"Shock and Awe" a devastation equal to Hiroshima
"Shock and Awe": A call to our heart, spirit and reason (from Tom Atlee)
U.S. Iraq war plans center on a new strategy called "Shock and Awe,"
intended to produce the same overwhelming physical and psychological
devastation the US achieved by dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
The plans for dropping the atomic bomb were secret. The plans for
devastating the city of Baghdad -- a city of five million people --
are public. Below are three articles about it (and links to two more).
We can't say we didn't know.
All we can say is that our system didn't make it easy for us to prevent it.
Regarding the system: I don't believe any randomly selected group of
10-50 Americans, given access to all sides of this issue and provided
with support to hear from diverse experts and each other during
several days of fact-filled and heart-felt reflection and dialogue,
would ever consent to their country committing the atrocity "We the
People of the United States of America" are currently preparing to
commit. That's why I suggest we create governance and political
institutions that give such groups political power.
I'm open to ideas about other institutions which could dependably
prevent us from committing such atrocities in the future. I believe
it is time to start thinking in these terms.
Because what is about to happen is not the worst that will be
possible. Each newly powerful war will simply be prelude to the
next, until we either destroy ourselves utterly, or we awaken our
sleeping collective wisdom to end that vicious cycle once and for all.
In the meantime, our situation clearly calls for rising to the
occasion -- as far out of the box as we can each rise. Because the
box is definitely beginning to burn.
_ _ _ _ _
800 MISSILES TO HIT IRAQ IN FIRST 48 HOURS
By Andrew West and agencies
January 26 2003
The US intends to shatter Iraq "physically, emotionally and psychologically"
by raining down on its people as many as 800 cruise missiles in two days.
The Pentagon battle plan aims not only to crush Iraqi troops, but also wipe
out power and water supplies in the capital, Baghdad.
It is based on a strategy known as "Shock and Awe", conceived at the
National Defense University in Washington, in which between 300 and 400
cruise missiles would fall on Iraq each day for two consecutive days. It
would be more than twice the number of missiles launched during the entire
40 days of the 1991 GulfWar.
"There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," a Pentagon official told
America's CBS News after a briefing on the plan. "The sheer size of this has
never been seen before, never been contemplated before."
The plan has emerged just as American diplomats at the United Nations hinted
that the US Administration might be willing to give UN weapons inspectors
another month to complete their task.
Chief inspector Hans Blix is due to report back to the UN on Tuesday.
President George Bush has been displaying increasing impatience with the
pace of inspections and is eager to start the bombing. But according to UN
sources he has resigned himself to the fact that the US lacks enough votes
on the Security Council to wage a military campaign.
Mr Bush's belligerence yesterday found a match in comments by Uday Hussein.
In a rare public appearance, the son of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein said
the consequences of American attack on his country would make the September
11, 2001, terrorist strike look like a picnic.
He warned: "If they come, September 11, which they are crying over and see
as a big thing, will be a real picnic for them, God willing.
"They will be hurt and pay a price they will never imagine. They can get
much more from Iraq without resorting to the logic of force and war."
According to the architect of "Shock and Awe", military strategist Harlan
Ullman, the plan would rely on an extensive array of precision-guided
"We want them to quit, not to fight," Ullman said, "so that you have this
simultaneous effect - rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima - not
taking days or weeks but minutes."
The main objective was not just to disable Iraq's fighting capacity but to
leave the population dispirited and unwilling to support Saddam's regime.
"You're sitting in Baghdad and, all of a sudden, you're the general and 30
of your division headquarters have been wiped out," Mr Ullman said. "You
also take the city down. By that I mean you get rid of their power and
water. In two, three, four, five days they are physically, emotionally and
The American war plans will cause even greater angst in Europe, where the
French and Russian governments, reflecting wider international fears, are
threatening to veto any US rush to military action.
French President Jacques Chirac and Russia's Vladimir Putin have agreed
"their positions [on a US strike] are very close", a French spokeswoman
said. Both countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and
either could veto any UN approval of an American attack.
Mr Putin has also co-opted German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder into
supporting a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Iraq. Germany is now the
major power in Europe and the Chancellor's reluctance, if not outright
refusal, to endorse a unilateral US strike would be a major setback to the
The dossier by Dr Blix, and the head of the International Atomic Energy
Agency Mohamed ElBaradei, is expected to report that Iraqi
co-operation with inspectors has been "satisfactory" and they could find no
"smoking gun", no evidence that could be used a pretext for war.
But the pair will also say Iraq could offer even greater co-operation in the
search for nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, or materials that could
be used in their construction, within its borders.
But America's increasingly aggressive stance is isolating opinion around the
world. Late on Friday, his Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld drove a wedge
further into US-European relations when he dismissed Germany and France as
representing "old Europe".
He comments drew a sharp rebuke from the foreign ministers of both
If the US wants UN approval for any strike it will have to wring votes out
of the 15 Security Council members. At the moment, it can count only on the
solid support of Britain, the likely support of Spain and Bulgaria, and the
possible support of Guinea and Cameroon.
China, France, Russia, Germany and Syria were most opposed and likely to
influence Angola, Chile, Mexico and Pakistan.
Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2003
(CBS) They're calling it "A-Day," A as in airstrikes so
devastating they would leave Saddam's soldiers unable or
unwilling to fight.
If the Pentagon sticks to its current war plan, one day in March
the Air Force and Navy will launch between 300 and 400 cruise
missiles at targets in Iraq. As CBS News Correspondent David
Martin reports, this is more than number that were launched
during the entire 40 days of the first Gulf War.
On the second day, the plan calls for launching another 300 to
400 cruise missiles.
"There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," said one Pentagon
official who has been briefed on the plan.
"The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been
contemplated before," the official said.
The battle plan is based on a concept developed at the National
Defense University. It's called "Shock and Awe" and it focuses
on the psychological destruction of the enemy's will to fight
rather than the physical destruction of his military forces.
"We want them to quit. We want them not to fight," says Harlan
Ullman, one of the authors of the Shock and Awe concept which
relies on large numbers of precision guided weapons.
"So that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the
nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in
minutes," says Ullman.
In the first Gulf War, 10 percent of the weapons were precision
guided. In this war 80 percent will be precision guided.
The Air Force has stockpiled 6,000 of these guidance kits in the
Persian Gulf to convert ordinary dumb bombs into
satellite-guided bombs, a weapon that didn't exist in the first
"You're sitting in Baghdad and all of a sudden you're the
general and 30 of your division headquarters have been wiped
out. You also take the city down. By that I mean you get rid of
their power, water. In 2, 3, 4, 5 days they are physically,
emotionally and psychologically exhausted," Ullman tells Martin.
Last time, an armored armada swept into Kuwait and destroyed
Saddam's elite republican guard divisions in the largest tank
battle since the World War II. This time, the target is not the
Iraqi army but the Iraqi leadership, and the battle plan is
designed to bypass Iraqi divisions whenever possible.
If Shock and Awe works, there won't be a ground war.
Not everybody in the Bush Administration thinks Shock and Awe
will work. One senior official called it a bunch of bull, but
confirmed it is the concept on which the war plan is based.
Last year, in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan, the U.S. was
badly surprised by the willingness of al Qaeda to fight to the
death. If the Iraqis fight, the U.S. would have to throw in
reinforcements and win the old fashioned way by crushing the
republican guards, and that would mean more casualties on both
January 27, 2003
Shock & Awe: Is Baghdad the Next Hiroshima?
by Ira Chernus
Have your heard of Harlan Ullman? Everyone in the White House and the
Pentagon has. They may very well follow his plan for war in Iraq. He
wants to do to Baghdad what we did to Hiroshima.
Ullman is what they call a 'defense intellectual.' He was the Navy's
'head of extended planning' and taught at the National War College.
One of his students was Secretary of State Colin Powell, who says he
'raised my vision several levels.'
What Powell and everyone in the Bush administration sees now is
Ullman's vision for high-tech war. He calls it 'rapid dominance,' or
'shock and awe.' The idea is to scare the enemy to death. To win, you
don't need to inflict physical pain and destruction. Just the fear of
pain, and the massive confusion it creates, is enough.
Ullman wants the U.S. to (in his words) 'deter and overpower an
adversary through the adversary's perception and fear of his
vulnerability and our own invincibility.' 'This ability to impose
massive shock and awe, in essence to be able to 'turn the lights on
and off' of an adversary as we choose, will so overload the
perception, knowledge and understanding of that adversary that there
will be no choice except to cease and desist or risk complete and
Ullman is ready to use every kind of weapon to create shock and awe.
He once said it might be a good idea to use electromagnetic waves
that attack peoples' neurological systems, 'to control the will and
perception of adversaries, by applying a regime of shock and awe. It
is about effecting behavior."
When it comes to Iraq, Ullman likes the idea of cruise missiles --
lots of them, right away. CBS News reports that Ullman's ideas are
the basis for the Pentagon's war plan. The U.S. will smash Baghdad
with up to 800 cruise missiles in the first two days of the war.
That's about one every four minutes, day and night, for 48 hours.
The missiles will hit far more than just military targets. They will
destroy everything that makes life in Baghdad livable. "We want them
to quit. We want them not to fight," Ullman told CBS reporter David
Martin. So 'you take the city down. You get rid of their power,
water. In 2, 3, 4, 5 days they are physically, emotionally and
Ullman is sure it will work as well in 2003 as it did in 1945: 'You
have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at
Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes." "Super tools and
weapons -- information-age equivalents of the atomic bomb -- have to
be invented," he wrote in the Economic Times. "As the atomic bombs
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally convinced the Japanese
Emperor and High Command that even suicidal resistance was futile,
these tools must be directed towards a similar outcome.'
When he first invented 'rapid dominance,' Ullman talked about an
'eight-level hierarchy of shock and awe,' with the atomic bombings of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the top. Now, it seems, that's where he
wants to start.
Is the Hiroshima model just a metaphor? Ullman recently wrote that
one way to 'shock and awe' Saddam is to remind him that the U.S. has
'certain weapons' that can destroy deeply buried facilities. That's a
not-even-thinly-veiled reference to the newest kind of nuclear
weapons, the B-61 'bunker-busters.' L.A. Times columnist William
Arkin has confirmed that the U.S. is preparing to use
'bunker-busters' against Iraq
< http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0126-01.htm>. That would 'break
down the firewall separating nuclear weapons from everything else,'
Arkin warns, and 'forever pit the Arab and Islamic world against us.'
Suppose we drop the nuke in the wrong place? Even Harlan Ullman
admits it could easily happen: 'Of course, there will always be
intelligence gaps, and no solution is perfect.' But that's just the
point. 'The threat would be a Damoclean sword that might or might not
descend.' In other words, the fear of nukes falling who-knows-where
would scare them into surrendering without a fight. Let other Islamic
nations get as angry as they like. We'll just shock and awe them too.
And why not North Korea, while we're at it? Ullman wants a nuclear
threat there, if North Korean leaders don't heel to U.S. commands:
'To remind the North of its vulnerability, one or more Trident
ballistic submarines could be permanently assigned to target North
Korea.' Tridents carry 240 nuclear warheads each. One Trident might
not be enough, it seems. When you use shock and awe, you use it
So here we are, preparing to destroy a huge modern city, kill tens of
thousands, and threaten nuclear attack -- all against people who have
not fired a single bullet at us. Yes, it's about oil. But it's also
about shock and awe, putting on a terrifying show for the whole world
If all this leaves you in shock and awe, you have had your vision
raised several levels too. You see what Ullman, Powell, and all the
[other Bush administration warriors] see: the U.S. frightening the
whole world so badly that no one will dare fire a single bullet at
us. Let them be as angry as they like, just so they know who is the
meanest, toughest son of a bitch on the global block.
That is now becoming the essence of U.S. foreign policy. And they
seriously believe it will put an end to war. I suppose the Romans
believed it too.
Ira Chernus is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of
Colorado at Boulder. < email@example.com>
OTHER ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT, WITH EVEN MORE INFORMATION ON IT
"The war being prepared by the White House and Pentagon on the people
of Iraq will be characterized by barbarism on a scale not seen since
the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s..." -- Henry Michaels
"It would be a firestorm, a Dresden with 60 years of new technology.
It would be a war crime of quick and staggering proportions... the
plan apparently is to kill a staggering percentage of Baghdad's
civilian population in the first day alone.... This is a formulation
that goes far beyond the role of 'global policeman'; this is America
as cop, judge, jury, and executioner. It is not intended to serve the
cause of human rights, or disarmament, or even the security of
American citizens. It is a tool of empire." -- Geov Parrish
_ _ _ _
You can register your views concerning this strategy with any member
of congress by calling the toll-free capitol switchboard number at
(800) 839-5276. Locate your member of congress at:
If you find yourself called strongly to move beyond normal responses,
read the next two items I'm sending....
"Shock and Awe": Response from the Heart
"Shock and Awe": Responses from Spirit and Reason
"Shock and Awe": Responses from the Heart
"The US intends to shatter Iraq 'physically, emotionally and psychologically'
by raining down on its people as many as 800 cruise missiles in two days."
-- Andrew West
"It would be a firestorm, a Dresden with 60 years of new technology.
It would be a war crime of quick and staggering proportions... the
plan apparently is to kill a staggering percentage of Baghdad's
civilian population in the first day alone.."
-- Geov Parrish,
This news lays upon us the burden of awesome responsibility. I don't think
there has been another point in history when people in a more or less
democratic state have had such a clear cut opportunity to try to stop
atrocity. I don't know if we will succeed, but I know I couldn't live with
myself if I didn't try.
My suggestion for a mass slogan:
"We Can't Say We Didn't Know.
Let's Prevent Another Hiroshima."
-- "Karen Payne" < firstname.lastname@example.org>
* * *
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 10:24:47 -0800
From: Rosa Zubizarreta < email@example.com>
bearing witness to the nightmares...
i just finished calling my two senators and my congressperson... i've
not been doing that as frequently as i might be; my attention has
been more focused on prayer with regard to the near-term threats, as
well as on a variety of long-term change efforts to build a peaceful
yet this news of plans being seriously considered to launch a
genocidal attack against a civilian population, felt like such a blow
and a sickness in my gut that the only thing to do was to respond...
and the surprise for me was to find that i was not angry, that anger
somehow seemed pointless in the face of this enormous sorrow...
Instead, i found myself speaking in a breaking voice, near tears, yet
with inner clarity and strength, communicating the devastation i was
feeling to the various staff people on the other end of the phone
and something felt new and different for me in doing so, something
much more powerful than jumping into "justified and self-righteous
anger" as i've done all too often in the past...
and a thought arises: ever since the first flower was placed inside
the first rifle barrel four decades ago, it seems that we as a
culture are still in the process of unfolding what it means to bring
our vulnerability, our heart, our softness and tears to bear, in face
of the iron and steel that hide the heart of the "other"...
so i want to invite all of us who have been doing inner work,
psychological work, spiritual work, to consider what effect it may
have to show up on the phone lines, in the congressional offices,
refusing to hide any longer behind roles of "citizen" or "activist"
or "professional person" or anything else...
bringing instead the gift of our tears, our pain, our deeply felt
concerns, from the most authentic and vulnerable place that we can
and, another thought comes, in closing...
there is nothing that does not get worn away by water....
water is the life that connects us all...
and water has within itself, the power to quench a fire that is
raging out of control....
may we all find ways to share our deepest feelings for the benefit of
_ _ _ _ _ _
A Call for True Stories About the Reality of War to Disarm the
Barricades of the Heart at the Eleventh Hour. A global action. Please
circulate, print, transmit, post, receive, disseminate, translate,
participate in any and all ways possible.
by Deena Metzger
Perhaps this is a vision.
I have prayed to know what to do and how to be at this eleventh hour.
There is an outcry from everywhere in the world. People everywhere
are coming forth to say No to a war that could annihilate everything.
But we do not yet see the way to stop this war.
Here is one way that we can walk for the sake of all living things.
A way with a heart and with great possibility.
I have asked how we have come to this? How we have come to the place
where one can imagine inflicting the equivalent of another Hiroshima?
How have we become so mad?
The madness is everywhere. It is not in the United States alone.
Such dreams of power and annihilation, of revenge and rage, of total
destruction inhabit all corners of the globe. Dreams intoxicated
with Armageddon and the ecstasy of apocalypse.
This madness is in the White House and in the Palaces of Saddam
Hussein and other dictators. In Congress, in Parliament and in Al
Qaeda. In rebel armies, among terrorists. The same. In the
scientists who imagine the bombs and the other weapons of mass
destruction. In those who manufacture the weapons, who create
nuclear weapons, biological and chemical warfare, and horrors yet
undisclosed. The madness of the military people who will use these
weapons and will sacrifice the soldiers and the civilians to use
them. It is in the press who have both glorified and disguised the
madness, in the filmmakers who have gleefully entertained us with the
gore of battle and the extremis of suffering, in everyone who is
making a profit from the business of war and in the dark fantasies
and nightmares that inhabit our secret moments. The madness is
This is the madness of fear and terror and rage, the madness of the
closed heart. It is the madness of those who look away.
This madness was conceived over time but was born into the twentieth
century and has multiplied, increased in potency and spread like a
scourge and plague everywhere. It is the affliction of those who
refuse to know in their hearts the reality of suffering and the
reality of war.
This comes from ignorance, not innocence. From turning away from
what must be known. This comes from refusing to hear the stories,
from refusing to bear witness, from refusing the intelligence of the
We could speculate on the cause and way of this affliction, but we do
not have the time. We do, however, have the time to remove the
barriers to the heart at this eleventh hour.
This is a call to everyone who knows war and suffering to tell the
stories of this suffering now. This is a call for everyone to tell
the stories, to seek out the stories, to bear witness to the stories.
This is a call not to turn away, but to take the stories into our
hearts and then to disseminate the stories so that those who must
know these stories in their hearts and souls will be surrounded and
inundated by them until they too cannot turn away from them.
* * *
This is the vision:
Let us each gather all the stories we can. Let us. All of us. Each
of us. This is a call to everyone to seek out, listen to, tell and
broadcast the stories so that we can pierce the hearts of those who
would wage war without knowing what they do.
These are some of those to whom we must turn for the stories:
Speak to those who experienced World War I and World War II. Gather
the stories, the real moments, the particular events, the exact
experience of what it was like to be in a foxhole in World War II or
to have landed at Normandy or Iwo Jima, or to have been evacuated
from Dunkirk. To have been betrayed in Spain or been terrorized in
Warsaw, to be firebombed in Dresden or rounded up in Czechoslovakia
and Moscow. To be tortured and frozen in the gulag, or set on fire
at Hiroshima. It is a call to finally hear the stories of what drove
the soldiers mad in Vietnam; the stories we refused to hear when they
returned. The stories of what is still afflicting the soldiers of
the Gulf War. It is a call to the soldiers and the victims of the
These stories contain the essential information and understanding we
need in order to know what to do at this time. These stories carry
the wisdom of healing if we truly listen to them. This is the
information that is essential for everyone in the world because
everyone in the world is involved at this moment. It is the eleventh
hour for everyone and every living thing.
Let us make known the stories of Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Sierra
Leone, the Congo and Rwanda. Of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Of
Chile, Argentina, El Salvador and Guatemala. The stories of
Leningrad and the blitz of London. The stories of Palestine and
Israel, of Lebanon, Algiers and Tibet. The stories of the Death
Camps, the Internment Camps and the Long Marches, the forced
relocations and the death marches. Of slavery and genocide. The
stories of the violence and horror of the Inner Cities, of the
hopeless slums, of lynchings and gang wars, child prostitutes and
children's armies. The stories of birth defects and monsters
caused by DU and other fiendish weapons. The stories of the wars
against the earth of oil spills, poisoned oceans, defoliated forests,
of culls and of Chernobyl. The stories of exile and statelessness,
displaced persons and starvation. The stories of the Disappeared and
the stories of torture.
We are being asked to gather these stories and to disseminate them.
To gather the stories from everyone but particularly those who
experienced them and are not able to speak them. The stories that
have been too awful to bear. The stories that people thought would
drive them mad. These stories that have been festering in the unholy
silence that has brought us to the unthinkable.
Let us really listen to these stories so we can tell them to each
other and to those who would participate in any way in the kinds of
wars that are being contemplated. If those who tell the stories
cannot record them, then we can record them one way or another and
send them out everywhere.
Who shall we send them to? Send them to the President Bush and to
Vice President Cheney and to Secretaries Rumsfield, Ashcroft and
Powell. Send them to Congress. Send them to Tony Blair and to the
British Parliament. To Kofi Annan and all the representatives of the
United Nations. To Germany and France and Russia and China. To
Turkey, India and Pakistan. To Israel and Sharon and to Palestine
and Arafat. To South Korea and to North Korea. Let them go
everywhere. En masse to the war research labs and the weapons
manufacturers in every country. To the scientists and the military.
To the Pentagon and to the Generals everywhere in each country. To
the media in every country so they can be transmitted everywhere.
These stories must be told in all the languages that the tragedies of
the last hundred years have been suffered.
Gather the stories and tell them to the mothers and fathers of the
young people who are being sent to the Gulf. To the mothers and
fathers who will soon be told by the Pentagon that their children's
bodies may not be sent home but will probably be incinerated or
buried in mass graves because of the kind of chemical and biological
warfare that is being planned. To the mothers and fathers of
terrorists and suicide bombers. Tell them to all the soldiers and
fighters who are being trained and readied so that they will know
what they will be asked to face and what they will be asked to do and
what they will be asked to bear and what may kill them and what and
who they will kill.
We cannot turn away. We must bear witness. Hear the stories. And
tell them and tell them and tell them until the hearts of those who
would turn away from such truths and anguish are opened.
There has never been such a time in human history. There has never
been a time when the people of the entire world have come forth to
speak against the unspeakable. In the past the horrors were enacted
in our name but without our knowing what was being imagined, created,
enacted. But now we know. We hear the threats. We are informed of
the horrors that are being planned.
We cannot remain ignorant. We cannot turn away from what is being
contemplated in our name and, as we are being told, on our behalf.
If this madness comes to be, then it will come to be with our
knowledge and consequently our acquiescence. Let us face what we are
about to perpetrate with full knowledge. Let us know then what it is
that is being done in our name. Let us know what has happened in the
past so that we will know the future. Let us not turn away. Let us
instead open our hearts and open the hearts of those who think these
wars will save us.
There is no time to organize this but we must, nonetheless, gather
the stories and send them out. There is no central place for the
stories to be received because they need to be received everywhere.
Send them everywhere whether the doors are open to them or not.
These stories can open the doors that are closed.
We must do this now. Today. Tomorrow. Immediately. Without
waiting or hesitating. Gather the stories and send them out.
Go to the veterans and veterans' hospitals, the temples, churches and
mosques, the sanctuaries and shrines, the prisons, the homeless, the
exiled, the injured, the maimed, the maddened and the desperate, the
silent and the silenced. Let us gather the stories of the
unimaginable anguish and the torture of this century and let us
listen and open our hearts.
These stories will be gathered by each of us and sent out to do their
work. They will descend like living angels on Washington and Baghdad
and everywhere else that anathemas are being conceived. These
stories will descend in their terrible beauty and their awful truth.
Then a great No will rise from the earth and break open the heart of
everyone in its proximity. A great No that states:
I see the devastation of the past
and I refuse the devastation of the future.
I will not participate in this madness.
I will not inflict this suffering
on anyone or any living thing.
We believe that a terrible wisdom will emerge from the million upon
millions of tellings of these stories. We believe that through these
tellings we will know what we do not know now. We will know
something of how to go forth toward what someday we will be able to
Let us disarm the barricades to the heart at this eleventh hour. Let
us do this now.
In peace and hope,
If you have a site or a venue that could receive and distribute the
stories please append it here.
Deena Metzger is a writer and healer. You can contact her at
< http://www.deenametzger.com/> or at < firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Shock and Awe": Responses from Spirit and Reason
< http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=14425&CFID=4908085&CFTOKEN=45824253 >
State of the Union fails to mention oil -- but displays two other
major reasons for Bush's unprovoked war
By Geov Parrish
"...The third major element of the Iraq invasion [in addition to oil
and empire], also on full and odious display Tuesday night [in
President Bush's State of the Union Address, was] God. Not just any
God, but the God that blesses America, the God that rebirthed Dubya,
the God that is never more than a paragraph away from George Bush's
lips in a major speech, the God that justifies America's glorious
"In the State of the Union address, Bush once again announced -- to
thunderous applause, and little criticism afterwards -- that America
stands alone in its responsibility to mankind, its faith in
Providence, and its destiny. We are, in other words, the Chosen
People in the Chosen Land...
"To all evidence, the religious fervor, and duty, that Bush brings to
his leadership of Empire is something he and many of the people
around him genuinely believe. That belief, especially if called into
doubt, trumps any qualms they may have about killing unthinkable
numbers of people... To shirk from such duty would be to disobey God."
_ _ _ _ _
THE ASSISI DECALOGUE
by David Waters
a columnist for the syndicated Memphis, Tennessee
Commercial Appeal (published March 17, 2002)
What if leaders of the world's major religions got together one day and
denounced all religious violence? What if they unanimously agreed to
make this plain, clear and bold statement to the world?
"Violence and terrorism are opposed to all true religious spirit and we
condemn all recourse to violence and war in the name of God or
religion." It could change the world. At the very least, it would be big
news, wouldn't it? Apparently not.
More than 200 leaders of the world's dozen major religions did get
together Jan. 24 in Assisi, Italy. Maybe you missed the story about it
the next day. Most newspapers didn't carry it. And it was hidden inside
many of those that did. There was a lot of other news that day. The
Enron hearings opened in Washington. John Walker Lindh made his first
It's no wonder the largest meeting of world religious leaders in history
couldn't even make the front page. Pope John Paul II and a number of
cardinals were at the meeting. So was Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of
all Orthodox Christians. So were a dozen Jewish rabbis, including some
from Israel. So were 30 Muslim imams from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, and Pakistan. So were dozens of ministers representing Baptists,
Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Disciples
of Christ, Mennonites, Quakers, Moravians, The Salvation Army and the
World Council of Churches.
So were dozens of monks, gurus and others representing Hindus,
Buddhists, Sikhs and Zoroastrians and native African religions. They
ignored the personal and political risk of attending such a high-profile
They convened and talked and prayed. They unanimously agreed to condemn
"every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or religion."
They also said, "No religious goal can possibly justify the use of
violence by man against man." And that "Whoever uses religion to foment
violence contradicts religion's deepest and truest inspiration." They
called their statement the Assisi Decalogue for Peace. It consists of 10
mutual commitments to work for peace and justice in the world, including
"We commit ourselves to stand at the side of those who suffer poverty
and abandonment, speaking out for those who have no voice, and to
working effectively to change these situations." On March 4, the Pope
sent a copy of the to all of the world's heads of state.
Maybe you missed the story. It didn't even make the newspapers the next
day, hidden inside or not. There was a lot of other news that day.
Seven American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Israeli troops
killed 17 people in the West Bank. Mike Tyson got a license to box.
What if leaders of the world's major religions got together one and
denounced all religious violence--and no one cared?
DECALOGUE OF ASSISI FOR PEACE
1. We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence
and terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion,
and, as we condemn every recourse to violence and war in the name of God
or of religion, we commit ourselves to doing everything possible to
eliminate the root causes of terrorism.
2. We commit ourselves to educating people to mutual respect and esteem,
in order to help bring about a peaceful and fraternal coexistence
between people of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions.
3. We commit ourselves to fostering the culture of dialogue, so that
there will be an increase of understanding and mutual trust between
individuals and among peoples, for these are the premise of authentic
4. We commit ourselves to defending the right of everyone to live a
decent life in accordance with their own cultural identity, and to form
freely a family of his own.
5. We commit ourselves to frank and patient dialogue, refusing to
consider our differences as an insurmountable barrier, but recognizing
instead that to encounter the diversity of others can become an
opportunity for greater reciprocal understanding.
6. We commit ourselves to forgiving one another for past and present
errors and prejudices, and to supporting one another in a common effort
both to overcome selfishness and arrogance, hatred and violence, and to
learn from the past that peace without justice is no true peace.
7. We commit ourselves to taking the side of the poor and the helpless,
to speaking out for those who have no voice and to working effectively
to change these situations, out of the conviction that no one can be
8. We commit ourselves to taking up the cry of those who refuse to be
resigned to violence and evil, and we are desire to make every effort
possible to offer the men and women of our time real hope for justice
9. We commit ourselves to encouraging all efforts to promote friendship
between peoples, for we are convinced that, in the absence of solidarity
and understanding between peoples, technological progress exposes the
world to a growing risk of destruction and death.
10. We commit ourselves to urging leaders of nations to make every
effort to create and consolidate, on the national and international
levels, a world of solidarity and peace based on justice.
_ _ _ _ _ _
U.S. Lawyers Warn Bush on War Crimes, Canada Group Warns PM
By Grant McCool
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of U.S. law professors opposed to a
possible war on Iraq warned U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday
that he and senior government officials could be prosecuted for war
crimes if military tactics violated international humanitarian law.
"Our primary concern Å is the large number of civilian casualties
that may result should U.S. and coalition forces fail to comply with
international humanitarian law in using force against Iraq," the
group, led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights,
said in a letter to Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The group cited the particular need for U.S. and coalition forces to
abide by humanitarian law requiring warring parties to distinguish
between military and civilian areas, use only the level of force that
is militarily necessary and to use weaponry that is proportionate to
what is being targeted.
The letter, which had more than 100 signatories, said the rules had
been broken in other recent wars.
It said air strikes on populated cities, carpet bombing and the use
of fuel-air explosives were examples of inappropriate military action
taken during the 1991 Gulf War, the 1999 Kosovo campaign and the 2001
Afghan conflict that led to civilian casualties and might be used
again in Iraq.
The letter to Bush and Rumsfeld coincided with similar notes sent
this week to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Canadian Prime
Minister Jean Chretien by lawyers in those countries.
Ironically, Bush on Wednesday advised Iraqi officers and soldiers to
disobey any orders to use weapons of mass destruction in the event of
a conflict. "If you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will
be treated, tried and persecuted as a war criminal," he said.
On Sunday, Rumsfeld said he would favor granting Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein and senior Iraqi leaders immunity from possible war
crimes prosecution if it would clear the way for their exile and
avoid a war.
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
Government officials in Britain and Canada could theoretically be
investigated by the new International Criminal Court in The Hague if
it was determined that international laws had been broken in war. The
United States has refused to cooperate with the court and has
withdrawn its signature from the treaty establishing it.
The letter to Blair, dated Jan. 22, from Public Interest Lawyers said
that if Britain's actions in Iraq were deemed possible war crimes,
"we, and others, will take steps to ensure that you, and other
leaders of the U.K. government are held accountable."
The Canadian group, Lawyers Against the War, said in its letter dated Jan.
20, that it was putting Chretien's government on notice that without
explicit U.N. Security Council approval for a war on Iraq, "we will
pursue all responsible government officials on charges of murder and
crimes against humanity in both the Canadian and the international
One of the leading signatories to the letter to Bush said although
Washington was not a party to the ICC, U.S. officials could still be
prosecuted under the Geneva Convention.
"War crimes under that convention can be prosecuted wherever the
perpetrators are found," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center
for Constitutional Rights.
He said the situation could be likened to the attempt by a Spanish
magistrate to prosecute former Chilean military dictator Augusto
Pinochet in 1996 for human rights violations during his rule.
Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * PO Box 493 * Eugene, OR 97440
http://www.co-intelligence.org * http://www.democracyinnovations.org
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