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The RoundTable

The New American Empire

Summer 2003

Major Articles

  • American Empire Exposed - Teka Childress, Jenny Truax
  • Rage Awaits Us in the Debris – Angie O’Gorman
  • Weapons of Mass Distraction – Carolyn Griffeth
  • America, Islam, and the New Bigotry – Jack Renard
  • Understanding Terrorism - Ellen Rehg
  • Teaching Our Children – Anne Treeger
  • Cultivating Our Gardens – Andrew Wimmer

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Regular Features

  • Cover – Layout by Jenny Truax
  • Why This Issue – Ellen Rehg
  • Centerfold – Voices on Iraq - Jenny Truax
  • From Abroad – ColombiaElizabeth Madden
  • From Little House - Mary Ann McGivern
  • From Karen House – Nicholas Long
  • RoundTable Talk - Annjie Schiefelbein

Why This Issue:

This issue has been long in coming, and has been framed by personal and political tragedy. The political tragedy is the United States' war on Iraq .We began to plan the issue-before the war started, and continued and adjusted our planning during the war, and recontinued (is that a word") and readjusted after the major hostilities were over. The war itself, of course, is far from over.


The personal tragedy was the death by suicide of our dear friend Mark Scheu on May 3 of this year. Mark was a community member at Karen House from about 1984 to 1994 or so. During that time and beyond he was a member of the RoundTable editorial board. Indeed, many an issue in the 1980's was conceived and largely planned in Mark and Pat Coy's shared apartment, no doubt over a few high quality brews, and maybe sandwiched in between a cribbage game played on the back porch. We relied on Mark's careful and insightful analyses of political events, as well as his wit, in our discussions and in his frequent contributions to the Round Table. Even after resigning from the board he continued to update and print out our mailing list up to the day of his death. Although every one of us who knew and loved Mark is still reeling from shock and grief we believe that his personal war is finally over.


We offer you our reflections, both political and personal, on these events. It is crucial, we believe, for everyone, but especially those of us in the peace movement, to recognize and name that we are in the age of the new American empire. Teka Childress and Jenny Truax reveal the policy of the right-wing think tank, the Project for a New American Century, which is now U.S. foreign policy. The war against Afghanistan, and against Iraq, the threatened wars against (fill in the blank – North Korea? Syria? Iran?) are but pieces of a larger puzzle in the blanket war on, terrorism which provides the cover for the unbridled pursuit of U.S. dominance in the world. As Carolyn Griffeth points out in her article, in which she deconstructs the lies behind the weapons of mass destruction, the two world powers now seem to be the United States and those (few) countries supporting its agenda, and the global peace movement which opposed the U.S. war in large numbers.


Jack Renard invites us Christians to look at the log of scandalous behavior in our own eyes before we pick out the speck in the eyes of our Muslim brothers and sisters in faith. I offer an analysis of the causes of terrorism in an effort to understand the motivations of those who pit themselves so wholeheartedly against the U.S. Angie 0'Gorman, Anne Treeger, and Andrew Wimmer offer more personal reflections the experience of the new American empire; Following the belief that the personal is political; Andrew enjoins us to cultivate our gardens, since world peace is in part an expression of personal peace.


We conclude with our regular features. Annjie Schiefelbein wraps up our issue with her thoughts on the experience of community through our above-mentioned tragedies and also our celebrations, that of the wedding of Teka Childress and Mike Baldwin on May 17. As she so aptly points out, "Both-Mark's death and Teka's wedding require of us to come closer and let go of anything but love."


-Ellen Rehg



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