No Peace

Though mild clear weather
Smile again on the shire of your esteem
And its colors come back, the storm has changed you:
You will not forget, ever,
The darkness blotting out hope, the gale
Prophesying your downfall.

You must live with your knowledge.
Way back, beyond, outside of you are others,
In moonless absences you never heard of,
Who have certainly heard of you,
Beings of unknown number and gender:
And they do not like you.

What have you done to them?
Nothing? Nothing is not an answer;
You will come to believe – how can you help it? –
That you did, you did do something;
You will find yourself wishing you could make them laugh,
You will long for their friendship.

There will be no peace.
Fight back, then, with such courage as you have
And every unchivalrous dodge you know of,
Clear in your conscience on this:
Their cause, if they had one, is nothing to them now;
They hate for hate’s sake.

– by W. H. Auden, 1956

10 thoughts on “No Peace

  1. “Arafat has long been an enemy of the peace”/
    “No Peace”

    It seems he’s not the only one opposed to peace finally…

    Jay, when I read your website, despite the long sentences (the “home of the brave” type) full of burning patriotism, the only thing I see is that terrorists won! You, peaceful American (not all of you, I know), now filled with hate. When you start thinking and acting like terrorists (barbarians in antiq Greece), you’re not any better than they are. When you start thinking one part of the world is evil, but you’re on the bright side, then you are disturbed. there are no things such as ennemies that “hate for hate’s sake”. All humans are genetically determined to enjoy their lives, and give the best they can to their children. When these basic requirements (“primary needs” in biology) are endangered, when all hope of a better world for your familly is gone, any human is turned into a war machine, fighting for a change.
    Only the death of the WTC are worth counting to you. Let me tell you that the development of the World Trade killed a lot more than those 3000(not only American lives, but still: humans!). It is true that this guy jumping from the WTC is innocent. Just as innocent as iraqi civilians bombed by mistake.
    I will never justify this terrible thing, killing innocents. Neither will I never accept that these kind of attacks happen. This is the reasson why WE ALL HAVE TO THINK : What are we gonna change in this world so that no one would be willing to die to kill thousands of innocents?
    I don’t think bombing Irak or Afghanistan helps. It seems that maybe the US are better off now that the talibans are gone. But for Afghans, things have been worsening everyday. Warlords are back in this country, robbing, raping, drug and wood dealing…Guess what: The population will hate America for letting that happen. some people will want their revenge…circle of violence… You can hit your ennemy as hard as you want. To death if you’d like. His child will hunt you.
    The only way out of terrorism is development. This is not the way you, Jay, want go. This attack against the WORLD TRADE CENTER is not against prosperity and peace (no human is a natural born killer). It is against unfair globalization. The best example I can give of this is the Iraqi case: people are starving becaause of a dictator (and the embargo), and corporates wishes of petroleum and huge reconstruction contracts make it happen very messilly: not willing to share, just caring about the pipeline, not the water and electricity…and nobody wins (on the short-term, the corporate world is getting a lot of money since 1 missile=1 million / on the long run, America or american interests will be hit again).
    the way out of terrorism is not to become terrorists ourselves.
    As far as I know, police never stopped crimes!! This battle against criminals is endless if you only fight with weapons. If you fight with development, it is working.
    Humanity has to go a step further now that the development of a part of the world can make it happen everywhere.
    Please share Peace. Jesus offered his other cheek. He didn’t get a second slap.

  2. Vincent is right, unfortunately.

    War on terrorism is certainly a very good thing. War on Islamism is vindicated. But war on Islam or Islamic countries -however backward or tyrannic they may be- isn’t a good sign.

    Patriotic passion is understandable. A nation’sgrief is respectable. The sensible argument stating that doing nothing is abdication is totally receivable. Bush & his team deserve the respect any statemen are due. Still their impartiality & intentions remain -to say the least- questionable.

    Ben Laden didn’t only bomb New York. He also forged a trap for the USA to fall in. US self-defence is legitimate. But going all alone against – guess what!- Irak wasn’t vindicated. it was even counterproductive. Even Bush acknowledged this fact by changing tactics & devoluting political power management in Irak to the UN, the sole source of legitimacy.

  3. today in the Financial Times (not one of those al-jazeera newspaper LeMonde or BBC):

    -Berlusconi considers Mussolini’s regime was just a tour operator.(he is a fervent -maybe the first- admirer of Georges Bush II).

    -British intelligence warned on the eve of war that the collapse of Iraq’s regime could increase the risk of mass-destruction weapons falling into the hands of al-Qaeda (and that no link existed between Al-Qaeda and Saddam before the war)

    -Israeli cabinet backs Arafat expulsion. What a democratic move to decide to revoke the legitimate (democratically elected) president of the neighbour country!!

    but finally ONE good news (although it probably is just a joke):
    -McClintock believes he can win republican vote

  4. The people of Afghanistan are far better off today than they were two years ago. The same is true for Iraq.

    As I’ve stated countless times, if all we wanted was oil from Iraq, we wouldn’t be spending another $87 billion to get it. There are far easier ways of getting Iraqi oil for cheap without resorting to invasion.

    Moreover, this idea that regime change was the wrong idea is just laughable. What other alternative would have removed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein? The simple answer is none. The only alternative would be to leave those horrible regimes in place.

    If violence creates terrorism, how many more prisons full of children would there be in Iraq now if Saddam were still there? How many more women executed in Kabul? How many more beatings, toturings, mass graves, rapes, and murders would still be happening if we had not acted?

    The only way to develop Iraq and Afghanistan was to remove those regimes that supported them. Had we not acted, thousands upon thousands more would have died.

    Imagine if we had thought the same 50 years ago. We would have said "well, yes, Germany is evil in all, but think of all the people who would die trying to liberate France. After all, if we attack Germany, it will only make more people who hate America. Let’s negotiate with Hitler."

    Of all people, you should know the folly of such an argument.

    Also, to argue that all people want the best for themselves and their families – what can possibly be considered good about strapping your children with explosives and sending them to destroy a bus full of women and children? If all people were truly genetically designed to enjoy life and provide for their children, there would be no suicide bombings. Yet there are, and we cannot naively assume that doing nothing would help.

    I talked to someone who was on leave from Iraq recently. They talked about how most of the Iraqi people were incredibly glad the Americans were in Iraq. Their biggest fear was that we’d leave before the job was done.

    In fact, the only ones they hated were the French and Germans. When asked why, the Iraqis stated that it was because they were making money off the oil-for-food program while Saddam sold all the food and used it to buy weapons. They said that the French and Germans could have helped the people of Iraq and could have helped get rid of Saddam.

    But they didn’t, and there are a lot of Iraqis who cannot forgive that.

    The cycle of violence can only be broken by people willing to confront and destroy evil. Those who remain neutral in the face of such conflicts only give aid and comfort to tyranny and oppression.

  5. 1-I’ve just been reading several articles stating how the mafia of the warlords was taking over in afghanistan. It is not because the taliban’s regime was terrible that something worse cannot take over. It seems to be the case right now. The same is true for Irak. No one in Frane was trying to protect Saddam’s regime, that was putted in place by the US!!(just like IRAN)

    2-since every Human wants the best for his child, when people are so crazy to send their own children to death means they’re not treated as Humans anymore. They don’t feel like Humans, and for that, Israel is to blame. Just project yourself in their situation. Maybe you think that palestinians are not Humans?

    3-the oil-for-food program being set up by the UN, the US had to agree on it at some point. It certainly proved to be not as efficient as expected, but France nor Germany had exclusivity on oil.

    4-the spiral of violence can only be broken by…non-violence! Shooting 10 iraqis cops is violent. 😉

    5-The comparison with the situation in France during WWII is irrelevant. Saddam was not occupying a foreign country.

    6-the huge spendings the US gov. is willing to make is as fake as the subsidies for GM crop or cure against AIDS in Africa. This money will totally come back to the US as corporate benefits and tax revenues since the subsidies are granted only if these countries “buy American”.

    7-Obviously oil was not the only reason. Don’t try to simplify too much. It was ONE sign out of thousands.

  6. Sure, it’s all the Israelis fault that the Palestinians want to kill them. It has nothing to do with the fact that "Palestinian" nationalism didn’t exist until the 1970’s and the formation of the PLO. It has nothing to do with the fact that anti-Semitic extremists who want to kill every single Jew on Earth are running the show in the West Bank in Gaza.

    That 4-year-old that was blown apart by a suicide bomber had it coming. That’s what she gets for being born Jewish and Israeli.

    Well, by your logic, we shouldn’t have struck against Germany then. After all, it was their country, and we shouldn’t interfere. Sure, there’s that matter of the death camps, but we should respect the sovereignty of others. Not to mention the fact that tens of thousands of Germans died of starvation and disease after the war.

    If you believe that non-violence is the only way to end violence, then you’ve obviously failed to learn from history. There are two kinds of peace: the peace that comes from victory against evil, and the peace of the grave.

    I prefer the former.

    (And before you start arguing that the US put Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini into power you’d better bring proof. What policy put Saddam Hussein in power in 1978? Also, last time I checked, the US supported the Shah of Iran until his regime fell to the Ayatollahs (thanks to Jimmy Carter’s blatant incompetence). I suggest you do some basic research before spewing anti-American propaganda that’s blatantly false.)

  7. why would someone create an organisation of liberation if he’s not oppressed?

    BTW, unlike you, I’m not blaming only one side for the situation.

    your anti-french propaganda is no better (oil-for-food). my political shortcuts: if it’s J.Carter’s fault, then I say: the US did it…sorry about this “lie”

    I’m gonna repeat myself here, but:
    I love the US. BUT I love it FREE!!!
    I’m not anti-american, I’m anti-Bush and the cash-thirsty corporate. I’m anti-fascism (like LePen -eventhough he’s french- and Berlusconi- eventhough he’s european!) whatever the country.

  8. “It has nothing to do with the fact that anti-Semitic extremists who want to kill every single Jew on Earth are running the show in the West Bank in Gaza.”

    Jay, your culture needs an update: arabs ARE semits!!!(thus cannot be anti-semitic)

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