August 13, 2008

Train

Has America with this election arrived at a “liminal moment” in its history? Is this a “moment of passage,” even “a spiritual awakening,” that can carry us over the threshold to culture-change, urging new meanings to be born, enlarging vision and deepening understanding? That is, a re-marriage of humanity and government to breed a wider sensibility of ourselves and our nation in a “world gone wrong.” The work of centuries is imperiled. We must make a better world or die. We must understand that the degradations on our planet and the real possibility of nuclear annihilation in our lifetimes are gathering thunderheads this side of tomorrow. War is breaking out like lightning strikes. We will pull together to defeat these threats or perish together.

The pit of human depravity is bottomless, as the 20th Century and now this one proves. The advance of rapid climate change and deterioration of existing life-sustaining infrastructure together should be sufficient to stay the impulsive and hateful hands of war, but they are not. Posturing bullies on all sides, each declaring a “desire for freedom” or “devotion to God,” prepare a conflagration of chemicals and fire to poison and barbecue every living thing. The perfidy of governments and their capacity to do harm is without historical parallel. Never have people had a greater ability to do evil, nor a better chance to do good, or worse prospects.

From around our planet witness the growing power and influence of sincere people in well-organized movements for a rational and sustainable way of life (such as Earth Charter.) We must remember that at no time was optimism in the peace movement higher than prior to WW I. After a century of peace petitions and hemming-and-hawing of warring governments, major powers signed the Geneva Conventions. Rules of war were codified; enforcement promised. Peace activists were joyous.

The liberal Woodrow Wilson—a celebrated “intellectual”—won the White House by promising America would remain neutral in the European War. But his policies of trade with England and France and possible ammo shipments made our ships targets of German attack. The Great Liberal with a bellicose Congress dispatched with song and ceremony hundreds of thousands to their deaths in what he called “the war to end all wars.” Thus were machine guns perfected and the science of aerial bombing begun. It is said that one hundred million human beings were murdered in wars of the 20th Century. I don’t know how anyone could have counted them.

The train of world war is chugging into the station. Both candidates in the present election vow to expand the Afghanistan War of Vengeance into Pakistan, where CIA attacks already are underway. They want to send the war into the fundamentalist Federally Administered Tribal Areas -- now talking secession from Pakistan--(“sanctuaries,”) where atom bombs are stored in caves. Pakistan accuses India of fomenting separatism. Most Americans are unaware how deeply India is involved in the Afghanistan War.

It will be the first time that the United States has attacked in a country with atom bombs (50). Every major nation involved in the widening war from Africa to Pakistan has sufficient nukes to destroy our planet: America, Russia, England, France, China, Israel, India and Pakistan.

Are you really ready for this?

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