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News ::
16 Sep 2001
Two important moments to broadcast the message of peace to the nation and the world are about to be missed

By Don Ogden

While the drums of war continue to roll and the hounds of hell commence to howl, the peace movement in the United States seems in partial retreat. As the eyes of the world look toward New York City and Washington, DC for a sense of where we all may be headed, peacemakers appear to be throwing away crucial opportunities to bring reason to a nation struggling with the all-consuming levels of grief.
Many citizens of the US have gone through the surrealism of the images, the level of denial, and are now deep into anger. Tabloid headlines scream for vengeance against the terrorist organizations that attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Pundits and politicians who should know better speak easily of war. War? The atrocities committed against this nation and its people were crimes, not an act of war. Nations start wars, people and their organizations commit crimes. Let’s be clear about this, and let us take EVERY possible opportunity to help others be clear as well.
Two important moments to broadcast that message to the nation and the world are about to be missed: New York City here and now, and Washington, DC soon thereafter. Far too many members of the peace community seem to be turning inward when they should be moving outward. Yes, local vigils and teach-ins are being planned and enacted, but many organizers are avoiding mass peace marches for fear of antagonizing their more belligerent neighbors. However, as we learned long ago, the media remains the message and the media is awash with warmongering: it is the voice of war.
Yet, at the same moment, the mainstream media is also prime for the saner options. They are running out of images. They are short on news. When the Marines go in that window will slam shut. Legal actions, sanctions, and police actions make sense. Carpet bombing, or worse, make none. How many times have you heard the term “tactical nuclear weapons” bandied about in the mainstream news? Which not-all-together friendly nuclear powers reside in the area of Afghanistan?
How is it that the Pope can call for reason, but a movement for peace cannot seize important opportunities for an equally large voice? Small local vigils, for the most part, receive small local news. That’s important, but the news since September 11th has been big, VERY big. It warrants a big response: national and regional actions by the peace movement, NOW!
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