Joining the world-wide plea for peace in Syria

War is Not the Answer

I took this picture in 2003. Will Congress listen to the people in 2013?

It’s an old script with a few revisions.  A U.S. president is drawing lines, amassing more imperial power, issuing threats and ultimatums.  Most of the world is rising up in opposition.   Sadly, those who are calling for a diplomatic solution and humanitarian aid will probably not deter the power elite for long.

September 10, 2013, Update:  Overnight, the winds of war shifted. The news about a possible diplomatic solution for Syria is very encouraging.  I can’t imagine what it’s like for the Syrian people to live in fear of chemical poison and bombs for more than two years.   Who’s to “blame” for this violence and destruction in Syria?  The Assad government, rebels, terrorists, or foreign agents?  All of the above?  The world may never know the whole truth.

From my safe desk chair I wonder, “Which actor really wants peaceful diplomacy?”  In a bold move, Syria—with Russia’s help—took Secretary of State Kerry’s toss away comment about Assad giving up all his chemical weapons to avoid airstrikes and turned it into an olive branch.  Even though they haven’t yet admitted to having or using chemical weapons, Syria has agreed to place all of its chemical weapons in international control.  A wise move!  I bet John Kerry didn’t see that one coming.  It’s funny but kinda sad since he is the U.S. Secretary of State, our country’s top diplomat.

Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on PBS provides some insight into the fighting and the factions in Syria.  The headline on The Huffington Post reads, “The World Waits.”  In a half an hour President Obama will address the nation and the world at 9pm EST.  I’m waiting and hoping our president will choose peaceful diplomacy and humanitarian aid.  Syria is not our enemy.

Japan’s nuclear nightmare is going global

nuclear disasterMore bad news from Japan.  Fukushima has become an unstoppable  fountain of radioactive chemicals pouring into the Pacific Ocean.   The radioactive contamination from this nuclear disaster is worse than the Japanese people suffered from the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II and worse than the Chernobyl meltdown.

Soon after WWII, Japan’s radioactive monster Godzilla made his movie premiere in the early 1950s.  The creature was considered a metaphorical warning about the danger of nuclear weapons.  But in later films, Godzilla was cast as a hero or the best choice among bad options. This transition coincides with U.S. efforts to develop nuclear power to generate electricity.

Godzilla is now a world-wide cultural icon with movies, merchandising, games and memes.  Nuclear weapons and power plants have also proliferated around the world despite strong opposition from the inhabitants of the planet.  Now, this Fukushima Daiichi Godzilla flowing from Japan threatens to irradiate all life on Earth and the 1977 Blue Oyster Cult ode to the monster seems like a prediction instead of a parody.

“History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men.”

It’s odd that Godzilla transitioned into a hero.  Could this reflect the Japanese peoples’ eventual acceptance of  nuclear energy dependence for their tiny, volatile island on the Pacific Ring of Fire?  What about the rest of us?  How were we convinced that nuclear power was a good idea, that nuclear weapons should be stockpiled and that making munitions with depleted uranium is amoral?  Did we ever have a choice? What would we choose if we could?

We can’t escape the reality that we’re all in the same fragile lifeboat we call Earth, and a radioactive monster is spreading our way.  Some would say that we can’t escape our karma.  They might be right.

But I have to keep hoping that we can influence karma by our actions; that collectively we can create a different outcome.  What’s the safest way to avoid nuclear annihilation?  Stop using nuclear power.

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present.  And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”    ~ Cloud Atlas