I don’t have the patience for this BS.


**cenobyte hereby warns you that what follows will most likely contain offensive language**

What the fuck is wrong with being anti-war? Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with it? What is *wrong* with thinking it is WRONG to hurt one another, and to kill each other? What person in their RIGHT MIND goes around thinking “killing other humans is a Good Thing! Shooting people is awesome! We need more land mines!”

Don’t even start telling me about why war is necessary. Just fucking don’t. Because it isn’t. Do you know what’s necessary? Food. Shelter. That’s about it. Everything else is icing on the bloody cake.

How the hell shooting someone in the face makes this world a safer place for me or for my children is absolutely bloody lost on me.

You can go ahead and trot out your “threatening your family” and “way of life” and all that bullshit. Go ahead. And don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. I’m willing to listen to you talk about how the towel-heads are jihadists who only want to kill Christians because all they learn is hate, those ‘moose-limbs’ and the terrorists and the Eye-rack-eez and how each and every mother’s son of them is a white-person, Christian-hating threat to me personally. What the hell is *wrong* with you? You’ve got it all backwards.

I can hate war AND support our military who fight for things like the rights of women and children to get an education, or the rights of people to democratic elections, or the rights of people NOT TO BE SHOT BY OTHER PEOPLE. It’s kind of like how I can hate the stupid arguments you come up with about how war is necessary, but I can still love you and want to hang out with you. Just because you’re wrong doesn’t mean I get to beat you or shoot you or put a land mine in your shower.

Don’t even try to tell me that I have no respect for the thousands of men, women, and children who died fighting for this country and for our way of life. First, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about if that is the only argument you can come up with about why war is good. Or acceptable. Because if that’s the only argument you have, then you have it completely backwards. Do you think those boys WANTED to die? Do you think they WANTED to shoot someone who looked just like them, who was just as scared as they were? Do you think they understood that the people giving the commands were sitting in relative safety in some bunker far away from the front lines? Do you think they thought that war was a GOOD THING? That they thought it was NECESSARY? Do you think any of the 160,000+ boys and men (and the 60+ women) who were killed in the first world war stopped on the battlefield and thought, “you know what? I am making a sacrifice here. I am going to SAVE THE WORLD”? Or do you think they thought “what the hell am I doing here”?

Which do you think is uttered more by a dying person who’s just been shot or blown up or burned in battle? “Why?” or “war is awesome!”

So fuck you. I can totally support the Canadian soldiers who are stationed all over the world fighting for what is good and what is right and what we as Canadians take for granted every day. And I can support those soldiers and STILL KNOW THAT WAR IS WRONG. Morally, ethically, absolutely wrong.

**It is wrong to kill people.**

I don’t say that because I’m Christian, or because I’m a woman, or because I’m a hippie, or because I’m a socialist, or because I bought avocados yesterday. I say that because, and try to follow me here, it’s the truth. There may be no other truth in the entire universe that is this absolutely, universally …well… true.

Now, I challenge you to make an argument about why peace is wrong. Not about how “it’s not going to work”, and not about how “well, there’s a long road to go before we ever get there”, because you know what? WE HAVE NEVER FUCKING TRIED IT. NEVER. We have never, ever tried *not to fight*. So go ahead. Tell me why peace is wrong. I’ll wait.

And while I’m waiting, I’m going to remember the sacrifices that people have made in the name of this country and in the name of our way of life and I am going to be deeply grateful and profoundly sad and miserable that they had to do that at all. I am going to say “thank you”, and I am going to say “I’m sorry”. I am going to think of all the boys who lost their big brothers, and of all of the mothers who have lost their daughters and sons, and of all of the fathers who will never be able to watch the game with their sons again, and all because their children were daft enough or brave enough or both to fight for what they know is right.

I might wear a poppy, because even though I don’t believe in wearing a red shirt in support of people who’ve been killed by spaceships or wearing purple shirts in support of something I support anyway or wearing a rubber bracelet in support of not being in support of pick-your-cancer, I remember. I remember, and I grieve.

Because it is not enough just to remember. Remembering without context is useless. Remember and feel. Remember and grieve. Remember and be HORRIFIED at what these people have agreed to do, and are agreeing to do, because they are willing to try to make the world a better place. And while they are doing that, and while I am proud of them for making those choices, I may choose to wear a white poppy too, because I DO believe in peace. I DO believe that peace is possible. I DO believe that peace is better than war.

And no, I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to make people who hate you stop hating you. I do know that saying you want to punch hippies in the face for wearing white poppies lands you squarely in the “you’re part of the problem, and not part of the solution” place. I don’t know how to stop people from hurting and killing one another. And it bugs the shit out of me that I don’t. I don’t know why someone else’s life is not worth less than or more than mine. I don’t know any of those things.

I’m still waiting for you to tell me why promoting peace is wrong.

If you want to come up and punch me in the face for wearing a white poppy, you go right ahead. You’ll be a stupid cunt for doing it, but if that’s what’s going to make you feel better about someone choosing to remember the sacrifices people have made for us while still believing in peace, then you just go ahead and do that. But don’t get mad at me when I start laughing uncontrollably because you just don’t bloody get it.

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

28 Comments

  1. To continue the ‘hilarity:’ Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.

    Dunno where that comes from or who said it or whatever, it still seems to me the best summation of the war for peace mentality.

  2. Beautiful post ceno :) BTW, where do I sign up for the “Fucking For Virginity” rally? Should I bring my own condoms and dental dams or will the organizers provide supplies?

  3. I agree 100%. I would love it if every time somebody decided to kill somebody else, he or she just took a moment, thought about it for a second, and then decided *not* to kill that somebody else.

    Unfortunately the world is full of loonies. Sigh.

  4. Who actually comes up and says they *like* war? Half the most memorable quotes about hating war come from military leaders, and even the most jingoistic people I know still think war is a horrible, horrible thing even as they believe it is necessary to preserve a “Way of life” or whatever.

    That all being said… You don’t fight for peace. You fight for *life*. Doesn’t mean it isn’t horrible, but I don’t think you can have some kind of generalized peace unless everyone can have what they want without taking it from anybody else. And the world just isn’t like that. At its most…well, I won’t say noble, but defensible, war is trying to kill the other guy before he kills you because he hates you. I mean, it is a horrible thing, and not something one should be proud of, but not many people are going to stand by and watch some asshole kill your loved ones and then try to murder you without trying to stop him. Even when war is fought over land or power…well, those things translate often into the means to live. Taking away all of a person’s means of support might as well be putting a bullet in his brain, so I can’t blame him too much if he decides to try and kill you in return.

    I think the problem of achieving peace becomes especially apparant when you realize that withholding food from someone who is starving unless they pay you, when you have plenty of food to feed yourself, is *also* violence. Just as much as shooting someone in the face.

    Maybe someday we’ll solve the problem of “Infinite demand, limited resources”. I do not think so. Our violence might hopefully become more and more controlled and gentle, perhaps. Or maybe not. In the mean time, we muddle through as best we can, not always fighting because we want to but because we’d much rather be the aggressor than the victim.

  5. Ceno said: “We have never, ever tried *not to fight*.”

    Um, I think this guy named Chamberlain tried not to fight in the late 1930’s. Just to be technical.
    Carry on.

  6. @Wade – Dude, I never, ever once said that you have to “stand by and do nothing while someone tries to kill you”. Never. Once. First of all, I have, thank God, never had to face someone wanting to kill my children, and I hope I never, ever do. But saying that peace isn’t possible is bullshit. It’s just. Bullshit.

    Peace IS possible. And I will work toward it. I can do so while still supporting our military who fight for life and human rights. I can do so in my every day life.

    I have been faced with someone who stood in front of me and told me he was going to kill me. He had a big fucking machete and he looked pretty serious at the time. And, had it come to it, I would have fought for my life, and I would have won (as it was, I didn’t have to fight very much, which was good, because I was pregnant at the time and probably would have had to have gone pee in the middle of everything). But I didn’t have to.

    But that’s on a teeny tiny scale.

    And yes, with-holding food and shelter because you have it and want money for it, and forcing someone else to suffer for want of money *is* violence. ABSOLUTELY. And that’s the kind of thing wars are fought over. And sure, we muddle. Of *course* we muddle.

    @Smarty Pants – Did he? I don’t think he did. I think what Chamberlain did, if we’re both talking about the British Prime Minister in the 30s, was to *instigate* war. Trying to make conciliatory deals with insane murderers is not working towards peace. No, Chamberlain did not try not to fight. He tried to placate a despot in order to stave off the inevitable. That’s not peace; that’s politics. We have never, ever made a serious effort to find a peaceful solution to Big Horrible Problems. Are we even *capable* of it? I don’t know. Maybe we’re not.

    See, that’s another thing that pisses me off. People just assuming that “working for peace” means “okay everyone, just drop all your weapons and let’s go smoke a fatty”, and it really doesn’t. You want a small-scale example? Your kids are fighting tooth and nail. You take away their weapons? They still fight tooth and nail. You have to give them the tools **AND THE MOTIVATION** to settle their differences peaceably. That might mean that they get punished. That might mean that you have to discipline them in the same way over and over and over, but eventually, if you do it right, they will learn that fighting doesn’t *solve* anything; it just makes things worse.

    I, and other people who believe peace is possible, aren’t idiots. That’s a terribly constructed sentence. I am not an idiot and neither are the other people who believe peace is possible. We know, oh God trust me, we know, that nothing will ever be as simple as saying “you know what, let’s just not fight about it”, because at the very best, what you get when you do that is an uncomfortable silence at the dinner table and an entire family of people glaring at their plates and stabbing their potatoes viciously. We’re not MORONS. We don’t *have* the answers. There *are* no pat answers.

    But hey. Surely to Christ we can do SOMETHING. Or NOT do something else. When we sit down and really look at it, what *have* we done? Very, very little other than trudging the status quo because it’s easier, and far, far more uncomfortable to do otherwise. Refuse to sell our oil and water and lumber to the US because we don’t agree with their foreign policy of making war on people just to get THEIR resources? That’d be pretty uncomfortable. Probably dangerous. And it wouldn’t work.

    Hey, if telling people to put down their weapons and turn the other cheek worked, wouldn’t the entire world be full of happy Jews? I mean, okay, y’all are going to totally take that the wrong way, but I was getting at a biblical reference there…anyway. Maybe just forget that one.

    I KNOW it’s not easy. I KNOW I don’t have the answers. People far, far smarter and more capable at just about everything than I am don’t have the answers. But is it okay to say, “you know what? We don’t have the answers, so let’s just keep killing people until we do. Because, you know, cholera, tuberculosis, AIDS, and diabetes aren’t enough; we need to figure out MORE ways of killing each other”? I say that’s not okay.

    And yeah, Wade, that was kind of my point; that while there probably aren’t any people in their right mind saying “War is good and we need war”, offering to punch people in the face because they believe peace is possible, necessary, and desirable, is just fucking wrong. And yes, that was actually a comment made.

  7. First off, in my above post there, I wasn’t actually disagreeing with you. Merely pontificating. ;)

    And although I do think war is sometimes in the toolbox of necessary evils(there are a *lot* of necessary evils, but in part that is because, well, I don’t necessarily believe our physical reality is very benevolent), we must avoid glorifying it. Well, unless some dudes have shit we want, then it is best to ramp up the militaristic culture so we can go take their stuff in a few year, I guess. ;)

    The wanting to punch people in the face for saying peace is possible though… Well, as my mom would say, “That’s just ignorant.” :)

    Though now I feel the need to share a quote with you. You may very well have heard it before. If not, you really should. :)

    “We were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted to battlefields; our dreams however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen. We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses.” — Robert Ardrey

    1. The Royal Canadian Legion doesn’t sell them, but I’m pretty sure you could either make some or find some at a craft store like Michael’s. They’re fairly easy to find in the UK but not so much here, outside of places like Toronto, I suspect.

  8. actually, what Chamberlain did was make the war bigger. Had they held the line and said “Back off – now!” Germany’s military wouldn’t have been ready, and would have been resoundingly stomped into the mud.

    Instead, by holding off on a peacekeeping action against Germany through immediate *threat* of force, the result was a global contagion that cost several million more lives – including the holocaust, tens of millions of Russian civilians, and so on – that could have been prevented.

    Jill – “I can hate war AND support our military who fight for things like the rights of women and children to get an education, or the rights of people to democratic elections, or the rights of people NOT TO BE SHOT BY OTHER PEOPLE.”

    Well said. Very well said.

    As one of your commentators mentioned, some of the most poignant anti-war observations come from soldiers. Those of us who have seen war first-hand know the real horrors of it.

    Unfortunately sometimes it’s necessary to mobilize troops to prevent war. Canada’s peacekeeping is a good example of this. When Yugoslavia collapsed and war broke out in Bosnia, Canada stepped in towards the end and said “enough, already. You go over there, you other chaps go over there, and this bit in the middle will be weapons free. Quit killing each other.”

    Unfortunately for Romeo Dallaire, when he tried to do a similar thing with Canada’s forces in Rwanda, he wasn’t given the troops required to do so. Because of Canada’s reluctance to send troops in to protect civilians, scores of massacres ensued. They call Rwanda a war… but war is “diplomacy by other means”. What do you call it when neighbours turn on neighbours with machetes, hacking them to bits over made-up racial lines?

    1. KT: Thank you.

      When neighbours turn on neighbours with machetes, hacking them to bits over made-up racial lines, I call that madness. I call that the very worst of humanity. I call that the true nature of evil; when we forget (or choose not to know) who we really are and where we really come from.

      As I said to Smarty Pants earlier today: I despise that we *need* a military, but I honour, respect, and thank those who choose to serve. I believe Canada’s military is doing right, and I hope some day that every single one of y’all will be out of a job.

  9. Not that I relish derailing the conversation because it has been rather fantastic, I would like to point out a few things.

    A lot of the conflicts that arise are due to a materialistic based philosophy. I am hesitant to lump all of humanity into one big bowl of armed killers because that happens to be one of the possible biological off shoots of our collective primate ancestry.

    A prof made a comment the other day in our class and it is both true and false. He said ‘Before Europeans came there never was war in the Americas.’ And he did it in a thick Argentinian accent. :) Anyways, I wanted to disagree until I really thought about it. He’s right, kinda. There have been no recorded conflicts in the Americas that come close to the most ‘notable’ wars of our time. I still feel the statement is overly rosey, because trust me, First Nations culture is filled with what we’ve termed the necessary evils. And I honestly can’t back up his statement with fact, but what I can do is relate what I know off my own studies, mainly within the Anishinabe, but others associated.

    All out war, as understood to be a sustained conflict that determined a clear cut ‘winner’ is not a concept that fits into the Anishinabe language. We have a few different words for types of large scale conflict, but even then it is not seen with the same intensity.

    And yes, conflicts arose due to competition for resources pre-contact, but it was handled more as a test of skill and courage to ‘defeat’ your opponent in ways that didn’t include killing him.

    And while again, I can’t fully back up my prof’s claim I can say, from what I know of a few specific, yet very wide ranging, First Nations, large scale war was never an option to conflict resolution, and any form of conflict was always the last possible choice.

    So I think ‘we’ as a species, have indeed tried peace and it worked pretty well. Yeah sometimes things got out of hand but the overall worldview kept it from ever going to the point where there was a need to maim or kill over a million people.

    I think my point is that there is a lot of knowledge floating around out there, philosophical ideas, modes of societal conduct, worldviews and modes of action, that haven’t been explored fully by our current society because for some reason they’ve been labelled too primative, or no longer applicable.

    Do I know that answer yet? I’m with ceno on this, not yet. Am I going to work towards it? Sure am. Will I ever grasp a way to convey those ideas, those philosophies to a wider audience in a way that might significantly alter our collective point of view? Dunno, but I’m going to try.

    As simplistic as my first statement was, it was born more of the need to express that points of view make a huge impact on perception than to simplify the issue. And to say ‘fucking for virginity’ cuz that’s damn funny.

      1. He’s an idealist with a far too pure view of First Nations culture, but he isn’t wrong. The vast majority of First Nations did not participate in conflict like we understand it. It was viewed through an entirely different set of terms, goals, and actions.

        I’m not trying to put forward some utopian view of FN culture but I do think there is a lot more there to learn, specifically in conflict resolution and approaches to disagreements that needs to come to the forefront and be understood and adapted. Philosophies and world views that may indeed hold some of the answers that will allow us a better chance at a sustainable peace and a far more equitable society.

        1. Conflict is conflict.

          The majority of ALL tribal cultures did not participate in conflict as we understand it. You can say the same thing about the Celts, the Aborigines, the Zulus, *any* tribal culture.

          If there was no armed conflict in tribal cultures, then why were there warriors and not just hunters?

          BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is that punching hippies in the face for believing peace is possible is totally fucked.

          1. Large scale warfare requires population density and excess resources. North American people didn’t have enough of either. If they did, they would have had a lot more and a lot bigger wars(which they did certainly have, they were just on a different scale). Without the population density and excess resources, it just becomes a lot more like raiding activities instead.

            In short, it has a lot more to do with environment and available resources than culture. Do you know how I know? If there were the resources and population density required for large scale warfare in those areas at that time, we wouldn’t even know about any tribes who eschewed warfare for some cultural reasons, *because they all would have been conquered by militaristic tribes*.

            1. Well I’m going to disagree with you Wade. There were instances of resource stress coupled with population density and it did not result in large scale, or even small scale, warfare. A lot of the assumptions we place on ‘how things should be’ come from our own understanding of the world, rather than a world view that is markedly different.

              I’m getting the impression that ceno is annoyed that I ‘hijacked’ her post though. Instead I encourage you to look up information on Cahokia and Pueblo Bonito. Two very interesting examples of First Nations cities.

              1. No, I’m not upset that you hijacked my post.

                I think some of the claims you’re making are ridiculous, but I’m not upset that you’re hijacking my post. I could always just delete your comments if I were upset that you were hijacking my post.

          2. I’m not talking about all tribal cultures, I’m talking about specific ones that, yes had warrior groups, but again, I have to repeat, the concepts and words used to describe warriors was vastly different than the English word can explain.

            That’s the concepts that we have to try to translate.

  10. Hope this gets through the spam filters. It very eloquently says what I wish I could’ve said about white poppies.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/blog.html?b=fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/11/06/rex-murphy-poppies-show-our-regret-at-wars-horrors-not-our-love-for-it&s=Opinion

    Also – Chamberlain got off the plane from Berlin and waved his meaningless papers before the press and said “peace in our time”. That seems to me he was looking to create peace and avoid armed conflict. It’s funny how KT said there should have been the immediate threat of force and things would’ve been better. KT is absolutely right. But – isn’t that like “fucking for virginity”? Peace through superior firepower seems laughable to posters here…yet it was admitted (by one at least) that that approach would’ve saved MILLIONS of lives.

    1. I totally don’t think, and I don’t think most historians think, that Chamberlain thought for one minute about peace in our time. I think Chamberlain wanted to say what people wanted to hear. If he gave a shit about peace, he wouldn’t have done nothing. Not doing anything is the antithesis of working toward peace.

      Smarty Pants, I don’t think I’m being very clear about what my concept of believing in peace means. Because yes, a swift action against Hitler’s Germany in the early part of the 30s may have been a far more peaceful solution than what actually happened, which means it’s not “peace through superior firepower”; that particular example would be “peace through strategic measures”. Nuking Nagasaki did not bring peace. It was genocide. Taking Hitler out and nuking Nagasaki are completely different things, and I think you’re the only person who’s mentioned peace through superior firepower.

      Fighting for peace is far less fun than fucking for virginity.

      1. I guess I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you on Chamberlain. As someone who lived through WW1, he was well aware what war meant, as were the English people he was leading. There was only a 20 year gap. He didn’t “do nothing” so much as try for a political solution (of appeasement as it turns out) to avoid armed conflict with Germany. Is that not “working for peace”? Yes, it failed miserably, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was working toward that goal. If anything it illustrates the point that in order for peace to have a chance, both parties need to want it. 65 years later it’s still prudent to have people with guns watching our butts, because the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily want peace.

        “Peace through strategic measures” would most likely involve a show of force. How is that “working for peace”? How would you do that without armed forces? Embargoes that starve people and trash their economies? Embargoes that would have to be enforced with the threat of armed conflict?

        I also respectfully disagree with your view that nuking Nagasaki didn’t bring peace. It seems hostilities with Japan ended directly after that. Is it not “bringing peace” to end a war?
        As much as this will set many people’s teeth on edge, Nagasaki and Hiroshima weren’t acts of genocide. Japan had war industry in those cities, and the US dropped really big bombs on them because of it. Catastrophic damage? Absolutely. No argument. A means to the systematic eradication of a race (like the “final solution” in Nazi Germany)? Nope. Not any more than the firebombing of Dresden was an attempt to eradicate the German race.
        Contrasting the Japanese with European Jews, Japan was given the option of surrender to avoid this damage at the Potsdam declaration earlier in 1945. No such consideration was given to the Jews by the Nazi regime.

  11. Since 95% of the casualties of war are innocent people not involved in the fighting…maybe we could buy white poppies for their remembrance!!

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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