"Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher . . . Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one. "

Thomas Paine, from Common Sense

YEAR 2003



In this time of deep crisis for our country, I am writing to you in a similar urgency as did Thomas Paine (a great American patriot) when he wrote his book called Common Sense in 1776 and subsequent American Crisis essays. It was his intent to rouse the residents of this new land to declare independence from Great Britain. His most remembered and resounding statement, “These are the times that try men’s [and women’s] souls . . . ,” is equally applicable today.

Truth can be very painful, and at times almost unbearable. Such is now the case. I am not skilled in writing as was Thomas Paine. Nonetheless, I have a passion for accuracy and truth and wish to communicate with you (a fellow stock-holder in our country), as honestly and straight-forwardly as possible. Seldom do we hear the plain truth spoken to us from Washington D.C. Despite my highly critical and radical approach, I believe what I have written here is crucial and the essential truth, and yet would still wish (for the sake of us all) that events and history prove me wrong.

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were a despicable crime and violation of the very soul of our country. My anger is second to none. Such deliberate attacks on non-combatants are, for me, unforgivable acts. There is, however, another anger and bitterness that goes deeper. It is directed at our own Federal Government, with condemnation most heavily falling on present and past Presidents and Congresses for ever allowing conditions to get to the point where such hatred and vengefulness would be directed at innocent Americans. It is these “leaders” who have the greatest responsibility for assuring the well-being and security of our country. Their very oath of office states they will “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” For many years, they have failed on both counts in protecting the United States against enemies, foreign or domestic. It hardly matters whether intentional or through negligence, for the end result is the same. The Preamble to our Constitution states that the fundamental purpose of our government is to:

“. . . form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

In examining the Preamble, you will realize that the first and foremost obligation of our National Government is to provide security for its citizens, “WE THE PEOPLE.” But for more than 50 years, WE have been betrayed by the behavior of men who appear to have had little thought for the long term consequences of their actions or non-actions. If wisdom and forethought had prevailed, the climate that developed which allowed the terrorists attacks to happen, would not have occurred. From this grievous lack of vision, and to this very moment in the year 2003, the “Blessings of Liberty” are at risk like never before in the history of our country. It is not just ourselves, but “our Posterity” that will suffer immeasurably as a result of the gross negligence of leaders to whom trust was given.

In January of 1941, when the clouds of World War II were settling over Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous “Four Freedoms” speech to the U.S. Congress. In it he stated: “In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.” They were noted as follows:

1. Freedom of speech and expression.
2. Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way.
3. Freedom from want.
4. Freedom from fear.

My fellow citizens, it is this last freedom, freedom from fear, that has been taken from us by our own United States Government because of foolish, inept and self-defeating foreign policies over these many years–especially that focusing on the Middle East. And it follows that, where there is fear among its citizenry, the other three Freedoms are also threatened. This FREEDOM FROM FEAR, relates first and foremost directly back to the fundamental purpose of government as outlined in the Preamble to the Constitution. There is no higher function of the Presidency and Congress than this, and I repeat “WE THE PEOPLE’s” trust has been BETRAYED.

In the year 2000, candidate George W. Bush spoke of a humble and non-arrogant foreign policy. However, since his Presidency, the contrary has been the case. Our self-centered, non-cooperative actions around the world since then have only intensified the resentment, anger and hatred towards the United States and especially have increased vengeful actions from the Arab World. In a Letter to the Editor, published in the Salt Lake Tribune (Tuesday, July 13, 1993) entitled “Islamic Grievances” I wrote:

Israel and the Palestinians have been going at it an eye for an eye for nearly 50 years and have only reconfirmed the old adages that hate breeds hate and violence begets more violence. Now the United States is being sucked into a similar tit for tat with Iraq. As horrible as it is to envision, I am convinced that if we do not change our course and deal more seriously and sensibly with the grievances of the Islamic world (whether real or perceived), we will experience the explosion of a nuclear weapon in New York City before the year 2000.

The above was written a few months after the initial February World Trade Center parking garage bombing in 1993. Even though my prediction was not accurate in fact, it was close to it in effect. I include this only to make the point that I was not surprised at the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The writing was on the wall for all who would see. Since the day after the Gulf War with Iraq ended, one knew Saddam Hussein (or others), would devise ways to take revenge on the United States. If there had been a full page ad in the New York Times so proclaiming, it could not have been plainer. Patrick J. Buchanan spoke the truth during the 2000 presidential campaign when he said:

How can all our meddling not fail to spark some horrible retribution . . . Have we not suffered enough—from Pan Am 103, to the World Trade Center [1993] to the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam—not to know that intervention is the incubator of terrorism. Or will it take some cataclysmic atrocity on U.S. Soil to awaken our global gamesmen to the going price of empire? America today faces a choice of destinies. We can choose to be a peacemaker of the world, or its policeman who goes about night-sticking troublemakers until we, too, find ourselves in some bloody brawl we cannot handle. . . . For ten years, the U.S. has played the dominant role in maintaining rigid sanctions on Iraq. By one UN estimate these sanctions have resulted in the premature death of 500,000 children. Will the parents of those children ever forgive us? Even our European Allies recoil. By keeping these sanctions fastened on Iraq, we flout every tenet of Christianity’s Just War doctrine, and build up deposits of hatred across the Arab world that will take decades to draw down. One day our children shall pay the price of our callous indifference to what is happening to the children of Iraq.

We can discuss and debate the reasons for the animosity, hostility and hatred towards our country, or even deny this is the case. We can say that it is unfair, unjustified and blame the other party for lack of understanding, but that changes nothing. Admittedly, this topic can be very complex. However, the basics regarding the Middle East and the Arab World can be readily understood. Sadly, most Americans have very little understanding and even less appreciation for the historical events that created the climate of blind hatred and fanaticism that led to the events of September, 11, 2001. To me, it is UNFORGIVABLE on the part of our United States Government to have allowed such a climate to develop over more than 50 years, when it could so plainly be foreseen.

As World War II ended in 1945, the seeds of this present day war against terrorism, were planted in a little known geographical area of the world called Palestine. Now we know it only too well as the focal point of the Arab-Israeli conflict that has become increasingly volatile.

Actually, we can go back as far as the mid-1800’s, when Jewish leaders and intellectuals in Europe began to support the idea that Jews should return to their homeland to fulfill a desire for a place of their own, and also, as they saw it, a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and promise. This movement became known as Zionism. In the earlier times of resettlement, many of the Jewish immigrants and Palestinian Arabs lived together peacefully, but as more Jews arrived tensions mounted.

At the end of World War I in 1918, Britain was in control of Palestine under mandate from the League of Nations, and there was increasing support for the creation of a national homeland for the Jews in that geographical location. From then until World War II (still under British rule), the Jewish population of Palestine continued to grow, with increasing ill will and conflict between the Jewish settlers and the Palestinian Arabs.

After World War II, with millions of Jews and others having been murdered by the Nazi Regime, most of the countries that had defeated Germany were supportive of a Jewish homeland where they would be safe from persecution. However, the entire Arab world was strongly opposed to any such development as this. Tension and terrorist actions on the part of both Arabs and Jews escalated to the point that England gave notice that it no longer would be responsible for administering its mandate in Palestine, and stated such to the United Nations. In the meantime, the United Nations had approved a plan to divide Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Palestinian. Zionists leaders accepted the plan, but Arab governments and the Palestinians saw such a division as theft of Arab lands.

When British rule over Palestine ended in May 1948, Zionists immediately proclaimed Israel an independent state. The next day, war broke out as Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan attacked Israel. To the surprise of many, Israel survived this battle, and in the process absorbed much of the land the U.N. had designated for the Palestinians. Some 700,000 Palestinians became refugees in the surrounding area, and their numbers have grown to over 3,000,000 today.

In the decades that followed came the Suez crisis of 1956, the 1967 War, and the 1973 War between Israel and the Arab armies. Each time Israel came out the military victor, although at great cost. In 1978 came the Camp David Accords, with Egypt recognizing Israel’s right to exist, followed by the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat by opponents of his actions. Then in 1982 came the invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon by Israel, with the intent of driving out the PLO. And finally, the beginning of the Intifada I (uprising) in 1987 and Intifada II in 2000, which continues with increasing violence to the present.

Over much of this period, a near endless number of agreements, accords, and the like have taken place between and in behalf of the Palestinians and Israelis. United Nations Resolution 242, demanding Israel return to its former boundaries (prior to 1967), has been the objective but also the stumbling block of any negotiations between the two parties. The return of land and of Palestinian refugees to their homes, and the status of Jerusalem, go to the heart of the smoldering 55-year-old Arab-Israeli conflict. All agreements and truces have been broken, resulting in the escalation of violence, with both parties blaming each other and resulting in a condition more volatile than ever.

Rightly or wrongly, the Arab world has never accepted the creation of the state of Israel in 1948–and that continues to this day. Even though land was purchased and Jewish remnants had always resided there, to say that the Jews had a right to settle the land and have their own state changes reality not in the slightest. One thing about the Middle East that escapes reason by the western world is that Islam is a brotherhood. It is a very potent religious umbrella for the Arab nations, as well as an umbrella for their hatred of Israel and the Jews. In the American mind, we ask why can’t they just co-exist? It is quite simple: because of the hatred, a hatred that appears to have little hope for change. It is fatal to lose sight of the fact that the historical record of Arab countries since 1948 has been that of deep humiliation, beginning with the loss of land to Israel, and on through the trail of defeats in all of the conflicts and wars to date. It is an easy step from the loss of morale to the loss of moral behavior. This quickly evolves into forms of terrorism as “the weapon of the poor” or weak, their form of self-defense. To attempt to sort this out in terms of right and wrong and who is blameworthy may be a commendable effort, but does little to resolve issues when both conflicting parties “know” their cause is just and has God on their side.

Hindsight was not necessary in order to foresee the situation that has evolved. It was foresight and an honest commitment to justice in the Middle East and concern for America’s general welfare here at home that was lacking. That was the case then (1947) and remains so today with Congress and the White House.

It is instructive, as well a sobering, to reflect on the events and timing that led to the recognition of the State of Israel by the Truman Administration and the subsequent status of the United States as the patron and protector of Israel.

Although one may acknowledge the good intentions and recognize the fact that secondary issues were complex and entangling, the main truth was self-evident and would not go away, which was that the Arab world would not willingly accept a Jewish state forced upon them. What does deserve scathing criticism is the failure of President Truman and his advisors to heed the counsel of their own State Department and even more so the warnings of Arab leaders, for Arab nationalism was as strong as that of the Zionists.

Because the events that took place within the United Nations are crucial to an accurate understanding and appraisal of the situation in the Middle East today, I am going to some length to summarize important insights of the time. I have taken these from a book entitled George C. Marshall: Statesman 1945-1959 by Forrest C. Pogue. I know of no more trustworthy source, both regarding the integrity of the author and that of General Marshall. This summary is of great importance for putting events into context.

Throughout much of 1947, many proposals were put forth to bring about a “peaceful” settlement to the increasingly tense situation between Palestinian-Arabs and the Jewish settlers. These included sharply limiting Jewish immigration, extending the British mandate, and forcing settlement with U.N. troops. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Warren Austin and General Marshall (also Secretary of State), initially favored neither a Palestinian or Jewish state. They felt that “five to ten years of preparation for independence would be needed, during which Palestine would be under a “U.N. trusteeship,” with the United Nations providing economic and financial assistance.

After much discussion, negotiation and various proposals, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine proposed that Palestine be partitioned into a Jewish and an Arab state. Although Austin and Marshall commended the Committee for its efforts, they believed it had been based on “expediency” and could only come about through force. Ambassador Austin said such a state (Jewish) “. . . would have to defend itself with bayonets forever, until extinguished in blood. The Arabs would never be willing to have such a small state so near their heart.” Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia, speaking for all Arabs, said “that the United States had embarked on a dangerous course for the United States and the Arab world.” As a result of the U.N. partition proposal, the Arabs “demanded the immediate termination of the mandate, the establishment of an Arab democratic state, and the withdrawal of the British.”

At the time, the U.S. State Department was well aware of the dangers of getting dragged into something unmanageable, and so stated that the “United States was not going to pick up the British responsibility for law and order, that American contributions to the responsibility would be only a part of the United Nations’ effort.”

As the year progressed, things went from bad to worse. King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia again warned President Truman in October, that “. . . U.S. support of partition would lead to a state of war. . . . the Arabs will isolate such a state [Israel] from the world and lay siege to it until it dies by famine.” By the end of the year, the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem cabled George Marshall saying “ . . . terror is prevalent and normal life [i.e., normal life for Palestine] is disappearing. It is, however, compared with what may be expected in the future, a period of relative peace and restraint.”

In regard to U.S. national interests, noted diplomat George Kennan commented that after having studied the situation over the past thirty years, the main burden lay on “Jewish leaders and organizations who have pushed so persistently for the pursuit of objectives which could scarcely fail to lead to violent results.” He had concluded that the United States had already accepted intolerable commitments and that the situation in Palestine defied solution at that time, saying: “We should not attempt to be our brother’s keeper or to offer moral advice to other powers when we are unable to bear our own full share of responsibility for the consequences.” At this point, even the U.N. Commission itself concluded that partition, which it had recommended, was unworkable without force. Rumors were circulating that U.S. armed forces might have to enforce partition in Palestine, possibly requiring up to 120,000 troops.

Essentially, all United States agencies (State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and intelligence agencies of the Army, Navy and Air Force), working in the field strongly advised that their government not get put in the position of taking responsibility for protecting Jewish interests against the declared hostility of the Arab world. Secretary of State George Marshall had stated: “My intention is to see that the action of the U.S. Government is to be on a plane of integrity that will bear inspection and a common review and that there will be no bending to a military threat or any political threat so long as I am Secretary of State.” Marshall’s position was that “. . . if the Jews gambled to continue fighting and lost, they should not come to the United States for help.”

Unfortunately, this was not to be. It was the political season, and Clark Clifford, the President’s special counsel, had been studying the Palestine problem, particularly in relation to its impact on support for the Democratic Party and reelection of Truman. Clifford did everything in his power both to persuade the President that the United Nations’ original partition proposal was the only viable approach to support, and to confuse and counter the views set forth by the State Department and others. In truth, it became a hopeless situation. Marshall was receiving daily reports from various American embassies in Arab countries that the Palestine situation “grows daily more fraught with danger to international peace.” On the home front both the Democrat and Republican parties were trying to out-promise each other competing for the American Jewish vote, with pledges of recognition of a new state of Israel. To conclude this summary, I quote a paragraph by Forest Pogue:

No one, of course, could blame the Jewish leaders for doing their utmost to fulfill the ancient, ardent dream of Jews for a homeland, having endured century upon century of wandering and persecution, culminating in the imaginable horror of the Holocaust. The State Department question was whether immediate full satisfaction of Jewish aims should be forced on the Arabs at the expense of enormous problems for U.S. foreign policy. Possibly some members of the State Department were anti-Jewish or fixated on Arab oil or on Soviet expansion in Europe, but it was more than erroneous, it was wrong to depict every person in the department who suggested caution or further delay for negotiation as lacking in loyalty to Truman or as anti-Jewish or both. . . . At times, because of necessity emphasized by White House advisers of winning the fall election, the White House became in effect the foreign office of the state of Israel.

As predicted, all of these warnings of 1947 came true with a vengeance, and here we are today with the Palestinian and Israeli people continuing some 55 years of immeasurable suffering. What observations might be made at this point? (1) The future behavior of a people or government, in this case the Palestinians, that has been humiliated for so long a time, is predictable. (2) Israel’s best efforts to negotiate peace settlements with the Palestinians, for the most part, have still been on their own terms, not treating the Palestinians as equal partners. (3) The United States has not been an honest broker in its efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As a result, attitudes and behaviors have become more predictable on the part of supporters of the Palestinian cause. This, combined with the implacable hatred towards a Jewish state, has been a recipe for disaster over all these years, and DISASTER is exactly where we are today.

It should be self-evident that when any party or group is not treated with EQUAL CONSIDERATION OF INTERESTS, resentment, anger and retaliation will likely follow. As an example, and regardless of the litany of justifications immediately put forth, how can anyone not see [from an Arab perspective] that Israel having developed its own nuclear weapons, and the U.S. vetoing or obstructing nearly all U.N. resolutions requiring concessions from Israel, as a double-standard in their eyes (The current Bush Administration’s so-called “Road Map” towards Palestinian statehood will become “road kill,” unless the above noted principle is finally adhered to.)

It is critical that we acknowledge and understand the difference between reality and perception. We can praise the United States motives as being altruistic and well intentioned, but that has little to do with how these motives are viewed from an Arab perspective. It is not only that we underwrite the state of Israel which generates their animosity and hostility, it is also that we are perceived as the big rich bully, with our corrupt and materialistic Western values and lifestyle. (We have all been reminded of what can be the results of bullying by the tragedy at Columbine High School.)

Here in our country, we have much of the very best and very worst of everything. Unfortunately, too much of the time, it is the worst in America that is the image presented to the world. Our government’s foreign policy personifies the “Ugly American” to many, and much of Hollywood and our entertainment industry is viewed as a cultural cesspool. It is this combination that dominates and, sadly, obscures the fundamental decency and goodness of the United States of America. From President George W. Bush’s book, A Charge To Keep, he says:

During the more than half century of my life, we have seen an unprecedented decay in our American culture, a decay that has eroded the foundations of our collective values and moral standards or conduct. Our sense of personal responsibility has declined dramatically, just as the role and responsibility of the federal government have increased. . . . I am running for President because I believe America must seize this moment. America must lead. We must give our prosperity a greater purpose, a purpose of peace and freedom and hope. We are a great nation of good and loving people. And together, we have a charge to keep.

We have not, nor are we keeping this charge. Reflect for a moment on a comment of former Secretary of State Madeline Albright: “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future.” The truth is we have been blinded to the future and the consequences of our actions. And as to the exportation of the produce of our entertainment industry, much of it is the opposite of anything that could be considered edifying and wholesome. One cannot blame even our best of friends for condemning it, or our adversaries for considering it evil and corrupting. Much of it is toxic to our own culture and we should be embarrassed that it even exists. One doesn’t have to be a prude or on a moralistic crusade to know this to be the case.

Regrettably, so many Americans are profoundly ignorant of other cultures around the world. And it isn’t just the average person on the street. It is our own Congress and many others in important and responsible places. President Bush has been a painful example of such ignorance. Imagine the naivete of his response when asked about the “vitriolic hatred for America”: “I’m amazed, I’m amazed that there is such misunderstanding of what our country is about, that people would hate us. I am, I am – like most Americans, I just can’t believe it.” As to the attack on September 11, Vice President Dick Cheney showed the same lack of astuteness when he said: “But I think everybody was surprised by it. . . . I thought like most Americans, that we were relatively invulnerable.” The same can be said for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, when using the word “incomprehensible” to describe the possibility of such a terrorist attack on the United States.

There are those who believe that the United States of America is “God’s gift to the world,” and also that the Jews are “God’s chosen people.” Suppose for a moment that this were true. What type of behavior would such conditions demand from these two entities? And what would be the expected response to such a strange situation from the rest of the nations of the world?

Two annoying examples (to outsiders) of this peculiarity are: First, the United States appropriating for it’s exclusive use the label “America” as referring only to itself, despite the fact that we are only one of many countries of the North and South Americas. I know that appears nonsensical and petty to most “Americans,” but next time you encounter a resident of or from South America, ask their honest impression of this. You will likely experience a subtle smile, rolling of the eyes, or something similar. Second, the Jews appropriating and reframing the word “holocaust” and capitalizing it in terms of “The Holocaust” and allowing it only one exclusive meaning. Some Jewish writers have described “the cult of the Holocaust” as having become the civic religion of Israel, resulting in all sorts of self-defeating implications.

Whatever the case may be, when a group appropriates a term, or promotes an image, for its own exclusive use, at the very least it is inviting misunderstanding and resentment from those on the outside. Unfortunately, it is the most basic of human traits to envy, disdain or hate those who are different or in more favorable circumstances than ourselves.

With all the foregoing as background, it would seem the sensible thing to do would be to take a brutally honest look at where we are at the moment and what is feasible, NOT what is desirable. (It has been said that we cannot solve the problems that we have created with the same thinking that created them.) From a narrowly focused view of the Middle East today, we see a tiny state of some five million people called Israel between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. From a wide-angle view we see this little country almost completely surrounded by a huge geopolitical Muslim world of hundreds of millions of people who have a deep animosity and hatred towards Israel.

There is little value in trying to analyze the reasons for this beyond what has already been stated. For lack of any better phrase, “the plight of the Jews,” over the centuries down to this very day, is a subject that defies rational discourse. And regrettably, anything I have said (no matter the accuracy or good faith intent), would be labeled as anti-Semitic by the typical Jewish and Israeli apologist. It is easy to label or dismiss another in such a way. In this case however, it is most unfortunate, for I, like many others, was brought up to reach out with a hand of friendship, good will, and support to the Jewish people and their aspirations.

Much to their credit, however, many Jews from all walks of life, are highly critical of the tactics of the government of Israel and Zionism. Albert Einstein himself, an ardent supporter of the creation a Jewish state, warned in 1955: “The most important aspect of our policy must be our ever-present, manifest desire to institute complete equality for Arab citizens living in our midst.” At another time he stated: “Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us.” (There is a small booklet entitled: The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict,” published by “Jews For Justice In The Middle East,” which I believe gives an honest and objective analysis of this subject).

Indeed, it would have been a godsend if the Arab World could have somehow welcomed the Jews and willingly allowed them a homeland and creation of their own state of Israel, but that appears to require a miracle not of this earth. This being the case, it should force us to at least ask the question: Is it worth risking the well-being and even threatened ruination of the United States of America to continue protecting (and unfairly so) the interests of the small state of Israel, when the situation appears to be near hopeless? That question deserves a most immediate and serious discussion in our country today! It is the CORE issue as to dealing with terrorism against the United States, regardless of whatever detractors or those in denial may say.

If Israel and our U.S. Government would listen to the vast majority of the voices of the world today, it would be a plea for Jews to become one with the human family, and for America to become one (rather than the ONE), among the family of nations. That is not too much to ask or expect. The last thing the world needs now is one “super-power” that meddles and interferes as it pleases. Nothing but ill-will is generated by such behavior. A global, cooperative effort and compromise is the only approach to world problems that has a chance for success. The insightful statements of John Quincy Adam’s Fourth of July speech in 1821, should be our motto today: America “. . . has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, [and] . . . America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”
As things are at present, there are two choices that are long past due regarding the United States’ involvement with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One is that we withdraw our support from both parties, and let them either resolve or continue to live this insanity of their own making. Andy Rooney of the television program 60 Minutes, one of Americas most honest straight talkers, stated recently: “. . . If Sharon and the Palestinian terrorists persist with their arrogance, we have the power to save Israel and Palestine from themselves by cutting off both the money and the weapons with which this war is being fought.”
Far better, however, would be our other option, which we should have taken over fifty years ago, insisting on (forcing if necessary), a settlement or at least cessation of hostilities, through the United Nations. What should begin immediately is to deploy U.N. forces (or possibly NATO), sufficient to separate the two parties and bring an end to the fighting. This would then allow a permanent settlement to evolve–one which would provide security for Israel, and be tolerable to the Arab World. Nothing short of this will suffice, or bring an end to the self-destructive behavior of the Israelis and Palestinians, and lessen the threat of more September 11th calamities in the United States.

One thing that should be very troubling to Americans is how U.S. foreign policy is influenced, distorted and perverted by various pressure groups. The most serious of all (as to this issue), is what might for lack of something better, be labeled Zionist-Messianic-Manifest Destiny lobbyists that have a frightening impact on our dealings with issues in the Middle East.
We supposedly claim to honor the separation of church and state in our affairs of government, yet we have allowed these special interests to compromise the very security and economic well-being of our country. In fact, it is nothing less than a dual loyalty and betrayal of the common good of our American society. Never in the history of our country have these forces been so influential and dangerous as they are in our Capitol today. It has indeed been the veritable highjacking of our country’s foreign policy by these groups, and no one in Washington D.C. will talk honestly about it. If the truth were known today, it would be found that many of the professional rank and file of our own State Department are deeply disturbed and distressed with the foreign policy of the Bush Administration.

It would be well if our country took one of the admonitions of Jesus literally, when he said in the Christian New Testament:
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

To think that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have the same historical roots, and yet appear to be more of a curse than a blessing to the world, is a blasphemy before their God of Abraham. Also, how terribly sad that “Christian America” is so timid and faint hearted when it comes to being “Blessed are the peacemakers” around the world.

In a sense, the United States’ attitude and behavior towards the rest of the world can be compared to an alcoholic who denies what all of his family and friends try to tell him, but goes right along until he self-destructs or bottoms out and then finally admits he is in need of the support and help of others. The fate of Samson and Goliath of Bible lore is instructive in this case. Both of them, despite their great strengths, were essentially destroyed by their own blindness and unacknowledged weaknesses. Our country is not immune from such a fate. (What good is a Missile Defense System against a nuclear bomb in a suitcase or cargo vessel?)

Political and religious leaders from all over the world who love and admire the goodness of the American people, all essentially say the same thing when it comes to the question of “Why do they hate us?” It can be summed up by a reply from Bishop Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa, when he responded: “People don’t hate the U.S.; too many have suffered from the effects of U.S. foreign policy; that is what they resent.” (I would only add again, that it doesn’t matter whether we may think this resentment is justified or not–it is there in great abundance.) In the long run, the only chance of getting at the roots of terrorism, and this deep resentment, is to drain the swamp from which it breeds. Only a fool, in such circumstances, would cultivate more resentment and enemies, but that is precisely what our Government has done and is doing. Since what might be described as a “hostile takeover” of the White House by the Bush Administration in 2001, we seem to have regressed to a medieval flat-earth mentality. We are now in need of world cooperation like never before in our entire history. By any measure, an isolated America is a less secure America.

Knowing my own personal need to apply Dale Carnegie’s principles from his book How to Win Friends & Influence People, I recently mailed a number of copies to President Bush and his Staff at the White House. I didn’t receive or expect a response. I am reminded though, how these basic admonitions should apply between nations as well as groups and individuals. As an example, Carnegie states that a leader must follow these principles:

l. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
5. Let the other person save face.
6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.
7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Unfortunately, conflicts, wars, and great suffering have been caused throughout the history of the world through lack of application of these basic principles, and our present U.S. Administration’s Foreign Policy would get a failing grade on their utilization. The late Fred Rogers (of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood), sings “I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.” How many countries in the world are saying that about us (U.S.) right now?

Revolting as it might be, we would be wise in believing the World Islamic Front in its “Jihad against Jews and Crusaders,” when it said in February of 1998:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilian and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it. . . . In order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.”

The same is the case with Osama bin Laden, whether genuine empathy with the Palestinian cause or not, when he said: “To the United States, I say, I swear by God the Great that the United States will never taste security and safety unless we feel security and safety in our land of Palestine” and further in justifying his holy war because of “. . . the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the Crusader-Zionist alliance” (meaning the United States and Israel.)

To go on search and destroy missions against terrorists, without dealing with the fundamental cause, only strengthens the determination for vengeance on the part of the adversary–as he knows that time is on his side and he only need win a few battles to accomplish his goal of, if not ruination, at least no “security or safety” for the enemy. It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to KNOW this can be accomplished. Yet with the announcement of the Bush Administration’s new “National Security Strategy of the United States of America,” the critical lesson has still not been learned. From the document, in the words of President Bush:
Defending our Nation against its enemies is the first and fundamental commitment of the Federal Government. Today, that task has changed dramatically. Enemies in the past needed great armies and great industrial capacity to endanger America. Now, shadowy networks of individuals can bring great chaos and suffering to our shores for less than it costs to purchase a single tank. Terrorists are organized to penetrate open societies and to turn the power of modern technologies against us. To defeat this threat we must make use of every tool in our arsenal–military, better homeland defenses, law enforcement, intelligence, and vigorous efforts to cut off terrorist financing. The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. America will help nations that need our assistance in combating terror. And America will hold to account nations that are compromised by terror, including those who harbor terrorists–because the allies of terror are the enemies of civilization.

The United States and countries cooperating with us must not allow the terrorists to develop new home bases. Together, we will seek to deny them sanctuary at every turn. The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology. Our enemies have openly declared that they are seeking weapons of mass destruction, and evidence indicates that they are doing so with determination. The United States will not allow these efforts to succeed. We will build defenses against ballistic missiles and other means of delivery. We will cooperate with other nations to deny, contain, and curtail our enemies efforts to acquire dangerous technologies. And, as a matter of common sense and self-defense, America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed. We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. So we must be prepared to defeat our enemies’ plans, using the best intelligence and proceeding with deliberation. History will judge harshly those who saw this coming danger but failed to act. In the new world we have entered, the only path to peace and security is the path of action.

Yes, how true that last statement is, but what type of action? Now that this “shadowy network of individuals” has vowed to bring “great chaos and suffering to our shores,” we are, unfortunately, left with no choice but to “make use of every tool in our arsenal” in the war on terrorism. What is astounding, however, is that President Bush does not even mention the most important “action” of all, which would be the actual implementation of a “humble and non-arrogant foreign policy” of which he himself spoke when running for the office of President of the United States. One might also include “A kinder and gentler nation,” from his father’s words. To claim, as does George W. Bush, that he “has been chosen by the grace of God” to lead at this moment, would demand a humility that he, himself, has forsaken. He might well read and reflect on the Old Testament Biblical admonition from I Samuel 2:3 which advises: “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”

It is indeed ironic, that many of the most vocal supporters of the Bush Administration foreign policy, are proclaimed “born again Christians,” yet at the same time totally dismiss the heart of the Christian message such as from the Sermon on the Mount:
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; . . . For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?

Understandably, very few of us are capable of loving our enemies; it’s difficult enough to do good to them. But as a minimum, Jesus would insist that we make a good faith effort to engage them and attempt to view circumstances through their eyes, before we resort to derision and demonization. What a contrast between these “born again” folk, and Thomas Paine when he said: “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”

As irrational as it sounds, the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), nuclear policy of the Cold War appeared to work because of the well defined balance of power that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union. That was an easily understood two way deterrence. Now, as we know only too well, there is no assured deterrence of any kind. Yet that appears what President Bush’s National Security Strategy is based upon, which is its own form of madness, and can only bring about further Assured Disasters upon ourselves. I for one, cannot accept the conventional wisdom in the White House that it is inevitable that we must always have enemies threatening us, and that we ourselves are not part of the problem. (Ignorance, stupidity and bruised egos, can also be weapons of mass destruction)

It is worth being reminded of the war tactics and strategy of Mao Zedong of China and Ho Chi Minh of North Vietnam, when they said respectively: “It is foolish to make short work of the enemy. It is better to cut off one of his fingers than to wound him in ten,” and “It is the fight between tiger and elephant. If the tiger stands his ground, the elephant will crush him with its mass. But, if he conserves his mobility, he will finally vanquish the elephant, who bleeds from a multitude of cuts.” So far, in this war on terrorism, it appears that the Bush Administration’s “rules of engagement” are in favor of the “tiger,” because the United States has responded just as al-Qaida and its sympathizers must have wanted.

Whether it makes sense to us or not, and setting aside the whole issue with Israel for the moment, we have no right to assume that the majority of the Arab people are wrong when they say they do not want our military on their lands and it is a defilement and desecration to their Islamic faith and culture. That is not difficult to understand; in fact, it only makes sense from their point of view. Wisdom would dictate that we pull all our military forces out of the Middle East, and let them settle their own problems themselves, as distasteful as it may be to some of us. (They will still sell us their oil.) Any military action taken in that area of the world, should only be done in strict accordance with United Nations approval.

Even though it is a blessing to the people of Iraq that the tyranny of Saddam Hussein has now ended, it has been accomplished at a terrible price over these past many years. The United States will likely learn very painfully that the “Shock and Awe” war against the Iraqi Regime can boomerang back to our own homeland as it resonates throughout the Islamic World. Instead of having reduced the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the war has helped accomplish the contrary. One KNOWS that Saddam (with his back against the wall and fate certain) would attempt to secure at least some of his biological and chemical materials in locations outside of his country and/or make them available to our enemies. So even though it may have been futile to expect United Nations inspectors to locate these weapons, it is now a certainty they will never be reliably accounted for!

In addition to the above, the deep humiliation and rage felt in the Arab streets, brings us closer to the same type of insanity going on between Israel and the Palestinians. Only now it is between America and an increasingly resentful and vengeful Arab World–leaving us even less secure than before. And think of the precedent that has been set for other countries to justify their behavior, as a result of the go-it-alone obsession of the zealots and ideologues in the White House. Considering the United States Government track record of good “take offs” but poor “landings,” the prospects of rebuilding a stable Iraq, should not be viewed with jubilation. (It will surely be found that the path to the elimination of terrorism lies much more through Jerusalem than Bagdad.)

The words “Duty, Honor, Country” are the Motto of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I believe Duty and Country mean little without Honor. To me Honor is not cowardly. It would demand that the soldier as readily kill his “enemy” while looking him or her straight in the eyes as by pushing a button hundreds of miles away or firing “smart bombs” from thousands of feet above. The problem with modern day warfare, proxy, gorilla and terrorist tactics and weapons of mass destruction, is that they can turn one into a coward without even knowing it. The enemy becomes “they” and are viewed or attacked as an organized political force rather than as individuals. In these circumstances, no one need feel individually responsible for such institutional violence which results in so much killing and suffering of the innocent and unarmed.

There is something truly repugnant in saying that if there is a conflict between the attainment of a military objective and the prohibition of the laws of war, that it is the prohibition that must give way. I admire the words of General Douglas MacArthur when he said: “The soldier, be he friend or foe, is charged with the protection of the weak and unarmed. It is the very essence and reason for his being. When he violates this sacred trust, he not only profanes his entire cult, but threatens the very fabric of international society.” (I am grateful that the U.S. Military, for the most part, does take this trust seriously.)

I am not a pacifist by any means, in fact my inclinations are to the contrary. But I do think I know what is sanity and what is not. This type of war NEVER can be won through more killing and destruction, and that should be obvious to any reflective mind. I believe that the men and women of the United States Military today are the best ever by any standard of measurement, and they deserve our gratitude and support. Their lives, well-being and honor, and our country’s resources, should not be put at risk, compromised or squandered around the world as a result of misguided policy, reckless bravado or ulterior motives.

The time should be long past when we consider it an article of faith that there is one form of government that is best for all peoples. To attempt to impose a capitalistic, market driven model on a society where social conditions and cultural traditions are unfavorable, is likely to turn into a burden rather than a blessing. The United States has had hundreds of years to experiment with this great concept called “Democracy,” and yet we are still a very long way from the forming of “a more perfect Union.” It is far better to encourage, and persuade other nations to live up to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (to which most have subscribed) and let them evolve to that end in their own way.

The first and primary responsibility of government should be to ANTICIPATE problems that might or will occur if adequate preventive measures are not taken. Think what has happened to us as a result of not doing so by our U.S. Government–the pain, suffering and waste of resources is unimaginable. (If you are familiar with the story of The Little Prince, you will understand what he meant when he said: “It is hard to distinguish between good and bad seeds, so it is very important to watch out for baobabs. Lazy men often let small bushes grow, not realizing that they are baobabs until it is too late.”) The elected officials we trusted were lazy and waited until it was too late. By now we should all be sick of hearing people in government referring to incidents as a “Wake-up Call.” If they had been doing their job, which is looking out after the general welfare, preventative action would have been taken rather than after the fact reaction.

It took many years to cultivate the hatred that resulted in four of our own airplanes being hijacked and flown like a dagger into the heart of America and leaving a hole in our very soul. And from that came incalculable personal costs for our citizens, and hundreds of billions of dollars for military expenditures and “Homeland Security.” Think of the effort, cost and inconvenience, just in dealing with airport security. Such measures, at best will only deter, not prevent, future terrorist attacks on the United States, and it is deceitful to promote any false sense of security.

Rather than reformation of our foreign policy, which is the only sane approach, our government opts for reorganization into a Department of Homeland Security, and considers that the answer. Although better than nothing, it reminds me of a computer spell-checker which is intended to prevent misspelling errors–it may catch the majority of them, but at the same time passes over the more difficult ones. Israel takes the position that they prevent “nine out of ten” suicide bomber attacks. Is that how you and your children would choose to live for this next generation that we are told this war will last? It is more like a “straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic” approach, rather than what common sense dictates, which is to find a way to bring our adversaries to their senses, not their knees.

With continuing terrorist attacks on our homeland, a police state (or Fortress America), is more likely to result, than a condition of genuine security–one based on fear and a perpetual feeling of being under siege. You can bet your life on the fact that, with grievances and resentment left to fester, if you kill a dozen terrorists or their leaders, another dozen will take their place the next day, with equal or greater determination for revenge. Despite what may be good intentions, the Bush Administration’s present foreign policy approach in the Middle East is equivalent to a recruitment campaign for a generation of new terrorists. It should make every American furious to think that we now have to live with these (of dubious value and no end in sight) color-coded terrorist threat levels.

Even as terrorism is now the biggest threat to the well being of our country, as it directly affects all else, there are other grave and foreboding domestic problems (additional betrayals by our Federal Government) on the horizon that foresight can plainly see. These will continue to grow and intensify because of negligence and the diversion of scarce resources to do battle with the war against terrorism–thus having enormous consequences for stability and livability in the decades ahead. Among the most troubling are:

1. Protection of Social Security and Medicare.
2. Race, ethnic and cultural clash.
3. Corruption of the election process.
4. Protection of our National boarders.
5. The growing disparity between the poor and wealthy.
6. Burden of the National Debt
7. Transportation and infrastructure decay.
8. Adequate health care for the less fortunate.

In July of 2002, I viewed the gaping hole where the Twin Towers had stood a year earlier, and later that afternoon sailed past the Statue of Liberty and on to Ellis Island. As I reflect back on that visit, the thought comes to me that there are still many millions of “. . . tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” right here on our own shores in 2003. That is the business our National Government should be about, rather than setting off on self-righteous crusades to remake the world. (Lady Liberty surely would have tears in her eyes at this time if she were able.)

From the very birth of the United States of America, many have felt that it had a special destiny among nations. The Great Seal of the United States of America (look at the back of a dollar bill), was designed by the Founding Fathers as “America’s Vision Statement.” The significance of the Great Seal, as our national emblem, is little known by most Americans. In fact, it communicates the founding principles that gave birth to and are necessary to sustain our country. Among these are the following: First from the back of the seal: (1) The Eye of Providence over the unfinished Pyramid, symbolizing a manifestation of divine care, direction or foresight. (2) Above the eye in Latin is the motto “Annuit Coeptis” meaning “It [the eye of providence] has favored our undertakings.” (3) The unfinished Pyramid, representing Strength and Duration, as “One Nation” still under construction. (4) Beneath the pyramid is the other Latin phrase “Novus Ordo Seclorum,” meaning “A new order of the ages.” (5) On the front of the Seal, with which all are familiar, is the Bald Eagle, and in his beak the banner in Latin “E Pluribus Unum” meaning, out of many (people) one (nation). In the Eagle’s talons, are held an olive branch and arrows. The Eagle faces the olive branch, symbolizing that our nation seeks peace, yet at the same time, with the arrows in the other talon, is prepared for war.

A statement of George Washington from his 1789 Inaugural Address, summarizes what our Founding Fathers had in mind when our country came into being:

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

While thinking about these powerful symbols, take a moment also to read through all of the verses of “America the Beautiful.” If there were ever an inspired, and perhaps prophetic song, that is one of them. Some of the verses speak precisely what should be a warning as well as a blessing to every citizen of this country. Reflect on these: “And crown thy good with brotherhood . . . God mend thine every flaw . . . Confirm thy soul in self-control . . . May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And every gain divine! . . . Till selfish gain no longer stain, The banner of the free!” (Think what is entailed in the refinement of gold!)

Personally, I know not whether God had in mind such a special destiny for our country. It is comforting, yet a frightening obligation to think so! Perhaps there is truth in the quip that “God takes care of fools, drunks and the United States of America.” That almost appears to be so, at least in the past, but of one thing I am quite certain, if we ever were entitled to the protection of benevolent powers in the universe, we no longer deserve such. The increase in greed, corruption and depravity in American business and culture is sickening and deplorable. Reflecting on some comments of the Founding Fathers, should be sobering to each one of us:

Let me add that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
-Benjamin Franklin-

Our Constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
-John Adams-

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
-Thomas Jefferson-

If it is the case that there is a supreme power that is concerned with the welfare of humankind, then it only makes sense, that this Being is also involved with the destiny of peoples and nations. This was so expressed by the Apostle Paul from the Christian New Testament in speaking of the “Unknown God” of which he was declaring, when he said: “And [He] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”

If there is validity to this, and to the counsel of those who established our Republic, then our country, the United States of America, has a profound and enormous challenge–the great need of a REFORMATION from vice towards virtue. Whatever may have been the causes of the fall of Rome, we can be assured it wasn’t because they went to an excess in following the admonitions of the Apostle Paul when he said: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things.”

At this moment, much of that which is representative of behavior in American society is the opposite of the foregoing virtues, and is exemplified by the BETRAYAL by our National Government and its leaders of which I have spoken. The truth is, if we need Regime changes abroad, we also need Regime change here at home in the most literal sense. Our Declaration of Independence reads:

. . . . they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness–That to secure these Rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, THAT WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE TO THESE ENDS, IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, . . . it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

Yes, those are the words and charges directed at the “King of Great Britain” as a result of the Tyranny the Colonies were suffering under by the Crown. Such a position and a Declaration of Independence was justified, and that which followed, as we all know, resulted in the birth of a new nation, the United States of America. Who would have imagined that the citizens of this great country, would again suffer from a LONG TRAIN OF ABUSES AND USURPATIONS, from their own government? This, in truth, is what has happened in past decades, and has led us to the position where our very “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” is now threatened.

I therefore state in all seriousness, that our present Federal Government has become “destructive to these ends” and it is the right and obligation of WE THE PEOPLE to ALTER it. Time is short (and even possibly too late) but the only peaceful way this can be accomplished, is by immediately beginning (in year 2004) to elect and support honorable men and women to Congress and the White House and insisting that they and those currently in office, conform to the following three basic requirements which are absolutely essential:

1. They have a transparent honesty
2. They cannot be bought
3. They have an overriding commitment to serve the GENERAL WELFARE AND COMMON GOOD of the entire country.

Tragically, there appear to be few presently in office that meet these three criteria, for they will BETRAY one or the other because of expediency or self-interest or both. If we can do no better than what we now have, rest assured that come July 4, 2076 (our 300th Anniversary), this United States of America will be a sad reflection of 100 years prior–at best, being something akin to Argentina or Brazil. (In speaking of our neighbors to the South, our country would do well to focus on cultivating much better ties and relationships within our own Hemisphere, rather than dubious adventures and intrusions around the globe, where we are only resented and viewed with such suspicion).

We Americans are basically a good and decent people who hold out a generous heart to our own and to the rest of the world. What our National Government has done to destroy and diminish this, both here at home and abroad, is heart breaking beyond words to describe. If this does not change, those who died on September 11, 2001 will have died in vain, and the “sins of the Fathers” (our Political Leaders), will continue from generation to generation, bringing pain, suffering and sorrow beyond anything imaginable upon our children and grandchildren.

I have written this in as honest and direct manner as I am able. Again, I speak as did Thomas Paine in 1776 when he said: “I dwell not upon the vapors of imagination; I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as A,B,C, hold up truth to your eyes.” His appeal to the colonists was that “we have it in our power to begin the world over again,” and “. . . If there be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

I have also written out of a deep love I have for what The United States of America at its best stands for. If I had the money or other resources to present this message to all my fellow Americans, I would spend every last dollar I had doing so and in every conceivable way. But, since that is not the case, I can only print this small booklet, and will that providential care use it to some good.

I believe it is still possible for this country to fulfill the best of that Destiny which is represented by the Great Seal of the United States of America and envisioned by our Founding Fathers. I do not believe it will happen, though, without (echoing Thomas Paine), beginning over again, which is that REFORMATION of which I have spoken. It will likely be more difficult than any challenge this country has ever faced. Before this present crisis can be turned around, the United States will be subjected to more devastating terrorist attacks, resulting in much economic disruption, social unrest and grieving. (Our social fabric is more fragile than we may suppose and will be tested to its very limits.) I quote once more from Thomas Paine’s Crisis I essay:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.

My friends, we as Americans have indeed esteemed too lightly what it is that sustains our freedom, security and basic goodness and we are now paying the price. If it weren’t for an image that haunts me daily, I would not bother to write this. But it is that one overriding consideration which is worth whatever the cost. If you have children or grandchildren, look into their eyes, and there you will see the answer. They, and the children of the world, deserve much better than what is being inherited from us–to lay this on them is the greatest of “crimes against humanity” and form of “collateral damage.”

TO REMAIN A BYSTANDER AND DO NOTHING IS UNCONSCIONABLE. I make a special appeal to my own generation called the “Silent Generation,” born from 1925 to 1942. It has been said of us we were: “. . . Trapped between the leadership of the G.I. Generation and the forcefulness of the Baby Boomers, their strength [the Silent] seems to be in human relation skills–mediating, commenting, facilitating, reaching out, compassionate problems-solving, and talking it out–rather than decisive leadership.” Also “. . . Having given so much to others, the Silent are beginning to wonder whether their own generation may yet have something new to offer. Or whether instead their greatest contributions have already been made.” (Ours is the only generation that will have not produced a President of the United States.) Let us, so to speak, reverse the “Rebel Without a Cause” image of James Dean (one of our own) and make this OUR defining moment and CAUSE, and speak LOUD AND CLEAR in leading the way towards the renewal and redemption of this, Our Beloved Country.

I conclude with lyrics from John Denver’s song “I Want to Live”:

There are children raised in sorrow
On a scorched and barren plain
There are children raised beneath golden sun
There are children of the water
Children of the sand
And they cry out through the universe
There voices raised as one

I want to live I want to grow
I want to see I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be I want to live

We are standing all together
Face to face and arm in arm
We are standing on the threshold of a dream
No more hunger no more killing
No more wasting life away
It is simply an idea
And I know its time has come

I want to live I want to grow
I want to see I want to know
I want to share what I can give
I want to be I want to live

In Hope and Peace to All,
Warren S. Wright

Copyright 2003 by

Warren S. Wright
P.O. Box 911065
St. George, UT 84791-1065


All Rights Reserved

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