Thursday, October 16, 2003

perfect sympathy-Tagore

perfect sympathy

Objects of knowledge maintain an infinite distance from us who are the knowers.

For knowledge is not union.

Therefore the further world of freedom awaits us there where we reach truth,

not through feeling it by senses or knowing it by reason,

but through union of perfect sympathy.

Rabindranath Tagore

Unintended Consequences of General Clark's Proposed "Civilian Reserve"?

Unintended Consequences of General Clark's Proposed "Civilian Reserve"?

The Village Voice has an interesting article by James Ridgeway regarding General Wesley Clark's fair-weather friendship with the Clintons which could wind up costing General Clark more than he bargained for. It also discusses the apparent fact that he has few real friends in the Military, and an imporatnt question about the constitutionality of his proposed "Civilian Reserve":

".. On Monday, Clark proposed a 5,000-person civilian reserve, which could be called up for emergencies both here and abroad. The reserve would be open to anyone over the age of 18, and could be mustered at the command of president and the Congress to handle crises like forest fires, earthquakes, and nation-building in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

This proposal has already been criticized as a redundancy, since Clinton's AmeriCorps and Bush's USA Freedom Corps have already spent large sums in efforts to boost volunteerism.

Clark's corps would meet another need, though it's unclear if this is the former general's intention. The U.S. military is severely strained by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush and Rumsfeld mock the UN, which means, among other things, we will have to shoulder the burden of running international peacekeeping projects when it is in our interest to do so.

This new corps, which would be run directly by the federal government, might help take the strain off the National Guard, but in doing so it would probably plunge the federal government into direct management of disasters at the local level. That is of questionable constitutional legitimacy, since disasters and ordinary operations of the Guard are supposed to be in the hands of state governors, not Washington..."

Malaysian Prime Minister Sends Disturbing Message

Retiring Prime Minister of democratic Malaysia, frustrated over lack of Middle East Road Map success, creates a Road Map of his own for Islamic successors to follow.

".....Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday told a summit of Islamic leaders that "Jews rule the world by proxy" and the world's 1.3 billion Muslims should unite, using nonviolent means for a "final victory"....."

Regardless of how non-violently the Malaysian Prime Minister frames it all, "final victory" sounds violence-related to about you?
You can understand how this would make Israel uncomfortable...yes?

My question is this:

Are we EVER going to have an American leader who is wise enough to protect his vulnerable friends in Israel while showing an even and honest hand to those who have been separated from human rights and civil society in the region? Will an American leader EVER be able to be honest with an Israeli leader like Sharon and tell him he's
endangering his good people with his twisted and hateful policies?

Will the good people of Israel ever come to unerstand that hateful leaders beget hate?

When they begin to see that Sharon represents as much hatred as those ugly souls who call themselves warriors and use terror as a tool of fear....then perhaps we will get somewhere?

The current attitude and handling of "terror" by both Bush and Sharon is undermining the human rights of all the innocent on both sides of the Middle Eastern conflict.
If there is a G*d and we believe in G*d, how can our G*d-fearing leaders ignore the suffering of the innocent simply because terror reigns? Should we NOT do all we can for the good of mankind while terror reigns?

Why do Bush and Sharon return terror with terror and wait for a far-off day when terror is defeated while innocent people suffer and die?

This is NOT leadership, my friends.

This is a case of men perpetrating violence on top of violence...virtually signing death-warrants for more of the innocent.

Look at what we wind up with:

"....Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday told a summit of Islamic leaders that "Jews rule the world by proxy" and the world's 1.3 billion Muslims should unite, using nonviolent means for a "final victory."

His speech at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, which he was hosting, drew criticism from Jewish leaders, who warned it could spark more violence against Jews...."



see: There Is No "Road Map" to Peace,
Only the Hard Road Not Taken

By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, "The Crisis Papers."
October 14, 2003

"....Can we just acknowledge that there is no "road map" to peace in the Middle East? Under Bush, there is no U.S.-sponsored avenue or boulevard or street or back alley that could possibly take the parties to a solution. In sum, there are no shortcuts to peace.."

".....Extremists on both sides (egged-on, unfortunately, by their elected leaders) believe that their claim to the disputed land is given by God. The Israeli fundamentalists want a Greater Israel, the Palestinian extremists want a Greater Palestine, with no Israel.

Ordinarily, when two religiously-oriented groups claim that God is on their side, there is no room for accommodation, because it is believed that a compromise would be an affront to God.

But in this extraordinary situation, it is not required that either side forsake their God. If and when both sides can finally agree that the continuing slaughter is intolerable, that their economic and social situation are intolerable, that the constant stress is intolerable, that each losing its moral way is intolerable -- if and when they get to that point (which, unfortunately, probably means after Arafat and Sharon have died), then both sides can say to themselves something like this:

"Dear God/Allah: We have remained true to your desires for decades upon decades, but our peoples have grown weary with despair and never-ceasing bloodshed. We want to continue the battle for your rule, but the reality is that neither of us can make the other side disappear. If we don't come to some sort of agreement -- not to like each other but merely to recognize that the others are here and they're not going to go away -- we will provide nothing to our children and grandchildren but hopelessness and despair and perpetual slaughter and unbearable tension. Therefore, in the name of reality -- and, we hope, with your blessing -- we will make a peace. It will not get us everything we and you want, but it will reclaim the likelihood of a future for succeeding generations....."

Re: "On Listening" by Thomas Friedman

Re: "On Listening"
by Thomas Friedman
NY Times
Published: October 16, 2003

"..don't limit your associations to people who agree with you.."
Richard H. Brodhead,
Dean of Yale College

Thomas Friedman's column today in the NY Times expresses many of my own reservations and complaints about Dick Cheney's speech in front of the Bush-admin-friendly Heritage Foundation last week.


"...There was a headline that grabbed me in The Times on Saturday. It said, "Cheney Lashes Out at Critics of Policy on Iraq."

"Wow," I thought, "that must have been an interesting encounter." Then I read the fine print. Mr. Cheney was speaking to 200 invited guests at the conservative Heritage Foundation — and even they were not allowed to ask any questions. Great. Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein issue messages from their caves through Al Jazeera, and Mr. Cheney issues messages from his bunker through Fox. America is pushing democracy in Iraq, but our own leaders won't hold a real town hall meeting or a regular press conference.

Out of fairness, my newspaper feels obligated to run such stories. But I wish we had said to the V.P.: If you're going to give a major speech on Iraq to an audience limited to your own supporters and not allow any questions, that's not news — that's an advertisement, and you should buy an ad on the Op-Ed page...."

Mr. Friedman also puts Bush's position (*position??--or failure to act??) in the Middle East in the proper perspective:

"...Thankfully, there is one group of people the Bush team is listening to: Iraq's silent majority. Ironically, Iraq is the one place in the world where the Bush team has chosen not to become obsessed with terrorists, not to focus exclusively on them and their noise, but to just keep on building a better Iraq for Iraqis — the only way to counter terrorism in the long run — despite the bombs bursting in air.

Unfortunately, in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza — where some really sick terrorists claimed three U.S. lives yesterday — the Bush team has decided to fall in behind Ariel Sharon's failed strategy of only listening to the terrorists and postponing any initiatives until they are all defeated. So the only voice we hear there is that of the terrorists. No alternative reality is being built to smother or counter them, and that's just what the terrorists want."