Peace on Earth: from science fiction to reality

Earlier this week, I watched one of my favorite movies, “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” again and could not help but once more be intrigued by the fascinating 1951 film. For those who have not had the pleasure of seeing it, the plot involves a humanlike alien, Klaatu, and an indestructible bodyguard robot, Gort, flying a spaceship to Washington D.C. Naturally, the government, army, and ordinary citizens are swept with panic and show hostile attitudes towards the visitors, without actually knowing what their motives are. Eventually, Klaatu is shot dead but later revived by Gort. It turns out that Klaatu’s intentions in coming to Earth was to warn humans that they must cease all violence towards one another, or Gort and other robot beings will destroy their planet. This power comes from other species and worlds in space that have created these robots in order to put an end to aggression and maintain universal peace. Klaatu maintains that it is up to the people of Earth to decide, and as he leaves, we can see the sad look on his face regarding humankind’s combative nature. Granted, this is fiction, and we have no concrete evidence of an alien species, but watching this classic film again made me deeply realize the sad truth of life. We may never have true peace on Earth, and that’s deplorable. Throughout history, we have seen empires, leaders, and governments who have had their own agendas and created conflicts that have taken too many lives and years away from a peaceful humanity.

One would think that we would have learned from our mistakes in the past, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Even today, our leaders talk the talk about peace but don’t follow through on walking the walk. Just yesterday, Iranian President Ahmadinejad said Iran his country would “bring down global arrogance.” Not only is this an arrogant statement in itself, but if Ahmadinejad truly wanted smaller nations to be able to share the same powers as the dominant Western world, why doesn’t he call for diplomatic discussions between all the parties involved?

I applaud President Obama for pushing diplomacy more than recent presidents in our history; however, our nation as a whole still has a phenomenal task in trying to stand as an example for the rest of the world.

The U.S. government has taken a course of hypocrisy over equality & harmony in demanding that Iran dismantle its nuclear program while insisting that we maintain ours. We need to be aware that there are people outside of America who might think they also live in the “greatest country in the world.” Disagreements are fine. But violence and conflict is not.

Why do we feel the need to take other human lives in the name of ‘progress?’ What actually goes on in the minds of our world leaders when they initiate war? Do the rich and powerful not want to see human beings coexist harmoniously with one another? It seems that we’ve had to ask these questions for so long, and we may never get any answers.

I have no hidden agenda behind this column; I, like many others, simply wish to see actual peace on Earth. When it comes down to supporting a war, there is no distinction between Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Fascists, or any other ideology. With a failing global economy, rampant hunger and poverty, and the continued threat of global warming, world peace would allow us to confront the problems of our time. The decision is ours.

Remy is a senior in communication and English.