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From: Ron ( -
Subject: Re: Just a few questions. . . .
Date: December 13, 2002 at 4:45 pm PST

In Reply to: Just a few questions. . . . posted by elle on December 12, 2002 at 4:46 pm:

Sounds like you are interested in the pacifist viewpoint on this- not just one of the warmonger types that comes into this pacifist support board to tell us that war is the way.
It seems that your question is on the international-political level. Peace is only many different levels- inner peace, peace in the family, in the community, in a country and between countries and peoples. To me, isolating just the international-political issue starts from the wrong perspective. Peace should start from inner peace and then to interpersonal relationships, and then, it carry over to international disputes.
As far as Iraq/terrorist thing goes, I believe that you need to separate them. Iraq is a secular government, not the type of Islamic government that Al Queada wants. In fact, Ossama Bin Laden wanted to fight Iraq himself when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Iraq fought against Iran to stop Iran's fundamentalist Islamic government from spreading in the region. So, these are 2 opposing forces, not in alignment, unless the U.S. policies drive them into alignment, as they seem to be doing.
No one is contending that Iraq has the potential to launch an attack on the U.S. Iraq is strictly a regional power, not a world power and does not have the capability of striking the U.S.
The real issue is the one you raised- fear. Americans are in a state of fear. The problem with reacting from our fear is that it may actually make things worse for the U.S., not better. For every Arab that we kill (who had nothing to do with 9-11) in our bombing of Iraq, several relatives and friends of the deceased will in turn want to get back at the U.S. and retaliate for the death. So, they will react, just as we are reacting. You wonder how can we engage them when they are so opposed to our way of life. Likewise, we are opposed to their way of life- Islamic fundamentalism. They feel that we are trying to impose western decadence- pornography, gambling, drinking, pop music, hamburgers and Cokes, etc. on their countries and they feel they are defending their way of life. I am not saying that I agree with them, but simply stating their viewpoint, which is not understood in this country.
If you look at what Israel is doing with retaliatory raids on Palestinians, you will see that the raids just create more terrorists, rather than solve the problem. We are doing the same thing. We think we are getting rid of terrorists by killing them (and innocent bystanders), when in fact, more spring up than were there before.
Please do not write back saying that I want us to just allow terrorists to blow up innocent Americans. I do not want people to die on either side.
I am just saying that we need to get more creative in solving these problems than just bombing everyone. The Bush Administration has hardly even considered all the alternatives for dealing with these problems and instead has gone right for the gun. Killing people does not lead to peace- it just keeps the cycle going.
I understand your fear. I have a 4 year old daughter myself and do not want her to be harmed. It is probably overwhelming for you to consider solving this big of a problem, so I suggest that you begin by trying to cultivate inner peace, and peace in your own relationships. Best wishes to you.

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