Boston and Beyond: For Whom the Bell Tolls

To My Dear War Times Comrades and All Friends, 

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mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>For those of us who have crossed the Boston Marathon finish line, those last few blocks on Boylston Street are unforgettable, emotionally as well as physically. To see the pictures and videos of maimed instead of merely exhausted bodies there is an especially searing experience. Saying that the bombing instantaneously turned a moment of large-scale human triumph into horror has already become a cliché. But it is true nonetheless. Reading about the lives of the dead and wounded is heartbreaking. Seeing the heroism of so many people who immediately ran toward instead of away from the explosions – including Boston Athletic Association volunteers and peace activists – is an inspiring reminder of human beings' capacity to put the needs of others before their own. But also a reminder that almost all of the killed and wounded were present on Boylston Street for that very reason: to support a loved one who would need all the encouragement she or he could get over those last body-punishing yards. That's the spirit of "the people who watch marathons" – and after Monday I will never look at another person who turns out to cheer us runners in the same way. 

thoughtful piece in the UK Guardian that begins this way:

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bringing to countries in the Muslim world over and over and over again for the last decade, with very little attention paid. My Guardian colleague Gary Younge put this best on Twitter this morning:

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Can the Boston Bombings Increase Our Sympathy for Iraq and Syria, for All Such Victims?" But concerned that the usual suspects are seizing the moment to push the country in the totally opposite direction, Cole followed up today with another post on why Islamic Law forbids terrorism. A U.S. invasion of another predominantly Muslim country does not seem in the cards. But intensification of Islamophobia; an uptick in arguments justifying drone killings; further intensified surveillance, harassment and scapegoating of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S.; and arguments that the Boston bombing means Congress should scuttle immigration reform – all these are already out there in the political mix.

War Timers have been around this block before. This project in fact originated in response to an earlier moment when the powers-that-be responded to a horrible crime against humanity not by calling on universal human solidarity and justice via U.S. and international law, but by "with-us-or- with-the-terrorists" war, aggression and hatred. It's time to brace ourselves and get ready to do our part as people of conscience across the country and the world rise up to demand that this country take a different course this time around.

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mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>'There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind just to save his own
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the Kingdom's throne.'

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mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>-Curtis Mayfield, People Get Ready mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:Arial”>Finally, please take special care of yourselves each and every day. Terrible events like those in Boston Monday are among other things a jolt to make us appreciate even more than usual how much we value, need and care for one another.