Thursday, April 29, 2004

Today I heard Jehan Sedat speak about the world situation and her work continuing her husband's quest for peace in the Middle East. Someone asked her what role America should play in the process, and she point blank said it was our responsibility to bring the Palestinians and Israelis to the table and reestablish a dialogue which respected the needs and wants of each side, and worked towards a common middle ground much like the Camp David process. This started me thinking about how we retreat farther and farther into our own "camps" in discussions about the current US policies, and how far we are getting from understanding what we have in common underlying our positions.

Where is commonbeauty when we need him?
I can't pretend to bring his deft touch to this, in fact I can only attempt a copy, but in the interests of a discussion I think should and needs to be had, I will attempt it.

I'd like to invite my fellow bloggers to share their contributions on my blog to explore the topic: What we are experiencing related to the events in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.

I'm sensitive to the fact that many of us have avoided dwelling on the war here in our blogs because we don't want our blogs to become political commentary zones. Some of us, (Butuki from Laughing Knees I am thinking of in particular, in his post "Remorse Heroism and Shame",) have talked openly about our opinions of the policies or events, and have taken some personal hits as a result. Others such as Kurt from The Coffee Sutras have chosen to leave it alone. Clearly this is a topic which provokes disagreement and often divides us. I am offering to provide a "clearinghouse" and safe space here, in the hopes that if we can go deeper in our sharing and listening, we might find some new ways of viewing the situation and our own perspectives about it.

I'm not interested in a debate about right and wrong, partisan policies, or a review of historical precedents and theories. I would like to focus on your personal "heartspace" experience of war. What feelings does it create in you? What are your hopes and fears about our current global situation? What has happened in your own past, your own history which would tell us the story of how you came to feel the way you do now? What are the values and beliefs which contribute to your position?

Truly this could be something no one is comfortable with in which case I'll drop it, but if there is interest, I'd be happy to compile and post your thoughts. From there, maybe we can begin a dialogue that will bring us to some common understandings and a place of mutual respect and support. Let me know if you have suggestions on how to go about it, or would like to contribute.

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