Give Peace A Chance

Last Saturday evening, I was reading the news before I went to bed. I read where the US had deployed the 101st Airborne Division to the northern border of Romania, about three miles from the border of Ukraine. Brigadier General John Lubas stated that the 101st, “The Screaming Eagles,” were not deployed in a training mission but in a combat-ready mission. He stated they were ready to go into Ukraine should the conflict escalate or if a NATO country was attacked. The 101st Airborne has not been deployed to Europe since our entry into World War II eighty years ago.

As I thought about this fact, I thought to myself, “We’re getting ready for a ground war.” I then checked the stats. Before the war started in Ukraine, the US had 60,000 troops stationed in Europe; now there are 100,000 soldiers there at the ready. What bothers me most about these statistics is that at the moment there is not a serious effort to get the parties involved in peace negotiations.

The US could press the Ukrainians to the peace table but it is not being done. The fact that it would take so little for the US to get involved in a ground war in Ukraine should give us all pause. Just think what would happen if one errant missile landed in a Romanian or a Polish village. Would that be the pretext for NATO getting involved in the current war? Wars have been started in the past with less than that as a provocation.

There was a line in a chorus that protesters sang during the 1970’s while the Vietnam War was going on. It went like this, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” Over and over we sang this line. Just give peace a chance. And now, is anyone seriously pursuing peace in the Ukrainian conflict? Not that I can see. Anyone who mentions pursuing peace is shouted down and pressured to stop talking. I want to know when did peace become a dirty word?

If you feel like I do, let’s do something. I know we can make a difference. We can write our representatives in Washington and let them know we want them to slow down this rush to war. They are holding the purse strings that are allowing this war to continue. And of course, we can pray. We must pray that people will wake up and quit blindly marching to war. We can pray that the Russians will not make a mistake that will draw all of Europe and the US into a ground war. And finally we can pray that men on all sides of the conflict will be open to negotiations and give peace a chance.

Image by Engin Akyurt. Courtesy of Pixabay


Gravitas is a word we don’t hear much of these days. It is a Latin word that has made its way into our vocabulary. It means, “dignity, seriousness or solemnity of manner,” according to Oxford Languages.

There is a lot to be serious about these past few weeks since Russia invaded the Ukraine. Unfortunately, thanks to the twenty-four-hour news cycle, some have made comments that show a lack of gravitas or at least good sense. I have heard remarks calling for the assassination of Vladimir Putin. Do not these people remember what started World War I? In 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo. A chain of events followed and Europe was plunged into the First World War. This ended with the loss of 40 million lives and the devastation of Europe.

Many are calling for NATO to establish a No-Fly Zone over the Ukraine. If just one NATO plane is shot down by the Russians, it will invoke Article 5, the commitment clause of the Alliance, forcing all countries in the Alliance to engage in the war. War is hell, there is no doubt about that. We are no longer talking about conventional war though. Many of the nations involved have a nuclear capability and heaven forbid, we could be talking about nuclear war.

Those of us who have lived in the nuclear age know that the possibility of nuclear war is very real and we should be ever so careful to not enter into a conflict that could trigger such a war. Words matter and we need to have a certain gravitas when discussing the possibility of actions that could indeed escalate into a nuclear conflict.

Image by Boa Photo Studio, courtesy of Pixabay.