(This is a work-in-progress, so helpful feedback is welcome.)
The Twelve Steps
Of Warmongers Anonymous
The Twelve Steps
Of Warmongers Anonymous
1. We admitted we were powerless over our warmongering; that our lives had become unmanageable.
At our intervention, we were presented with the following cold, hard facts and could no longer deny the direct impact that our warmongering, (whether we were actual perpetrators or financiers, fervent or casual supporters, or even simply participated through passive ignorance and inaction), had had upon us, our families, friends and co-workers, our country, the world at large, and the planet:
- Over 3800 dead American soldiers (and counting)
- Over 28,000 wounded American soldiers (and counting)
- 124 dead journalists, 49 dead media support workers
- More than 85,000 (some say as many as 1 million) dead Iraqi citizens (and counting)
- Over 4 million Iraqi refugees (and counting)
- Cost to Jordanian government for housing refugees
- Enormous cost and burden of other countries housing Iraq refugees
- Over $476 billion in American taxpayer dollars spent on the war since it began (and counting)
- Almost 200,000 unaccounted-for weapons in Iraq
- ?? hours of government oversight time spent investigating graft, out-of-control and unaccounted-for war spending
- ?? women raped, including one American raped and imprisoned in a packing crate by her co-workers at Halliburton/KBR (still hasn't been investigated and perps can avoid responsibility through foreign contractor loop hole)
- Untold numbers of social services negatively impacted by the funneling of tax dollars into the war versus aiding the needy at home and abroad, such as the 9 million American children with no health insurance
- Exhaustion and depletion of our armed services
- Reallocation of National Guard to fight wars outside of the US, severely depleting our ability to respond to internal crises, natural disasters, etc.
- Creation of a lawless mercenary army with no oversight
- Creation of an atmosphere where torture is no longer a crime
- The aggressiveness of our approach created a trickle-down atmosphere where corporations, corporate officers, individual government workers and soldiers thought they could act with impunity
- Billions of dollars in corporate profits directly derived from the infliction of suffering on other human beings and our planet (i.e. scatter bombs, nuclear bombs, guns and other weapons, outsourced lawless mercenary labor, outsourced torturers, no-bid post-war “cleanup” contracts, etc.)
It was at this point that we cried "Uncle!" as we had heard enough to make us realize that our behavior had been horrendously reckless and destructive.
2. Came to believe that a Universal Power of the Greater Good, greater than ourselves as individuals, governments or countries, could restore us to sanity.
We realized that people, governments, and countries who set aside their personal agendas and focused on acts that supported the Greater Good, could make a powerful impact on our lives as individuals as well as on the lives of all peoples. We watched the nascent European Union as it struggled to find common ground, and although it had and still has challenges, it has focused in such a way that its individual countries and peoples could share a more positive and cooperative future. We saw the Euro gain strength accordingly. We realized that when committed to and driven by the Universal Power of the Greater Good, more peoples and countries and our planet can experience a better life.
We became aware that fear is a destructive force, and any people, organizations, governments, companies or countries who engender and purposely fan the flames of fear are also destructive.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the Universal Power of the Greater Good as we understood it.
As we approached each new day, as individuals, governments and countries, we reminded ourselves of our commitment to the Greater Good, and with this daily reminder, we made each decision with the knowledge that each and every action we take impacts more than just our own lives. We realized that by remembering the Greater Good, we sometimes make sacrifices, but that our own individual life will be made better as a consequence. We realized that we do not give up our individual needs or rights by remembering the Greater Good, that we continue to nurture and grow ourselves and improve our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, as long as in doing so, we do not harm the Greater Good.
We realized that focusing on the Greater Good does not rob us of our individuality, nor does it trivialize our unique purpose nor the importance of the contribution we will make in this lifetime.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
We boldly faced the consequences of our selfish or thoughtless actions and made a physical list of each and every action that negatively impacted ourselves, our loved ones, our co-workers, our government, our country, the world at large, and our planet.
5. Admitted to the Universal Power of the Greater Good, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
With this act of boldly naming our wrongs, we exposed them to the purifying light of day, so that they could be addressed, so that the root and cause of the behavior could be viewed, understood and ultimately healed and changed.
6. Were entirely ready to have the Universal Power of the Greater Good remove all these defects of character.
We humbled ourselves and opened completely to the possibilities of change. We accepted the love and help offered by others, and we remained open, allowing change and growth to be an ongoing process. As we healed our own lives, and observed the impact of our changed ways upon the lives of others, we felt the relief and graceful lifting of the burden of our negative thoughts and actions.
7. Humbly asked the Universal Power of the Greater Good to remove our shortcomings.
With a true and sincere desire to be a person who contributes to the Greater Good of all peoples, governments, companies, countries and to the planet, we asked the Universal Power of the Greater Good, to help us evolve and change so that our addiction to warmongering, profiteering, control, dominance and destruction could be lifted from our minds, hearts and souls.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
This being the hardest step of our spiritual evolution, we nevertheless approached it fearlessly, with the encouragement of those who have accomplished this step before us. This list was unbearably long, and included those people who were already dead, those families of the dead that grieve, those people who live in depleted or completely bereft financial circumstances (i.e. refugees) as a direct or indirect cause of our actions (or lack of action), those children who have been orphaned, those wives and mothers, husbands and fathers, sisters and brothers, who must care for their husbands, wives, daughters, sons, sisters and brothers who have returned from war, wounded in body, mind or spirit.
We were overwhelmed by our inability to make amends to them all, but lest we give up, we instead made a firm commitment to stop warmongering forever, stop financing the warmongering of others, stop burying our heads in the sand or being passive about the atrocities happening in our world, become involved in our local, state and federal government, research ballot issues and candidates thoroughly and vote for those issues and candidates who support the Greater Good, participate in peaceful protest in order to bring an issue to the attention of all peoples, look for and implement peaceful resolutions when conflict arises within our personal relationships, both familial and casual, give assistance in the form of financial gifts, tangible goods or personal labor to those in need and the organizations and institutions set up to assist them...
...and, if so inclined, blog our asses off.
In this way, we cannot reverse the damage to those we have harmed in the past, but we can assure that fewer people will be harmed in the future. Our commitment to cease warmongering in all of its manifestations is the best possible form of amends that we can offer when making amends at an individual level is not possible.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Through other-focused, open dialog, we humbly make amends and when required, listen quietly to the pain and sadness of others that we have harmed, for as long as they have a need to express it. We know that each time we make an amend, no matter how small, the health of all peoples, companies, countries and the planet is healed and sustained.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
We know that warmongering has been a practice since the beginning of time, and therefore can be an ingrained habit, a belief system passed down to us from our ancestors, a way of thinking that is skilled at rationalizing the worst of human behaviors. We have been easily fooled by the false rationale of warmongering in the past, and we can be fooled again. We continue to be aware of our mistakes, yet remain kind to and forgiving of ourselves when we fail. We remain conscious and alert with all of our thoughts and actions, by continuing to take a formal, written inventory of our actions on a regular basis. We learn to make amends as soon as possible, so as to heal the consequences of our behavior and evolve towards a more continuously peaceful existence. Through our example, other people with whom we come in contact, can learn how to be focused on the Greater Good, thus multiplying the possibility of an ongoing healthy and peaceful way of life.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the Universal Power of the Greater Good, as we understood it, praying only for knowledge of its will for us and the power to carry that out.
We seek out spaces of time in our busy lives for rest and contemplation, lest our actions become thoughtless, knee-jerk reactions again, versus carefully considered and designed to add to, rather than subtract from, the Greater Good.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to warmongers, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.