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Comments: America's New War

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos   Copyright© 1998-2001. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

Up

The World grieves with us...  http://spot.eroded.org/thankyou/index3.html

Thanks Geoff.

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Thursday September 20, 2001
08:18 PM

George W was not my second choice for president however I approve of his handling of the 9/11 events. I don't think the terrorist were prepared for US airspace and borders to be closed. What a clever idea. Yet I still rack my brains to understand and process the magnitude of the 9/11 events. I come to believe that an object at rest will stay at rest until it is acted upon by some outside force. Were we as American's at rest because we didn't finish the job of the Persian Gulf or some other retaliatory action. The force being the 9/11 events that will propel us to finish the actions. Or was the force at rest, in terms of the some zealots, American involvement in the middle east. The 9/11 force may be an effort to get the country to reconsider our involvement. Either side and I propose that there are many more, 9/11 was a force that compels us to act/reflect as a collective and individuals for this act was evil. I have wondered why would God allow this to happen.

This event was a awful display of man's inhumanity toward his fellow man. I summarized that this act of violence had nothing to do with God. God did not stop: the Concentration Camps, Slavery, The War in Bosnia..the list goes on. When God does circumvent human actions it is simply a miracle and God still performs miracles. I think that, individually we should hope/pray for one because it is just what we need right now. dk

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Thursday September 20, 2001
08:51 PM

This has been sent to G'Dubbya and our other 'elected' officials, as well as scores of my friends and contacts. I put 'You've Been Drafted!!!' in the Subject line of every e-mail I send it in. The Doc answered the call and told me about this page.

An old friend of mine was on Flight 11. As we struggle to deal w/violence and abuse in our personal relationships, I hope many of you may gain solace, understanding and determination from my essay. Much Peace and Love to all of You, Geoff J.

Subject: You've been Drafted

Victory Over Violence!

(You've been Drafted...to Wage Peace!!!)

In reflecting upon the tragedy of the destruction of the World Trade Center we naturally ask, Why?  We owe it to the memory of the victims to truly face up to the Answer, and, It's ultimate solution.

We would also do well to ask ourselves that which Deepak Chopra asked himself after his wife and son were reported safe, late on the 11th of Sept. 2001: ...Why didn't I feel this way last week? Why didn't my body go stiff during the bombing of Iraq or Bosnia? Around the world my horror and worry are experienced (by others) everyday. Mothers weep over horrendous loss, civilians are bombed mercilessly, refugees are ripped from any sense of home or homeland. Why did I not feel their anguish enough to call a halt to it?...'Is it because their loss is not covered by World Media 24/7? Is it only because, "They" are not "us"?

Now, we too feel their pain. To refuse to empathize with the shared suffering of Arab, Israeli, or American victims of terror, and instead persecuting a convenient enemy, is utter folly. As I ask myself What would I do or feel if it had been my children? I know what their souls would ask and say to me. They would ask me why I had not done more to create Peace and demand that I never desecrate their memory thru violence or condoning it. They would insist I do more to create Peace. And since they, and I, are still alive, that is what I will do.

American Culture is informed by a mélange of Political, Economic and Religious ideals. We must ask ourselves why is there such an emphasis today upon a call to arms, supporting our military, buying American or going to Church, rather than a call to PARTICIPATE more in the system of Self Government our country was founded upon? A system designed to protect Personal Freedoms, Liberties and the Diversity of Plurality. Our Political system, a PARTICIPATORY Democracy, is too often undermined by Americans who abdicate their responsibility to Self Govern, who would instead express Patriotism merely through blind unthinking support of one or two aspects of our American Culture.

Instead of voting, instead of educating ourselves on the issues of the day, instead of pressuring elected representatives to Congress, citizens default by simply: supporting the Armed forces, Volunteering, making Charitable donations, Buying American, or Religious exhortations wrapped in the Flag. These aspects of our culture can all be crucial but are either underpinned by, lubricate, or exist purely to guarantee, our system of Government. All of this is overlooked and in fact encouraged by Media.

Now, we pay the price for that abdication. Further erosion of our Freedoms and Liberties willingly volunteered in a belated effort to waylay further strikes of Terror via Tightened Security and stepped up Domestic Surveillance. As Americans, responsible and beholden to ideals of Democracy, Freedom and Plurality, we should also inform our perspectives with a historical context of what has happened, as well as what may happen. We must look beyond what the popular Media spits out.

The President and Congress of the United States, even NATO and other Allies, declare unanimity in using All necessary and appropriate force  in punishing the individuals responsible, and countries that provided safe harbor or were instrumental in planning, training or supporting those responsible for the Acts of Terrorism perpetrated on 9/11/01.

As some have used Allah as their Scapegoat to attack us, many would now use God as Scapegoat for our Vengeance, quoting: "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb..."  Irrational adherence to this ideal is no different from the false ideal of Jihad, and precisely why the Arab/Israeli Peace Process has been deadlocked in a cycle of violent cause precipitating violent effect.

To break this evil cycle of cause and effect, let us embrace an empathy not only with the victims, but with the attackers as well. First, with respect for their Humanity, second, with empathy for their Anger, third, with Dialogue to Educate ourselves about their needs and find their solutions. In affirming the Humanity of our Adversary, we affirm our own Humanity. In diminishing their Humanity, we diminish our own.

If, even in righteousness, as individuals, Cells or States, we use methods and tactics of terror, we too are terrorists. The anger we now feel, resonates with the anger of our attackers. We, as they have for silent decades, now mourn the loss of family members, friends, loved ones, countrymen. Any coward with an agenda can attack innocents with Terror. Any coward with an agenda can whip others into a fury of righteous vengeance after such an attack.

Bin Laden's agenda is to unite the Muslim world against the "Satanic" West. Although the West's Coalition and inclusion of Muslim States looks good on paper, only time will tell.

Bush's Agenda?...'Star Wars, which got such an oh so cold reception when presented to Europe? Especially since the next threat could be a rogue Nuclear attack?

Some Historians maintain that Pearl Harbor was Allowed to happen simply to compel the US to enter W.W.II. What will History say about the WTC? Will there be anyone left to write, let alone read, a History.

Ignorance, Anger, Hate, Violence, no matter their cause or agenda, is easy and seems to feel good but only leads to more Ignorance, Anger, Hate and Violence.  Education, Respect, Compassion, Courage and Empathy leading to Dialogue is tremendously hard, but not only feels good, but IS good, and leads to short circuiting the above vicious cycle. It takes courageous, compassionate Heroes to reach out to understand and embrace that which we fear and do not understand, and that which fears and does not understand us, to affirm common ground. It also takes a lot more effort. But we are all Human Beings, replete with the dignity that implies.

During the Cold War, it was M. A. D., Mutually Assured Destruction. In the War of Terror, it is now M. A. T., Mutually Assured Terror. Terror that encompasses the actions of States, as well as Cells or individuals. Not just so called Rogue States either, States, as in The United...

A more appropriate biblical passage than "...an eye for an eye..." could be from Exodus20:05 "...visiting upon the children the sins of their Fathers..."  For too long the US has pursued amazingly shortsighted policies that fly in the face of American, Democratic and Capitalistic ideals, let alone tolerance and respect for other cultures, for a short term political or economic gain. Policies which then have a tendency to come back and bite us when and how we least expect it.

We propped up the dictatorship of The Shah of Iran at the expense of the Iranian people's Freedoms and Civil Liberties. After the Muslim clerics took power through an internal struggle of Jihad and the Shah fell, we supported Iraq's Saddam Hussein against Khomeini out of fear of the budding power of Islamic Jihad and Fatwah.

Under the guidance of George Bush, Sr., when he was Vice President and President as well as previously while he was director of the CIA, and who is of course the father of both our current President George W. Bush and Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, the CIA provided initial training and guidance for Osama Bin Laden and his groups in terrorist strategy, tactics and procedures in the Afghan 'Mujahedeen' Rebel insurgency against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. What other horrors has the CIA taught it's Students of Terror?

What happened to, "A kinder, gentler America?" When it served OUR OWN purposes, we arrogantly incited the then Mujahedeen Freedom Fighters to pervert the idea of Jihad and Fatwah. Over 1 Million Afghani Freedom Fighters died to kill only 15,000 Soviets, forcing them out in 1989. After Our Cold War Victory, we did nothing to educate the Afghani people or help formulate a Democratic tradition or even an Economic Aid package to rebuild infrastructure that could support Democracy, or even Capitalism once the Soviets were gone.

20+ years after the Soviet withdrawal, a new crop of Freedom Fighters has now reached manhood. But, when they use this mutated Jihad we helped create, against us, they are now Terrorists. Remember, 1 million Afghanis died to kill a mere 15,000 of their enemy. The Sr. President Bush prosecuted the Gulf War as a Just War. a War in Defense of Democracy. This is an appalling lie when you remember that Kuwait was, and still is, a Monarchy. No matter how you slice it, The Gulf War was either a war of containment, a flexing of US might in the wake of the disintegration of the Soviet Union or, a war to show OPEC who could do what, when; giving them the message that they better treat us right, or we'll sic the Dogs on them before we come in and Save them.

Thru Censorship and sophisticated management of the Media, or, Propaganda, the Gulf War was presented to the American People so that instead of 60's style demonstrations for "No More War" and "Give Peace a Chance" they were transformed to "Support Our Troops." In the end, not only did we NOT remove the thorn in our side, but we did nothing to further Dialogue, Democracy, Capitalism or Modernity for the area. In fact we did worse by inciting extremist Muslims against us by basing US troops within Saudi Arabia, Islamic Holy Ground.

Today, policies, rhetoric and propaganda are all aimed at Tightening Security Exacting Justice and Vengeance and Eliminating the Threat of Terrorism; all via Military action. This does nothing to change the foundational misperceptions between our Culture and that of Extremists. Many say the Military option is the only one that will work because those people cannot/won't change.  Extreme Cultural Prejudice CAN change. Islam has changed the Cultural Prejudice of their foes through the efficacy of Non-Violence. So did Gandhi, so did Doctor Martin Luther King.

The state of affairs in many Nations around the world today is proof of this. We now know that many who perpetrated the attacks against the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the intended flight against the Whitehouse, were trained to fly and were harbored, albeit inadvertently, by and in the United States. Shouldn't we be accountable? Doesn't this mean NATO and our other allies should hold this country, this administration, or that of the Senior President Bush, accountable?

This isn't just sour grapes 20/20 hindsight. Many predicted these consequences, and their alternatives had been tried elsewhere and proven successful. Namely, the installation of a Democratic Constitution for the Japanese after their surrender as well as an expensive investment in a Marshall Plan for our defeated European aggressors in W.W.II. Perhaps it is only a matter of time until a group of US based renegade commandos or mercenaries launches an attack against a target in another sovereign country.

How many Domestic millionaires would finance such actions? Right now, probably quite a few. While asserting the need to reestablish Human Intelligence gathering, or allowing the CIA to work with and use as informants even those who in the past may have worked against the United States, the US and our Allies insist on 'Not Negotiating or even Opening a Humane Dialogue with Terrorists'.

To help move beyond such hypocrisy, let us remember that Yasser Arafat, former head of the PLO and formerly reviled as a terrorist, is now recognized as the legitimate head of a proposed Palestinian State and is intimately involved in Arab/Israeli negotiations. He has addressed Congress, the UN, as well as visited the White House. It is more productive to cast aside self righteous rhetoric that cuts both ways, and instead, find the courage to open Humane dialogues with those with whom we find difference. '

After all:  not only What would Jesus do? but What would Mohammed do? (Yes, the Islamic tradition is Founded upon Non-Violence.) What would Gandhi do? What would Dr. Martin Luther King do? What would Buddha do?

I know one thing, it would not be murder, however justified. To see and honor the Buddha nature of ALL living beings, even those who would do us evil, is the way to break the cycle of violence. All the great teachers have shown us this, and it is time for us all to do so as well. Firstly, by struggling to know as much as we can about those different from us, then finding a way to embrace them both with our Lives as well as our Dialogue. If we do not, and instead condone or ignore retaliations of Vengeful Violence, those martyred by such acts will inspire whole nations of new Terrorists.

We must Wage Peace based on the Martyrdom of those killed on our soil. A living example of the efficacy of these ideals of Peace is Daisaku Ikeda, Poet, Educator, and at 73, still a tireless worker for Peace and Human Revolution as Third President of the Nichiren Buddhist lay Organization, The Soka Gakkai.

Ready to start thinking, talking, acting? Or shall we allow ourselves self righteous vengeance and await the inevitable EMP, Bio or Nuclear weapons to be visited upon us? Tightened Security and Infinite Justice will not prevent it and will perhaps only hasten it. It is time not only to address the evils of our enemies, but to redress our own perpetrated falsely in the name of Freedom, Democracy, Capitalism or God.

Looking to any External force to Remove All Evil or to Scapegoat Our Own as a 'necessary' Evil, is in itself Evil. Thinking, speaking or Acting upon Violence, is to be Defeated by Violence. We must create Victory Over Violence's Education, Respect, Compassion, Empathy, Dialogue and Democracy is the only way. In answer to those who will still call for Violence, Retribution, Vengeance; please tell them how sorry you are that they have so far been defeated by Ignorance, Intolerance, Terror, and Violence. Reach out to those who are different. You will be embraced. Educate yourself about them. They will learn about and from you. Please share your vision and actions to do so. Americans are now proclaiming our Country's Strength in the face of these events. I pray we are Strong Enough...for compassionate restraint.

Dear Geoff,

Very thoughtful.  Very insightful.  Thank you.

Indeed, "We" made many mistakes. So did "They." But, we are where we are and we can't undo the past. Do we chant "Give Peace a Chance" while they continue their plan to wipe us out?  

I want to chant "Give Peace a Chance" with you; indeed I did during the Viet Nam era.

But, there comes a time when we have little choice but to fight for what we believe in - otherwise we will lose it... 

How sad for all of us. 

I don't hear unified cries for revenge. I hear the cries of a Nation whose fundamental safety and security is threatened.

God bless these United States for the freedoms we enjoy, and, in fact, take for granted.  God bless us all. Maybe one day we'll all know better...

 

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Thursday September 20, 2001
08:55 PM

www.spot.eroded.org/thank you/index3.html

 

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Thursday September 20, 2001
09:06 PM

Hi everyone.

I'm not sure who exactly to send this to, aside from all of you. If anyone knows a senator or congressman or someone in the government's email address, and wants to send this to them, that would be great.

Education is the first step to ending violence. Education is the first step to Victory Over Violence.

We don't need a war, we don't need to kill MORE innocent people. What we need is to HELP those innocent people in Afghanistan. Just think, if we would have done something about Hitler and the Nazis back in the 1930's when it all started, maybe those millions of Jews, homosexuals, handicapped, etc. people wouldn't have been killed.

Please read this email. It only took me a couple of minutes, but it taught me a lot.

Please send it on to others.

Stop the ignorance.

Stop the violence.

Sincerely,

~Niki Jordan, SGI-USA, Omaha, NE~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Friends and Family,

As an American, a New Yorker and an Afghan, I have struggled with many feelings. I have wondered what I can do to educate people about the state of affairs in Afghanistan now and over the past 20 years. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, it is September 2001 and my father's country has been destroyed day by day for over two decades. I am disgusted by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. For my family, these have been household names for years prior to the tragedies we witnessed on Tuesday. My father has spent years trying to get people in our government to listen - he has sat around our dinner table talking to his children for hours on end about what was happening to his homeland - so many of our friends have listened as my Dad spoke passionately about the hateful crimes the Taliban was committing against innocent Afghans all in the name of Islam, an Islam that my family does not know, an Islam that cannot be found in the pages of the Koran.

I beg you, as friends, to take the anger we all feel and try to learn and spread knowledge. We all want retaliation. We want someone to pay for the innocent people whose lives were taken away. But, please, please, please understand that Afghans like me and my family have never supported the Taliban. In fact, we have watched helplessly as these cowards took the little bit of dignity the Afghans had left after the Soviet war.

I went to work the other night and watched groups of friends, bright and educated people, stop their conversations as I approached. I have never experienced anything like this. My Dad recently grew a beard, but after seeing images of bearded fundamentalists on TV, we have asked him to shave it off to quell any possibility of attacks out of ignorance. For the first time in my life, I am afraid to tell people my ethnic background. My name is a liability. My coloring makes me feel scared when people look at me on the subway. I find myself thankful that my sisters and Mom have lighter coloring.

Please read the following letter. We all feel helpless right now. If nothing else, please try to educate your friends. Please do not perpetuate hate. Hatred brought down the World Trade Center. Hate is hate-there is no gray area.

Please forward the following letter to everyone you know. Take a moment to paste the letter into a new email, add your own thoughts so that people don't just skip by a subject heading that begins with FWD:.

It is very possible that we will bomb Afghanistan in the coming days. Maybe emails like this will not stop that from happening, but let's not pretend that we do not know that those actions will kill innocent and helpless people who have lived under the terror of the Taliban for years. We turned our backs for so long. We have not written about them, or if we have, we have not read those articles, we skipped past them. People did not know where Afghanistan was until three days ago. How is that possible? Bin Laden was behind the first WTC bombing, the bombing of the Cole and the embassies in Africa-ask yourself, how did we not pay attention? Pay attention now. Know what is going on in our world. All we have is hope, unity and the ability to open our eyes. Open them.

With much love,

Yasmine

Dear Yasmine,

It's so sad that your life has taken a fearful turn because of all this. I hope the hatred doesn't personally touch your life or the life of any other innocent individual who happens to look a "certain way." Be proud of who you are and your mighty heritage!  This is not about the West vs. Islam. This is a battle of good vs. evil...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Friends,

The following was sent to me by my friend Tamim A. Tamim is an Afghani-American writer. He is also one of the most brilliant people I know in this life. When he writes, I read. When he talks, I listen. Here is his take on Afghanistan and the whole mess we are in.

* Gary T.

Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and Bin Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan-a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age.

Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban-by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by?

You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West. And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that?

Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

Tamim A

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Friday September 21, 2001
07:50 AM

I feel the same way about everything you said above, Dr Irene. So many mixed feelings. Even though I am a Democrat and was disappointed when President Bush was elected, I fully support him in this situation. He is handling this very well. We must all pull together, that's for sure.   Sis

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Friday September 21, 2001
11:21 AM

I listened to our president's address to Congress and to us last night and felt is was the most powerful speech both I've heard and read, as I am a quite a fan of Revolutionary era literature and political figures such as William Penn and Benjamin Franklin as well as others since. One of my favorite American essayists, John Stewart Mill (1809 - 1879?), actually addressed our conundrum in a text called, "On Liberty" which was published in 1859. As I re-read it this morning, I could not help but shake my head at the parallels at which I arrived.

I quote in part, (actually in bits and pieces as it is lengthy) "Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end. Liberty, as a principle, has no application to any state of things anterior to the time when mankind have become capable of being improved by free and equal discussion. Until then, there is nothing for them but implicit obedience to an Akbar or a Charlemagne, if they are so fortunate as to find one. But as soon as mankind have attained the capacity of being guided to their own improvement by conviction or persuasion (a period long since reached in all nations with whom we need here concern ourselves), compulsion, either in the direct form or in that of pains and penalties for non-compliance, is no longer admissible as a means for their own good, and justifiable only for the security of others.."

"It is the duty of governments; and of individuals, to form the truest opinions they can; to form them carefully, and never impose them on others unless they are quite sure of being right. But when they are sure (such reasoners may say), it is not their conscientiousness but cowardice to shrink from acting on their opinions, and allow doctrines which they honestly think dangerous to the welfare of mankind, either in this life or another, to be scattered abroad without restraint, because other people, in less enlightened times, have persecuted opinions now believed to be true. Let us take care, it may be said, not to make the same mistake: but government and nations have made mistakes in other things, which are not denied to be fit subjects for the exercise of authority: they have laid on bad taxes, made unjust wars. Ought we therefore to lay no taxes, and, under whatever provocation, make no wars? Men, and governments, must act to the best of their ability. There is no such thing as absolute certainty, but there is assurance sufficient for the purposes of human life. We may, and must, assume our opinion be true for the guidance of our own conduct: and it is assuming no more when we forbid bad men to pervert society by the propagation of opinions we regard as false and pernicious." "Among the works of man, which human life is rightly employed in perfecting and beautifying, the first in importance surely is man himself. Supposing it were possible to get houses built, corn grown, battles fought, causes tried, and even churches erected and prayers said, by machinery - by automatons in human form - it would be a considerable loss to exchange for these automatons even the men and women who at present inhabit the more civilized parts of the world, and who assuredly are but starved specimens of what nature can and will produce. Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing."

One of my favorite quotes from Mill states in part, "The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Dr. Irene, is this not the personal endeavor of each and every person on this website?"  I never thought of it quite this way. Interesting...

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Friday September 21, 2001
11:25 AM

Whoopsie, the above John Stewart Mill quotes were from me, Kita. Thanks Kita! It's posts like yours that make me wish I had paid more attention to history...

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Friday September 21, 2001
07:43 PM

I was home sick from work on September 11, so I saw this horrific incident "live and in color." There is no question in my mind that anyone involved in this brutal murder of totally innocent and unsuspecting men, women and children should be brought to justice. Justice and revenge are not the same, by the way. I am impressed by the President's calm, yet resolute response. He, and we as a country are handling this tragedy with such class! I am so impressed by the heroism I hear about: from the group of men who stormed the cockpit and overcame the hijackers, the rescue workers who clear debris bucket by bucket, the citizens who line the streets applauding the truck drivers who haul it away. It's pretty clear that our spirit has not been broken. On the other hand, I'm appalled that some have decided to lash out at innocent people. Their fears have overcome their reason. There is a private college in my town that boasts a large number of international students. One, from Pakistan, president of the Islamic Club received a standing ovation when she spoke at a gathering of 1000 people in a local church Tuesday night. I was so glad that evidently, we are a bit wiser in my little city. I do not know the political ins and outs very well, so can't argue intelligently about that. If we do indeed go to war, many more innocent lives will be lost, and there ARE innocents on BOTH sides. We cannot let this pass, however. Geoff, I should have said this immediately: I'm vey sorry about your friend. Becky

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Friday September 21, 2001
08:50 PM

Many thoughtful comments on the current affairs going on. I wasn't too thrilled that Bush got elected but I do think he is doing a great job with this terrible tragedy. I am not thrilled about going to war but I do believe it is necessary that we do something this time. We have to defend our country. These terrorists just destroyed thousands of people's lives. No warning, no terrorists demands, no reason given. They don't even have the ka hooneez to stand up and say they did it but hide away like the coward nuts they are I do not blame the Muslim for this nor the Afghan people. The terrorists, who remind me somewhat of Hitler and the KKK, are using religion as a crutch to hide behind to justify their dastardly deeds. The terrorists certainly didn't mind coming over here to the US to enjoy our freedoms, spend USDs, receive training from our school, and receive hospitality from our citizens. Our leaders say to go back to normal. Spend money. Buy the new car or whatever. I am sure that we all want to go back to normal but many are afraid of losing their jobs. With all the recent layoffs and the shakiness of our economy, I don't plan to make any big purchases. I will just pray for all of us. Hopefully the terrorists can be brought to justice without more bloodshed of innocent people.

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Saturday September 22, 2001
05:16 PM

I have been reading and filling myself with as much information as I can since the recent events. I even am planning on reading the Koran to really see what Islam means. Anyway, to get back to the real reason this web site is here, I am trying to relate my experiences in an abusive relationship with the abuse of these terrorists. First, I also want peace and harmony in our society and wish that could be. But, what dialogue can be struck with these terrorist groups? Are they not just glorified serial killers? Would we have a dialogue with Jeffery Dalmer? I know that when I tried dialogue with my abusive husband, it did not work. He did not care to listen and did not respect my point of view. I had to leave in order to protect my own dignity. If I could not leave, what other choice would I have? Would these terrorists who want Islam to take over the world really listen to us? What if we pulled out of Saudi now and just gave them what they wanted, do you think that would end it? I doubt it. Would we have had dialogue with Hitler, and does anyone think that dialogue would have worked? Just my humble thoughts with the knowledge I presently have. I plan to continue to read and learn as much as possible to try to be as fair as I can in my opinions. Another thing, Pres. Bush seems to be saying that they are going to go after the people who did this, not the Afghani people. I personally am in shock with the hate that people (and the airlines as the news has shown) have expressed toward Americans from the Middle East. I want everyone to know that I do NOT hate you for what others did. Please know that there are Americans out there that have the intelligence to know that not all Arabs/Muslims are terrorists. Thanks, Doc, for having this web site. I feel you have helped me to grow as a person, and the recent events have inspired me to take that growth as far as possible.

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Sunday September 23, 2001
01:46 AM

This tragedy affects me in ways which I've not shared with the Catbox or with the Yak board. I was 17 years old when I went with my father to live in Saudi Arabia (he was an engineer with the US Corp of Engineers). A year or so later, I married for the first time, yes, a Saudi Arabian. We were married for 5 years. I studied Arabic and the Koran. I learned about the different sects of Islam (the 'hardliners' and the more modern ones). I attempted to fight for women's rights (although doing so put me at immediate risk for deportment). In Saudi (much more modern than Afghan), women were not allowed jobs in the public, not allowed to drive, not allowed in public in the company of a non-relative, not allowed to wear anything that didn't cover them neck to ankle and wrist. In this, I'm including myself. My husband tried to make me wear the veil (to cover my hair) and I flat out refused. Gosh I had guts when I was young, didn't I? Wow! Guts indeed!

I was in Saudi when Iran took the American Embassy personnel hostage (1979). I was on the receiving end of hostility by militant Muslims and Arabs simply because I was American. I became aware that there were good people who were Muslims and Arabs, just as there were extremists and criminals. Shortly after arriving in-country, we (the Americans based in Riyadh) were invited to an execution of two Saudi men who had raped several American women. I was horrified at the idea, but realized there ARE individuals in all cultures and religions who need to be punished for their actions. I toured Palestinian refugee camps where they weren't allowed to put a roof on their little shacks, because that would make it a "home" and non-temporary. They laid a sheet of plywood or metal overhead and anchored it with blocks/bricks. Children were born, raised and left home from these little shacks (non-temporary). So sad...

I had Pakistani friends, Syrian friends, Jordanian friends, Egyptian friends, Kuwaiti friends, Bahrainian friends, in fact, I met wonderful human beings from ALL the middle eastern countries. I hold no grudge against Islam or against Arabs for the WTC horror. Yes. The Moslem people have nothing to do with this any more than you and I did.

I truly believe that we were sabotaged by a gang of extremists, just as we have them here in the US (think Oklahoma City). I am very concerned about the Afghanistan people. I'm well aware of the plight of the citizens (particularly the women). The atrocities the Taliban has perpetrated upon these poor people makes me feel sick. I don't want another innocent person to be hurt. However, that said, I don't think we can just allow terrorism to have it's way with us. If we don't do something about it, it will multiply as terrorist cells worldwide get the idea there will be no retaliation for acts they commit. SOMETHING has to happen to let the world know, it's NOT ok to do something this devastating. I'm praying that the loss of innocent life (ours and Afghanistans) is minimal. I'm under no delusion that there won't be "some", I'm hoping our intelligence community is able to minimize these casualties. In the meantime, lets all try not to focus our rage on one particular nationality, race, or religion. It's not about that...it's 'sick' individuals who have taken something to an extreme and used this as an excuse to terrorize the USA. God Bless America!!!! Jeannie aka Stormy

Wow! Stormy... I don't know what to say. You've had a very interesting life... Doc

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Sunday September 23, 2001
11:00 PM

The Indian land was donated from other states. In fact, the US Government took that land that belonged to the Indians and put them on the reservations, which was US owned land. So, that's an entirely different scenario. As for what happened to the Towers, part of it is just pure ignorance on the part of those who belong to a group that is headed by a man who is evil through and through. He hates Americans and everything that we stand for and will do everything in his power to make sure that we are destroyed. Throughout the world, the US is not as beloved as we might think we are. Sure, we help out the less fortunate countries, but in many respects, we are seen as bullies who swoop in to 'help' whether help is wanted or not.

 Is there any irony in the fact that the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon took place on 9/11? The anniversary of the Middle East Peace Accord that took place at Camp David, another target? These people are driven by hatred. They have attacked us in the name of religion and yet, theirs is a religion that does not preach hatred, nor does it preach such horrific acts of violence. This group declared a jihad or holy war upon us out of jealousy and malice. They chose their targets well - the Pentagon to show that our military is no match against "their" Allah, the WTC because those towers were a symbol to this nation and to the world of the prosperity this country enjoys.

I am 38 and my Pollyanna world has been destroyed.. Yes, I am scared. I am frightened for my brother in law who is NYPD helping search for victims. I am frightened for his brother, who is FDNY and lost 8 of his comrades when the towers came crashing down upon them while they were trying to get people out of the buildings. I am frightened for my nephews and all children who may not know what it is like to grow up knowing peaceful times as I did. I am frightened that we as a nation may not always stand as united as we are now to fight against the enemy. And yes, selfishly, I am also frightened for myself. There are many things I still haven't done in my life - finish college, marriage, a child or two of my own. Will I be able to do all of that? We are all afraid... Hope your relatives are OK...

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Sunday September 23, 2001
11:15 PM

That last comment was mine. I hit the submit button before I signed off. Duh. One last thought, I was speaking with a friend of mine who is a priest and asked him how to explain this to my young nephews when they asked me why God let this happen? They actually wanted to know why God was 'mad' at us (for once I didn't correct them and tell them the proper word is angry!). My friend said that in simplest terms God did not let this happen. God gives us all free will and the ability to know right from wrong. It is up to us to do something with that knowledge and will. Unfortunately some people's sense of right and wrong gets screwed up along the line. All we can really do is pray that our leaders have enough Faith in God to listen to His Message about being patient. It has been said that the only language "those people" understand is violence. Let's pray that isn't true and that whoever "those people" are, don't want a war anymore than we do and that the leaders can all work together to bring this to a peaceful resolution. Amen. God Bless all of you -- Kris And you too Kris.

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Monday September 24, 2001
08:57 AM

Wouldn't it be fair to say the "Retaliation on America"? Who really owns operation "Infinite Justice"? Factually speaking, isn't the US the largest terrorist organization on the planet?  (snip snip)

To the author of this post;

Boy, are you angry.... The post is blipped. Those seeking to blast the United States should do so elsewhere.  This is the kind of junk that personally makes me very angry, and will not be tolerated here. Doc.

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Monday September 24, 2001
10:45 AM

I feel very bad that these disasters happened, especially that our own planes were used to blow up our own buildings. I mourn the loss of life and what those individuals were going to accomplish in the future...the lives they could have touched, the fences that were about to be mended. It is Evil incarnate. While some are mourning, others are spurred to action. Still others are moved to hurt people further, in addition to their grief. I am angry and moved to hold both myself and others accountable on a consistent basis more than ever. We must disengage from our abusers and let consequences happen.

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Thursday September 27, 2001
02:06 PM

Looks like another beautiful and healthy exchange of views happening on this site. Thanks again Doc. Sorry. I'm blipping America blasting. It's gone Goeff.. Thanks also to Becky for your condolences concerning my friend. Finally, thanks to Kita who posted the eloquent Lesson on Government, which is even more delicious when contrasted with the views double posted by whomever coined the term 'GovernMedia'. I understand such a reluctance in not signing it... but...

First to Kita: Unfortunately even your revered G.W.B. does not conform to Mills' standards, for even now he and his cohorts would reduce our Liberties in imposing his attack upon that which he deems barbarous. I'm not just talking about the recent true acts of Barbarism on 9-11 either. He had no compunctions about 'Taking' office and no compunctions about restarting the war his Daddy started. Oh please... Do you want a President who is intimidated by his Office? He's a Leader... Making tough decisions. Yes, we will lose freedom. We have to lose it to protect itDespotism to defeat Barbarism? What's the difference? We move perilously in the direction of Fascism...Just ask yourself this in preparation; 'Are you, or have you ever BEEN...a TERRORIST?' (It helps to hear this in your head with the scratchy, tinny audio of the McCarthy Hearings. I fear people like myself and the coiner of GovernMedia would be the first to hear such an INQUISITION.) Certainly it is difficult to engage in Dialogue any enemy of such a stripe as Bin Laden and his minions at this late date. The point is, it was never tried. Probably only because he was pre-misjudged not to even be a worthy adversary. In comparing having 'Dialogue' with enemies of one (Spousal Abusers/Victims) to Dialogue with enemies of many, it is important to note that in both, Dialogoue can take the form of benign of self protective action just to get the attention and respect of that whom we would like to have Dialogue. Often, a third party can be helpful in nurturing this. An Abuse Victim's Defense of; 'Well, talking never did any good...' does not get one a free 'Get out of Jail card' for murdering his/her abuser.

As we learn from and with the Doc, it is not in just trying to talk, but the techniques that we engage in while trying to do so as well as in recognizing and eliminating unproductive patterns. I doubt this was ever truly tried with Bin Laden. Oh please! Geoff, wake up! We can't reform our own criminals, so we should reform terrorists? This is not about "dialogue." You are making an incorrect analogy with my "lessons." Think of it this way, there has been physical abuse. So, you call the police, after all, this is not a first offense and murder is involved. You want the perpetrator stopped and put out of commission. Even today, if he were inconspicuously shown the natural values and life affirming activities of every day American's in every day America, even against the backdrop of our pre-9-11 crimes against each other, poverty, etc., he could eventually come to the conclusion that: humans are human, and all the dignity that that implies. Sure Scrooge wasn't a mass murderer, but he did change. The point is; we can't kill them all, and in trying, we only create more of them for the future. We must, as a Culture, and as individuals, learn to see and revere the Buddha Nature of all we meet. We must also have the guts and the courage to see past the propaganda, the sloganeering and the 'test marketing' of same. Do we not see a slick progression from '...Crusade' to 'Infinite Justice' to 'Enduring Freedom'? We must have the stomach to see the hard truths of our Past and Present so that we may clearly envision the consequences for our Future. We can not allow our Constitution, our Bill of Rights and the Foundation of our Government, a Democratic Republic, or our culture of 'E Pluribis Unum,' Out of Many, ONE, to be HIJACKED. Either by 'Scandalocracy' as it was over the last eight years, or 'GovernMedia,' as it is right now. Peace and Love, Geoff Out...

 

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Monday October 01, 2001
03:54 PM

Soon we won’t be able to say anything if we disagree... Read this article from NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/01/opinion/01REEV.html  That may be. Nevertheless posters, please keep in mind the difference between disagreement and blasting.   Geoff, for example, knows how to disagree and not blast. Doc. http://www.theonion.com/onion3736/freedoms_curtailed.html

 

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Sunday October 07, 2001
09:21 PM

Doc said: "That may be. Nevertheless posters, please keep in mind the difference between disagreement and blasting." According to who? Under who's watchful eye and infinite wisdom? Mine. Censorship has come hard and furious to this site... The "freedom" once fought hard for is lost. I read both Geoff's and the Anon's post. Too bad the facts were deleted along with the emotions... How interesting - and convenient. "America the Beautifully censored. This site has outlived it's usefulness when it becomes so selective in what it sees as "valid". Good night.  I find it amusing that people assume for whatever reason that they have the right to say whatever is on their minds on this site regardless of how it may affect others, and despite my having made my "no blasting" policy clear time and time again. Like it or not, the site is not government property, corporate property, etc. The site is Doc's property. If you walked into my living room and started blasting my mother, my home, or my country, I would ask you to leave. Here, offensive, blasting posts get blipped. By the way Sir or Madame, nobody's twisting your arm to visit.  Doc

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Monday October 08, 2001
12:15 AM

Doc said: "Yes, we will lose freedom. We have to lose it to protect it." If we lose it, what's left to protect? Why bother protecting a society that has lost it's freedom? I fail to see your logic Doc. That's like saying we have to kill the cow if we want to drink it's milk...  Your extremism is what's keeping you from seeing the logic.

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Monday October 08, 2001
04:29 PM

I can't blast anyone...except terrorists in any way shape or form. It came home to me just how our kids are affected when my son.. came home from school after Sept 11th saying the entire playground ducked when a plane flew over.. and we are in the UK and not too near to London. I just have this feeling of sadness that somewhere in it all it will be the innocent who will suffer.. they have suffered and are suffering....maybe it hits us most when it is our own nation. .I know I finally identified the other night seeing a programme from two women from the UK who both lost their husbands. .they both live in New Jersey... but war??? this is something I grew up having missed.. the Falklands was conveniently 'elsewhere. 'This time it seems closer.. more real..the reality bites.. and I think it will be terrible and ugly and that is will never be about God and religion or Islam and Christianity or anything but man's inhumanity to man..God was never involved. he left it to the world to make choices and terrorists make poor choices...but who can really blame a young teen brought uop form birth to fight and hate...to believe heaven is to be bright through an evil act made to seem glorious and saintly.. I jsut keep wondering what the mothers of those terrorist really think.. I am rambling and should 9as usual be doing somethig else..but this is too big to go into denial about..too big to hide from and it won't be my generation that suffers most. I feel sick for the world my kids will live in..I just don't think it will go away this time. jay  I know what you mean Jay...

 

I love this:

"Killing Bin Laden will only create a martyr. Holding him prisoner will inspire his comrades to take hostages to demand his release. Therefore, I suggest we do neither.

"Let the Special Forces, Seals or whatever covertly capture him, fly him to an undisclosed hospital and have surgeons quickly perform a complete sex change operation. Then we return her to Afghanistan to live as a woman under the Taliban." <author unknown> Thanks Cindy! Doc.

 

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Saturday October 20, 2001
11:55 PM

A blue star is displayed in our window to honor of my 28 year old son who is an Army Sargeant. I pray it will never be replaced by a gold star. Among the first to volunteer for duty in Afghanistan, his gear bag is waiting at a front door 1,800 miles from his "home". He awaits orders for departure. Wanting a college scholarship for a better life, he is receiving a greater education in human vulnerability. Barely out of high school when he enlisted, he has served active duty in Bosnia and guarded the Korean DMZ. How do I justify his life being risked at war, yet again? Don't I love peace? Yes, I would choose paths of safety and comfort for my precious son. However, unnumbered civilians laid their lives on the line for others -- and our beloved United States on September 11. He is but one of thousands of Americans who volunteered to act during our time of duress. This quality is what made, and still makes, America unique: our citizens ran to Ground Zero to assist while the fires still raged. People in other nations ran to their borders to escape before the fire was lit. I prayerfully await his safe return home. I am honored to have been chosen to serve as mother to this extremely gifted, fair man with natural leadership abilities. We are both purposefully unnamed, for we are not unique. We are part of a sacred contract signed in 1776: the guardians of our nation's freedom, and the guardians of our nation's soldiers. God bless G.W. Bush and God bless America! And God bless you and your son. Thank you, Doc

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Saturday April 20, 2002
08:38 PM

Could you please tell me how to best work through the "panic" I feel when I am being ignored by my boyfriend. I know that it is NOT ok to be ignored for 3 or 4 days after an argument, and it really tears me up. I hate the silent treatment and know that it is abuse. I always find a way to blame myself or an excuse that maybe it will get better since my boyfriend is only 26 (maybe he will mature). Unfortunately, we went to a therapist awhile ago and she said that if he needs 4 days to process things - he is entitled. I think that is nuts - life is too short to be ignoring the people you profess to love. Please advise me as to how to get my strenght up to leave. THank you, Liz

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Thursday April 10, 2003
03:31 PM

No one is blasting the US, they are blasting WAR. I don't support the war, nor King George's decision, however, I do support the troops who are out there doing their job. May God bless them and the innocent victims.

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Thursday April 10, 2003
03:32 PM

No one is blasting the US, they are blasting WAR. I don't support the war, nor King George's decision, however, I do support the troops who are out there doing their job. May God bless them and the innocent victims.