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Peace Memo, a bimonthly news and info letter that was available by email to all participants in Peacebuilding Institute programs and other interested persons in the past.   Current Memo's are not available.

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The Sparrow Sings - PIET Newsletter
November 2007

A monthly collection of comments, quotes, facts and Tamarac Notes written and collated by Roberta Thurstin and Don Timmerman, published in collaboration with PEACEBUILDING INSTITUTE OF EAST TENNESSEE.


We hear from President Bush and his conservative supporters that the US military must stay in Iraq until we see success.  The question is then as to what exactly is success.  In the dictionary success is defined as "the accomplishment of an aim," or� a favorable outcome," or "the attainment of wealth, fame or position."  If we apply these definitions to the US occupation of Iraq there is little hope of success.  The aim of the invasion and occupation, as pointed out by Alan Greenspan by his recent book, is getting access to the oil in Iraq.  This aim is not attainable because the Iraqis are never going to allow this to happen.  There can never be a favorable outcome to the invasion and occupation since 2.4 million Iraqis have left the country with very little, millions more in Iraq live in poverty and destitution fearing every day for their lives, and the killings still occur every day in the country with little hope for the Iraqis getting back their country.

To me success is following one's conscience.  My conscience tells me that the secret of success is to love all, including my enemies, and doing good to all.  However, others do not have that conscience.  Their conscience supposedly tells them that it is moral to do whatever is necessary to get what they want.  This would include bombing, invading and occupying a country.  It would include intimidating, maiming and killing whoever stands in their way.  It would include disrespecting others who do not agree with them.  People still do not realize that the way to success is not with ridicule, cruelty and force.  This is unfortunate, and because of the unwillingness of many to love all people, there will continue to wars and rumors of wars.  We will fail to succeed. - Don Timmerman
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