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Study War No More
Peace Poems and Service Songs by H. Paul Shuch

Call To Arms
copyright 1994

At Nurenberg the ministers of fear,
The operatives of a great machine
Attempted to absolve themselves from blame
By saying "I was only following orders.
I did not write this policy of death,
Care nothing about politics. It's not
For me to be concerned with right or wrong."
It did not wash. We knew then, more than now,
That all men are responsible for their acts
And cannot hide behind a paper shield.

In Vietnam the ministers of power,
The leaders of the democratic world
Attempted to absolve themselves from blame
By saying "I was only giving orders.
I fired no weapon, never took a life.
Besides, it's only politics. My job
Was keeping our great nation's pride intact."
But at what cost? We know now, more than then,
That nations are responsible for more
Than simply the survival of their own.

Around the world the ministers of life
Continue struggling valiantly for peace
And understanding in a brutal time
By saying "There is no more us and them.
The politics of power has brought us naught.
We're all of us, for better or for worse
Aboard this ship together to the end."
If we cannot learn now, we never will.
The time for building unity has come,
The veterans' final battle has begun.

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