world events (Richard Parncutt )


Subject: world events
From:    Richard Parncutt  <richard.parncutt(at)KFUNIGRAZ.AC.AT>
Date:    Mon, 17 Sep 2001 17:21:21 +0100

Dear auditory colleagues, I received the letter below from Eric Clarke in Sheffield. Since it reflects more or less exactly what I feel, I thought I am posting it (with his permission) to the auditory list. I happen to be Australian, so I am emailing my version of his (British) letter to "my" Prime Minister. I found a website for this purpose. Please consider making your views on this topic known to your government, or to the media, in whatever way you feel is appropriate. Richard Parncutt Institut fuer Musikwissenschaft Mozartgasse 3, 8010 Graz, Austria Tel +43 316 380-2409; Fax -9755 Email parncutt(at)uni-graz.at http://www-gewi.uni-graz.at/muwi/ **** Eric's cover letter: Dear friend/colleague, Events in the USA are a devastating tragedy in terms of the direct loss of human life and much else. But I fear that we are on the brink of a far greater tragedy through the complete failure of the world (or at least NATO and 'The West') to stop and take stock, reflect and have at least a glimmer of self-awareness and vision. We will I'm sure all have a different political and personal analysis of the current situation, but I am shocked, depressed and deeply concerned about the developing American, and now NATO, reaction to what was already an event of mind-numbing horror. I'm not sure what can be done, but if we do not try to do whatever is possible, I fear for the consequences and the responsibility that we will all then bear. Since some of us may have contacts and positions that give us a voice that just might be heard in this din, I would urge that you do whatever you can to press for our government, NATO, and the US government to show restraint, and to reflect on how we have all come to this point. More than anything else, I believe that the only way really to move forward is to try to see this situation from more than the one, dominating, point of view. I have written to the Prime Minister, and copied to my MP, in the following terms (below). You may wish to write in similar (or other) terms - but I would urge you to write in some way. If you know of other or better ways to try to have influence I would be glad to know of them. If you agree with the broad view of this email, then please spread it further in whatever way you like. If you don't, then feel free to communicate your disagreement. The only hope is through dialogue. Best wishes Eric Clarke ******************************************************** Eric's letter to the British Prime Minister: Dear Prime Minister, The attacks on New York and Washington are a devastating tragedy in terms of the direct loss of human life and much else. But I fear that the world is on the brink of a far greater tragedy if we fail to stop, take stock and reflect. I would urge you to demonstrate the greatest restraint in Britain's response to the attacks that have taken place, and to counsel NATO and the US government to show equal restraint, in the hope that through understanding some progress can be achieved. Reprisals can only lead to escalation and the inevitable loss of further human life, as events all over the world have repeatedly shown. I utterly oppose a military response to the terrible events of the 11th of September. The only hope is through international dialogue and the unending imperative to try to understand, coupled with the pursuit of justice through peaceful means. Yours sincerely, Eric Clarke *** And here's how I adapted Eric's letter: Re: Terrorist attacks and planned reprisals To: John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia Dear Prime Minister, I am an Australian citizen teaching and researching at the University of Graz, Austria. I am writing concerning your statement on 14 September 2001 that "As I indicated in Washington and I repeat today, and itís the unanimous view of the Cabinet, that Australia stands ready to cooperate within the limits of its capability concerning any response that the United States may regard as necessary in consultation with her allies." The attacks on New York and Washington are a devastating tragedy in terms of the direct loss of human life and much else. But I fear that the world is on the brink of a far greater tragedy if we fail to stop, take stock and reflect. I would urge you to demonstrate the greatest restraint in Australia's response to the attacks that have taken place, and to counsel ANZUS and the US government to show equal restraint, in the hope that through understanding some progress can be achieved. Reprisals can only lead to escalation and the inevitable loss of further human life, as events all over the world have repeatedly shown. I utterly oppose a military response to the terrible events of the 11th of September. The only hope is through international dialogue and the unending imperative to try to understand, coupled with the pursuit of justice through peaceful means. Yours sincerely, Richard Parncutt


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Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University