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Can we say goodbye to war?

East campus hosted a conversation to ask how we can end the bloodshed.

 

Memorial display at the Western campus

Photo of the Veterans garden at West campus, taken from the Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies in May 2013. The conversation at East aims to reduce the numbers of fallen soldiers added to these ceremonies.
(Photo by Jeremy Hopkins)

By Mackenzie Saunders, West staff writer

On Friday, January 31, at the Eastern Campus of Tri-C, the Tri-C Global Issues Resource Collaborative in partnership with the Ashland Center for Non-Violence at Ashland University presented a critical conversation entitled, “Can We Say Goodbye To War?” Three leading experts in their field were provided to guide the conversation and answer questions.

[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”25%”]”It seems quite possible the U.S. will never again engage in on-the-ground wars again.“[/pullquote] John Mueller, a political scientist in international relations and a leading thinker in the End of War theory, spoke first. Mueller, a political scientist in international relations and a leading thinker in the End of War theory, spoke first. Mueller illustrated the idea that before World War 2, peace used to be considered detrimental to the health of a nation. The idea that “war is a bad” is roughly 120 years old according to Mueller. He argues, “it seems quite possible the U.S. will never again engage in on-the-ground wars again.”

Not all the speakers supported the ‘End of War’ theory, however. Michael Shank, Ph.D, disagreed with Mueller.  Shank happens to be a board member and adjunct professor at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Director of Foreign Policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington D.C. He claims, “We are increasingly using military” and America has taken a “’Militarist trend’ in the name if security.”

Shank also traveled to most of the ‘enemy states’ in an effort to “dispel the myth” of the stereotypical harsh environment that most Americans imagine in reference to them.  “It is very easy to go to war with a country you know nothing about.” Shank also asserts that, “We (Americans) don’t focus on the important things” and that “Corruption is pervasive in our government.”

The third speaker was Bridget Moix, a consultant to United States Agency for International Development on Atrocities Prevention and thought leader in war prevention and social justice. Moix brought the lighter side to the serious topic by a super bowl commercial where the main message was, ‘Make Love, Not War.’ She commented the idea peace was popular was very heartening. Moix reports that, “Violence (in general) is on decline” and seemed to support Mueller’s idea that on-the-ground war would one day be eradicated.[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left” width=”20%”]Shank also asserts that, “we (Americans) don’t focus on the important things” [/pullquote]

The crowd voiced concerns from problems with major media sources to the existence of slavery in our culture today. The responses from the speakers were both understanding and encouraging as people voiced their opinions and views, and one army veteran told her story. The remerging, and comforting, theme in the conversation seemed to be what Michael Shank said during his talk, “People are people are people.”

*For more information on the Global Issues Resource Center, contact Tyler Olson at Tyler.Olson@tri-c.edu or Like them on Facebook!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2014/02/18/can-say-goodbye-war/

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