The Elders provide hope amid darkness

Posted: Sunday, August 05, 2007

At last a light is glimmering through the dense murk of greed, gunpowder and criminal uncaring which is killing life on Earth.

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Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, announced on his recent 89th birthday the formation of The Elders, a group of senior statesmen dedicated to solving urgent global problems such as climate change, violent conflicts and pandemics such as AIDS. Among other members are former U.S. President Jimmy Carter; former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan; Ireland's former President Mary Robinson; South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and Nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus, the founder of the Green Bank in Bangladesh.

"These exceptional men and women just may be able to bring hope and wisdom back into the world," say founders British billionaire Richard Branson and rock star Peter Gabriel. "The Elders can be a group that has the trust of the world, who can speak freely, be fiercely independent and respond fast and flexibly in conflict situations," they stressed.

Let's listen, give them a real chance. History contains a surfeit of foolish, destructive George Bushes and sinister Dick Cheneys and innumerable idiots such as we who enable their abominations, but few superior human beings like Mandela and the others. So when the inevitable "attack squads" start patronizing, ridiculing and mentally flipping them off, carefully consider The Elders' ideas. They've lived long, honorable lives, and under present world leadership it's very possible our successors will not have the chance to live at all.

Elizabeth Annis

Sitka



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