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Whatever your stand on Iraq, Palestine, or terror, the world is changing with potential for better or worse. Historically, one people's opportunity has usually been coupled with another people's tragedy. How can we create a win-win instead?

Ailing institutions include both stripes of governance (secular and religious). Neither can be changed short of concerted grass-roots action. To begin, it seems useful to list the strengths and weaknesses of some of the institutions involved. Big-ticket changes are needed in:

America: At its best in providing social, scientific and technical progress, comfort, and safety for human kind. Significant weaknesses: How it proceeds, bully behavior, greed, America-First diplomacy, rape of the environment, ignoring world opinion, Authoritarian mind set of its leadership.

Christianity: At its best when supporting secular governance, individual freedom, the arts, and sciences. Significant weaknesses: Fundamentalism, Authoritarian influence in society, minds may be closed to social issues.

European Union: At it best when bringing ancient enemies together into one economic and social system. Significant weakness: Suppression of criticism threatens free speech.

Islam: At its best in helping the poor. Significant weaknesses: Fundamentalism, Women's rights, Authoritarian approach to society, closed minds.

NATO: At its best in regional peacekeeping as in Bosnia. At its best when expanding its member-driven security blanket Eastward. Significant weakness: Cannot limit the top dog.

United Nations: At its best in peacekeeping, relieving pain and want among the suffering, and providing moral directives for member nations. Significant weaknesses: Security Council Veto powers of the WWII winners that hampers its functions; not up to handling the threat of nuclear terrorism. Authoritarian mind set of its leadership.

Zionism / Judaism: At their best when finding homes for Jews. Significant weaknesses: How it finds those homes, displacing, provoking (like Sharon's visit with a military escort to the Temple Mount, also known as al-Haram al-Sharif), and violently suppressing indigenous peoples. Authoritarian mind set of its leadership.

American weaknesses do not reflect the average American, just the man in the White House, his staff, Neocons and plutocrats in his government from industry, and the extremist right wings of politics and religion that now permeate government staff positions and are growing in the courts.

Reformations needed

None of these needed reformations will come easily. There is an overriding threat to human kind: See Nuclear Terror. Short of war, current institutions are not up to managing all things nuclear.

But the war we embarked on was justified as fighting EVIL, the "Axis of Evil," in Mr. Bush's words. His use of the word evil is consistent with his other pronouncements that include words originating in religion. He is projecting his view of the world: black and white.

Where are we surely going?

  • Mending certain political fences,
  • Issuing contracts for rebuilding Iraq to favored sectors of US industry,
  • Learning why the Sunni's, Shiite's, and Kurds do not get along, and
  • Realizing that Islam is not easily compatible with Western-style democracy and all its freedoms for both genders.

Where are we likely going?

  • Being as slow to rebuild Iraq as we were fast to destroy it. Afghanistan is a case in point in just that direction.
  • Discovering Islam the hard way.
  • Encouraging Zionism further.

Where should we be going?

  • Celebrating our differences instead of fighting over them.
  • Addressing nuclear terror in concert with all nations of the world. (Stabilizing Governments, removing despots and genocidal maniacs from power, eliminating terrorism by worldwide police action.)
  • Finding a political solution in Iraq that will be inherently stable. This will likely require some new political boundaries--a confederation comes to mind, but is likely to fail on stability. (No one is mentioning the division of Iraq for the sake of peace; the only focus is preserving Iraq's present borders complete with built-in ethnic and religious rivalries.)
  • Addressing the issue of Fundamentalism throughout all societies by education that emphasizes history, anthropology, and biology, and how each of these factual sciences fit compatibly with religion.
  • Addressing poverty and genocide wherever they occur.
  • Addressing potable water shortage in Third World.
  • Addressing world population growth.
  • Reversing the deterioration of the environment.
  • Reversing the trend toward a plutocracy among and within nations.
  • Reversing Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza, forcing a return to secure 1976 borders.
  • Maintaining a military of adequate size and ability to deal with 21st century issues that is UN (as modified) focused and controlled. This means a substantial reformation on the parts of member nations.
  • Celebrating our differences instead of fighting over them.

See also:


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