The best strategy for insuring a reasonable share of post-war oil is for the U.S. to follow China’s admirable (and successful) approach to foreign relations: make friends with every country; don’t try to control events; don’t take sides with factions by using bribes and threats and offering weapons (all of which strategies make more enemies, while making conflicts harder to resolve); offer apologies as necessary; and spread goodwill by generously supporting, in every country, only open, popular, peaceful initiatives of selected proven-peaceful leaders with broad-based, loyal coalitions.
We should withdraw our troops from Iraq immediately, leaving U.N. peacekeepers to support the transition, and giving thoughtful consideration to all those we leave behind, financially supporting common goals and peaceful compromises, as well as aiding refugees, rebuilding, and easing resettlement (to the U.S.) of all those U.S.-supporters who might be at post-war risk.
We should abandon our war on terror, and support instead an efficient international crime-fighting network, and a peaceful international campaign to resolve future conflicts before they turn deadly. To accomplish these goals, we need to work to end economic injustice/violence, political and state violence (i.e., all forms of war and lawless incarcerations), and the spread of weapons, fully support world disarmament and other cooperative global peace and environmental initiatives, curb violence in entertainment, and aggressively prosecute hate crimes. We should also build a national and global culture of peace through the stated domestic and global initiatives of the proposed cabinet-level Department of Peace (www.dopcampaign.org) .
We clumsily attempted to avenge the loss of three thousand innocents murdered on 9/11 by killing and maiming many thousands more innocents (both ours and theirs) on foreign soil, and are now threatening to waste even more lives (both theirs and ours) by sword-rattling in Iran’s direction. We must find a way to forgive others and ourselves, make no more enemies, and recognize and address the grievances of the many who are presently turning from desperation and despair to violence (i.e., “terrorists”).
We need to attend to the real “illegals” in American life—not the immigrants who daily seek respite and freedom from the world’s violence and injustice on our shores, but the thousands of prisoners rotting forgotten in illegal dungeons throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Cuba, and elsewhere. We must find a way to bring due process of law to these imprisoned and abandoned “illegals” who have been deprived of their most basic human rights, and also end our inhumane criminalization of the inevitable south-to-north global migrants whose only crime is fleeing poverty and terror–by finding hospitable ways to assimilate them into American life.
We must resist the partisan temptations offered by Monica Goodling’s immunity to attack the very culpable Alberto Gonzales, Condaleeza Rice, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and other Bush administrative and military bunglers, leave vengeance and blame to God and his horde of very willing historians, and focus instead on uncovering truth, taking right action, and reconciling a nation.
Lee Iacocca recently urged the need for courageous leadership during this difficult time. We indeed need true leaders who can move us past our collective darkness toward solving the real problems we must now face: the ravages of disease, injustice, hopelessness, hunger, greed, environmental degradation, corporate accountability, natural disasters, ignorance, addiction, prejudice, nuclear proliferation, global warming, crime, migration, poverty, war, immorality, cruelty, indifference, terrorism, and yes, violence itself.
All the strategies described above depend upon our growing awareness that nothing we may fear is more dangerous than fear itself, and no weapon more effective than love in all its forms—kindness, patience, understanding, acceptance…. It is not hate, but fear which builds up armies and stockpiles nuclear weapons; not hate, but fear which looses destruction upon hapless presumed enemies, and thus upon ourselves. The Golden Rule–treat others as you would be treated–works just as well in international relations as it does with individuals. Just as families and businesses must learn to accept, respect, and support others (just as they are) in order to be successful, so must all political leaders, their party members, and their followers—indeed, all citizens everywhere—learn and teach acceptance, respect, and support for all our brothers everywhere, all God’s beloved children, every one—if we are to survive and thrive together on our tiny blue planet.
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