2006.04.20: April 20, 2006: Headlines: COS - Iran: Speaking Out: Nuclear War: Huffington Post: Stephen Gyllenhaal writes: No, George Bush, you cannot use nuclear weapons against Iran

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Swaziland: Special Report: RPCV Journalist Chris Matthews: Chris Matthews: Newest Stories: 2006.04.21: April 21, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Swaziland: Journalism: Television: Iraq: Yahoo: Philip Weiss writes: Chris Matthews, War Hero : 2006.04.20: April 20, 2006: Headlines: COS - Iran: Speaking Out: Nuclear War: Huffington Post: Stephen Gyllenhaal writes: No, George Bush, you cannot use nuclear weapons against Iran

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-234-53.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.234.53) on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 9:38 pm: Edit Post

Stephen Gyllenhaal writes: No, George Bush, you cannot use nuclear weapons against Iran

 Stephen Gyllenhaal writes: No, George Bush, you cannot use nuclear weapons against Iran

"This time there is simply no way we will be able to guarantee our safety after an attack on a sovereign duly elected Islamic nation. Thousands of Muslims the world over will surely feel it's their right, in fact their solemn duty, to destroy New York, and/or Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington with a similar weapon. We will from this day forward be a justifiably terrified nation. The Republic, already at risk because of our security fears, will cease to exist. We will have no choice but to become a military state."

Stephen Gyllenhaal writes: No, George Bush, you cannot use nuclear weapons against Iran

Bush's Nuclear Option

As Iran's nuclear controversy heats up one thing seems abundantly clear. George Bush cannot be allowed to use nuclear weapons to solve the problem. There is no more pressing issue on this planet, not the civil war in Iraq, not the crises in our immigration laws that have brought so many brave souls into the streets, not the voting machines that are dangerously uncheckable, not the nightmarish rollbacks of environmental laws that skew our resources for the benefit of a few desperate corporations, not the tax laws that rape more of our hard working citizens every day, not the decimation of the constitution by the Patriot Act and the domestic spying scandal, not the fading rights of women and working people.

Nothing is more important than stopping the strategic use of nuclear weapons against Iran, because if we open this pandora's box again it will surely be used against us in due time. Never mind the ethical issues, never mind the legal issues or the spiritual and psychological issues, let's talk about saving our own skin. We are the only nation on earth who has so far slaughtered fellow human beings with atomic weapons. Last time we barely got away with it, remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? This time I don't believe it will be so easy, not that the balance of terror between the US and Russia was easy. But this time there is simply no way we will be able to guarantee our safety after an attack on a sovereign duly elected Islamic nation. Thousands of Muslims the world over will surely feel it's their right, in fact their solemn duty, to destroy New York, and/or Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington with a similar weapon. We will from this day forward be a justifiably terrified nation. The Republic, already at risk because of our security fears, will cease to exist. We will have no choice but to become a military state.

Is this what George Bush and his people want? The end of democracy? Clearly they are not comfortable with the democracy in Iran. Most of us aren't. Most of us are no longer comfortable with what democracy has wrought here (George Bush's popularity rating being what it is), but does that give us the right to nuke him?

I don't believe George Bush is an evil man, or that even the people around him are evil (the "evil-doer" concept when applied to the complexity of a human being is hard for me to swallow.) I have watched them in office for the past six years and have come to realize they are nothing more than lost boys, frightened and therefore pugnacious, uninterested in sifting through conflicting, complex data because it makes decision making nearly impossible. It's pretty much impossible for all of us, none of us is handling the issues of our lives and our world very well and, frankly, I respect this administration for even trying. But in the end they have come at it like boys playing war, releasing their fears and frustrations at not being big enough by banging around and pretending with guns and posturing and dreaming of cowboy movies.

I don't know if President Bush really believes in the Apocalypse where the end of the world delivers the good souls to heaven and throws the evil ones into hell. I don't know if he believes, as it implies in scripture, that this Apocalypse will start with a fiery conflagration in the Middle East. I do know that there are millions of good people in America who believe it, good Christians who have supported George Bush with all their hearts, minds and pocketbooks, good people who have been brave and effective in ways that all the brilliant left-wing elite could only dream of.

But I also believe that these good-hearted decent Christians need to think twice before they participate in the nuclear slaughter of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of fellow human beings.

And the rest of us need to think twice too.

Whatever happened to turn the other cheek? Whatever happened to the deepest loving precepts of Christ? Isn't it possible that the book of Revelation is really about an internal Apocalypse? An Apocalypse of personal rebirth, a spiritual rebirth that brings us to the Divine? And isn't it Christ that said the Kingdom of God is within us? Aren't many of the most profound and powerful aspects of being human "within us?" And I have heard it said that in fact the real concept of Jihad is not an external war against evil, but an internal one. Shouldn't we first purge the evil within ourselves?

He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

But these are difficult concepts, adult concepts and there's a difference between a boy and a man. Between a girl and a woman. These are not concepts that children are supposed to understand, children are supposed to play, that's their work. And to play properly they must be supervised. By adults. And if children are not supervised they are lost. And it appears to me that both sides of this emerging nuclear conflict between the Middle East and the West are monumentally lost and childish, just as nearly all the leaders in the past who have blundered their nations into war have too often been proven by history to be deluded and infantile. Wars have slaughtered billions of innocent men, woman and children, ending so many lives, torturing and maiming so many more and leaving a population on this planet dazed, frightened and hopelessly frozen in the kind of childishness that believes that the end of the world will save us when in fact it's the end of being childish that will save us. Isn't that the kind of Apocalypse that the wise men of all religions and philosophies have been trying to talk about, an Apocalypse from childhood into adulthood?

Of course there are no easy answers to any of this. That's one of the terrifying realizations of adulthood, of wisdom. There will never be easy answers. Adult answers are not easy. But at this moment. At this particular moment there is one easy answer, an adult answer to some very lost, very frightened children: a very clear, very firm. No.

No.

No, George Bush, you cannot use nuclear weapons against Iran. No. Absolutely not and if you won't listen, then we must pour into the streets by the millions. If you can't hear us, we who are sitting generals must be as brave as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. We must fight back, we must speak out, if necessary we must resign loudly. If you and your administration can't listen, we who are in Congress must stand up like the men and women we were elected to be. Real men and women. Like the men and woman who have stood up with wisdom down through history. And history will remember. And our moment in history is now. This moment. We must help George Bush and those around him understand that the answer to this very complicated grownup issue is a very simple, unequivocal --

no.



About the author

Stephen Gyllenhaal is entirely unqualified to write for this blog except that, as a citizen of the US --hell, as a citizen of the planet-- he has as much right to speak his mind as the next person. The only negatives are that he lives in Hollywood, writes poetry, has directed some films including Waterland, Paris Trout, Dangerous Woman, Losing Isaiah and Homegrown, has made a bunch of TV Movies, mini-series and series including Killing in a Small Town, Family of Spies, Living with the Dead, Robbery Homicide Division, Homicide, Life on the Streets and Twin Peaks (far less commendable, say, than digging some coal or harvesting a pound of corn) Some positives? Hes stayed married to the same woman for 28 years (the beautiful, talented and opinionated Naomi Foner) and has helped raised Maggie and Jake.







When this story was posted in April 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: February 24 2006 No: 798 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory. New: Sign up to receive PCOL Magazine, our free Monthly Magazine by email. Like to keep up with Peace Corps news as it happens? Sign up to recieve a daily summary of Peace Corps stories from around the world.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.

PC announces new program in Cambodia Date: March 29 2006 No: 849 PC announces new program in Cambodia
Director Vasquez and Cambodia's Deputy Chief of Mission Meng Eang Nay announced a historic new partnership between the Peace Corps and the Kingdom of Cambodia that will bring volunteers to this Southeast Asian country for the first time. Under King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia has welcomed new partnerships with the U.S. government and other U.S. organizations.

Top Stories: March 23, 2006 Date: March 23 2006 No: 846 Top Stories: March 23, 2006
Peace Corps celebrates 45th Anniversary 9 Mar
Celeste joins Stonebridge International 21 Mar
Spain plans Peace Corps 20 Mar
Rita Botts learns about living in layers in Ukraine 18 Mar
Melanie Boyer writes "About Last Night" 17 Mar
Pat Waak files campaign complaint 15 Mar
Tom Bissell is a 'Yooper' 15 Mar
Toledo keeps Peru's dispute with Yale in the public eye 14 Mar
Lack of teachers for 'Critical Languages' 14 Mar
Keith and Jenny Gelber met as PCVs in Zambia 10 Mar
Bush presents award to Amber Davis-Collins 9 Mar
Brian Singer founded Project Zawadi 9 Mar
Christopher R. Hill speaks on East Asia in Transition 9 Mar
Edmund Hull says patience will win war on terrorism 7 Mar
Miriam Gray reconnects with Brazil RPCV after 40 years 5 Mar
Ashley Tsongas keynotes Women's Week Breakfast 5 Mar
Sari Long says PC has much to teach us 3 Mar
Dana Priest calls for Peace Corps for the 21st Century 4 Mar
Vasquez says PC needs to be more racially diverse 4 Mar
Peace Corps Fund ready for first round of grants 2 Mar
Shriver Peaceworkers Celebrate 12 Years 1 Mar
White House plans to close Americorps NCCC Program 1 Mar

Peace Corps suspends program in Bangladesh Date: March 16 2006 No: 827 Peace Corps suspends program in Bangladesh
Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced the suspension of the Peace Corps program in Bangladesh on March 15. The safety and security of volunteers is the number one priority of the Peace Corps. Therefore, all Peace Corps volunteers serving in Bangladesh have safely left the country. More than 280 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Bangladesh since the program opened in November 1998. Latest: What other newspapers say.

Invitee re-assigned after inflammatory remarks Date: March 21 2006 No: 839 Invitee re-assigned after inflammatory remarks
The Peace Corps has pulled the invitation to Derek Volkart to join the Morocco Training Program and offered him a position in the Pacific instead after officials read an article in which he stated that his decision to join the Peace Corps was in "response to our current fascist government." RPCV Lew Nash says that "If Derek Volkart spoke his mind as freely in Morocco about the Moroccan monarchy it could cause major problems for himself and other Peace Corps volunteers." Latest: Volkart reverses stance, takes new assignment in Paraguay.

March 1, 1961: Keeping Kennedy's Promise Date: February 27 2006 No: 800 March 1, 1961: Keeping Kennedy's Promise
On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency: "Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs. Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed--doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language. But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps--who works in a foreign land--will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace. "

Paid Vacations in the Third World? Date: February 20 2006 No: 787 Paid Vacations in the Third World?
Retired diplomat Peter Rice has written a letter to the Wall Street Journal stating that Peace Corps "is really just a U.S. government program for paid vacations in the Third World." Director Vasquez has responded that "the small stipend volunteers receive during their two years of service is more than returned in the understanding fostered in communities throughout the world and here at home." What do RPCVs think?

RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps Date: February 3 2006 No: 780 RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps
Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: January 3 2006 No: 773 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: October 22 2005 No: 738 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Huffington Post

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Iran; Speaking Out; Nuclear War

PCOL32583
27

By CarmenBailey (h2-66-137-250.mesh.net - 66.137.250.2) on Saturday, April 22, 2006 - 10:52 pm: Edit Post

Stephen;

You spoke for me to... veritably. Thank You!


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: