Sunday, March 16, 2003

I find myself sneaking peeks at the "cheap airline ticket" offers - wanting get on a plane and be with my friends in Europe or Australia. It is such a momentous time for all of us and I'm longing to be in dialogue outside of the U.S. I feel less and less connected to the discourse here, where no one even bothers to listen to or read the actual facts. A CBS/NY Times poll last weekend found that 42% of Americans think we're going to war with Iraq because Saddam Hussein is directly and personally responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center. 42%! And, it's not that they can't know the facts. I listened to all of the members of the U.N. Security Council respond last week to Hans Blix's latest report (in translation, of course) on NPR. No one bothers to listen. No world view. I'm sick of the ignorance, and dying to talk to sit down in a smoky cafe and TALK.

In lieu of being able to be there, I decided to write to two of the sons of my friends, whom I know are terribly concerned about the current world situation and very articulate on the subject as well. This is the email I sent tonight to Max, the 14-year-old son of my old friends Thé and Marijke in Amsterdam, and Jack, the 8-year-old son of my friends Michael and Susie in Sydney.

Hi, Max. It's Sunday night, and Chris, Julia and I just got home from participating in the worldwide candlelight peace vigil. We had a good-sized group at the little traffic circle in Cornwall. Did you do it in Amsterdam? I'm not sure if we can stop this planned military action, but it feels good to stand up and be counted.

I guess you know that many, many Americans don't agree with President Bush and his advisors...about the war, or about how harshly they are speaking of our European allies who don't happen to agree with our approach. Our family feels great solidarity with our friends around the world and share your sadness and concern about what is happening. We will continue to express our voices of dissent here in America, and thank you for loving us, despite the wrong-headed ignorance of the opinions being expressed by our leaders right now.

On the eve of war, we are thinking of you, Oskar, your mother and father, and keeping you in our prayers. I know you are doing the same for us.


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