Unless you’re in the habit of avoiding the news you’ve no doubt caught wind of reports of escalating violence in Syria. After two and a half years of civil war the news that the Syrian President had launched a chemical attack on his own people recently made headlines.
In short order, the US weighed in with their opinion. The rhetoric went along the lines that the only possible response was to fire missiles on Syrians to ensure that such behaviour does not escalate.
Closer to home suggestions started to circulate on Facebook that intervention was necessary – firing missiles on Syria was not only the appropriate response, but was absolutely critical. I decided to share my own thoughts with the following post on my Facebook wall.
“To presume that there must be violence to end violence in Syria is to see Syrians as lesser than they truly are. I for one believe that universal love is the answer, regardless of how painful it may be to awaken to and realize truth. An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.”
The response to my Facebook post was rapid and firm. Comments ranged from suggesting I consider Bosnia and World War II, to the clichéd, “Go ahead and give peace a chance. I’ll stay back here and cover you in case it doesn’t work out…”
My subsequent response went as follows:
“I recall a small Indian man bringing down an empire’s rule. He witnessed tens of thousands killed. He lived beneath the worst tyranny imaginable. He offered non-violence as the cure. He found peace within barbarism and tyranny. He proved that love will ALWAYS prevail. His name was Gandhi, and I for one believe his was the relevant message.
If pointing to past choices is going to drive your worldview then don’t be surprised if you encounter violence begetting yet more violence. I for one happen to believe that everyone is God individualized. That means that everyone involved has a choice. Yes, some choices are destructive. But Love will always prevail. I pray for peace. I accept that attaining peace will sometimes be painful, very painful, because we each have choice. But I know that universal love WILL prevail.”
A couple of days later I was pleasantly surprised when someone, who’d been a strong advocate for missile strikes, shared an article at cnn.com (http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/05/opinion/regan-intervening-in-civil-wa...) titled, Syria strike would put peace further out of reach. In short, professor Regan of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, concluded that research showed that intervention in civil wars accounts for a 50% increase in the length of the war. Clearly, the casual comment to look to history wasn’t supported by credible research.
Shortly after this, a video surfaced on my Facebook news feed showing that the US Secretary of State had deliberately mislead the government, the media and the rest of the world. Secretary Kerry’s claim was that an ultimatum to the Syrian Government-to allow UN inspectors into the country to seek evidence for use of chemical weapons-had been issued on Thursday had not been responded to until Sunday. However, another admission later and it became clear that the aforementioned demand had not actually been sent to the Syrian government until Saturday.
As is customary, the stories that fly around in such moments, particularly through mainstream media, do not have a track record of transparency. But regardless of such opinions a story tonight surfaced that brings us back to an earlier point. Whilst this civil war has yet to fully resolve progress has been made that did not require the US to fire missiles on Syrians.
It turns out that an off-the-cuff remark from Secretary Kerry that Syria could avoid war with the US by handing over all chemical stockpiles to international control took on a life of its own. By the end of the day President Obama was, “claiming the apparent thaw as a victory for his administration’s aggressive stance.”
Whatever the case, this complex situation and the apparent outcome do highlight how challenging wielding power can be. There is no doubt that in this stage of the world’s evolution that there are those who are vulnerable. I’ve no doubt that there are opinions that adamantly stick to the position that the threat of intervention was necessary. Some, in the face of both the science and how events unfolded, might maintain that intervention is still required.
However, it occurs to me that this is a perfect time to hold a more profound vision. The human race is evolving. On a domestic note, crime has declined in the United States since the early 1990’s, and current crime rates are approximately the same as those of the 1960′s. On a wider scale, “the last decade has seen fewer war deaths than any decade in the past 100 years, based on data compiled by researchers Bethany Lacina and Nils Petter Gleditsch of the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Worldwide, deaths caused directly by war-related violence in the new century have averaged about 55,000 per year, just over half of what they were in the 1990s (100,000 a year), a third of what they were during the Cold War (180,000 a year from 1950 to 1989), and a hundredth of what they were in World War II. If you factor in the growing global population, which has nearly quadrupled in the last century, the decrease is even sharper. Far from being an age of killer anarchy, the 20 years since the Cold War ended have been an era of rapid progress toward peace.”
In short, crime is down, and there are fewer war deaths. It turns out that we are indeed headed in the right direction. That said, whilst defending those who cannot defend themselves is noble, nobler still is the embodiment of peace and universal love that transcends the need for defense.
Given the omnipresence of the Divine it could be that the evolution of the human race was bound to benefit from acts of intervention. There are profound moments in time where innocents appear to have benefitted from others stepping in to offer protection. And peace-keeping missions have walked fine-lines and yet yielded incalculable benefit.
That said, I propose that now is the time to consider a grander vision. Given that disciplines such as Quantum Physics are proving that thought creates, now is clearly the time to seriously turn our thoughts to the embodiment of peace and universal love so that a more loving reality can unfold on Earth. I believe that at some point the human race will embody peace and universal love in such a way that the need to rush to the defense of others will be a thing of the past.
The noblest defense of all is the absence of the need to defend. And even at this stage of our evolution, and in the face of a perceived need shared by many to fire missiles to kill yet more Syrians, it turns out that an off-the-cuff comment did more to defuse the situation than missiles ever could. As we evolve, and as the numbers of those engaged actively in thinking and embodying peaceful and loving thoughts increases, we will experience the unfolding of a glorious and noble reality. In the not too distant future we will transcend the need for defense.
Carmien's purpose is to inspire people to awaken to their spiritual magnificence. His primary passion is the pursuit of spirituality, and he does that through extensive practice, study, song writing, and developing the spiritual vehicle at www.knowtheflow.ca. You can follow @KnowTheFlow on Twitter. His first book, Know the Flow: 180 Blogs to Spiritual Awakening is available now through your local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer.