After Apologies, move on

Canada's Native population has encountered many tragedies. With the influx of European settlers, much of the Native culture was lost. Even more was lost when we started building our cities and decided it would be mutually beneficial to move Native persons to reserves and then to move their children into residential schools. This error will forever be a blight on Canada's history, especially considering the many abuses that occurred in those schools.

Now, however, Canada needs to move on. Apologies have been given and accepted. Now we should go beyond them and work together as equals. I am a high school student and I want my generation to give our children a future of which they can be proud.

Chelsea McPherson

Belleville, ON

Who Did 9/11?

Your thoughtful article on Afpak 101 is based on the premise that 9/11 was the work of "outside" terrorists such as al-Qaeda and bin Laden. I have always had difficulty with this theory, given the lack of evidence to substantiate these claims through credible process. Promises by the Bush Administration to provide the evidence has never been honored.

Eyewitness accounts, scientific research, and credible authorities have challenged the validity of the official conspiracy theory that a handful of foreigners were able to successfully hijack four airplanes. The absence of plane wreckage at the Pentagon, the inability of authorities to explain how two planes could cause three towers to collapse, the mystery of how carbon-fueled fires burning 1,000 degrees less than needed could melt steel to cause a free-fall collapse, and now the research out of Copenhagen (April 6, 2009) confirming the presence of thermite, a chemical used in controlled demolitions, in the dust of the World Trade Centre suggests the official story was created solely to advance the argument for a war that had already been planned.

David Ray Griffin, author of The New Pearl Harbor, provides a careful analysis of events and provides incontrovertible proof that 9/11 was orchestrated by "inside" terrorists rather than ones outside of the country. I think we do the world, especially the Afghan people, a disservice when we continue to promulgate a story that has never been verified. It has the effect of focusing our attention in all the wrong places for the answers to our challenges.

Ted Kuntz

Vancouver,, BC

Do We Have PTSD?

Random mass murders seem to pop up on educational campuses. I recall the one at University of Texas in 1966. Since then, no institution -- even businesses, religious, or sporting events --has seemed safe from the scourge. Often the responses to these events resemble commando operations and lead to further carnage.

As a result, the wider society is exhibiting behaviors that, if observed in individuals, would be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Individuals may develop PTSD after experiencing or witnessing an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury. Society may be inflicting itself with a type of this malady by bombarding the public with repeated graphic scenes of these traumatic actions in the media.

If indeed we are inflicting psychological distress on ourselves by overexposure to cues resembling a traumatic event, then we can expect our reactions to be disordered over-reactions.

Our responses become overwhelming displays of authentic threats. Examples are police shootings of unarmed suspects and the overpowered raid in Waco, Texas. Since any reaction continues the cycle, a pattern of cultivated inaction may be called for. Let's consider the wise advice to learn to "let it be."

Robert Kauffman

Ithaca, NY

Dusty Sneakers for Peace

The World March for Peace and Nonviolence will begin on October 2, 2009, to circumnavigate the globe.

Many schools are already getting ready with "Dusty Sneakers" running programs. The students run measured laps, document them, and track them on a map to represent how far those laps would extend, if stretched end to end, and how far we travel together. This makes fitness fun and shows the strength of community.

Some educators integrate "Dusty Sneakers" into other lesson plans, such as geography, creative writing, and math. This is a place for peace literacy. I'd like to see a PenPal program start in September too.

John Grogan


Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2009

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2009, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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