S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ending the conflict --

It will not be quick or easy. By conflict I mean the wars abroad and those at home. Many of feel that this election has ended our "long dark night" of discouragement, pessimism and battling to change things. "Unity" and "reconciliation" were among the watch words used to describe what CHANGE meant. Where to start?
Abroad includes all of the Middle East. President-elect Obama has committed to ending the occupation of Iraq in a responsible way, and refocusing on the conflicts in Afghanistan and the nearby border regions of Pakistan. This will amount to first figuring out what to call the new conflicts, besides the "war on terror," such a misnomer. After that it amounts to a laser beam focus on destabilizing and interrupting al Qaeda. Then the entire military needs to be repaired and re-purposed. Well, optimism says that all should be a piece of cake, huh? The pessimists among us will say that it will be impossible to disengage from Iraq; it is too fragile and we dare not "lose."
Discouraged others say that the military industrial complex is too formidable to reform or refocus, let alone dismantle.
At home includes conflict within and without the two main political parties, conflict among social classes and ethnic groups, and even the conflicts within our families and smaller social circles. No problem says the optimist. We'll get started on that right away, too. Whoa, there, say the pessimists. Does not psychology, sociology, anthropology and political theory maintain that conflict is a natural and inevitable part of the human condition? Homo Sapiens is a fighting species, biologically programmed to favor the winners to be the fittest, the survivors? Pessimistically, we could always be fighting.
Conflict, how to end it? The cynic in me says, forget it. The job is too big and too hard. I talked about the weight of the world on our new leader's thin shoulders in yesterday's post . My friend "betmo's" comment was this,
"We are all a bit older and grayer and more subdued after 12 years of the yoke of wrong rule. The weight of the world should be shouldered by all of us. We should lift Obama up to be the leader he needs to be by shouldering the responsibility for change - millions of shoulders carry a lot of weight."

Conflict remains at home and abroad. Where is the rational middle ground to start to diminish conflict? What should we realistically work towards, now that we the people of good will are all joined in this common effort of CHANGE? I cannot think of a better way to look at the question that though my reader's powerful thoughts.
We cannot afford to be overly optimistic or pessimistic. We must figure out what is realistic. And it is realistic for me to say to myself, not speaking for anyone else, I am capable of figuring out what my shoulders can carry. I know what I know how to do, what I have the capacity to accomplish, what are realistic goals that can be met just by me alone. Whew! That feels do-able, rational and realistic. I cannot presume to speak for, dream for or plan for others. That is theirs to do. . . or not.
View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.
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betmo said...

the problem i have is not being able to wrap my mind around people who are so very fearful of life. the greedy war profiteers i get- but the folks who follow them based solely on ideology- lose me. sigh. there isn't any winning in iraq. ever.

Carol Gee said...

betmo, the depth of fear of life that you describe comes, it seems to me, from an insecure childhood. That is the only explanation I can think of, and if that is the case, they deserve compassion. The ideologically fearful, I think, look for the security of absolute answers from God, as a substitute for the lack of answers from parents and leaders. The fears manifest differently, but originate form the same place. Harder to have compassion for a rigid ideologue, but still possible, though there isn't much possibility for significant change over time.
I, too sigh, my friend. We do not have to win in Iraq, just leave.
Thanks for your comment. Peace.