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Universal Appeal for an Immediate Truce in Iraq
Copernican revolution in thinking needed to end the vicious cycle of terrorism and war

On the September 11th attack on the mainland U.S.A.

Copernican revolution in thinking needed to end the vicious cycle of terrorism and war

"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone..."
From the New Testament, St. John's Gospel, Chapter 8.

Tokyo, September 25th, 2001

The indiscriminate terrorist attack on September 11 that took so many innocent lives must categorically be condemned.

I express my heartfelt condolences to the Americans, my fellow countrymen and those from other countries who were victims of this horrible crime.
There is a rising cry ringing from America and throughout the world to stamp out such unforgivable acts of inhumanity. The United States of America is preparing to use its military power to attack the terrorists and their bases as well as countries that aid or harbor them. The government of Japan has expressed its full backing and cooperation to provide logistic support.

There is no question that terrorism must be eradicated.
But can it be truly eradicated by such means? Even if we are able to remove the masterminds of the terror and destroy their bases of operation that would not mean that we have eradicated the future possibility of similar crimes.
This is because while the roots of terrorism can be traced to the interaction of historical, religious, cultural, political, economic, social and other factors, it is conceived each time anew in the minds of its perpetrators.
Motives determine the goals and their consequences. Without addressing the inner motives that move men to commit these acts it will never be possible to build a terror-free society.
The use of arms in the name of retaliation will not only increase the toll of innocent victims beyond the number already felled.
Rather, it will create a situation far more tragic even than which we have today, creating an endless cycle of massacre upon massacre.
In fact, this has been the long story of the folly that mankind has wrought upon itself. Each of us is called upon today to play our part in putting an end to this deep-rooted evil because no one should ever violate the dignity of human life.
It is all too human to want to retaliate against those who have taken the lives of our family and friends whom we love.
That is why I believe each of us must stop and draw on our wisdom to think hard how we should act now.

In the search for radical solutions to the present predicament I propose two essential preconditions.

The first, to stop further bloodshed, is the life-giving principle of motherhood.
The dignity of life is a value that all human beings are inherently endowed with and supersedes the man-made relation of friend against foe. As givers of life we women will lay down our own lives to protect those to whom we have given birth.
Motherhood knows no foe or friend. It mourns the violation of the dignity of life wherever it occurs.

The other proposal is inspired by the ancient spirit of Japan.
In other words, I propose a paradigm shift from the dichotomous principles of contemporary society to the uniting principles of the East.
The theory of discrimination by its nature does not free us from a frame of mind that promotes confrontation and conflict. The Eastern principle of seeking unity in human relationships gives us the only chance of uniting the two parties through integration.

This proposal is based on the following philosophical principles.
The law of cause and effect without exception rules all events that take place in the phenomenal world. There is no effect without a cause and each effect becomes a new cause.
Without a keen and deep search for the causes that led to the dreadful tragedy we have witnessed, an impetuous retaliatory attack can only become the cause of further acts of terror. This will result in an endless cycle of destruction.

It will be difficult to discover the motives for the acts of which the Islamic fundamentalists are accused without observing their profound causes over a long period.
From prehistoric times to the present humankind has repeatedly plundered and killed and been plundered and killed in turn. We may say that our history is a progression of consequences born of our greed, anger, hatred and jealousy that are offshoots of our biological nature of aggression and egoism.

It is in recognition of this that the preamble to the UNESCO Constitution states that "wars begin in the minds of men."
The accumulated acts of plunder and murder are passed on genetically so that each of us inherits and retains it in our subconscious. This is to say that under certain conditions any one of us is capable of exhibiting the hidden urge to kill and plunder. It is time for us to put an end to this cycle of violence.
As long as each side in any matter of contention holds the other responsible for the original cause, they will not be able to arrest the chain of effects.
It is up to each of us to overcome the curse of our history of war and murder by seeking out and eradicating its cause within us.

If you find your friends engaged in a brawl will you stop them by joining in the fight? Would it not be wiser and more courageous to try to stop them fighting?

Only when human beings are awakened and liberated from ignorance, greed and arrogance and experience a true restoration of the humanity within us will we be able to create a new civilization free from terror and war. This is the task of creating our future together to which each of us is called.
I believe that only when all peoples are united under this universal value will we at last be enabled to eradicate the terror that threatens us and pay true tribute to the innocent victims of the terrible crime we have seen.

Yoshiko Nomura
Director General
Nomura Center for Lifelong Integrated Education
Nomura Center for Lifelong Integrated Education
Yoyogi 1-47-13, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053 JAPAN
Tel: +81 (0) 3-3320-1861 / Fax: +81 (0) 3-3320-0360

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