The moon was halved, but still bright enough to light the road, when Koko and I went walking this morning. A satellite zipped past Mars, which was bold red in the west and accompanied by numerous stars in a sky that started out clear, but within 20 minutes was swept with clouds.
An hour later, back on the road, but in a car this time, I saw the sun rise, also halved, and its golden light caused the still waters of the Wailua River to gleam and the summit of Waialeale to appear as if it had been iced with a thick layer of lavender frosting.
Just as I appreciate the beauty of the dawn, I appreciate the thoughtful comments and links provided by readers. Two were left on Tuesday’s post that are worth further exploration by readers because they speak truth about America's activities overseas.
One offered a quote from a compelling New York Times Magazine piece by Michael Ignatieff that spoke to how "America's entire war on terror is an exercise in imperialism."
The other referenced an interview with journalist and activist Allan Nairn on yesterday’s broadcast of Democracy Now! I missed that program, so I checked it out and found that Nairn offered a perspective that would benefit more Americans to consider:
Let’s say al-Qaeda occupied New York. They set up checkpoints on Seventh Avenue. And if a car tried to run the checkpoints, they’d machine-gun the car, as the US does in Iraq. Or they ran drones over Washington, DC, and they were taking out US officials in their backyards as they did barbecues in suburban Virginia or as they were going for coffee in Dupont Circle. How would Americans react to that? In fact, how would Americans react if some young American went out and killed some of those al-Qaeda occupiers? The question answers itself.
The point is that the violence coming out of the Middle East is being fed by the violence that we’re committing and abetting in the Middle East. As Nairn notes, after recounting our attacks on wedding parties and the Pentagon’s characterization of civilian casualties as “bugsplat”:
I mean, when you do things like this, when you make humans into bugsplat, you invite response. So, stop the killing, and you get a benefit. You’ll probably make yourself safer, as well.
There is an antidote to this “I hurt you, so you hurt me, so I hurt you, and you hurt me” approach that fuels the world's war machine. It’s called teaching empathy and peacemaking skills. And I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a woman who has taken up that initiative here on Kauai, with good results.
I hope you'll take a moment to check out her story here. I found it a good reminder that one person can make a difference, and we humans can learn new ways to live.
It’s imperative that we do. As Nairn observed:
You know, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan … horrible regimes. Today, they’re peaceful and productive. They were crushed by violence. That’s how they transformed their societies. I hope we don’t have to be crushed in that way. We can transform ourselves, but people have to stand up and do it. Surround Congress. Occupy the military bases. The US can become peaceful also, but only if we decide to do so. And we do have that choice. We have freedoms here.