[saymaListserv] Courageous Chattanooga columnist on war

CIsland at aol.com CIsland at aol.com
Fri Feb 15 10:57:19 JEST 2002

Dear SAYMA Friends, 

Hooray for Dalton Roberts.  Looks like a kind of closet Friend to me.  He 
contacted Chattanooga Meeting one time for information about our Meeting for 
Worship but he still has not come.  I thought this excellently written essay 
would resonate powerfully with Friends.  Bill Reynolds  
Friday, February 15, 2002 12:00:00 AM   
Real war is about ideology  By Dalton Roberts
Columnist Paul Rodriguez said, "Sometimes I think war is God's way of 
teaching us geography." I think war is our way of showing God we haven't 
learned geography.With high-tech means of transportation and communication, 
the world is like a string of small communities along a winding rural road. 
No one lives more than a few seconds from our telephones or more than a few 
hours from our airports and missile sites. Neither do we live more than 
moments from theirs.Some of us can remember when war was something that 
happened "over yonder." A friend in Washington, D.C., studying ways to combat 
terrorism says of all the horrifying information she picked up, she was most 
stunned to learn there are hundreds of American terrorist groups. So before 
we go after the Husseins "over yonder," we had better get much better 
acquainted with the thousands of McVeighs right here.One thing that concerns 
me is the president's John Wayne imitation. John Wayne played in unreal 
movies we watched to divert our attention from the real world. The president 
is playing in a real movie about the real world, and unless he accurately 
sees the real world, we are all in a heap of trouble. John Wayne was 
immensely popular because he carried us away from our workaday tensions. The 
president is popular but political popularity can disappear like the morning 
fog on the river. In a complex world of many cultures and ideologies, talking 
and acting tough will not enable us to gather the friends and resources to 
contain terrorism. The Afghan operation was such a snap that political 
appetites for more "victories" have been whetted. Note the tough talk from 
Congress which has traditionally been a brake on hasty actions. They are 
ready to topple Hussein and threaten Iran and North Korea. We had Hussein in 
the palm of our hand and the senior Bush let him go out of respect for a 
United Nations advisory. If the younger Bush has inadequate respect for 
international considerations, America could end up with even fewer friends.We 
need to skillfully remove terrorist networks. But we also need to realize 
that our ultimate success will be how well we live out our values. All wars 
are the result of two opposing points of view trying to obliterate each 
other. Points of view result in ways of being. If our point of view makes us 
-- meaning our culture and values -- more attractive to the world, we will 
prevail.Our real war is not against terrorism. It is against ignorant and 
misguided ideologies that spawn terrorists, both at home and abroad. We must 
see that ideologies are the real weapons. If America can demonstrate 
democracy, freedom and the spiritual values underlying that democracy and 
those freedoms, it will stand in stark contrast to ideologies based on hate 
and severe repression. Our ideology is our ultimate weapon. 

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