(A post Waging Peace Philippines conference reflection)
One always would think that Peace is the absence of War, perhaps that is what others may say... from a perspective that has not seen perhaps the harsh realities of the world. However, when one goes around in Manila, far-fetched from the dismal and grave realizations of war, wounded, dying and mournful suffering of the orphans, widows, the dying and the mourning... one may see that perhaps this is a skewed perspective. For even in the midst of the urban jungles of imperial Manila, one sees the gory images and thoughts of violence, though not like images of war in Mindanao, Afghanistan or Iraq... and yet the thoughts and images would also prove alarming.
After several wars and Peace conferences, I was pondering.. where does this all lead us into... is this but another endless road and Quixotic crusade against imagined dragons and devils... of undefeatable crusades and quests... as one searches for the indomitable Holy Grail of peace.....
I normally don't watch the news on TV unless I see a compelling reason to do so.... PR releases of Kapuso AABC Scholarship Initiative grantees to raise the morale of School faculty staff and students by recording them, Storms monitor so that I can determine even without the declaration of CHED of suspension I can declare a school holiday; Public events that may require a suspension of classes like SONA, or monitoring financial status of the world so that I may be able to forecast what could happen in the country. But when I watched the Anti-Chacha rally recently, I was petrified to see conflicting images.... people wanting change but people who personally needed to change themselves but challenge people to change themselves. Ironic isnt it?
Then it suddenly came into my mind... how could one wage peace when all people wage war? However in my mind I see there lies a contradiction, war only happens when conflict escalates, and as the brilliant War strategist Von Klauswitz would say; “War is the continuation of Political policy in another way”, thus I was enamored to ponder more as to how to go around exactly the opposite of this argument.
I remember that one of my Guru's has said, that in this world, battles are fought and though these battles are fought fiercely, they may not appear to be physical at times... but the effects are disastrous. Yes, battles are not merely fought on the fields..but most importantly I the mind of men. What Von klauswitz may have tried to say or couldn't say, is ... being a man of war..... he envisioned war as an extension of the politics of a person or society forcibly imposed on another.
But if these battles were fought in the mids of men, then it is clear... that when the war of ideals are lost in the mids of men, then its continuation ensues in the battlefield of men. Thus one of the greatest battles to be fought by those waging Peace against those waging war is not merely the battle to convince people that War is not the solution... but that to end war the battle to ned conflicts must also begin in the minds of men.
I do hope that the next time Peacemakers meet and talk about waging Peace.. this would also be considered in their strategies.