Quotes from Writings in Response to September 11, 2001
Posted in September, 2001

"If you want to take revenge on somebody, you'd better dig two graves."
Chinese proverb

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These begin with what I posted on 9/11/01, with the newest entries being at the bottom of the page.

If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?

Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Is patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism?

What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening? Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?

Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul? Isn't this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?

The Deeper Wound  
Deepak Chopra

No "terrorist" gene is known to exist or is likely to be found. Therefore, surely the attackers, and their supporters, who were all presumably born normal, were afflicted by something that caused their metamorphosis from normal human beings capable of gentleness and affection into desperate, maddened, fiends with nothing but murder in their hearts and minds. What was that?

Tragically, CNN and the US media have so far made little attempt to understand this affliction. The cost for this omission, if it is to stay this way, cannot be anything but terrible. What we have seen is probably the first of similar tragedies that may come to define the 21st century as the century of terror. There is much claptrap about "fighting terrorism" and billions are likely to be poured into surveillance, fortifications, and emergency plans, not to mention the ridiculous idea of missile defence systems. But, as a handful of suicide bombers armed with no more than knives and box-cutters have shown with such devastating effectiveness, all this means precisely nothing. Modern nations are far too vulnerable to be protected - a suitcase nuclear device could flatten not just a building or two, but all of Manhattan. Therefore, the simple logic of survival says that the chances of survival are best if one goes to the roots of terror.

Black Tuesday: The View from Islamabad
Pervez Hoodbhoy, Professor of Physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

President Bush and his comrades have declared a war with no natural finale, with no obvious terms of victory.

...In this war on terrorism, the violence is not likely to flow in only one direction. That is not to say bold and severe steps should not be taken against the mass-murderers who orchestrated and executed the September 11 attack. The United States should move against them. But the profound vulnerabilities of the United States ought to be weighed heavily when options are considered, and responses ought to be designed to minimize the prospects these vulnerabilities will be further exploited.

...Perhaps without the CIA intervention in Afghanistan, bin Laden would still have developed into a dangerous threat. But did McFarland and his colleagues consider the consequences that could arise from arming and emboldening anti-democratic, fundamentalist thugs in a far-away land? There is no indication they did. Their failure to do so should serve as a caution to the policymakers of today: bombs can continue to reverbate long after they have exploded; special operations set off ripples that emanate for years. Such reflection, though, is unlikely when Americans are dead and war is at hand.

A War Without End
David Corn (dacor@aol.com)
Washington Editor of The Nation

The root cause is not terrorist activity, as has been widely stated. It is the relationship between the United States and the Islamic world. Until this central cancerous problem is treated, Americans will never be free from fear...The perpetrators of the original attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 were caught and convicted. This did not stop the attack on Tuesday...the rest of the world has an absolute right to self-determination that is as defensible as our own. A despicable act of terror such as that committed in New York and Washington is a measure of the revulsion that others feel at U.S. actions that seemingly limit those rights. If we perpetuate a cycle of hate and revenge, this conflict will escalate into a war that our great-grandchildren will be fighting.

Understanding Osama bin Laden  
William O. Beeman

...bomb Afghanistan with butter, with rice, bread, clothing and medicine...Video players and cassettes of world leaders, particularly Islamic leaders, condemning terrorism...magazines and newspapers showing the horror of terrorism committed by their "guest"...laptop computers and DVD players filled with a perspective that is denied them by their government...

Bomb Them with Butter  
Kent Madin

Everything we love is fragile and vulnerable: this river, this fish, this rock. We are doomed. They know how to fight. All I know how to do is love this world...If you choose love, then you must act today to tell every person in a position of power that you will not allow our government to inflict more suffering in your name...Go out, right now, and plant yourself in the middle of that which you love most – the thing within you that is most alive. Now listen carefully, because as that love cracks your heart open, it will tell you exactly what this broken world needs from you. This is your holy work, and it cannot wait.

Love and Fear  
Yael Lachman

Back in May, you gave the Taliban in Afghanistan $48 million dollars of our tax money. No free nation on earth would give them a cent, but you gave them a gift of $48 million because they said they had "banned all drugs."

Because your drug war was more important than the actual war the Taliban had inflicted on its own people, you helped to fund the regime who had given refuge to the very man you now say is responsible for killing my friend on that plane and for killing the friends of families of thousands and thousands of people.

Michael Moore (mikemail@cloud9.net)

...the time of allowing a single child to be born into poverty is over. And denying that there are stages of maturity of mind is over. And the time of gambling with sustaining our environment is over. And the time of giving priority to the polarization caused by majoritarian democracy is over. And the time of allowing the sovereignty of nation states to stand in the way of these things is over...if we have our priorities in order.

...we know that everything is going on at the same time and nothing is so unimportant that it can be fully ignored. "Thinking in priorities" is the pattern of mind that allows us to not lose the awareness of the right relationship between and among all things while focusing on one particular thing...When we make choices, we are not really choosing between this or that. We are choosing what we will give priority.

We are moving into this stage of maturity of mind as a species. I refer to this as the evolution into the Relationship Age...

...Only unity around this pattern of thought will ultimately end war and terrorism such that survival is assured...

Welcome to the Relationship Age  
Terry Mollner (terry@trusteeship.org)

I've already been called every name in the Rush Limbaugh handbook: traitor, sinner, naive, liberal, peacenik, whiner. I'm told I am dangerous because I might get in the way of this holy project we've undertaken to keep dropping heavy objects from the sky until we've wiped out every last person who could potentially hate us...When I get to feeling I am an army of one standing out on the plain waving my ridiculous little flag of hope, I call up a friend or two. We remind ourselves in plain English that the last time we got to elect somebody, the majority of us, by a straight popular-vote count, did not ask for the guy who is currently telling us we will win this war and not be "misunderestimated."...

It is not naive to propose alternatives to war. We could be the kindest nation on Earth, inside and out...It will only end when we have the guts to say it really doesn't matter who started it, and begin to try and understand, then alter the forces that generate hatred.

No Glory in Unjust War on the Weak  
Barbara Kingsolver

The United States thinks it is going to war with bin Laden, Al-Qaida or the unnamed group directly responsible for this week's attacks. But taking down the infrastructure supporting these groups will require the U.S. to identify and dismantle the larger, global network. That, like dismantling the drug trafficking networks in Latin America, West Africa or Europe, will be a monumental task.

U.S. Faces Islamic Radical Network
STRATFOR: Strategic Forecasting

SOME OF THE MALES OF OUR SPECIES HAVE FINALLY GONE TOTALLY NUTS!..."Insight" into why one group of men is madder or more justified in exerting force than another group of men IS NO HELP AT ALL!...The total contents of even our best male politico-military minds seem to amount to no more than "power and glory and territory"...Maybe we should make it a duty for women past childbearing years to serve as military commanders, CEOs and politicos. Just for five or ten years. Try closing your eyes and imagining the world with eighty-five per cent women heads of state and corporate presidents – different, huh?

More Shock and Horror  
E. van Loon

But I also had a strong feeling of resoluteness - it made me even more determined to do something to make a difference for the better while I'm on this planet.

Andy Thomas (andythomas.scr@virgin.net)
Swirled News

And I wonder, what would it take to fling open the door in terms of what is imaginable in terms of connection and wholeness? What would it take to invite global peace in? To be able to imagine it? What would we need to learn that we do not yet know - or that we don't know how to accept?

I wonder what it is we are supposed to learn here.

Bob Stilger
New Stories

What happened on September 11 has made it feel almost impossible to follow Jesus...Can he expect his followers to love and forgive the likes of those who did this to us?...

Let us allow our hearts to be broken by the things that break the heart of God, whether from terrorism in the U.S. or from hunger in Afghanistan or Haiti or anywhere...My prayer is that in this time of pain and mourning, we will open ourselves up and allow the limitless love of Christ to flow through us to our enemies. In doing so, we will be opening our wounded hearts to the healing that only God’s love brings. The love we have for our enemies will be a balm to our own hurts.

Loving the Terrorists  
David Diggs (ddiggs@BeyondBorders.net)

If we rely solely on our military strength in retaliating, far from ending the war "in a place and time of our choosing," we will bring about counter retaliation at some time. This has been the most massive guerrilla attack ever staged, but it will pale into insignificance with future nuclear or biological attacks unless our leaders act with understanding and wisdom as well as determination.

Allan Savory (allans@holisticmanagement.org)
Holistic Resource Development

[For developing conversation between Suzanne and Allan, visit their conversation page..."Alan, I saw in the report from a client about your work that 'it truly provides a framework for saving our world.' My God, this is too good not to bring it to the fore." Suzanne]

No solution will be forthcoming in the destruction of those deemed responsible. The enemy will still be there because the enemy comes from within. The CIA supported Noriega, Marcos, Sukarno, the Shah, Idi Amin, Mobuto, the Contra, Pinochet, the Argentinian generals, d'Aubuison, Somoza, Batista, Stroessner et al - the list is long and represents the obliteration of hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. In Panama 2,000, in Nicaragua 30,000, in El Salvador 75,000, in Guatemala over 150,000, in Indonesia 300,000...

The security and welfare of the United States clearly depends on social justice for all. There must be a change in this US psyche of isolation and pre-eminence or we shall all be brought to the brink of disaster once more.

A Call for Reflection, Restraint and Responsibility
Radio Havana, Cuba

The US is acting like an enraged bull in a nuclear china shop.

Charles Gibson, Good Morning America

Already, the Bush administration is assembling an international coalition for an Israeli-style war against terrorism, as if such counter-productive acts of outrage had an existence separate from the social conditions out of which they arise. But for every "terror network" that is rooted out, another will emerge - until the injustices and inequalities that produce them are addressed.

They Can't See Why They are Hated: Americans cannot ignore what their government does abroad
Seumas Milne

When seeking to deter, compel or appease their adversaries, smart leaders first learn about their enemies' desires and fears. It is not clear that quick retaliation is what suicide bombers fear most. We cannot punish the perpetrators; they are already dead.

Being Feared Is Not Enough to Keep Us Safe
Jessica Stern

The admirable and poignant solidarity of New Yorkers, and many across the nation, is being contaminated by a military fetish, a mindless phallic nationalism, and instead of seeking solutions, we are seeking enemies.

Stan Goff – Retired US Army Veteran-come radical
Rad-Green Listserve

We are focusing on retribution and not understanding, and that worries me. If we focus on where hatred comes from and how to make it go away, we wouldn't be talking about retribution only. I hope this will end in the fact that the wonderful sense of togetherness America has shown will include other countries in the world. The best outcome is not only global policing but also global responsibility. Unless we find this type of balance, we are going to always have people who want to destroy us.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Our long sad history of signing up dictators in the war on drugs demonstrates the futility of building a foreign policy on a domestic obsession.

Bush's Faustian Deal with the Taliban
Robert Scheer

We have the possibility in our time of tragedy to create a genuine global community which is different from a self congratulatory globalism that masks economic inequality.

Transformation in Tragedy
John Mack

...the war against terrorism can only be truly won when we also declare war on the roots which cause such acts of barbarity: poverty, illiteracy, injustice, and disease. Terrorism does not arise in a vacuum but has it roots in historical, political, social and economic dysfunctions so deep, so cruel, so systemic that they create and sustain discontent until it spills over into a desperation that sees no recourse other than wanton destruction against those perceived as responsible for the plight of the terrorists. Unless there is an equally dedicated attack on the causes of terrorism, there will never be victory in the war against terrorism.

Jim Garrison
State of the World Forum

Personally, I don't know if the kind of war the current U.S. Administration is pursuing can be avoided. I also don't know if it should be. For all I know there may be a need for large numbers of human beings who are attracted to ancient cycles of violence to fight it out a few more times before they want peace enough to pursue other options.

But whatever the masses want, need, and decide to do, I feel a responsibility to do what we can to offer alternative perspectives that could, if applied, solve many of the fundamental problems that have plagued humankind since the beginning.

David Sunfellow
New Heaven New Earth

...explanations that they are brainwashed by a perverted leader who holds some kind of magical power over them is an escapist simplification and will inevitably lead us to very wrong-headed responses. Recruitment happens on a sustained basis. It will not stop with the use of military force, in fact, open warfare will create the soils in which it is fed and grows. Military action to destroy terror, particularly as it affects significant and already vulnerable civilian populations, will be like hitting a fully mature dandelion with a golf club. We will participate in making sure the myth of why we are evil is sustained and we will assure yet another generation of recruits.

The Challenge of Terror: A Traveling Essay
John Paul Lederach

We have been brutally hurled onto a new journey. I would prefer to start from where we are: confronted with something that is simply beyond us....

The shocking events of September 11, 2001, have placed us at a new beginning. My prayer is: let us be honest about our intentions, about our ignorance, and about our vulnerability.

Unsettled Dust  
Jon Ward (jon@young-assoc.com)

If the rich and powerful choose to keep to their traditions of hundreds of years and resort to extreme violence, they will contribute to the escalation of a cycle of violence, in a familiar dynamic, with long-term consequences that could be awesome. Of course, that is by no means inevitable. An aroused public within the more free and democratic societies can direct policies towards a much more humane and honorable course.

Interviewing Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Radio B92, Belgrade

In the global village, what happened to New York is merely happening uptown. What happens to Afghanistan will be happening downtown, but at the end of the day it's the same damned town.

George Bishop (su2261@eclipse.co.uk)

...there is a reservoir of fear and pain, suffering and anger, hatred and separation in your world. Why this is so is not of concern at this moment; suffice to say it is ancient in origin and that all peoples contribute to it and have therefore a responsibility towards it. All people suffer from it, whatever nation they belong to. It is a human problem, not a national or tribal one...

The Soul of America is far more than its government or any one group of people. Even if your government or members of your citizenry react with hatred and seek simple revenge, this does not mean that everyone reacts that way nor does it mean that a deepening of spirit has not taken place. For those whose desire to love, to forgive, to be peacemakers has been quickened by this event, let them extend this inclusionary, embracing spirit to their fellows, even to those who, in their own anger and pain, now seek revenge...For those who can receive it in a way that takes them into the deepest places of love and the celebration of the common spirit of humanity, and whose hearts can be opened to forgive, let them be grateful, but they should not condemn those who will receive this in different ways. If your heart is broken and opened to love, this is a grace for you to embody, not a club for you to hold over your brother's or sister's heart.

Message from the Inner Realms on the Attack on America  
David Spangler

...today's statement by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship: "Nations deny causality by ascribing blame to others: terrorists, rogue nations, and so on. Singling out an enemy, we short-circuit the introspection necessary to see our own karmic responsibility for the terrible acts that have befallen us. ...Until we own causes we bear responsibility for, in this case in the Middle East, last week's violence will make no more sense than an earthquake or cyclone, except that in its human origin it turns us toward rage and revenge."

If this time of crisis encourages us to see through the rhetoric of a war to exterminate evil, and if we begin to understand the intertwined roots of this evil, including our own responsibility, then perhaps something good may yet come out of this catastrophic tragedy.

New Holy War Against Evil? – A Buddhist Response  
David R. Loy (loy@shonan.bunkyo.ac.jp)

Does anybody think that we can send the USS New Jersey to lob Volkswagen-sized shells into Lebanese villages – Reagan, 1983 – or loose 'smart bombs' on civilians seeking shelter in a Baghdad bunker – Bush, 1991 – or fire cruise missiles on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory – Clinton, 1999 – and not receive, someday, our share in kind?

...We're standing here. We have our hands on our hearts, saluting the flag, mourning the people who are dead, and at the same time these special interests are trying to pick our pockets...

Micah Sifry (msifry@publicampaign.org)
Quoted in David Loy's New Holy War Against Evil?

We find ourselves at a turning point. A lust for vengeance and violent retaliation is rising, fanned by a leader caught up in his rhetoric of a holy war to purify the world of evil. Now, David asks: Does the previous sentence describe bin Laden, or Bush?

If we pursue the path of large-scale violence, the holy wars of these two men will become two sides of the same war. The consequences are likely to take on a life of their own, spin out of control. One thing only is for sure: massive retaliation by the U.S. in the Mideast will spawn a new generation of terrorists eager to follow in the footsteps of martyred predecessors."

From the Japan Times Online
Commenting on David Loy's New Holy War Against Evil?  

Lest it weaken our resolve, we are not to be allowed to understand the reasons underlying the horrifying crimes of September 11.

Bush's Orwellian Address – Happy New Year: It's 1984
Jacob Levich (jlevich@earthlink.net)

If you choose to respond to this incomprehensible brutality by perpetuating violence against other innocent human beings, you may not do so in the name of justice for my husband. Your words and imminent acts of revenge only amplify our family's suffering, deny us the dignity of remembering our loved one in a way that would have made him proud, and mock his vision of America as a peacemaker in the world community.

A widow's plea for non-violence  
Amber Amundson, the wife of the late Craig Scott Amundson

Does the alignment of like-minded souls really have power? How much power? Enough to pierce the veil of hate, revenge, retaliation, control, manipulation? Enough to create an outcome of peace, forgiveness and understanding?

...it's...an amazing, cosmic, transcendental, transformational opening – a hole in our collective consciousness that can be filled with more fear, revenge, hated and separation – or forgiveness, compassion and profound understanding.

The Family  
Jack Barnard (oobidoobi13@msn.com)

...vengeance, once begun, can never be quenched. There is no country to defeat. There are only people, who continue to smolder until the curtain rises for their next turn on the stage.

We have something to learn here, all right - but the prospects are not very good that we are going to learn it before a helluva lot of damage is done to us. But this is the crucible that our century has prepared us for.

Irv Thomas (irvthom@u.washington.edu)

...the era is over in which nation states – even the world's single military superpower – can protect their people. There is no longer such a thing as national security – security must be global to be secure. Broad human interests require limits on the use of violence by anyone in the world, whether they initiate their attacks from caves in the wilderness or war rooms in national capitals.

Now, More Than Ever: A Global Movement for Global Justice
Jeremy Brecher

The military industrial war machine will not "conquer terrorism." Quite the contrary, it will continue the context, the milieu in which terrorism resides and therefore, without a doubt, contribute to the continuation of terrorism.

It just pisses me off that they insist on calling this a democracy when we never even get a chance to talk about what is actually going on when it is going on. These choices just never were discussed openly or voted on. They were done in secret, in our name, using our money, without our review or approval, to protect and defend us against symbolic enemies. We were told about it all later. Much later. After it was too late. Secret violence, secret war and study of war, secret support in the form of weapons for war, done in our name, without being subject to review or public debate or vote or conversation or review in the media, done on our behalf, for our own good, in the judgment of our caretakers in secret meetings have been the source of a lot of shit we have had to put up with later – like the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

I think it is up to us to create other options in the media and the minds of other people in order to alter the path of escalation our leaders are on, which will lead more quickly than anyone suspects to tragedies that will make the recent tragedy seem small in comparison.

Some Sorrow in Samsara
Brad Blanton
Radical Honesty: Building communities of intimate friends who are creating a revolution in consciousness through direct, open and honest conversation

The secretaries and file clerks and young executives in the stricken office buildings, and the children and mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers aboard those four airplanes would not have been the targets of hatred, had we Americans better expressed our highest values throughout the world – had our government expressed in all its actions the fairness and generosity that characterize our people.

That disconnection between our people and our government does not excuse the cold mass-murders committed by terrorists, but it helps explain it, and we cannot stop it if we do not understand it...

In my long walk across the US, and in my everyday experiences, I know that Americans are kindhearted and do not wish to colonize and exploit any other people on earth. Our central question – the question that will determine the security of our cities in the future – is this: can those American values be expressed by the American government? Can we be more a government of our people? Can we get the greedy, short-sighted interests out from between us and our elected representatives? Our struggle for campaign finance reform and other democratic reforms will now take a back seat as blood and its disciples have their day. But until we clean up our government, we will all be the targets of rising international rage, and our children and grandchildren are not safe.

Letter from Doris "Granny D" Haddock in the aftermath of September 11

People walk unsteadily along these streets, wearing nose masks against the still particle-full air, the stench of burning wire and plastic, erupted sewage; the smell of death, of decomposing flesh.

Probably your TV coverage shows the chain-link fences aflutter with yellow ribbons, the makeshift shrines of candles, flowers, scribbled notes of mourning or of praise for the rescue workers that have sprung up everywhere – especially in front of firehouses, police stations, hospitals. What TV doesn't show you is that near Ground Zero the streets for blocks around are still, a week later, adrift in bits of paper – singed, torn, sodden pages: stock reports, trading print-outs, shreds of appointment calendars, half of a "To-Do" list. What TV doesn't show you are scores of tiny charred corpses now swept into the gutters. Sparrows. Finches. They fly higher than pigeons, so they would have exploded outward, caught midair in a rush of flame, wings on fire as they fell. Who could have imagined it: the birds were burning.

From a distance, you can see the lattices of one of the Towers, its skeletal bones the sole remains, eerily beautiful in asymmetry, as if a new work of abstract art had been erected in a public space. Elsewhere, you see the transformation of institutions: The New School and New York University are missing persons' centers. A movie house is now a rest shelter, a Burger King a first-aid center, a Brooks Brothers clothing store a body parts morgue, a record shop a haven for lost animals. Libraries are counseling centers. Ice rinks are morgues. A bank is now a supply depot: in the first four days, it distributed 11,000 respirators and 25,000 pairs of protective gloves and suits. Nearby, a mobile medical unit housed in a McDonald's has administered 70,000 tetanus shots. The brain tries to process the numbers: "only" 50,000 tons of debris had been cleared by yesterday, out of 1.2 million tons. The medical examiner's office has readied up to 20,000 DNA tests for unidentifiable cadaver parts. At all times, night and day, a minimum of 1000 people live and work on the site.

Ghosts and Echoes
Robin Morgan

Growing up in Managua, Nicaragua in the 1980's, I was terrified by the American sponsored intervention in my country. When I played with toy guns, I aimed them at the sky and imagined American soldiers falling to their deaths from helicopters... when I sit with you in the lecture halls of Columbia University, you are probably unaware of the fact that I celebrated when American pilots were shot down over Iraq during the Gulf War.

...time is standing still for more than 3 billion human beings, who according to the World Bank make less than a dollar a day. It is standing still for thousands of children who die of curable diseases each year. Despite this awful reality, a great majority of Americans continue to fervently celebrate their prosperity... if this country remains unwilling to make sacrifices and to share its tremendous wealth with the rest of the world, I am afraid that the attacks of September 11 are the first of many. Because too many people have too little to lose...

If retaliation will cause more violence, what are we willing to do to stop it? If we abhor violence, are we really prepared to change?

Painful Roots  
Camilo Belli (camilobelli@hotmail.com)

When faced with war, we discover new ways of articulating a call for peace, not only for ourselves but for all humanity. However imperfectly formed it may be as yet, there is growing within the human family a vision of our interconnectedness and interdependency.

David Spangler

Can there be any hope left after having listened, hardly 36 hours ago, to the speech made the President before the U.S. Congress? ... underline some short phrases that say it all:

"We will use every necessary weapon of war."

"Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen."

"Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

"I've called the armed forces to alert and there is a reason. The hour is coming when America will act and you will make us proud."

"This is the world's fight, this is civilization's fight. I ask for your patience [...] in what will be a long struggle."

"The great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depend on us."

"The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. [...] And we know that God is not neutral."

I ask our fellow countrymen to meditate deeply and calmly on the ideas contained in several of the above mentioned phrases: . Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. No nation of the world has been left out of the dilemma, not even the big and powerful states; none has escaped the threat of war or attacks. . We will use any weapon. No procedure has been excluded, regardless of its ethics, or any threat whatever fatal, either nuclear, chemical, biological or any other. . It will not be short combat but a lengthy war, lasting many years, unparalleled in history. . It is the world's fight; it is civilization's fight. .The achievements of our times and the hope of every time, now depend on us.

Finally, an unheard of confession in a political speech on the eve of a war, and no less than in times of apocalyptic risks: The course of this conflict is not known; yet its outcome is certain. And we know that God is not neutral. This is an amazing assertion. When I think about the real or imagined parties involved in that bizarre holy war that is about to begin, I find it difficult to make a distinction about where fanaticism is stronger.

Speech by Fidel Castro

JERUSALEM – As I restlessly lay awake early yesterday, with CNN on my TV and dawn breaking over the holy places of Jerusalem, my ear somehow latched onto a statement made by the U.S. transportation secretary, Norman Mineta, about the new precautions that would be put in place at U.S. airports in the wake of Tuesday's unspeakable terrorist attacks: There will be no more curbside check-in, he said. I suddenly imagined a group of terrorists somewhere here in the Middle East, sipping coffee, also watching CNN and laughing hysterically: "Hey boss, did you hear that? We just blew up Wall Street and the Pentagon and their response is no more curbside check-in?"

Make No Mistake: This is World War III
Thomas L. Friedman

The refugee situation in Afghanistan will be on the world's conscience...the U.N. warns they have no money to help it!!! Can you believe it? Are all these programs made to fail?? We cannot not call ourselves criminals anymore; I think we are all guilty, helplessly watching. I feel terrible about this – it has hit a home run with me.

Michela Zanchi (mzanchi@earthlink.net)

"Whose side are you on?" The answers to that are simple: I am on the side of the people – no matter where they live – who will suffer the violence, not the leaders – no matter where they live – who will plan it. I am on the side of peace, not war. I am on the side of justice, not vengeance.

Why I Will Not Rally Around The President  
Robert Jensen (rjensen@uts.cc.utexas.edu)

This is a moment to seize. The Kaleidoscope has been shaken. The pieces are in flux. Soon they will settle again. Before they do, let us re-order this world around us. Today, humankind has the science and technology to destroy itself or to provide prosperity to all. Yet science can't make that choice for us. Only the moral power of a world acting as a community, can. "By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more together than we can alone."

For those people who lost their lives on 11 September and those that mourn them; now is the time for the strength to build that community. Let that be their memorial.

Tony Blair

For more than a week everyone has been saying that our world changed on September 11.

In fact, it was on September 20 that the world changed, the day that George W. Bush spoke to the nation and announced the American jihad...

It is justice by the sword. It ends in victory not peace, and Bush has made it clear that the sword will be unsheathed for a long time to come...

We stand at a juncture in history, a moment in which our course can be changed. We need political leaders who can see what a disaster past policies have been. We need people with vision, who can imagine what a just world would look like.

As Democrats and Republicans in Congress all showered with praise Bush's call for an unlimited war with unending enemies, never before has it been so clear that the existing political leadership of this country is bankrupt.

America's Unlimited War  
Rahul Mahajan and Robert Jensen

I want to suggest that we also take this occasion to re-examine our global priorities and the values upon which they are based. Terrorism is one evil that should not exist in the world today, and there are many others, including poverty, illiteracy, preventable diseases, and environmental destruction. We have the resources- both material and spiritual - to eliminate many of these ills. Let us channel them according to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable among us. Instead of building bunkers and shields that fail to protect us, let us build good will and harmony, human capacity and understanding, and in this way we shall build the world we want to live in. We must be the change we wish to see, as Gandhi once said, and not the darkness that we wish to leave behind.

Oscar Arias
Former President of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate

I think I've just left the theoretical/conceptual realm and entered the physical/practical world (where action is the language). I want to connect and integrate with the psyche of this world. I want its energy to move and be healthy. I want to stimulate its movement. I want to help it develop a momentum of well being. And I want there to be a recognition of what well being is - fluidity in the movement of energy in the body as well as in the psyche.

Ultimate fluidity is in oneness, when an entire network is connected, integrated, and moving freely. That's health.

Gail Bates (humanbeings@earthlink.net)
Human Being Society

It seems to me that what we need to do is extend all that is good about the 'American Dream' to the rest of the world and make it a global dream – one of prosperity and security, of personal enrichment and endeavor, of human potential, of education, and of enlightenment. We need to divorce our national ego from this dream and allow other countries to share in it, even going so far as to offer them a hand-up onto the deck. The day we citizens of the United States can let go of our need to be the 'best' and can think in terms of sharing our knowledge, wisdom, and resources (like a teacher in a classroom does), is the day we will really make a difference. Teachers educate with the goal of forming productive members of society. It's not about charity. It's about helping others get started on the paths to their own fulfillment. These paths are both addictive and contagious, which is how the USA, in my opinion, has achieved so much in so short a time.

Angel McCoy (syrinx@nwlink.com)

The speaker was General George C. Marshall, outlining the Marshall Plan for the very first time in an address at Harvard on June 5, 1947. Surveying the wrecked economies of Europe, Marshall noted the "possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned." He said that there could be "no political stability and no assured peace" without economic security, and that U.S. policy was "directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos."

The United States and the other industrial nations should launch a global Marshall Plan to provide everyone on earth with a decent standard of living. We can already hear the cries of people claiming that such a global plan would "cost too much." But let's look at the numbers. The cost of our initial response has soared into the tens of billions of dollars, on top of an already large proposed defense budget of $342.7 billion...

...in the end, weapons alone cannot buy us a lasting peace in a world of extreme inequality, injustice, and deprivation for billions of our fellow human beings...

A New Marshall Plan?  
Dick Bell & Michael Renner, Worldwatch Institute

Great civilizations collapsed when the gap between the haves and the have nots was too great.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosake

This new century is getting off to a very bad start. Everything is unbalanced. I think it is possible that the interconnected web of Nature itself could come apart.

Manuel Erickson (pilot@radiant.net)

Our primary problems are not political, they're philosophical. Until we solve our philosophical problems – which is to say, until we find our spiritual path and can stay on it – we're doomed to have to solve the political problems over and over again. Spiritual enlightenment, not political progress, is the only way out of our maelstrom of maddening meatballism.

If I could sum up my philosophy, my world view, in one sentence, I wouldn't write 400-page novels. I suppose, though, if you held a gun to my head and forced me to come up with a personal motto, it would be "Joy in spite of everything." We must never avert our eyes from the injustices, crimes and stupidities in the world, but at the same time, we must insist on enjoying ourselves and being guiltlessly happy. Intensity within tranquility: that's the ticket.

Tom Robbins – before 9/11/01

What's interesting is that the kind of visionary, 'utopian', 'idealistic' stuff you mention is looking more and more like a practical solution.

Palden Jenkins (palden@globalnet.co.uk)

To give voice to this wellspring, in its most tender and elusive forms, is a task that some of us feel called to. We gravitate to the insides of things, and our forms tend to be ephemeral: words, music, paint. We have a role to play, but we had better be modest about it. Our work is no more important than the external effort of those who rally, march and organize. As Aristotle says, it takes many kinds of people to make a city. In the city of global change, speaking from the inside is just one of the jobs to be done...

My wish is to lift this question from a private, solipsistic rumination into the field of dialog and exchange. The challenge here is that all the terms we are accustomed to - " war", "peace", "safety", "justice", even "love" - have been subjected, like familiar chemical compounds, to such intense temperatures they have lost their stability. No one knows quite how to handle them any more. One effect is that the function of writing itself is undergoing a subtle change, and losing its traditional casing in the identity of a single author.

Inside, Outside
Jon Ward (jon@young-assoc.com)

We are all conscious participants now in a greater story than the one we thought we were in just a day before that fateful hour. It is as if there was a conversation in the air in which none of us would participate, and now all of us are...

There is an endless stream of young people in the world who have given up on their own desires and who, because of that, will willingly put themselves in the thrall of those whose desires would manipulate them for brutal, more abstract ends. At present these dispossessed young are out of our conversational remit and for all of us it will take personal and political courage, and definite acts, to bring them into a world in which they feel they have an imaginative or economic stake. Almost always, the courageous conversation is by definition the one we do not want to have. For each of us, in this season of falling away, at this threshold of history, when the old has gone and we are yet bereft of the new, what is the conversation, that until now, we have refused?

David Whyte
English born poet and Fortune 500 consultant

You tell the people you believe to be the cause of your suffering that you suffer, that you want them to know it, that you want to know why they have done such a thing to you, and you practice listening deeply and with compassion.

The quality of our being is very important, because that question, that statement is not a condemnation, but a willingness to create true communication. "We are ready to listen to you. We know that you must have suffered a lot in order to have done such a thing to us. You may have thought that we are the cause of your suffering. So please tell us whether we have tried to destroy you, whether we have tried to discriminate against you, so that we can understand. And we know that when we understand your suffering, we may be able to help you." That is what we call in Buddhism "loving speech" or "kind language," and it has the purpose of creating communication, restoring communication. And with communication restored, peace will be possible.

A Public Talk by Thich Nhat Hanh  

...the right of unilateral self-defence does not include the right to retaliate once an attack has stopped. The right of self-defence in international law is like the right of self-defence in our own law: It allows you to defend yourself when the law is not around, but it does not allow you to take the law into your own hands...

The attack on Afghanistan is about vengeance and about showing how tough the Americans are. It is being done on the backs of people who have far less control over their government than even the poor souls who died on Sept. 11. It will inevitably result in many deaths of civilians, both from the bombing and from the disruption of aid in a country where millions are already at risk. The 37,000 rations dropped on Sunday were pure PR, and so are the claims of "surgical" strikes and the denials of civilian casualties...

For all that has been said about how things have changed since Sept. 11, one thing that has not changed is U.S. disregard for international law....

The bombing of Afghanistan is the legal and moral equivalent of what was done to the Americans on Sept. 11. We may come to remember that day, not for its human tragedy, but for the beginning of a headlong plunge into a violent, lawless world.

Say What You Want, But This War is Illegal
Michael Mandel
Professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, specializing in international criminal law

Seeking justice should mean seeking a world where all people are treated fairly at all times, instead of the current rapacious system where the imperial class (mainly the West, especially its middle and upper classes) lives well off the backs of the majority of humanity. When I hear the word "justice," in the midst of a blizzard of flag waving and blood-curdling calls for "vengeance," I get scared.

We are all divine children of the Creator, and creators in our own right. We all had a hand in what happened in New York City and Washington D.C., especially us Americans. We will all have a hand in what kind of world we create in the future, especially the near future, and especially us Americans. What will we do? Will we find the love that lies in all our hearts? Can we forgive those fanatics who killed so many? Can we forgive ourselves? We can live in a wonderful world if we simply accept our responsibility for the world we have created, and decide to create something better. The choice is ours. We are all in this together. We have the power to heal ourselves and this planet, but first we have to care.

My Experiences in America Regarding Iraq
Wade Frazier

...American people ought to know that it is not them but their government's policies that are so hated. They can't possibly doubt that they themselves, their extraordinary musicians, their writers, their actors, their spectacular sportsmen and their cinema, are universally welcomed. All of us have been moved by the courage and grace shown by firefighters, rescue workers and ordinary office staff in the days since the attacks...

In 1996, Madeleine Albright, then the US secretary of state, was asked on national television what she felt about the fact that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US economic sanctions. She replied that it was "a very hard choice", but that, all things considered, "we think the price is worth it"...

In America there has been rough talk of "bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age". Someone please break the news that Afghanistan is already there. And if it's any consolation, America played no small part in helping it on its way...

The September 11 attacks were a monstrous calling card from a world gone horribly wrong. The message may have been written by Bin Laden (who knows?) and delivered by his couriers, but it could well have been signed by the ghosts of the victims of America's old wars. The millions killed in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, the 17,500 killed when Israel - backed by the US - invaded Lebanon in 1982, the 200,000 Iraqis killed in Operation Desert Storm, the thousands of Palestinians who have died fighting Israel's occupation of the West Bank. And the millions who died, in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Panama, at the hands of all the terrorists, dictators and genocidists whom the American government supported, trained, bankrolled and supplied with arms. And this is far from being a comprehensive list...

President Bush's ultimatum to the people of the world - "If you're not with us, you're against us" - is a piece of presumptuous arrogance. It's not a choice that people want to, need to, or should have to make.

The Algebra of Infinite Justice
Arundhati Roy

If we channel economic aid and training to the grassroots, if we channel health-care, nutrition and educational programs directly to women and children and make their implementation a keystone of globalization, we’re addressing foundational matters...

We need a long-range plan, and we need to do this together with people all over the world. And if we only talk violent solutions, we fuel the dominator regression that will be fatal to everything we Americans yearn for and aspire to. We have to change the foundational dynamics of terrorism. Without this, we’ll never have lasting peace or security.

The School for Violence
Riane Eisler

The unseasonable thunder and lightening storm rocked
my room rousing me from loveless nightmares.
I sat up in bed with my eyes wide opened
crying Afghanistan!...

What will save us from our lack of humanity?

Crop Circles is all I could think of since our madness is out of control
and our love not strong enough to create a vision of a new world.
Their mysterious messages are the answer if we only could read!

Crop Circles and World War III  
Doctress Neutopia (neutopia@lovolution.net)

The qualification that the "war" will be unlike any other we have ever known does not adequately dispel what this word conjures: battles between opposing sides, the fear of retaliation, an unrealistic expectation of victory. The alternative word "struggle" (which, by the way, does not preclude military action) should replace the word "war" in our national rhetoric about terrorism. Ultimately, struggles against secretive and violent organizations have their best chance if they go forward along multiple paths: investigations and prosecutions, citizens' mobilizations against corruption and violence, and a concerted effort to address the millions whose children have no future.

Lessons from the Antimafia Struggle in Sicily
Jane Schneider, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Peter Schneider, Fordham University

I think there is only one way out of our crisis. Instead of trying to make ourselves invincible, we must make ourselves at peace, at one. Instead of protecting against invisible enemies, we must live our lives in such a way that we have no enemies. Power or harmony - the choice is ours.

Impossible? If I said 50 years ago that one day German airplanes would be flying above our major cities defending us, people would say "impossible!" The only limit to what's possible is our imaginations. It is now time to imagine the City of the Earth.

City of the Earth
Sharif Abdullah



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