Footprints in the Wind sm # 734

Footprints in the Windsm # 734

The debate so far over the President’s plan to increase the number of troops in Iraq has been less than fruitful. People are digging in. We are dearly missing reflection.

One thing that has escaped attention is the President’s ego. And our national ego.

His talk and that of his cabinet has been generously sprinkled with words like “winning” and “success.” Notice that these words are undefined. Notice that one cabinet official said winning could not be defined.

There is the logical problem: if we don’t know what we’re after, how will we know when we get there? Perhaps someone is served if we don’t know, and keeps going after the job is done? But there is also the practical problem: whether we stir the pot or walk away or do something else, we will have materially contributed to what happens next. We are part of this world, and cannot escape our responsibility.

So our eyes are on the wrong ball: we want to win and succeed, when we should be looking at how we all live in this world together.

Our clue is in that “or do something else:” are there third alternatives? Debate rarely brings people together. Consequently debate rarely takes us into the future wisely. Are there only two options—increase the troops or remove the troops? Beat these people into submission or run from the fight?

There are third alternatives. The very problems should suggest we need to expand our thinking: if we put more rifles on the streets, does that eliminate, reduce or increase the weapons on the streets? If we withdraw, do the war-lords take over? Is there something behind the insurgencies more than an appetite for blood? Could the grandmothers exert an influence? Do people see violence as a solution because that is how we came in? Is it possible that people anywhere at any time can see peace as necessary for their way of life? If anyone can, can we not teach the ways of peace?

What if we sent in teams of people wise in the ways of council, inviting people out of their homes and enclaves to sit together? What if we kept soldiers available to protect these councils? As the councils and the ways of peace became stronger, the need for soldiers would decline.

We are a people inventive, creative, and kind. What if we turned that face to the world?

What if we listened?

What if we found some third alternatives? Together?

Please pass it on.

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Published in: FootprintsintheWind/sm | on January 13th, 2007 | No Comments »

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