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"We must stand up" 

My heart is bursting today with sadness and the realization that our nation's leaders are profoundly foolish and morally ungrounded.

I have prayed for many months, written letters to senators, talked to the Foreign Relations Committee office people, joined moveon.org, expressed myself on boards, but now it is time for greater action.

Now is the time because Bush's recent speech confirms to me, and many others the sad direction this president, his cabinet and cronies, plan to take. His key words, veiled as threat to the United Nations, were communicating that if the UN did not act upon Hussein's violations, the United States would. That did it for me. It has enraged me to the point of tears.

We are a democracy and we must abide not only by the Constitution and the UN treaties and directives, but also by the people, our Congress and the will of the majority. Beyond that, we are spiritual beings who in our consciousness will reap what we sow. If we do not sow love, we will not be reaping it. It's as simple as that in the sense of universal law.

We are a nation built upon the precepts of liberty and justice, a higher consciousness of social responsibility, and now that we enter the global stage, this blood-won reputation must be upheld in the world arena more now than ever.

This possible pre-emptive attack on a small country with a misguided and soul-deprived leader would be an act of aggression judged as immoral by all in the world who value peace. Not only this, but the hounds of terrorism will be all the more stimulated to attack with swelling ranks.

We must stand up to this administration's foolhardy and violence-bent action thoughtlessly conceived in political and spiritually bereft soil of their own corporate mentality. Is this a cause for which we want to sacrifice our young men and women for decades to come?

If the UN finds that this leader has committed crimes, then a UN police force to apprehend the criminal and put him on trial would be more just. How can continued killing of innocents in this small country bring peace?

America must heal our own internal wounds as well. Our medical system, insurance systems, drug addictions, fascination with violence in media, educational system, corporate greed and malfeasance, and energy concerns as well as many more infrastructure concerns and problems need solutions and healing.

Our borders and people must be protected from terrorism at the same time we wake up and realize the factors contributing to terrorism.

War will no longer help the economy. New jobs and companies transitioning our society into energy independence will. We need to watch the emerging water resources companies to make sure they do not monopolize and corporatize.

We need to provide adequate housing for all citizens and quality affordable senior care. We need to upgrade our bridges and transportation needs; find agricultural solutions for global warming changes; and heal and eradicate the greed factors in corporate reality to allow the investor and worker alike the fair dividend on their efforts and safety in the work place.

Corporations must also be responsible for the environment, monitored and forced to comply with regulations. We need to protect our Bill of Rights and continue to fight for the freedoms and civil rights we have acquired as a nation.

We have work to do. War will not help our country and people, only divert funds, lives and energy away from "we the people," and ultimately destroy "we the people," not to mention increase hatred toward our nation.

If -- and it has not been proven -- we are in grave danger from a corrupt and heartless leader of a tiny country across the Atlantic, and Bush does not wait for the UN to act, than the same epithets apply to him -- corrupt and heartless.

Maybe we can pull the switch to change the course of this runaway train to destruction charging away from true democracy. It's time to shake off apathy and think globally as well as nationally.

It is up to each one of us.

Laurel Guenther is a writer and former public school teacher who lives in the Black Forest.

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