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RE: [ba-unrev-talk] Not In Our Name

I was going to respond to Henry off-list, and it seems that perhaps there is
something to be gained by responding here.    (01)

First, I am thankful for Henry's comments.  And I was a little surprised by
them.  So, I was going to tell Henry that I find him a continuous source of
surprises.    (02)

I also want to rise in Henry's support.    (03)

1.	First, whatever the press is telling us (and I don't have much idea -- I
don't receive any newspaper and I don't have a television, though I do get a
sense of what the public conversations are nonetheless), it is clear that
Henry has spent some time exploring this topic on his own.  It is not like
he is repeating someone else's slogans without any consideration.  He is
certainly not being jingoistic about it (and I thought, somewhere, that I'd
learned Henry lived in Canada).    (04)

So, first, I think Henry deserves a reading that says this is Henry's
thoughtful and concerned commentary and not some robotic parroting of a
party line from somewhere.  I don't subscribe to Henry's logic (i.e.,
separating Hussein from Iraq).  I share some of his concerns on both sides
of the issue.    (05)

2.	There is a real tendency to treat this kind of thing as very black and
white, and then, to make matters worse, to assume that those who have
opposing concerns or even countervailing doubts as misguided (sometimes
"sheep" comes into the labeling).    (06)

I have stopped using electronic petition systems.  Even when I use a system
to draft a letter to my congressional representatives, I always rewrite it
to express my particular views.  I stopped using these systems because
sometimes I can't tell what is forwarded in my name (e.g., I don't receive
acknowledgment to me, which does occur when I contact my representatives
directly via e-mail).  I began to feel co-opted by these mechanisms and have
stopped using them.    (07)

3.	To make things perfectly clear, I am opposed to unilateral action against
Iraq.  I also find the posturing that is going on and the apparent
intransigence of President Bush in the matter very discouraging, as I find
the overall belligerence of our position.  The initial response to 9-11 was
not so violent and I am disappointed by the progression of the rhetoric.    (08)

At the same time, I would not consider lending my name to "Not in Our Name."
This *is* happening in my name.  I get to deal with that.  I don't find the
Statement of Conscience to be constructive.  It doesn't even propose actions
that are consistent with our values and honoring of our form of government
and the means of formulating and expressing our political will.    (09)

4.	Gary, I get that this is a matter of conscience for you and that it pains
you greatly to see us on a course that may have terrible and frightful
consequences.  I acknowledge your witness in the matter.  And I say it is
important, in these cases to not become what you despise out of "just"
opposition.  I am here mindful of the writings of the Dalai Lama shortly
after 9/11.  He cautioned us concerning expressions of self-hatred.  It is
important to be careful how one opposes those who propose violent means.
"Being right" is being right whatever the claimed virtue of the objective.
At sufficient distance and perspective, those who are being right about it
are indistinguishable, whichever side of the dispute they are found to be
on.    (010)

I want to honor your expression of conscience.   Thank you for that, and for
having us stop and pay attention to the issues.  Re-examination is always
valuable for issues that go to the heart of our fundamental values and who
we are in the world, individually and as communities and nations.    (011)

-- Dennis    (012)

PS: Shortly after 9-11, someone with a strong and unashamed military
background attached the following snippet to a posting:    (013)

"The problem with war is that it teaches the victor that violence succeeds."    (014)

I say that "The greater problem with war that it teaches the vanquished that
violence succeeds.  Those claiming to be victims see only becoming the
victor as their salvation.  Every violent act by a lawful society is an
expression of failure and defeat."  -- dh    (015)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
[mailto:owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org]On Behalf Of Gary Richmond
Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2002 09:17
To: ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
Cc: Aldo de Moor
Subject: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Not In Our Name    (016)

Henry,    (017)

Thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful response to the Not In Our
Name "Statement of Conscience" that I posted.    (018)

I was going to wait a few days to respond  in order to see what others on
the list might be thinking, but I have been encouraged by Aldo de Moor to
forward an email that I sent to him today concerning the issue at hand.    (019)

[ ... ]    (020)

I'll respond to Henry in the next few days if no one else on that list finds
his compliance with the position being disseminated by the press troubling.
But I hope some other voice of reason rises in response to his expression
of. . .well, FEAR that the Bushites are whipping up. Expressions of fear are
of even less value than those of conscience.    (021)

Gary    (022)

[ ... ]    (023)

Henry K van Eyken wrote:    (024)

First thing I should say that I myself am somewhat leary about George W.'s
mix of motives w.r.t. a military action against Iraq's Saddam Hussain.
(Please, notice that I did not say "against Iraq.") Which of his motives are
presidential, I ask myself, and which are personal?    (025)

>From my reading over the years - including a biography of Hussain by an
Iraqi author - [ ... ]
Henry    (026)

Gary Richmond wrote:
The beginning of "A Statement of Conscience"  NION (Not In Our Name)    (027)

Let it not be said that people in the United States did nothing when their
government declared a war without limit and instituted stark new measures of
The signers of this statement call on the people of the U.S. to resist the
policies and overall political direction that have emerged since September
11, 2001, and which pose grave dangers to the people of the world.
http://www.nion.us/    (028)