Inaugural Soup for the Cold

It is raining and cold. 8 C (46.4 F). on the usually sunny Teke Peninsula of the southernmost coast of Turkey. We live among the ghosts of the ancient Lycians who inhabited this region over 2500 years ago. The sun came out for a couple of hours and now the sky is starting to cloud over again. We live beside the Mediterranean and the people who have long lived here have an attitude to match. Theirs is a rather laid back, casual and “take things as they come” perspective which can fool the casual observer into believing they are just plain lazy.

The attitude of the people who live here is far removed from the corridors of the White House in Washington, DC, yet the attitudes of the people in those corridors affect the lives of those of us on this quiet peninsula, trying to simply live our lives.

Gandhi wrote that we cannot separate the ends from the means“in fighting evil, there is a danger that in using evil’s weapons, one may become evil oneself. Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the card and I would soon ind the bottom… The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree.” You cannot wage war and expect to gain peace.

In his 2005 inaugural speech, George W. Bush has once again told us of his messianic vision to bring liberty, peace and freedom to the entire world. Mr. Bush has consistently exercised means which are completely contrary to his stated ends. (Please note that I did not put Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Bush in the same paragraph.)

1) How do you bring peace to a nation like Iraq which the US, in a pre-emptive, non-defensive invasion, shattered and splintered like so much kindling and since that invasion has sparked so many fiery conflagrations? What kind of peace do you bring to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqui people whose family members have died or disappeared as a direct result of this war and to the families of the US, British and other military killed in this invasion?

2) How do you bring liberty and freedom to the tortured inmates of Abu Gharib or Guantanamo or to the thousands of persons who are “detained” in the US? All of these people have been denied fundamental human rights and they have not been given any of the legal rights guaranteed by the US Constitution Bill of Rights, the Geneva Convention nor the “rules” of the US war machine, the Military Code of Conduct. “the enemy has no right to try to force a POW to provide any additional information.”

3) How do you justify the staggering cost of such a debacle not only in human terms but in economic terms? How much good could the US be doing instead of …

Many other comments regarding the speech can be found at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A26409-2005Jan21?language=printer

Hmmm, maybe it won’t rain tomorrow.

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