A full scale war against terrorists seems senseless. My mail shows more and more Americans are considering the other possibilities. Letıs educate ourselves by finding out what other leaders think. GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS is a perfect media forum to have a dialogue with more than one program about BEYOND WAR, one of our planned programs.
When you consider how closely mainstream media follows "the party line," you'll notice how many friends and non-establishment radio programs let us know that some people don't want war, not that we presently know a strategy to this barbaric attack and what may be continuing attacks. Believe me, those terrorists are not sitting still. Only the old, very young and ordinary people will become the victims of our retribution if we consider declaring war on some Muslim countries, such as Afghanistan. Terrorists require a different strategy.
An email 9/14/01 from journalist Allen Petrich states, "These tragic events show us just how important it is for us to know and understand more about the rest of the world we live in and that TV programs such as yours can help."
Below is information that may shed light on the grief we all feel and how we might re-direct our anger..
After the terrorist attack, international journalist, Frank Viviano of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote 9/14/01, "Americans have grown ever more ignorant of the world beyond our borders." We are paying a high price for "a fatal combination of history, ignorance and power" which has caught up with us, especially since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union when our military and economy became yet more powerful. When we have had at hand an opportunity to become more effective in establishing harmony and balance, instead our president has "professed pride in his lack of worldliness."
The second wave of terror threatens other Americans. Hate crimes, starting 9/17/01 against the owner of a Chevron station in Mesa, AZ, was shot because, as a Sikh originally from India, he wore a turban and looked like Osama bin Laden. The killer, who shot from his truck, proudly named himself "an American." As of 9/21/01, hate crimes number 541 (see www.sair.org). Targets are chosen by skin color and appearance. President Bushıs action to appear and speak out at a mosque was an important start to lead the people away from racism. And now, more officials need to show by example their conviction against personal terrorism perpetrated by Americans against Americans.
Mainstream media are largely responsible for provoking these attacks by choosing to use the word "Muslim" most frequently - both on television and radio and in print. These terrorists are renegades outside of religion. They are not part of mainstream Muslim culture.
What shall we do? The best answer I have is to present many perspectives, have people dialogue together NOW on mass media to learn from each other. GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS can be up and running within a few short weeks given an interim budget. Our programs can make a difference.
Do you believe communicating is really what smoothes out our interactions? I do. To promote understanding and tolerance between cultures is what GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS does well.
You can stop right now and make a donation for the start-up of the shows. You will communicate how important you feel talking with each other is. You can make a difference, and education can happen right in the living rooms of America.
GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS İ1994
Dear friends, I have discovered a wonderful, insightful book about Afghanistan, "An Unexpected Light". It was written as a travel book by a London reporter, Jason Elliot, whose father inspired him at an early age to travel. He often dreamed as a child of going to Afghanistan, felt an afinity for the country. He wrote the book in the late '90s after having traveled extensively throughout, mostly on foot, starting when he was nineteen, way before the Soviet invasion. He'd returned a couple of times, then went again ten years later, after the Soviet war, when the Taliban was slowly taking over small towns and larger cities. I have just started reading the book. Before 9/11, I saw an intriguing blurb advertising it in "Harpers", and finally bought a copy (had it on hold at the library, could wait no longer) Even so, the first few pages of Chapter One opened my eyes about the political situation in Pakistan before 9/11, and other countries, like Russia, now involved with the US in the "war on terrorisim" in Afghanistan, and those not involved and why.
I believe this book will give all of us not only a deeper knowledge of the events leading up to that unforgetable date, but also may help us understand more about what's happening now and what's to come. "An Unexpected Light", by Jason Elliot is published by Picador USA, in paperback at $18.00. I'm sure you can pick it up on Amazon, but why not try your local independant bookseller.
Please read it; tell your friends. Love and peace to all,
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