Monday, January 15, 2007

Silence Is Betrayal

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On September 12, 2001, I was afraid to tell anyone my thoughts about the tragedy that our country experienced the day before.

I had travelled throughout the Jordan and Egypt and Turkey and Morrocco in 2000 doing SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM...

... I know... Sondheim for Arabs... it's a long story...

...but talking to the people of those countries I realized that, to many of them, Americans were perceived as baby killers. They had such hate for us. I could understand why they would fly planes into buildings killing thousands of people - - their actions are horrific and disdainful, but from what they were told about us and our policies, I undersood why they felt the way they felt and why they did what they did.

And then I watched our president recite the 23rd psalm and call for war. And it sickend me.

If we are truly the super-power we say we are, why didn''t we use our position of power to try and find out why we are so hated by these people? Why didn't we use every means necessary to talk, to communicate, to take the higher ground?

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. " - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

No, the president and most of this nation wanted revenge - - and we got it. We went to war in the wrong country and we can't seem to capture the one man responsible for 9/11 and the dreaded "weapons of mass destruction" were never found and our entire country was lied to again and again, but we got our revenge. So now what, George?

I truly don't know what this country's next step needs to be to end the war in Iraq, bring our soldiers home to their loved ones and allow the people of Iraq to live in peace. I don't know if anyone knows what we should do.

I don't think a "surge" will be enough to bring an end to a civil war that our president can't seem to acknowledge IS a civil war.

But I've also heard that if congress denies Bush the funds for the "surge," they can't cut the purse strings until after those additional troops are in Iraq. And cutting off the funds at that point will just be harmful to the men and women risking their lives in our armed services. Is that true?

In Bush's speech last week, he looked like a man who was lost. Wearing his blue tie to try and appear bi-partisan, his eyes spoke volumes - - they were dead. He read that speech off the teleprompter with no soul behind his eyes. No light. A soul-less man leading us further and further into war... and war for what? Oil? Protection from weapons that were never found?

Everyone says, "Well, if we left Iraq now, chaos and disorder would overtake that country." And that would be different how?

The third Monday in January, we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His words are inspiring and their truth is timeless - - they resonate especially strongly with me today.

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial politital and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., December 11, 1964

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