Well, isn’t this special.
This wacky, old, liberal lady may not be so wacky, after all.
Before the bombing of Afghanistan, I sent messages to liberal members of Congress asking them to exert their influence to prevent bombing with “bomb” bombs. Surprise, surprise; no one listened. AFTER the bombing, I sent messages to all members of Congress I could find E-mail addresses for. Some came back “undeliverable”. No one really paid any attention. Who needs to listen to wacky, old, liberal ladies, anyway.
Briefly, my suggestion was this:
1) “Bomb” Afghanistan with food, medicine, and supplies and send people with skills to teach them how to work their land, etc., etc. Strictly humanitarian aid. In whatever form necessary. BLITZ them with it. NOTHING ELSE.
2) BLAST the message of what we are doing to TV stations by satellite INTERNATIONALLY. Over and over. Sound bites. Several times a day. Just like we do in our political campaigns.
The ads would vary but basically would say, “Look, World. This is what “the great Satan” does. These are the acts of ‛the great Satan’. Here are the pictures. Now look at what bin Laden does. Here are the pictures. Who is really ‛the great Satan?’ You decide.”
Over and over. Day after day. 3-4-5 times a day.
As the campaign continued, updated pictures of the people getting the food, the medicine, the training would continued to blitz the TV news stations ALL OVER THE WORLD.
THIS IS THE ONLY ATTACK ON AFGHANISTAN that should have been made.
Of course the Suits, the Super-Stars, the Movers and Shakers, the Influential Folks of Washington did not listen. Not that I really expected them to. But then, miracles DO happen, so you’ve got to try. Besides, “speaking your mind” is one of the things America is all about.
Now we are planning to go to war against Saddam Hussein and “bomb” Iraq. What he has to do with Nine/Eleven -- which is nothing -- is irrationally irrelevant.
So the wacky, old, liberal lady speaks again.
In her opinion, she always bases her opinions on 1) as much knowledge as she has at the time (which may or may not be enough, and is why she may change her mind), and 2) common sense/logic.
Trying to put herself in Saddam Hussein’s place, she tries to imagine what she would do if confronted with his situation. And decides--since she can’t ask him-- that it is a reasonable assumption to believe he LOVES his life the way it has been going and would like it to continue. If only those evil Americans will leave him alone to do his thing. She believes he knows if he DOES get “weapons of mass destruction” up and running and uses them, SPLAT, he’s toast. He and his country would be obliterated off the face of the earth. He’s evil, not stupid.
BUT, if he is CONVINCED we are going to get him, he has nothing to lose, so he’ll take out some of--or all of--the rest of us. Probably has the bombs in place in the bunkers; nuclear bombs and/or biological bombs and/or chemical bombs. We bomb them, we ALL are toast.
This is NOT rocket science, folks. Sixty-four-year old wacky, liberal ladies don’t understand rocket science. Not this one, anyway.
Fast forward to January 2003. In particular, 1/10/03, N.P.T.’s broadcast last night of Bill Meyer’s “NOW” program. Interviewing Howard Zinn, author and historian at Boston University, his latest book being, “Terrorism & War.”
I cannot believe what I am hearing.
According to Howard Zinn (assuming he is stating the truth), the CIA has publicly stated the one thing that would cause Saddam Hussein to use his “weapons of mass destruction” -- IF he has them -- would be if we attack him.
This learned man continues. He is not a pacifist. The Sadam Husseins and bin Ladens of the world must be dealt with, he believes. Through negotiations. And America must change from a military super power to a humanitarian super power.
Hey! Bet he would LOVE my idea for “bombing” Afghanistan. Of course, it’s too late for that. In October 2001 we further decimated a country already devastated by other wars, other dictators.
Oh, well, maybe next time.
With respect to the actual bombing of Afghanistan, which was totally ineffective, of course, since the stated purpose was to “get bid Laden”, Mr. Zinn compared what we did there to this scenario:
“There is a terrorist hiding in Boston, let’s bomb Boston and maybe we’ll get him.”
Why it takes a learned historian from Boston University to state the obvious, I don’t know, but I will restate his position on the bombing of Iraq:
“If we bomb Iraq, we will be killing the victims of Saddam Hussein.”
Hooray for us!
Bill asked him why he is so opposed to war.
In World War II he was a bomber, flew in the B17 bomber, and bombed the hell out of whatever target his commander selected for that day’s run. From 6000 feet in the air, you don’t see people, you don’t see heads blown off, arms torn off, bleeding, dying real life people, writhing in agony and pain, dying by the thousands, or maimed for life if you happen to survive.
You see a target, a spot. And you obliterate it. Or maybe the one next to it. So you missed by one degree. Too bad. “I understand the banality of war. They’re the bad guys, we’re the good guys. War brutalizes everyone involved.”
Bombing the blazes out of a country, only creates more problems.
The turning point for him, he said, was at the end of the war. The war was actually over but there were a few skirmishes, loose ends to tie up. His squadron was deployed to Orien, France. There was a pocket of German prisoners--young men, of course; every country sends their best and strongest--being held in this town. They had fought valiantly for their cause, just as we had done, but they got caught. The U.S. military sent 1200 bombers--that’s
o n e t h o u s a n d t w o h u n d r e d k I I l I n g m a c h I n e s –
to destroy these few thousand prisoners.
It just happened that they obliterated the entire town of several thousand people in the process.
“And that’s when I started hating war,” he said.
Whether or not there is life after death or not, we really won’t know until we get there. Some believe when it’s over, it’s over. This life is all there is. Others of us believe we are eternal beings and life continues in some form after we shed this earthly shell.
I’ve spent a lifetime studying the Bible and other religious/spiritual books. I’ve listened, and continue to listen, to well-known religious leaders of all persuasions. The ones that impress me are the ones that stress the importance of love.
God IS love and ALL-KNOWING, ALL-SEEING, ALL-PRESENT. IF there IS a God. (That’s for all you folks who don’t know or think there isn’t).
Love is the key. Whether there’s a God or not.
Desmond Tutu was interviewed a few months ago by Ted Koppel on Up Close and he made a comment that has stuck with me ever since. He meditates every morning from 6-9 a.m.
He was speaking of God. Paraphrasing, he said the very essence of God is love. God loves US completely, unequivocally, absolutely, and God expects US to love each other IN THE SAME MANNER. Then he said something else. I will never forget it:
“God loves George Bush and Saddam Hussein the same. To Him, they are brothers.”
If the world could grasp the meaning of those words, there would be no more wars. “The world” being made up of millions of individuals. Individuals who CAN comprehend and act on the meaning of those words. If they so choose.
There’s lots of things I haven’t figured out yet. Some things I think I’ve figured out but I may change my mind if I get more information.
For now, this is what I believe.
Whatever heaven is--assuming there is one--it is only filled with love. To the furthermost edges, every nook and cranny. Filled with love. All the negative emotions that we humans feel from time to time-- anger, frustration, intolerance, resentment, self-righteousness, hatred, impatience, prejudice--those things are not present in heaven.
So if you harbor those thoughts, if you act on those emotions, if this is
Who . . . You . . . Are . . .
you might want to think about overcoming those feelings with LOVE. (so-called Christians beware; wake up; I’m speaking especially to you.)
In the largest darkest room or cave, where you can’t see your finger in front of your face, light just one small candle. The darkness is dispersed. Light another candle and the darkness recedes a little more. Every small candle lit gets rid of a little more darkness.
Individuals, one by one, understanding what love really means, practicing it, joined together become nations. And nations who act in love will have no need for war.