Understanding February 1989
At the close of the last world War, the United States was by far the greatest military power in the world. Immediately after the close of the conflict however, our armed forces, principally because of the insistence of our people, began a program of self dissolution unparalleled in history. Within a few years, we had reduced ourselves to virtual military impotence . We felt that the war was over, and we had no logical reason to maintain a state of preparedness. Besides, didn’t we have sole possession of the Bomb! Who would ever dare to challenge us again?
When the Korean ‘police action’ was undertaken, we suddenly awoke to the fact that we had, in spite of the comparatively large sums expended upon our armed services, become, in fact, a third or fourth rate power. We also awoke to the fact that again the grim spectre of world war was beginning to shake its mailed fist.
For the second time in a single decade, we embarked upon an all out race for armaments. In 1987 this race was still going on, and in one sense it still is. In our search for more and more powerful weapons we had been so successful that we had the power to destroy utterly, any enemy or combination of enemies which might array themselves against us. There were two facts, however, which detracted from the satisfaction which we might have felt at this accomplishment. In the first place, we could not use those weapons without sealing our own doom in the process. In the second place, our potential enemy had remained neck and neck in the race. He also had the power to destroy us, together with himself, and the rest of the world.
Fortunately for all of us, the leaders of both sides in the contest were well aware of the fact that neither could hope to win, or even survive a nuclear war. Because of the fact that both sides were so completely prepared for instant retaliation in case of attack, there was always some danger that we might become involved in war by accident or misunderstanding, but aside from this possibility we felt safe. The only fly in the ointment was the terrific cost of continuing preparedness. Both sides were being bankrupted, and both sides knew it could not go on forever. In 1988 it was agreed by the leaders of both countries that it was time to talk peace. True it would be a peace which, for a number of years, would be marred by the sabre rattling of would-be power politicians and local conflicts between small nations who need not fear atomic retaliation. Nevertheless, it will be a peace which will move ever nearer to the ideal of human relationship which every intelligent person cherishes in their hart. This prospect however, gives rise to a serious and disturbing question. We were so completely prepared for war, that war had become unlikely, but how well are we prepared for peace?
Suppose, for example, that tomorrow morning, the government of the Soviet Union should announce that free elections would be held in all the Satellite states, that they were instituting an extensive program of disarmament, including all nuclear weapons; and that all international problems would be submitted to the United National Council for arbitration. (This is, of course, a contingency which is exceedingly remote, but just imagine for a moment, that it had actually happened) Consider the terrible impact which this announcement would have upon our war inspired, war geared and war supported economy. We might find this economy collapsing into the greatest depression in all our history. On the other hand, if we were prepared to switch to a peacetime economy, we might find ourselves in a tremendous boom. The difference is preparedness. We have spent the last few decades preparing for war. Isn’t it time we began to prepare for peace?
Daniel W. Fry
By The Cupful
A heaping cup of happiness,
2 of love and caring,
1 of understanding,
1 of joyful sharing.
A level cup of wisdom,
1 of artful living,
1 of thoughtful insight,
1 of selfless giving.
Mix ingredients together,
Toss in a little flair,
Serve to everyone you know
Topped with a tiny prayer
May every measure of happiness be yours.
Mend a quarrel. Search out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in a word or a deed.
Keep a promise. Find the time. Forego a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine you demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate, be kind, be gentle. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice.
Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Worship your God. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still again! Speak it still once again!!!
(hand written) I wish you love! I wish love of the whole world! Remember he said “Love one another as I have loved you.” Happy Valentines day! Cleona Q. 2/04/89