Wednesday, June 3, 2009

While We Were Sleeping

What happened to the peace movement? From where I sit in the dawn's early light of Dreaming of a New Day, it's gone right back to panic mode. Consider the following information and gloomy fortune telling from one of my favorite peace advocacy groups, United for Peace and Justice:
- IRAQ. Will Obama keep his pledge to withdraw combat forces from Iraq on a 16-month timetable, and all forces by 2011? At this point, the pace is slowing, and the deadline being somewhat extended, under pressure from US commanders on the ground. Sunnis are threatening to resume their insurgency if the al-Maliki regime fails to incorporate them into the political and security structures. The President insists however, that he is only making adjustments to a timetable that is on track. Prognosis: precarious. - AFGHANISTAN. Will the Obama troop escalation deepen the quagmire or be a successful surge against the Taliban by next year? Another 21,000 troops and advisers are on their way to the battlefield. Civilian casualties are mounting, causing the besieged Karzai government to complain. Preventive detention of Afghans will only expand. US deaths, now over 600, are sure to increase this summer. Taliban may hold out and redeploy in order to stretch US forces thin. Prognosis: escalation into quagmire. - PAKISTAN. US policies have driven al Qaeda from Afganistan into Pakistan’s tribal areas, where US is attacking with Predators and turning Pakistan’s US-funded armed forces towards counterinsurgency. Public opinion is being inflamed against the US intervention. Prognosis: an expanding American war in Pakistan with greater threats to American security. - IRAN. With or without US complicity, Israel may attack Iran early next year, with unforeseeable consequences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prognosis: crisis will intensify. - GLOBAL. US will fail to attract more combat troops to fight in Afghanistan and Pakistan from Europe or elsewhere, causing pressure to increase for a non-military negotiated solution. Prognosis: Obama still popular, US still isolated. - BUDGET PRIORITIES: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will deeply threaten the administration’s ability to succeed on the domestic front with stimulus spending, health care, education and alternative energy. Prognosis: false hope for “guns and butter” all over again.
Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless and more hopeless. I am so tired of recycled hopelessness and fear. Today, I choose to believe when the leader of the free world steps off a plane in Saudi Arabia to extend a hand of peace and an ear of understanding that we can dare to hope for peace on this earth. And don't drop your basket of optimism because the leader of a radical and violent group of Sunni fundamentalists has released a tape saying the United States is sowing "new seeds of hatred and revenge against America" by supporting Pakistan's fight against the Taliban in the Swat region in the hills of Pakistan. When we run for cover and quake in our political boots, and say "Oh no! We've nudged the angry beast," Osama bin Laden is powerful. He sets himself up as the New York Stock Exchange of fear and hopelessness. Let's not buy it. From him or from UFPJ or anyone else. Yes, all lovers of peace should keep all eyes on all balls. Yes, it is good and intelligent and our constitutional right to question everything. Yes, we should continue to demand a determined walk on a peaceful path. But let's not put the pot of No Hope Stew on to simmer again. The smell of it in the air makes me a little queasy. All I am saying...is give hope a chance. Peace.

1 comment:

gay said...

I still Hope - Give peace a chance.