Article: Letter to Chris Hedges –via LA Progressive
My goal is the same as yours – to STOP ALL WARS. I cried when the U.S. initiated “Shock and Awe.” All I could think about was the children being traumatized by the loudness of the bombs, seeing their immediate family, relatives, friends, and neighbors being killed and maimed, and how they will grow up to be angry, hateful, and want revenge.
Chris, I became a peace activist after 9/11. The U.S. was going to use the military to bomb Afghanistan to search for Bin Laden, which actually needed a global police action to find the culprits and prosecute. The U.S could have gone in a different direction. The people in the U.S. were being introspective and asking why did people attack the country? In addition the whole world was sending their condolences and exhibiting compassion – even Iran! An opportunity to bring people together, to find a solution and treat each other with trust and respect was lost!
Since 2002, the world has been locked in turmoil, a quagmire that will last for 50 to 100 years. However, there are thousands of initiatives around the world where people are working together for humanity. This is the direction the world should work towards, especially with the climate crisis and because of the crises the Ukraine war has precipitated and exacerbated: more military spending, nuclear weapon expansion and threats to use them, hunger because of grain sales being obstructed, the expanded use of fossil fuels, refugee and displacement conundrums, nationalism, white supremacy, xenophobia, geo-political division, and the worst of all, the economic woes, which history teaches us (ex: WWI and WWII) leads to more catastrophic violence and war!
This has to be reversed! The world is going in the wrong direction! The war is fomenting militarism and division, leading to frustration, despair, and more violence.
Chris, you have seen it all, and at one of your speaking engagements in Boston, I saw how the memories made you cry. I sympathize with you. But hark, a new global peace movement is planned!
With adversity comes opportunity! Peace activists around the world are attempting to unite to promote a diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine through negotiations.
A new plan is prepared that meets Managing Editor of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel’s statement when the Ukraine war began: “What’s needed above all is a courageous and transnational citizens’ movement demanding not simply the end of the war on Ukraine but also an end to perpetual wars.”
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the whole world was saying “NO WAR.” Here-in lies the answer. People abhor war and violence. It is time for a “people movement” via a movement promoting no war and no violence! Gandhi and King lived and died to teach us that nonviolence works. The Humanists have been promoting nonviolence throughout the global South for over 10 years! The Pope has been promoting nonviolence, calling for peaceful coexistence, and new negotiations to SAVE LIVES!
Saving lives can be the answer to all parties saving face and to lead to an exit ramp. The first element needed is a cease-fire. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres set the stage when he issued a call for a Global Cease-Fire. Guterres's one act is the most profound and important global actions because stopping war affects all issues! The new plan will ask Guterres to re-issue the Cease-Fire, this time with a people movement behind it – to SAVE LIVES!
The new movement is a Global Movement of Nonviolence, For the Children (GMofNV). The welfare of the children and nonviolence are the motivation for the people of the world unite and to feel like they are a part of something larger than they are!
A GMofNV is designed to unite the climate and peace movement first, then all the other movements; the youth, labor, indigenous, BLM, PPC, all the religions and spiritual orgs, and mayors and community leaders everywhere under one umbrella to create the LARGEST PEOPLE MOVEMENT the world has ever seen!
The people will be asked to promote a new narrative of committing to nonviolence and committing to working together for humanity – helping others.
A strategy is prepared to begin the movement immediately! A marketing plan of awareness, promotion, and outreach is ready to capture and keep the attention of the media and the world. A special “catalyst” is prepared to shock the people and create attention! Funding and implementation plans are ready to show the people there is a chance for success! There is a small four to six month window of opportunity open! A GMofNV must be announced shortly after the U.S. midterm elections, and the first major event must begin (first of 24 major events in the first two years) by the end of Spring in 2023, before the presidential campaigning for 2024 begins.
The success of the movement beginning right away is dependent upon the leadership. The most prominent non-governmental leaders from around the world are being asked to come to the forefront to announce the movement is coming, for example: Nobel Peace Laureates, leaders of the peace and climate movements, royalty, U.N. officials, TV and movie stars, artists, civil society leaders, the Elders, and the most important of all, the leaders from the group that is usually socialized to be the least physically violent, that is usually most associated with the children, that have a desire for world peace, have been promoted by the Dalai Lama, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and whom historian, author, and activist Howard Zinn, in a letter to me, called the best representatives of nonviolence possible – WOMEN!
The goal is to create a Chain Reaction of leaders reaching out to the people everywhere to create a “Critical Mass!”
Even with all the amazing organizations like World Beyond War, the International Peace Bureau, the Quincy Institute, and on and on and on, nothing is changing and things are getting worse. The people’s hearts have been hardened. We need to soften them.
We need something special and different. Something powerful to reverse the cycle of violence, to overcome the obstacles; militarism, corporations, economics, the media, and people’s mindsets!
We need the UNEXPECTED! If women are the first to rise-up and unite as the peacemakers, then invite the men, it will automatically get attention. This is it – the time to Stop War! All the mechanisms are in place! What better time than now when women are leading to creating political and cultural change in Iran?
You have written about the need for political and economic change prolifically. A GMofNV is the conduit to bring change and create the transition to meet your goals. The world must commit to nonviolence!
The follow-up to this letter is regarding the power of nonviolence and women together. The main goal is to stop endless wars by working together so that the children grow up in a safe and healthy environment.
Peace and Love, Andre Sheldon, Director, Global Strategy of Nonviolence
Naomi Klein wrote after the war started, “If there is a uniting political task of our time, it is to provide a comprehensive response.” Also, we must find “common ground across divides” and that this is a “highly malleable moment.”