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Page 42
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By Harold R. Pettus

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I joined my parents in the ongoing struggle for peace and human rights as a young boy during the effort to rid our government of Joseph McCarthy and the House Unamerican Activities Committee in the early 1950s. One of the things I have learned over those years is that peace is not something that is won. It is a never ending struggle to keep the forces of "war for profit" from their never ending efforts to push us again and again into sacrificing our sons and daughters and millions of innocents to the cause of their enrichment. We have victories, yes. But we must accept that what eternal vigilance really is, is the price for peace.

Another thing I have learned, very related to that one, is that those who are willing to sacrifice our lives in their lust for greater and greater wealth are very good at what they do. No sooner had we dubbed the war a war for oil than they launched an extensive campaign to ridicule that notion over and over and over until it was widely regarded among those who didn't know and those who were politically motivated to accept it, as a ridiculous rant. Then the media, ever fearful of the credibility risk of endorsing anything regardable as ridiculous adopted a lasting habit of avoiding any reiteration of that perception. Now this is an even bigger industry and we are hard put to keep the realization that this an awful mass murder for profit alive.

I cringe when I am thanked for my service because I know this little ritual is a careful creation for equating war with heroism, patriotism, and freedom. I will not join in with so many of my neighbors in flying the flag on my front porch because this gesture has been deliberately and successfully kidnapped by the "war is patriotic" crowd and I just cannot make this silent endorsement. I will not accept the title of hero because, hero or not, the real meaning of heroism directly implies having done something that is good and this too is a contrivance for the glorification of war.

Under the banner of every government they sway with their money, the war industrialists have always considered the lives of us lesser mortals a reasonable expenditure for the expansion of their empires. As long as they are allowed to make these fortunes at the expense of us, they will. Their only weakness is that they must move under cloak of darkness. In their weakness lives our strength.

Our task is to present the case for "war for profit" as the true impetus for every war in new ways that eclipse the old ridicule that has blunted that message for so long. When they mock us for how we say it, we say it another way, and again, and again, and again until it is said so many ways that it is an elephant in their living room.

Nature created Homo sapiens a quarter of a million years ago as a guardian for the world with a great new brain to use in the stead of weapons of death. It's about time we got around to using it. From teeth, claws and venom, we have progress thru clubs, spears, arrows, guns, and bombs to the ability to vaporize the very planet itself. Every day our lust to take from each other more than our share of the world's riches by the threat or use of these apocalyptic weapons grows into a bigger and bigger cancer in the belly of our international body politic. It has grown into a madness, blinding us to its catastrophic consequences.

Only the peace movement, in all its manifestations, stands between our world and those too greedy, and too stupid to allow us to survive. It is our fate to be the ones who tell the world so many times that they must listen that this is not a rant. It is the repeated history of the way of the world and this is the final chapter.

I am a patriot I love my country. It is my home. I want to give it to my children so that their grandchildren can someday look me up and learn how the world survived through peace and stopped selling humans for profit.

You are my brothers and sisters. Thank you for being here and letting me hear your voices so I am not lonely in my dream for a better America — a better world.

Harold Pettus is a Veteran of the military advisor era of Vietnam (same as the war only less veteran's benefits.) He served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman third class patching up these advisors. He currently lives in Everett, Washington and spends his retirement life with one hobby — peace.

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