Message to Peace Rally in Castlegar, BC March 17, 2007

Read by Larry A. Ewashen, Curator, Doukhobor Discovery Centre, Castlegar, British Columbia

Dear Friends:

‘War is murder’ said Lev N. Tolstoy, a thought that has been echoed by many through the centuries. This week Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor the 2007 winner of the prestigious Templeton Prize for world thinking said that war in Iraq was ‘a catastrophic error by the USA’. Over 3000 American solders have died and almost three-quarters of a million Iraqis (most of them civilians). Many more have been crippled and will never experience normal life. With such loss, surely the time has come when people should understand the criminality and injustice of war. 

But will people learn from past history? Will our politicians stand up and speak truth to power in the face of lies disguised as truth? It takes courage to go against the patriotic fervor of the day with the beating of drums and all that military jazz. But stand up we must if we are to support the age-old quest in getting rid of the scourge of war. 

The message today should be loud and clear: ‘Get foreign troops out of Iraq as well as out of Afghanistan.’ When it is a question of sovereignty, we are all invaders. 

Let today’s message make us uncomfortable. Let the message stimulate all of us as parents of young people who may be invited to take the gun for ‘country’, as educators at school, as entrepreneurs who are enticed to make money from violence and wars and as voters, to stop this nonsense of sanctioned state murder. 

The last word goes to Tolstoy: ‘There is only one thing in this world which is worth dedicating all your life. This is creating more love among people and destroying barriers which exist between them.’   (Lev N. Tolstoy in his A Calendar of Wisdom).  Let’s do our part to take away the occasion for war.                                  

In peace, Koozma J. Tarasoff
March 16, 2007
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