2004 — 4th Place — 8th Grade

Alex Brands, Florida

Can there be world peace?

Can world peace be accomplished when human judgment and human opinion cause conflicts? Will the United States' strategy of using war to fight peace prevail or will this strategy demolish the world's dream of peace? Can there be world peace or will human nature make war inevitable.

World peace is an effort the United States has been working towards for years; trying to be "the police of the world" and keep radical countries under control. These efforts have not gone unnoticed. The United States military is currently in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting a war against "terrorism" and attempting to "nation build" at the same time. As a nation, we are trying to bring peace to the world by fighting those who oppose democracy and self-rule. I feel these tactics will never prevail due to the fact that using violence to create peace will continue a cycle of war and peace eras simply because war begets war.

As humans, we also have opinions, although we don't always take action based on our opinions, opinions remain. For instance, I disagree with the United States government regarding the war in Iraq. I do not believe the troops should be in Iraq. However that does not mean I will not support the troops. Some people act upon their opinions and protest; still others take more action. In World War II Hitler had a poor opinion of the Jews and acted upon it by exterminating millions of people, which resulted in the holocaust.

Difference in religious beliefs also make world peace difficult. Today's world has a variety of religions. Some religious followers are peaceful, others violent. Conflicts over religious values create religious rivalry and discontentment between religious groups and within religious group. For example, there are two religions groups in Ireland, the Catholic and the Protestant. These two groups have had conflict over beliefs and land for many years. There also exists today within the Islamic community, religious discontentment. Muslim extremists believe that if they die in martyrdom they will go to heaven regardless if they kill others in the process.

In summary, achieving world peace is very difficult due to the impact of conflicting human opinions and differences in religious beliefs. These factors contribute to a never-ending cycle of ware and peace. War is inevitable if citizens of the world cannot put their differences aside and live in harmony. Trying to achieve peace through violence only creates differences in opinion and discontentment, which in turn, breeds more war.

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