These begin with what I posted on 10/01/01, with the newest entries being at the bottom of the page.
The peace movement says "Justice, Not War. " But with terrorists, how
can justice be achieved without war?
First, it can't be achieved via war because, in this case, war kills huge
numbers of innocents, reduces the attentiveness to law and justice, and
creates huge reservoirs of hate fueling future terrorists possibilities.
Second, it can be achieved without war, however, by following the norms of
international law, which, if need be, may even involve military aspects
along with diplomacy and other features - but not war as in one country, or
a pair, attacking another.
The Pentagon's air drops of food parcels and President Bush's plea for
American children to aid Afghan kids with dollar bills will go down in
history as two of the most cynical maneuvers of media manipulation in the
early 21st century...
Among the leadership qualities most appreciated by editorial writers is the
Bush administration's aptitude for shameless propaganda. While the Pentagon
keeps dropping tons of bombs, it scatters some meals to the winds. While the
U.S. government persists with a bombing campaign that shows every sign of
resulting in mass starvation, the president urges the young people of the
United States to send in dollar bills-"to join in a special effort to help
the children of Afghanistan."
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... There are millions of us, surely, who
know how to look life in the eye, however awful things get, and still try to love it back. It is not naive to propose alternatives to war...
I'd like a government that subsidizes renewable energy sources instead of forcefully patrolling the globe to protect oil gluttony. Because, make no mistake, oil gluttony is what got us into this holy war, and it's a deep tar pit...
The word "intelligence" keeps cropping up, but I feel like I'm standing on a playground where the little boys are all screaming at each other, "He started it!" and throwing rocks that keep taking out another eye, another tooth. I keep looking around for somebody's mother to come on the scene saying, "Boys! Boys! Who started it cannot possibly be the issue here. People are getting hurt."...This is a war of who can hate the most. There is no limit to that escalation. 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.
1. The policy of bombing increases the risk of further terrorism against the United States...
2. The bombing is intensifying a humanitarian nightmare in Afghanistan...
3. There are better ways to seek justice:
* Convene a meeting of the UN Security Council.
* Request the establishment of an international tribunal with authority to
seek out, extradite or arrest and try those responsible for the September
11 attack and those who commit or are conspiring to commit future attacks
* Establish an international military or police force under the control of
UN and which can effectuate the arrests of those responsible for the
September 11 attacks and those who commit or are conspiring to commit
future attacks. It is crucial that such force should be under control of
the UN and not a mere fig leaf for the United States as was the case in
the war against Iraq...
A fair trial of bin Laden one perceived as fair not just in the United
States but around the world is essential to avoid turning him into a
martyr and worsening the spiral of violence...
Opponents of the war should not be content to be a dissenting minority.
While there are many compelling arguments against the war, it is critical
to emphasize those with the best prospect of moving the U.S. public and
Many have said of the Afghans, and perhaps by extension of many other
deprived peoples, "Feed them and you'll win them over." This attitude
dehumanizes those people. Nobody will accept bombs with one hand and food
with the other. Nor will anyone feel gratitude over food doled out by an
arrogant superpower that insists on a constant double standard in
international relations and makes peremptory demands of other nations on a
regular basis. To win the support of Afghans and others for the long term,
which will be necessary to substantially reduce the danger of terrorism,
the United States must treat other peoples with dignity and respect. We
must recognize we are simply one nation among many.
This strategy will not win over bin Laden or other committed terrorists to
our side; that's not the objective. Instead, we have to win over the people.
Answering with violence now is as irresponsible as it would have been to start a hot war with Russia during the Cold War years.
What needs to be done?
1. To show that we understand what causes their fury. And to be willing to accept responsibility for the part that the Western nations have played, if not in causing the unequality, poverty, disease and hunger, then at least for our indifference in allowing it to continue. And to express it.
2. To do endless times more than we have done in the past to right what is wrong. "There is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not for everyone's greed"; "If everyone cares enough, and shares enough, everyone will have enough"; "Empty hands will be filled with work, empty stomachs with food." And hearts filled with hatred must be helped to forgive, hatred and fear to be replaced by love.
If you agree that this is what needs to happen—than what can we do?
Can we feed our ideas to people of influence—Christian leaders, politians, people in the media? Every one of us may be the one who with an idea or action that can have a decisive influence. Let's share ideas—feed each other with our thoughts and actions.
...as a global citizen, I am also profoundly aware of the abject poverty and hopelessness which afflicts the vast majority of people on this planet. I am painfully aware of the massive (physical) environmental pollution to which we have been a major contributor. Obviously, we as a people did not create all the ills of the planet, but I think it fair to state that we have not exercised sufficient effort towards their resolution. To whom much has been given, much shall be expected. We have been truly blessed - it is now time that we fully share our blessings. For those who see the present moment in terms of preserving The American Way of Life and Getting Back to Normal and I know I have such feelings the word is pretty clear. Forget it. Should we succeed in the short term the next time the tectonic plates of our global consciousness shift it will be a biggie. It's Over.
Not one weapon in our vast arsenal can shield us from a nuclear weapon delivered in a sailboat or a Piper Cub or a suitcase or a Ryder rental truck. Not a penny of the 273 billion dollars a year we spend on so-called defense can actually defend us against a terrorist bomb. Nothing in our enormous military establishment can actually give us one whit of security. That is a military fact...
In country after country, our government has thwarted democracy, stifled freedom, and trampled human rights. That’s why we are hated around the world...We are not hated because we practice democracy, freedom, and human rights.
We are hated because our government denies these things to people in third world countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations...
We must change our government's ways...Only one thing has ever ended a terrorist campaign denying the terrorist
organization the support of the larger community it represents...Remove the desperation, give them some hope, and support for terrorism will evaporate. At that point bin Laden will be forced to abandon terrorism (as has Arafat) or be treated like a common criminal. Either way, he and his money cease to be a threat. We CAN have security ... or we can have revenge. We cannot have both.
The Why of Terrorism
Dr. Robert M. Bowman (RobertBowman@MiddleEast.Org)
Director of all "Star Wars" programs under presidents Ford and Carter, combat pilot over Vietnam (101 missions), Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, President of the Institute for Space and Security Studies and Presiding Archbishop of the United Catholic Church http://www.thebushblade.com/feature1.htm
As in Iraq, air forces can play all the best overtures to war. They promise to kick butt and whup ass. They would avenge America for the World Trade Centre. They would have the tabloids purring, speech-writers drooling and liberals trapped by their vitals. As for consequence, that was for politicians and wimps...Those who wanted to concentrate on counter-terrorism, covert operations and "coercive diplomacy" and who protested that bombing would endanger their work, have lost.
Aerial bombardment is never proportionate, measured or targeted. It evolves a logic of its own, an escalation of horror similar to that unleashed by the terrorist. Like all distant and indiscriminate violence, it breeds a violent response. It is the dumbest weapon of war.
...while the President calls for patriotism, prayers and piety, the
predators of Washington are up to their old tricks in the pursuit of private
plunder at public expense...They’re counting on your patriotism to distract
you from their plunder. They’re counting on you to be standing at attention
with your hand over your heart, pledging allegiance to the flag, while they
pick your pocket!...
We are in what educators call "a teachable moment." And we’ll lose it if
we roll over and shut up. What’s at stake is democracy. Democracy wasn’t
cancelled on the 11th of September, but democracy won’t survive if citizens
turn into lemmings...If in the name of the war on terrorism President Bush
hands the state over to the energy industry, it’s every patriot’s duty to
join the local opposition...The greatest sedition would be our silence...
Had one or both of those jets hit one or both of the operating reactors at
Indian Point, the ensuing cloud of radiation would have dwarfed the ones at
Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl...All five boroughs of
New York City would be an apocalyptic wasteland. All real estate and
economic value would be poisonously radioactive throughout the entire
region. Who knows how many people would die? As at Three Mile Island,
where thousands of farm and wild animals died in heaps; and as at Chernobyl,
where soil, water and plant life have been hopelessly irradiated; natural
ecosystems on which human and all other life depends would be permanently
and irrevocably destroyed. Spiritually, psychologically, financially,
ecologically, our nation would never recover...This is what we missed by a
mere forty miles near New York City on September 11th. And remember
there are 103 of these potential bombs of the apocalypse now operating in
the United States. 103.
I know you see the magnitude of the challenge. I know you see what we’re up
against. I know you get it the work that we must do. It’s why you mustn’t lose heart. Your adversaries will call you unpatriotic for speaking the
truth when conformity reigns. Ideologues will smear you for challenging the
official view of reality. Mainstream media will ignore you, and those
gasbags on cable TV and the radio talk shows will ridicule and vilify you.
From a Keynote Address at the Environmental Grantmakers Association Conference, Brainerd, Minnesota
To use, or rather to misuse the term 'war' is not simply a matter of
legality, or pedantic semantics. It has deeper and more dangerous
consequences. To declare that one is 'at war' is immediately to create a war
psychosis that may be totally counter-productive for the objective that we
seek...The use of force is no longer seen as a last resort, to be avoided if
humanly possible, but as the first, and the sooner it is used the
better...The qualities needed in a serious campaign against terrorists -
secrecy, intelligence, political sagacity, quiet ruthlessness, covert
actions that remain covert, above all infinite patience - all these are
forgotten or overridden in a media-stoked frenzy for immediate results...Any
suggestion that the best strategy is not to use military force at all, but
more subtle if less heroic means of destroying the adversary are dismissed
as 'appeasement' by ministers whose knowledge of history is about on a par
with their skill at political management.
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