War and Hatred are Not The Answer [Archives:2001/49/Focus]
SCOTT P. DIEHL
As our nation and myself mourn and pray for the victims and their families from the overwhelming trauma on the infamous day of terror, September 11, 2001, I want to firmly and boldly condemn our governments role in war, death and violence toward any other people around the world. We need justice, not war! The best way to honor those innocent lives lost to the evil and senseless violence of September 11th is to work for peace through justice. Violence only begets more violence!
I am writing today to urge everyone to carefully reflect on how we as a nation are responding to the horrific attacks of September 11th in New York City and Washington, DC. During this time of pain and anguish, I believe it is most important that we pledge ourselves to non-violence, love of neighbors worldwide, love of enemy, and love of all Gods living creations. We must respect all human life, no matter the cost to us personally. In doing this, we are worshipping and honoring God, and all He/She stands for in our moral lives. This means we must tirelessly work to protect all innocent, as well as guilty, lives in far off countries. We must vigilantly guard against the victimization of Arab-Americans and Muslims. In addition, we must fervently ensure that the Bill of Rights does not become collateral damage, another victim of the September 11th attacks. In the name of security, we will fall prey to losing much more of our very freedoms that we hold dear to our hearts as Americans.
We must protect our civil liberties as we work to improve our security. I passionately reject the erosion of our civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism. We cant defend freedom by destroying it! The sole purpose of terrorism is to terrify. If we too surrender our freedoms, we have fallen into the attackers trap. We as a people are naïve to believe that war, death, and continued bloodshed and violence towards any human life will ever bring about true and lasting peace. War never brings peace; it only breeds more hatred and evil. The immoral madness of war must end, but it must begin to end today in your hearts and minds first. You hold the key to peace, not any government. Our attitudes and beliefs must change in order for us to include all of Gods living creations into our ring of love and friendship.
Another fear our country must face today may not be bioterrorism, it may well be our folly of widespread nationalism! Throughout recorded history, people and nations that believed they were the best and the greatest have shown the world of their egotistical, immoral, and evil plunders, such as Germany and Adolph Hitler in the twentieth century. What happened on September 11th was a crime against humanity, not an act of war, as President Bush has blindly convinced our nation. Due to this unknowing, misleading and false belief, shockingly, nationalism has risen dramatically in our country. United We Stand, to kill human life how very appalling! It may be nice or supportive to hug and wave your U.S. flags, but the ultimate truth reveals that nationalism separates and lowers the value and dignity of human life of people living in other countries, which is highly immoral, for all of us throughout the world are equally created by our Creator/Supreme Being. No person or country is better than any other. We must think globally, yet act locally. Defend your faith, become a peacemaker and a lover, not an evil destroyer of Gods living creations. It should be United We Stand for peace around the world. Instead of God bless America, try believing and saying God bless the world!
It is understood that this is a very complex and different reality we face, and that it requires new ways of thinking and acting. This is why the prehistoric cycle of violence must be ended. With every fiber of my being, I do not believe that military force is the way to bring about an end to terrorism or to bring about global peace and justice. In cooperation with the world community, the rule of law is urged to bring those responsible to justice for this crime against humanity. The U.S. should proceed on the basis of international law, following the UN Charter, and working through the normal channels of extradition law, to bring the perpetrators of the atrocities to justice.
Furthermore, we must end the deadly U.S. bombing of Afghanistan to allow aid workers to return and restore the delivery and distribution of essential aid to innocent Afghan civilians. Food drops and immoral bombs are not the answer. Doctors Without Borders, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning relief group, condemned the food drop as U.S. military propaganda. Airdrops of food and medical aid are of little real value to the Afghan people, are potentially dangerous, and will likely cause real problems for truly independent non-governmental aid organizations who are less likely to be perceived as impartial actors in the future. Before the air strikes, UN agencies and independent relief organizations were still able to get some food convoys into Afghanistan. Now, all convoys have stopped, and the delivery of aid has become nearly impossible.
In addition, although it has gone largely unreported by mainstream media, Afghanistan is in the grip of a three-year drought, which is the worst in decades affecting 50% of the population. Even before the war, much of Afghanistan was on the verge of starvation, which increases this risk. By the end of the year, up to 7.5 million Afghan civilians will be entirely dependent on food aid to survive the winter. By impeding the delivery and distribution of aid, the U.S. war may cause massive civilian deaths, into the millions, similar to the immoral sanctions against Iraq, which have caused millions to die due to our governments adverse and ineffective foreign policies.
In addition, as morally responsible children of Abraham, we should be prepared to highly encourage the Bush Administration to support the UN-led peace process in Afghanistan. In essence, the U.S. should provide funding for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, a nation that has been destroyed and abandoned by the world community for decades. This neglect has created pockets of terrorist networks, which we are to blame. Ultimately, as a nation, we will need to change or reassess many of our past, and especially current, foreign policies in the Middle East. Unfortunately, many U.S. foreign policies have created deep resentment and frustrated anger. In order to disarm this hatred today, our foreign policies need to reflect our values of the precious sanctity of all human life; true freedom based on fair-market economies, and justice. What this all means too is the lifting of all economic sanctions against Iraq, which has been targeting Iraqi civil society and have put the blood of millions of innocent children and women casualties of Iraq on the hands and hearts of Americans since the Gulf War. We too are guilty of terrorism on innocent human lives, such as the School of Americas, just as Osama bin Laden around the world. Always remember that there are many sides to any story. Good, bad, right or wrong, there are always several voices in the wilderness crying out for true peace and justice, if only we listen to our ears and hearts, and discern the ultimate truth which prevails among God.
I personally want to go on record as wholeheartedly condemning the rash, immoral act of taking revenge for the deaths of September 11th by military retaliation against Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and/or any other country and its innocent civilian population. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all the people of the world, now and especially the Muslim Arabs of the Middle East. I will continue to pray for an end to all violence against Gods living creations, especially mankind. In addition to the financial support of the victims in the aftermath of September 11th, I will do everything in my means, in the name of our God to end war and restore love of enemy and neighbor. Please, join with me on this challenging and struggling journey to uphold the loving command of God.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said: The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only LOVE can do that!
So, in summation, starting with our children and neighbors, then our nation and world, we must be attempting to spread harmony and happiness to all humanity, and indeed all of the Great Creators creation, including, but not limited to plants, animals, earth, water, air, and up to the universe. The Great Creator created the human being to be His/Her guardian throughout the universe, and sent Her/His many messengers and prophets disguised in many faiths as His/Her mercy upon the universe, and as a true example of the fulfilled and satisfied life on earth.
I, Scott P. Diehl just want to do Gods will, as I believe most of you only want the same. There is a powerful release in that kind of faith. We should live life to its fullest, doing Gods will to the best of our abilities whether we are 15, 38, 63, or a 102 years old. Promise your God to live for others, work endlessly for true justice, not vengeance, and proclaim loudly the way to peace is through non-violence and love. War (violence) and hatred are not the answer. Only love can heal the wounds!