Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crying Out for Peace

Today’s murderous bombings in Mumbai, India, have me irate and heartsick. I have written this before and I fear I may write it again: I am outraged by these cowardly acts of terrorism, the attacks on innocent people. So I turn the words of Chekhov into a question: When shall we find peace? When shall we hear the angels? When shall we see the sky sparkling with diamonds? I fear the answer is “not soon, not very soon.”

The last count in Mumbai that I heard was 174 dead and another 464 injured. I grieve for the victims and their families. I cry out for peace and justice in this crazy world. Coming on top of the one year anniversary of the London transit system bombings, I wonder who will be the victims next July?

My own words sputter and are incoherent at the thought of this outrage. So I must turn to words I remember others have spoken to express what I cannot:

Kahlil Gibran: I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.

Baruch Spinoza: Peace is not an absence of war: it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.

Carlos Santana: Peace has never come from dropping bombs. Real peace comes from enlightenment and educating people to behave more in a divine manner.

Jesus of Nazareth: Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the ‘Children of God.’


  1. Excellent. Those quotes say a lot.

  2. I'm with you on being irate and heartsick. For some odd reason, the first thing I thought of was all those people in India and all those funerals they have to have and their grieving families...not to mention those who are likely severely disabled yet will have to live with a crippling condition or something because of terrorists - or as you put it better, cowards.

    The quotes are great...I can't even pick a favorite.

  3. Well written Nick. I pray for peace.

  4. Craven cowards, no other way about it. Just disgusting. Thanks for your post on it. The quotes were great.

  5. And that's exactly what they are----COWARDS!!!! It hurts my heart to know people are so evil.

  6. "I took a bath this morning in six war speeches, and a sprinkle of peace. Looks like ever body is declaring war against the forces of force. That's what you get for building up a big war machine. It scares your neighbors into jumping on you, and then of course they them selves have to use force, so you are against their force, and they're aginst yours. Look like the ring has been drawed and the marbles are all in. The millionaires has throwed their silk hats and our last set of drawers in the ring. The fuse is lit and the cannon is set, and somebody is in for a frailin. I would like to see every single soldier on every single side, just take off your helmet, unbuckle your kit, lay down your rifle, and set down at the side of some shady lane, and say, 'Nope, I aint a gonna kill nobody. Plenty of rich folks wants to fight. Give them the guns.'" ~Woody Guthrie

  7. AZSONOFAGUN: Rex, there are times when other people’s words express the ideas that I am in no condition to verbalize.

    MICHELLE: Sad, yes; and so unnecessary.

    LITTLE SISTER: There is something about terrorists attacking civilians that goes far beyond the moment of the event itself. You have expressed that well: the funerals, the grief, the loss of a father, mother, son, daughter, friend—those all last an eternity. And, for what? Can these Muslim fundamentalists really believe their bombs and murders can turn back the clock to a time and lifestyle that existed only in legend and myth? I doubt it; rather, I believe they enjoy the death and the devastation they create.

    NINA: Thank you. I join you in praying for peace.

    SQUIRL: They are cowardly. I used the term even for the suicide bombers. Attacks on civilian populations not prepared to defend themselves are always cowardly. There was a brief time when I was an army officer stationed in Germany when officers were instructed to carry loaded side arms. We were aware that the Baader-Meinhof terrorists had threatened to kidnap and execute American dependents—easy marks for these cowards. We could not arm our wives and children, but we could arm ourselves in their defense.

    DEB: They do evince evil, don’t they? Evil is especially malicious when the target is the innocent.

    THOMAS: Again Woody puts into words what I find difficult to express.