Monday, October 29, 2012

Being as One in the Storm (Sandy - Autumn 2012)

I just got the following well-spoken lines from Jean Houston's email list. She credits the first paragraph (in quotes) to a good friend of her's -- the poet Bonnie Myotai Treace. The words of both these poets (who are also spiritual leaders) speak heartily for and to me, inspire my prayers and remind me of our unbroken oneness with all who suffer this night...

Compassion During the Storm

“I grieve the end of orange leaves. The soon beating death of trees so many, cracked and broken, pulled from earth, struck and whipt by wind: trees that will not be mentioned with love, just blamed for downed lines, troubled lives. My people, they will be breaking, falling, dying. I sing their lives. Stronger than silk, milk, midnight. Deeper than shadows, intimations, rootedness itself. The taffeta sound of their falling is my grief endlessly landing falling again then landing again endlessly...”

I watch the storm roaring through and think on trees lost, homes flooded, people preparing for the worst that beats all expectation. All, sentient, footed, finned, winged and rooted, all falling or fleeing the ravages of Nature’s returning wildness. And I think on the pity and terror of we who live in “safe and sound” places, seeing it all on screens—the Great Powers unhinged and the power outages that follow obediently in their wake.

The pastors intone the sacred words, “Let us pray…” So yes, let us pray, but also let us harken to the hearts that beat in dread, the valiant efforts of those who help and those who wander in both lostness and gathering found-ness. Let us send them etheric roads, routes, lines of leaving what must be left, discovering refuge, finding the community of all of us in this together.

May we regain both strength and compassion to serve each other, the resilience to restore and recreate after it is over, and, most deeply, the return of wonder, of gratitude, and a commitment to remember our ultimate truth—that we are after all-the One in the Many and the Many in the One.
Jean Houston

( We might know this same oneness from within our 'safer' night. We may hold tight in spirit some shaking mother and call forth a presence as guide and godly light. We may listen for the storm we barely hear and send into its midst a prayer for all who feel alone -- keeping watch within our strange, storm-felt sleep -- sending solace like a hand for another hand to grasp. Being prayer with each breath until the storm is past. CLN )

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dr. Aafia and Malala: Both Brave Victims

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (see Malala below to the right)

On this profoundly spiritual day of Hajj Mubarak (26 October 2012) I am pressed from deep within to post the following. The words speak deeply to me through fact, logic and the heart:

Response to Malala attack ‘turning point’ for Pakistan: father Newspaper -- found on 26 October, 2012 here

Malala and Dr Aafia

THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Aafia vs Malala’ by Shafiq Murad (Oct 21). I am dismayed after reading the letter as the writer, in an attempt to criticise the attack on young activist Malala Yousufzai, has tried to degrade Dr Aafia Siddiqui without going into the ground realities of her case.

The writer has simply slandered Dr Aafia by calling her first a woman ‘working for anti-Pakistan terrorists’ and then ‘an American terrorist’.

This is such an obnoxious attempt to malign a highly qualified, dignified and patriotic persons, who was picked up from Karachi, and brutally tortured, convicted and then sentenced for 86 years on American soil after a controversial court hearing with a highly dubious allegation that she attempted to shoot at an American soldier.

One of her sons has also been disappeared from the scene with the reports that he might have been secretly tortured and murdered. In reality, the actual crime of Dr Aafia was that she only attempted to present Islam and Pakistan in good light in the international media which could not be tolerated by some anti-Pakistan elements. Even former American Attorney General Ramsey Clarke has backed the release of Dr Aafia while pledging her innocence. Our Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also vowed on numerous occasions to bring Dr Aafia back.

The writer also says that ‘patriotic Pakistanis are angry over the glorification of an American terrorist’, which is a claim that truly belies logic.

In another comment, the writer has laid the responsibility of plastering Dr Aafia’s photos all over the country on ‘pro-terrorism parties’ though, in reality, any average Pakistani who even has little knowledge about the case has sympathy with Dr Aafia, her family and wants her release.

The writer should not have presented Dr Aafia in wrong light to show his support for Malala. While we all are angry and saddened on the attack on Malala and pray for her speedy recovery, let us also have sympathies and prayers for other deserving oppressed ones who may not be getting the same media attention like Malala.



It’s our loss

WHILE listening to the diverse views of people on the attack on Malala and the drone strikes, the only common thread that comes to mind is that we are all Pakistani.

Whose loss is this? When drone strikes kill innocents or terrorists kill or try to kill innocent people, it is our loss.

The attack on Malala is as condemnable as drone strikes. Attack on Malala is a plan to kill our sense of optimism. Drone strikes are dividing us.

As a Muslim and Pakistani I condemn the killing of human beings wherever and by whoever it is done. We need to have a consensus before it is too late. Why are we differentiating between matters of Malala and the drone strikes when both are a matter of our identity as a nation? United we stand divided we fall.

S.W. Agency


A few references concerning Aafia most recently there was a report about authorities speaking with US authorities on behalf of Aafia with interesting notes here yet for additional current items GO to Andy Worthington's recent talk here and for earlier items from Aafia and her children's most recent lawyer GO here and see Just the Facts and the report of Dr. Aafia's trial. Also be sure to see the helpful and family-approved items over time at or CLICK here

Because the passionate and needed concerns for Malala are currently quite alive in Pakistan and the US, I don't see a need to make reference to these at this time.

Over time, I plan to add in comments below additional items of a less current nature yet demonstrate the perspectives of others -- (both on Malala and Aafia) -- and the grave issues both have raised. As you look through the archives and do a search with Aafia and oneheartforpeace or nomorecrusades you are likely to find other posts on Dr. Aafia which may be of interest.

For a special greeting on this particularly important day, please go to No More Crusades blog here

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hildegard Goss-Mayr: A New Path for Humanity

"One thrills to think of the bloodshed she's averted." "...she has helped forge a new path for humanity…." Richard Deats, her biographer


She was born in Austria in 1930, ...grew up in a ... family dedicated to peace, even while under the Nazi regime. ...Her fingerprints are on many of the great historical events of the past half century...a medley of contrasts. She is gentle, quiet, thoughtful and peaceable. Yet she dynamically stands behind most of the world's movements for nonviolent change. On the one hand, she stands vulnerable before world leaders. On the other, she expects a full hearing -- and gets it. One thrills to think of the bloodshed she's averted.

...She set her course when she was twelve. The Third Reich in full swing, she stood along a crowded street in Vienna as Adolf Hitler, standing tall, chest out with smug bravado, rolled along in an open car. Tens of thousands pressed close along the route and raucously cheered and waved--everyone but Hildegard. She refused to raise her arm, to join in the thunderous chant: "Heil Hitler." Here was a page right out of the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar garnering worship, and an impertinent knee refusing to bend.

She said, "I felt a huge force pressing on me, which swept everyone away, and I said to myself, 'You have to resist, you can't let yourself be caught up, don't raise your hand even if they lynch you!'" It was an experience that marked her life.

It was later, as the war raged, while hunkering for hours in bomb shelters, expecting a sudden death, that Hildegard committed her life to nonviolence. "Such a situation forces you to make a basic decision: either to submit to the forces of death…and the spirit of revenge -- or to…seek the forces of life that are able to overcome evil at its root…. It was out of this experience that the conviction grew in me that I could not go on living unless I dedicated my life to peacemaking through the power of nonviolence. Later I found in the message of the universal self-giving love of Jesus the inspiration for this path."

Since the 1950s, Hildegard has circumnavigated the globe teaching on the methodology of nonviolence.

During the Second Vatican Council (which opened in 1962), she led a peace lobby that included Dorothy Day, Jim Douglass, Gordon Zahn and Eileen Egan. They fasted, met with bishops, drafted documents, and did everything they could to ensure the church did not come out in support of war and nuclear weapons. Their efforts were not altogether in vain. The Council agreed to condemn the bombing of civilians and cities.

In the early 1960s, Hildegard turned to Latin America. She and Jean moved to Brazil, led trainings, and converted Archbishop Dom Helder Camara to the work of peace. Said Camara: "If the Nobel Peace Prize were mine to give, I would give it to Hildegard and (her husband) Jean Goss-Mayr."

In the 1970s, their work in Argentina inspired artist Adolfo Perez Esquivel to give his life for peace and nonviolence. When he was arrested and tortured by the junta, the Goss-Mayr's campaigned for his release. The following year, Esquivel himself was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

In the 1980s Hildegard and Jean set their faces toward the Philippines. There they taught nonviolence to thousands of priests, nuns, and activists. It was the groundwork that gave rise to the People Power movement, which ousted the Marcos regime. Nonviolently. In three days.

"Hildegard Goss-Mayr is my candidate for sainthood," wrote the great Trappist, Thomas Merton.

"Everywhere she went," writes Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire in the forward to the book, "she joined in solidarity with people, sharing her belief and truth that killing is not in the spirit of true love, that all faiths can join together in spreading this truth, that every human life is sacred and the spirit of God lives in all men and women." Even to those she disagreed with, Mairead writes, "there was a deep respect and reverence for their point of view."

Hildegard is a profound role mode -- one of humility yet of strength, one of weakness yet of successes. "It is sometimes discouraging to see how small the Christian peace movement is," Merton wrote to her in 1962. "But…spiritual work is done with disproportionately small and feeble instruments." It is a paradox woven into the nature of things.

Hildegard lives it. She shows us how to face it and not recoil. She assures us that ordinary people can have a tremendous impact. She shows that any of us can become apostles of peace. We too can make a difference if we stay faithful to the mission. And so I urge you to get the book, Marked for Life: The Story of Hildegard Goss-Mayr. Study it in your parishes; discuss it among your friends. Let it embolden you to make peace. END

:-- See full, original blogpost here

John Dear -- who wrote the above -- has two new books, A Persistent Peace (his autobiography, from Loyola Press), and Put Down Your Sword, (Eerdmans) a collection of essays on nonviolence and peacemakers such as Cesar Chavez, Joan Baez, Dr. King, Sophie Scholl, Thomas Merton, and Franziska and Franz Jagerstatter.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Could there be a Doctor in the House? Tune In next Tuesday 23 Oct 9 pm ET

Photo: Paul Stein/Flickr see article on Stein below...just in Friday AM ET...

Jill Stein with at least three others and a REAL Debate...Next Tuesday 23 Oct 9 pm ET

Press Contact Info/Questions for David and the REAL debate?

There's a Real Debate With Debating in It Next Tuesday
By David Swanson

Next Tuesday, October 23rd, 9 p.m. ET, there will be a different sort of presidential debate. It'll be in Chicago, hosted by Free & Equal Elections Foundatio (the only organization offering a platform to every major candidate) and I'll be there in Chicago covering it for Al Jazeera. Six candidates have been invited to participate, and four have accepted: Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Gary Johnson, and Virgil Goode. The moderator will be Larry King. You can sign up to submit questions here

I know we've all thrilled to the body-language and tone analysis that has followed the debates between the guy who favors 12 more years in Afghanistan, imprisonment without trial, lower corporate tax rates, for-profit health insurance, assassinations, corporate trade pacts, imprisonment without trial, oil and coal and nuclear power, charter schools, a military budget outpacing the rest of the world combined, and an ongoing "war" on drugs, . . . and the other guy who favors all of those exact same things.

I know it's been tantalizing, in a grotesque I-can't-stop-staring sort of way, to watch debates that don't mention climate change or drone victims or poverty or the possibility of prosecuting mortgage fraud or torture or war, or the alternatives that exist to military spending and tax breaks for our oligarchs -- alternatives like free education, green energy, infrastructure, transportation, and housing.

Yes, yes, there are differences between Romney and Obama. But imagine if, when you'd finished cheering Obama for accusing Romney of opposing coal pollution (gotcha!), your brain had to wrap itself around a third candidate -- someone with a serious proposal to stop burning coal? Sure, Obama is less enthusiastic about massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare than Romney is, but imagine if the two of them had to answer to someone who spoke for the rest of us, pointed out the advantages of lifting the cap on payroll taxes so that the wealthy could start funding Social Security at the same rate as the rest of us, and advocated expanding Medicare to all who want it -- someone who swore not to allow any cuts -- even backdoor cuts -- to these successful programs?

A relatively small number of us have seen a facsimile of that kind of debate by watching the coverage on Democracy Now! But the non-corporate candidates have not had the same amount of time to speak as the two participating in the corporate-sponsored Debate Commission self-parody. Nor have the locked-out candidates been able to address the two moneyed candidates directly. And they've been asked the same alternate-universe questions asked by the corporate moderators: "What will you sacrifice on the altar of deficit reduction?" Et cetera.

I know. I know. Larry King is no Amy Goodman. But if Larry King is given good questions to ask, he'll ask them. And his approach of avoiding knowing anything before an interview actually works well for an audience -- if, as I hope, there is one -- that has never before heard of the Works Progress Administration and doesn't know that military spending lowers employment.

There should, in fact, be far more debate among the four candidates taking part than there is between the two media-approved gentlemen.

Jill Stein is a fantastic candidate. I've spoken with her a number of times during this campaign, and am more impressed each time. She stands with majority opinion against wars and waste and corporate welfare, for green energy, education, nonprofit health coverage, and full-employment. She tried to enter the corporate debate this past Tuesday and was arrested for her trouble. She was handcuffed to a chair for 8 hours, and if you hear how powerful and popular her proposals are you'll have a good guess as to why.

I'm hoping that Stein pushes Rocky Anderson a little on his limited acceptance of militarism. He's no Bush-Obama-Romney. He'd cut the military significantly (at least half the Pentagon's budget) and scale back the global cowboy killing, but that's a very low hurdle. Without a clear vision of why war is never acceptable, we won't move our nation and the world decisively away from it. That being said, I know Rocky and consider him a tremendous candidate with courage, integrity, and experience. He'd make an excellent president, especially if we had a Congress, and a media.

Gary Johnson will be the newest to me. He's a Libertarian and tends to agree with me by opposing every horrible thing governments do and to disagree with me by opposing every useful thing governments do. I'm eager to see that worldview go up against Stein and Anderson. I'm hoping for something more enlightening than the he-said / he-said squabbles between Romney and Obama in which we are asked to choose between someone who blames anti-U.S. sentiment on a stupid movie and someone who blames it on unfathomable ingratitude for our benevolent invasions and occupations. There's truth in Johnson's opposition to centralized national control of schools and many other things, just as there's truth in Stein's desire to provide schools with adequate funding currently wasted on prisons and highways and weapons.

All four of these candidates will be less imperialistic than Obama or Romney, but not all of them will be less exceptionalistic. My former congressman Virgil Goode will bring the racism and the xenophobia full throttle. It's his answer to every question. I'd love to see one of the other candidates ask if Goode understands the history of U.S. wars generating immigration and U.S. capitalists demanding more immigration. Goode will try to play the Libertarian, but those of us in his district who kept asking him in vain to stop funding wars know different.

Of course, Goode was bumped out by Tom Perriello riding Obama's '04 coattails, and Perriello funded every war he could, only without any public opposition to speak of due to his being a Democrat. He lasted one term, and peace protests of his Republican successor Robert Hurt have been minimal since the wars are either now Obama's and therefore good or are imagined not to exist at all. This district in South-Central Virginia has been swept by the same wave of ignorance that is washing over the rest of the nation.

Not everything will be on the table on Tuesday. All four of these candidates, like virtually everyone else in the country (and even the New York Times now), will oppose some truly crazy ideas, like more years in Afghanistan. We leave those to the "good" and "bad" pair of often indistinguishable candidates that we so cherish our right to choose between.
I'm not asking anyone to think their way out of lesser-evil voting in swing states -- at least not anyone who truly understands and acts on the understanding that independent activism around policy changes is far more important than electoral campaigning for personality changes. But I do encourage watching this alternative debate. And if you watch it on Al Jazeera I promise not to devote my commentary to the candidates' body language and facial expressions.

David Swanson's books include "War Is A Lie." He blogs here and works as Campaign Coordinator for the online activist organization Roots Action GO here . He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Fri, Oct 19 2012 at 10:00 AM EST short article on Jill Stein just in:
* See article debating the "myth or truth" that Stein could be siphoning off votes from a "least of the worst" candidate here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Blessed Are the Peacemakers and Advocates for Rights

RE: TOP NEWS from NYTimes: 10 October 2012
Taliban Gun Down Girl Who Spoke Up for Rights
Malala Yousafzai, 14, a symbol of defiance and an advocate for the education of girls in Pakistan's Swat Valley, was shot in the head and neck on Tuesday by masked Taliban gunmen.

From COPEPINK Peacemakers in Islamabad Pakistan on 10 October 2012 :
Yesterday we organized a public fast in Islamabad to atone for US killer drone strikes.

We were devastated to hear news of the Taliban attack on 14-year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousufzai who is an outspoken advocate for girls to attend school.

After our fast we collected funds to send to Malala's school and we are reaching out to global community to find medical help for her neurological needs. We condemn this violence and understand that American drone attacks increase extremism.

We are praying for Malala's quick recovery and return to school.

Found here

How might we better address the needs for ALL who deserve the rights such as that to attend school in peace? How might we stand TOGETHER against ALL who would harm such rights and peace?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Khan in Waziristan

"An inquisitive fellow at work came to me this Monday morning inquiring about Imran Khan and his march against the drone attacks. He had followed the story on the mornings New York Times edition. Who was this man? How successful was the march? And why didn’t the Pakistani ruling government take a stand against the drones?"

PLZ read the rest of this short, snappy and hard to argue with post -- You may be surprised. I loved it. GO here
and plz also read the posts on this adventuresome journey into courageous peace work in our time in the several posts below this one on ONE HEART FOR PEACE blog:

Life in Waziristan, 2012 “AD”
WAZIRISTAN: Weekend of 6-7 October 2012
JOIN Virtual Worldwide March Against US Drone War
GO here

Life in Waziristan, 2012 “AD”

Drone below and above, right of man's head.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
by Leah Bolger

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)…increased use of anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant drugs…suicide. These are all issues that are plaguing American combat soldiers, and which the American media has reported on widely.

Yesterday the CODEPINK delegation to Pakistan heard directly from the victims of U.S. combat drones. We listened intently to the stories of these men who describe their lives in terms of “Before Drones” and “After Drones,” in much the same way that Americans refer to their lives “since 9/11.”

Imagine having up to 6 drones circling overhead 24 hours a day, making an incessant, constant buzzing sound that never ceases. The sound the drones make creates a deep-seated psychological fear—a sort of emotional torture. The lives of these people have changed completely, their culture and way of life destroyed.

This is a communal society, whose families of 60 to 70 people live in the same compound. The women cook together, the families eat and sleep together. Weddings and funerals are huge gatherings of friends and family—or at least they used to be. Now, “After Drones (AD)” everything has changed. Children aged 5 to 10 no longer go to school. Men are afraid to gather in groups of more than 2 or 3. Weddings, which used to be joyous affairs with music, dancing, and drumming, are now subdued events with only close family members present. And most sadly, since funerals have been the target of drone attacks, they are now small gatherings as well.

Because of cultural norms, the deaths of women are not reported. It is considered offensive to discuss the names, or take photographs of women, yet one stalwart journalist, Noor Beharam, has risked his life repeatedly to try to document the deaths of women and especially children. He believes that 670 women have been killed by drone strikes, and has taken photos of more than 100 children. Their bodies are often unrecognizable as human after the strikes. He showed us one photo of a man holding torn pieces of a woman’s dress that he found in the trees, in an attempt to document his wife’s death.

The Waziris are now raising a generation of children with psychological and emotional scars without an education. The use of Xanax is startling high, and suicide, which is a societal and religious taboo, is shocking. Seventeen Waziris have killed themselves due to the emotional terror of the U.S. drone program. This is something that is unheard of in this culture. Families are becoming displaced and moving to more urban areas in an attempt to avoid popular “strike areas.” The Pakistani Army has moved in and won’t allow them to cross into Afghanistan to visit their relatives there, though the entire region is Pashtun, and part of their cultural and historical heritage.

The U.S. government has created enemies where there were none. We have been told repeatedly about the concept of revenge, which is a dominant social force in Waziristan. The children of this region will remember what we have done to them, and their children, and their children. We have also been told repeatedly that the only way to possibly stop this spiral is to stop the drones. Just stop. These people will not accept monetary compensation even if it were offered, which it isn’t. They don’t want an apology, which they view as insincere. They just want us to stop the drones, so they can return to their “Before Drones” lives. For original article, GO here
Leah Bolger is President of Veterans For Peace.
Posted by Kim Carlyle

Connie, blogger here, added following:
sadullaforweb.jpg — Sadaullah Wazir, who was then 15 years old, lost both legs and an eye in a strike on his North Waziristan home in 2009. The blast also killed his two young cousins and wheelchair-bound uncle. He is filing one of the lawsuits through a Pakistan Human Rights group. For more on Sadaullah and other stories and a concise article with basic links on this topic plz find "Waking up to the Drones" here (See Sept 7th, 2009)here

Friday, October 5, 2012

WAZIRISTAN: Weekend of 6-7 October 2012

I welcome carefully corroborated and crucial information which may disagree with some of the arguments made here.

Of course, we must not forget the many pronged causes of unrest and violence in Waziristan/FATA and the horrific violence from many corners affecting innocents of all ages.

Yet having followed and continued to research these concerns up until this day, I still conclude that we must do all we can to end the violence which stems from sources we are able to address. Some aspects will be different depending on each our own expertise -- while some concerns we can surely hold in common as one people world-wide.

Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy is one example of a calm, careful researcher and activist. Start with his reasons for joining this march here Be sure to check out his other and newer articles to see what happened when he presented the long list of signers on the petition he presented to the US Ambassador and see the rather humorous and revealing Video of the peace-makers interacting with him. He was humble if rather uninformed.

From Peace March Towards Waziristan -- Click here

Radio Interview with Imran Khan here

The PTIS Peace March to South Waziristan here

Carefully Researched Evidence (NINE months and more than 130 Interviews)

Living with death by drone

Following nine months of intensive research—including two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and review of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting—this report presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of current US drone strike policies. Based on extensive interviews with Pakistanis living in the regions directly affected, as well as humanitarian and medical workers, this report provides new and firsthand testimony about the negative impacts US policies are having on the civilians living under drones.

SEE: To Live Under Drones is the Live in Terror GO here

From the Ground just before heading to Waziristan:
Clive Stafford Smith (see his other tweets as well)

About to set out on Drones march; good spirit among those making the trip

Mirza Shahzad Akbar‏@ShazadAkbar

All set for tomorrow's #StopDrones rally against all odds @CliveSSmith all geared up, @codepink fully charged to stop drones

5 Oct ?18h Clive Stafford Smith‏@CliveSSmith

Excellent Imran Khan piece on BBC Today this morning; … (nb would RAF shoot down drones if they kept killing Brits?)

18h Clive Stafford Smith‏@CliveSSmith
Amal Khan, innocent Bagram prisoner, letter: "Americans have worsened treatment. Conditions getting tougher. Pray that God grants freedom"

18h Clive Stafford Smith‏@CliveSSmith
Just met with 5 families of US Bagram victims; Bagram is Guantanamo's Evil Twin, 37/50 prisoners left are Pakistani, time to close it

22h Clive Stafford Smith‏@CliveSSmith
@ShazadAkbar on #drones on the front page of CNN (bigger than Mitt Romney!)

4 OctMirza Shahzad Akbar‏@ShazadAkbar
'The folly of drone attacks and US strategy' @CliveSSmith @Jemima_Khan @suigenerisjen

4 OctMatt Seaton‏@mattseaton
James Jeffrey on why @CliveSSmith wrote to Obama to ask him not to kill Smith and Imran Khan by drone in Waziristan: …

4 OctClive Stafford Smith‏@CliveSSmith
It's been an extremely friendly welcome from Pakistan!

4 OctClive Stafford Smith‏@CliveSSmith
Teatime talk with TFN on Injustice and Kris Maharaj, …
4 OctClive Stafford Smith‏@CliveSSmith

Join the Avaaz virtual version of our drones march, …

JOIN Virtual Worldwide March Against US Drone War

Law Student's Op Ed: Peace March Towards Waziristan Go here

PETITION To Join the Virtual Worldwide March Against US Drone War GO

Why this is important (From Imran Khan who is leading the Peace March to Waziristan in FATA beginning Saturday, 6 October through 7 October 2012):

Hundreds of thousands of people in my country, Pakistan, are under siege from US drones: robot weapons that indiscriminately kill children, and terrorise families every day.

This weekend I am leading a peace march against this secret war, and if all of you join me virtually, we could create a public storm to stop this torment.America’s deadly drones campaign is illegal and counterproductive -- instead of beating terrorists it is driving more people to anti-American extremism.

Families across the border region in Waziristan, the flash point of this war, live in constant fear of being targeted, under the deafening buzz of these remote-controlled planes 24 hours a day.

Extraordinarily, the US denies any civilian deaths, but will not reveal the names of those killed, while independent reports tell of the trauma and killing of hundreds of civilians, many of them children.

This weekend, if you join me on the march, we have the chance to bring global attention to this war zone and show the United States that people across Pakistan and the world want an end to this robot war.

Sign the petition now and tell everyone. We will announce all those marching virtually to the media, we will carry a flag from every country where people have signed, and when we reach 500,000 signatures I will demand a meeting with President Obama to present the petition:

Help get the word out using this link:

Suicidal Silence: What the "debaters" did not say

The Shalom Report -- Arthur Waskow
Friday 5 October 2012

Dear folks,

There has been a lot of talk about Etch-A-Sketch Romney coming up with still another new incarnation and a stunned Obama unable to respond. But my concern runs deeper, not with what they said but what they didn’t:

“The Earth? What’s that?”

The unspoken but ever-present, all but spoken, words in the first Presidential debate.

Nothing from the moderator, though more than 150,000 messages had been sent him urging that he ask a question about the global climate crisis.

From the candidates, only a scathing remark from Mr. Romney about investments in renewable energy being far too large, and a weak line from Mr. Obama about “energy independence” -- more US coal, more US oil, more US fracking gas, more US nukes, and oh yes, more US solar and wind.

As long it says “Made in the USA,” who cares that it is heating the planet beyond livability? How honored we will feel when on our planet's tombstone are the memorial words, "Made in the USA"!

Already we see, taste, feel: Unprecedented droughts and spontaneous fires in Texas. Massive droughts in US corn country and in Russian wheatlands, pushing up the cost of the simplest foods beyond what the poor can afford. Drought-driven famine in Africa. Unheard-of floods in Pakistan and Vermont. A full-page article in the New York Times on the unbearable costs of preventing unbearable damage to the subway and other underground systems as the waters rise. (“New York Is Lagging as Seas and Risks Rise, Critics Warn,” Sept. 10)

Is this all utterly new? Only in scale, the whole planet endangered. Indeed, some of our ancient wisdom understands and warns us. The stories encoded in the Bible of greed and self-indulgence leading to disaster are seeds of wisdom, growing from real-life experience, that generations have recognized as mythic truth.

The very first biblical story of human history points toward our own lives: In Eden, God, speaking for Reality, points toward extraordinary abundance in the planetary Garden. “Eat of it in joy –- but show a little self-restraint. Just a little! –- Of one tree, don’t eat.” But they refuse to restrain themselves, and the abundance vanishes. “The earth will give only thorns and thistles, and to eat you will have to toil every day of your lives with the sweat pouring down your faces.”

This is the story of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, of Iowa in 2012. No self-restraint from the corporations that penetrate the sea and scorch the air. So what had been the glorious outpouring of abundant eating takes on the bitter taste of waters fouled, fish dying, corn plants withering in the cracked and baking earth.

Is it surprising that candidates for President will not face these facts? Again, the Bible is a prescient warning: Pharaoh oppresses human beings. When he refuses to ease their burdens, his arrogance oppresses earth as well. He brings on the Plagues: undrinkable water, mad cow disease, swarms of frogs and locusts, a climate crisis of hailstorms never known before.

Today, the Pharaohs are Big Oil, Big Coal, and the powerful politicians who support them or are silent when their Plagues bestride the narrowed earth like a colossus run amok.

Today the Pharaohs are the drug lords of fossil fuel, profiting from the addictions they have created in the disempowered folk who smoke their comfortable and suicidal products, oil and coal. As with cigarettes, the more anxiety, the more smoke. The more smoke, the more anxiety. The corporations profit. The people die.

The scientists have given us the facts. The moral decisions remain. Saving the web of life is a spiritual, religious , moral, ethical, political question. It requires a profound transformation of our culture as well as our politics. Politicians will not address the danger unless the people demand it. For that to happen, churches, synagogues, mosques should be the first to lift up the ancient wisdom and the modern truths. At stake are the many faces of God in every human culture and all life.

With hope tenacious and blessings of this Season of Our Joy -- Arthur

The Shalom Center
6711 Lincoln Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19119
United States
web: email: tel: (215) 844-8494