Meditation Focus #75
Co-creating Peace in Iraq
What follows is the 75th Meditation Focus suggested for the two consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, November 10, 2002.
CO-CREATING PEACE IN IRAQ
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this Focus
On Friday November 8, the 15-member UN Security Council passed a sternly worded unanimous resolution offering Iraq the "final opportunity" to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction or face "serious consequences." It gives UN inspectors sweeping powers to conduct inspections and demands unconditional cooperation from the Iraqi government. According to the timeline, Iraq has until November 15 to accept the terms set forward by the resolution. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is already gearing up for war in the Middle East. It has moved tens of thousands of troops and a vast array of planes and military equipment to the region. And two aircraft carrier battle groups are already within striking distance of Iraq, with two more on their way.
Around the world, opposition to any war in Iraq is growing with half a million people marching for peace yesterday in Florence, Italy, while 250,000 demonstrated last October 26 in Washington DC to pre-emptively mark their desire for no more bloodshed in a country that has already suffered extensively in the last 12 years.
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks, and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this and next week Sundays, starting at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT), to contribute in co-creating peace in Iraq so as to prevent military activities against this country or possible obstructions by the Iraqi government to the will of the international community as the UN inspectors return in this country to seek and eliminate any remaining weapons deemed too dangerous for the preservation of peace and security. May the growing chorus of voices opposed to unprovoked military agression against this country or any other part of the world be heard and may Peace prevail in Iraq and around the world, for the Highest Good of All.
This whole Meditation Focus is also available at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus75.htm
2. MEDITATION TIMES
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE MEDITATION TIMES HAVE NOW CHANGED FROM SUMMER TO WINTER TIME, AND VICE VERSA, FOR SEVERAL CITIES LISTED BELOW.
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below now correspond to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 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 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 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 complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we 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 peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.
U.S. Time Guidelines Set for Iraq (Nov 8)
A look at the time guidelines set out in the U.S. resolution adopted unanimously Friday by the U.N. Security Council.
- Iraq has until Nov. 15 to accept its terms and pledge to comply.
- Iraq has until Dec. 8 to provide weapons inspectors and the Security Council with a complete declaration of all aspects of its chemical, biological and nuclear programs.
- Weapons inspectors have until Dec. 23 to resume their work in Iraq. Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said he will have an advance team on the ground Nov. 18.
- Weapons inspectors are to report to the Security Council 60 days after the start of their work. If inspectors resume their work on Dec. 23, the latest they would be able to report to the council would be Feb. 21, 2003.
- Weapons inspectors, however, are to immediately report any Iraqi interference with their work, any failure by Iraq to comply with disarmament obligations, and any false statements or omissions in its declaration.
- Upon receipt of such a report from inspectors, the Security Council will immediately convene to consider the situation and the need for full compliance in order to restore international peace and security.
The Costs of War
18 October, 2002
Iraq is not Vietnam, but war is war. Some of you will recall that I was Press Secretary to Lyndon Johnson during the escalation of war in Vietnam. Like the White House today, we didn't talk very much about what the war would cost. Not in the beginning. We weren't sure, and we didn't really want to know too soon, anyway.
If we had to tell Congress and the public the true cost of the war, we were afraid of what it would do to the rest of the budget -- the money for education, poverty, Medicare. In time, we had to figure it out and come clean. It wasn't the price tag that hurt as much as it was the body bag. The dead were coming back in such numbers that LBJ began to grow morose, and sometimes took to bed with the covers pulled above his eyes, as if he could avoid the ghosts of young men marching around in his head. I thought of this the other day, when President Bush spoke of the loss of American lives in Iraq. He said, "I'm the one who will have to look the mothers in the eye."
LBJ said almost the same thing. No president can help but think of the mothers, widows, and orphans.
Mr. Bush is amassing a mighty American armada in the Middle East - incredible firepower. He has to know that even a clean war -- a war fought with laser beams, long range missles, high flying bombers, and remote controls -- can get down and dirty, especially for the other side.
We forget there are mothers on the other side. I've often wondered about the mothers of Vietnamese children like this one, burned by American napalm. Or Afghan mothers, whose children were smashed and broken by American bombs.
On the NBC Nightly News one evening I saw this exclusive report from Afghanistan -- those little white lights are heat images of people on foot. They're about to be attacked.
That fellow running out in the open - were he and the people killed members of Al Qaeda, or just coming to worship?
We'll never know. But surely their mothers do. And there will be mothers like them in Iraq. Saddam won't mind - dead or alive; and we won't mind, either. The spoils of victory include amnesia.
Ah, the glories of war; the adrenaline that flows to men behind desks at the very thought of the armies that will march, the missiles that will fly, the ships that will sail, on their command. Our Secretary of Defense has a plaque on his desk that says, "Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords." I don't think so.
To launch an armada against Hussein's own hostages, a people who have not fired a shot at us in anger, seems a crude and poor alternative to shrewd, disciplined diplomacy.
Don't get me wrong. Vietnam didn't make me a dove; it made me read the Constitution. That's all. Government's first obligation is to defend its citizens. There's nothing in the Constitution that says it's permissible for a great nation to go hunting for Hussein by killing the people he holds hostage, his own people, who have no choice in the matter, who have done us no harm.
Unprovoked, the noble sport of war becomes the murder of the innocent.
This is also available from: http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/11.10C.moyers.war.htm
Bush Approves Iraq War Plan; Large Force Seen (November 9)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has approved a war plan for Iraq to initially capture parts of the country for footholds to thrust in 200,000 or more troops, U.S. officials said on Saturday.
The officials, who asked not to be identified, stressed the plan was flexible but that Bush had in recent weeks accepted Army Gen. Tommy Franks' advice that smaller numbers of troops could not capture and hold Iraq if invasion became necessary.
They confirmed a New York Times report in its Sunday edition that any attack ordered by Bush and led by Franks, head of the U.S. Central Command, would begin with "a rolling start" of smaller numbers of troops while B-1 and B-2 bombers led an air campaign against Saddam's palaces, air defenses and bases.
"Those are the right words -- a rolling start," said one of the officials. "I doubt you would see this all come at once."
The officials said any attack was unlikely until early next year unless Iraq refused to comply with Friday's unanimous U.N. resolution ordering Saddam to end any chemical, biological and nuclear programs and give arms inspectors unfettered access to his country.
The officials refused to discuss precise details but said the air strikes would be spearheaded by the big bombers using 1,000-pound (1,600 kg) satellite-guided bombs to destroy Saddam's power base. That precision campaign would likely be shorter than the long campaign ahead of the 1991 Gulf War.
ISOLATE LEADERSHIP, SPARE CIVILIANS
While seeking to isolate Iraq's leadership in Baghdad and command centers around the country, air strikes would also try to spare civilian neighborhoods, electric power and water supplies to Iraq's population.
At the same time, U.S. Special Operations troops and Army and Marine Corps divisions would avoid getting bogged down in street-fighting in cities.
No orders have been given yet to begin moving large numbers of troops or to call up the more than 200,000 National Guard and Reserve troops needed to support any invasion and protect bases at home and abroad from possible "terrorist" reprisal. Some part-time military units have been put on alert, officials said.
Franks himself will lead a battle command headquarters element of more than 600 Central Command troops to Qatar for an exercise later this month.
'Disarm or face war,' Blair warns Iraq
Arabs urge Iraq to accept resolution
Arab ministers say they will ask Iraq to accept the new UN resolution on disarmament, as they meet for talks in Cairo.
U.N. Security Council Split on Meaning of Iraq Vote (Nov 8)
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 8 (IPS) - Despite unanimously supporting a U.S. resolution on arms inspections in Iraq, permanent members of the United Nations Security Council still appeared split Friday on the possible outcomes of the move. The 15-0 vote ended more than seven weeks of closed-door negotiations, diplomatic arm-twisting and implicit threats of unilateral military action against the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Russia and France, which along with the United States, China and Britain are permanent Security Council members with power to veto votes, had been holding out support for the resolution fearing that it gave U.S. President George W. Bush automatic approval to attack if Saddam did not cooperate with inspections. Officials of the two countries said following the vote that they reversed their positions after assurances that the United States would return to the Security Council if inspections failed.
Arab Envoys: Iraq Will Accept Draft
Egypt's foreign minister said Saturday that he expected Iraq to accept the U.N. resolution to disarm but that Baghdad had not yet made a formal decision. (...) Political analyst Abdel Moneim Said of Egypt's Al Ahram Center for Strategic Studies said the resolution would help Arab efforts to persuade Iraq to accept U.N. demands and avoid a war that could oust Saddam's regime. "The issue was redefined as an issue of weapons of mass destruction, and no longer a regime change," he said. "Iraqis know that any little mistake will cost them a war." Arab officials and commentators said the resolution revised to satisfy French and Russian concerns had at least set back the chance of war. But some expressed fear that Washington still could use the document as an excuse to attack Baghdad at the earliest opportunity. Jordanian political analyst Labib Kamhawi said U.S. President George W. Bush would see the resolution and his Republican Party's victory in congressional elections as erasing the last obstacles to a war to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "He believes that he has his mandate both from his people and the United Nations to launch his war on Iraq," Kamhawi said.
Iraq Puts Brave Face on UN Demands as Clock Ticks (Sat Nov 9)
BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq put a brave face on the passing of a U.N. resolution giving it a last chance to disarm, insisting on Saturday that the international community had thereby foiled a U.S. plot to wage war. But there was no immediate sign Baghdad would automatically bow to a document threatening "serious consequences" unless it opens its territory to tough new weapons inspections. It has one week to comply, and the clock began ticking on Friday. "Iraq will study the resolution then take the appropriate position on it," Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said in Cairo, after meeting Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.
Half-A-Million March in Anti-War Rally in Italy (Sat Nov 9)
FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - More than half a million anti-war protesters from across Europe marched through this Italian Renaissance city on Saturday in a loud and colorful demonstration denouncing any possible U.S. attack on Iraq. Brimming with anti-American feelings and riled by a tough new U.N. resolution to disarm Iraq, young and old activists from as far afield as Russia and Portugal joined forces for the carnival-like rally, singing Communist anthems and 1970s peace songs.
Huge anti-war protest in Florence
Thousands of protesters from across Europe join a massive rally in the Italian city of Florence to oppose any conflict with Iraq.
Analysis: Iraq's tough choices
Gaps Cloud Iraq Nuclear Assessments
In tens of thousands of words, many of them "may," "could" and "probably," intelligence agencies and private analysts have sketched out a portrait in uncertainty and called it the Iraqi quest for doomsday weapons. A close review of recent in-depth reports shows that at times U.S. and British intelligence organizations and other specialists contradict or fail to support each other's assertions on Iraq and nuclear weapons, assertions that are often unsubstantiated.
Report From Basra: Iraq Prepares For War (Nov 5)
The Iraqi people and its military are preparing for what many see as an inevitable massive attack by Washington. By Jeremy Scahill - IraqJournal.org
Throughout Iraq, Disaster Preparedness Teams are training to respond to a US attack. (...) Another factor that cannot be ignored when gauging potential support for the US in the south is the unimaginable suffering caused here by the sanctions. Basra and its surrounding area were the epicenter of Washington's use of depleted uranium munitions and the hospitals are like virtual morgues for children with leukemia and other treatable diseases. In the words of one doctor in Basra, rampant congenital deformities (birth defects) have parents "no longer asking the sex of their children, but whether or not they will have a healthy child or a child with a malformation." While Basra is a poor devastated area, the people are proud and dignified. Even in the poorest slums, people speak of defending their homes against American invaders. In some cases, these are rat-infested hovels with no plumbing, running water or electricity. People are scared and anxious. The military and militias are being prepared and once again families brace for their children to be caught in the middle, as they have been in Basra so many times through the centuries. Sadly, one man told us that he doesn't need to talk to his children about what may lie ahead, saying, "War is like daily bread to them."
Who Is Saddam Hussein?
A BBC profile of the Iraqi dictator, accompanied by in-depth background information on Iraq.
US Masses For War On Iraq (Nov 6)
The Pentagon continues its systematic buildup of forces in preparation for a military attack on Iraq - with assistance from Israel.
An online media and activists' resource center for groups and activists who are working to end the war against the people of Iraq.
Education for Peace in Iraq
Working to improve conditions in Iraq through education and advocacy, not war.
A libertarian anti-war site that offers breaking news, analysis, and opinion on the war on Iraq.
Full Coverage on Iraq
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