Voices of Peace
Vol. V



Nobody Left But Us

by Sam Smith
Editor of the
Progressive Review


If you're waiting for someone in power to do something useful about this mess, forget it. The axis of violence Bin Laden, Sharon, and Bush has turned this into a war of alternative terrors, the only certainty being that, by their bidding, somewhere, somehow, more innocent people will be killed or maimed. In this country, those of influence who should rebel against the madness are too cowardly, incompetent, or complicit to raise their voices. And even if they did, the media would pay them no mind, preferring instead the sociopathic festival of death and brutality in the name of nationhood and patriotism.

So it pretty much comes down to us. Just as in every great moment of moral crisis, the fatal flaw of power is to prefer position to principle and to assume that position is an outward and visible sign of inner, invisible grace. Just as in every great moment of moral crisis, it is left to the weak to speak the truth, the outsider to find resolution, and the unannointed to carry out responsibilities that our elected representatives swore to fulfill but have so carelessly jettisoned.

There is a great coalition of conscience waiting to be formed, but at the moment it consists of millions who, thanks to the effectiveness of government and media propaganda, have yet to realize that they are not alone. Once that discovery has been made and oh how the apostles of violence seek to prevent it then the way to sanity will start to open. If, say, those opposed to the present course represent just twenty percent of the country that's bigger than any lobbying group in America. If that twenty percent were to demand a few basic policies such as Palestinian statehood, an end to the Iraqi embargo, and the commitment to non-violent resolution, the illusionary national unanimity so heavily based merely on fear of offending or looking foolish would start to unravel.

Any community could help to get this rolling by bringing together concerned citizens willing to stand with others and to say in a group what they have been reluctant to express singly. Religious leaders, writers, teachers, and others not a part of the machinery of power could play a major part as could those whose reputations are not dependent on the blessing of the political and media structure. What started as a few people setting an example could spread until it becomes a national and international movement.

There could also be a non-official initiative in the form of a national or global Internet petition to those in power to cease their earth-threatening behavior and to accept a few basic principles of decency.

And finally, there could be some symbol perhaps a revival of the peace icon of the 60s to make visible our rejection of the ways of our leaders and our commitment to an alternative.

There are, to be sure, a wealth of other tactics demonstrations, boycotts, civil disobedience. But it seems that nothing could do more sooner than to find a number of ways in which those who do not wish to join the axis of violence can declare their rejection and know they are not alone.



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West By Northwest



Voices of Peace, Volume VI
¡Volveremos!
Africa: Peace with Justice Northwest Tour
Starhawk's Heresies in Pursuit of Peace: Thoughts on Israel/Palestine.
Sarah Shields asks Please Dad, Tell Me: How Do I Stop Being Complicit?
Peg Morton sharesMy School of the Americas (SOA) Saga.
Web links
Erbin Crowell considers Coffee and Fair Trade.
Illegal Logging Threatens Ecological and Economic Stability.
Ecstasy of Ecology - Penny Livingston and the Permaculture Institute.
Norman Solomon considers India and Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons and Media Fog and the USA's "War On Terrorism": Winking At Nuclear Terror.
M.G. Hudson asks us to Consider the Case of Patricia Sweets: The Failing Safety Net of Publicly Financed Health Insurance.
Patrick Morris, writes on the role of the Royal Pains.
High Plains Films releases This Is Nowhere
Meet Skip Schiel, an remarkable photographer
Delight in Guy Weese's Summer in the City Photos
Doug Tanour's Exodus Poems
Jane Farmer uses the medieval villanelle
Explore a few small presses with big ideas. We look at The Magic Fish, When Spirits Come Calling, Saving Wilderness in the Oregon Cascades and Cradle to Cradle.
Barbara S. Thompson's My Life, Chapter 4, Moving Out West to Los Angeles.
Cogentrix to Aquila, Going from Bad to Worse? by Mary Zemke.
Lois Barton's Sunnyside of Spencer Butte, The Cat That Flew and Sauerkraut and All That.
Jonnie Lauch's electronic debut in Nighttime Intruder.

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