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Harnessing Patriotism for Peace by Jean Baptiste Sadrack sadloverbetter@yahoo.

com Patriotism is a strong feeling of love and pride for ones homeland, its customs, its history, and its people. Patriotism developed as humankind ceased its roaming and formed civilizations. With the passing of time, patriotism increases in strength and appeal to the masses, fostering the awareness of possible threats posed by other countries. Patriotism is perhaps one of those mysterious bringers of weapons into our midst. When one country feels stronger than another country, patriotism feeds that fire leading often to invasion and even enslavement of neighboring or foreign lands. Thus the question: Shall we conquer or be conquered? In ancient Rome, many atrocities in the name of Roman patriotism occurred, including torture. In Nazi Germany, Adolph Hitler employed patriotism in his quest to kill millions of Jews, Gypsies, and other marginalized peoples he viewed as a threat to a Nazi homeland. This act of brutal patriotism in the name of nation-building caused the entire globe to escalate into unprecedented bloodletting. Even today, countries among us continue to develop weapons of mass destruction in their bid to rule the world. Patriotism promotes warfare and despises peace. Patriotism may empower individuals to pride in their nationality, but that love of country often comes at the expense of weaker nations. Perhaps humankind will progress in unity once we imagine ourselves as part of one homeland, one civilization. Surely we are all citizens of planet Earth. Lets bury the ax-head of patriotism. And in that spirit let us recognize that no man or woman is a stranger among friends.