AFWW Newsletter #5 July 2007 17 July 2007

Quotable Quote
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
- Ghandi

A Good Book
Sachs, Jeffrey. 2005. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. NY: Penguin Press.

A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Envision it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.

Report: World Peace Conference - Santa Fe, NM
Keeping up with movers and shakers in the peace movement! In May, AFWW attended an inspiring and educational World Peace Conference in beautiful Santa Fe. The event uplifted and encouraged five hundred of us from all parts of the planet (except, sadly, the Middle East) in the kind of coming together that's essential for workers in any campaign. Check here for a brief report.

Virginia Tech and Raising Young Men
The tragedy of the violence at Virginia Tech.still lingers. All those lovely young kids, those dedicated teachers....makes the heart bleed, doesn't it?

Caring people ask, "How could this happen?" To answer this question, we need perspective. Entire cultures exist, among them the Norwegians, where people live for the most part without violence, often without war. For other examples, look at the website or the books by anthropologist Douglas Fry,The Human Potential for Peace and Beyond War.

The key is that these aren't "warrior" cultures. Their people don't admire violence or justify it, as we do. So the deep answer to the question, "Why?" is that until we trade in our violent culture for a nonviolent worldview, we'll continue, every now and then, to create disturbed males (mass killing is overwhelmingly a male phenomenon). In a democracy, it can only be within a cultural context of nonviolence that troubled men are not created and our worst human impulses for violence are kept in check or defused. The fact is, messages of violence reaching our youth are pervasive, corrosive, and facilitative of violent action.

There are organizations reaching out to raise young men to grow up knowing that to be "macho" is to be a protector of others and of society, not a destroyer. For us to end war, we need to help these organizations and many more like them to flourish. Some are listed here:

The Global Peace Index
This index, a project of 'Vision of Humanity,' lists 121 nations ranked by peacefulness using 24 indicators and includes a clear explanation of their methodology for ranking. The entire website has many useful links and other materials.
Raising Awareness through Fiction and Nonfiction
Raising awareness of the causes of war as well as the cure is the purpose of Judith's nonfiction books on war and the AFWW website. But as Carl Sagan said, we people must imagine change in our stories before change can actually take place.

The novel Assassin's Rose, written by Judith with Peggy Lang, features a charismatic heroine who seeks to set the United States on the path to a nonviolent future. A brief video introduces all three books and the idea that we don't need to accept that war is inevitable. (Unfortunately Assassin's Rose is not yet for sale since it's still looking for a publisher. Contact AFWW by email at JudithHand@afww.o rg if you are an interested publisher or agent).

A Good Book
Jeffrey Sachs heads the Earth Institute at Columbia University and directs the United Nations Millennium Project, a multinational task force of economists, scientists, and development experts. In his book, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for our Time, he makes the case that "We can realistically envision a world without extreme poverty by 2025." His critics argue that Sachs downplays the problem of misappropriated aid. Like virtually all economists, he does not emphasize the critical importance of the inclusion of women in positions of power in the countries and processes involved if there is to be any hope of success, in no small part because women are less likely to misappropriate. But his vision of what to do, and that if we have the will and engage women in the process we can do it, is dead on.
Good News!
Don't forget that as much as the media focuses on all that is bad in the world, great changes in positive directions are also happening. Keeping a positive vision of the world without war that we seek to create and our progress toward it is a key to success, so we need to soak ourselves in good news as often as we can.

With warm wishes and hope.
- Judith
Contact Info
A Future Without War
Dr. Judith Hand
P.O. Box 270074, San Diego, CA 92198
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