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Rolla Peace News

May 10, 2016


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) A Record-Breaking Distaste
          b) Doctors Without Borders Withdraws From Humanitarian Summit
          c) Truth Is More Important Than Revenge



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2016, (and all subsequent Thursdays until peace is established) from Noon to 1:00 PM. Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 70s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.


We've all heard the saying, the city (or economy, or country, etc.) must either grow or die. David Korten tells us, in his very insightful article, that we have grown enough, and it's time to grow up. Humanity with its parasitical consumer economy has outgrown the ability of the Earth to support it. We need to learn, as a collective, what we should have learned in kindergarten — to share.

If we want our children and grandchildren to have a habitable planet to live on, we must stop using Earth's resources faster than she can replenish them, and if we do not start taking care of all her children, instead of piling up more wealth for the few, we are going to have what for 99% of humanity will be Hell on Earth. A world where the 62 richest individuals have as much wealth as the poorest half of all humanity is not sustainable. The kind of growth still being sought after does not provide prosperity for all, does not enhance life for any but a very few, does not respect the web of life that is our planet.

Reading this article, Rolla residents may draw some similarities to our local situation, where taxpayers' money is being given to big corporations to come here and compete with local businesses in an already-saturated market. We might ask ourselves, “Who benefits?”


Daniel Berrigan died on April 30, 2016, at the age of 94. His entire life was spent working for peace and justice, sometimes paying a high price for his activism. He was also a poet, and in his honor I would like to quote the statement he made about burning draft files of young men about to be sent to Vietnam, an action for which he spent 18 months in jail:
“Our apologies good friends
for the fracture of good order the burning of paper
instead of children the angering of the orderlies
in the front parlor of the charnel house
We could not so help us God do otherwise
For we are sick at heart
Our hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land of Burning Children …
We say: Killing is disorder
life and gentleness and community and unselfishness
is the only order we recognize …
How long must the world’s resources
be raped in the service of legalized murder?
When at what point will you say no to this war?
We have chosen to say
with the gift of our liberty
if necessary our lives:
the violence stops here
the death stops here
the suppression of the truth stops here
this war stops here …
There are many more Lands of Burning Children now.”

4. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) A Record-Breaking Distaste
          b) Doctors Without Borders Withdraws From Humanitarian Summit
          c) Truth Is More Important Than Revenge


I think this may be the defining factor in the 2016 presidential campaign: Never before have the voters found the presumptive nominees of the two major political parties so distasteful.

Unless Bernie pulls off another miracle (Don't count Bernie out.) voters will vote in November in record numbers for the candidate they perceive as the lesser of two evils. Me? I can't decide which candidate I find more repugnant; but I'm leaning heavily toward Hillary Clinton. In truth, I stand with the 19th Century theologian, Tryon Edwards, who famously advised: “Between two evils, choose neither; between two goods, choose both.” I will likely vote for Bernie whether he receives his party's nomination or not.


Doctors Without Borders (DWB) has seen 75 of its hospitals bombed and hundreds of its patients and health workers killed in clear violation of the most fundamental rules of war. This includes the deliberate bombing of the DWB hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan by US forces killing 42 and injuring many more.

Comparing the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit to a fig leaf, Doctors Without Borders has withdrawn from the conference. In a speech before the UN Security Council, DWB president, Joanne Liu asks,
“What are individuals in wars today? Expendable commodities, dead or alive. Hospitals are routinely bombed, raided, looted or burned to the ground. Medical personnel are threatened. Patients are shot in their beds. Broad attacks on communities and precise attacks on health facilities are described as mistakes, are denied outright, or are simply met with silence. In reality, they amount to massive, indiscriminate and disproportionate civilian targeting in urban settings, and, in the worst cases, they are acts of terror.”
Personally, I think Sven Lindqvist said it best in his History of Bombing:
“The laws of war protect enemies of the same race, class, and culture. The laws of war leave the foreign and the alien without protection. When is one allowed to wage war against savages and barbarians? Answer: always. What is permissible in war against savages and barbarians? Answer: anything.”
And just who are today's “savages and barbarians?” Anyone who isn't one of us.

If you wish to donate to Doctors Without Borders, here's the URL.


Reinhold Hanning is standing trial in Germany for his role in facilitating the murder of 170,000 mostly Jewish people over 70 years ago in the Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp. Hanning was a guard at Auschwitz and is not accused directly of murder. One of his accusers, Auschwitz survivor, Leon Schwartzbaum, said before the trial, “I’ll look into his eyes and see if he is honest, because the truth is what is most important. I don’t want revenge; I don’t want him tormented in prison. He is just an old man like me.” .

Sadly, we must often wait until we are old to understand that the truth is more important than revenge.

Two thoughts struck me as I read this short article:

1. Why is US complicity in the Nazi death camp murders never discussed? For example, In 1944 oil refineries and factories adjacent to the Auschwitz death camp were bombed from US bases in Italy. The gas chambers at Auschwitz were allowed to continue uninterrupted operation until Auschwitz was evacuated the following year before advancing Russian troops. Perhaps a half million mostly Hungarian Jewish lives could have been saved by simply bombing the gas chambers. (See Sven Lindqvist's “History of Bombing,” pp,100-101)

2. Instead of Reinhold Hanning, why not Henry Kissinger, who is probably responsible for more deaths than any single person since World War II? Why not Binyamin Netanyahu? Why not Dick Cheney? How about Tony Blair? I suspect they too, if they live long enough, will, like Reinhold Hanning, have their day in Court. Perhaps they too will one day express remorse for their actions, as Hanning is now doing.


Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Grassroots Rolla: top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com