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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Cut Your Heart Out

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? Abraham Lincoln[1]

Dear Mr Bush,

I watch our world change with every passing day. I do not blame you entirely, but it does disappoint me to see how quickly people revert back to stereotype. Do people live in states of peace only to wait slyly for the smallest excuse to jump on the bandwagon of hatred? Maybe I shouldn't ask rhetorical questions that need no answer.

Maybe I should ask whether you are still sure that the stick and not the carrot may be the most effective remedy after all for world peace.

I know diplomacy takes longer, it may not even work. But isn't it less bloody? I know Mahatma Ghandi may have seemed slightly foolish to you. Dr ML King was just silly. Jesus Christ was crazy to try and separate self-defence from personal vengence when he said "turn the other cheek."[2] Paul must have been a madman to tell the Romans that the "pen is mightier than the sword". Why was God showing mercy to Abraham when he stopped him from sacrificing his (then) only son Ishmael?*

Mercy is not a gift that we can show as indiscriminately as death and destruction, is it?

And yet.... shouldn't the objective really be to make the situation better, and not worse?

Was Iraq an Al-Queida hot-ground before Saddam was overthrown?

Was America so isolated against all the Islamic nations of the world before American troops went to 'liberate' Iraq?

Would the word and office of the USA's President, once so valued that De Gaulle had said of JFK - "the word of the American President is enough for me" - be now so lessened by the continuing relevations that all the reasons for invading Iraq have proven to be untrue if things had been done differently?

Hell, I am not saying that peaceful intervention is always the necessary route to take, diplomacy can be such a worthless task - especially against terrorists. But, at least have the courage not to dress it up as anything else. At least reframe your argument on the war on Iraq. Understand the reality that when you kill you are killed and create killers out of the innocents that you inadvertenly bring your war upon. So please don't argue the old Alfred Nobel cliche that weapons of war keep the peace.

But then, what would I know? I have a little bit of Ghandi, Paul and Jesus in me. I love the whole of humanity, no matter what their colour.

And I foolishly believe that peace is only ever preserved by peace, not war.

Jewish religious belief, and therefore Christian stories too, tell that it was "Abraham's only son Jacob" who God asked to be sacrificed. But Abraham already had his first born son Ishmael, so arguably Jacob could not have been the "only son" asked up for God.

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