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Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

 

 

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An interesting look at Buddhists doing something one might not expect. Well, okay, maybe doing 2 things one might not expect; Protesting and using social media in ways other than teaching Buddhism or reaching followers. But then, perhaps it’s not as unexpected as one might think on first glance. The issues that are presented by the Trump administration are plentiful indeed, depending on your individual politics. The travel ban, or whatever he might wish to call in on any given day, is obviously the most contested so far. I’m sure that his policies and my own philosophies will clash many times.

Do have a read, dear reader. I hope you find it interesting.

Buddhist teachers, on social media, respond to “Muslim travel ban” (Updated)

 

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I found this article this morning while surfing the dreaded but unavoidable Facebook and it struck a chord with me. I remember the nights  directly after Obama won his first term as President. I was in Stockholm and everywhere there was a sense of enormous relief. Not only did it mean the imminent departure of Bush and Cheney, but we all wanted to believe it would bring about changes the likes of which we hadn’t seen for some time. The types of changes that we had been longing for, the types of changes that people were fighting and dying for. A government,  with a considerable amount of power, might turn back  to diplomacy as the first course of action. A government that might actually keep its promises, closing gitmo, ending the illegal and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A government that finally would repair perhaps the biggest wrong in the 20th century, and force Israel to return to its 1967 borders, one that would force Israel to rethink the nakba and allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. A government that would free its political prisoners both those inside their own prisons and those illegally kept in prisons throughout europe. etc etc etc

 

Did we expect too much?   How much IS too much? What do we have the right to expect from our governments and from those who proclaim to be the world leaders?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts after reading this article..

 

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/10/obama-europe-s-biggestdisappointment.html

 

 

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Please let me encourage you to share this!! Sexual violence as a war strategy in Iraq

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http://aje.me/1sKXMBz

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Making Peace

By Denise Levertov

A voice from the dark called out,
“The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.”
But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
can’t be known except
in the words of its making,
grammar of justice,
syntax of mutual aid.
A feeling towards it,
dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
until we begin to utter its metaphors,
learning them as we speak.
A line of peace might appear
if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
questioned our needs, allowed
long pauses. . . .
A cadence of peace might balance its weight
on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living
one of its words, each word
a vibration of light—facets
of the forming crystal.

Denise Levertov, “Making Peace” from Breathing the Water. Copyright © 1987 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Breathing the Water (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1987)

Making Peace by Denise Levertov : The Poetry Foundation.

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I found this wonderful poem after almost forgetting about it,, I’m sending it out the the brave people of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Gaza, Tunisia, Tibet, Burma, and the Occupy movements all around the world.

Freedom does indeed come at a price, and the cost of freedom should never be death, but it is always vigillance. As the current events in the US and many other places prove, it is far too easy for governments to become corrupt, and it is the duty of the citizens to stand up for their rights.

 

My Generation Reading the Newspapers by Kenneth Patchen : The Poetry Foundation.

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2011 was a fascinating year full of surprises and disappointment, but also growth, struggle, oppression, death, life, love, bravery, hope and inspiration. The changes and challenges faced so bravely by the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Gaza, the occupy movement in my home country, have forever changed my world view for the better, despite my extreme disappointment at the lack of changes by the Obama administration, it seems we’re stuck in a terrible rut because of Dubya and no matter who we elect we still have the spectre of fascism hanging over our heads.

As the new year approaches, I only want to send to all of you my warmest wishes for a wonderful new year. I am so excited at the possibilities, perhaps more so than i have been in quite some time, regardless of what might happen in the U.S. elections. The prospects of democracy and freedom spreading where it’s been absent is too exciting to overlook. I simply have to be involved in it, in my own small way, and perhaps find ways to expand on that.

Peace, freedom and love and growth may I wish all of you wonderful brave freedom fighters around the world, and to everyone, my wonderful wife, I adore you, my lovely family I miss you very much,my  friends here in Sweden, back in the US, comrades everywhere and everyone!

Have a wonderful new year!!

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As long as they continue with free reign, as long as they are allowed to hold people without charges without any due process, as long as they refuse to recognize the writ of law, they are a fascist state!

Obama inherits and embraces a ‘legal mess’ – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

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Thoughts:

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?”
Eve Merriam

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
– John Lennon

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
– Lao Tzu

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
– Harriet Tubman

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
– Helen Keller

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.
– John F. Kennedy

Most people see things as they are and ask why… i dream things as they could be and i ask why not.”
– George Bernard Shaw

The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is intelligent non aggressiveness.
– Lao Tse (Lao Tzu)

Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.
– Buddha (560-483 B.C.)

Please post “I Declare World Peace” on the wall of your favorite social medium.

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Obama’s ‘Arab Problem’ – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

This brilliant article from Al Jazeera English stirs things in me. Enormous anger at the GOP, how in the name of all that is holy can they continue their racist diatribes against Muslims and Islam? I am not Islamic by faith but have learned a great deal since 9/11 about the Middle East in general and the “Arab World” in particular and my respect for them and their world and culture has grown enormously.  I  have realized among other things that the US is directly to blame for a great deal of the continued hostility in the Middle East and I am more convinced that Israel  is an Apartheid State and that Palestine, while not entirely innocent in all of this either, is a land that simply must be freed!

I was pleased when the Obama administration admonished Netanyahu shortly after the fall of Mubarak, telling him in what seemed no uncertain terms that they wanted Israel to return to the 1967 borders. I wish they had meant it. Or at least if they did, then I have to say that I think they are going about proving their point in a very odd way. Wouldn’t you think, as I did, that if they meant it, they would support the Palestinian move for statehood? But no, here they are smack in Israels corner yet again.

Even in his so-called support for the “Arab Spring” Obama has been strong in his pursuit of the status quo, including of course unfettered access to the oil, which makes him seem like a huge hypocrite in my view. Remember that both Obama and Biden, when asked if they viewed Mubarak as a dictator responded negatively, saying that he couldn’t be a dictator due only to the fact that he was an ally of the US. (1930s  Germany was an ally too, Mr. President.)

I can’t help but wonder how Obama plans on gaining peace with the new governments of the Arab nations while continuing to support the apartheid in Palestine and the Gaza Strip. He has almost no credibility there at all and it’s going to take more than his strong skills as an orator to eliminate all the years of American imperialism. America’s track record of selling arms to dictators contains such luminaries as Noriega, Duvalier, Botha, Mubarak, Gaddafi, Hussein, Khalifat, the Taliban and many more, and are still supporting many of them. If  Obama wants to earn that Noble Peace Prize he got so prematurely, then stopping that is a good place to start!

But having said all that, I should get back to the topic at hand. The Grand Old Nitwit Party has been having a field day with Obama and his last name since he first announced his candidacy for President. Now, since he’s been bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and Iraq, they seem to feel that perhaps that card has been played out and are now trying to blame the Arab Spring, which they see as a major threat, on him and to claim it is a failure and that he is responsible!! Gimme some of those drugs guys!! These are two quotes from the article:

“On September 29, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann told supporters, “You want to know why we have Arab Spring? Barack Obama has laid the table for the Arab Spring by demonstrating weakness from the United States of America.”

Just last week, another Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, pronounced the Arab Spring to be the result of the Obama foreign policy‘s “grotesque failure”. Gingrich went so far as to call it an “anti-Christian spring”, apparently believing that longstanding authoritarian rule was the only thing protecting religious minorities in the Arab world from unbridled persecution.”

(Now, of course no one with half a brain takes either Bachman or Gingrich seriously, but as long as we have the wonder known as Fox News you can’t entirely discount them as the fools they are either. As disgusting as it sounds, Americans still listen to Fox News in droves.)

Anyway,  dear reader, back to Dear Old Newt, One important thing is missing in all of his inane rhetoric, the truth, and as usual with him  it’s what he never quite seems to figure out. In this instance what he can’t connect with is the heart of the brave people of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iran, and the entire Arab Spring movement. They were the ones who were so desperate for freedom they fearlessly faced bullets, bombs, dictators and the armies they commanded, and in some countries still do, and DEMANDED their freedom. Obama, even with his flowery tributes and pledge of 100 million US Dollars can’t take that away. Newt and his GOP fools would love to!

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