| Article Overview:
A Vigilant Voice In The Wilderness Of Complacency. Is it a
scream or a whimper? How does the Beast of Terror squash a Voice
when no seems to listen, or is the Voice supposed to scream even when
15, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 549
A Not-So-Vigilant Voice In The Wilderness of Complacency
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 15--I was troubled when I awoke this
morning. I want to be troubled. I will probably be
troubled all day because I feel the horror of Complacency settling
over the world and view myself as impotent to halt its descent.
The Bile of
Terrorism perforating America
When I was at Ground Zero on
September 11, 2001, a great cloud of ashen destruction roiled out of
the bowels of the World Trade Center. It was as though the
entire earth had belched out the Bile of Terrorism. I
inhaled mortality, thinking I was sucking in some biochemical poison
that would snuff out my life, but instead, swallowed the thick chalk
of a pulverized building that had just buried nearly 3,000 people and
struck a blow to the ideal of security.
Post Nine Eleven, every nation in the
world stands vulnerable to the long arm of Terrorism. If a
small band of Terrorists could wreak havoc and spew the venom of
destruction upon the United States with such ease and alacrity, then
why not any other nation?
Suddenly, not just the U.S., but
Paris, Munich, Singapore, Beijing, Moscow, London, and yes, even Bali,
were red dots on a Terrorist's planning wall, all subject to
unleashing everything from suicide bombs to killer viruses and
biochemicals designed to inflict Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
upon the civilized societies of the world.
The Beast of
Terror is stomping on the message of Vigilance
I was sure on that day that I had
something to offer the world to stave off the Beast of Terror, in
whose face I stared so clearly on the Second Tuesday of September,
2001. I launched the VigilanceVoice, pounding out formulas, Pledges of Vigilance, and massing an arsenal of Vigilance
Tools I was sure the world would embrace as a means to stop Terrorism
in its tracks.
But along the way I have failed miserably
in getting my message across.
The response to my site has been more than
dismal. It is as though the Beast of Terror himself has a
foot on my computer and smashes it daily as soon as I publish.
There are no responses to what I write, and those that have come have
been forced by me. One reader stumbled upon the site by accident
when looking up the name "vigilance" in an internet search.
It makes a grown man want to cry.
I can fault no one but myself.
I don't run around with placards or set up tables on corners signing
people up as Sentinels of Vigilance, which I should be doing. I
don't seek the lens of the television camera so I might negotiate my
way to the Today Show or onto Oprah's lap. I don't pump
out press releases or organize Vigilance rallies that mass thousands
to protest Complacency--all of which I should.
I sit in dumbfounded disbelief that
the world does not beat its path to my doorstep, for I do believe I
have the "better mousetrap."
Unfortunately, there is no solace in
having solutions without beating the drums, shaking the monkeys out of
the trees, or standing on soap boxes shouting out--"The Sky Is
Falling, Follow Me To The Vigilance Shelter."
People would, you know. A
certain percentage will follow any noisemaker.
Instead, I wallow in Complacency.
I feel empty
at the almost 'no response' to the VigilanceVoice
It suffocates me. It strangles
me. It bubbles and oozes around me as I sink lower and
lower into a well of ancient Voices who cry in the wilderness but
never make it to Main Street where they can be heard.
The trees and squirrels don't care much about Vigilance. They
are far too busy hustling nuts and dropping acorns.
So it was another slap in the
face this morning when I read the Christian Science Monitor's article,
"If Not War, Then What?" by Kim Campbell.
In it, the reporter parades a
host of semi-solutions to war, each a spear-tipped reminder to me that
the VigilanceVoice is a eunuch, a non-invasive spattering of words
that achieve no target and raise not a single eyebrow or crinkle a
The piece, which I urge all to read
(all of none), cites the frustration of peace movements and anti-war
efforts, for none of these offer solutions. All offer opinion,
but what value does opinion have unless it backed by some element of
Here is the essence of the article:
| From the Christian
Link To Story:
"A lot of folks are saying, 'You know, isn't it
time to find other, perhaps more constructive or creative ways
to deal with problems between people? Do we always have to rely
on military, and therefore violent, solutions?' " says Leslie
Cagan, a veteran organizer and co chair of United for Peace and
Justice, a four-month-old coalition.
It's often easier for
people to agree on what they don't want - in this case an
invasion of Iraq - than it is to reach a consensus on a trickier
issue: If not war, then what? Still, interviews with prominent
antiwar thinkers and activists indicate a sincere wrestling
within the movement over what the nonwar solutions to the Iraq
conflict might be.
"How we respond to this threat will shape the kind of people
we're going to be. And that's the moral question. How do you not
become something terrible in your response to something
terrible?" asks Jim Wallis, cofounder of Sojourners, a Christian
ministry that focuses on justice and peace.
The article lists a number
of anti-war organizations, some of which have amassed up to 1.5
million followers in less than four months. To appreciate
the impact these groups have had in stirring the interest of Americans
and world, one needs to read the Monitor story, for paraphrasing it
here would do the piece disservice. It is complete in its
emptiness. That is, the story ends without an ending.
Across the board, there is a sense of futility that peace movements,
or anti-war sentiment, is fundamentally flawed in the absence of any
solution to replace war. I suppose that frustrates me more than
Vigilance is the solution. I
know it. History knows it. Mothers and Fathers know
it. Grandparents know it.
But Vigilance must be
compressed into some ironclad clothing so it can be worn by people,
and not remain as some cloud of thought that is gaseous, unable to be
nailed to the wall or placed on the mantle. It must take some
form for it to be viable as tool.
I thought initially the
Pledge of Vigilance, the Parents of Vigilance Clubs, the Global
Council on Vigilance manned by Parents, Grandparents and Citizens of
Vigilance--might be form enough to inspire others to take the
Principles of Vigilance and hammer them into weapons against
Terrorism. I thought I would dig deep into the
psyche of human conflict and mine the ore necessary to produce Swords
and Shields of Vigilance so that the innocent might be protected from
the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that the Beast of Terror issues
with each exhalation.
Certainly, there is a market for solutions these days that doesn't
involve launching wars. And, there is an even bigger market in
the future for dealing with the next disaster of human interaction so
that it also won't lead to war. The size of the market is
detailed (on the right) in the Monitor's TIPP Poll you'll find when you read
the article. It illustrates the huge amount of
people, the largest in U.S. history according to the Monitor, who
oppose war before it has been launched.
But then, who would not
oppose war per se? Even the glory-hungry generals who thrive on
blood and conflict prefer not to go to war, for if they are good
generals, they are pained at every death of one of their soldiers, and
they grieve over any and all "collateral" deaths--i.e., the innocent
who get caught in cross fires.
My confusion is my own intent.
What is the goal of the VigilanceVoice? What is the mission of
At first I thought it was prima
facia. I was assured in my mind that the average person
would recognize the simplicity of becoming a Citizen or Parent of
Vigilance, and rush to the fax machine or their computer to email the
message to hundreds of others. Thus, the viral nature of an
"information tree" would cast its seeds upon the earth, and in a swell
of support, the VigilanceVoice's sounds would rattle throughout the
heads of hundreds, then thousands and finally millions.
The fuel for such expansion would be the love parents had for their
children, and their hunger for solutions that don't appear to exist
for the average man and woman who feel as I do, totally emasculated
by events, totally powerless in the face of great powers and forces
that abdicate and then often pervert, the will of the people.
Certainly the will of the
people is not war, but instead peace. But given only two
options, war or peace, the reasonable citizen or parent is forced to
lean toward war, for however ugly and horrid it is, it is at least a
step toward stomping out Terrorism.
In the final
analysis Peace = Complacency
Peace, on the other hand, is
diaphanous. It is amorphic. It is
It sounds lovely, it rings in one's
ear with beatific notes, but what does it mean? It means
Complacency in the final analysis. It means we pull back 250,000
troops surrounding the Terror of Baghdad and wait for the sky to fall.
We wait for someone to step up
to the plate and say: "I'm doing something."
But who will that be, and what
will they be doing it for?
I suppose my angst all goes to
the purpose of any action. If we are going to war in Iraq,
why can't we go to war for the children? Why can't the Parents
of Vigilance demand America issue a Statement of Vigilance and
proclaim our actions are to the ultimate benefit of the Children's
Children's Children, and demand that each warrior sign a Pledge of
Vigilance so that he or she knows the battle in Iraq is not for the
military but for the children, and that when they fight, they fight
singularly to free the children from the oppression of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency?
Why not force the United States
to issue Vigilance Proclamations, drafted under the watchful eye of
the Principles of Vigilance in which all decisions regarding the
post-war in Iraq and our entire foreign policy is based on benefiting
the Children's Children's Children, and when that is not achieved, to
hold those in charge feet to the fire to insure that they shift back
to the main target?
We need to
remove the "War and Peace" agenda
I am convinced in the 21st Century we need to remove the
"war and peace" agenda from our thinking and
deal not with the poles that separate and cleave us into
warring camps for and against, but encompass us all into
one body, regardless of political, social, economic, cultural
or religious variance.
We can at least
agree on Vigilance, and the Principles of Vigilance, however
crudely carved out by the VigilanceVoice, as our starting
At least then,
we wouldn't have to face a headline, "If Not War,
But that sounds
like sour grapes.
Again, it makes
me think I have some right to tell the world why I am
right and the world is wrong. There must be
something dramatically wrong with my tenants, for if they
were valid then others would be singing the same song,
and reading from the same page. But no one
is, or appears to be, but those I can count on my fingers
of one hand, if even that many.
will find by reading the Monitor article,
Link To Story: there
are millions aligning themselves with countless movements.
Why them? Why not the Vigilance movement?
I know the answer.
to bang garbage cans together. I have to make noise.
I willing to do that?
know. I just don't know.
Mar. 14--Task Force Tarawa: U.S.
Marines Preparing To Die
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