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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

20 Years of War in Iraq

It has come to my attention that we will have been at war in Iraq for 20 yearsJanuary 15, 2011 is the 20th Anniversary since the US first decided to begin bombing Iraq.

The United States began to bomb Iraq on January 15, 1991 by order of our then President, commander and chief, George H.W. Bush. It was the suspicion of the possession of WMD's and non-compliance by Saddam Hussein to allow the UN inspections that led to those bomb attacks. We referred to that invasion as operation, Desert Storm, remember that? 

Since then, millions of Iraqi people have been militarily occupied, injured, starved, killed, tortured, and imprisoned. Millions more have become internally displaced or refugees in other countries.

So what happened to the dream to abolish war? There have been many who have stepped forward and stood for peace an scorned war, some being:

"We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear... That old law about "an eye for an eye" leaves everybody blind... The time is always right to do the right thing... Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"War is over if you want it "- John Lennon and Yoko Ono

"Peace is more precious than a piece of land"- Anwar Sadat

Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police. - Albert Einstein

Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground. - T. S. Eliot

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing, but the triumph of principles. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

There never was a good war or a bad peace. - Benjamin Franklin

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it. - Thomas Jefferson

We must build a new world, a far better world -- one in which the eternal dignity of man is respected. - Harry S. Truman

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics,which is the goal of all evolution.Until we stop harming all other living beings , we are still savages. - Thomas A. Edison

They are not following dharma who resort to violence to achieve their purpose. But those who lead others through nonviolent means, knowing right and wrong, may be called guardians of the dharma. - Buddha

All of the following are by Mahatma Ghandi, we could not ignore his advice -
  • We must become the change we want to see
  • To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.
  • When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS.
  • Non-violence is the article of faith.
  • It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
  • Hatred can be overcome only by love.
  • I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage.
  • Poverty is the worst form of violence.
  • An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
  • Unity to be real must stand the severest strain without breaking.
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

There will be many marches in protest of this war on Washington, DC, January 15, 2011 to draw attention to this anniversary and to the fact that the United States using military force for 20 years, has led to the slaughter of Iraqis and the destruction of their country. I have never been part of any walks or protests and I have mixed feelings about thier effectiveness. Some of the groups/alliances who are planning to attend are: The Peace Committee, Witness Against Torture, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Gold Star Families Speak Out, Code Pink, United National Assembly Committee, Consistent Life,  WARISACRIME.ORG, Peace-Action, Veterans For Peace, Christian Peace Witness, War Resisters League, Answer Coalition, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, United For Peace and Justice,  Gray Panthers, Pax Christi Metro DC, Little Friends for Peace, Peace With Justice Mission(DC), Dorothy Day CW(DC), Father Charlie Mulholland CW(NC), Northern Virginians for Peace & Justice,  Maryland United for Peace and Justice, Gray Panthers of Metropolitan DC, Peace-Action Montgomery County(MD), Jonah House(MD)

I just wonder if we will ever find peace, end the wars so that our children and theirs don't have to suffer what we, Iraqi's and many other's have suffered. Is anyone listening? How many more must die? What is the toll in the final hour? What is the cost ? What will it take?

"Her heart flamed with agony but she could finally open her lips and say, "Oh Lord, bring him home safely to me. I have exhausted my tears and can offer no more, oh Lord, full of love and mercy. My patience is drained and calamity is seeking possession of my heart. Save him, oh Lord, from the iron paws of War; deliver him from such unmerciful Death, for he is weak, governed by the strong. Oh Lord, save my beloved, who is Thine own son, from the foe, who is Thy foe. Keep him from the forced pathway to Death's door"
                                                                                 Khalil Gibran

Book :  The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

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