Saturday, September 12, 2009

OMNI newsletter commemorates 9-11 attacks

From: Omnicenter Communications ( on behalf of Dick Bennett (
Sent: Sat 9/12/09 7:22 PM

Dick Bennett for a CULTURE OF PEACE, the many voices of peace and justice and ecology expressed by OMNI

(OMNI solicits a new editor of this Annual Newsletter for 2010. Contact Dick. See below for concept of OMNI DAYS.)
9/11, 2001 immediately became not just another of our countless patriotic, military stimulations, but a chief engine of flag emotions. We see the result around us every day. For example, in Blaine, MN, the high school organized9/11 2009 “to remember those who died in the attacks and served in the two wars that have followed,” as reported in the newspaper article, “Patriotism Flies on Gridiron.” The Blaine Bengals provided “color guards from all four branches of the military…a gigantic American flag…at the 50-yard line,” fireworks, the school band playing each military branch’s song, and, “four T-6 Thunder airplanes” performing a flyover.
No wonder, I suppose, that President Bush named 9-11 “Patriot Day” and the cowed Congress passed the “Patriot Act” to further restrict dissent. Heroes had to be created, and enemies decried. On 9-11 2009 The Morning News provided a Harville graphic with columns of light extending into the sky representing the Twin Towers and captioned “Never Forget.” And the newspaper denounced the “blind loyalty of crazed, fanatical minions” for attacking “the American people—and against all peace-loving peoples of the world.” It was they, the newspaper astonishingly suggests, not Bush and Cheney, who created the “wars fought in Afghanistan and Iraq” (people died, wars necessarily followed).

It’s a fascinating narrative, generated and fertilized by patriotism. Sociologists call it ethnocentrism, nationalism, or chauvinism.

But patriotism, as prepared for in the Blaines of our country and acted out in the killing of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, doesn’t have to lead to bigotry and revengeful wars. We have living, inspiring alternatives. Following 9-11, the September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows pled and prayed for the victims, including the many rescuers. They asked our leaders to be truly mindful of asking our troops to engage in an incredibly ugly, violent, and dangerous war, and to consider the consequences both to our troops and to the civilian “enemies.” They expressed their compassion for soldiers ordered to fight in an illegal war against an extremely complex enemy—from the majority of Afghans trying to survive, to groups of threatened tribes, to extremist Muslims called Taliban, to al Qaeda opponents of western intervention in the Middle East. But they also cried out for international law, negotiation, and reconciliation. They appealed to the nation not to invade Afghanistan, neither of whose people or government attacked the United States; they entreated Bush and Cheney not to add more innocent victims to those killed on 9-11.

We can be grateful for the alternative given us by the September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. We shall never forget 9-11, in their spirit.


September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (see below)

“Americans Mark Sept. 11 Anniversary” by Suzanne Ma. The Morning News (9-12-09).

“Patriotism Flies on Gridiron” by Jon Krawczynski. The Morning News (9-11-09).

“Remembering the Heroes of 9/11, Now.” Editorial. The Morning News (9-11-09).

“September 11, 2001.” Editorial graphic by Vic Harville. The Morning News (9-11-09).

Youssef, Nancy. McClatchey Newspapers Afghanistan correspondent. Interv. Bill Moyers' Journal (9-11-09). The complexity of the Afghan opposition to a war/occupation longer than WWI and WWII combined.

The rest of this newsletter offers a diversity of information and commentary about 9-11.


September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Schurz, Patriotism

Klein, Shock Doctrine

Johnson, Liquidate the Empire

Blum, Anti-Empire

Bill Williams, Peaceful Tomorrows

National DAYS Project

1. Peaceful Tomorrows : Index

Peaceful Tomorrows is an advocacy organization founded by family members of September Eleventh victims. Its mission is to seek effective nonviolent ... - Cached - Similar -

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Whoever Says

Guantanamo & Military Commissions

News from Peaceful Tomorrows

International Network for Peace

The Price of Peace Activism


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2. Peaceful Tomorrows : About Us

Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn our grief into action for peace. ... - Cached - Similar -

3. Statement on Eighth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks |

Sep 11, 2009 ... CONTACT: September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows ... In 2006 Peaceful Tomorrows founded the International Network for Peace [INP], ... - Cached - Similar -

4. Video results for peaceful tomorrows

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows ...

Peaceful Tomorrows Presentation on LaOnf
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5. News results for peaceful tomorrows

Statement on Eighth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks‎ - 1 day ago

In 2006 Peaceful Tomorrows founded the International Network for Peace [INP], ... Since 2007, Peaceful Tomorrows has worked to spread the hopeful message of ...

Common Dreams (press release) - 3 related articles »

6. September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows - Wikipedia ...

Jun 1, 2009 ... September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, also known as 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows or simply Peaceful Tomorrows, ... - Cached - Similar -

7. Welcome to Peaceful Tomorrows Network Pages

Welcome to Peaceful Tomorrows Network Pages Under Construction. Stop back soon. - Cached - Similar -

8. Dawn Peterson

*Dawn Peterson is in the American Studies M.A. program at NYU and a member of Peaceful Tomorrows. Her academic interests include grassroots ... - Cached - Similar -

9. September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning Tragedy into Hope for a Better World (9780971920644): David Potorti: Books.

Carl Schurz (1829–1906)
QUOTATION:The Senator from Wisconsin cannot frighten me by exclaiming, “My country, right or wrong.” In one sense I say so too. My country; and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Senator CARL SCHURZ, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872.
Schurz expanded on this theme in a speech delivered at the Anti-Imperialistic Conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 17, 1899: “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”—Schurz, “The Policy of Imperialism,” Speeches, Correspondence and Political Papers of Carl Schurz, vol. 6, pp. 119–20 (1913).

Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine places the 9-11 attacks as the beginning of the “intensely violent brand of disaster capitalism” that ensued. The traumatic surprise and disorientation of the attacks enabled people like Bush and Cheney to exploit the vulnerable public and “take advantage of the chaos for their own ends.”

“Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire and 10 Ways to Do It” By Chalmers Johnson, Posted July 31, 2009.
According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. We deploy over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories...
These massive concentrations of American military power outside the United States are not needed for our defense. They are, if anything, a prime contributor to our numerous conflicts with other countries. They are also unimaginably expensive. According to Anita Dancs, an analyst for the website Foreign Policy in Focus, the United States spends approximately $250 billion each year maintaining its global military presence. Imagine how the world might be transformed for the good of humanity with this money through education, medical care, employment, and a sustainable environment.
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report, December 1, 2008
Anti-Empire Report, April 4, 2009

Anti-Empire Report, July 3, 2009

Anti-Empire Report, September 2, 2009
In search of a nonviolent response to 9/11.
Patriot Day commemorates the victims of the 9-11 attacks on the WTC, but it was also used to justify the illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and to subvert our Constitution in the Patriot Act and other anti-democratic laws. In contrast, the Indonesian response to the Bali bombings was to search, find, and prosecute the criminals. India endures almost daily political or religious violence, recently even an entire train burned and the passengers murdered, but without accusing and attacking Pakistan or some country the other side of the planet, and without dismantling India’s democratic institutions and protections. (Dick)
In contrast to the Bush Administration's invasions and permanent world "war against terrorism," September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was created by families opposed to the vengeance of the Afghanistan invasion and the self-maiming of the Patriot Act. They mourned the death of innocent victims here and everywhere, including those who died at the hands of our military and militaries allied with the US.
Dick and Friends,
Without regard to the who and why of the events of September 11, 2001, some things seem clear:
A lot of Americans died that day at the hands of those who killed mercilessly.
A huge monetary loss was suffered by individuals, businesses and taxpayers.
Playing on the fears of the American public and Congress, the Bush administration leveraged these events into two wars and a massive propaganda campaign.
The cost of the Bush actions is calculated to be in the hundreds of thousands of lives - including twice as many Americans than died on September 11.
The cost to American taxpayers of the Bush actions is estimated to be one to three trillion dollars - it continues to increase daily.
To describe those unfortunates who died on September 11, 2001 as 'Patriots' is to be disingenuous or to fall dupe to the Bush propaganda. These were people who simply were beginning another day at work until shortly after 8:00 a.m.
That sad historic day deserves remembrance, partly because of the horrific losses suffered by the families killed in the moment, but mostly because of the tragic chapter it introduced in American history. The cavalier killing, the casting aside of constitutional right, the rule by fiat and the obscene transfer of money from the American Government to dishonest contractors and operatives should never be forgotten.
You and I must be optimists, else we would not do the things we do. Accordingly, instead of commemorating "Bush Was Worse Than Hitler Day", we should look ahead and work for better times. For me, September 11 will forever after be "Peaceful Tomorrows Day", a time when I can give special reflection to the cause of peace, the value of peace and the road to peace. My first efforts will be to deal with the contempt and disgust I feel in my own heart for the architects of this grotesque Middle East debacle, but for now, I see no path to forgiveness.
On that day I'll wear a U.N. Blue colored ribbon in hopes that people will ask why. You can be assured I will tell them.
Bill W.
OMNI’s National DAYS project is one more series of actions building a CULTURE OF PEACE in NWA. Because a public and their leaders are formed in numerous ways, including institutions, we must change them too. A way to change society derives from changing people’s behavior, which will then change thinking patterns. Changing what people do is one way to change their behavior and therefore their thinking, and ultimately to change society. Thus instead of celebrating Patriot Day for 9/11, with their domestic and foreign McCarthyism, political repression, revenge, domination, and wars, we celebrate Peaceful Tomorrows: international law, reconciliation, diplomacy, cooperation, assistance, amity.
OMNI’s Culture of Peace program (derived from the UN, and shared with Peaceful Tomorrows, the AFSC and FCNL, and surely all peace organizations) offers an alternative, and a plan. It is long-range, and it is multifarious, but it is nonetheless clear, composed as it is of specific alternatives to the pervasive warfare state. In 2009 when you look around Fayetteville you will see all the old conditionings and reinforcements of the US National Security Corporate State, but you will also see peace, justice, and ecology counter-values in hundreds of new activities in city, county, and university.
And of course if we do nothing the totalitarians will win. So we are affirming DAYS that support nonviolent peace, compassion, social and economic justice, human rights, and the environment, and offering alternatives to Days that do not (instead of the genocide of Columbus Day, we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day). Join OMNI and choose DAYS for peaceful tomorrows.
Dick Bennett

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