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Vol. XVII, No.1 Fall, 2002


Please share with us what you are doing relating to nonviolent change. If you send us a short report of your doings, learnings, ideas, concerns, reactions, queries we will print them here. Responses can be published in the next issue.

Marilee Niehoff: Since the Boston Clergy sex abuse meltdown started the media has found out where I live and began asking for comments, etc. The report that I had written, along with two other guys way back in 1985, predicting a disaster unless the Bishops did something, suddenly, has popped to the surface again. While I was in the States during January-February I was interviewed by CBS. I bit later NBC contacted me and and asked if I would would submit to an extended interview for a after hours of discussions on the back ground of the problem, etc., they lined me up to fly to Boston for an interview. I also planned on meeting with the attorneys of the victims of the infamous John Geoghan. I had been working with them since last year. The final settlement was in progress at the time. One of the things I did was put together a program of spiritual healing for the victims. Recently, I have been trying to get more and more involved in alcohol counseling and prevention education.

Steve Sachs: While enjoying having become Professor Emeritus, I was heartened this summer to see a number of moves toward peace, including truces in anticipation of negotiating settlements of the long and terrible wars in the Congo and Sudan, following a similar move toward peace in Sri Lanka. At the same time, while crediting the Bush Administration with having learned something from experience, I am extremely bothered by the continuing blunt and bellicose tone of the administration. Although the President has learned some moderation, his undiplomatic language has often slowed resolution of international issues (as for example, with North Korea, where I am glad to see a return to positive movement in negotiations and concrete developments). More important, at a time when international cooperation is increasingly needed on a wide range of issues from protecting the environment to preventing terrorism, the administration's tendency toward unilateral action, forgoing participating in international agreements and processes, such as in supporting the international effort to limit global warming, and signing the treaty for the International Criminal Court, is most worrisome. Similarly, I find the Justice department's rush to brush aside civil liberties, in the name of fighting terrorism, dangerously out of proportion to the needs of the actual situation, to the point of being counter productive in increasing enmity against the U.S. government, at home and abroad, amongst those whose help is needed to counter terrorism. Equally misguided, to me, is the White House use of the vague language of national security to undermine environmental protection for some small gains in energy availability, when far greater gains in energy sufficiency can be made by means that enhance the quality of the environment. Most of all, I am disturbed by Bush's mad rush to war with Iraq, threatening to go it alone, which would be disastrous for virtually the entire range of U.S. international concerns, most especially for reducing terrorism, economically horrendous (even contemplating the possibility of war has undermined consumer confidence, raised oil prices and lowered the stock market), and a humanitarian nightmare.

Fortunately, I believe that there is a good chance that the worst scenarios will not develop, if only because they would be so damaging for all parties; but the energy required to turn them aside would be much better utilized directly for positive purposes.


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These articles and opinions of the authors do not constitute the endorsement of Nonviolent Change nor its publisher, Organization Development Institute, or any of its staff.

©2002, 2003, 2004,2005. All rights reserve. The Nonviolent Change Journal is published by the Research/ActionTeam on Nonviolent Large Systems Change - an interorganizational and international project of The Organization Development Institute.

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