War Is Over If We Do More Than Want It To Be
December 22, 2006
So this is Christmas.
And that old John Lennon song keeps playing in my mind: “War is over, if you want it.”
I’ve always puzzled over this song, though—especially that lyric.
War isn’t over just by wanting it to be so.
A majority of Americans want it over now, but the war keeps going.
We’ve got 140,000 U.S. troops over there, and it looks like Bush and Cheney and Gates are going to send 20,000 or more.
So John Lennon’s wrong, in a literal way.
The war clearly isn’t over.
But maybe he’s saying, if we really want it to end, and (here’s the implied kicker) if we back that sentiment up with sufficient action, then we have the power to end this war.
Well, we’re not close to that point yet.
Some courageous members of the Armed Services are refusing to report for duty, some courageous peace activists are engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience, but on this Christmas Day, it’s clear that we haven’t done enough, besides wanting this war to end, to bring it to an end.
It’s not enough to want war to be over.
It’s not enough to vote for war to be over, which is what America did on November 7.
No, we need to make it impossible for the war to go on, using every creative bit of nonviolence we can come up with.
At that point, we can rejoice that war is over now.