Archive for 2005

Iraq: The Courage to Encourage Debate

“Iraq can not be won “militarily.” I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.” —Congressman John Murtha (2005 Speech on Iraq)
Everyone is talking about Representative John Murtha’s call for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq during the next six months. In a New York Times article of November 22, Murtha said his “goal was only to force a dialogue with President Bush…”
It’s a worthy goal, and it’s about time!

Poverty Alleviation We may know the way, but do we have the will?

What do the Clinton Global Initiative, the UN Millennium Goals Project, hurricane Katrina and the most recent devastating earthquake in Pakistan all have in common? Each one reminds us how prevalent poverty is in the world and how many people out there are needlessly getting caught in the political, cultural and ecological crossfire because of it.
Poverty is a disease. It is one that causes societies to crumble and people to lose all hope. According to the Canadian National Council on Welfare, no one can really measure the costs of poverty, but “There are many indicators, from low birth-weight babies and increased illness to lower labor force participation to family disintegration and young lives lost to homicide or suicide.”

Who is really trying to kill me?

”Sept. 11, like other catastrophes, makes people panic, makes them fearful, makes them want to protect themselves and their families against the enemy, who, in this case, is hard to identify.” -James Alan Fox, Lipman professor of criminal justice -Northeastern University in Boston.
In the post September 11th world, the US government remains determined to tell us that our lives are in danger and that we ought to be fearful of everyone in the outside world because so many of them “want to kill us.” After many weeks of travel in Europe and the Middle East this past summer, these warnings are hard to believe.
During my travels, Italians welcomed me to their cities, Lebanese airport officials were happy to help me with a visa, and Syrian shop owners pleasantly and patiently bargained as I purchased goods in the Souk. Where is this anti-Americanism? Where is the threat? Overall, I am thrilled that I did not see or feel any of the anti-Americanism everyone in the US is talking about, nor did I at anytime during my travels feel threatened.

Violence and Personal Awareness

Once upon a time, there lived a little girl who could not understand why there was so much violence in the world. It confused her when she saw those who could not defend themselves get bullied by those who could. She did not understand why those who spoke out truthfully and who strived for excellence were belittled or viciously attacked, why hard work was destroyed, and why young children full of astonishing gifts could be tortured or abused. This young girl was a loving child. She had vim and vigor. She did not understand the wrath of man or woman. This young girl, whose life was consumed by defending her weak peers from the strong oppressors, changed one day. She became the victim, the bullied, the weak; unable to defend herself against the strong. After a trauma, one that she may not have understood and we may never discover, she became what she loathed – violent.