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Costa Rica’s Peace Journey

Costa Rica’s Peace Journey

Robert C. Koehler

“This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

Dwight Eisenhower gave the world some extraordinary rhetoric — indeed, his words have the sting of ironic shrapnel, considering how little they have influenced the direction of the country and the world in the last six decades.

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“Our best defense is to be defenseless!”

yes! thank you, robert koehler and oscar arias. surely, i’m not the only one who has noticed that we live in “a mad, mad, mad, mad world”? here we see the symptoms of the madness in so many ways–road rage, school bullying, attacks on places of worship and yiu name it. just last week my next-door-neighbor who’s always spoken of peaceful resistance announced, "things are getting so scary! i’m getting everyone a gun, myself, my daughter and my son. i didn’t say anything at the time but hope she’ll rethink this. i’ve known karen’s son, james, since he was 14 and as a former teacher i recognize that he’s learning disabled. daughter, nichole, i’ve known since she was 17. several months ago nichole’s husband took a job as a truck driver and because he’s away from the family for so many days–they have two elementary school age kids–mom thought a gun in the house would add extra security. hmm. i’ll bring the subject up again.

the underlying cause, i think, is fear. sure, sometime any one of us may face a truly dangerous situation, but most of the time our lives aren’t at risk with every step. xenophobia, anxiety over what might happen and other phobias are a waste of time and energy. however, it’s almost impossible to rationalize away another’s fear.Is there no other way the world may live?

The whole idea of nationhood seems baptized in the concept of war, aggression and militarized “self-defense.”
if humanity desires to continue living; we must find another way to live! we are one species living in one world. either we work together in unity or continue destroying our only home in the universe. it's time each of us face the music, take responsibility and as figueres responded: “Grow up!” none of us can force another to outgrow petty fears and xenophobia. all we can do is to live up to the best that is within us and hope others may follow the example. must admit i cannot do this 100% of the time, but i think it's important to resist depression and smile! hey, it just might catch on. :slight_smile:
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now, i am a believer in the right to self defense, but these wars of aggression meant to enrich the already lavishly wealthy have everything to do with maintaining the myth of capitalism and nothing to do with “keeping america safe,” the deciders of the munitions industry as well as our most venal political class work overtime to keep the populace divided and fearful. we often read posts that say that “they”–you know who i mean by “they”, right? we often flatter them by calling them “the powers that be” or “the elite” but “they” take it as a compliment because we recognize that “they” are to be envied and respected.they” have no problems, but “they” use our fear to subdue us. actually, “they” are very afraid. think about it, do “they” want a military and fully armed police force to protect you and i or because “they” really don’t trust us? it is their own deep and relentless fear that “they” project onto us.

¡no acepto! :sunglasses:

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Warfare is a major way the 1% controls and exploits the 99%. In baronial Germany hundreds of years ago there was an agreement to keep some low level warfare going. The 1% knew that the fear of being attacked was the easiest way to get the people to support them and build their castles which were presented and occasionally used as defense. It worked then and it works now. The people need to realize this and “grow up” and force their representatives to “grow up”.

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This reply is to both your posts. I love what you said. It is very well put! I totally agree with you.

thank you, nighthawk! :slight_smile:

What allows the Empire justifies eternal war. The growth of this Empire, the over-the-top Super Patriots duty to rule all, is not paranoia only. It is preemptive intimidation, not unlike the continual threat of a spouse-abusing husband. Formal religion, with its emphasis on male leadership, builds a system of rules and regulations and a hierarchy much like an army does. When there is no standing army, no historical ( state ) hierarchy exists to do all sorts of this type of psychological damage to the mental and physical wellness of a country.
Costa Rica is a highly secular country with a lot of lapsed Christians, too. It creates a space for all to feel more free to choose. It has universal healthcare and a very green economy, as well. Life and happiness indexes are off the charts compared to America.
You could spend months; more probably, explaining the benefits of peace and prosperity for all to the average citizen of America, using Costa Rica as an example… And, they’d be nodding their head in total agreement, right up to the point where he/she killed you and stole all your private possessions. Because we allow our empire to do this in our name on a daily basis. " Is this a great country ( empire ), or what? "

Costa Rica has always had a non-military tradition. When the Honduran freedom fighter Francisco Morazan tired to make good his dream of a united Central America by conscripting an army from young men in San Jose, the Josefinos fought back, tracked him down and executed him in San Jose’s Central Park. Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly has a quote from Jose Castro Madriz outside its chamber that "the sword is the enemy of freedom. Let us block its way to power. When Oscar Arias says that not having an army is Costa Rica’s defense, he is paraphrasing Castro Madriz (whom Arias quoted in his first inaugural address) who said “Since Costa Rica cannot rely on military might it must rely on the good opinion of nation.”

Costa Rica is also the only country in the world to meet all five criteria for environmental sustainability specified by the United Nations Development Program (and is expected to be carbon-neutral within a few years).
Though much poorer than the U.S., Costa Rica provides free health care to all of its citizens and even to permanent residents and has the best health care in Central America.
Costa Rica life expectancy = 79.7 years
U.S. Life expectancy = 78.7 years