James Carroll Tribute

    Let us Make Peace!

    The Beauty and Power of James Carroll:  For many years, James
    Carroll has been writing about war and peace, love and anger,
    people and life, religion and spirituality.  There is a truth that
    emanates from his writing that goes right to the heart, both literally
    and emotionally.  His most profound words come when their needed
    the most.  

    People wonder, can there be a way to find peace?  Is there hope?  
    James Carroll, in the Boston Globe Op-Ed, “Discourse in the Middle
    East,” February 26, 2007, writing about Jerusalem, asked the most
    important question of all, or as he called it, the primal question,
    “Can we believe in the human future?”  The question gets right to
    the source of life.  Carroll puts it into simple terms and talks about
    hope.  He wrote hope is “an act of peace.”  He was referring to
    when war comes, people need hope to survive.  We need to
    survive for the future.  So, if we are in a war, Carroll states,
    “…when life and death define the boundaries, to give up hope is
    not an option.” “Hope is a political act.  Hope is a choice.”  

    Carroll related the difficulties of peaceful relations in Jerusalem between the three major
    religious groups, Jews, Muslims, and Christians by stating, “One person’s true belief is
    another person’s fundamentalism.  Tolerance is proclaimed a religious virtue, but can it
    tolerate the intolerant?”  The inference is that it has to be done.  He wrote, “Incompatible
    narratives do in fact unfold side by side.  Arabs and Jews do intermingle.” A Palestinian
    leader was quoted as saying, “There is no choice but partnership.”  And a Jewish leader
    spoke of “the coalition of civilizations.”  

    Carroll’s brilliance is in seeing that people can find ways to work together and his writing
    expresses his view without forcing it upon people.  He makes people think!  It gives me
    hope.  It makes me believe in unity.  It makes me want to work hard for that unity, in a
    peaceful way.  

    In a very profound article, Carroll wrote about dignitaries working hard to accomplish their
    goals and then later repudiating their own work.  The article was superior!  At the end,
    Carroll declared “How much better it would be, though, if such wisdom came to them when
    they could act upon it.”  He referred to Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, General George Lee
    Butler, Robert McNamara, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.  All these men were involved with
    war, or nuclear weapons, or the military complex and all came to want “to undo them.”  
    How can that lesson be taught to current leaders?  What genius Carroll has to relate this
    for others.  (“Retirement Syndrome” February 5, 2007)

    Writing about war exhibits reality in a vivid light.  When a person makes a mistake in life,
    he or she must admit the mistake.  A day before US elections, Carroll brought up the
    possibility of the war in Iraq being lost.  In “What it will take to end war,” November 6,
    2006, the concept of a country admitting a mistake was addressed.  “What would the
    United States do if it realized that from the very beginning, their honor was lost, let alone
    having to accept defeat?”  What did Carroll want the readers to think?  Was he asking
    people to look at the real truth?

    To Carroll, the war in Iraq was wrong right from the beginning and he wasn’t afraid to state
    what he thought would come of it.  On March 12, 2002, in “America as Sparta” he asked,
    “Beware the Ides of March?  No.  Beware the ‘war on terrorism,’ and the Nuclear Posture
    Review!  Beware the Bush administration’s exploitation of our grief, anger, and fear.  We
    must urgently reconsider the course we have set out upon this year before it leads us into
    a dead end of our own making…. Then survivors will ask, When did America become
    Sparta?  And the answer will come; It was now.”  (The sentence is underlined and bold
    because this author believes it is prophetic.)

    On Christmas Day, 12/25/01, in “Red Christmas,” alluding to the US, Carroll wrote, “our
    new status as the only surviving “superpower” carries a temptation to triumphalism that is
    increasingly dangerous.  The story of the Jewish child set against that first “imperium”
    should make us ask whether this observance of His birth itself inadvertently manifests the
    imperium we are becoming?”

    Is James Carroll a prophet?  Or is James Carroll the conscience of the people?  He stated
    it correctly in an article 11/27/01, entitled, “This war is not just.”  He stated there were
    three elements the U.S. has as shortcomings, “Ignorance, narrow context, and wrongly
    defined use of force.”   He wanted people to think ahead and ask, will a larger anger occur
    from the larger use of force that we have unleashed?  Was it even against the enemy?  
    Did it deter the enemy?  Or was it against an impoverished “substitute” nation just as an
    outlet for the military to espouse their power?

    More importantly, Carroll attempts to have people everywhere in the world look at the
    world and relate to it personally.  In, “Lost children of the Mideast conflict,” March 19,
    2002, Carroll describes one of the American supporters, whose family member had died
    September 11th and was upset, yet still was hoping for a peaceful solution.  “When
    people who have made the ultimate sacrifice can commit themselves, out of profound loss
    and grief, to reconciliation and peace, those of us who care about the region have no
    right to lose hope.”  The article states there is a group called ‘The Families’ Forum’, “a
    cross-conflict group consisting of about 200 Israelis (“The Parents’ Circle”) and 150
    Palestinians (“The Movement for Change”) who have the overriding experience in
    common of having lost a child to the violence.  And by seeing the violence through the
    lens of that loss, they see it differently.”

    James Carroll must be thanked for humanizing the hardships of living with emotions.  He
    should also be honored for being truthful and helping people to be introspective, about
    themselves and the United States.  While writing about Hurricane Katrina, in “Katrina’s
    Truths,” September 5, 2005, Carroll describes how Katrina, “pulled a curtain back on a
    huge population of desperately impoverished people,” how Katrina exposed that the
    government was powerless to help such people,” and related how Katrina allows people to
    relate it to war.  “This is what war looks like, and the harsh reality is that the United States
    has been the source of exactly such devastation elsewhere.”  

    Sometimes, Carroll cynically states his opinion of futileness.  “The American political
    system, meanwhile, remains in moral lockdown, with Democrats every bit as feckless as
    Republicans, leaving the urgent public debate about the war to the heartbroken parents
    of dead GIs.”  But, he rebounds with the offer of hope.  “Change for the better begins by
    reckoning with the worst, which Katrina helped us do.”  Best of all is the attempt of James
    Carroll to make people feel as if they can contribute to the whole.  “Today, the biennial
    American political season also begins, aiming at next year's elections. The issues are as
    clear as water in the streets, as blood in the gutters. Even as candidates seek to avoid
    those issues, citizens must force them. The role of government. Taxation not as a bane,
    but as the ground of commonwealth. The overdue end of poverty in America. The cry for
    peace. Peace.”

    James Carroll calls for action too.  He inspires and motivates people, especially when he
    ends an article.  As evidenced in “A year of living dangerously,” December 28, 2004, the
    ending gives direction.  “The point of the New Year, traditionally, is to leave such brooding
    behind, but this broadly felt emotional weight is a warning that great things are at stake in
    America's argument with itself. Equally, it is a summons to resolution -- New Year's
    resolution -- to do nothing less, at last, than say no to the war in a way that will be heard.”

    There are many that use fear to influence others.  When there is a sense of urgency,
    what kind of method other than fear could be used?  James Carroll uses metaphors. In
    “The 29th Day for America?,” January 14, 2003, Carroll wrote, “The lesson for the political
    season just underway comes from the lilies of the pond, water lilies. It is an old French
    riddle.”  “At first there is only one lily pad in the pond, but the next day it doubles, and
    thereafter each of its descendants doubles. The pond completely fills up with lily pads in
    30 days. When is the pond exactly half full? Answer: on the 29th day.”  Carroll’s
    insinuation is that there is not much time to waste.  He was relating the world’s
    belligerence and violence, human coarseness, and ecological disasters to the need to go
    in the opposite direction.  “On the 29th day, the pond is half-choked to death, but it
    seems OK. Surely we have another 29 days to fix the problem.”  In conclusion, “On the
    29th day, things may not seem so bad - but are we more than "one interval away from the

    It is because James Carroll concentrates on war and peace that I admire him.  His views
    are of world peace, unity and humanitarian giving.  His skillful analysis of current events
    puts these views into a light for others to appreciate.  My hope is for nonviolence and
    reason to be the pre-eminent means to world unity, and James Carroll to continue to
    challenge people.

    My favorite Op-Ed, September 9, 2003, “…and honoring the victims,” Carroll wrote his
    most inspirational words.  “Sept. 11 is an anniversary of the future, a day enshrining the
    worst of human impulses -- and the best. A day, therefore, that puts the choice before us.
    How are we going to live now? We are on the earth for the briefest of interludes. Thinking
    in particular of all those who died in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, let us
    honor them by building the earth, instead of destroying it.  Let us make peace, instead of


How beautiful the world is when we live and work together in peace.
Global Strategy of Nonviolence
Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.”
Welcome! A Global Strategy of Nonviolence
FOR the CHILDREN A World-Wide Unity Campaign
A Strategy to Bring Peace For the Children and Stop  War
(GS of NV)


The People must be
HEARD, the Moderate

We want the children to
see an overt exhibit of
February 11, 2008

Date updated
January 15, 2008

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