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In The Sand Box
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World Leaders Acting Like Adolescent Children

By James Donahue

As U.S. President Bush and his military brass at the Pentagon continue to rattle sabers over the Iranian issue, notice that a distinct sound of rattling can also be heard from Russia.

Russian military leaders recently announced the successful detonation of a new and powerful vacuum bomb they say packs as big a wallop as the first American atomic weapons used on Japan during World War II.

Within days of that announcement, Retired Lt. General Thomas McInerney, chairman of the Iran Policy Committee, said the U.S. has a 13-ton super bomb even more destructive than Russia's vacuum bomb. He said it is "a new massive ordinance penetrator that's 30,000 pounds that really penetrates."

What we have here is the distinct image of little boys challenging each other in the sand box. They are literally playing that old childhood game of dare and double-dare, claiming their bombs are bigger and better than the other guy's.

For those of us in the civilian world, who have lived under the threat of atomic, hydrogen, and now the rumors of neutron bombs for over half a century, boasts of new "vacuum" and "super" non-nuclear bombs have little or no meaning. All that we know is that world nuclear nations, mostly the United States, Russia, China, and Israel, have large enough arsenals of big bombs to destroy the world at the push of a few buttons.

Our prayer has always been that we always have responsible people standing at the helm of these governments, who are never willing to push that button.

And it has been our fear, due to the sometimes irrational behavior of our current leadership in the United States, that we may be rushing into a situation where we might be goaded into lobbing one of those new weapons into a foreign country. If it is done it won't happen out of a need for war. It will be a pure act of insanity.

There is no good reason for the world to ever go to war. Yet the world appears to be rushing toward war in spite of efforts by rational and thinking minds to put the brakes on what appears to already be a runaway freight train.

Some hopeful signs have been seen in recent days as well. Russian President Valdimir Putin's visit to Iran and his assurance to the world that Tehran is not attempting to build a nuclear weapon, was a very positive event. Also President Hu's message to the Chinese Congress, inviting Taiwan to participate in peace talks to dispell a looming threat of a military move, and North Korea's agreement to give up nuclear ambitions, also are positive moves.

But efforts to avoid war must be shared by all, and with fervor. As the Turks prepare to send troops into Norther Iraq against Kurdish forces, the Israelis fail to make peace with neighboring Palestinians, and fighting breaks out in Sri Lanka and other corners of the world, we find that there seems to be a defect in the human condition. We appear destined to choose war instead of peace, even though it has been proven that war only results in extreme pain and suffering for all involved. Nothing has ever been resolved through combat and killing. Yet we fail to stop ourselves from striking when a simple act of love would fix everything.

We are reminded of the months prior to the start of the European conflict that quickly evolved into the Great War, or what we now refer to as World War I. In those days, the nations of Europe and Northern Asia were ruled by kings. Because of a common practice of royalty preferring to cross borders to marry royalty, all of the rulers were related. They were at least cousins and knew one another personally.

As the threat of war in Europe mounted, it is said that all of these rulers were in constant communication with one another, all of them agreeing not to go to war. They all agreed that it would serve no purpose. Yet, in the end, they appear not to have been able to stop the inevitable.

Are we seeing history repeat itself? Heaven help us if this is true, for a world conflict today will bring devastating consequences for all.

"Little children, love one another."