A letter and a request to an old friend from high school whom I haven't seen in nearly 30 years. He was just promoted to the rank of Colonel in the United States Army: Steven, Congrats on your promotion and Thanks for your recent kind words about my work in Pakistan. My memory of you in high school is very clear, of a brilliant, genuine and good-natured young man with a big-time winning smile and an undeniably bright future. Although I haven't seen you in nearly 30 years, I am very proud to know you and see all that you have built and achieved in life. I worked directly on Algiers Base and coordinated with the 82nd Airborne during the Hurricane Katrina response, with the US Army Chinook Calvary during the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and again with the 82nd in Haiti in 2010 when I met the first units as they landed at the airport in Port au Prince- I wish I had run into you at one of those deployments. I was always amazed and inspired by the Army's young men and women I worked alongside with- both their capabilities and their character. I have always told my Pakistani friends, every time I have a chance, that those U.S. Servicemen who dishonor their uniform and endanger their fellow soldiers by urinating on corpses, burning Korans, bullying a weaker populace or intentionally killing civilians are less than 1%, just as I tell my fellow American friends the same thing about more than 99% of Pakistanis and Muslims having nothing to do with terrorism- and it's absolutely true for both. I am not sure how successful I am in convincing either group who each harbor a lot of mistrust and in some cases blind unthinking hatred of the other, however since I have lived extensively in both "Worlds" (and am not infected by hate or brainwashed by distortions, political agendas or lies of omission from any media), I have found this phenomenon to be absolutely the truth and I hope to have more opportunities in the future to bridge the misconceptions that are literally altering reality on this messed up Planet Earth of ours, and counter the illusions that have been conjured out of thin air which are dangerously skewing reality towards the negative more and more every day. What has struck me most in my time in Pakistan is the realization of just how much alike all Human Beings really are at the deepest and most basic levels. Anyone can see it if they would do a bit of research and exercise enough thoughtful discipline to ignore whatever bs they've been fed ever since childhood and get below the surface coating and past the shallow differences that most of people choose to focus on and draw their tainted conclusions from. Anyways, Now that you are officially a "big shot" in the Army :), I'd love to meet you and your associates one of these days and discuss what I have learned in my nearly seven years living in Pakistan without any security whatsoever. I run around in some of the most dangerous territory in Pakistan without so much as a butter knife. I served my country at the foot of the fallen towers on 9/11 and I can assure you that no one hates the handiwork of extremists and terrorists more than I do (and that goes for the evil deeds of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales as much as it does for American Airlines Flight 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta), and I would never have risked my life for Pakistanis for going on seven years if I had even the slightest notion that Pakistan was a nation of terrorists Hell bent on destroying America. Most everyday Americans I talk with are shocked to learn that 80 million Pakistanis were just toddlers on 9/11 or not even born yet, and they are so ignorant about this part of the World that they don't know the most basic information such as if you drove from Vancouver, Canada to San Diego, California, you'd STILL have to travel another 80 miles into Mexico before you'd cover the same distance equal to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. I sincerely want you and your fellow soldiers and all Americans to understand that the CIA and others in our country's indoctrinated, hardcore security establishment and leadership have lost sight of the bigger picture, or worse- maybe they know it and just don't care because the real control of our citizens and the really big money for them is in CONFLICT not PEACE- and their short-sighted and counterproductive actions and decisions have made America and our kids less safe from terrorism. But it does make us need them more, right? It’s a vicious and growing insanity that they're dragging us further and further into. Does the CIA want to ENSURE another 9/11? I ask this question with all seriousness because that is precisely what they are doing (whether they realize this or not is another question entirely for which I don't have any answer for). I strongly believe that for every drone attack which kills innocent people (and I personally know that drones most certainly have killed a lot of innocent people, it's not enemy propaganda and there's much documentation to support my assertions), that more and more simple non-Taliban tribesman and moderate villagers (who have been traumatized by EVERYONE for years and years) become hardened with rage and they can easily go across this long, mountainous and porous border with the single-minded purpose to kill American and NATO soldiers in revenge-inspired attacks because they can't get to the video game barracks operating anonymously from the shadowy safety of the U.S. Desert. Drone warfare is not "US," it's not what we're about morally, it's not the America I grew up believing in and not representative of the America that you and your fellow soldiers have believed in, fought for and died for. In my humble opinion, very few things are more inherently Un-American and cowardly than drone warfare. Have we become a nation of pussies? If the SEALS can go get Osama Bin Laden, then why in the World are we engaging in this wuss warfare? We need more of you, more engineers, those in the armed forces who build, create, solve complex problems and stop the explosions, not set off more of them which ripple through the World forever in concentric circles of sorrow and hate and affect us all in ways that we could never predict or even fathom. And we need to use people like you more and in a more effective ways. But your unit of the Armed Forces doesn't need bullets or bombs and thus isn't as quickly profitable for the manufacturers of bullets, bombs and high tech weapons systems. No matter what destructive potential and high tech weaponry the leaders of our military forces purchase, develop and possess, the fact is that nothing is more powerful and effective at bringing about Peace and Security than Human to Human contact, compassion, empathy and Love. I am sure that your greatest work and impact happened in those moments when you were personally training The Afghan Army and giving them your time and directly passing on your knowledge so that someday they wouldn't need you anymore. The Engineers of the U.S. Army are the soldiers who best understand that We can bomb the World into pieces but we can never bomb the World into Peace. I pray for the day when the U.S. Armed Forces will just train train train and train some more, and be the #1 force to serve all Mankind, with special care and concern for the former colonized nations of the developing World as they strive to survive and escape the horrific generational effects of the rape and pillage from centuries of inexcusable oppression, slavery and theft by the colonizing empires of centuries past. We are at a crossroads in history. Will the United States of America fall into the same self-destructive trap of arrogance and national narcissism as the former British Empire, The Soviet Empire and other empires that came and then vanished, or will we prove to have evolved and get back on track to what our founding documents say we are all about, and work for Liberty and Justice for ALL and not just for the selfish interests of a few powerful groups and individuals who are driven only by such lowest human common denominators as power, elitism, greed, hatred, intolerance and racism? I pray for the day when the U.S. military's might will be used only to advance the interests of The Human Race, with it's chief mission being to respond to future natural disasters, not being a party to the man-made ones. May God guide the Leadership of The United States of America to ALWAYS do the right thing and utilize it's economic and military power and influence only for justice and to lift the common people everywhere, and not be a party to oppressing, punishing, enslaving them or stealing their resources and wealth out from under them. "Might is Right" is a tired and failed concept that is best left behind to the days of Hitler, right there with all the other evil men rotting in Human history's stinking garbage can. Afghanistan has 3 trillion dollars worth of lithium and gold and other precious minerals in its ground. Please do everything you can in your capacity as an Officer and a Human Being to make sure that the AFGHAN PEOPLE GET MOST OF THE BENEFIT OF THAT WEALTH (Especially its Women) and NOT THE MEGA- BANKERS AND CORPORATIONS. The U.S. Army is one of the few institutions that actually have the power and resources to change the old unjust paradigm into a new era of Human Existence. You will always be in my prayers and please consider me at


Microsoft word - gmos.doc

Genetically modified organisms and their critics Now : Roger Blench Kay Williamson Educational Foundation 8, Guest Road Cambridge CB1 2AL United Kingdom Voice/ Ans (00-44)-(0)7847-495590 Mobile worldwide (00-44)-(0)7967-696804 E-mail Note. This paper was prepared as an NRP at the end of the 1990s for the Overseas Developmen

Late life depression

depression Depression affects more than 34 million people of all ages eachyear. However, symptoms of depression may often be overlookedand go untreated when they overlap with other physical health conditions or life events that commonly occur as people age. Late-onset depression refers to depression occurring for the firsttime in an older person (after age 65). While depression is not a

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