by Danny Dayus
March 20, 2003
Now the bombs have fallen on the ancient city of Baghdad, I have at last arrived at the Rubicon. I don’t have to wait for more discussion. No more debate is needed. The prognosis is clear, and I know what I must do.
As one free-thinking American has already done this week, with my heart, with my mind, and with my body, I must stand in the way of the tyrant. In the streets and the workplaces, in shopping malls and public buildings, with others or alone, I must stand before God and before man and be counted.
There are no excuses. Whether I am old or young, able-bodied or wheelchair-bound – I have the power to peacefully oppose this crime. Not to do so would be to be complicit in murder. Whether I am a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew, I share a common duty with atheists, and with agnostics. Marxist and Liberal, Democrat and Republican - in all principles, philosophies, and religions, there is written for me an unmistakable duty to act.
I must act, because my brothers and sisters are dying unnecessary deaths. I must act, because I cannot let my only world become the playground of sadists and xenophobes. I must act, because not to act – to huddle in front of the TV scowling at the news, or to say “I am with you, but I have a career to think of”……“I support you, but I have college exams”…...“I am against this, but I have a family to look after” is to lie to myself. I must speak out, because not to speak out is to utter my own condemnation. I must stand bravely and truthfully beside the future I aspire to, because my family is humanity, my career is truth itself, and because my sincerity is being tested.
My humanity and my world is under the greatest ever threat – from greed and exploitation, from hatred and complacency, from men and women who step on the souls of the poor and the week, with absolute impunity from all established authority. The time has come. When leaders fail, I must take it upon myself pull up the roots of war and oppression.
There is nothing to fear. If I lose my job or college place, I will surely find a way. If I am beaten, I will survive. If I lose my life, as thousand all over the world have already done, I will be better off than those living with the knowledge that they did nothing to stop what is happening, nothing to stand by their family of man, nothing to defend the future from non-existence.
The rewards are great. All those wasted days and nights, all those squandered opportunities, and all those broken commitments could be forgotten. All my previous excesses, misuse, and failures can be forgiven. Today I have been given an opportunity – perhaps the final one – to resolve within myself to end my guilt and powerlessness, in the face of undoubted wrong. I must take this chance with both hands, with a spirit of solidarity with my fellow people.
The coming days could be to the birth of a Dark Age, or I could take it upon myself to build a future based on peace, compassion, and truth. A future where first principles are restored to their rightful place, and where all difference, all disagreement, is placed in the context of my place in the scheme of things. The fittest of the fittest shall survive. I was born for this day.
Danny Dayus is the editor of the World Crisis website: www.world-crisis.com/