|In view of the Caribbean Sea, the flag of the United States of America is raised at the U.S. Embassy compound in Havana, Cuba.|
Friday, (Aug. 14, 2015), Secretary of State John Kerry presided over a flag-raising ceremony for the historic re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. It was the first time since 1945 that a sitting U.S. Secretary of State stood on Cuban soil and the first time in 54 years that Old Glory flew at the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Click below for the State Dept. feed of the flag raising:
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, a Council of Foreign Relations daily briefing reported Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marked the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II by expressing "profound grief" for the victims of the war and referencing previous official apologies for Japan's imperial conquest of Asia.
But Abe added: "We must not let our children, grandchildren, and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize."
The address comes weeks after Japan's lower house approved constitutional changes that would enable its forces to fight overseas for the first time since the war. Historical resentment over the invasion, occupation and atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during the war still rile relations between Japan and its East Asian neighbors.
Quite an interesting day in history.
Pillar to Post suggests by remembering the past and expressing forgiveness, we can move forward to the creation of a lasting peace. The world, however, remains at a cross roads and a roadblock. The last vestiges of barbaric tribalism, aka those who believe murder in defense of religion is holy, will continue to push the civilized world into military action much to the ongoing delight of the arms industry worldwide.
That, however, is not about who controls oil. Ending world turmoil is not about finally proving what faith is best. Organized religion has done much for the world in terms of goodness (if we ignore the Inquisition and the rape of the native Americans by European explorers in the name of god). It is time to rid the world of hate based religion.
This will not be easy because we must dissolve the PC candy coating to understand world peace today is threatened by a battle between the homo sapiens and the Neanderthals. Beheadings in the name of religion is nothing more than the ugly residue of modern day cave dwellers, who remain captive of their holy hate based heritage. The haters are increasingly called on to use brutal actions to keep the faithful in line. The more the leaders are challenged the more violent they become.
How does one change the mindset of an individual or institution that is willing to murder over perceived blasphemy? One hopes the Internet will continue to be the spark to lead the tribes out of the cave much as the invention of the printing press hastened Western Civilization into the Renaissance.
Until the day comes when we no longer murder in the name of god, the world must endure the sick side of religion as the last of the faith based cave dwellers will not go quietly.
Today, however, is a day for hope. It is rife with symbolism. It has take Japan 70 years to formally apologize. It has taken the US and Cuba decades to realize boycotts and animosity lead nowhere.
Today, let’s think of the future to a world when hate has gone out of religion. Let’s work toward convincing the haters that world domination doesn’t work. It’s not achievable. Why shed blood over a fantasy.
Then and only then can we tackle the real 800-pound gorilla: the business of war and the barons of weaponry manufacturing who espouse peace is bad for business.