with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

News Bulletin from the Planet Earth

I wish I could say it has just been another day in the life of two regular folks, and in a way it was, but honestly, it has just been another shocking day in the normal life of human beings on the planet earth. As for me, I’m sick of this type of normalness.

Beep, beep, beep. The following is a news bulletin from the planet Earth: This week in Iraq, more soldiers have been killed by the new form of terrorists, a combination of attention-getting radicals from foreign nations who think this is “fun” and Iraqis unhappy with the current state of affairs in their country – who think this is “fun”. Their “fun” has grown from shooting soldiers and setting land mines to firing rockets into hotels, office buildings and helicopters from donkey carts and yanking soldiers out of cars stuck in traffic jams and bashing them to death with cement blocks, clearly a spontaneous mob action and not a re-enactment of the same event that happened to Israeli soldiers by Palestinians during the start of the Intifada. The newly appointed Iraqi officials, police, and security officers are being assassinated frequently by their own people or foreign “sympathizers”. In response, the United States military has stepped up their search for Saddam Hussein by attacking areas around his home town with raids, bombs, and heavy military crushing, tearing down the homes of known “terrorists”, terrorizing local civilians who may or may not be guilty by association, including more than 1500 house-to-house searches routing out about 120,000 people in the military operation “Rightful Blitz”. Elsewhere, in a non-bloody coup, Georgian President Shevardnadze has announced his resignation after being ousted by his people as a result of a proven fraudulent election. A prime example of the people having some kind of a voice against their corrupt government, and making a change without violence and death. Speaking from a park bench outside of his government offices, Shevardnadze told the world press that he would stay in power, and hours later, he realized that he had no power in which to stay. Take heart people living under corrupt governments – there is another method to change the rules. Also, attention to travelers heading towards Turkey, you are now advised by the USA, UK, and Australian governments to not travel to Turkey, and if you are there, get out now. This comes as a reaction to a series of terrorist bombings in Istanbul killing more than 50 people and injuring over 500. The Turkey Government, with the help of the USA, UK, and Israel, are jumping to crush this “insurgence” and to quickly restore Turkey as a tourist destination and keep the money flowing to fix their economy spiraling down the drain, created by another past corrupt government. As a side note, the subway stop under the former World Trade Center reopened today, a sign of hope and renewal after the September 11th attacks. All of this has happened on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of US President Kennedy. Thank you, and have a nice day.

This is what greets you every morning when you wake up outside the United States borders. Only the names and faces are replaced as they are killed off. Corrupt and dictatorship governments continuing to exist with the support and blessing of the great powers in the world, while others, now found “guilty” by world leader opinion (fact or fiction – who cares), are bashed down, often destroying the life of its citizens more than the leaders deposed. Robert Taylor, former war criminal leader of Liberia, sits in splendor and catered life in Nigeria. Milosovitch continues to battle the world courts, dragging out his trial for years while not accepting responsibility for his crimes. And the beat goes on.

It reminds me again of how the world condemns Israel for their response to terrorism on their own soil. When the Israeli military moves against the Palestinians, Brent and I keep remembering what we thought when the first major incursion and “cleaning out” of Jenin happened: If the Israel government and military wanted, the streets of Jenin would flow with blood. While the media and Palestinians screamed and yelled that hundreds and possibly thousands were being murdered, there has never been any evidence of those claims, yet everyone remembers the claims and not the truth. I don’t hear the world press up in arms about the destruction of homes and property in Iraq by the US forces. I don’t hear anything but support for the harassing of civilians in Iraq. And because the overthrow of the Georgia government was done with no blood and gore, it will not even register as a footnote in history, other than to the people involved, but even there, it will take a back seat to the bloody battles fought in the past and in the future. “If it bleeds, it leads” is more than just a media slogan, it is representative of our historical memory. We rarely remember the moments when the world shifted and tilted for positive reasons that came with peaceful indent and action. When people remember Martin Luther King, do they remember his peaceful intent and actions? Barely. Mostly they remember his violent death, and before that, the violence that met their peaceful demonstrations. We seem to have a collective memory for violence rather than peace. Sad.

So, while this was a normal day like most days in our lives, in fact, it was a typical day in human history, but for one thing. The people spoke with peace as their weapon, and their government listened. Wow. That is an amazing thing. Are the rest of you listening?

Tel Aviv, Israel

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