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Crossing Swords in Ferguson, Gaza, Egypt..., and the Unifying Principle of Respect

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Crossing Swords in Ferguson, Gaza, Egypt", and the Unifying Principle of Respect

By Gary Corseri

From flickr.com/photos/126377022@N07/14797267503/: Image from page 111 of .Our day in the light of prophecy and providence. (1921)
Image from page 111 of .Our day in the light of prophecy and providence. (1921)
(image by Internet Archive Book Images)

"The heart of love that breaks apart the drone, propelled by a slingshot converted into a peace-making tool, points all of us in a direction, sorely needed, that aims to abolish war."

--Kathy Kelly

"They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."--Isaiah, 2:4

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."--Gandhi

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Dear Mother Earth,

I am writing you directly because I believe only the Great Soul of our Home can understand where we are now--lost among the stars.

This past Saturday, at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, Georgia, I marked the 1-year anniversary of the Rabaa Massacre in Egypt, absorbing some 6 hours of talks by a dozen panelists from Egypt, the U.S., Palestine and other Arab nations. There were also Skype reports from Human Rights Watch. In the lobby of the Center's Chapel, there were color photos of the dead and dying, taken by a journalist who had himself died in the carnage.

You know the story that so many have now forgotten: 817 (officially!) dead within 12 hours, as military snipers fired away at protestors who had come to reclaim their democracy. The streets had been blocked by the soldiers staging their coup. To this day, the US, Egypt's principal support for about half a century, has refused to acknowledge that a coup took place. Such acknowledgment would require the immediate cessation of our funding for the regime of General el-Sisi--the regime that replaced the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohamed Morsi.

I'm recapping some of the basics now because most of my fellow Americans have forgotten all or most of this--if they ever bothered to learn it. In this age of 24-7 "news," it's easy for info to slip down the Orwellian "memory hole." (Of course, it's not so much about "information overload" as it is about bad information overload!) People, and history itself, can get "disappeared."

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One of the panelists, Medea Benjamin, of Code Pink and Global Exchange, told how she had recently asked a class of high school students to raise their hands if they had ever heard of the Rabaa massacre. Not a hand was raised. When she asked these students if they had ever heard of the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, every hand went up. Why? Because, they had studied that earlier massacre in school! That message had fit: Chinese Communists--bad! Egyptian military suppressing a democracy--they get a pass because that supports our interests in the Middle East.

It's that kind of world. We're that kind of creature. (I don't just mean Americans, of course. It's just that we're numero uno now, and, according to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), we're planning to keep our show on the road for at least another 100 years!

Except... Except, we've got some problems in our own backyard. In our "heartland," in fact: Right on the New Madrid fault line in the state of Missouri!

You've heard of the Missouri Compromise, I suppose? You heard of John Brown in Kansas and Missouri? Seems we've had these kinds of problems before--going way back--and they always seem to have something to do with what we call "democracy," and "representative government"" but really have more to do with basic questions like dignity and accountability; what Job called "integrity" and Solomon called "wisdom."

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Gary Corseri has published & posted his work at hundreds of venues worldwide, including Op Ed News, The New York Times, CounterPunch, CommonDreams, DissidentVoice, L.A. (and Hollywood--) Progressive. He has been a professor in the US & Japan, has (more...)

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As I see it, "democracy" is one of those plastic w... by Gary Corseri on Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 at 11:40:12 AM
One thing it certainly does not mean is "majority ... by Michael David Morrissey on Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 3:15:37 AM
Thanks for the literate comments, MDM, and that gr... by Gary Corseri on Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 8:53:06 AM
You touch on a lot of very relevant aspects of the... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 1:31:16 AM
Thanks for your kind and helpful words, Kim.I'm gl... by Gary Corseri on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 10:13:39 AM
Regarding your writing style, I wish more people w... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 12:01:31 PM
"You arm people with language (and imagery) they c... by Michael David Morrissey on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 12:34:14 PM
Thanks, Michael. Honestly, I had a hell of a hard... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 12:59:21 PM
Just now awarding myself a chance to read these co... by Gary Corseri on Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 2:37:30 PM