When the Bay of Pigs attack on Cuba took place, I was in college and several of my closest friends expected to be called up immediately for service to their country. In this atmosphere I discussed with the Air Force ROTC on campus the possibility of entering military service. Being a woman, I did not have to go, but I was determined to hold up my end as a citizen if my friends were called up.

I would have volunteered as a medic or for other non-combat duty. But I would have gone, and I would have served. Citizenship, in my mind as in Robert Heinlein's, involves active service when needed.

Fast-forward to when I first saw the movie "Patton." The Bay of Pigs crisis had passed. The Missile Crisis had passed. My mates and I had been spared military duty and were enjoying the deepening "cold war."

However, that movie galvanized me to investigate war further. For several years I read widely in military history, drinking in Churchill's several volumes on World War II as well as Patton's autobiography and many other books of this kind.

I came to feel that what blinds people to the deeper issues in war is that it is the planet's favorite game. We have been playing this game for thousands of years. We are used to it; hardened to it, even. We do not tend to penetrate the propaganda and discover that we do not like this game.

What is the game? Let us call it The Fear Game. The latest premier player in this game is the United States. When we went to "war" against Iraq, it was supposedly a sub-chapter of the rather fanciful and mythical "war on terror," which was sustained because we had been attacked and over 3,000 of our citizens killed. In retaliation, although we could not and never have found the supposed perpetrators, we attacked a country that was sovereign and functioning and which had not attacked us. We were not rescuing an embattled citizenry. We were not stamping out terrorism. We were not even removing weapons of mass destruction. That was propaganda told to quiet congressional objection. It worked well.

Our government basically feels, as have empires through the centuries, that if our large corporations want something, those corporations should have it. Because we are able to strike fear into other nations, we simply take a shortcut these days, bypass other modes of policymaking such as diplomacy, and use armed aggression as a policy.

The fact that, as Stephen Kinzer points out in his book "Overthrow," we have never made a change for the better in any of the countries we have overthrown but rather made them much less stable does not stop those making policy decisions from justifying each new aggression. Currently we are destabilizing and harming Iraq as well as putting our soldiers at risk daily for the purpose of establishing clearer rights to their oil.

Anyone doubting this fact may ask herself if we would be there were Iraq's chief export cauliflower or asparagus.

We are in the business of creating an atmosphere of fear here at home in America so that our citizens will support this war. Sheep in fear are far easier to herd. While our armies systematically kill about 60,000 Iraqis each month, we continue to posture as victims of terror. However, the truth is that the Iraqis have never aggressed against us — not until we came to their country and took it over, hunted down their leader, whom we had placed in power in the 1980s but whose policies had become favorable to Iraq rather than the United States of late. That is the crime which cannot be allowed. American corporations must have free rein.

I wonder how we as a free people of good-hearted citizens can abide this war, and then I remember The Game. We are so used to this game that we do not tend to question it. Indeed, we tend to think that people who question this or any war are not patriotic. That is what fear has done to us. We have lost all sense of justice or fairness. We just want our way.

Spirit sees that we are playing this game and suggests that it is time we took serious thought about whether to continue it. Here's what the Q'uo group, for whom I am a channel, has to say on this game:

To those who dwell in unconditional love, there is no man, no woman, who is an enemy. There is no entity whatsoever that is not part of those souls which are yours to love, to help and to wish well on their way if they perhaps do not agree, but never to armor against, to defend against or to harden the self against.

For the gift of the heart, the gift of love, is that it is fearless. It does not need to defend; it does not need to protect, for it rests in the vibration of unconditional love.

The way to eliminate enemy thinking is to follow The Game of Love instead of The Game of Fear.

Love would not ask for special treatment. Love would abide by the boundaries set by a peaceable world.

Love would not kill people. Love would aid these same people.

Love would ask of us that we think in positive ways about world issues. Is Iraq in poor shape? Think of the good we could do in that country if we used the war budget to build up the infrastructure of Iraq and improve Iraqi access to information and education. Conservatives may protest that we are doing that. However, the corporations given those contracts to restore power and water have not delivered. Nothing has been fixed. The corporations have taken the money and run.

Were corporations acting from an open-hearted love, they would not feel compelled to take the resources they feel they need by force. They would use diplomacy and the purchasing power of a fair price for a good product to achieve the same goals.

From my channelings from the Holy Spirit come these words:

Think not that a holy nation must needs conquer or be conquered. For the only nation that shall be holy shall be the nation with open arms and free consciousness to love all as priests of God in Christ should indeed do. Only in undifferentiated love may peace come to comfort the pilgrim.

I open my arms and embrace your soul. May you find today that inner peace which only a loving heart gives.