Thursday, July 07, 2005


Please remember London today.

I've managed to get hold of two London friends and two London based family members. I just found out that my brother is in north London at the moment, and my cousin was on her way to Kings Cross when the explosion happened. Thankfully she's safely back home now too.

Still waiting news from another few people. Rob (of consider the lillies) is fine. We emailled - I'm sure he won't mind me saying so, and I'm sure American friends in the blogosphere, most likely waking up to this news will want to know.

In case other people, like me, are trying to call friends and family and can't get through. Don't worry, London mobile phone networks have been put on emergency mode and are not available to the public.

Whatever we can do to make and build peace, we must do it now. I suggest one simple way we can do this is to express our friendship and support to our Muslim friends and neighbours. Police are warning Muslims, particularly women who wear hijabs to be careful, fearing vigilante attacks (the British Muslim community certainly suffered in this way following the terrorist attacks in New York in 2001).

May our thoughts also be with those driven to acts of violence, as with the victims.

We are called to live 'in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars'. Do you faithfully maintain our testimony that war and the preparation for war are inconsistent with the spirit of Christ? Search out whatever in your own way of life may contain the seeds of war. Stand firm in our testimony, even when others commit or prepare to commit acts of violence, yet always remember that they too are children of God.

Quaker Advices and Queries (British Yearly Meeting)


Lorcan said...

Dear Friend:

My prayers for peace and for sanity are with all of ye in London, and in England today. I found it difficult to watch Tony Blair this morning, speaking of the barbarity of other, and it is barbarity, it is wretched, inhuman acts not worthy of beings with the potential to which we are born, but Tony Blair and the man standing at his side, are barbarians of the same ilk. Over one hundred and fifty thousand men womnen and children have been killed by Blair and Bush. My prayers are with those who are killed and maimed by the bombs paid for by our tax money.
The time has come to demand and end to this, as I heard an old Jewish man say of Palestine and Israel, it is time to send both to their rooms and tell them don't come out until you get along, no one is wrong or right - ye both must behave. What can we do to make these barbarians stop drawing us into their wars? If we take away their bombs and guns, we would have a 900 billion dollar peace dividend. Think of what the world would be if that were spent on peace, rather than these wars of greed and anger.
Let us all step up our work to be beacons of peace. now.
Holding all of ye in my heart. My prayers for thee and thyne.

Paul said...

What are you talking about? What 150,000 people were killed by Bush and Blair. With any luck, they were 150,000 terrorists or future suicide bombers. War is a terrible thing, nobody wants war. But these people will not stop until the world is molded in their Islamo-Facist ideal. Which we can not allow to hapoen. We can not extend the hand of peace to these people, they will chop it off. Read your history books about the last time a facist was appeased. Hitler did not stop. Blair is more like Churchill than Chamberlain and that it what the world needs.

May God be with the innocent people killed in London today, and may all those who orchestrated this be sent to hell.

Contemplative Activist said...


I find this comment offensive. The people killed in Afghanistan and Iraq were as innocent as those who lost their lives in London today, and those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.

Violence can only bring tragedy.

I believe that all human beings have a right to life, and if we want to stop terrorism we must route out the unjust political systems that give birth to it. I do not think this can be achieved by violent means.

May those who have committed acts of violence rediscover their own humanity and find a peaceful way to communicate. We must likewise, commit ourselves to peaceful communication, reconcilation and the pursuit of justice.

Lora said...

Thank you for checking into on to your blog. When I first heard the news I immediately went to each of the British blogs I read. I pray for the safety of the few that you have yet to here from.

I'm afraid that the next couple weeks everybody will be giving a rant about the violence in the Middle East. Where we let "them" create that unrest we let "them" win. Despite our fear we need to remain calm and clearheaded.

Lorcan said...

Dear Paul:

It is a terrible thing that we must talk of history in the face of death. Each day, as I leave for work, I pass a poster of a child with no arms or legs, the victim of a bomb paid for by my taxes, dropped on his home by a petty fascist who led this nation of mine to war on a foundation of lies, for the support of his economic interests. Where did those interests begin? Not in Germany of the 30s, but, rather in the 1950s, when Britain asked the US to help over throw the democratically elected government of Iran at the behest of British Petroleum. Yes, we all need to understand history. My mother's family was burned in ovens by the mechanized evil you speak about, but it was not the appeasement of Chamberlain that created the environment of nazism, it was the cooperation, active cooperation of Morgan Trust, Chase Bank, and Lloyds of London, and many more. Yes, I know this history, I researched it on behalf of the Gypsy community in the US National archives shortly after the record was made public.
It is easy to look at the anger in the nations we have robbed and wonder why... it takes a deep appreciation of history to know the whys. I work with the victims of Moslem fundamentalism directly, Paul, not on a soap box in the town square. I can tell you the same US government that is bombing civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, at this very instant is supporting the government of Bangladesh as they commit ethnic cleansing of minorities through such horrors as the governmental acceptance of public gang rape. Yes, learn your history and then demand, don't ask... demand peace.
I lost a dear Friend in Iraq, a man of peace and courage who when to that nation with the United Nations... I understand closely the cost of this war, and BOTH sides must be made to stop, and you cannot stop war with war. You can only fill the void of evil with love.
In sympathy and with hope for peace yet,

Paul said...

I apologize if I offended you, it was not my intent. I too have lost a friend in the war on terror and another is on his way to Iraq with the Marines in the next few months.

I respect your Quaker roots and your ability to preach peace with those who can not comprehend peace or desire peace.

No doubt that war is a terrible thing, and no body wants war, except these terrorists. They flew the planes into 3 buildings. They started this war, and we must win. I can not believe that we can end this peacefully and have our country remain in tact. I can not believe that these people can be reasoned with in any way shape or form.

It was Chamberlain who stated that peace was achieved after he gave away the Sudetenland. Hitler did not stop there. These Islamo-Facists will not stop until the world is molded in their extremist view.

You say you walk past a poster of a child who lost body parts by a US bomb. That is possible. And while terrible this is war. What about what these terrorist do on a daily basis to their own people. Beheadings, bombings, rape, torture, murder, suppression, repression? It will not stop until they are all dead.

What are the economic reasons for this war? I wish it was oil, then It wouild cost me less than $40 to fill up my gas tank.

We will agree to disagree on this. I wish you peace.

Lorcan said...

Dear Paul:
I am in no way offended by your comments. I assure you I am deeply offended by the bombings in London. But, I must point out that this war has nothing to do with the attack on my city, which cost me friends. The fact is Paul Wolfowitz described this war two years before Mr. Bush ran for president. It is not about cheep oil for you, but about control of oil to Asia. If you think this war is about the middle east and Moslem fundimentalism, why are we deploying the military we are withdrawing from Germany to a ring about China... dear Paul, there has never been a war in our history that has been fought for the reasons we are told. War is about lies as much as murder.
As far as no one wanting war, in point of fact, Mr. Bush and the neo coms, ran for power in this nation for the express reason of fighting a war to take markets we can not win by our failed ecconomic plans.
We Quakers demanded an end to suppling Sadam Husain with weapons when Regan poured weapons into his hands, we demanded an end to support of him when Mr. Bush's father gave poison gas to him and looked the other way when he used it on the Kurds.
Why, dear friend, do you think we did this, because we really supported him agains Iran, or just the same old divide and conquor that has been the sad history of both our nations.
Let us just choose a better way. According to the UN 30% of the 900 billion we spend on weapons could solve all the problems of poverty, of hunger, of polution, of education... 30% ! How insain are we to support such waste of life and fortune!!! It is all greed and vanity... greed and vanity and we can no longer afford either.
Let us just choose peace and prosperity. If "they" hate us so much, how is it that Quaker schools which do not seek to convert get along fine among the same people who strike out at England and the US... peace works... but it is predicated on respect and love.

Peace is not the worst outcome, dear friend.

I really am in such pain to have to speak to the issues when so many are in pain. But, we cannot live by the sword and demand peace.

My prayers are with your friends who are off to fight and equally for all who find themselves in the gun sites of those friends.

Peace, dear Friends

Lorcan said...

Oh! Paul in Philly! I thought it was Paul in England!!! There you are...
all the best

Lorcan said...

Dear Paul:
Having taken a quick look at your web page... let me clear up a historical misunderstanding. Liberals were not responsible for Hitler. Chamberlain was not the problem. While industrialists in England and the United States were supporting him and were, in fact, in sympathy with his programs even his anti Semitism... the American left went to war.

I have a number of friends, a number which becomes less every year, who were members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and I knew members of the 15th International Brigade from Ireland, leftists and liberals all, who went to war in Spain to stop Fascism while those of your political beliefs in England and the United States, argued that Hitler was the light of the future.

After the war, these same leftists were thrown out of work in America as being "premature antifascists." by... the Right. In fact, Roosevelt, one of the great liberal presidents, was in hot water from the American right until Pearl Harbor, as he wanted to go and stop Hitler while the right was cheering him on...

So, I only say this, as these days in the United States, history is what ever anyone wants to write... but, dear Paul... there are still a few alive who remember. I urge you to seek them out, in these days when even the Holocaust ( and Poremous) is being challenged on the Right ( not the Liberal or from the Left, I am afraid, I must point out...) let us not forget Reagan at Bitburg, where former SS officers received battle mettles in front of a US president.

Oh, well... there really is a funny wee thing called history... beyond politics...

Thy friend and Friend

Paul said...

I am a student of history. BA from Temple U. You are correct that facism is an extreme for conservatives. Just like Socialism is an extreme of libralism. There were many countries that looked toward Hitler as a model for how to govern, until about the time he began taking over smaller countries. Many conservatives were isolationists, that was of course until Pearl Harbor. A common misnomer many have is that we declared war on Germany after Pearl Harbor, but it was Germany that declared war on us.

I truly think of myself as an originalist. I look to the Constitution for guidance which I am sure you can respect being an attorney. I do my best to the avoid republican party, there is not even a link to them on my site, because I don't believe they practice what they preach nor for they for many of the guidelines which I support. They are as close as I can get to a major party though. I am not a fan of Bush, but feared Kerry. I think liberalism, as it is today, is determential to our American way of life. But I don't believe the Republicans have the answers either. I really hope in the next few years there is a split and we see the emergence of the minor parties. I would love to see a debate between a Constitutional party candidate and a Progressive candidate.

It truly is interesting how the two party system has evolved over time. The democrats, now though of as the party for the African-Americans, was the party to support slavery and the party against the civil rights reforms in the 50's and 60's. The republicans who were the isolationists of the ealy 1900's now are the global thinkers.

From reading your notes you have some amazing life experiences and it would be a pleasure to discuss them with you. I concentrated in WW2 history in college, more from the military tactics than the social aspect, so you could fill in a lot of what the the books I read disregarded. You can e-mail me from my blog if you would like.

Lorcan said...

Hi Paul... I will email you, and comment on your blog as I can... hey, we may even meet down on the Olympia one of these days... before law school I built a few boats in Philly through the Philly Maritime Musium!

PS I would no say Socialism is an extreme, ... rather... for most of human history ( espcially when you enclude prehistory ) it was the norm! :)... oh... we have to talk about Richard Leaky!

Peterson Toscano said...

Thinking of you and have holding you in the Light. Hope you get a good night sleep. You must be exhausted from all the news and emotions. Prayers are with you.

Contemplative Activist said...

Thank you Peterson, Lora and Lorcan for your thoughts and prayers.

I am still waiting to hear from one friend who works in London. Unfortunately her mobile is uncontactable atm, which is a little disconcerting.

Thankfully my friend's partner who commutes through Liverpool Street Station is fine, which is a great relief. Out of my friends and family she was probably closest to the attacks.

Please remember to hold the Muslim community in the light also. I was speaking to a good friend of mine who lives in London and who is a Muslim. Fortunately, she was in Scotland at the time of the attacks, but her family don't want her to return to London this week, fearing Islamophobia related violence (they had close friends and family who were severely beaten, and one murdered following the attacks on America in 2001), so this is a major concern, not only for them but for all British Muslims.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Paul, sadly, I suspect that killing will only breed more killing and someone has got to stop the cycle. I shall lobby, work and pray that our country will not retaliate, but rather use this terrible and evil act to reflect on how we might reduce suffering and injustice throughout our world, and find reconciliation and peace with those we have so brutally harmed as with those who seek to harm us.

Peace to all.

Contemplative Activist said...


Spoke to soon - just heard from the friend in London whose phone, rather inconveniently went on the blink a few days ago.

I am grateful that none of my friends or family have been injured. My thoughts are with those who were.

Paul said...

I am truly glad your loved ones are all safe, and I am sorry if I came across as too vitriolic in my earlier comments. I really am a nice guy but get angered by senseless killings, especially when they the killers believe they are doing so in the name of God. Beyond the poverty issue is the belief of these people that they are killing infidels.

I hope and pray that a peaceful resolution can come to this war, but in my heart, I do not believe the enemy wants that.

Thank you for linking me. I will reciprocate.