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"Would-be participating citizens of a democratic nation, unwilling to have their consent coerced or taken for granted, therefore have no choice but to remove themselves from the illegitimate constraints of this "we" in as immediate and public a way as possible."

"We can no longer afford to confuse peaceability with passivity. Authentic peace is no more passive than war. Like war, it calls for discipline and intelligence and strength of character, though it calls also for higher principles and aims. If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, continuously, carefully, and bravely as we now prepare for war."

-- Wendell Berry "A Citizen's Response to tne National Security Strategy"

Houb Salaam
Price of Addiction
to Foreign Oil

A Patriot`s Response from Abroad

by Ed Iglehart
Palnackie, Scotland
February 12th, 2003

In response to my letter home, my American relatives wrote:

We are overwhelmed at the thought process that gets so many terrible thoughts so balled up with the simple need to keep in touch, simply and directly, with family members. Just say hello from time to time and keep it simple.

Your Mother would want you to be of good cheer. She thought the world was a pretty wonderful place and loved life and the living of it. I hope you can quiet your mind.

And I respond:

I love and respect you more than you`re likely to believe at this moment. I certainly owe you an explanation, and you probably (and understandably) feel an apology is in order.

I'm now second eldest in the family, much accustomed to being number one in my own sphere, and a dreamer and thinker (as well as a maker/builder and planter). From an uncertain beginning as a puny child, I learned to read, and as I didn't like to run and play as much as others (or was less able to?) I read a lot right from the beginning. Puberty saved me, and by the grace of God reasonable physical fitness arrived and has pretty well endured. I've been fortunate in being able to find enough rewarding physical work (and recreation) to keep me fit enough to be climbing trees into my seventh decade.

The reading habit has also grown and endured, and my interests have expanded, ranging from theoretical physics through social sciences, politics, philosophy, literature, etc., etc., and most lately to postgraduate studies in 'human ecology', a discipline so broad as to encompass the lot. The cost of my present studies (course fees, books, etc.) I have allowed myself as a legacy from Mom. I think she would approve and be proud, but probably like yourselves she would not be glad to see me troubled by what I've learned - a cost of another sort, but preferable (I must believe) to keeping my head in the sand.

You want to be in communication with the entire family and I'm really glad you stick at it. You know the family histories best of all of us, and I, for one, am enriched by what I've learned through you - things I probably wouldn't have bothered with but wouldn't want to be without now. Our ancestors were there at the birth of our nation, and yes, though you may doubt it, I'm a 'true believer' in the America of Washington, Mason, Madison, the America of Franklin, Paine and most certainly of Thomas Jefferson. That lovely dream which has its deepest roots in Locke and the other enlightenment thinkers of Scotland, England and France. I'm presently halfway through a six volume life of Jefferson and I've searched his complete works (as may anyone who wishes to through the UVa website). I have found almost no point on which I wish to disagree. As to Paine and Franklin, their thinking also lies at the heart of my beliefs. Common Sense is simply the best ever political pamphlet and worth a read any day.

What I'm working up to is this: I cannot imagine any of these heroes approving of our present behaviours. Nor can I imagine Jesus doing so, not for one moment. Nor any other font of wisdom, not even Machiavelli. If our behaviour falls anywhere short of truly evil, it remains unbelievably stupid. So it seems you have a troubled cousin. What troubles me even more is that if one cannot air his horror within the bosom of the family, what have we come to? Please read my letter carefully. It hurts because there's too much truth in it. If I didn't think you were worth it, I wouldn't have written it.

I would dearly love to be rebutted on the whole thing or on any point.

War is madness in any case, but a war which seeks to ensure a grossly unfair and unsustainable "American way of life" through security and control of supplies for our addiction to oil as virtually its sole objective is beyond even madness and is a clear candidate for Evil. And all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good folk to do (or say) nothing - just ask the Jews, but the Israeli nation seems to have forgotten (or missed the lesson).

So I'm sorry my thoughts trouble you; I love you all and wish all of us well, but I can't apologise. I hope I'm wrong, and would happily forgo the rather dubious pleasure of having been right in hindsight.

The following is from John le Carre, a best selling novelist for three decades;

"I cringe when I hear my Prime Minister lend his head prefect's sophistries to this colonialist adventure. His very real anxieties about terror are shared by all sane men. What he can't explain is how he reconciles a global assault on al-Qaeda with a territorial assault on Iraq. We are in this war, if it takes place, to secure the fig leaf of our special relationship, to grab our share of the oil pot, and because, after all the public hand-holding in Washington and Camp David, Blair has to show up at the altar. "

"But will we win, Daddy?"

"Of course, child. It will all be over while you're still in bed."


"Because otherwise Mr Bush's voters will get terribly impatient and may decide not to vote for him."

"But will people be killed, Daddy?"

"Nobody you know, darling. Just foreign people."

"Can I watch it on television?"

"Only if Mr Bush says you can."

"And afterwards, will everything be normal again? Nobody will do anything horrid any more?"

"Hush child, and go to sleep."

"Last Friday a friend of mine in California drove to his local supermarket with a sticker on his car saying: "Peace is also Patriotic". It was gone by the time he'd finished shopping. "

It's worth reading the full text from the Times: January 15, 2003 The United States of America has gone mad by John le Carré [you'll have to go to the archives]

"And we'll put flags on our car antennas and tie yellow ribbons 'round our old oak trees. We'll send valentines and chocolate easter bunnies to our men and women in uniform. We'll proudly take stock of how we've "come together as a nation" and how "there is a new spirit of pride in America," and we'll pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. When the program's over, we'll sidle over to the Frigidaire for leftovers and the last beer of the evening. And then we'll fall asleep snug in our beds, content in the knowledge that Dubya is watching over us, and yes, he and Jesus love us, every one.

"Meanwhile, in bombed-out office buildings and the rubble of ruined apartments, in cellars and cafes and mosques and vegetable markets, in Islamabad and Cairo and Karachi, a new nation will be born - first only in the form of unquenchable anger, an anger born of exploitation, deprivation, and desperation. It will grow in the form of a hatred as virulent and communicable as any biological agent born in the bowels of the Pentagon. It will spread from mother to daughter, brother to brother, father to son, to be carried from one generation to the next. It will be a nation without a leader, borders, or an anthem, but a nation nonetheless. A superpower forged in the hot coals of rage.The world over, tens of millions will look at America, and pray for revenge.

"And when the next airliner plows into a packed stadium in Seattle or a nuclear plant in New Jersey, America will cry, wail, fume, and collectively wonder why They Hate Us So Much.

"Welcome to 2003. Welcome to ground zero."
David Livingstone

Proving that someone is evil
does not prove that we are good.
The religion of greed is our great evil,
turning our ecological foundation
into sand and dust,
and friends into mortal enemies.
Global security is the only issue.
National security is irrelevant at best
and deadly, more likely.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls,
for it tolls for us. All of us
Tom Iglehart

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