Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hey Ukraine: Give peace a chance!

There is a famous song by John Lennon - 'Give Peace a Chance'. Basically the title means that we should not just take violent action when we are upset, but we should look for opportunities to solve problems peacefully. There is no excuse for violence against each other. "Give peace a chance" means "Give peace an opportunity - please try peace before you try violence." John Lennon wrote some good songs.


I think this is good advice for Vitaly Klitschko and the opposition political parties which refuse to end their violent protests in Ukraine.  (An opposition political party is a political party that does not have power, but which wants power.) Too many people are dying at this point - someone needs to show great courage and take the path of peace.

Although the US government supports the opposition parties and the protesters, the American people do not seem to.  They seem to feel that Ukraine should take care of its own problems and, frankly, based on comments I have read on the internet, they would seem to agree with me that there is no reason why so many people should have died, just because the president of Ukraine signed a trade agreement with Russia.  

Basically, it looks as if Obama and Putin hate each other, personally, and I believe that Obama is encouraging the protesters to try to cause trouble for Putin and the Russian government. I also believe that Putin offered Ukraine an economic bailout to upset the western countries. The USA and Russia are using Ukraine the way countries were used during the Cold War (1945 to 1989). Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize - over the years he has proved he did not deserve it.  

The fairly elected president of Ukraine signed a trade agreement with Russia - this is no reason for people to be violently protesting and dying.  Elections are 10 months away - if the president is unpopular, another president can be re-elected. There has to be a peaceful way to resolve this issue.

Sometimes, in a democracy, the president does unpopular things.  Not everyone is going to be happy with every decision.  Winston Churchill once said, "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." Basically he was saying that democracy is not perfect, but it is better than anything else that has been developed so far. If one group or several groups does not respect democratic processes in a democratic country, there will never be peace in that country.  

Look at what South Korea did - they went from a dictatorship to a democracy in a relatively peaceful manner and even though half the country is not happy with the current president, South Koreans are not killing each other.  

Whatever happened to people who imitated Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.?  These leaders did amazing things non-violently.  Has everyone forgotten the great people who changed things peacefully?

Video of protesters throwing firebombs at Ukrainian police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h22oHs3eiLg

Here is a short article from an English news source about the latest violence and who might be to blame for it:

The article:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/20/us-ukraine-blame-idUSBREA1J0KB20140220

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

presidency - the president is the leader of a country, 'presidency' usually refers to the office of president or the whole system under which the president operates.  i.e. Obama assumed the presidency of the USA in 2008. Obama became the president in 2008.

to blame - to accuse, to state that someone has caused something which is wrong

snipers - people with guns who hide and then shoot at others

clashes - violent confrontations, violent encounters or meetings

on the offensive - they attacked, they were the aggressors

The lyrics for Give Peace a Chance:

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

(Lennon is making fun of the excuses people use for violence.  Instead of saying "Everybody's talking about capitalism, communism etc..." he creates a bunch of stupid sounding 'ism's.)

(C'mon)
Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Minister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters,
Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye byes
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

(Let me tell you now)
Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulation,
Integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulations
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary,
Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper,
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
Hare Hare Krishna
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

(In this last stanza he mentions a number of famous people from the late 1960s and early 1970s who were against the Vietnam War.)



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