We are living in exciting and dangerous times. The September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on New York and Washington are examples of this. 

Herein is a letter which I sent yesterday to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien concerning this serious situation.

In peace, Koozma -- September 1, 2002

Jean Chretien
Prime Minister of Canada
Parliament Hill
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Prime Minister:

I know that you are currently debating what you and your colleagues ought to do with respect to international terrorism. My well wishes to all of you. As a very concerned citizen of Canada, I would like to share my thoughts with you. 

NO TO WAR! That should be the determined cry of the civilized world today in view of the September 11th brutal attack on the International Trade Centre and the Pentagon in the USA.

My ancestors the Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors burnt their firearms in 1895 in a courageous and unprecedented action to get rid of the institution of militarism and war once and for all. In 1945 the United Nations was born for a similar purpose: "to get rid of the scourge of war".

Today we are faced with that same barbaric threat to life that led to the slaughter of over 110 million young and old fellow human beings during the past wars in the 20th century. We must not allow this slaughter to continue for we have a responsibility to civilization. We urgently need to oppose the old outlived habit of beating the drums, building up massive armaments and going to war. Our society can no longer support that addictive institutionalized murderous path.

Prime Minister, please bring back reason to the state of human affairs. Urge the US President to cool his rhetoric on war and violence. Yes, we need to support the President's massive grief, but also as a friend and neighbour we need to suggest that he discover what his country has done to make people hate them. Urge the President to build a new foreign policy especially one based on using constructive and creative nonviolent mechanisms to deal with many of our problems. By avoiding the "us" and "them" dichotomy, we will give life to other human beings, get to know the stranger, and thereby make this a safer world.

Yes, we must act now to curb all forms of terrorism and violence around us for political ends, but we need to do this in a way that prevents great atrocities to innocent citizens and adds fire to fire. As a preventative measure, let us pay serious attention to the root causes of many of our ills. This means ensuring that all peoples get adequate medical care, education for the masses, affordable housing, a clean environment, non-exploitative employment, and friendly inter-group relations around the world. 

Remember the wisdom of Mohandas Gandhi: "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind." Vengeance is not the way. Also recall the wisdom of Lev N. Tolstoy: "Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another heart and can illuminate thousands of other hearts."

Let's be that candle of wisdom. Let's stand up, use reason and seek nonviolent and friendly means to resolve our human problems. Demand a resounding NO to WAR! Do it NOW!

Koozma J. Tarasoff

PS: I recommend that you all see this wonderful story about how to really end terror: 

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