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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 02 August 2006 at 4:58am

Originally posted by Duende

I will be posting this on the forum set up at Across The Pond as I feel
that may turn out to be the natural home for Angela's Plan, since it is
both British and American troops who must withdraw. But I want to
have some feedback here aswell.

I’ve been reading posts on other forums with nothing to do with
politics (Peakoil.com) where Americans are talking a lot about the
Israeli bombings of Lebanon. I’ve read comments posted by readers
on news and information sites commenting on articles about Israel’s
use of white phosphor, cluster bombs, targeting civilians etc. I have
been shocked at the level of bloodlust some people show, who are
confident in their assertions that force and war is the only answer.

But most of all I have been struck by the ease with which we all judge
and justify our own and other’s remarks and beliefs. It seems to me
that so long as we justify our disagreement with someone/something
with judgements such as: “that’s what I’d expect from a lefty/
commie peacenik coward”, or such as these: “she’s just a left-wing
feminist”; “he’s a Moslem radical”; “he’s a rabid liberal” etc. there will
be no progress towards settlement, there will be no negotiation. The
first obstacle is oneself. We do not need to put people into boxes in
order to understand what they are saying. The comment: “I see
where you’re coming from” means: “Ah, I see you are a liberal/
communist/ atheist/ orthodox Jew etc. The idea that someone has
“an agenda” buys into the same rigid and limited concept that we are
all just defending our political or religious viewpoints, rather than
defending our deeply held need to live in peace, and without the
threat of war.

When the Angela Plan was first mooted as a ‘movement’ I saw
nothing but difficulties and obstacles, and saw no future for any such
initiative. The war in Iraq has become such a Behemoth of a problem,
involving corporate plundering, the violence we all know about, and
the undeclared civil/internecine war, that I saw only complicated and
insurmountable problems. Now I have actually narrowed my focus
and this is what I think we can do: rather than found a new
organisation, we should try to bring existing organisations together
under one common cause: American withdrawal. This needs to be
done in America, as international viewpoints are barely taken into
consideration by the xenophobic G.W. Bush admin. I feel The Pond
may be the natural home for this initiative since it is both America
and Britain who must withdraw, hence it is the American and British
public who must form the critical mass of opposition to the American
led occupation.

There are many grass-roots organisations working for peace and
campaigning to bring the troops home, the American public (or so
we are told) are increasingly turning against the occupation, Bush
has the lowest ratings of any president before him and his party are
desperate to maintain their powerbases at home. Experience shows
that only when opposition at home reaches a critical mass (Vietnam)
does the administration start thinking about doing what the people
actually want. Reaching that critical mass MUST NOT take as long as
it did to end the Vietnam war. It must be reached soon, and I think
one way is to draw the various groups who currently don’t have a
link with one another together: strength in numbers.

For this, I suggest we form the umbrella pressure group which will
put these organisations together with the sole aim of becoming such
a loud noise that the government will have to sit up and listen. We
want the troops out of Iraq.

I also want the Israeli’s and Palestinians to get back to a negotiating
table, and I want all foreign troops out of Afghanistan. These don’t
necessarily have to be separate issues. With a working pressure
group dedicated to bringing all non-violent activists with a common-
ground together, we could also turn our attention to these problems.

Maybe this is a lazy way out? I mean, I’m sort of taking advantage of
all the work done by those who have formed and who run the various
pressure groups which already exist. But I just feel it would be a
waste of hard work to set up yet another non-governmental peace
organisation, and the time it would take to get it up and running is
time Iraq doesn’t have.

I know there are groups out there which are founded by Christians
and Moslems, groups affiliated with political parties or charities
owned and run by churches. I feel the organisation which brings
them together should be officially neutral, without political or
religious affiliations although members will of course come from all
sorts of backgrounds.

This is something like the negotiating table differing parties are
forced to sit down at during any labour strike. It would be a little bit
like the moderators sitting back and encouraging negotiation and
communication between the employers and the employees.

It’s not a big idea, it doesn’t involve lobbying for support from
politicians or corporations. But please let me know what you think,
and add suggestions. I have no need to listen to more rhetoric about
why America should not withdraw now, or any other argument in
favour of arms, or war. I’ve read enough and seen enough.

Bismillah,

Duende, I read this and searched for it so that I could reply to the text you wrote that I have bolded above.

I agree with this and believe it is the most important thing we can work on together here at IC and everywhere else.  That is, next to stopping the devastation of the world by American-backed bombings.

Why call each other names anyway?  People change.  That's what the forgiveness of Allah, SWT, is about.  Allah, The All-Knowing, knows human nature and has decreed that His Mercy is greater Than His Wrath.  Why do we humans have to switch this around?  Looking at the world today, the powers-that-be exercise no self-control and seek disproportionate revenge, and we the citizens of the world, are modeling this in our daily interpersonal interactions.  AstagfirAllah.

Salaamu Alaykum



Edited by herjihad
Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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Cassandra
 
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Quote Cassandra Replybullet Posted: 02 August 2006 at 8:03am

I have said for a while now that I think we need to form an umbrella group.  But everytime I do so I have been told to calm down and chill and wait for the bus.  Sorry, the bus passed us while we were waiting and asleep.  It swept by with such a speed that we didn't even  recognise its passing.

I suggest:  contact all related grassroots peace groups and suggested a centralised lobby: Angela's Plan may not be a separate voice in and of itself, but maybe our task is to galvanise the separate groups into one WHOLE VOICE.  It is a Herculean task, but broken down, a realisable one.  Remember the Starfish:  save one at a time.  We form a chain along the beach with one objective.

We cannot afford to wait.  The clock is ticking a good deal faster than any of us realise, folks.  I give it 10 years at the most.

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Duende
 
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 02 August 2006 at 9:16am
"I have said for a while now that I think we need to form an umbrella
group.  But everytime I do so I have been told to calm down and chill
and wait for the bus.  Sorry, the bus passed us while we were waiting
and asleep.  It swept by with such a speed that we didn't even 
recognise its passing."

Cassandra, I understand, and you're absolutely right! I also want to
make sure you don't feel I am 'stealing' your suggestion and posting
it as My Big Idea. I hate playground politics and as adults I don't
think it's at all constructive to fall back on them, as tempting as it is.

If we were really retentive we'd be pasting and claiming: "I said it
first! No! I said it first!" And then we could all reach for our Lugers or
AK47

So, a suggestion: each of us takes time to research peace orgs and
find out what they are standing for and whether they appear to be
good targets. How does that sound? We need to put a deadline on it,
otherwise we'll just be sitting on the bus waiting for the driver
(GROAN)

Please get back to me as the more people do this, the quicker we'll
get a start.
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Servetus
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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2006 at 9:11am

I think this excerpt from the at times embattled but always articulate Arundhati Roy might be interesting to some of us here.  In this speech, she addresses “public power in the age of Empire” and provides background concerning the “World Social Forum.”  One can take issue with any number of her points, but, to me, her powers of perception are inordinately acute.        

____________________________

“I'm going to speak about three of the contemporary dangers that confront [non-violent] resistance movements: the difficult meeting point between mass movements and the mass media, the hazards of the NGO-ization of resistance, and the confrontation between resistance movements and increasingly repressive states.

The place in which the mass media meets mass movements is a complicated one.

Governments have learned that a crisis-driven media cannot afford to hang about in the same place for too long. Like business houses need a cash turnover, the media need crises turnover. Whole countries become old news. They cease to exist, and the darkness becomes deeper than before the light was briefly shone on them. We saw it happen in Afghanistan when the Soviets withdrew. And now, after Operation Enduring Freedom put the CIA's Hamid Karzai in place, Afghanistan has been thrown to its warlords once more.

Another CIA operative, Iyad Allawi, has been installed in Iraq, so perhaps it's time for the media to move on from there, too.

While governments hone the art of waiting out crisis, resistance movements are increasingly being ensnared in a vortex of crisis production, seeking to find ways of manufacturing them in easily consumable, spectator-friendly formats.

Every self-respecting peoples' movement, every "issue" is expected to have its own hot air balloon in the sky advertising its brand and purpose.

For this reason, starvation deaths are more effective advertisements for impoverishment than millions of malnourished people, who don't quite make the cut. Dams are not newsworthy until the devastation they wreak makes good television. (And by then, it's too late).

Standing in the rising water of a reservoir for days on end, watching your home and belongings float away to protest against a big dam used to be an effective strategy, but isn't any more. The media is dead bored of that one. So the hundreds of thousands of people being displaced by dams are expected to either conjure new tricks or give up the struggle.

Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircrafts, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe.

If we want to reclaim the space for civil disobedience, we will have to liberate ourselves from the tyranny of crisis reportage and its fear of the mundane. We have to use our experience, our imagination, and our art to interrogate the instruments of that state that ensure that "normality" remains what it is: cruel, unjust, unacceptable. We have to expose the policies and processes that make ordinary things - food, water, shelter and dignity - such a distant dream for ordinary people. Real pre-emptive strike is to understand that wars are the end result of flawed and unjust peace.

As far as mass resistance movements are concerned, the fact is that no amount of media coverage can make up for mass strength on the ground. There is no option, really, to old-fashioned, back-breaking political mobilization.”

Ref:  http://www.democracynow.org/static/Arundhati_Trans.shtml

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Duende
 
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2006 at 11:33am
Thank you Serv, I admire Arundhati Roy for her activism, and
itellect. If we could mobilise the millions of Muslims in India, we
would have greatly added to our chances of moving politics

This is particularly relevant and from what I can see, a HUGE problem
in the US:

"If we want to reclaim the space for civil disobedience, we will have to
liberate ourselves from the tyranny of crisis reportage and its fear of
the mundane. We have to use our experience, our imagination, and
our art to interrogate the instruments of that state that ensure that
"normality" remains what it is: cruel, unjust, unacceptable. We have to
expose the policies and processes that make ordinary things - food,
water, shelter and dignity - such a distant dream for ordinary people.
Real pre-emptive strike is to understand that wars are the end result
of flawed and unjust peace."

Perhaps an answer is to get the alternative, independent media on our
side and acting as our mouthpiece. Alternet recently declared their
editorial line would be refocussing on Iraq and on bringing the real
story to the forefront. But then again, we have reached that all too
common tipping point of emotional/charity overload, more grisly
news from Iraq is just old news. Nobody has the stomach to read it
any more. And as with Afghanistan, the media have dropped it and
moved on to the next big thing.

Here in Spain, Castro's imminent death (I want to borrow from Garcia
Marquez and call it 'una muerte anunciada') has shoved Lebanon onto
page 7.

If I were in the States, I would be out pounding the streets and
sending letters to congress etc. but from here in Southern Spain, my
best option is to be a cyber activist.
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Cassandra
 
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Quote Cassandra Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2006 at 12:02pm

Cass said: I have said for a while now that I think we need to form an umbrella
group.  But everytime I do so I have been told to calm down and chill
and wait for the bus.  Sorry, the bus passed us while we were waiting and asleep.  It swept by with such a speed that we didn't even 
recognise its passing."

Duende countered: Cassandra, I understand, and you're absolutely right! I also want to make sure you don't feel I am 'stealing' your suggestion and posting it as My Big Idea. I hate playground politics and as adults I don't think it's at all constructive to fall back on them, as tempting as it is.

If we were really retentive we'd be pasting and claiming: "I said it
first! No! I said it first!" And then we could all reach for our Lugers or
AK47

So, a suggestion: each of us takes time to research peace orgs and
find out what they are standing for and whether they appear to be
good targets. How does that sound? We need to put a deadline on it,
otherwise we'll just be sitting on the bus waiting for the driver
(GROAN)

Please get back to me as the more people do this, the quicker we'll
get a start.[/QUOTE]

Hey Girl, absolutely no competition intended nor implied.  It doesn't matter who says what or when.  All that metters is what we do about it.  July was perfect for me to really get actively involved.  August is called "making a living" and I don't have internet access at home. BUT, I suggest we divvy up the alphabet of grass roots organizations and contact them with our ideas.  Make some suggestions, send them to Maryah, Colin, Whisper, Colin, Herjihad, Servetus, Suleyman, Patty, Angel, Daniel........anyone who wants to get involved, and we must now: the time for talking has passed. Lebanon hjas made it so. The problem is, to my way of thinking: what is/are our ideas.? Angela came up with her plan and it is certainly a start, but with Afghanistan and Lebanon added to the equation (and they must be), we have to re-think our intentions.  What is our operation agenda?  Are we yet solid enough in our plans to contact other, much more experienced agencies than ourselves with our ideas of an umbrella group? You know how egos get in the way of these things, verdad?  I would be more than happy to hand that responsibility over to another group willing to "shelter" other groups, but make them a power to be reckoned with.  If no-one else can do it, well then, we do it ourselves.  I have suggested splitting the alp[habet: I'll happily take, say a - e.  But we need something solid, something we all agree upon when we contact these groups. 

What is, as I think either Colin or Whisper said early on, our Mission statement?

Also posted on The Pond.

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Quote Servetus Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2006 at 4:57pm

“I admire Arundhati Roy for her activism, and intellect.”

 

So do I, Duende.  When I posted the excerpt, I almost commented upon her apparent ability to balance both heart and head.

 

“If I were in the States, I would be out pounding the streets …”

 

All that got me was (were?) a couple of bloody fists.

 

“… and sending letters to congress etc.”

 

Congress already has letters.  On one buttock, they have “AIPAC” branded with a hot iron; on the other, “military-industrial complex;” and they have '666' tatooed on their collective forehead.      

 

“… but from here in Southern Spain, my best option is to be a cyber activist.”

 

I understand.  I have been to Portugal more recently than to Spain.  I was thinking today, over lunch, of Ernest Hemmingway and others who, in their day, went off to Spain to write of foreign (but somehow personal) wars ...

 

 

Serv   



Edited by Servetus
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Sign*Reader
 
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Quote Sign*Reader Replybullet Posted: 03 August 2006 at 11:31pm
Originally posted by Servetus


“… and sending letters to congress etc.”

 

Congress already has letters.  On one buttock, they have “AIPAC” branded with a hot iron; on the other, “military-industrial complex;” and they have '666' tatooed on their collective forehead.      

 

Serv   

LOL
LOL

Edited by Sign*Reader - 23 March 2010 at 10:14pm
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