Barack Obama For Peace
by Rene Reid • Reno, NV
Editors’s note: We do not hold any political party affiliation. We simply desire universal peace.
Everywhere you look, people from all walks of life are linking the concept of peace with the Democratic nominee for president.
Cat Stevens’ song, Peace Train, is now on YouTube with Barack Obama standing on the caboose inviting others to come aboard. Feminists for Peace did not choose to support the obvious female Democratic candidate but rather put their endorsement behind Senator Obama: “We urgently need a Presidential candidate who understands that ‘pre-emptive’ attacks on other countries and the reliance on military force have diminished rather than strengthened our national security.”
At the very time when the Bush administration promised a war that would be won quickly and where we would be greeted as conquering heroes, Barack Obama warned of the severe ramifications of a U.S. invasion of Iraq in terms of length, cost, and consequences. “I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and… strengthen the recruitment arm of al Qaeda.”
Standing before the Senate the day before the war broke and recognizing its inevitability, the longtime Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, said that he wept for his country. “No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peace keeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned... After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America’s image around the globe.”
Following his comments, Senator John McCain respectfully disagreed with the remarks of the Senator from West Virginia as he supported the war. “I believe that, obviously, we will remove a threat to America’s national security because we will find there are still massive amounts of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq… Perhaps the Senator from West Virginia is right. I do not think so. Events will prove one of us correct.” Indeed, they have!
With the wisdom of hindsight, one presidential candidate can claim military experience while the other exemplifies foresight, wisdom, and good judgment. I recently read an article by Mark Morford whose column appears in the Datebook section of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Many spiritually advanced people I know, (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual), identify Obama as a Lightworker,” which Morford defines as “that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet… The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare.” I suspect that it is this rare quality – this Pied Piper of Peace – that is drawing so many of us to become involved in this election process.
Caroline Kennedy spotted this same likeness between Barack Obama and her father as she wrote: “I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them… But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.”
Obama is asking us not just to believe in his ability to bring about real change in Washington; he is asking us to believe in ours. But for that to happen, change has to begin in our own mindsets and lifestyles. I envision President Obama as a man who will himself be a person of peace and lead the rest of us by his example.
Our country represents less than five percent of the earth’s population yet consumes one-quarter of its energy.
Poor nations can’t get what they need, and their citizens suffer because America’s greed demands so much. We have to begin sharing our resources, cutting back on our extravagances, and thinking about other nations that are less fortunate than we are. For that matter, we have to begin doing the same here at home. We cannot afford to be so focused on preserving our own little empires—so worried about our taxes being raised—that we are blind to those losing their homes, working for minimum wage, and going without healthcare for themselves and their children.
To those who support Senator McCain and the continuation of the war with no end in sight, I must ask: Do you understand that funding for this war is borrowed from China and other countries? True, it doesn’t affect our pocketbooks now but our children and grandchildren will ultimately pay for this war. Don’t we have some obligation to leave our environment, our fiscal matters, and our relationship with the world better for those who come after us?
As a former Catholic nun and elected public official, author Rene Reid has a unique grasp of the politics of peace, and she has parlayed this understanding into a reality fiction novel, Peace Amidst Conflict. www.ReneReid.com.