Dancing with Systems: What to do when systems resist change.
Is an excerpt from the late Systems Theorist and Enviromentalist Donella Meadow's unfinished last book. There is beautiful information here. If you are confused and wondering about some of the ideas that has infused the world-wide peace, enviromental, social justice and anti-globalization movements (That is of course Globalization as defined by the Washington Consensus policies) you would be very hard pressed to find a better place to start.
Here are points in the essay.
Listen to the wisdom of the system.
Expose your mental models to the open air.
Stay humble. Stay a learner.
Honor and protect information.
Locate responsibility in the system.
Make feedback policies for feedback systems.
Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable.
Go for the good of the whole.
Expand time horizons.
Expand thought horizons.
Expand the boundary of caring.
Hold fast to the goal of goodness.
American Peace Homepage.
"While most people, including most Americans, tend to believe that the United States has largely been a peaceful country until recently, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, the United States has been engaged in military operations for most of this country's history. Of all the things the United States can claim, it certainly has no claim to being a 'peace loving' country. [Visit this site to see] a table containing every year, from 1776 to the present - all of US history. Just click on the year to see who US troops were killing, or threatening to kill, in that year."
Evidence from Britain that the anti-war movement is having an effect.
Perhaps the upcoming anti-war marches in Washington and San Francisco on January 18th will turn the tide in the USA.
Peace Activist Philip Berrigan Dead at 79
Yes, I know, obituaries are depressing. But this man was one of my very few heros. He fought a good fight, but in this age of corporate sponsored and government promoted dimunation of conscience can a single person "bearing witness" to the immoral actions that go on in this world really make a difference? Or is the idea of citizen protest just a quaint vestige of another era?
Wall hangings for your peace loving sims.
I've only logged about three sim hours, but this inspires me to boot up my little sim family. When the Sims online comes out, can we have sim protests at the sim white house, or sim mefi protests at mathowie's sim house?
Anyone go to the anti war protest in London today?
The number of the people has been estimated from between 3000 (by the police) to 350,000 (by the organisers
). I reckon 200,000. Either way, its the largest peace protest ever in the country. Me and my friends sign was a great success, with many people commenting on it/photographing it. It was the only black one we saw, so easily stood out. It said 'Its all about the oil' on one side, and on the other there was a picture of Bush looking stupid, and 'No to War'. The protest was peaceful (or was when I left) and on the whole, a success. The only question is, will Bush and Blair take any notice?
An Anti-War Movement of One.
by Philip Gold, senior national security analyst for Seattle's conservative Discovery Institute
. "...of late, I've taken to constituting myself as an anti-war movement of one--a man of impeccable conservative credentials and long experience in the national-security field, a grumpy old Marine, who has grown infuriated with and appalled by both the conservative embrace of disaster and the enormity of the smallness of what passes for the anti-war movement today."
Could We Become What We Abhor
and compromise the very ideals that we hold dear. Here, Jimmy Carter traces some of the fundamental changes that are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates.
Bush's speech today
revealed the basis of what the current administration believes is the roadmap to peace in the Mideast. After looking at the major points
of the plan, I feel it's about as good of a deal as the Palestinians are ever going to get and pretty much the only way out for the Israeli's also. What do you think?
J. Robert Oppenheimer, watching the first mushroom cloud rise above the American nuclear test heartbreakingly codenamed Trinity, said: "Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds." Today, a half century after the first use of atomic weapons, in the birthland of the sacred text Oppenheimer quoted, 12 million people could die at once in a nuclear exchange.
Ah, Shiva as each of us...one hand on The Button, the other writing:
"The only way to live humanly - still - is in resistance to war. The prevention of war, in the nuclear age, must be a central purpose of every person's life."
Hamas accepts Saudi peace plan:
"There has been generation after generation (of war). Now there is a generation who needs to live in peace, and not worry about their safety," said [Hamas executive Ismail Abu] Shanab. "So it is a generation that wants to practice living in peace and postpone historical issues. We speak of historical Palestine, and practical reality."
Since their official position is that "Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason" (Hamas Charter
, Article 32), this is a dramatic change in policy indeed. I'm gobsmacked; this is utterly unbelievable, yet apparently real. And genuinely hopeful IMHO. What do you think?
An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition.
"For the founders of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Coalition, there is a possible way out of the present murderous impasse in the region: a return to the agreement drawn up at Taba in January 2001. Two of those who drew it up, one Israeli and one Palestinian, propose an alternative way forward."
...the end of existence,
the long shadow cast by nuclear weapons. Includes a powerful testimony from a hiroshima survivor.
The only moral and practical answer
that there has ever been to this question: partition, territorial compromise, a two-state solution, the establishment of a Palestinian state in most of the occupied territories with security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and identity arrangements in Jerusalem. An analysis that I can live with from The New Repuclic.
Bush plays peacemaker.
Having refused to honor several international treaties since taking office, the Bush administration sees itself as a legitimate peace broker. Opinions solicited, is this likely to improve the situation or cause it to deteriorate further?
Eight peace activists were shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers.
The soldiers apparently (and I could be wrong) fired without provocation -- the activists were unarmed, and were marching peacefully. Israel's Justice Minister was quoted in the Miami Herald today (no web link available, sorry) as saying, "A person playing with fire should not yell when he gets burned."
Essentially, what is being said here is that being a protestor is sufficient reason to be shot. The Israeli army claims to be hunting down "terrorists", but if this is how they define the word I don't feel too inclined to trust them.
In a world of frustratingly cyclic bloodshed, peacemakers show the way
according to an article by William Pfaff at the IHT. AC Grayling at The Guardian says that true heroes are those brave enough to make peace
. With terrorism and counter terroism raising the temperature of rhetoric and war across the globe, will a new wisdom emerge where cooler heads prevail?
about the children on both sides of the Israeli occupation. check it out if you can.
The best solution I've heard so far
to end the mess in Israel. A Saudi Prince suggests plan that trades occupied land in return for the Arab world recognizing the Israeli state. Is it a viable plan? Will Barak have the courage to give it a shot? Could the Arab nations ever recognize a Jewish state? Could Palestine and Israel coexist peacefully next to each other?
"Peaceful Tomorrows" launches tomorrow (Feb 14th).
"Peaceful Tomorrows continues the work of family members who took part in the Walk for Healing and Peace from the Pentagon to the World Trade Center (winter 2001) as well as those who met with Afghan families affected by the subsequent bombing campaign (January 2002).
Our goal is to facilitate dialogues on alternatives to war that utilize all of America's collective wisdom, skills and talents. "
Good luck Peaceful Tomorrows!
Israel's Peace Army Mobilizes
"We will not continue to fight beyond the green line [Israel's pre-1967 border with the West Bank and Gaza] in order to rule, expel, destroy, blockade, assassinate, starve and humiliate an entire people."
This from an increasingly vocal group of Israeli soldiers and officers who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories. An encouraging sign of hope that there are a growing number of people in Israel who strongly disagree with the current policy of subjugation.
Department of Peace vs. Bob Barr's war with the world...
I found this really funny, but even I question what a DOP could hope to achieve, any ideas in a realistic sense.
A Plea For Realism
This is the first time I have seen an on-line or paper eminating from the Arab states and serving the Arab/Muslim community suggest a new approach that is peaceful for bringing about a resolution the the chaos that has marked this past year in that area of the world.
When do the war powers expire? (LA Times)
With a state of War being used to justify increased security measures, spending bills, unlimited detention and international military action is anybody else uncomfortable with the vagueness of the 'current situation'? How and when can we say we have won and declare it peacetime again?
Israel proposes gradual withdrawal from Area A.
here's the next step in Israeli policy, and just to show we're not all talk, IDF troops begin withdrawal from positions in Ramallah area
. This has been tried several times before, yet Arafat has never been proven successful in stopping terror.
Will things turn out any different this time?
"What is it really like to live in Jerusalem? PROMISES offers touching and fresh insight into the Middle East conflict when filmmakers Shaprio, Goldberg and Bolado travel to this complex and charged city to see what seven children — Palestinian and Israeli — think about war, peace and just growing up." airs tonite (check your local listings)
i've seen a few POV documentaries before and they were pretty good.
The Peace (flag) makers
is the story of two hippies with an answer to the question "How to show patriotism, without hawkishness ." The article details their idea and troubles trying to get Peace Flags
"...either Arafat brings justice to [the suicide bombing victims] and fights terrorism, or we will have to do it ourselves."
Has the War on Terrorism
created a precedent for any state to assult/invade another state which has perpetrated a terrorist attack on them..? [more inside]
Colin Powell has a vision:
"We have a vision of a region where Israelis and Arabs can live together in peace, security and dignity. We have a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders. We have a vision of a region where all people have jobs that let them put bread on their tables, provide a roof over their heads and offer a decent education to their children. We have a vision of a region where all people worship God in a spirit of tolerance and understanding. And we have a vision of a region where respect for the sanctity of the individual, the rule of law and the politics of participation grow stronger day by day."
Beware the peace that kills
A piece from the Guardian that does NOT have an anti-war sentiment.
On September 30th, there was a peace protest in Washington D.C.
I'm surprised no one else linked to this -- about 50 students from my college
attended and joined the crowd of a few thousand. I would have gone, but I'm dubious about the efficacy of public protest despite the fact that I'm an affirmed pacifist. What do you folks think? Will a totally non-military action be an appropriate response? (And is there any possiblity of the US acting in such a way?) Is the loss of a single additional human life in this new war justifiable?
The American Friends Service Committee
is a quaker-based, multi-faith national group advocating for peace & social justice on a variety of fronts. They have a sample letter urging peaceful government responses to
terrorism which you can send or email to your representatives and Sheriff
W. Better yet, use their email contact system and write your own letter.
Not In My Name
"This is a website by and for Jews who—precisely because we are Jews—can no longer tolerate and will no longer remain silent about Israeli Government brutality against Palestinians."
Is peace now possible in Israel?
In the wake of this terrible tragedy, perhaps one good thing may come of it: solid talks between Israel and the Palestinians. After Arafat announced a unilateral cease fire, the Israeli military disbanded all forces from Palestinian zones. If something comes of this, it could set a majestic example for the rest of the world. Is it wishful thinking to believe that peace can, at long last, happen somewhere on this wartorn planet?
Working for peace in the wake of September 11.
For those who have wondered just what exactly they can do besides flying the US flag or posting on MeFi (myself included in the latter).
This comprehensive site offers all sorts of concrete actions for those who believe that war is not the answer. You can email your elected officials; sign petitions; browse a list of suggested actions (from donating supplies for rescue dogs to flying the UN flag); and find out about upcoming events.
Another thoughtful article
Open the Washington Post to it's editorial pages, and war talk dominates:
Henry Kissinger: Destroy the Network.
Robert Kagan: We Must Fight This War.
Charles Krauthammer: To War, Not to Court.
William S. Cohen: American Holy War.
There is no column by Colman McCarthy talking peace.
"Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO
(conscientous objector) status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims." Why is this opt-out and not opt-in? Isn't restricting it to men sexist? (I support women's right to serve in combat). Isn't the whole idea of America that you choose
whether you want to fight for your country and not who ever happens to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania? You can check on your own registration here
G8 Backs Middle-East International Observers
With the US onboard for the first time, it seems an international monitoring force will be sent to the Palestinian territories to observe the "ceasefire." Positive step towards calm or just another feeble diplomatic attempt from the international community to stem the tide?
No, really. It's worth your time.
Bush decides he doesn't want peace.
resident bush has made it clear to the president of south korea that he will be reversing the previous administration's policy toward north korea. so the strides of peace that have been made can easily be wiped away now. i especially like the reversal of colin powell's comments from the day before.
Irish peace process and America
Bill Clinton is heading to Ireland to sort out the Irish peace process.Over the past four years he has made consistent efforts to resolve a conlfict that has lasted for the past 30 years.
Now, however, as the Ameerican voting spectacle continues and public trust in the American political system is being gradually eroded, it seems likely that the ability of the White House to help resolve regional disputes will disappear completely.
Lets face, who's going to trust two adults that seem intent on behaving like spoilt children