Meditation Focus #47
Global Healing and Resolve for Peace Needed Following the Worst Carnage and Destruction the United States Has Ever Experienced
What follows is the 47th Meditation Focus suggested for the two consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, September 16, 2001.
GLOBAL HEALING AND RESOLVE FOR PEACE NEEDED FOLLOWING THE WORST CARNAGE AND DESTRUCTION THE UNITED STATES HAS EVER EXPERIENCED
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this Meditation Focus
4. Peace Watch for the Middle East
As the American people reel from the worst tragedy their country has ever known and following a day of international mourning this Friday for the loss of possibly more than 5,000 people killed last Tuesday morning in the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York and at the Pentagon in Washington, after 3 passenger jets hijacked by terrorists were deliberately crashed in those buildings and a fourth one plowed into the ground after its passengers prevented the hijackers from executing their plan, the unbearable horror of this calculated mass murder and the chock it caused worldwide have given way in the U.S. to a mounting chorus of calls for hunting, finding and punishing those who ordered and organized this atrocious crime as well as the nations that have supported them. The government of the United States and its traditional allies around the world have pledged to commit all the necessary resources to counter the ever present threat of other such terrorist attacks and there have been warnings issued in the U.S. that civil liberties may need to be curtailed to allegedly enhance the security of its citizens. Throughout the ongoing worlwide media coverage of this crisis, the blame has been directed almost exclusively onto Osama bin Laden and his anti-American terrorist organization, and consequently the public perception of the authors of what has been described by the U.S. administration as an "act of war" is now gradually molded to accept that these Muslim fundamentalists and no one else are to be held responsible for this savage slaughter of innocent people. Yet several aspects of these events have been brushed aside by the mass media such as why the twin towers of the World Trade Center suddenly collapsed when they were supposed to survive such a direct impact by an airplane and questions are not being asked regarding who is to derive the most benefits from these incidents. Obviously the time will come after the emotional trauma of this tragedy somewhat recedes, particularly for those who lost one or more loved ones, to demand a greater scrutiny as to how such a double failure could occur and who could actually be the real sponsors of this horrific destruction and loss of human lives.
Other important concerns are also to be considered in the near future. If the military campaign promised by the United States in retaliation for this attack is so disproportionate and indiscriminate that it leads to the death of a great number of innocent civilians in several Muslim countries, the ensuing backlash it would trigger in the Muslim communities around the world could lead to an extremely volatile situation not only bringing about many more terrorist acts of mass violence but also creating the conditions for a much wider global conflict. On the other hand, the worldwide outpouring of sympathy for the victims of these heinous acts of terror and the realization by men and women around the world that an ever excalating cycle of violence, such as in the Middle East conflict, only begets more violence and destruction, may finally bring about a profound global shift towards greater economic justice to alleviate the root causes of so many of today's conflicts and towards co-creating a new world of peace and cooperation with and between every member of the human family and with and between every ethnic and religious communities of the world. So the coming days and weeks present us all with an unprecendented opportunity and some crucial choices to be made that will have an immense impact on the future of all humanity. Shall we buy into the warmongering rhetoric of the U.S. Administration bolstered through all the mass media or shall we choose instead the higher moral and spiritual ground and avoid the trap set by those with dark intents who seek only to deprive us all of our liberties and sovereignty so as to further enslave us under their dictatorial boot?
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks to contribute in fostering the awareness that violence and its associated emotions are the wrong choice and that a better future for all humans will come only when we choose to heal the wounds of past conflicts through loving care and compassion for everyone, no matter where they live and no matter what their religious beliefs or ethnic origins are. We can and shall rise from the ashes of history to become a global, united family, nurturing life and fostering beauty and harmony, all profoundly resolved to live in peace with everyone. May Peace, Love and Harmony prevail on Earth, for the Highest Good of All.
NOTE: If you have not seen them yet, you will find several compilations of relevant complementary information posted at the following URLs:
Also in view of the importance of the unfolding events, please consider the possibility of participating for 5 minutes every day at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) in a globally synchronized meditation, in addition to the usual meditation times recommended below.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM
+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION ON THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This section is for those who wish to understand in more details the situation outlined in this Meditation Focus. For those who wish to read on, we would encourage you to view the following information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision you wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of healing. We provide the details below because we recognize that the knowledge of what needs healing can assist us to structure our awareness to maximise our healing effect.
Senate Approves Military Force
(Friday September 14)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation on maximum alert, President Bush is activating up to 50,000 (35,000 according to several U.S news broadcasts) members of the National Guard and Reserve in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. The Senate voted by resounding 96-0 and 98-0 counts to provide $40 billion and authorize military force to fight terrorism.
Bush met with his Cabinet at the White House Friday morning, the constant hum of helicopters overhead. He planned to call up the Guard and Reserve members to aid in recovery and security efforts, officials said.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld opened the meeting with a prayer asking for ``patience to measure our lust for action, resolve to strengthen our obligation to lead, wisdom to illuminate our pursuit of justice and strength in defense of liberty.''
After voting 96-0 for the financial help, the Senate turned immediately to a second measure endorsing the use of force in what Bush and many lawmakers have called a war against terrorists. That vote was 98-0.
Bush was pledging a global campaign to whip terrorism and the likes of Osama bin Laden at the same time Americans grieve over the attacks that claimed thousands of lives in New York and Washington
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said 4,763 people were reported missing at the World Trade Center site, where hijackers flew two jetliners fully loaded with fuel into the twin towers Tuesday morning. There were 184 confirmed fatalities.
Authorities said they expected 190 deaths at the Pentagon, where a third plane blew a hole in one side of the nation's five-sided defense nerve center. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a rural area of Pennsylvania, with 65 aboard.
In Washington, Congress was moving with uncommon speed to approve tens of billions of dollars for anti-terrorism and rebuilding, and legislation authorizing military action was likely, as well.
Administration officials said no military response was imminent - but that didn't prevent officials from discussing it.
Formidable US weapons await target at:
In-depth coverage about U.S. Military at
Afghans Fearful of Possible US Strikes Flee Capital
(Friday September 14)
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghans fled their capital on Friday, fearful that the United States might unleash its military might in retaliation for Tuesday's devastating terror attacks on New York and Washington.
But the secretive, supreme leader of the ruling Taliban movement, Mullah Mohamamd Omar, appeared to try to stem the exodus by issuing a message to Afghans to face up to any U.S. assault.
Quoted by the Taliban's Voice of Shariat Radio, Omar's message asked Afghans to be patient and steadfast and ``face any American attack with courage and self-respect.''
With U.S. officials making it clear that they believe Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden was in some way linked to the suicide attacks that flattened the World Trade Center and blew a hole in the Pentagon (news - web sites), and that the Taliban was protecting him, ordinary Afghans feared the worst.
The Taliban vowed revenge ``by other means'' should Washington attack, and their fundamentalist clerics used Friday prayers to call on the world's Muslims to unite against the United States.
``Oh Muslims of the world, we should unite together if the United States attacks us,'' one cleric told the faithful at a Kabul mosque.
``We won't die without His will, so don't be frightened,'' said another.
But ordinary Afghans were feeling less brave.
``In a situation like this, you feel that death is creeping up on you,'' said a baker. ``I am leaving Kabul with my family and can't wait any longer.
Although figures were not available, one resident said any Afghans with relatives in the countryside had left, or were making plans to do so.
Residents have been following the aftermath of Tuesday's attacks on New York and Washington, mostly by listening to foreign radio stations. Television has been banned by the Taliban, and the few international phone lines have been cut for security reasons.
NO STRANGERS TO CONFLICT
Although no strangers to conflict after 23 years of war, even ordinary Afghans have been shocked at the suicide hijackers flying airliners into U.S. landmarks.
``We don't suggest that America should ignore what happened to their people and country, but keep in mind our fragile condition too,'' said one man as he got ready to leave.
Mullah Omar broke his silence on Friday by insisting neither bin Laden nor Afghanistan was capable of planning such large and skilled operations as Tuesday's terror attacks.
``Training of pilots is the work of a running government,'' he said in a statement read by his ambassador to neighboring Pakistan in Islamabad. ``Osama has no pilots, and where did he train them? In Afghanistan there is no such possibility for the training.''
Significantly, the statement by the Taliban's leader -- who rarely gives interviews, has never been filmed or photographed and has met just two non-Muslims in his entire life -- failed to condemn Tuesday's terror attacks or even sympathize with relatives of the victims.
The Taliban's official spokesman was even more defiant.
``We will take revenge if America attacks through different means,'' Abdul Hai Mutamaen told reporters in the capital.
FOREIGNERS PULL OUT
Most foreign aid workers pulled out on Thursday, although the International Committee of the Red Cross retains a presence. Diplomats in Kabul to visit eight foreign aid workers detained for promoting Christianity have also left.
The United Nations has closed its offices and suspended flights -- drought-ridden and impoverished Afghanistan's only international air links as a result of sanctions imposed over the presence of bin Laden.
While making clear bin Laden was a suspect, Secretary of State Colin Powell stressed the U.S. would also root out those guilty of assaults against U.S. personnel and allies in the past, wherever they may now be.
U.S. officials are seeking cooperation from Pakistan because it is the main backer of the Taliban, a movement otherwise only recognized by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage handed over a list of steps Washington wanted Pakistan to take. U.S. officials said these included permission to overfly Pakistan with military aircraft and ``military access,'' the closure of its border with Afghanistan and halting fuel supplies to the Taliban.
Pakistan military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has pledged cooperation, but it remains to be seen what form this will take.
``If Pakistan co-operates...then it should wait for the enmity of Afghans which is more dangerous than any other thing,'' the Taliban spokesman said.
The Taliban emerged from religious schools in Pakistan's northwest in 1994, sweeping to power in Kabul two years later.
They have imposed a strictly fundamentalist interpretation of Islam on Afghanistan since taking control of most of the country and have been criticized even by other Muslim nations for their treatment of women and the recent destruction of Afghanistan's ancient non-Islamic cultural heritage.
AFGHANISTAN - CRISIS OF IMPUNITY
The Role of Pakistan, Russia, and Iran in Fueling the Civil War at:
I. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The civil war in Afghanistan, a geopolitical battleground during the cold war, is once again being sponsored by outside parties: Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and other neighboring countries, with the United States and India working in other ways to influence the war's outcome. A country whose main economic activity is as a global arms market and smuggling hub is threatening to become, again, a theater of geopolitical competition. Meanwhile, the humanitarian toll of twenty years of fighting-some 1.5 million deaths and the massive displacement of populations, famine, and the ruin of the country's economic base-has not figured prominently in international policy on Afghanistan. Instead, several members of the Six Plus Two contact group, the six countries bordering Afghanistan, plus Russia and the U.S. that are nominally committed to negotiating an end to the war, are providing military and material support to Afghan parties that have committed gross violations of the laws of war.1
The general outlines of the delivery of military support to both sides-the Taliban in Kabul and the loose coalition of forces known as the United Front2-in Afghanistan are well known to experts monitoring the situation but not to a wider public. In light of the possibility of broadening military sponsorship of the warring factions, Human Rights Watch has investigated the delivery of arms and other forms of military aid to both sides and the impact of this aid on human rights. This report details the nature of military support provided to the warring parties, the major transit routes used to move arms and other equipment, the suppliers, the role of state and nonstate actors, and the response of the international community. The implications of foreign military assistance go beyond Afghanistan, as the war also poses a threat to regional security: armed groups in neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are obtaining military support from the well-supplied Afghan factions.3
Both the Taliban and the United Front have failed to ensure that the fundamental human rights of the Afghan population under their control are protected. Some five million are refugees, with the remainder displaced throughout the country because of fighting between Taliban and United Front forces and the devastating effects of a three-year drought. Millions inside the country are facing starvation and drought, some of the world's highest infant and maternal mortality rates, and a health care system in ruins.4
While the international community has provided some assistance to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, some members simultaneously are fueling the war. Moreover, U.N. sanctions imposed on arms and fuel to the Taliban in December 2000 are one-sided and strongly influenced by short-term U.S. and Russian interests, not humanitarian goals: the U.S. seeks to induce the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden, the exiled Saudi billionaire suspected of orchestrating the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; Russia seeks to curb Taliban support for insurgents in Chechnya and states of the former Soviet Union, like Uzbekistan.
International Sponsors Lined up with the Taliban is Pakistan, which has supported various factions within Afghanistan since at least the 1970s. Official denials notwithstanding, Pakistan has provided the Taliban with military advisers and logistical support during key battles, has bankrolled the Taliban, has facilitated transshipment of arms, ammunition, and fuel through its territory, and has openly encouraged the recruitment of Pakistanis to fight for the Taliban. In flagrant violation of the U.N. sanctions imposed in December 2000, Pakistan has continued to permit arms to cross its borders into Taliban-controlled territory. According to sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in April and May 2001 up to thirty trucks were crossing the border at Torkham daily en route to Jalalabad; at least some of these were carrying tank rounds, artillery shells, and rocket-propelled grenades.5 Pakistani antipersonnel and antivehicle mines have been found in Afghanistan. Observers interviewed by Human Rights Watch in Afghanistan and Pakistan have also reported that Pakistani aircraft assisted with troop rotations of Taliban forces during combat operations in late 2000 and that senior members of Pakistan's intelligence agency and army were involved in planning military operations.6
A range of private and semi-private agencies in Pakistan has provided enormous support to the Taliban with the full knowledge of government officials, even when their actions violated Pakistani law. In addition, Saudi Arabia has provided funds and heavily subsidized fuel to the Taliban, through Pakistan, while private actors and some officials benefit from the smuggling that links these countries. The extent of outside support, particularly during the Taliban's northern offensive in late 2000, was noted by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a November 2000 report to the General Assembly.7
Supporting the United Front are Iran and Russia, with secondary roles played by Tajikistan and, at least until 1998, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Iran has provided weapons, large-scale funding, and training. Russia has played a crucial enabling role in the resupply of United Front forces by arranging for the transport of Iranian aid, as well as providing direct military assistance itself, including transport helicopters in late 2000. Military assistance to United Front forces has crossed the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border with the active collusion of the Russian government.
Almost none of the arms transfers that have gone through has been publicly documented via submissions to the U.N. register on conventional arms. In fact, several of the implicated governments also participate in the so-called Six Plus Two contact group whose mandate is to negotiate a settlement to the war and whose members have publicly pledged not to provide military support to Afghan combatants.
U.S.A. PLANS TO ATTACK AFGHANISTAN FROM RUSSIAN MILITARY BASES
This possibility is being discussed by the US administration and the Russian authorities. In particular, under discussion is using Russian military bases in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan and also the former Soviet base in Bagram, on Afghanistan's territory, controlled by the North Alliance, according to New York Post. But to what extent can one trust this information? Nobody knows. Such rumour have been circulating for several days. By the way, as PRAVDA.Ru has already reported, the Taliban leadership warned today Tajikistan that it this country is used as a base for US troops' invasion into Afghanistan, all the responsibility will laid upon Tajikistan itself and only then upon the USA. That is to say, Taliban is ready to declare war on Tajikistan. The experience is that such warnings should be taken seriously. In the meantime, Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov told journalists today that the territory of Central Asian countries should not be use for a possible US operation against Afganistan's Taliban leadership. I do not see any reasons for even a hypothetical possibility of NATO's military operation on the territory of Central Asian countries incorporated in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the minister is quoted as saying.
Taliban Plead for Mercy to the Miserable in a Land of Nothing
ABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 12 - If there are Americans clamoring to bomb Afghanistan back to the Stone Age, they ought to know that this nation does not have so far to go. This is a post-apocalyptic place of felled cities, parched land and downtrodden people.
The fragility of this country was part of the message the Taliban government conveyed in a plea for restraint issued late tonight. It said in part, "We appeal to the United States not to put Afghanistan into more misery because our people have suffered so much."
Whatever Afghanistan's current cataclysm, its next one seems to require little time to overtake it. Wars fought by sundry protagonists have gone on now for 22 consecutive years, a remorseless drought for 4. Since 1996, most of the nation has been ruled by Taliban mullahs whose vision of the world's purest Islamic state has at least as much to do with controlling social behavior as vouchsafing social welfare.
The accused terrorist Osama bin Laden has found a home here, angering much of the world. In 1998, America fired a volley of more than 70 cruise missiles at guerrilla training camps reportedly operated by the Saudi multimillionaire. Now, there seems to be the prospect of another barrage, with Afghan hospitality to the same man as the cause.
Full coverage on Afghanistan at
4. Peace Watch for the Middle East
Here are some of the latest developments in the Middle East. Please also keep this situation in mind during your meditations in the coming two weeks to help ensure that peace prevail there as well.
Bush Pushes for Mideast Truce Talks
(Friday September 14)
JERUSALEM (AP) - The United States has told Israel it wants Mideast truce talks held soon as part of a U.S. effort to build a broad coalition against Islamic militants - one that would also include Arab countries, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Friday.
President Bush called Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Friday to urge Israel to back the coalition, U.S. officials said. However, Sharon does not want Peres to meet with Yasser Arafat just now, Sharon adviser Raanan Gissin said.
Sharon believes the Palestinian leader has done nothing to rein in Islamic militants and that some of his security forces have participated in attacks on Israelis, Gissin said.
A Peres-Arafat meeting has been tentatively set for Sunday at the Gaza International Airport. Palestinian officials said Friday they assumed it would take place.
Peres, a veteran peacemaker, has pushed for talks with Arafat, but Sharon - who distrusts Arafat's intentions - has been reluctant to give his approval.
Peres said he received two phone calls Thursday from Secretary of State Colin Powell, who he said ``attaches great importance to the holding of the meeting.''
``The United States is trying to establish a coalition against terrorism and wants Muslim elements to be in that coalition, also Arab elements,'' Peres said.
``If it is possible to push the Palestinian issue aside or to solve it in a positive way, that is important to them because it (the Palestinian issue) can hinder the establishment of that coalition.''
U.N. Mideast Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen warned that Israelis and Palestinians risked losing what might be a last chance to restart peace talks.
``A failed meeting would probably make the situation worse,'' Roed-Larsen said. ``It might also be the last chance for a very long time to bring the peace process back.''
Full Coverage on the Middle East Peace process at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/World/Middle_East_Peace_Process/
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