Goodbye 2003, and good riddance. I won’t miss you very much, even though 2004 isn’t really looking much better. 2002 was a much better year than you. Even 2001 was a better year than you, 2003.
2003, right as you began my country had military troops massing on the opposite side of the planet, getting ready for a “possible” invasion of Iraq. The writing was on the wall. But Iraq had been a problem for “US” since August, 1990. Iraq has since proved to be a competent “wag-the-dog” country to throw cruise missiles into during unpleasant political climates which may have involved extra-marital affairs inside the white house. The “no-fly-zones” were a perfect “theatre” in which to test new weapons systems. So in some sense the military buildup was just a continuation of what has been going on since the “end” of Gulf War I.
2003, you were the year that fear gripped my country like I have never seen before. Still reeling from 9/11/2001, my country and I built up and swallowed an assertion that Iraq now posed a threat, which could not be solved diplomatically nor through the U.N., and so I and the world watched in horror as Iraq was invaded.
2003, you end with this terrible conflict still ongoing. This situation is sure to haunt at least the beginning and perhaps all of 2004, but to what extent is can not be known at this moment. 2003, I now bury you along with all of the unpleasant memories and outright nightmares that you brought to this planet, and all of the violence and mayhem which bloodied most days of your year.
2004, I welcome you with open arms. Like each new day, each new year holds promise and hope for this planet. Together, my fellow humans and I can work toward creating an entire planet which is devoted to the ideals of humankind’s highest spiritual teachings, or perhaps we just might sink into the pit of hatred, anger and despair which feeds on our collective fear and ignorance. The choice is ours. It is my hope that 2004 will learn from the lessons that 2003 was so desperately trying to teach. 2004, with all of your high-tech wizardry which lies in wait; will you seem to be an Orwellian 1984, complete with surveillance and a frightened citizenry who use their portable Internet-phone-picture devices to report suspicious “thought criminals”? Or will you evolve into something much higher? 2004, will you be the year that the inhabitants of my planet begin to come together and realize the plain astronomical and geological facts of our common existence? 2004, will you be the year that my species, supposedly the most intelligent ever known, discard fear and use Love to start building a lasting Peace inside this fragile biosphere? I truly hope so, 2004. I truly hope so. Because if you are not, 2004, there likely won’t be very many more years like you in which this kind of (r)evolution is even an option.
December 31, 2003
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