From Baghdad to Port-au-Prince looms the specter of American hyper-militarism and unilateralism, heralding what some call “a time of terror” thus in no small part dictating the fate of human survival. It is not only a time of terrorism and counter-terrorism-with the lines dividing the two increasingly blurred; in Iraq American soldiers targeted power stations and fired at ambulances while local suicide bombers attacked indiscriminately. According to Vice President Dick Cheney, the war on terrorism-and thus the vicious cycle of violence-could last generations.
It is also a time of nihilism due to the ethical and ideological poverty of both the American empire and fundamentalist terrorist groups. It is high time for spirituality-based social movements-Buddhist or otherwise-to cultivate seeds of peace and hope in the world using the way of compassion and nonviolence. We have to show that we are not merely audiences in a world of media spectacles and manufacturing of consent.