A daring proposal for peace in Iraq
I don’t want peace in Iraq. I want much more than that. I want an entirely different American foreign policy.
I want to be a part of an America that inspires trust and leads by example. I want an America that supports human rights regardless who violators of them may be. I an America that spends as much on healing the world as it does on dominating it. I want an America that people of every nation can see as an indispensable part of world well-being.
But those are not the ideas under debate on Capitol Hill. In foreign affairs, the political buzz is mostly about which party can best do the same things that have always been done. There is little creativity directed toward changing the status quo: the power-and-control assumptions that convince every generation that we must make war.
Astonishingly fresh, then, is a proposal drafted by Rev. Tony Campolo and Rabbi Michael Lerner. Signed by Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and others of many backgrounds, it focuses on the ethics of world participation rather than narrow self-interest. I excerpt its three main points:
The remedy for wrong-doing begins not only with the act of changing the path (stop funding war) but also with apology and repentance (in the Biblical sense repentance conveys a return to one’s highest self after one has gone astray and betrayed one’s highest values). Therefore, we propose … that the President (or, if he won’t, then the Congress should send representatives who) go before the U.N. and acknowledge that it was wrong for the U.S. to invade Iraq, that hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed and wounded in the chain of events that our invasion precipitated. For the sufferings and deaths that have come for this invasion he should ask for forgiveness on behalf of himself and the American people who overwhelmingly supported this great wrong. […]
Fellow Arabs and Muslims know the language, understand the culture, and especially the
religion of the people of Iraq far better than do our own soldiers, who usually perceived as modern-day imitators of the Crusaders who once devastated Muslim countries. Volunteers
from Muslim and non-Muslim countries should be able to provide protection for Sunni, Shia and Kurdish interests. The U.S. and Britain should withdraw all our forces as this Arab, Muslim and International force takes our place and conducts a plebiscite to allow the people to determine their own future. The U.S. should give our military bases to this force, and require that any U.S. corporation operating in Iraq give at least the majority of its proits to the task of Iraqi reconstruction. […]
True repentance requires the works of repentance. It is not enough to simply say “We’re sorry!” So the U.S. must commit the hundreds of billions needed to fully rebuild Iraq.
Yet the rebuilding of Iraq should only be part of a larger Global Marshall Plan which the U.S. should announce now—to commit at least 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the U.S. each year for the next twenty years toward the goal of eliminating global and domestic poverty, homelessness, inadequate health care, inadequate education, and for repairing the environment. Just as the irst Marshall Plan allocated 1.5-2% of GDP after the Second World War to the rebuilding of Europe, this second Marshall Plan, extended to the rest of the world, will provide far more homeland security for the U.S. than the currently planned military spending that will squander our resources. […]
It is breath-taking. I am so glad to have it on the table. Read the balance of the statements, as well as the thoughts behind them, and the names of those who’ve already signed, here. Funds and signatures are being gathered to run it as a full-page ad in as many print media as possible.
I’ve signed and I hope you’ll consider doing the same. As policies spring up from grass roots, governments slowly start to take them seriously. Probably lasting change happens no other way.
A brief history of Iran-US relations, part 1: Constitution to Khatami,
Take Care of Our Children,
Think Muslims support terror? Check this out.
We Are Citizens of Another Nation
Tags: peace, foreign+policy, new+Marshall+Plan, Campolo, Lerner, An+Ethical+Way+to+End+the+War+in+Iraq, Deepak+Chopra, Joan+Chittister, Howard+Zinn, Sheik+Kabir+Helminski, Cornel+West, Archibishop+Sergius, Monte Asbury
Subscribe to comments with RSS.