out here), but until it too becomes an industry (beyond the marketing of the lovely Peace symbol), and creates jobs (yes, I’ve read how that can happen, but have we seen it yet?), and until Peace itself becomes simple to understand — and welcoming to all socioeconomic classes, not just the white and well to do — well, frankly, I don’t see Peace having much of a chance.

  3. Dad

    Call me a cynical old man; but I have come to believe that for the entire history of humankind there has been and will be war. I think it is “hardwired” into our brains. Unfortunately, religion has been used to “justify” many wars over the centuries. Perhaps someday those few who are peace-loving will pass on their genes to their progeny and then evolution will have produced a new humankind which is not warlike.

  4. Bill Baar

    If the number of wars and conflicts is reall decreasing (check the Human Security Report as reported by the BBC October 2005), then your time may be better spent thing about what humankind’s doing right to propel such a trend and how much Peace Activists have contributed towards it.

  5. Dan

    E — Guess I won’t be coming down Jan. 19 after all…

    Jean and Dad — Check out the link in Bill Baar’s comment.

    Bill — Really good news. My minister when I was in my teens was Dana Greeley, a committed pacifist, whose main point was that war no longer makes sense now that we have the technology to make it so incredibly destructive. He’s not the only peace activist to make that claim. And you know what, I think peace activists can take credit for raising awareness of this elementary point.

    Which may mean that the best short-term strategy for peace activism is education. War is expensive, and (as Jean points out) profits only a small number of people while the rest of us have to bear the burden. War is a terribly inefficient way to carry out diplomacy; as Isaac Asimov put it, “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.” And then add Dana Greeley’s point: when you have nuclear weapons, the potential cost of war rises by several orders of magnitude, making it not worth the trouble. If we can really educate people around these points, we might get somewhere.

    And I think Dad has the best long-term strategy: an evolutionary leap that breeds warmaking out of us. But that’s really long-term, for it could take quite a few generations….

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