a response to the destruction of Alderaan

My fellow citizens of the galaxy,

By now, you have most certainly heard the harrowing news of Alderaan’s destruction. If you have not already been privy to this knowledge, then I am sorry to inform you that this relatively peaceful planet and its two billion inhabitants have been annihilated by the iron fist of the Galactic Empire.

A statement from an Imperial spokesperson purports that the obliteration of Alderaan was “a requited response to the seditious anti-Imperial movement sweeping the planet.” I will agree that as the governing body of the galaxy, the Empire is well within its rights to subdue any threat to its supremacy. But, my friends, we must consider this question: at what point do the Empire’s actions shift from preventative measures to ensure its continued authority to assaultive slaughter of its own innocent citizens?

From what I have gathered, an act intended to intimidate the Rebel Alliance has only fomented countless others to join the Alliance’s cause. Open civil war, now, seems imminent. Our galaxy, which has already seen its fair share of tumult in the past two decades, is on the brink of something that could destroy us. I fear the horror of the Clone Wars could be eclipsed by what’s about to happen.

War seems to be the only recourse, and how terribly tragic that is, for war has never solved a thing. Galactic history is a series of wars with intermittent pockets of peace dashed here and there. When one faction wins its war, it is only a matter of time before another usurper arises to play at another war. Should the Rebellion, by some cosmic miracle, happen to win this war and topple the Empire, I can assure you the peace will not last. Perhaps the Imperial remnant will rebuild and respond, or perhaps a new threat will wrest control of the galaxy. Whatever face the enemy takes, be sure it will always exist.

There are some rebel sympathizers who say, “If we want peace, we must prepare for violence.” Unfortunately, history proves that violence does not beget peace, only more violence. Perhaps if all life forms across the galaxy were not so reactive, violence could engender peace. But this is not so.

So, assuming we have already condemned the Empire and its pernicious acts, what are we to do? Do we strap on our blasters and march off to war, knowing full well this could bring us to ruin? Do we load up our X-wings and strike, knowing at best we can only win a transitory peace before the next menace thumbs its nose at us? Are these “intermittent pockets of peace” worth sacrificing hundreds of thousands of lives?

These questions I cannot answer, nor is anyone asking me to do so. I only hope that those who must will consider the questions carefully before taking action. Our lives, and the future of our galaxy, balance precariously on the blade of a knife, and a whiff of breath in one direction or another could change everything we’ve ever known.

May the Force be with us all.

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