Path to Peace

Bridging the gap.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Topic: Peace

It saddens us, the authors, to see such venomous exchanges in the comments to this blog. We never fathomed that we would be building a forum for so many words that cause so much pain and anger.

The entire premise of the blog is to facilitate thought about peace, and what that means to us as a global community, and how we might work towards achieving some semblance of that in our lifetime.

We ask at this time that you keep your comments civil, brief, and pertaining directly to the posts and the polls that we have presented.

We appreciate your mindfulness and honor of this request.

Peace to you one and all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Please read the following documents and vote. When commenting to these posts, please mention the region or country in which you live. Thanks for participating.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A message from the people of the United States of America

We entered into a war with Iraq in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, based upon intelligence, however flawed, that indicated a threat from Iraq from weapons of mass destruction and possible links to our attackers. Nobody wanted another 9/11 and our government felt like it was a good choice to strike before being struck to prevent such a thing from happening again. Congress voted to support it with Democrats and Republicans alike giving their collective majority support.

But we were wrong.

Hindsight being what it is, we find that there was less of a connection between Iraq and the planners of 9/11 than had been thought and that no weapons of mass destruction were found as predicted before the war. The resulting war that has ensued has caused sectarian division and violence in Iraq, deeply divided our own people on the subject of this war, generated anti-US sentiment throughout the world and by the account of our own Intelligence Community, has become a breeding ground for more terrorism.

The primary enemy all along has been terrorism and perhaps we need to be careful to identify terrorism as an ideology and not a nation. Terrorism, by this definition, is using violence against innocent people to achieve gain for an idea.

For our part in this conflict-- because the result of war is that innocent people are inevitably killed, captured and sometimes tortured-- we offer, as the American people, an apology to the people of Iraq for any loss of innocent loved ones and for any error in calculation that has been made. In our anger over the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, we must not become the enemy. We must not be tempted to stoop to the level of those we hold responsible for that tragedy. We must make a bold move to separate ourselves from those that would spill the blood of innocent people to further their cause, so that the world can see them for what they are and not count us among them.

As soon as is it is possible, it is the goal of the United States to turn Iraqi affairs over to Iraqis, with their newly founded democratic right to choose their own leadership. However, we will not do so until we feel that this fledgling country has enough strength to stand on its own feet. We will make every effort to facilitate the creation of a functional government that reflects the diversity of the people of Iraq and ask the world to join with us to facilitate this. We acknowledge that the current situation in Iraq is a complicated one. As we have been wrong in our judgment in the past about Iraq, we cannot claim to know the answer to Iraq’s problems. But with open ears and minds, we hope to help facilitate the way to peace that best serves all of the people of Iraq.

When commenting to this post, please mention the region or country in which you live. Thanks for participating.

If you are a citizen of the United States, would you be willing to sign your name to a global letter of apology?
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If you are not a citizen of the United States, do you feel that the United States government should issue a global letter of apology?
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An International Bill of Rights

In the mean time, let us say this:

The peoples of the world are a diverse group, diverse in religion and social organization, and this makes it all the harder to find common ground and understanding between us. What we offer is for all nations, all factions, all militia groups, any single person or group without exception to join together in signing an International Bill of Rights. This first international bill attempts to thread the fine line between all of the religions and political constitutions of the world and get down to elemental values, if these can be found, that we all agree on. Not an easy task. Perhaps the most important item in regard to a path to peace is simply stating that we collectively prefer peace to war. If we can say that to each other, then perhaps the path to peace will illuminate itself. In addition to a universal goal of peace itself, we humbly offer this:

1. We offer that we exist.
2. We offer that each one of us is in possession of our own thoughts and beliefs and that each of us has the right to possess these.
3. We offer that we have the right to live, and that, at very least, innocent people do not deserve to die.
4. We offer that anyone accused of any crime should have the right to defend themselves and should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
5. We offer that torture, as defined by the Geneva Convention, is fundamentally wrong under any circumstance.
6. We offer that dialogue and diplomacy is preferable to violence in solving any conflict.
7. We offer that men and women and people of all color deserve the basic things listed above.
8. We offer that love is a common value and that the pursuit of happiness, defined by culture, is a common goal.

Can we sign our name to these things? Who among us will sign? And, perhaps more importantly, who among us will not sign? Let all people, whether they are a member nation of the United Nations, an individual or a militia group, be given a chance to sign their name and let those who will not sign be held to the light of these eight points. For if we can establish, in the humility of our own admitted errors in humanity, an International Bill of Rights, then we can begin to sow the seeds of peace on the soil of common ground.

When commenting to this post, please mention the region, or country in which you live. Thanks for participating.

Would you sign your name to this proposed International Bill of Rights?
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