Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry Sr.
On this the 40th anniversary of the largest gathering of peace loving people, over 1,000,000 people came from every part of the globe and in words, songs music, dance, street theater, marches, demonstrations, civil disobedience expressed their demand for a world of peace, nuclear disarmament, human rights and human needs. I greet you in peace and hope that one day soon we can achieve that glad and glorious day when the weapons of war will be turned into instruments of peace and production for food, shelter, raiment, medicine etc.
It is easy for those of us religiously inclined to believe that this moment is providential. We have been called to act courageously and to lift our voices and spare not.
This 40th anniversary comes at a time when life on earth, as we know it, is headed for extinction, unless we hastily make some radical changes in our lifestyle. Pestilence, climate change, and violence of every form including war, the apex of violence and all three. We can turn this destructive potential into constructive pursuits.
There are those who say we are closest to nuclear war since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. And why do they say that? Well, war rages in Ukraine with the talk of new clear introduction. President Zelensky said that Putin (Putin is always used with reference to Russia and Ukraine. It is as though Putin is the only one on the battlefield. It is part of the American Press, for the most part it is 100 percent supportive of Ukraine. But we know that the first casualty of war is truth).
Putin fires nuclear devices close to its border. Now Zelensky has openly stated that he wants to join NATO. Russia has strong feelings about that. Also, Sweden and Norway want to join NATO. All of which strengthens Russian enemies sitting on Russia's border. And NATO has been conducting military maneuvers. China has been conducting military maneuvers in the Red Sea making Austria nervous. Nuclear testing in North Korea is making the US and South Korea threatened and stepped up its Nuclear testing. Oh yes, don't forget the boycotts. There are boycotts all over the globe, that is, among the so-called highly industrialized or advanced nations. These boycotts have created serious food shortage in different parts of the world and interfered with the food supply and the quality and price thereof.
There was a time that Russia and Ukrainian negotiators had worked out a cease-fire agreement. Russia and Ukraine were okay with it. Ukraine would have independence to go its own way but there would be no army. Security would be left to the United nations. No joining NATO. Somebody rejected the plan. In an article entitled, For peace in Ukraine Europe Must Finally Find its own Voice, written by Michael Von der Schulenberg, a former UN assistant general secretary, he writes, “the key elements for a peaceful solution have already been worked out by courageous Russians and Ukrainians, in negotiations during the first two months of the war. according to this Ukraine would renounce NATO membership and not allow any foreign military bases on its Ukrainian soil; while Russia would commit to recognizing Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdraw all Russian troops from Ukraine and accept International Security guarantees for Ukraine. It also was already tentatively agreed upon to give a special status to Donbas within Ukrainian territory, (as already foreseen in Minsk) and to resolve the future status of Crimea at a later stage through purely diplomatic means.
Certainly this is not a complete peace treaty-not yet; many difficult details remain unresolved. But the outcome of these peace negotiations, even if provisional, represent an astonishing achievement at a time of war. There is and will be no other peaceful solution than to agree to some form of Ukrainian neutrality in return for preserving Ukraine’s territorial integrity. It would be completely incredible to assume that some western governments like to claim that such a peace treaty is purely Ukraine’s responsibility and that they should stay out, to use this to justify the West's silence on Russia - Ukrainian peace efforts is highly disingenuous.
There are those who believe Ukraine, with the help of the US and NATO can defeat Russia, if not militarily, then through attrition, wear them down and eventually Russia will either surrender or be so badly beaten it will be a non-factor on the world stage. They seem to have forgotten Russia has a lot of nuclear weapons.
All of this means astronomical amounts of money and resources of every description, is and will be poured into the military of nations. In the USA the debate the defense budget for 2022 with $933 trillion for the Department of Defense. This does not include the cost of war. the Department of Defense allocation is $755 billion. But that, as I have stated, does not include what is called overseas contingency operation. That is $2 trillion. Here is the budget breakdown: nuclear modernization $27.7 billion, Missile defense 24.4 billion dollars, long range fires $6.6 billion, science and technology $4.7 billion, advance capability enablers $1.12 billion, research and development test evaluation 346 billion dollars, and as I have stated this budget does not include overseas contingencies of $2 trillion.
Now when we look at some of the needs in the United States 42 million people are living below the poverty level, 38 million people uh suffering from food insecurity (the description of the food situation is what is known as a euphemism, a nice way to talk about a bad situation) 12 million children are in this bracket, 552,830 people are homeless. When we consider the military spending in the USA and add to all other nations in war preparations, if there were no war and nations would cooperate in addressing human needs, we could in fact have heaven on earth.
Another way to look at military budget and political hypocrisy, it seems that everybody wants freedom for Ukraine. Even the right wing racist elected official who wants freedom for Ukraine but not political freedom for people of African Ancestry and other minorities in the US. 19 states have passed 34 laws forcing voter restrictions. 49 states have introduced 449 laws to access voting rights.
While the Nations heat up, and it has previously stated in an article written by Michael Von Der Schulenberg, “for peace in Ukraine, Europe must finally find its own voice. The greatest danger for Europe would come from a strategy aimed at achieving a military victory against Russia in the Ukraine. Such as strategy would result in unpredictable reactions from Russia. For Russia, the Ukraine war has become a question of national survival and we must not assume that Russia will use everything it has to avoid leaving the battlefield a loser. But how far would the nuclear power that Russia has will go? Do we really want to test this? And, in the event of a looming Russian defeat wouldn't we have to be prepared for China's involvement as a force reaction to prevent what it may see as and USA encroachment. Suddenly, the Russian - Ukraine war could turn into a dangerous confrontation among three nuclear powers.
A victorious peace seems unlikely. Despite all of its military superiority, the USA(with one exception, the UN-sanctioned liberation of Kuwait in 1999) has never won a war. It has ultimately left behind only destruction, chaos and much devastation. They never brought democracy. Will this now also be the fate of Ukraine? Would not fantasies of achieving a military victory result in in measurable suffering to the Ukrainian people? How can we, Europeans, share responsibility for that.
It is more likely that Russia will dig in and maintain control over large parts of eastern and southern Ukraine. This would threaten to divide Ukraine. The result of this war will not be a proud victory but a farmed out, divided, internally torn and economically devastating Ukraine that could become increasingly ungovernable. And all this would have been achieved through western military help”.
Wouldn't it be in Europe’s interest to support, even demand a negotiated peace? In doing so, Europe would follow the call of the world community to resolve the Ukraine conflict peacefully. In the UN General Assembly member states not only condemn rushes illegal military aggression, but also called on all parties to end this war through dialogue and negotiations.
Recently the UN Security Council repeated the call for a peaceful solution in a statement. There is no mention of arm deliveries or even a victorious piece in any you win resolution.
Obviously, we joined with the UN and the world community in demanding that the conflict in Ukraine be resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiations. Even a return to the negotiation table where they once were and that a starting point be what was already achieved in the prior settlement.
We put forth our eight issues to be addressed and that the military budgets address human needs:
1. Peace in and among nations. Peace must be observed and then into hatred, violence and killings including war in and among nations.
2. Nuclear Disarmament-the nations of the world Must cease nuclear testing and disarm nuclear weapons.
3. Environmental Justice-the disadvantaged communities will no longer be neglected or exploited or poisoned as is the case with Flint Michigan. And fracking must be stopped or only in rare situations would it be allowed with communities and scientist sanctions.
4. Sustainable Energy -all nations, individuals will cease using destructive fuel and other elements that create climate change.
5. Economic Justice -fair manufacturing and distribution of goods and services be implemented. The elimination of poverty and the development and fair implementation of medicine become the global goal. Resources of the world will be more equally divided. I have already pointed out earlier in my speech that the nation's military budget could more than add adequately take care of all the earths population's needs and beyond. We could literally make a heaven on earth with the military budgets. The world's eligible population desiring to be employed will be gainfully employed and, in some instances, share in the production of their labor.
6. Human rights -all people will enjoy freedom justice and equality and observe Thomas Jefferson quote “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
7. Human needs - end to poverty and the immeasurable resources.
8. Human mobility - the nations of the world will implement a humane policy that permits travel for pleasure and residents