Boudewijn Wegerif, Carol Brouillet, Ben Ferencz, ...
THIS MATTERS Boudewijn Wegerif September 21, 2001 George Bush said, to a standing ovation, in his speech to Congress and the world a couple of hours ago: "Every country has a decision to make, either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." With these words, and the words that came before and after them, George Bush was saying to every citizen of every democracy in the world, either you are with the U.S. as it unleashes more and more state terror around the globe and in the U.S. itself, or you are with the terrorists that the U.S. "intelligence and police forces and the banking system" (Bush's term) are securing the U.S. against. That is to say, you are with those who "hate our way of life", and who will now be hunted down and buried in "history's unmarked graves of discarded lives" (again, Bush's words). I am neither for Bush's crusade of terror, nor for the network of terrorists that the U.S., with the complicity of every high income country and several middle and low income countries, has been largely responsible for engendering. I hope that the people of every democracy everywhere will be awake to what is happening in their name and will require of their governments that they be neither for Bush's crusade of terror nor for the terrorists. In expressing this hope I show myself to be politically naive perhaps. For from immediate reactions by the media here in Sweden, it seems that not only in the United States but right round the 'civilized' world, the vast majority of people will be following like sheep to the slaughter. Yet still one must hope, and be active for the realization of the hope. -- [Editor's note: in case you have seen a different version of this article before, on a mailing list, for example, i'd like to mention that i have received this re-edited version of the message directly from the author]
Carol Brouillet writes: October 2nd is the anniversary of Gandhi's birth I was thinking of calling for a day of dramatic "nonviolence"- Nurturing Hope, Peace and "Satyaagraha"- "Pursuit of Truth" Let us gather, join hands, speak, and listen with open hearts and minds, remembering the essence of Gandhi's philosophy- We must always be guided by love, compassion, understanding and respect, allow everything we have to interact positively with the elements and help create a society of peace and harmony.... The more possessions we have, the more we have to secure them from those who covet it generating feelings of jealousy and the desire to take by force what the needy cannot get through compassion. Gandhi said being liberated politically or socially is not enough. Freeing yourself of attachments means one must be willing to stand up for truth and justice, and not be afraid of the consequences like losing your possessions, your job or even your life. It is only when we reach that level of spiritual power that nonviolence will become relevant.... "I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill," Gandhi said. Are we willing to move away from greed, selfishness and all the negative attributes that govern our lives to the more positive attributes of love, compassion, understanding and respect?
Two excerpts from a letter by Ben Ferencz * * * Perhaps some of the tears have dried and people can begin to think rationally about the horrors of the past week and what we can do to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies. As one who has witnessed such atrocities and who has looked into the unrepentant eyes of mass killers, please allow me to share some thoughts that I hope may help move us toward a less violent world where all may live in peace and human dignity. The basic thrust of my thinking is that we should try to rely more on law than war. * * * We must try to understand the causes of the violence and try to diminish the hatreds that encourage people to kill or be killed for their particular cause. This requires new thinking, a willingness to compromise, compassion and tolerance, a greater respect for the goals set down in the UN Charter and infinite patience. I am now approaching 82 and I have not given up hope. To those of all faiths, I extend my best wishes for peace and happiness. * * * Source: http://members.aol.com/benferen/thought.htm