Tag Archive | 9-11

Greetings from America

This cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Joel Pett of the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, on the U.S. drone strikes says it all for me. Is this what we have come to as a nation? Is this what we want for our foreign policy? Are Americans only of worth?


This is the chair used to force feed  U.S. prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who were captured in the indefinite Global War of Terror On Terror. At least 100 of the 166  prisoners there are on hunger strike. They are protesting their indefinite detention. (See  more Guantanamo Joint Medical Group Hunger Strike Response Photos here.)


This is Diane Wilson, CODEPINK hunger striker for the closing of Guantanamo Bay Prison, who chained herself to the White House fence. (See story here and here.) (Diane explains her hunger strike here.)

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This is Julia Ward Howe. She wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic, but later, following the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, she wrote in 1870 The “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world,” later known as “Mother’s Day Proclamation” on behalf of world peace. (See here.)

Me? I love my country, the U.S. of A., but I am not a proud American. I, not to be naive, suggest the United States government be a practitioner in its foreign policy of what has come to be called the Golden Rule, the ethical maxim of the world’s religions and philosophies. After all, our recent defining event of 9-11 was blowback for the neglect of that rule. The Golden Rule does not say do to others before they do to us and to only treat Americans as we would wish to be treated.

As an American citizen and a mother, I Declare World Peace.


See also the excellent post by Lisa Savage of CODEPINK  Maine: Sorry We Raised Our Kids to Kill.


The World House


Some years ago a famous novelist died. Among his papers was found a list of suggested plots for future stories, the most prominently underscored being this one: “A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together.” This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great “world house” in which we have to live together-black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu-a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.

So begins an essay, a chapter from the book ~ Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King, Jr. that was posted by the Fellowship of Reconciliation following the events of 9-11.

Summarizing the essay, the FOR wrote:

In “The World House,” Dr. King calls us to: 1) transcend tribe, race, class, nation, and religion to embrace the vision of a World House; 2) eradicate at home and globally the Triple Evils of racism, poverty, and militarism; 3) curb excessive materialism and shift from a “thing”-oriented society to a “people”-oriented society; and 4) resist social injustice and resolve conflicts in the spirit of love embodied in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. He advocates a Marshall Plan to eradicate global poverty, a living wage, and a guaranteed minimum annual income for every American family. He urges the United Nations to experiment with the use of nonviolent direct action in international conflicts. The final paragraph warns of the “fierce urgency of now” and cautions that this may be the last chance to choose between chaos and community.

The FOR wrote that when Dr. King was addressing the conditions that breed Communism, we might today use the words, “terrorism” or “religious fanaticism.”  I would also venture to say that when Dr, King writes of  the racism of the former apartheid of South Africa that we today might think  of the new apartheid of the discrimination and oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel. (See here and here.) I believe that, according to this essay, Dr. King would be a proponent of CODEPINK and its campaigns for freedom and human rights for Palestinians and to Bring Our War $$ Home .

Dr. King’s life and efforts may have come out of and be a part of Black History, but many of his words hold for today and can even point us to the future. Read the full introduction and complete essay here.

Along with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I Declare World Peace.


Here we are at another anniversary of 9-11–the eleventh to be exact. What have we learned?

It has seemed to me that 9-11 represented the emergency call, 911. I have always believed that it was to be a wake-up call for America’s role in the world, for our foreign policy. I am not sure we have learned much.

The original 9-11 happened on the watch of President George W. Bush. He seemed not to be prepared, foreign policy-wise, and was lead by the nose by his neo-conservative foreign policy team. They almost immediately wanted a war with Iraq, a dream they had held for some time. Instead, out of revenge, we went to Afghanistan and then on to Iraq. We have left blood and havoc in our wake.

Under the watch of President Barak Obama we have done some better. Our combat troops our out of Iraq, although their leaving was negotiated under Pres. Bush. We still have mercenaries there. Most of our troops are due to leave Afghanistan in 2014. I am not proud of our actions regarding Libya. Civil rights and human rights have not fared very well under either president.

I am not convinced of American exceptionalism. We have done too much damage in the world at large and have not had the best track record in our own country–slavery, segregation, and our treatment of Native Americans being prime examples.

I am also not convinced that we have to act mainly out of our own national interest. What about the international interest, the interest of the world-at-large, of the planet? Wouldn’t that be in our national interest? How about interdependence?

All of the religions and ethical traditions and movements seem to have some form of what is called the Golden Rule: Treat others as one would like to be treated or, converesly, Do not treat others as one would not want to be treated. Most of us seem to think that this rule speaks to individuals. Yes, primarily, it does, but what about nations? Should the rule not also apply to them? I believe it should.

Many individuals have signed the Charter for Compassion that is based on the Golden Rule. There are even Compassionate Cities. Some countries are becoming involved. I hope that more and more sign on in affirmation and live it out.

I Declare World Peace. Peace is the way.