Friday, January 20, 2006

Requesting suggestions for holding observances of World Day of Conscience in and for Iraq

From some email correspondence with a member of the Assyrian cultural community that has been posted in a few Assyrian online forums -

I would appreciate any ideas that you and other good Assyrians might have about how World Day of Conscience could respond to the war in Iraq and ideally, indeed hopefully, help to bring peace to Iraq sooner rather than later. . . Do you think that it would be possible to hold well publicized observances of World Day of Conscience in Iraq without suicide bombers showing up to cause death destruction and mayhem?

I certainly would like to see some observances of World Day of Conscience, indeed World Week of Conscience, to be held in Iraq if at all possible, and I do believe that it is possible, ideally in ways that obtain concrete results in terms of speeding the end of the war in Iraq and bringing genuine peace to Iraq and the Middle East more generally. I invite your own and other Assyrians, especially Iraqi Assyrians, brainstorming and inspired suggestions about ways in which World Day of Conscience could help promote peace in Iraq.

Ideally (but regrettably not very realistically) World Week of Conscience would be a week of complete cease-fire and non-violence in Iraq. A week during which both insurgents and soldiers had a well earned holiday as it were, and diplomats, politicians, religious leaders and the people of Iraq in general sincerely sought ways to bring genuinely just negotiated peace to Iraq. . . Ideally that week of peace in Iraq would continue indefinitely. I, and no doubt many if not most Iraqis, would somewhat grudgingly settle for a full 24 hour day free from any serious violence in Iraq on March 29th, 2006 when the total solar eclipse "Eye of God" symbolically looks down from the heavens upon our troubled world. Even that would be a small miracle but hopefully we could acheive an even bigger one.

Needless to say I have serious concerns about the possibility of genuine "evil-doers" deliberately targeting observances of World Day of Conscience in Iraq, to say nothing of elsewhere in our troubled world. This issue needs to be seriously considered and responsibly dealt with if World Day of Conscience is to be observed in Iraq, and/or other troubled parts of the world without turning into something of a tragedy in its own right. I am not seeking any World Day of Conscience martyrs but I do worry that there is a real possibility that there may indeed be some if hard-hearted and conscienceless "evil-doers" target World Day of Conscience observances for misguided terrorist attacks. The last thing that I want to see is people observing World Day of Conscience being blown to bits by a suicide bomber or suffering from any other serious violence.

In fact I would very much like to see World Day of Conscience supporters come up with and publicize an appeal to suicide bombers, and all other terrorists, to cease and desist from their violent activities now and forever. I invite your own and other good people's suggestions about how one could formulate such an appeal in a way that it might actually successfully dissuade at least some suicide bombers and other terrorists from seriously devaluing their own lives and those of the many other human beings who are their targeted victims, most of whom are usually quite innocent.

Please feel free to circulate this communication in Assyrian, Iraqi, and other appropriate internet forums, along with your suggestions. It would be interesting to see just what may come out of such online discussion and brainstorming. I would like to put what I wrote here on the World Day of Conscience blog but will hold off doing so until I have your assent to do so.


Robin Edgar


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