The New America
As surely as renewed resentment and violence is brewing worldwide in response to the United States’ attack on Iraq, a New America is also being born out of the ashes of these recent world events.
Although many peacekeepers despaired as the bombs began to fall on the cradle of world civilization in Baghdad, the urgent and perilous state created by these events accomplished a victory of another sort. It sounded the alarm loud and clear for people of the world to wake up and steer humanity towards survival, not destruction. The morning after the world’s largest-ever simultaneous demonstrations against war — 10 million people in 600 cities on six continents — a front page analysis in The New York Times made a startling assertion: there are now two superpowers — the United States and world opinion.*
The horrifying breeches of diplomacy, trustworthy intelligence and plain old common sense, as well as the erosion of democratic process and constitutional rights in the United States have jolted many people into action at this time. The brash arrogance of our leaders who claim that US-led military action will make the world a safer place seems insane in light of increasing global terrorism. Howard Zinn writes in http://www.ThomasPaine.com: “I suggest that a patriotic American who cares for his country might act on behalf of a different vision. Instead of being feared for our military prowess, we should want to be respected for our dedication to human rights.” The possibilities for this emerging New America are as endless and exciting as the millions of individuals who are creating it bit by bit, beginning with their own lives.
While peace protests did not stop the bombs from falling on Iraq, they did awaken an awareness and resolve to sweep the cobwebs of apathy from our lives and take action in whatever ways we can. Through this awareness, people are speaking out, gathering, marching, letter writing and helping others to see beyond narrow-minded nationalism disguised as patriotism. They are becoming more conscious that their materialistic lifestyle is the cancer which is slowly killing the planet and breeding terrorist resentment, and they are making choices to buy and consume less, share and support more. They are creating the world peace that they seek by living it in their own lives with positive thoughts, attitudes and actions towards others. They are seeking out spiritual ceremonies, prayers and gatherings to strengthen their connection to the ultimate source of global change and transformation — God/Spirit/Creator. Despite the misguided policies and actions of the current US administration, a “kinder, gentler America” is being birthed through the efforts of its citizens and their courage to speak out for change in the world. Their vision to apply the extraordinary wealth and power of the United States towards creating a new world of peace, equality and sharing is not only a possibility, it is already underway. — Editor
* Some of the many anti-war protests over March 21-23, 2003 included: Rome (200,000); Athens (500,000-700,000), Thesssaloniki (100,000); Barcelona (500,000-750,000), Madrid (500,000). Seville (150,000), Vigo (100,000), Corunna (50,000-70,000); New York (300,000), Los Angeles (20,000), San Francisco (75,000); Diyarbakir (250,000), Istanbul (15,000); London (500,000), Edinburgh (10,000); Edmonton (15,000-18,000), Toronto (100,000), Montreal (200,000); Amsterdam (85,000); Adelaide (100,000), Melbourne (15,000), Brisbane (50,000), Perth (15,000), Sydney (15,000); Paris (100,000); Berlin (40,000-100,000), Bonn (8,000), Frankfurt (8,000), Hamburg (8,000), Cologne (12,000); Tokyo (50,000), Osaka (10,000); Lahore (100,000); Copenhagen (10,000); Gothenburg (20,000), Stockholm (50,000-80,000); Lisbon (90,000-100,000), Porto (6,000); Bern (40,000); Cape Town (8,000 school pupils); Seoul (15,000-20,000); in Chile (5,000); Nicosia (4,000); Helsinki (40,000), Turku (17,000); Jakarta (30,000); Auckland (10,000), Wellington (4,000); in Oman (5,000); Beirut (1,000); Gaza (20,000); Manila (10,000); Dhaka (15,000); Calcutta (15,000), New Delhi (5,000); Cairo (40,000). — Information courtesy Share International, Vol 22, No 4 — May, 2003