A friend passed on a report saying the world lost more than 13 trillion due to violence this past year, growing because of growing violence in the Middle East. My response:
This report on violence reminds me of a quick scene on CNN last week, a scene which stuck me very very hard.
A serious veteran analyst of military strategy, embedded with the group taking Fallujah, said: "I agree with their analysis that we are about to achieve
a great victory. But folks... this is the fourth time we have reported a great military victory. Each time it is worse than the time before.
The fact is... we are losing, folks! Each time, we do win on the ground, in the end, but each time it is harder, because the plans and beliefs of all the people in the Middle East are in play. They are looking hard at us, and trying to decide whether it is workable to try to work with us and do it our way, or not. The ordinary people are looking, not just the puppetmasters. I have looked through all the reports on all the various options.. and folks... I am VERY worried. I don't see how we can stop losing, and I don't see how it doesn't just engulf the entire world."
My first thought: if ordinary people are calculating who they would support... which of the three remaining (for now) presidential candidates
MIGHT the people of the Middle East vote for... realistically... given how intensely they take insult either from words OR from other kinds of disrespect...
I am not a Sanders support, never have been, but at least his "millionnaires and billionnaires" line might get some traction out there.
At Quaker meeting last Sunday, in Meeting proper (when people are only supposed to speak up when they feel it is a message from God or equivalent),
a man got up and said: "We can sometimes hear the voice of God in many places... the words of a child in Kenya... a flower..... a...".
At the afterthoughts time, I got up and said: "Sometimes we can even hear it in the deeply sensitive and authentic words of a commentator in CNN...
It seems we need to find another way... that the level of life which calls for more true discernment and light... needs more than we are giving it...
I don't think God is calling us to DO X, to DO SOMETHING SPECIFIC he is calling us to do. Rather he is calling on us to listen to all the other voices of earth, and
struggle inside ourselves, to work together a way forward..."
To be completely honest, I was extrapolating a bit from what came to me in meeting proper the week before, when I meditated on a totally different moral dilemma
I am facing, and felt I really did get that kind of feedback. Sometimes our Father in Heaven says: "Hey, kids, you and your sister really need to work things out between each other." And sometimes: "Do your own homework. Your mission is to use your own brain, and mind, and soul." To people in the Middle East, I would
say that "we are all called to itzjihad, as individuals and as humanity as a whole."
In all fairness, though, I do also know the Russian point of view. Recovering from an operation for a month or two (until this week), I tuned our big TV to CNN
and France24 (main sources of information) but also to RT and CNBC to provide other perspectives and fill in when CNN is lost in rerun number ten and France24 gets too deep into fashion or sports. The ancient winning strategy in that neighborhood was: "If you can't win their hearts and minds, just do ethnic cleansing,
one way or another, or at least move people around." Eisenstadt's history of great empires in human history is very clear about how ancient Syrian empires were
founded in exactly that, and we would be true idiots if we did not account for the fact that a lot of these people know a lot more history than we do.
France24 says... folks ultimately led by Russia or by Iran are winning now in THEIR part of the war on ISIL, very effectively, putting great emphasis on cutting the key supply lines to ISIL from Turkey which are the real heart of that enemy.
Turkey? ISIL? The current problems in Turkey are a great dilemma, a great pain and a great embarrassment... and off the now limited budget of CNN.
But RT has said a lot; while RT is highly filtered and just plain dumb propaganda in some areas, this may be a key part of it.
At the mundane level, flows of money from billionnaires in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to ISIL, to the Moslem Brotherhood and to the pockets of
Erdogan is the very core of one of the primary loci of conflict...
Best of luck. We need it.