Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Rachael Corrie, an international peace keeper—

From Truthout: The United States has quietly started a campaign projected to cost up to $42 million to bolster Hamas's political opponents ahead of possible early Palestinian elections, say officials linked to the program. The plan to promote alternatives to Hamas includes funding to help restructure Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group and provide training and strategic advice to politicians and secular parties opposed to Hamas Islamists. US funds will also be used to encourage "watchdog" groups and local journalists to investigate the activities of the Hamas-led government and parliament.

Here follows a public letter I sent out 3/19/03, just before the US invaded Iraq, inspite of worldwide protests, millions of people in the street, the largest outpouring of public action against war in recorded history. As another US battleship heads to the Middle East and stories flow about an "October Surprise" attack on Iran, it seems again appropriate.

I am an American Woman of Peace

I stand with Austin Women in Black which holds noon-hour vigils for peace, here, in front of the Capitol.

I believe Americans must and eventually will reject the Bush Doctrine of Pre-emptive war. I will address four catastrophes this doctrine will or has unleashed. There are others.

The first catastrophe is human. Our government is going to embark on a spree of carnage. Half the people of Iraq are children under the age of 17. Half the people in America, virtually all of the world, ex-president Jimmy Carter, the Pope, 125 American Cities, including New York and the fifty Austin community groups and churches here today believe the human catastrophe this war will inflict on Iraq is a wrong. Opposition will continue to grow among moral people.

The second catastrophe is political. A dramatic breech of the contract between the people of the America and our government has occurred. Our Constitution has been usurped, the programs that are the infrastructure of civil society are being gutted, and our homeland is neither safe, or protected. Americans are working to take back our Constitution.

The third catastrophe is civil. Our president’s "you’re with us or against us" doctrine has turned on America herself. Intolerance is a devastating sickness. And we’ve caught it. Ask the Dixie Chicks. Americans will work to restore goodwill at home.

The fourth catastrophe is truth. Depending on what polls you believe between 45 and 60 percent of us oppose this war. If we had a free, balanced, non-biased press, one could expect 45-60 percent of coverage to address issues that concern us. Americans will read alternative news on the internet and insist that our media restore it’s lost balance.

George Bush has said that the United Nations has lost credibility. I suspect that George Bush is the one who has lost credibility in the world.

There are always alternatives. Even now, the United Nations could Unite for Peace. Americans and the people of the world are asking world leaders to invoke resolution 377 which provides for an alternative to war if the Security Council cannot agree to maintain peace. The General Assembly can meet and within 24 hours implement collective measures to catastrophe. They can require that no further military action be taken without the authority of the Security Council, mandate that the inspectors be allowed to finish their work, and they can send a UN peace keeping force to Iraq.

I wonder if George Bush would drive tanks and bulldozers over the bodies of a UN Peacekeeping force the way Israel crushed the body of 23 year old American peacekeeper, Rachael Corrie on Sunday? That is what society out of control looks like, that is what the doctrine of preemptive violence looks like.

The people of the world are the next great superpower, and we do not want war.

I am an American woman of peace. Negotiation is better than carnage. Diplomacy is supposed to be interminable. Today I can imagine nothing more sweet than a long heart to heart talk with the whole world.

So when – in spite of all we have done to avert it – war unleashes vast catastrophe – on us, on the world – what do we do? What we have always done. We work for peace.

Rachael Corrie
, an international peace keeper, was run over by an Israeli bulldozer March 16, 2003.

©Susan Bright, 2006,

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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