Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, February 18, 2003  

Two Quotes on Iraq

Thich Nhat Hanh

"The war will bring destruction not only to the people of Iraq but also to the U.S.A. and to people all over the world. Please look into your own past experience with war to recognize the vast devastation that war creates for all warring parties, in terms of loss of precious human lives, destruction of the natural environment, and destruction of diplomatic relationships and peace between nations in the world. Please use your powers of reflection and understanding of the past and present situations in order to prevent such destruction and devastation to the peoples of the United States and for the protection and safety of people all over the world. Please look deeply into the interconnections between the U.S.A. and all nations in the world to see that war in one place will contribute to war in many places, destruction in one direction will lead to destruction in many directions.

"We ask the U.S.A. to operate in harmony with the community of nations, making use of the collective wisdom and decision making capacities of that community. Please help strengthen the U.N. as an organization for peace-keeping, because that is the hope of the world. Please do not cause damage or destroy the authority and the role of the United Nations, instead support it wholeheartedly by listening to its recommendations. Please see the U.S.A. as an active member of the larger organization of the United Nations and seek to work together as an international community to ensure the safety and well-being for the people of the U.S.A. and for all people
in the world. The United Nations, made up of many nations in the world, has the capacity to provide and support constructive settings to establish dialogue and to offer conditions for maintaining peace and security for all nations in the world. Please reveal the great strength and wisdom of the U.S.A. by showing the world that it is possible to resolve conflict without the long lasting destruction and devastation caused by war. We will all be very grateful."

Vaclav Havel

"I think it's not by chance that the idea of confronting evil may have found more support in those countries that have had a recent experience with totalitarian systems compared with other European countries that haven't had the same sort of recent experience. The Czech experience with Munich, with appeasement, with yielding to evil, with demanding more and more evidence that Hitler was truly evil—that may be one reason that we look at things differently than some others. But that doesn't mean automatically that a green light is to be given to preventive strikes. I always believed that every case has to be judged individually. The Euro-American world cannot simply declare preëmptive war on all the regimes that it doesn't like."

"Civilization has changed. Today, any crazy, practically any crazy person can blow up half of New York. That was hardly possible fifteen or twenty years ago. That's not the only reason. On the whole, the world has changed. There once was a bipolar world, a balance of two great powers, who made agreements on weapons reductions, so that they were capable of destroying the world seven times instead of ten. Now we live in a multi-polar world. . . . Of course, the question is: When is the best time for action? Should it have happened a long time ago? That is a political issue, a diplomatic issue, a sociological issue. But, generally, it's a matter of the functioning of the world's immune system, whether the world can deal with such a case of extreme evil before it is too late."

posted by Jeff | 12:40 PM |
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