May 14, 2002

Miscellaneous Subjects #142: Taking Care of Essential Business


Hello everyone

I'm beginning my intensive gardening period this week for the next 3 weeks. I've some ready-made compilations that I'll send you this week but won't be much available to attend to incoming emails.

Have a great week ;-)


Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000


CONTENTS


1. A feedback
2. 'State of Disaster' Declared in Zimbabwe
3. Young Woman Beaten to Death in Beijing Jail For Refusing to Identify Herself
4. Fear Can Turn Us All Into 'Good Germans'
5. HOW MUCH OF YOUR MONEY GOES TO BOOKS "COOKED" BY FEDERAL CONTRACTORS?
6. The Power Over the Ultimate Evil: In the Footsteps of Gandhi and King


See also:

POLL POINTS TOWARD PEACE
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=13116
A little-noted survey released last week revealed that most Americans do not agree with the main components of President Bush's Middle East policy.

Large Tel Aviv Rally Calls for Pullout From Territories (I SAW HIS ON TV! THERE WERE 60,000 PEOPLE!)
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/05.13C.Peacenow.htm

USA Plots early 2003 Air/Land Iraq Attack - NYTimes 4-26-2002
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bush administration is plotting a potential major air campaign and ground invasion early next year to topple the Iraqi government of President Saddam Hussein, the New York Times reported in Sunday editions. The use of 70,000 to 250,000 troops is being considered, the Times said. The Times reported the timing of early next year delay resulted from a need "to create the right military, economic and diplomatic conditions. These include avoiding summer combat in bulky chemical suits, preparing for a global oil price shock, and waiting until there is progress toward ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

BUSH'S HIT LIST AT THE UNITED NATIONS
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=13088
The U.S. has mounted a systematic campaign to oust top United Nations officials opposed to the war on terrorism.

U.S. Government Warns Cuba on Bio Weapons Program
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/5/5/215929.shtml

Cuba Denies Developing Bio-Weapons (May 10)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&ncid=716&e=2&u=/ap/20020511/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cuba_us_castro_4

Is the US planning a war against Cuba? (May 10)
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/may2002/cuba-m10.shtml
(...) In Cuba’s case, the allegations of biological weapons production also have a “dual use.” The country’s biotechnology industry is one of the most advanced in the world, producing pharmaceuticals for export and developing hundreds of groundbreaking drugs and agricultural biotechnology products.
(...) The Cuban government has estimated potential export earnings from the country’s biotechnology industry during the 1998-2003 period at $800 million (...) The new charges of biological weapons—never before made by a US administration—serve not only as a pretext for military attack, but also as a justification for tightening the trade stranglehold on the island nation.




1.

Date: Wed, 01 May 2002
From: Elan Star <sunstar@hawaii.rr.com>
Subject: Re: The Big Brother Files #38: The Story That Won't Go Away --- Posted
at http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/Archives2002/BigBrother38.htm

Jean

Aloha from Hawaii. I am so glad you were bold enough to send this - we all know what really happened and why. It is amazing to see that so many believe something else. Keep the strong faith you have and keep well.

All the best

Elan




2.

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/01/international/africa/01ZIMB.html

'State of Disaster' Declared in Zimbabwe (May 1, 2002)

HARARE, Zimbabwe, April 30 (Reuters) — President Robert Mugabe declared a "state of disaster" today as food shortages attributed to drought and the government's seizure of white-owned farms threatened widespread starvation.

The declaration was the Mugabe government's strongest admission to date of the gravity of the food crisis. "As a result of the prevalent drought, a state of disaster exists in all communal lands and resettlement and urban areas in Zimbabwe with effect from April 3, 2002," Mr. Mugabe said in a proclamation published in the state-owned Herald.

The Herald said the move would enable donors and relief agencies to increase emergency aid to about 7.8 million malnourished people, more than half of Zimbabwe's population of nearly 13 million. The global response to aid appeals has been slow because of international isolation resulting from Zimbabwe's rights record, the farm seizures and Mr. Mugabe's disputed victory in elections that were held in March.




3.

Sent by "David Snape" <dave_snape@hotmail.com>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 5/1/2002
http://www.faluninfo.net/

Young Woman Beaten to Death in Beijing Jail For Refusing to Identify Herself

Woman's Silence Protects Family and Local Officials from Beijing's Wrath

NEW YORK, May 1st, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) - On the afternoon of January 31, 2002, chaos gripped the Miyun Detention Center of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. On-duty prison guards killed a young woman who practices Falun Gong attempting to force her to reveal her identity. Sources inside China report that two policemen, Yu and Wang, ordered prison inmates to beat the woman with big wooden boards. The beating went on for more than two hours.

The young woman was injured so severely that she couldn't stand up. She crawled back into her prison cell and was found dead 10 hours later. Detention Center Vice Director Li took charge of disposing of the evidence, leading some prisoners away with the body to cremate it secretly.

The death was confirmed by telephone with staff at the Beijing Miyun Police Bureau, National Security Department. When asked, "On January 31st, did a female Falun Gong practitioner die?" the person on duty, named Jiang, replied, "Yes," but would give no further information.

Since Jiang Zemin banned Falun Gong in China in July, 1999, Chinese citizens have continuously journeyed to Beijing to peacefully appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong freely. It has become common practice for those arrested to not reveal their personal identities, even in the face of severe beating or torture, because heavy punishment is often dealt out to local officials and relatives once Beijing officials ascertain their identities. This punishment ranges from fining local officials to detaining, or even torturing relatives.

The identity of the young woman remains unknown, and her friends and family must still be waiting for news of her.

Background

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices in China, such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.

With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of over 400 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600. Over 100,000 have been detained, with more than 20,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps without trial.

---

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER Contacts: Gail Rachlin 212-706-7026, Adam Montanaro 917-405-4507, or Feng Yuan 646-523-5676.

Email: faluninfoctr@nycmail.com
Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/

If you wish to receive the weekly newsletter, or if you wish to add a subscription, please send email to news@faluninfo.net or leave a message on +1 888-842-4797.




4.

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@islands.vi>

Published on Monday, April 29, 2002 by CommonDreams.org

Fear Can Turn Us All Into 'Good Germans.'

We Must Resist It

by Harley Sorensen

One of life's mysteries, for me, is how masses of people can do the incredibly cruel things they do. Individual brutality makes a certain amount of sense in that it's limited to one person. But mass brutality?

I think this subject first came to mind after I read Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, A History of Nazi Germany.

There was nothing in either book that told me how such a highly civilized and culturally advanced nation as Germany could sink to the level of the Nazis.

"How could that happen?" I wondered.

"What is there about the Germans that allowed them to become the monsters they became? How are they different than the rest of us?"

So I spent a month pondering the question.

The answer I came up with satisfied me then, and it satisfies me still: There is nothing different about the World War II Germans. What happened to them could happen to anyone. It could happen to us. We are no better than them.

As Pogo so famously said (about pollution) on Earth Day in 1971:

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

I'm reminded of all this now because of the way we Americans blindly follow George W. Bush into battle all over the world. We're fighting in Afghanistan for sure, probably in Pakistan, in the Philippines, in Colombia, and soon in Iraq if the signals we're hearing mean anything. I'm sure I've missed other combat zones, and there is good reason to believe we've conducted clandestine operations in Venezuela.

Similarly, our friends and allies in Israel blindly follow the lead of the serial war criminal, Ariel Sharon, by fighting and committing atrocities against their neighbors, the Palestinians.

The formula to become a brutish leader, as Jean-Marie Le Pen proved recently in France, is a two-step process. First, you convince the masses they are in grave danger (Le Pen used immigrants as his boogie man), then you promise to save them.

That's exactly what Hitler did, and it's exactly what Bush and Sharon are doing.

Generally speaking, people who feel fear seem willing to throw away all their morals and principles. If you don't believe that, go to the airport and watch thousands of otherwise proud people line up like sheep to be publicly humiliated in the name of safety.

But not everybody buys into the Save-Me-From-The-Evildoers syndrome. To make that point, let me refer to a remarkable e-mail I got last week.

It's from a Jewish man. I won't name him, because what he said could cause him trouble.

"I am a 'recovering Jew'," he wrote, "one who was born in the U.S. However, through a series of events having mainly to do with (a) being indoctrinated with 'Jewish values' in religious school, and (b) traveling to Europe and seeing the concentration camps and then by overreacting and immigrating to Israel, I came to the conclusion that religion itself is responsible for more suffering than I could ever imagine on my own."

"The absolute fact of the matter is that I could never reconcile the fact that Jews would call themselves special, while everyone else is different. Particularly, I could not understand how these people could claim to speak to The Almighty while declaring everyone else as somehow inferior, in that regard at least."

"I learned that Jews have a glib way of characterizing and stigmatizing other racial groups (as though being Jewish is a race) by referring to blacks as "schwarzes" or gays as "feygales" or non-Jews as "goyim." In short, my U.S. citizenship and belief in equal rights conflicted with Judaism."

"Insofar as Israel is concerned, I wound up on the West Bank in the early '80s, way before the Intifada began. I remember Jews there referring to the Palestinians as vermin and scum. The Jews boasted that the Arabs were there to do the hard labor, like construction and cleaning, for little money. Basically, I could not reconcile the fact that these people who proclaimed their distaste for slavery could in fact be the ones perpetrating it on others."

"I left Israel abruptly after only a few years there. I had met Ariel Sharon personally. He loved to visit the settlement where I lived because that is where his power base is located. His good-old-boy network of Jewish hit men and terrorists who boobie trap Arab cars and do hit-and-run shootouts is located there, and sadly they derive a large portion of their funding from Jewish groups located in the U.S. who receive tax-free status here."

"The beef among Arabs, whether it is Al Queda or Hamas, is that Israel has been labeled a democracy by the U.S., and they have been labeled terrorists. This is not about religion; it is rather about saying what you mean and meaning what you say."

"Sadly, though, the foreign policy of the U.S. is to recognize Israel's right not only to exist but to intimidate the Arabs around them for the sake of putting them on notice that if they ever decide to cut off the oil then Israel will ally itself with the U.S."

"This is a game, and it is sadly a game that has turned Jews into terrorists. Therefore, I decided not to be Jewish, because I refuse to take part in this blood for oil game. I believe in the right of all people to live in peace, and insofar as that is concerned I have taken this position."

What I found most remarkable about this letter is the writer's honesty. Too many American Jews, it seems to me, march in lock step with the hardest of the Israeli hardliners.

It's the fear factor, I believe. They go against their basic decent instincts and support a brutal regime for fear of being criticized or ostracized as traitors. Peer pressure.

You see the same thing with Americans' blind support of Bush's war policies.

"If you're not for us, you're against us," Bush said, immediately making sheep out of otherwise hard-nosed, independent-thinking Americans.

Driven by fear, masses of people can do horrible things. Now is a good time to recall the admonition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said:

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Roosevelt's warning was about the Great Depression, but the words are appropriate now. Fear can turn us all into "good Germans." We must resist it. We must not let it turn us into sheep.




5.

HOW MUCH OF YOUR MONEY GOES TO BOOKS "COOKED" BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS?

USA AVERAGE

Residents (April 2000 census):
1999 IRS Individual Taxes: $ 1.6 trillion
Taxes Per Resident: $ 5,688
2002 Proposed Appropriations to Federal Agencies Without Reliable
Financial Systems and/or Audits per resident...$4,835

From: http://www.insightmag.com/news/246188.html

Government Fails Fiscal-Fitness Test
Posted April 29, 2002
By Kelly Patricia O'Meara

If America learned anything from the Enron mess it is how easily the books can be cooked. After spending weeks reviewing the audits of federal departments and agencies, INSIGHT is convinced the U.S. government doesn't cook its books - your government is honest enough to admit that it just doesn't know where the money went.

(...) the DoD still cannot account for at least $1.1 trillion from fiscal 2000 !!! CLIP




6.

From: Jonathan Granoff <JGG786@aol.com>,

Hope you enjoy the attached effort to bring spiritual insight to a critical situation.

Jonathan

---

The Power Over the Ultimate Evil: In the Footsteps of Gandhi and King

Presented by Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute
http://www.gsinstitute.org

On the Occasion of the Celebration of Gandhi and King Season for Nonviolence,
United Nations, New York City, New York
April 9, 2002

CLIP

Martin Luther King Jr. described our current predicament posed by nuclear weapons succinctly: nonviolence or nonexistence. The dynamics of violence and its friends fear, denial and falsehood and the dynamics of nonviolence and its friends love, truth and peace begin in the hearts of each of us. The most offensive expression of the violence that grows from the heart bereft of peace is the threat to use nuclear weapons and ultimately destroy all life on the planet earth in order to exalt a human creation, a nation state.

Not only do nuclear weapons constitute a threat to our physical security and our sense of reason and proportionality, but they also exemplify a thoroughly modern dilemma where the means of pursuing security undermine the end of obtaining security. In his Nobel Lecture of December 11, 1964, Dr. King said: “Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external. We have allowed the means whereby we live to outdistance the ends for which we live. So much of our modern life can be summarized in that arresting dictum of the poet Thoreau: ‘Improved means to an unimproved end.’ This is the serious predicament, the deep and haunting problem confronting modern man. If we are to survive today, our moral and spiritual ‘lag’ must be eliminated. Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. When the ‘without’ of man’s nature subjugates the ‘within’, dark storm clouds begin to form in the world.”

Nothing so dramatically expresses the discordance between physical capacity and moral immaturity than a thermonuclear device. As General Lee Butler, former head of U.S. Strategic Command said on December 4, 1996 before the National Press Club: “We have yet to fully grasp the monstrous effects of these weapons, that the consequences of their use defy reason, transcending time and space, poisoning the earth and deforming its inhabitants.” Imagination is not sufficient to grasp the magnitude of what we have created: “The destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either space or time. They have the potential to destroy all civilization and the entire eco-system of the planet.” Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. United Nations General Assembly A/51/218, 15 October, 1996. p.17.

In that landmark opinion of the highest court in the world, Judge Weeramantry tried to convey the unimaginable:

Before 1945 “the highest explosive effect of bombs was produced by TNT devices of about 20 tons.” The nuclear weapons exploded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were more or less the explosive power of 15 and 12 kilotons respectively, i.e. 15,000 and 12,000 tons of TNT (trinitrotoluene) respectively. Many of the weapons existing today and in the process of being tested represent several multiples of the explosive power of these bombs. Bombs in the megaton (equivalent to a million tons of TNT) and multiple megaton range are in the world’s nuclear arsenals, some being even in excess of 20 megatons (equivalent to 20 million tons of TNT). A one-megaton bomb, representing the explosive power of a million tons of TNT, would be around 70 times the explosive power of the bombs used on Japan, and 20 megaton bomb well over a thousand times that explosive power.

Since the mind is numbed by such abstract figures and cannot comprehend them, they have been graphically concretized in various ways. One of them is to picture the quantity of TNT represented by a single one-megaton bomb, in terms of its transport by rail. It has been estimated that this would require a train two hundred miles long. When one is carrying death and destruction to an enemy in war through the use of a single one-megaton bomb, it assists comprehension of this phenomenon to think in terms of a 200-mile train loaded with TNT being driven into enemy territory, to be exploded there. It cannot be said that international law would consider this legal. Nor does it make any difference if the train is not 200 miles long, but 100 miles, 50 miles, 10 miles, or only 1 mile. Nor, again, could it matter if the train is 1,000 miles long, as would be the case with a 5-megaton bomb, or 4,000 miles long, as would be the case with a 20-megaton bomb.

Such is the power of the weapon upon which the Court is deliberating – power which dwarfs all historical precedents, even if they are considered cumulatively. A 5-megaton weapon would represent more explosive power than all the bombs used in World War II and a 20-megaton bomb “more than all the explosives used in all the wars in the history of mankind.” Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1996, International Court of Justice at 452-53 (Separate Opinion of Judge Weeramantry, footnotes omitted)

The US nuclear posture contemplates keeping thousands of these weapons indefinitely in a state of readiness. Other states will continue to mimic this posture. There is a cold logic to this situation: over time, through accident or design, human fallibility will cause the unacceptable use of these weapons if they are not eliminated. Additionally, the possession by some states is the strongest stimulant to others to acquire them. But logic will not persuade anyone until they contemplate seriously an actual specific event.

The Mayor of Nagasaki pleads with us to understand the human dimensions of the small device exploded on his city:

“The explosion of the atomic bomb generated an enormous fireball, 200 metres in radius, almost as though a small sun had appeared in the sky. The next instant, a ferocious blast and wave of heat assailed the ground with a thunderous roar. The surface temperature of the fireball was about 7,000 degrees C, and the heat rays that reached the ground were over 3,000 degrees C. The explosion instantly killed or injured people within a two-kilometer radius of the hypocenter, leaving innumerable corpses charred like clumps of charcoal and scattered in the ruins near the hypocenter. In some cases, not even a trace of the person’s remains could be found. A wind (over 680 miles per hour) slapped down trees and demolished most buildings. Even iron-reinforced concrete structures were so badly damaged that they seemed to have been smashed by a giant hammer. The fierce flash of heat meanwhile melted glass and left metal objects contorted like strands of taffy, and the subsequent fires burned the ruins of the city to ashes. Nagasaki became a city of death where not even the sound of insects could be heard.

After a while, countless men, woman and children began to gather for a drink of water at the banks of the nearby Urakami River, their hair and clothing scorched and their burnt skin hanging off in sheets like rags. Begging for help, they died one after another in the water or in heaps on the banks. Then radiation began to take its toll, killing people like a scourge (of) death expanding in concentric circles from the hypocenter. Four months after the atomic bombing, 74,000 people were dead and 75,000 had suffered injuries, that is, two thirds of the city population had fallen victim to this calamity that came upon Nagasaki like a preview of the Apocalypse.”

When Mahatma Gandhi heard of this horror he said, “What has happened to the soul of the destroying nation is yet too early to see. Forces of nature act in a mysterious manner. We can but solve the mystery by deducing the unknown from result of known results of similar events. A slaveholder cannot hold a slave without putting himself or his deputy in the cage holding the slave.” For Pacifists (Ahmedebad: Navajivan, 1949) pp. 83-84.

The psychologist Robert Jay Lifton has described part of the cost to the small handful of nuclear weapons states as “a collective form of psychic numbing.” I recall descriptions of the striking banality of the notorious Nazi Adolph Eichman during his trial as a shocking gray haze of insensitivity that executes orders for the annihilation of innocents without remorse. I think of our readiness to unleash in short order concentration like ovens with wings. I think of the arrogance of continuing to keep the nuclear arsenals on hair trigger alert ten years after the Cold War has ended. Even George Kennan, the distinguished American diplomat who originated the Cold War containment policy toward the Soviet Union, admonishes us now:

The readiness to use nuclear weapons against other human beings – against people we do not know, whom we have never seen, and whose guilt or innocence is not for us to establish – and, in doing so, to place in jeopardy the natural structure upon which all civilization rests, as though the safety and perceived interests of our own generation were more important than everything that has taken place or could take place in civilization: this is nothing less than a presumption, a blasphemy, an indignity – an indignity of monstrous dimensions – offered to God!” Douglas Roche, The Ultimate Evil (1997), p.13, quoting George Kennan, The Nuclear Delusion 206-207 (1982).

This expression of ultimate human arrogance hides a fundamental weakness. It demonstrates a failure of respect for the power of love, the reality of God, from which we arise and to which we must return. That power is denied by this present and threatening violence. This ultimate violence is idolatry without boundary, exalting human ideas and force above the creator’s gift, the very life of the creation.

Dr. King said that in his Nobel Speech, “Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself.” The violence of threatening to unleash the Apocalypse represents an immorality of vast proportion and calls us to an affirmation of faith of vaster proportion. Gandhi stated his faith in the reality that must inform those of us who will stand up to prevent the destruction of God’s gift.

CLIP

But, we cannot be passive in pursuing this capacity. Dr. King words from his Nobel Lecture burn through the haze of daily news reports:

“Recent events have vividly reminded us that nations are not reducing but rather increasing their arsenals of weapons of mass destruction. The best brains in the highly developed nations of the world are devoted to military technology. The proliferation of nuclear weapons has not been halted in spite of the Limited Test Ban Treaty... The fact that most of the time human beings put the truth about the nature and risks of nuclear war out of their minds because it is too painful and therefore not ‘acceptable’, does not alter the nature and risks of such war. The device of ‘rejection’ may temporarily cover up anxiety, but it does not bestow peace of mind and emotional security…There may have been a time when war served as a negative good by preventing the spread and growth of an evil force, but the destructive power of modern weapons eliminated even the possibility that war may serve as a negative good. If we assume that life is worth living and that man has a right to survive, then we must find an alternative to war. In a day when vehicles hurtle through outer space and guided ballistic missiles carve highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can claim victory in war. A so called limited war will leave little more than a calamitous legacy of human suffering, political turmoil, and spiritual disillusionment. A world war – God forbid! – will leave only smoldering ashes as a mute testimony of a human race whose folly led inexorably to ultimate death. So if modern man continues to flirt unhesitatingly with war, he will transform his earthly habitat into an inferno such that even the mind of Dante could not imagine…I do not wish to minimize the complexity of the problems that need to be faced in achieving disarmament and peace. But I think it is a fact that we shall not have the will, the courage, and insight to deal with such matters unless in this field we are prepared to undergo a mental and spiritual reevaluation – a change of focus which will enable us to see that the things which seem most real and powerful are indeed now unreal and have come under the sentence of death. We need to make a supreme effort to generate the readiness, indeed the eagerness, to enter the new world which is now possible, ‘ the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God’…It is not enough to say “We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it…we have inherited a big house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together – black and white. Easterner and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Moslems and Hindu, a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interests who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other… This means that more and more our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. We must now give an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in our individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all embracing and unconditional love for all men.” (I apologize for the gender emphasis of the vernacular of his time).

He continues stating that developing this kind of love is not weak and cowardly nor only a personal path to salvation but a necessity for human survival. It is an aspect of being itself to which King makes reference and he invokes this power as a tool for geopolitical and personal survival. “When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response which is little more than emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.” He has placed before us a choice of Dante’s hell or a door to ultimate reality.

I believe that the mystery that placed the power of destruction in the binding forces of the atom has placed the healing power of love in our hearts and further gifted us with both the courage and wisdom to use that power effectively. I thus agree with Dr. King when he stated in his Nobel Acceptance Speech “ I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear annihilation.” Thus I commit to work to cause my country to disavow its unlawful, immoral posture of failing to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons. I commit to work through national and international legal mechanisms to curtail, control and abolish these devices. Will not some of you join this call from the conscience of humanity? King further said, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” Thus, I commit to dig deep into my own heart and open that spring from which God’s spacious pure love flows. Can we not join together in this work of becoming fully human? Then we can share in the ultimate optimism of Gandhi and King who said, “I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe what self centered men have torn down, men other centered can build up.” We have the choice to respond to this call from a conscience awakened by nonviolent redemptive goodwill. With the help of each, which is a gift in our hands to choose, and the help of God, which is a gift surely granted, we can and will become the change we want to see. We can and will realize ourselves as the children and thus rightful heirs of the power which brought us into this world, the power of love itself. We can and should be grateful for the wisdom that men such as Gandhi and King have shared, but we can and will be correct if we live that gift from now on.

Thank you.







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