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Author Topic: 9/11 debate - enter at your own risk!  (Read 631442 times)

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Wheelchair-bound man killed by IDF in Gaza during Jerusalem protest

http://thegazapost.net/2017/12/16/wheelchair-bound-man-no-legs-killed-idf-gaza-jerusalem-protest/

A disabled Palestinian man missing both legs is among those killed by Israeli security forces that opened fire on demonstrators in the West Bank and along the border with Gaza, Gaza’s health ministry said.

Abu Thurayeh, 29, was shot dead east of Gaza City, according to Gaza’s health ministry as cited by the Times of Israel. He is one of four Palestinians who were killed during a protest over the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Abu had lost his legs in an Israeli attack on Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. “He was injured in 2008 by an Israeli helicopter that targeted him after he brought down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag along the border,” his brother Samir said. “It did not stop him from demonstrating for Jerusalem. He went alone every day to the border.”

Social media have been flooded with videos and photos of Abu Thurayeh a few hours before his death, sitting in his wheelchair and waving a Palestinian flag. “This land is our land, we will not give up. America has to withdraw its decision,”Abu Thurayeh reportedly said in a video seen by AFP.

In the meantime, the Israeli military said in a statement that Palestinian rioters had hurled stones and firebombs at their soldiers, who were forced to respond. Protests continue in Palestine, often turning violent and resulting in injuries, after US President Donald Trump officially declared the US embassy to Israel will be moved to Jerusalem. Trump’s declaration has been met with condemnation and protests around the globe.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Conspiracy Theorists Were Right: Corporate Media Finally Forced to Admit America Armed ISIS

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Conspiracy_Theorists_Were_Right%3A_
Corporate_Media_Finally_Forced_to_Admit_America_Armed_ISIS/62197/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Source: Rachel Blevins

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/conspiracy-theorists-right-msm-admit-cia-armed-isis/

While the mainstream media opted to protect the United States government by treating anyone who dared to question the government’s role in the rise of ISIS as crazy conspiracy theorists, a new report is forcing the MSM to admit that those “conspiracies” were true all along.

Now, mainstream media outlets such as Reuters and USA Today are suddenly reporting that the United States and its close ally, Saudi Arabia, were instrumental in supplying weapons and ammunition to ISIS. Both reports cite an investigation conducted by Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which looked at 40,000 items recovered from Islamic State militants between July 2014 and November 2017.

A final report from CAR titled “Weapons of the Islamic State,” concluded that the vast majority of the weapons used by ISIS were supplied in the thousands, given their origin and the fact that they were found “in numbers far beyond those that would have been available to the group through battlefield capture alone.”

More than 97 percent of the weapons and 87 percent of the ammunition used by ISIS were “Warsaw Pact calibers—originating primarily in China, Russia, and Eastern European producer states,” according to the report. However, the weapons were not distributed to the militants by China or Russia.

The weapons and ammunition were originally purchased by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and then distributed to rebel groups opposing the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. While the U.S. claimed to be fighting ISIS, the fact is that ISIS was one of the Syrian rebel groups opposing Assad, and as the report noted, nearly all of their weapons came from those purchased by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

    “Unauthorized retransfer—the violation of agreements by which a supplier government prohibits the re-export of materiel by a recipient government without its prior consent—is a significant source of IS weapons and ammunition. The United States and Saudi Arabia supplied most of this materiel without authorization, apparently to Syrian opposition forces. This diverted materiel, recovered from IS forces, comprises exclusively Warsaw Pact caliber weapons and ammunition, purchased by the United States and Saudi Arabia from European Union (EU) Member States in Eastern Europe.”

While the report claims that many of the weapons were intended for other Syrian rebel groups before they ended up in the hands of ISIS militants, it also notes how quickly the transition between groups happened, after the weapons were originally supplied.

In one case, an advanced anti-tank guided weapon was “manufactured in the EU, sold to the United States, supplied to a party in the Syrian conflict, transferred to IS forces in Iraq, and documented by a CAR field investigation team following its recovery from IS forces.” The report noted that “the full chain of transactions occurred within two months of the weapon’s dispatch from the factory.

The serial numbers on the weapons are also crucial in determining how the militants acquired them. According to the report, almost half of the weapons that were investigated featured “serial numbers that are close in sequence to those of other, identical weapons in the sample.” As a result, they found at least “240 sets of weapons that were manufactured in the same production runs and probably exported in the same, or successive, batches.” This suggests that in some cases, the weapons were delivered to the militants by the thousands.

The report noted that in many cases, the “supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict” from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia allowed ISIS “to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition. These weapons include ATGWs and several varieties of rocket with tandem warheads, which are designed to defeat modern reactive armor.”

As the investigation by Conflict Armament Research concluded, although the United States and Saudi Arabia both claimed to support coalitions that were formed for the purpose of defeating the Islamic State, the thousands of weapons they were supplying rebel groups did the opposite.

    “These findings are a stark reminder of the contradictions inherent in supplying weapons into armed conflicts in which multiple competing and overlapping non-state armed groups operate. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to exert effective control over which groups ultimately gain custody of weapons. As this report demonstrates, Iraq and Syria have seen IS forces use large numbers of weapons, supplied by states such as Saudi Arabia and the United States, against the various international anti-IS coalitions that the two states support.”

While the mainstream media has failed to ask questions about some of the most obvious red flags in the United States’ foreign policy, The Free Thought Project has provided in-depth coverage of both the United States’ hypocrisy in the Syrian conflict, and Saudi Arabia’s assistance in helping to strengthen the same group of militants that the two countries claimed to be working to defeat.
« Last Edit: 2017-12-26, 14:06:45 by evolvingape »


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Political Immorality and Personal Immorality

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/december/25/political-immorality-and-personal-immorality/

written by Ron Paul

Many Americans have been shocked by recent revelations of the extent of sexual harassment in Congress. However, no one should be too surprised that those who spend their lives defending and expanding the welfare-warfare state engage in immoral personal conduct. It is only natural that an immoral system, like the welfare-warfare state, tends to attract individuals likely to practice personal immorality.

The welfare-warfare state is built on a foundation of taxation and fiat currency controlled by a secretive central bank. While some type of taxation may be necessary to fund the few legitimate functions of government, taking people’s money to fund a redistributive welfare state at home and a global empire abroad is nothing more than theft. The Federal Reserve’s erosion of purchasing power is also a form of theft.

The welfare-warfare state relies on violence. Every law preventing us from living our lives as we choose — whether forbidding us from working for below minimum wage, preventing us from smoking marijuana or drinking raw milk, telling private business owners who can and cannot use what restroom, or requiring us to purchase government-approved health insurance — rests on the threat of force being used against those who refuse to obey.

The warfare side of the welfare-warfare state is obviously rooted in violence. War inevitably leads to deaths, including the deaths of innocents. A permanent warfare state is also the quickest way to lose our liberties. This is why the Founding Fathers counseled against standing armies and foreign entanglements.

The neocons and “humanitarian interventionists” who control our foreign policy have disregarded the wisdom of the Founders. They actually promote endless wars not to protect our security but to promote “democracy” and “universal human rights.” They are impervious to evidence of the failure of military interventions to achieve these goals and indifferent to the human and fiscal costs of endless war. They dismiss the loss of innocent lives — including the deaths of children — as unavoidable “collateral damage,” while using their influence in the media to spread pro-war propaganda. They also smear their opponents as aiding America’s enemies and sympathizing with terrorists.

No one holding political power wants to admit the system he supports is immoral and a failure. Therefore, defenders of the welfare-warfare state rely on lies and deceptions. They ignore all evidence of the failure of big government to accomplish its ends, instead pretending they can fix the system with a few reforms. They also work with allies in the media to promulgate the lie that without the welfare state the masses would remain poor and uneducated, and without the warfare state we would be overwhelmed by those who hate us for our freedoms. They never mention that many foreigners hate America because of the suffering caused by our hyper-interventionist foreign policy.

The welfare-warfare state is built on violence and deceit. It is thus inevitable that many of those participating in this immoral system will combine their immoral politics with immoral personal conduct. Hopefully the revelations of sexual misconduct among the welfare-warfare state’s Capitol Hill and media defenders will lead more Americans to question the morality and the wisdom of allowing the federal government to run the world, run the economy, and run our lives.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   
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Political Immorality and Personal Immorality

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/december/25/political-immorality-and-personal-immorality/

written by Ron Paul

snip

About what one expect from a Jesuit, hogwash

http://vaticanassassins.org/2014/02/10/gesu-ron-paul-masonic-jesuit-temporal-coadjutor-and-servant-of-the-man-of-sin-in-rome/

The protocols of the Elders of Zion is a far better fit for the evils of the world today


“We shall 1)
Seduce and demoralize the youth with false doctrines. 2) Destroy the family life. 3) Dominate humanity by Preying upon their lower instincts and vices. 4) Debase and vulgarize Art, and introduce filth in Literature. 5) Destroy respect for religions; undermine the reputation of the clergy through scandalous stories and back up the so called “Higher Criticism” so that the old fundamental faith is shattered and quarrels and controversies become permanent in the churches. 6) Introduce the habit for luxuries, crazy fashions and spend thrift ideas so that the ality for enjoying clean and plain pleasures is lost. 7)Divert the attention of the people by public amusements, sports, games, prize contests, etc., so that there is no time for thinking. 8) Confuse and bewilder the minds of the people by false theories and shatter the nerves and health by continuously introducing new poisons. 9) Instigate class hatred and class war among the different classes of people. 10) Dispossess the old Aristocracy, which still keeps up high traditions by excessive taxes and replace it with the “Knights of the Golden Calf.” 11) Poison the relations between the employees and employers through strikes and lockouts so as to ruin the possibility of productive co-operation. 12) Demoralize by all means the higher classes of society and by adverse publicity raise the hate of the people toward them. 13) Use industry to ruin agriculture and then in its turn destroy industry by wild speculation. 14) Spread all possible utopian theories so as to bring the people into a labyrinth of impractical ideas. 15) Raise the rate of wages, which however will not bring any advantage to the workers for at the same time we shall produce a rise in the price of the first necessities of life. 16) Cause diplomatic friction and misunderstanding between States which will increase international suspicions and hate thereby greatly augmenting armaments. 17)Introduce in all states, general suffrage so that the destiny of nations depend upon ignorant people.18) Overthrow all monarchies and substitute republics for them; in so far as possible fill important state offices with persons who are involved in some unlawful affair and who will, from fear of being exposed, remain our obedient servants. 19) Gradually amend all constitutions so as to prepare the soil for absolute despotism and Bolshevism. 20) Establish huge monopolies upon which even the great fortunes of the Gentiles will depend to such an extent that they will be swallowed up at the “hour” when the industrial crisis will start. 21) Destroy all financial stability; increase economic depressions to the extent of bringing a general world bankruptcy; stop the wheels of industry; make bonds, stocks and paper money worthless; accumulate all the gold of the world in the hands of a certain few people thus withdrawing tremendous capital from circulation; at a given hour close all the exchanges, withdraw all credits and cause general panic. 22) Prepare the death struggle of the nations; wear out humanity through suffering, fear and shortage of food – hunger creates slaves!” (“The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion”)

http://www.ericdubay.com/?p=2543

Ron
   

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About what one expect from a Jesuit, hogwash

Seems like a classic case of shooting the messenger to me, your opinion of the messenger has blinded you as to the content of the message.

I could quite easily have written a piece like that. I am not a Jesuit or affiliated with any illusory construct, would you have designated the message as 'hogwash' under those circumstances ?


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Are Whites Being Setup For Genocide?

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/01/06/whites-setup-genocide/

Paul Craig Roberts

Identity Politics has responded with outrage against People Magazine’s choice of white male country singer Blake Shelton as “sexiest man in the world.” According to adherents of Identity Politics, the choice indicates that People Magazine is itself racist and part of the white supremacy movement to elevate white people above people of color. The choice is doubly outrageous because, according to a writer in Salon, it reinforces and celebrates toxic white male sexuality and elevates a white man to a position of popular acclaim.

Every white person needs to read this article — http://www.unz.com/article/the-end-of-white-celebrity/ — to understand how they are being demonized and marginalized to the point of oblivion. By focusing primarily on white heterosexual males, Identity Politics tries to split white women off from white men by the use of the pejorative “misogynist”, but, as the article reports, white women, such as Taylor Swift, are also publicly demonized for their whiteness.

Reading this article in The Unz Review reminded me of an article I read last November in a Texas university newspaper that declared white DNA to be an abomination. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/30/texas-student-newspaper-blasted-over-anti-white-your-dna-is-abomination-column.html

Think about this for a minute. Suppose the writer had said “homosexual DNA is an abomination,” or “black DNA is an abomination,” or, heaven forbid, “Jewish DNA is an abomination.” Anyone who declared homosexuals, blacks, or Jews to be an abomination would be instantly fired, sued, charged with hate crimes and driven so deep into the ground that they would never reemerge.

The article in the student newspaper was a bit too much for Texas and produced a furor of its own. Lost in the furor was the realization that the writer was correctly interpreting the Identity Politics that today defines the liberal/progressive/left. Hillary Clinton herself expressed Identity Politics when she declared Americans who rejected her as president to be “deplorables.” CounterPunch printed an essay by its radio host that concluded Trump’s election was not legitimate because he was elected by racist, sexist, homophobic white male Trump deplorables.

In other words, Identity Politics cannot be dismissed as some sort of idiocy on the part of a few kooks. It is institutionalized in American politics and culture and is becoming a habitual way of thinking. The growing demonization of white people parallels the demonization of the Jews and can result in marginalization and physical destruction.

The immigration policies of white countries have created a diversity basis for ganging up on whites. If we put together a diverse population with the anti-white ideology of Identity Politics, we have a political and cultural trap for white people.

It seems paradoxical that Identity Politics is led by white/liberal/progressive/leftists advocating their own marginalization. However, as it is a correct conclusion from Identity Politics that white DNA is an abomination, white adherents of the ideology can logically see their demise as a benefit to humanity. But why should they be allowed to condemn whites who do not see themselves as an abomination?

What we are seeing unfold with Identity Politics was foretold by Jean Raspail in his futuristic novel The Camp of the Saints. Perhaps white people should read it as an indication of their possible fate.


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Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Putin signs law establishing register of officials sacked over corruption

https://www.rt.com/politics/414522-putin-signs-law-ordering-unified/

The Russian president has signed into law a bill requiring all officials fired from their posts over involvement in corruption to be placed in a nationwide internet register to prevent them from re-entering public service.

The law was published on the Russian internet portal for official documents on Friday and will come into force on January 1, 2018.

The bill on the unified register of corrupt ex-officials was prepared and drafted by the Russian Labor Ministry in early 2015, but it was not approved by parliament until June of this year. It orders Russian state agencies to create and maintain a nationwide list of officials convicted of crimes involving corruption or fired over “loss of trust” resulting from corruption scandals.

The new rules apply to civil servants at the federal and municipal levels, military personnel, law enforcement agents, state corporations, and other state organizations, such as the Central Bank.

According to the authors of the bill, the main purpose is to make it more difficult for such people to receive new jobs in state agencies or state-owned corporations. They noted that officials fired “because of loss of trust” might fail to disclose the real reason for their dismissal when seeking future employment.

Russian companies still use paper documents called ‘labor books’ with records on every citizen’s employment history. Employees are expected to keep these books themselves, and there are not any simple ways to verify the authenticity of the records.

The nationwide register will allow government agencies and corporations to reject candidates who were involved in corruption should they attempt to re-enter public service. The information will be kept in the register for five years.

An explanatory note attached to the bill stated that between 2012 and 2015, about 1,200 people were dismissed from their jobs in Russia for violating corruption rules or restrictions. In early December, Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika said in a newspaper interview that his agency estimated the overall economic cost of corruption at more than $2.5 billion in the past two years.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Shocking claims Tony Blair led a mass migration conspiracy to ensure Labour's rule

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/648008/Tony-Blair-Labour-immigration-asylum-seekers-UK-Brexit-EU-referendum

TONY Blair betrayed Britain for his own political ends by overseeing a massive conspiracy to flood the country with millions of migrants, an explosive book has claimed.

By Nick Gutteridge
PUBLISHED: 11:03, Sat, Feb 27, 2016 | UPDATED: 16:15, Sat, Feb 27, 2016

The controversial Prime Minister cynically dismantled UK border controls so that two million migrants could settle in the country - and vote for him in future elections.

He then gagged Labour officials and his most senior ministers, telling them not to discuss immigration in public under any circumstances for fear of a backlash, it is alleged.

The Labour leader knew the British people would ferociously oppose his conspiracy if they realised what was happening.

So he banned politicians from discussing even the positive aspects of immigration in case doing so brought the public’s attention to the huge numbers of people entering the country from abroad, the book claims.

The disturbing conspiracy claims have been put forward by award winning investigative journalist Tom Bower, who interviewed 200 MPs, ministers and civil servants from the Blair years to build up a picture of his Government.

Shocking interviews claim to show how the former prime minister betrayed the electorate for political and ideological reasons, with one saying he “shudders” at the thought that such a man was ever trusted with running the country.

They also accuse Blair of hushed up members of his own party as he carried out a great multiculturalism experiment without the permission or backing of the British people.

Blair and Labour had barely mentioned immigration in their campaigning ahead of the 1997 election, and did not actively portray themselves as pro-immigration.

But as soon as he had the keys to Downing Street the book reveals the new Prime Minister ordered border chiefs to open the floodgates, even telling them to reclassify unskilled asylum seekers as people moving to Britain for work so that he could drum up the economic benefits of mass migration.

He also appointed a fervently pro-immigration minister to the border control brief, who astonishingly ruled against deporting failed asylum seekers because it would be too “emotional” for them, it is claimed.

As a result Britain’s population was swelled with more than two million foreigners during the Blair years, the vast majority of whom would back the Labour party who let them in and lavished them with benefits at future elections.

According to the claims the aim of the project was to make the country “see the benefit of a multicultural society”. Government insiders have also said that Blair did not see it as his job to “control immigration” to Britain.

But the controversial leader knew his conspiracy was against the British people’s wishes from the very start, telling ministers and officials: “Don’t mention the advantages of immigration in public because they won’t even want that.”

Instead he quietly relaxed rules on allowing foreign spouses and students in and effectively opened up an asylum seeker free-for-all in which nobody was ever deported, even if their application to stay in the UK failed.

The book says 350,000 asylum seekers benefited this way. In 2002 alone, Blair gave the go-ahead for 150,000 work permits with most of the recipients, including the unskilled, going on to become UK citizens.

Some of the most shocking revelations centre around the role of former immigration minister Barbara Roche, who was handpicked for the role by Blair and served from 1999 to 2001.

During this period she quietly adopted policies – with her leader’s approval – that dramatically changed the face of the UK forever.

Upon her appointment, it is said she told a senior immigration official: “Asylum seekers should be allowed to stay in Britain. Removal takes too long and it’s emotional.”

She changed the rules to allow more work permits to be issued, especially to people who would previously have been considered asylum seekers.

Stephen Boys Smith, who was then head of the Home Office’s immigration directorate, said: “It was clear that Roche wanted more immigrants to come to Britain. She didn’t see her job as controlling entry into Britain, but by looking at the wider picture in a ‘holistic way’ she wanted us to see the benefit of a multicultural society.”

Former Labour speech writer Andrew Neather allegedly told the author of the book that the aim was to “rub the right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date”.

According to the book an extraordinary row between then Home Secretary, Jack Straw, and Blair illustrated the divisions within the Government.

Mr Straw reportedly asked the then-prime minister: “Isn’t immigration the sort of issue which can blow up in our face?”

But Blair simply replied: “Immigration won’t be an issue. Immigration is good for Britain.”

The revelations come as Britain prepares for a referendum on its membership of the EU, to take place on June 23.

Immigration is expected to form a key part of the debate, with Europe undergoing an unprecedented migration crisis which has brought the Schengen zone to the brink of collapse.

The Blair government oversaw mass migration from eastern European countries who gained membership of the 28-nation bloc and there are concerns that Turkish citizens could gain the right to move to Britain when they are granted visa-free travel within the EU from October.

Express.co.uk has contacted Tony Blair’s office for comment.

The book Broken Vows: Tony Blair - The Tragedy of Power will be out on March 3.

One of the comments to this publication notes:

ErikKengaard          682 days ago

"Still, it is the primary right of men to die and kill for the land they live in, and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invaders' hearth."
Winston Churchill, History of the English Speaking Peoples (Abridged)


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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One of the comments to this publication notes:

ErikKengaard          682 days ago

"Still, it is the primary right of men to die and kill for the land they live in, and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invaders' hearth."
Winston Churchill, History of the English Speaking Peoples (Abridged)

Don't kill them is my position, it is not the way to win the only war. They must stand trial with full facts of the betrayal disseminated to the population.

The goyim know.


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Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Don't kill them is my position, it is not the way to win the only war. They must stand trial with full facts of the betrayal disseminated to the population.

I have been monitoring the mood of the people in the UK via social media comments for years and I am very concerned that serious levels of violence will begin to happen with more frequency. With hard proof of the governments betrayal regarding EU membership having surfaced, what was once deemed a conspiracy theory has become fact. The attempted fait accompli has failed and all members of the establishment have been shown to be complicit in this treason. Should more Jo Cox style vigilantes decide to take the matter into their own hands things could rapidly spiral out of control and we will end up in a civil war very quickly. Failure to leave the EU by the end of March this year could well be the trigger that sets things off. I do not believe that violence will solve the problem and will become counter productive. It is education of the true situation that is needed but with a controlled MSM pumping out constant lies and propaganda and the effort to silence social media on the internet that may become more difficult, or even impossible.

How you proceed now as individuals and as a collective will determine the moral standing of the people that come out of the other side of this hellish mess that has been deliberately created. Choose wisely and accurately define who you are and what you are fighting for.


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Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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The Fiction of the Jewish History in Palestine

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/the-fiction-of-the-jewish-history-in-palestine/

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan

April 7, 2011

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told NNC Pierce Morgan on March 18, 2011 that he might agree to a Palestinian state through negotiations. And he added, "We will make territorial concessions although it is very painful to do that in our ancestral land." Netanyahu was not talking about Poland where his ancestors lived. He was talking about Palestine where generations of its indigenous population ancestors lived, cultivated the land and are buried.

By the end of the nineteenth century, Zionism created a new Jewish identity of blood and soil. To mobilize their followers and supporters and appeal to their emotions, the Zionists created myths. Zionism started as a tribal religion without god, but in order to fulfill its function as a unifying force, Zionism required external religious and race symbols, not inner content. Its leaders regarded metaphysical religious belief and purity of race as having value in itself. They created a divine paradisiacal state of merger with the gods. Despite his non-religious ideology, Herzl writings were replete with religious references. The Jews should settle in Palestine because, in his words, “the Temple will be visible from long distance, for it is only our ancient faith that has kept us together”.

The Zionists and their supporters have invested tremendous financial and scholarly resources to work within the Hebrew Bible historical narratives to affirm the links between the intrusive Zionist population and the ancient Israelite past, and by doing so assert the right of that population to the land. The political end-game shaped the investigation and the outcome. Tracing the roots of Israel’s ethnic state in biblical antiquity is effectively to silence the indigenous Palestinians claim to the past and therefore to the land. The Biblical scholarship employs a bewildering array of terms for the region: “the Holy Land”, “the Land of the Bible”, “Eretz Israel”, “the Land of Israel”, or “Judah and Samaria.” To the casual reader these names appear interchangeable, but they all imply connection to ancient Israel.

Biblical narratives or poems that cannot be supported by archeology and common sense are treated by the Zionists and their supporters as historical language. Historians have to differentiate between biblical myths and the history of real people living in real places and real time. They should have the intellectual courage to challenge any source including the “revealed truth” of higher order as presented in Biblical text if it is used to justify injustice and cruelty by one people against another. Gamla, an ethnic cleansing advocacy group founded by former Israeli military officers, Knesset members and settler activists publishes detailed plans for how to carry out the “complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel” by forcibly expelling all Palestinians and demolishing their towns and villages. This, the plan argued is “the only possible solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and it is “substantiated by the Torah.” Biblical studies have focused on inventing “Ancient Israel” while ignoring the reality of Palestinian history over thousands of years. Many historic experiences related to the ancient Israelite conquest and settlement of Palestine were described in terms of divine acts with religious zeal.

Many scholars, mostly moderate Jewish, who give primacy to archaeology, relegate the biblical text to a secondary place as a historical source. On 2001 Passover, Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Westwood, Los Angeles told his congregation: “The truth is that virtually every archaeologist who has investigated the story of the Exodus [from Egypt], with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.” He based his conclusions on the fact that no archeological findings have produced evidence of the Jews wandering the Sinai Desert for forty years, and the excavations in Palestine show settlement patterns different from the Biblical account of a sudden influx of Jews from Egypt.

Nadva Na’aman of Tel Aviv University wrote, “The comprehensive conquest saga in the book of Jashua is a fictive literary composition aimed at presenting the occupation of the entire Land of Israel, initiated and guided by the Lord and carried out by the twelve tribes under Jashua.”  Jashua, the man, was according to the Bible the right-hand man of Moses. After Moses death and the ancient Israelites camping near Jericho, Jashua commenced the military campaigns that, according to the biblical account, culminate in the conquest of the heartland of Palestine where he carried out a systematic campaign against the civilians of Canaan that amounts to genocide.

The historian Giovanni Garbini argues that “we should not even try to write a modern critical history of Israel largely on the basis of a single amalgamated, culturally self-serving, and essentially private version of history [the Bible]?”

Professor William Dever of the University of Arizona writes about the Hebrew Bible that “Many of the biblical stories are legend-like and abound with miraculous and fantastic elements that strain the credulity of almost any modern reader of any religious persuasion. All these factors have contributed to the rise of doubts about the Bible’s trustworthiness.” 

In July of 2000, the New York Times ran a lead story under the title, “The Bible, as History, Flunks New Archaeological Tests.” Questioning the biblical stories of the Exodus and Conquest that recounts in lavish and dramatic detail of the ancient Israelites exodus from Egypt and establishing themselves in Palestine, calls into question the Zionists’ rationale for Jewish claims to Palestine.

The American archaeologist and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor, Joseph Callaways wrote in 1985 when he discovered that the city of Ai that is described in the Bible did not exist: “For many years, the primary source for the understanding of the settlement of the first Israelites was the Hebrew Bible, but every reconstruction based upon the biblical traditions has floundered on the evidence from archeological remains.”

The Bible and the claim of the Jews as a distinct race have been used as a tool to cement the inner unity of the Zionist movement and an indispensible weapon in the struggle for claiming the land of Palestine. The religio-historical element as a focus of national identity had greater importance in Zionism than in other national movements. It was religion in the broadest sense, with all its national and historical connotations, that provided the justification for the conquest of Palestine and legitimization of Jews’ return.

Although Semitic originally referred to certain languages and peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean that included not only Jews but also Palestinians, Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians, claim of hostility only toward Jews is generally known as anti-Semitism.

Jews are a religious body, not a separate biological human group. The history of the Jews reveals that they have always interbred with non-Jews and many non-Jews have become Jews. The only valid criterion for determining membership in the group is confessional.

By insisting that a cultural trait, Jewishness, is inherited, the self-proclaimed Jews have contributed to the idea that they belong to an exclusive family, a distinct race, and a chosen people. Under Israel’s “Law of Return” of Jews to Israel, Ethiopian Jews (Falashas) were verified as descendents of an ancient Israelite tribe by testing samples of their males DNA Y-Chromosome. The claim of identifying the Jewish DNA is the pinnacle of charlatan science, an ideology driven hoax!

There was no written history prior to 3,200 B.C. (Before Christ) on Palestine, but archeological excavations suggest the existence of people living in Palestine as early as 8000 B.C. As far as the period of pre-pottery stone-age between 8000 and 5000 B.C, Palestine and Syria were inhabited by farmers and hunters. Their progression from simpler to more complex culture was evidenced in the development of farming technique, the domestication of animals and the establishment of towns.

Ancient Canaanites ruled all Palestine and Jordan until around 1200 B.C, when the Philistines conquered the southern coastal area. Archaeologists found evidence that Canaan migrant tribes settled Palestine and Jordan in the later period of the fourth millennium B.C. Pottery containing offerings in graves suggest the Canaanites believed in after-life. The Canaanite known history coincided with the Early Bronze Age that began around 3200B.C, but some of their settlements have been dated as old as 7000 B.C.

The indigenous Palestinians, the legitimate owners of the land, are the descendents of Ancient Canaanites, Philisti nians, ancient Hebrews, Assyrians, ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, Christian crusaders and Turks. The groups that lived in Palestine fought, interacted and collaborated, but no group was obliterated.

Modern historians, writers and statesmen should liberate themselves from the biblical myths when reviewing history even if they believe in a revealed truth in their private lives. The challenge for them is to sort out fact from fiction. Palestine belongs to its indigenous population not the hordes of foreign settlers.


---------------------------
Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

Hero Member
*****

Posts: 2339
Everyman decries immorality
The protocols of the Elders of Zion is a far better fit for the evils of the world today


“We shall 1)
Seduce and demoralize the youth with false doctrines. 2) Destroy the family life. 3) Dominate humanity by Preying upon their lower instincts and vices. 4) Debase and vulgarize Art, and introduce filth in Literature. 5) Destroy respect for religions; undermine the reputation of the clergy through scandalous stories and back up the so called “Higher Criticism” so that the old fundamental faith is shattered and quarrels and controversies become permanent in the churches. 6) Introduce the habit for luxuries, crazy fashions and spend thrift ideas so that the ality for enjoying clean and plain pleasures is lost. 7)Divert the attention of the people by public amusements, sports, games, prize contests, etc., so that there is no time for thinking. 8) Confuse and bewilder the minds of the people by false theories and shatter the nerves and health by continuously introducing new poisons. 9) Instigate class hatred and class war among the different classes of people. 10) Dispossess the old Aristocracy, which still keeps up high traditions by excessive taxes and replace it with the “Knights of the Golden Calf.” 11) Poison the relations between the employees and employers through strikes and lockouts so as to ruin the possibility of productive co-operation. 12) Demoralize by all means the higher classes of society and by adverse publicity raise the hate of the people toward them. 13) Use industry to ruin agriculture and then in its turn destroy industry by wild speculation. 14) Spread all possible utopian theories so as to bring the people into a labyrinth of impractical ideas. 15) Raise the rate of wages, which however will not bring any advantage to the workers for at the same time we shall produce a rise in the price of the first necessities of life. 16) Cause diplomatic friction and misunderstanding between States which will increase international suspicions and hate thereby greatly augmenting armaments. 17)Introduce in all states, general suffrage so that the destiny of nations depend upon ignorant people.18) Overthrow all monarchies and substitute republics for them; in so far as possible fill important state offices with persons who are involved in some unlawful affair and who will, from fear of being exposed, remain our obedient servants. 19) Gradually amend all constitutions so as to prepare the soil for absolute despotism and Bolshevism. 20) Establish huge monopolies upon which even the great fortunes of the Gentiles will depend to such an extent that they will be swallowed up at the “hour” when the industrial crisis will start. 21) Destroy all financial stability; increase economic depressions to the extent of bringing a general world bankruptcy; stop the wheels of industry; make bonds, stocks and paper money worthless; accumulate all the gold of the world in the hands of a certain few people thus withdrawing tremendous capital from circulation; at a given hour close all the exchanges, withdraw all credits and cause general panic. 22) Prepare the death struggle of the nations; wear out humanity through suffering, fear and shortage of food – hunger creates slaves!” (“The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion”)

http://www.ericdubay.com/?p=2543

Ron

I didn't comment on this at the time Ron so you might believe I was ignoring you and your point, but I was not, I agree. We have the same situation with the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan:

The Coudenhove-Kalergi plan – The genocide of the Peoples of Europe

http://www.westernspring.co.uk/the-coudenhove-kalergi-plan-the-genocide-of-the-peoples-of-europe/

It can be observed that the events described have come to pass.

Ron Paul (who you have indicated you don't trust) made two very valid points:

The first is that immoral people and structures seek to surround themselves with equally immoral friends and acquantances. Anyone who has worked for an immoral company will know this as those people seek to marginalise or outright remove morality from the workplace, criminals stick together. They may even try to make you complicit in their crimes to have control over you, you either go along to get along, or leave and look for another job.

The second point is the warfare - welfare state. A good example is the conflict in Yemen, an illegal war of aggression, that can only continue due to western supplied weapon systems. In a moral west there would be wall to wall coverage (like there was for the Iraq wars) and the horrors occurring there would be disseminated through the news into the minds of the CEO's and workers making and supplying the weapons. This does not happen, the majority just enjoy the money and status their job's bring them and give barely a thought to the immorality of their actions. They are shielded from the truth and having to make a moral judgement by lack of information. The welfare state creates dependents that are under educated, lazy, and love free stuff, they will never move towards personal responsibility and a good work ethic.. it is not in their interest, and this is by design. They survive and breed like rabbits paid for by the taxes of the hard working family man.

Tax

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax

A tax (from the Latin taxo) is a mandatory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or other legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures.[1] A failure to pay, or evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent. Most countries have a tax system in place to pay for public/common/agreed national needs and government functions: some levy a flat percentage rate of taxation on personal annual income, some on a scale based on annual income amounts, and some countries impose almost no taxation at all, or a very low tax rate for a certain area of taxation. Some countries charge a tax both on corporate income and dividends; this is often referred to as double taxation as the individual shareholder(s) receiving this payment from the company will also be levied some tax on that personal income.


---------------------------
Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   
Sr. Member
****

Posts: 309

The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States

one of the most ingenious propaganda weapons ever developed is that the powerful nations of the West—led by the United States—have a moral responsibility to use military force to protect the rights of people being repressed by their governments. This “responsibility to protect” (R2P) always had a dubious legal standing, but its moral justification also required a psychological and historical disengagement from the bloody reality of the 500-hundred-year history of U.S. and European colonialism, slavery, genocide and torture that created the “West.”
This violent, lawless Pan-European colonial/capitalist project continues today under the hegemony of the U.S. empire. This then begs the questions of who really needs the protection and who protects the peoples of the world from the United States and its allies? The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan “white identity politics.”
Neocons like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl were the driving forces in pushing for the war in Iraq. They understood if they wanted to sell war, “Americans” needed to believe the conflict was about values, not interests. The neocons dusted off and put a new face on that old rationalization for colonialism—the white man’s burden. Interventions were to bring democracy and freedom to those people who were struggling to be just like their more advanced models in the white West. Liberal interventionists further developed those ideas into “humanitarian interventionism” and the “responsibility to protect.”
The fact that the United States and Europe can wrap themselves in the flag of morality, practice savior politics and get away with it is a testament to the enduring psychopathology of white supremacist ideology.
The most extreme expressions of this cognitive dissonance occurred during the Obama administration, when the notion of U.S. exceptionalism was used to justify continuing the barbarism of the Bush administration’s so-called War on Terror. With this justification and the outrageous assertion that it was defending democracy, the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination committed crimes against humanity and war crimes that resulted in the deaths of millions, while millions more were displaced and ancient cities, nations and peoples were destroyed.
The result? International Gallup and Pew research polls have consistently shown the peoples of the world consider the United States the greatest threat to world peace on the planet.
National Security Strategy Under Trump: More of the Same
When the Trump administration released its National Security Strategy, Liberal pundits suggested it was a significantly different than any previous U.S. strategy. But beyond some specific references to putting “America” and its citizens first in relationship to the economy, and the reactionary stances of tightening border security and enforcing strict immigration policies, Trump’s strategy did not stray much from the post-Cold War strategy of the preceding years.
The difference that did exist was more in style than substance. The Trump administration completely dispensed with all pretexts used by previous administrations. Even domestic law, like the War Powers Act that was ignored by the Obama administration continues to be of no concern for the new Trump administration.  Now it is Trump’s “America first” with no concern for international law or accepted standards of behavior.
Unchecked by the countervailing power of the Soviet Union, the bi-partisan National Security Strategy produced in the 1990s that committed the U.S. state to pursue policies that would ensure continued U.S. economic, political and military hegemony through the 21st century—the “new American century”—is still the overall strategic objective of this administration.
Even explicitly naming China and Russia as “competition” that threatens to harm the country’s security was not that much of a departure since the centerpiece of U.S policy has been checking any state that challenged U.S. power in any region. The Trump administration named threats to U.S. interests—North Korea in Asia, Russia in Eurasia, Iran in West Asia, with jihadist groups included in case the United States needed a War on Terror (WOT) justification for U.S. interventions anywhere in the world.
While Neocons and liberal interventionists in previous administrations sugarcoated U.S. geo-strategic objectives to mask hegemony, the Trump rhetoric is crude, direct and unambiguously aggressive. Protecting U.S. interests in the 21st century means relying on military aggression, war and subversion.
Building the U.S. anti-war movement as the responsibility to protect from Empire
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated the obvious: he United States was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. He also said the public allowing this violence would lead to a kind of national spiritual death that would continue to make the U.S. state a danger to the world.
That spiritual death has not quite happened completely. Yet accepting the “inevitability” of violence and the necessity for waging war is now more deeply ingrained in the collective consciousness of individuals in the United States than it was 50 years ago when King warned of the deep malady of U.S. society. For most of the 21st century, the United States has been at war. Culturally, mass shootings, the wars on drugs and terror, violence and war as entertainment, livestreamed videos of horrendous police-executed murders as well as of a head of state being sodomized with a knife have resulted in what Henry Giroux refers to as a “culture of cruelty.
But the very fact that the authorities need to lie to the people with fairy tales of the responsibility to protect in order to give moral coverage for the waging of war is an acknowledgement that they understand that there is enough humanity left with the public that it would reject U.S. warmongering if it was only seen as advancing narrow national interests.
It is this remaining moral core—and the objective interests of the clear majority of the people to be in opposition to war—that provides the foundation for reviving the modern anti-war movement.
Baltimore was the site of the rebellion in response to Freddie Gray’s murder by the domestic military we refer to as “the police.” There, a couple of hundred activists will convene January 12 to kick off a new campaign to close all U.S. foreign bases. This gathering is the result of a new coalition of forces—both old and new—to revive the U.S. anti-war movement. This conference comes on the heels of another meeting that took place just a few months ago in Washington, D.C., where some of the same forces came together to kick-off a campaign to “divest from the war machine.”
Strategically these efforts are designed to be the first steps toward building the confidence, institutional strength and programmatic focus of a new, reinvigorated, broad-based, anti-war, pro-peace and anti-imperialist movement in the United States We are opposing the warmongering both corporate political parties have normalized.
The difficulties and challenges of this endeavor are not lost on the various organizations, networks and coalitions that are part of these efforts. We all recognize that there are no shortcuts to the delicate reconstructing of our existing forces and the challenge of expanding those forces by bringing in new formations. The ideological and political differences that have surfaced among left and progressive forces around issues of war and imperialism make it more challenging.
But the imperative of expressing solidarity with the victims of U.S. warmongering must take precedence over our differences and should serve as a basis for building political unity.
Continued at:

The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States

one of the most ingenious propaganda weapons ever developed is that the powerful nations of the West—led by the United States—have a moral responsibility to use military force to protect the rights of people being repressed by their governments. This “responsibility to protect” (R2P) always had a dubious legal standing, but its moral justification also required a psychological and historical disengagement from the bloody reality of the 500-hundred-year history of U.S. and European colonialism, slavery, genocide and torture that created the “West.”
This violent, lawless Pan-European colonial/capitalist project continues today under the hegemony of the U.S. empire. This then begs the questions of who really needs the protection and who protects the peoples of the world from the United States and its allies? The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan “white identity politics.”
Neocons like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl were the driving forces in pushing for the war in Iraq. They understood if they wanted to sell war, “Americans” needed to believe the conflict was about values, not interests. The neocons dusted off and put a new face on that old rationalization for colonialism—the white man’s burden. Interventions were to bring democracy and freedom to those people who were struggling to be just like their more advanced models in the white West. Liberal interventionists further developed those ideas into “humanitarian interventionism” and the “responsibility to protect.”
The fact that the United States and Europe can wrap themselves in the flag of morality, practice savior politics and get away with it is a testament to the enduring psychopathology of white supremacist ideology.
The most extreme expressions of this cognitive dissonance occurred during the Obama administration, when the notion of U.S. exceptionalism was used to justify continuing the barbarism of the Bush administration’s so-called War on Terror. With this justification and the outrageous assertion that it was defending democracy, the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination committed crimes against humanity and war crimes that resulted in the deaths of millions, while millions more were displaced and ancient cities, nations and peoples were destroyed.
The result? International Gallup and Pew research polls have consistently shown the peoples of the world consider the United States the greatest threat to world peace on the planet.
National Security Strategy Under Trump: More of the Same
When the Trump administration released its National Security Strategy, Liberal pundits suggested it was a significantly different than any previous U.S. strategy. But beyond some specific references to putting “America” and its citizens first in relationship to the economy, and the reactionary stances of tightening border security and enforcing strict immigration policies, Trump’s strategy did not stray much from the post-Cold War strategy of the preceding years.
The difference that did exist was more in style than substance. The Trump administration completely dispensed with all pretexts used by previous administrations. Even domestic law, like the War Powers Act that was ignored by the Obama administration continues to be of no concern for the new Trump administration.  Now it is Trump’s “America first” with no concern for international law or accepted standards of behavior.
Unchecked by the countervailing power of the Soviet Union, the bi-partisan National Security Strategy produced in the 1990s that committed the U.S. state to pursue policies that would ensure continued U.S. economic, political and military hegemony through the 21st century—the “new American century”—is still the overall strategic objective of this administration.
Even explicitly naming China and Russia as “competition” that threatens to harm the country’s security was not that much of a departure since the centerpiece of U.S policy has been checking any state that challenged U.S. power in any region. The Trump administration named threats to U.S. interests—North Korea in Asia, Russia in Eurasia, Iran in West Asia, with jihadist groups included in case the United States needed a War on Terror (WOT) justification for U.S. interventions anywhere in the world.
While Neocons and liberal interventionists in previous administrations sugarcoated U.S. geo-strategic objectives to mask hegemony, the Trump rhetoric is crude, direct and unambiguously aggressive. Protecting U.S. interests in the 21st century means relying on military aggression, war and subversion.
Building the U.S. anti-war movement as the responsibility to protect from Empire
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated the obvious: he United States was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. He also said the public allowing this violence would lead to a kind of national spiritual death that would continue to make the U.S. state a danger to the world.
That spiritual death has not quite happened completely. Yet accepting the “inevitability” of violence and the necessity for waging war is now more deeply ingrained in the collective consciousness of individuals in the United States than it was 50 years ago when King warned of the deep malady of U.S. society. For most of the 21st century, the United States has been at war. Culturally, mass shootings, the wars on drugs and terror, violence and war as entertainment, livestreamed videos of horrendous police-executed murders as well as of a head of state being sodomized with a knife have resulted in what Henry Giroux refers to as a “culture of cruelty.
But the very fact that the authorities need to lie to the people with fairy tales of the responsibility to protect in order to give moral coverage for the waging of war is an acknowledgement that they understand that there is enough humanity left with the public that it would reject U.S. warmongering if it was only seen as advancing narrow national interests.
It is this remaining moral core—and the objective interests of the clear majority of the people to be in opposition to war—that provides the foundation for reviving the modern anti-war movement.
Baltimore was the site of the rebellion in response to Freddie Gray’s murder by the domestic military we refer to as “the police.” There, a couple of hundred activists will convene January 12 to kick off a new campaign to close all U.S. foreign bases. This gathering is the result of a new coalition of forces—both old and new—to revive the U.S. anti-war movement. This conference comes on the heels of another meeting that took place just a few months ago in Washington, D.C., where some of the same forces came together to kick-off a campaign to “divest from the war machine.”
Strategically these efforts are designed to be the first steps toward building the confidence, institutional strength and programmatic focus of a new, reinvigorated, broad-based, anti-war, pro-peace and anti-imperialist movement in the United States We are opposing the warmongering both corporate political parties have normalized.
The difficulties and challenges of this endeavor are not lost on the various organizations, networks and coalitions that are part of these efforts. We all recognize that there are no shortcuts to the delicate reconstructing of our existing forces and the challenge of expanding those forces by bringing in new formations. The ideological and political differences that have surfaced among left and progressive forces around issues of war and imperialism make it more challenging.
But the imperative of expressing solidarity with the victims of U.S. warmongering must take precedence over our differences and should serve as a basis for building political unity.
Continued at:

[url]https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-responsibility-to-protect-the-world-from-the-united-states/5626128]The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States

one of the most ingenious propaganda weapons ever developed is that the powerful nations of the West—led by the United States—have a moral responsibility to use military force to protect the rights of people being repressed by their governments. This “responsibility to protect” (R2P) always had a dubious legal standing, but its moral justification also required a psychological and historical disengagement from the bloody reality of the 500-hundred-year history of U.S. and European colonialism, slavery, genocide and torture that created the “West.”
This violent, lawless Pan-European colonial/capitalist project continues today under the hegemony of the U.S. empire. This then begs the questions of who really needs the protection and who protects the peoples of the world from the United States and its allies? The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan “white identity politics.”
Neocons like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl were the driving forces in pushing for the war in Iraq. They understood if they wanted to sell war, “Americans” needed to believe the conflict was about values, not interests. The neocons dusted off and put a new face on that old rationalization for colonialism—the white man’s burden. Interventions were to bring democracy and freedom to those people who were struggling to be just like their more advanced models in the white West. Liberal interventionists further developed those ideas into “humanitarian interventionism” and the “responsibility to protect.”
The fact that the United States and Europe can wrap themselves in the flag of morality, practice savior politics and get away with it is a testament to the enduring psychopathology of white supremacist ideology.
The most extreme expressions of this cognitive dissonance occurred during the Obama administration, when the notion of U.S. exceptionalism was used to justify continuing the barbarism of the Bush administration’s so-called War on Terror. With this justification and the outrageous assertion that it was defending democracy, the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination committed crimes against humanity and war crimes that resulted in the deaths of millions, while millions more were displaced and ancient cities, nations and peoples were destroyed.
The result? International Gallup and Pew research polls have consistently shown the peoples of the world consider the United States the greatest threat to world peace on the planet.
National Security Strategy Under Trump: More of the Same
When the Trump administration released its National Security Strategy, Liberal pundits suggested it was a significantly different than any previous U.S. strategy. But beyond some specific references to putting “America” and its citizens first in relationship to the economy, and the reactionary stances of tightening border security and enforcing strict immigration policies, Trump’s strategy did not stray much from the post-Cold War strategy of the preceding years.
The difference that did exist was more in style than substance. The Trump administration completely dispensed with all pretexts used by previous administrations. Even domestic law, like the War Powers Act that was ignored by the Obama administration continues to be of no concern for the new Trump administration.  Now it is Trump’s “America first” with no concern for international law or accepted standards of behavior.
Unchecked by the countervailing power of the Soviet Union, the bi-partisan National Security Strategy produced in the 1990s that committed the U.S. state to pursue policies that would ensure continued U.S. economic, political and military hegemony through the 21st century—the “new American century”—is still the overall strategic objective of this administration.
Even explicitly naming China and Russia as “competition” that threatens to harm the country’s security was not that much of a departure since the centerpiece of U.S policy has been checking any state that challenged U.S. power in any region. The Trump administration named threats to U.S. interests—North Korea in Asia, Russia in Eurasia, Iran in West Asia, with jihadist groups included in case the United States needed a War on Terror (WOT) justification for U.S. interventions anywhere in the world.
While Neocons and liberal interventionists in previous administrations sugarcoated U.S. geo-strategic objectives to mask hegemony, the Trump rhetoric is crude, direct and unambiguously aggressive. Protecting U.S. interests in the 21st century means relying on military aggression, war and subversion.
Building the U.S. anti-war movement as the responsibility to protect from Empire
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated the obvious: he United States was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. He also said the public allowing this violence would lead to a kind of national spiritual death that would continue to make the U.S. state a danger to the world.
That spiritual death has not quite happened completely. Yet accepting the “inevitability” of violence and the necessity for waging war is now more deeply ingrained in the collective consciousness of individuals in the United States than it was 50 years ago when King warned of the deep malady of U.S. society. For most of the 21st century, the United States has been at war. Culturally, mass shootings, the wars on drugs and terror, violence and war as entertainment, livestreamed videos of horrendous police-executed murders as well as of a head of state being sodomized with a knife have resulted in what Henry Giroux refers to as a “culture of cruelty.
But the very fact that the authorities need to lie to the people with fairy tales of the responsibility to protect in order to give moral coverage for the waging of war is an acknowledgement that they understand that there is enough humanity left with the public that it would reject U.S. warmongering if it was only seen as advancing narrow national interests.
It is this remaining moral core—and the objective interests of the clear majority of the people to be in opposition to war—that provides the foundation for reviving the modern anti-war movement.
Baltimore was the site of the rebellion in response to Freddie Gray’s murder by the domestic military we refer to as “the police.” There, a couple of hundred activists will convene January 12 to kick off a new campaign to close all U.S. foreign bases. This gathering is the result of a new coalition of forces—both old and new—to revive the U.S. anti-war movement. This conference comes on the heels of another meeting that took place just a few months ago in Washington, D.C., where some of the same forces came together to kick-off a campaign to “divest from the war machine.”
Strategically these efforts are designed to be the first steps toward building the confidence, institutional strength and programmatic focus of a new, reinvigorated, broad-based, anti-war, pro-peace and anti-imperialist movement in the United States We are opposing the warmongering both corporate political parties have normalized.
The difficulties and challenges of this endeavor are not lost on the various organizations, networks and coalitions that are part of these efforts. We all recognize that there are no shortcuts to the delicate reconstructing of our existing forces and the challenge of expanding those forces by bringing in new formations. The ideological and political differences that have surfaced among left and progressive forces around issues of war and imperialism make it more challenging.
But the imperative of expressing solidarity with the victims of U.S. warmongering must take precedence over our differences and should serve as a basis for building political unity.
Continued at:
[url]The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States

one of the most ingenious propaganda weapons ever developed is that the powerful nations of the West—led by the United States—have a moral responsibility to use military force to protect the rights of people being repressed by their governments. This “responsibility to protect” (R2P) always had a dubious legal standing, but its moral justification also required a psychological and historical disengagement from the bloody reality of the 500-hundred-year history of U.S. and European colonialism, slavery, genocide and torture that created the “West.”
This violent, lawless Pan-European colonial/capitalist project continues today under the hegemony of the U.S. empire. This then begs the questions of who really needs the protection and who protects the peoples of the world from the United States and its allies? The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan “white identity politics.”
Neocons like William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pearl were the driving forces in pushing for the war in Iraq. They understood if they wanted to sell war, “Americans” needed to believe the conflict was about values, not interests. The neocons dusted off and put a new face on that old rationalization for colonialism—the white man’s burden. Interventions were to bring democracy and freedom to those people who were struggling to be just like their more advanced models in the white West. Liberal interventionists further developed those ideas into “humanitarian interventionism” and the “responsibility to protect.”
The fact that the United States and Europe can wrap themselves in the flag of morality, practice savior politics and get away with it is a testament to the enduring psychopathology of white supremacist ideology.
The most extreme expressions of this cognitive dissonance occurred during the Obama administration, when the notion of U.S. exceptionalism was used to justify continuing the barbarism of the Bush administration’s so-called War on Terror. With this justification and the outrageous assertion that it was defending democracy, the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination committed crimes against humanity and war crimes that resulted in the deaths of millions, while millions more were displaced and ancient cities, nations and peoples were destroyed.
The result? International Gallup and Pew research polls have consistently shown the peoples of the world consider the United States the greatest threat to world peace on the planet.
National Security Strategy Under Trump: More of the Same
When the Trump administration released its National Security Strategy, Liberal pundits suggested it was a significantly different than any previous U.S. strategy. But beyond some specific references to putting “America” and its citizens first in relationship to the economy, and the reactionary stances of tightening border security and enforcing strict immigration policies, Trump’s strategy did not stray much from the post-Cold War strategy of the preceding years.
The difference that did exist was more in style than substance. The Trump administration completely dispensed with all pretexts used by previous administrations. Even domestic law, like the War Powers Act that was ignored by the Obama administration continues to be of no concern for the new Trump administration.  Now it is Trump’s “America first” with no concern for international law or accepted standards of behavior.
Unchecked by the countervailing power of the Soviet Union, the bi-partisan National Security Strategy produced in the 1990s that committed the U.S. state to pursue policies that would ensure continued U.S. economic, political and military hegemony through the 21st century—the “new American century”—is still the overall strategic objective of this administration.
Even explicitly naming China and Russia as “competition” that threatens to harm the country’s security was not that much of a departure since the centerpiece of U.S policy has been checking any state that challenged U.S. power in any region. The Trump administration named threats to U.S. interests—North Korea in Asia, Russia in Eurasia, Iran in West Asia, with jihadist groups included in case the United States needed a War on Terror (WOT) justification for U.S. interventions anywhere in the world.
While Neocons and liberal interventionists in previous administrations sugarcoated U.S. geo-strategic objectives to mask hegemony, the Trump rhetoric is crude, direct and unambiguously aggressive. Protecting U.S. interests in the 21st century means relying on military aggression, war and subversion.
Building the U.S. anti-war movement as the responsibility to protect from Empire
Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated the obvious: he United States was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. He also said the public allowing this violence would lead to a kind of national spiritual death that would continue to make the U.S. state a danger to the world.
That spiritual death has not quite happened completely. Yet accepting the “inevitability” of violence and the necessity for waging war is now more deeply ingrained in the collective consciousness of individuals in the United States than it was 50 years ago when King warned of the deep malady of U.S. society. For most of the 21st century, the United States has been at war. Culturally, mass shootings, the wars on drugs and terror, violence and war as entertainment, livestreamed videos of horrendous police-executed murders as well as of a head of state being sodomized with a knife have resulted in what Henry Giroux refers to as a “culture of cruelty.
But the very fact that the authorities need to lie to the people with fairy tales of the responsibility to protect in order to give moral coverage for the waging of war is an acknowledgement that they understand that there is enough humanity left with the public that it would reject U.S. warmongering if it was only seen as advancing narrow national interests.
It is this remaining moral core—and the objective interests of the clear majority of the people to be in opposition to war—that provides the foundation for reviving the modern anti-war movement.
Baltimore was the site of the rebellion in response to Freddie Gray’s murder by the domestic military we refer to as “the police.” There, a couple of hundred activists will convene January 12 to kick off a new campaign to close all U.S. foreign bases. This gathering is the result of a new coalition of forces—both old and new—to revive the U.S. anti-war movement. This conference comes on the heels of another meeting that took place just a few months ago in Washington, D.C., where some of the same forces came together to kick-off a campaign to “divest from the war machine.”
Strategically these efforts are designed to be the first steps toward building the confidence, institutional strength and programmatic focus of a new, reinvigorated, broad-based, anti-war, pro-peace and anti-imperialist movement in the United States We are opposing the warmongering both corporate political parties have normalized.
The difficulties and challenges of this endeavor are not lost on the various organizations, networks and coalitions that are part of these efforts. We all recognize that there are no shortcuts to the delicate reconstructing of our existing forces and the challenge of expanding those forces by bringing in new formations. The ideological and political differences that have surfaced among left and progressive forces around issues of war and imperialism make it more challenging.
But the imperative of expressing solidarity with the victims of U.S. warmongering must take precedence over our differences and should serve as a basis for building political unity.
Continued at:

[url]https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-responsibility-to-protect-the-world-from-the-united-states/5626128
   

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Putin: Communist ideology similar to Christianity, Lenin’s body like saintly relics

https://www.rt.com/news/415883-putin-communist-ideology-christianity/

Russian President Vladimir Putin has likened communism to Christianity and Vladimir Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square to the veneration of the relics of saints.

“Maybe I’ll say something that someone might dislike, but that’s the way I see it,” Putin said in an interview for the documentary Valaam, an excerpt of which was broadcast on Russia 1. “First of all, faith has always accompanied us, becoming stronger every time our country, our people, have been through hard times.

“There were those years of militant atheism when priests were eradicated, churches destroyed, but at the same time a new religion was being created. Communist ideology is very similar to Christianity, in fact: freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice – everything is laid out in the Holy Scripture, it’s all there. And the code of the builder of communism? This is sublimation, it’s just such a primitive excerpt from the Bible, nothing new was invented.”


Putin went further by comparing the Communists’ attitude to the Bolshevik leader Lenin to the veneration of saints in Christianity. “Look, Lenin was put in a mausoleum. How is this different from the relics of saints for Orthodox Christians and just for Christians? When they say that there’s no such tradition in Christianity, well, how come, go to Athos and take a look, there are relics of the saints there, and we have holy relics here,” Putin concluded.

After Lenin died in 1924, his body was embalmed and put on display in a mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow. The cult of Lenin was part of Soviet ideology. The public debate about the possibility of giving Lenin’s remains a proper burial began during the early days of Perestroika in the 1980s.

Putin’s words were music to the ears of Communist Party members. “I think these words of the president very effectively and reasonably smooth out the acute angles around the theme of the mausoleum,” Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Ivan Melnikov said on Sunday, as cited by Interfax.

He said however, that “communists and all the leftist patriotic forces [in Russia] understand that communism is close to Christianity as much as the form of capitalism that exists in our country and our economy today is far from Christianity.”

Earlier this year, Gennadiy Zyuganov, the head of the Russian Communist Party, said Putin had promised him that as long as he remains president, Lenin’s body would remain in the mausoleum in Red Square.

“As long as I sit here, there will be no barbarism in Red Square,” the Communist chief quoted Putin as saying at a conference with Russian party leaders.

According to Zyuganov, Putin also dismissed allegations that Lenin was not buried in accordance with Christian traditions. “As far as the form of the burial is concerned, they used the one that is also used in Orthodox Christianity – he lies a meter and a half below the ground level. Sepultures and cave burials have been known for a long time,” Putin said, according to Zyuganov.


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Why is Putin “allowing” Israel to bomb Syria?

[This article has been written for the Unz Review]

https://thesaker.is/why-is-putin-allowing-israel-to-bomb-syria/

Informationclearinghouse recently posted an article by Darius Shahtahmasebi entitled “Israel Keeps Bombing Syria and Nobody Is Doing Anything About It”. Following this publication I received an email from a reader asking me the following question: “Putin permitting Israel to bomb Syria – why? I am confused by Putins actions – does Putin support the Zionist entity, on the quiet like. I would appreciate your feedback on this matter. Also – I have heard, but not been able to confirm, that the Russian Jewish immigrants to Occupied Palestines are the most ardent tormenters of the Palestinians – it takes quite some doing to get ahead of the likes of Netanyahu. Please comment“.  While in his article Darius Shahtahmasebi wonders why the world is not doing anything to stop the Israelis (“Why haven’t Iran, Syria, and/or Hezbollah in Lebanon responded directly?“), my reader is more specific and wonders why Putin (or Russia) specifically is not only “permitting” Israel to bomb Syria but even possibly “supporting” the Zionist Entity.

I often see that question in emails and in comments, so I wanted to address this issue today.

First, we need to look at some critical assumption implied by this question.  These assumptions are:

    That Russia can do something to stop the Israelis
    That Russia should (or even is morally obliged) to do something.

Let me begin by saying that I categorically disagree with both of these assumptions, especially the 2nd one.  Let’s take them one by one.

Assumption #1: Russia can stop the Israeli attacks on Syria

How?  I think that the list of options is fairly obvious here.  Russian options range from diplomatic action (such as private or public protests and condemnations, attempts to get a UNSC Resolution passed) to direct military action (shooting down Israeli aircraft, “painting” them with an engagement radar to try to scare them away or, at least, try to intercept Israeli missiles).

Trying to reason with the Israelis or get the to listen to the UN has been tried by many countries for decades and if there is one thing which is beyond doubt is that the Israelis don’t give a damn about what anybody has to say.  So talking to them is just a waste of oxygen.  What about threatening them?  Actually, I think that this could work, but at what risk and price?

First of all, while I always said that the IDF’s ground forces are pretty bad, this is not the case of their air forces.  In fact, their record is pretty good.  Now if you look at where the Russian air defenses are, you will see that they are all concentrated around Khmeimim and Tartus.  Yes, an S-400 has a very long range, but that range is dependent on many things including the size of the target, its radar-cross section, its electronic warfare capabilities, the presence of specialized EW aircraft, altitude, etc.  The Israelis are skilled pilots who are very risk averse so they are very careful about what they do.  Finally, the Israelis are very much aware of where the Russians are themselves and where there missiles are.  I think that it would be pretty safe to say that the Israelis make sure to keep a minimal safe distance between themselves and the Russians, if only to avoid any misunderstanding.   But let’s say that the Russians did have a chance to shoot down an Israeli aircraft – what would be the likely Israeli reaction to such a shooting?  In this article Darius Shahtahmasebi writes: “Is it because Israel reportedly has well over 200 nukes all “pointed at Iran,” and there is little Iran and its allies can do to take on such a threat?”  I don’t see the Israelis using nukes on Russian forces, however, that does in no way mean that the Russians when dealing with Israel should not consider the fact that Israel is a nuclear armed power ruled by racist megalomaniacs.  In practical terms this means this: “should Russia (or any other country) risk a military clash with Israel over a few destroyed trucks or a weapons and ammunition dump”?  I think that the obvious answer is clearly ‘no’.

While this is the kind of calculations the USA simply ignores (at least officially – hence all the saber-rattling against the DPRK), Russia is ruled by a sane and responsible man who cannot make it a habit of simply waltzing into a conflict hence the Russian decision not to retaliate in kind against the shooting down of the Russian SU-24 by the Turks.  If the Russians did not retaliate against the Turks shooting down one of their own aircraft, they sure ain’t gonna attack the Israelis when they attack a non-Russian target!

There are also simply factual issues to consider: even if some Russian air-defense systems are very advanced and could shoot down an X number of Israeli aircraft, they are nowhere near numerous enough to prevent the entire Israeli air force from saturating them.  In fact, both Israel and CENTCOM simply have such a numbers advantage over the relatively small Russian contingent that they both could over-run the Russian defenses, even if they would take losses in the process.

So yes, the Russian probably could stop one or a few Israeli attacks, but if the Israelis decided to engage in a sustained air campaign against targets in Syria there is nothing the Russians could do short of going to war with Israel.   So here again a very basic strategic principle fully applies: you never want to start an escalatory process you neither control nor can win.  Put simply this means: if the Russians shoot back – they lose and the Israelis win.  It’s really that simple and both sides know it (armchair strategist apparently don’t).

And this begs a critical look at the second assumption:

Assumption #2: Russia has some moral duty to stop the Israeli attacks on Syria

This is the one which most baffles me.  Why in the world would anybody think that Russia owes anybody anywhere on the planet any type of protection?!  For starters, when is the last time somebody came to the help of Russia?  I don’t recall anybody in the Middle-East offering their support to Russia in Chechnia, Georgia or, for that matter, the Ukraine!  How many countries in the Middle-East have recognized South Ossetia or Abkhazia (and compare that with the Kosovo case!)?  Where was the Muslim or Arab “help” or “friendship” towards Russia when sanctions were imposed and the price of oil dropped?  Remind me – how exactly did Russia’s “friends” express their support for Russia over, say, the Donbass or Crimea?

Can somebody please explain to me why Russia has some moral obligation towards Syria or Iran or Hezbollah when not a single Muslim or Arab country has done anything to help the Syrian government fight against the Takfiris?  Where is the Arab League!?  Where is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation?!

Is it not a fact that Russia has done more in Syria than all the countries of the Arab League and the OIC combined?!

Where do the Arab and Muslims of the Middle-East get this sense of entitlement which tells them that a faraway country which struggles with plenty of political, economic and military problems of its own has to do more than the immediate neighbors of Syria do?!

Putin is the President of Russia and he is first and foremost accountable to the Russian people to whom he has to explain every Russian casualty and even every risk he takes.  It seems to me that he is absolutely right when he acts first and foremost in defense of the people who elected him and not anybody else.

By the way – Putin was very clear about why he was ordering a (very limited) Russian military intervention in Syria: to protect Russian national interests by, for example, killing crazy Takfiris in Syria so as not to have to fight then in the Caucasus and the rest of Russia.  At no time and in no way did any Russian official refer to any kind of obligation of Russia towards Syria or any other country in the region.  True, Russia did stand by President Assad, but that was not because of any obligation towards him or his country, but because the Russians always insisted that he was the legitimate President of Syria and that only the Syrian people had the right to replace (or keep) him.  And, of course, it is in the Russian national interest to show that, unlike the USA, Russia stands by her allies.  But none of that means that Russia is now responsible for the protection of the sovereignty of the Syrian airspace or territory.

As far as I am concerned, the only country which has done even more than Russia for Syria is Iran and, in lieu of gratitude the Arab countries “thank” the Iranians by conspiring against them with the USA and Israel.  Hassan Nasrallah is absolutely spot on when the calls all these countries traitors and collaborators of the AngloZionist Empire.

There is something deeply immoral and hypocritical in this constant whining that Russia should do more when in reality Russia and Iran are the only two countries doing something meaningful (and Hezbollah, of course!).

Now let me address a few typical questions:

Question #1: but aren’t Syria, Iran and Hezbollah Russian allies?

Yes and no.  Objectively – yes.  Formally – no.  What this means is that while these three entities do have some common objectives, they are also independent and they all have some objectives not shared by others.  Furthermore, they have no mutual defense treaty and this is why neither Syria, nor Iran nor Hezbollah retaliated against Turkey when the Turks shot down the Russian SU-24.  While some might disagree, I would argue that this absence of a formal mutual defense treaty is a very good thing if only because it prevents Russian or Iranian forces in Syria from becoming “tripwire” forces which, if attacked, would require an immediate response.  In a highly dangerous and explosive situation like the Middle-East the kind of flexibility provided by the absence any formal alliances is a big advantage for all parties involved.

Question #2 : does that mean that Russia is doing nothing or even supporting Israel?

Of course not!  In fact, Netanyahu even traveled to Moscow to make all sorts of threats and he returned home with nothing (Russian sources even report that the Israelis ended up shouting at their Russian counterparts).  Let’s restate here something which ought to be obvious to everybody: the Russian intervention in Syria was an absolute, total and unmitigated disaster for Israel (I explain that in detail in this article).  If the Russians had any kind of concern for Israelis interests they would never have intervened in Syria in the first place!  However, that refusal to let Israel dictate Russian policies in the Middle-East (or elsewhere) does not at all mean that Russia can simply ignore the very real power of the Israelis, not only because of their nukes, but also because of their de-facto control of the US government.

Question #3: so what is really going on between Russia and Israel?

As I have explained elsewhere, the relationship between Russia and Israel is a very complex and multi-layered one and nothing between those two countries is really black or white.  For one thing, there is a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Russia at which Putin has been chipping away over the years, but only in very small and incremental steps.  The key for Putin is to do what needs to be done to advance Russian interests but without triggering an internal or external political crisis.  This is why the Russians are doing certain things, but rather quietly.

First, they are re-vamping the aging Syrian air defenses not only with software updates, but also with newer hardware.  They are also, of course, training Syrian crews.  This does not mean that the Syrians could close their skies to Israeli aircraft, but that gradually the risks of striking Syria would go up and up with each passing month.  First, we would not notice this, but I am confident that a careful analysis of the types of targets the Israelis will strike will go down and further down in value meaning the Syrians will become more and more capable of defending their most important assets.

Second, it is pretty obvious that Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are working synergistically.  For example, the Russians and the Syrians have integrated their air defenses which means that now the Syrians can “see” much further than their own radars would allow them to.  Furthermore, consider the number of US cruise missiles which never made it to the Syrian air base Trump wanted to bomb: it is more or less admitted by now that this was the result of Russian EW countermeasures.

Finally, the Russians are clearly “covering” for Hezbollah and Iran politically by refusing to consider them as pariahs which is what Israel and the USA have been demanding all along.  This is why Iran is treated as a key-player by the Russian sponsored peace process while the USA and Israel are not even invited.

So the truth of the matter is simple: the Russians will not directly oppose the Israelis, but what they will do is quietly strengthen Iran and Hezbollah, which is not only much safer but also much more effective.

Conclusion

We live in a screwed-up and dysfunctional society which following decades of US domination conflates war and aggression with strength, which implicitly accepts the notion that a “great country” is one which goes on some kind of violent rampage on a regular basis and which always resorts to military force to retaliate against any attack.  I submit that the Russian and Iranian leaders are much more sophisticated then that.  The same goes for the Hezbollah leadership, by the way.  Remember when the Israelis (with the obvious complicity of some members of the Syrian regime, by the way) murdered Imad Mughniyeh?  Hezbollah promised to retaliate, but so far, almost a decade later, they have not (or, at least, not officially).  Some will say that Hezbollah’s threats were empty words – I totally disagree.  When Hassan Nasrallah promises something you can take it to the bank.  But Hezbollah leaders are sophisticated enough to retaliate when the time is right and on their own terms.  And think about the Iranians who since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 have been in the crosshairs of both the USA and Israel and who never gave either one of them the pretext to strike.

When you are much more powerful than your opponent you can be stupid and reply on brute, dumb force.  At least for the short to middle term.  Eventually, as we see with the USA today, this kind of aggressive stupidity backfires and ends up being counterproductive.  But when you are smaller, weaker or even just still in the process of recovering your potential strength you have to act with much more caution and sophistication.  This is why all the opponents of the AngloZionist Empire (including Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela) do their utmost to avoid using force against the AngloZionists even when it would be richly deserved.  The one exception to this rule is Kim Jong-un who has chosen a policy of hyperinflated threats which, while possibly effective (he seems to have outwitted Trump, at least so far) is also very dangerous and one which none of the Resistance countries want to have any part in.

The Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah are all “grown adults” (in political terms), and Assad is learning very fast, and they all understand that they are dealing with a “monkey with a hand grenade” (this fully applies to both Israeli and US leaders) which combines a nasty personality, a volatile temper,  a primitive brain and a hand grenade big enough to kill everybody in the room.  Their task is to incapacitate that monkey without having it pull the pin.  In the case of the Israeli strikes on Syria, the primary responsibility to respond in some manner would fall either on the target of the strikes (usually Hezbollah) or on the nation whose sovereignty was violated (Syria).  And both could, in theory, retaliate (by using tactical missiles for example).  Yet they chose not to, and that is the wise and correct approach.  As for the Russians, this is simply and plainly not their business.

Addendum 1:

One more thing.  Make no mistake – the Israeli (and US!) propensity to use force as a substitute for diplomacy is a sign of weakness, not of strength.  More, accurately, their use of force, or the threat of force, is the result of their diplomatic incompetence.  While to the unsophisticated mind the systematic use of force might appear as an expression of power, history shows that brute force can be defeated when challenged not directly, but by other means.  This is, by necessity, a slow process, much slower than a (mostly entirely theoretical) “quick victory”, but an ineluctable one nonetheless.  In purely theoretical terms, the use of force can roughly have any one of the following outcomes: defeat, stalemate, costly victory and a relatively painless victory.  That last one is exceedingly rare and the use of force mostly results in one of the other outcomes.  Sometimes the use of force is truly the only solution, but I submit that the wise political leader will only resort to it when all other options have failed and when vital interests are at stake.  In all  other situation a “bad peace is preferable to a good war”.

Addendum 2:

Contrary to the hallucinations of the Neocons, Russia is absolutely not a “resurgent USSR” and Putin has no desire whatsoever to rebuild the Soviet Union.  Furthermore, there is no meaningful constituency in Russia for any such “imperial” plans (well, there are always some lunatics everywhere, but in Russia they are, thank God, a tiny powerless minority).  Furthermore, the new Russia is most definitely not an “anti-USA” in the sense of trying to counter every US imperial or hegemonic move.  This might be obvious to many, but I get so many questions about why Russia is not doing more to counter the USA in Africa, Latin America or Asia that I feel that it is, alas, still important to remind everybody of a basic principle of international law and common sense: problems in country X are for country X to deal with.  Russia has no more business than the USA in “solving” country X’s problems.  Furthermore, country X’s problems are usually best dealt with by country X’s immediate neighbors, not by megalomaniacal messianic superpowers who feel that they ought to “power project” because they are somehow “indispensable” or because “manifest destiny” has placed upon them the “responsibility” to “lead” the world.  All this terminology is just the expression of a pathological and delusional imperial mindset which has cost Russia and the Soviet Union an absolutely horrendous price in money, energy, resources and blood (for example, the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan was justified in terms of the “internationalist duty” of the Soviet Union and people to help a “brotherly nation”).  While this kind of nonsense is still 100% mainstream in the poor old USA, it is absolutely rejected in modern Russia.  For all the personal credibility of Putin with the Russian people, even he could not get away with trying to militarily intervene, nevemind police the whole planet, unless truly vital Russian interests were threatened (Crimea was such a very rare case).  Some will deplore this, I personally very much welcome it, but the truth is that “the Russians are *not* coming”.

The Saker


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A National Defense Strategy of Sowing Global Chaos

https://original.antiwar.com/nicolas_davies/2018/01/23/national-defense-strategy-sowing-global-chaos/

by Nicolas J. S. Davies Posted on January 24, 2018

Presenting the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States on Friday at the Johns Hopkins University, Secretary of Defense James Mattis painted a picture of a dangerous world in which U.S. power – and all of the supposed “good” that it does around the world – is on the decline.

“Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare – air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace,” he said. “And it is continually eroding.”

What he could have said instead is that the United States military is overextended in every domain, and that much of the chaos seen around the world is the direct result of past and current military adventurism. Further, he could have acknowledged, perhaps, that the erosion of US influence has been the result of a series of self-inflicted blows to American credibility through foreign policy disasters such as 2003 invasion of Iraq.

There were also two important words hidden between the lines, but never mentioned by name, in the new US National Defense Strategy: “empire” and “imperialism.”

It has long been taboo for US officials and corporate media to speak of US foreign policy as “imperialism,” or of the US’s global military occupations and network of hundreds of military bases as an “empire.” These words are on a long-standing blacklist of “banned topics” that US official statements and mainstream US media reports must never mention.

The streams of Orwellian euphemisms with which US officials and media instead discuss US foreign policy do more to obscure the reality of the US role in the world than to describe or explain it, “hiding imperial interests behind ever more elaborate fig leaves,” as British historian A.J.P. Taylor described European imperialists doing the same a century ago.

As topics like empire, imperialism, and even war and peace, are censored and excised from political debate, US officials, subservient media and the rest of the US political class conjure up an illusion of peace for domestic consumption by simply not mentioning our country’s 291,000 occupation troops in 183 other countries or the 39,000 bombs and missiles dropped on our neighbors in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan since Trump took office.

The 100,000 bombs and missiles dropped on these and other countries by Obama and the 70,000 dropped on them by Bush II have likewise been swept down a kind of real time “memory hole,” leaving America’s collective conscience untroubled by what the public was never told in the first place.

But in reality, it’s been a long time since US leaders of either party resisted the temptation to threaten anyone anywhere, or to follow through on their threats with “fire and fury” bombing campaigns, coups and invasions. This is how empires maintain a “credible threat” to undergird their power and discourage other countries from challenging them.

But far from establishing the “Pax Americana” promised by policymakers and military strategists in the 1990s, from Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney to Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton, the results have been consistently catastrophic, producing what the new National Defense Strategy calls, “increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing, rules-based international order.”

Of course the drafters of this US strategy document dare not admit that US policy is almost single-handedly responsible for this global chaos, after successive US administrations have worked to marginalize the institutions and rules of international law and to establish illegal US threats and uses of force that international law defines as crimes of aggression as the ultimate arbiter of international affairs.

Nor do they dare acknowledge that the CIA’s politicized intelligence and covert operations, which generate a steady stream of political pretexts for US military intervention, are designed to create and exacerbate international crises, not to solve them. For US officials to admit such hard truths would shake the very foundations of US imperialism.

Opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran – the so-called nuclear deal – from Republicans and Democratic hawks alike seems to stem from the fear that it might validate the use of diplomacy over sanctions, coups and war, and set a dangerous precedent for resolving other crises – from Afghanistan and Korea to future crises in Africa and Latin America. Iran’s success at bringing the US to the negotiating table, instead of falling victim to the endless violence and chaos of U.S.-backed regime change, may already be encouraging North Korea and other targets of US aggression to try to pull off the same trick.

But how will the US justify its global military occupation, illegal threats and uses of force, and trillion-dollar war budget once serious diplomacy is seen to be more effective at resolving international crises than the endless violence and chaos of US sanctions, coups, wars and occupations?

From Bhurtpoor to Baghdad

Major Danny Sjursen, who has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and taught history at West Point, is a rare voice of sanity from within the US military. In a poignant article in Truthdig, Major Sjursen eloquently described the horrors he has witnessed and the sadness he expects to live with for the rest of his life. “The truth is,” he wrote, “I fought for next to nothing, for a country that, in recent conflicts, has made the world a deadlier, more chaotic place.”

Danny Sjursen’s life as a soldier of the US Empire reminds me of another soldier of Empire, my great-great-great grandfather, Samuel Goddard. Samuel was born in Norfolk in England in 1793, and joined the 14th Regiment of Foot as a teenager. He was a Sergeant at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. During 14 years in India, his battalion led the assault on the fortress of Bhurtpoor in 1826, which ended the last resistance of the Maratha dynasty to British rule. He spent 3 years in the Caribbean, 6 years in Canada, and retired as Commandant of Dublin Castle in 1853 after a lifetime of service to Empire.

Danny’s and Samuel’s lives have much in common. They would probably have a lot to talk about if they could ever meet. But there are critical differences. At Bhurtpoor, the two British regiments who led the attack were followed through the breech in the walls by 15 regiments of Indian “Native Infantry.” After Bhurtpoor, Britain ruled India (including Pakistan and Bangladesh) for 120 years, with only a thousand British officials in the Indian Civil Service and a few thousand British officers in command of up to 2.5 million Indian troops.

The British brutally put down the Indian Mutiny in 1857-8 with massacres in Delhi, Allahabad, Kanpur and Lucknow. Then, as up to 30 million Indians died in famines in 1876-9 and 1896-1902, the British government of India explicitly prohibited relief efforts or actions that might reduce exports from India to the U.K. or interfere with the operation of the “free market.”

As Mike Davis wrote in his 2001 book, Late Victorian Holocausts, “What seemed from a metropolitan perspective the nineteenth century’s final blaze of imperial glory was, from an Asian or African viewpoint, only the hideous light of a giant funeral pyre.”

And yet Britain kept control of India by commanding such loyalty and subservience from millions of Indians that, in every crisis, Indian troops obeyed orders from British officers to massacre their own people.

Danny Sjursen and US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other post-Cold War US war zones are having a very different experience. In Afghanistan, as the Taliban and its allies have taken control of more of the country than at any time since the US invasion, the U.S.-backed Afghan National Army has 25,000 fewer troops under its command than it did five years ago, while ten years of training by US special operations forces has produced only 21,000 trained Afghan Commandos, the elite troops who do 70-80% of the killing and dying for the corrupt U.S.-backed Afghan government.

But the US has not completely failed to win the loyalty of its imperial subjects. The first US soldier killed in action in Afghanistan in 2018 was Sergeant 1st Class Mihail Golin, originally from Latvia. Mihail arrived in the US in November 2004, enlisted in the US Army three months later and has now given his life for the US Empire and for whatever his service to it meant to him. At least 127 other Eastern Europeans have died in occupied Afghanistan, along with 455 British troops, 158 Canadians and 396 soldiers from 17 other countries. But 2,402 – or 68%, over two-thirds – of the occupation troops who have died in Afghanistan since 2001, were Americans.

In Iraq, an American war that always had even less international support or legitimacy, 93% of the occupation troops who have died were Americans, 4,530 out of a total of 4,852 “coalition” deaths.

When Ben Griffin, who later founded the UK branch of Veterans for Peace, told his superiors in the UK’s elite SAS (Special Air Service) that he could no longer take part in murderous house raids in Baghdad with US special operations forces, he was surprised to find that his entire chain of command understood and accepted his decision. The only officer who tried to change his mind was the chaplain.

The Future of Empire

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff have explicitly told Congress that war with North Korea would require a ground invasion, and the same would likely be true of a US war on Iran. South Korea wants to avoid war at all costs, but may be unavoidably drawn into a U.S.-led Second Korean War.

But besides South Korea, the level of support the US could expect from its allies in a Second Korean War or other wars of aggression in the future would probably be more like Iraq than Afghanistan, with significant international opposition, even from traditional US allies. US troops would therefore make up nearly all of the invasion and occupation forces – and take nearly all of the casualties.

Compared to past empires, the cost in blood and treasure of policing the US Empire and the blame for its catastrophic failures fall disproportionately – and rightly – on Americans. Even Donald Trump recognizes this problem, but his demands for allied countries to spend more on their militaries and buy more US weapons will not change their people’s unwillingness to die in America’s wars.

This reality has created political pressure on US leaders to wage war in ways that cost fewer American lives but inevitably kill many more people in countries being punished for resistance to US imperialism, using air strikes and locally recruited death squads instead of US“boots on the ground” wherever possible.

The US conducts a sophisticated propaganda campaign to pretend that US air-launched weapons are so accurate that they can be used safely without killing large numbers of civilians. Actual miss rates and blast radii are on the “banned topics” blacklist, along with realistic estimates of civilian deaths.

When former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari told Patrick Cockburn of the UK’s Independent newspaper that he had seen Iraqi Kurdish intelligence reports which estimated that the US and Iraqi-led destruction of Mosul had killed 40,000 civilians, the only remotely realistic estimate so far from an official source, no other mainstream Western media followed up on the story.

But America’s wars are killing millions of innocent people: people defending themselves, their families, their communities and countries against US imperialism and aggression; and many more who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time under the onslaught of over 210,000 American bombs and missiles dropped on at least 7 countries since 2001.

According to a growing body of research (for example, see the UN Development Program study, Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping-Point for Recruitment), most people who join armed resistance or “terrorist” groups do so mainly to protect themselves and their families from the dangers of wars that others have inflicted on them. The UNDP survey found that the final “tipping point” that pushes over 70% of them to take the fateful step of joining an armed group is the killing or detention of a close friend or family member by foreign or local security forces.

So the reliance on airstrikes and locally recruited death squads, the very strategies that make US imperialism palatable to the American public, are in fact the main “drivers” spreading armed resistance and terrorism to country after country, placing the US Empire on a collision course with itself.

The US effort to delegate war in the Middle East to Saudi Arabia is turning it into a target of global condemnation as it tries to mimic the US model of warfare by bombing and starving millions of innocent people in Yemen while blaming the victims for their plight. The slaughter by poorly trained and undisciplined Saudi and Emirati pilots is even more indiscriminate than US bombing campaigns, and the Saudis lack the full protection of the Western propaganda system to minimize international outrage at tens of thousands of civilian casualties and an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis.

The need to win the loyalty of imperial subjects by some combination of fear and respect is a basic requirement of Empire. But it appears to be unattainable in the 21st century, certainly by the kind of murderous policies the US has embraced since the end of the Cold War. As Richard Barnet already observed 45 years ago, at the end of the American War in Vietnam, “At the very moment the number one nation has perfected the science of killing, it has become an impractical instrument of political domination.”

Obama’s sugarcoated charm offensive won US imperialism a reprieve from global public opinion and provided political cover for allied leaders to actively rejoin U.S.-led alliances. But it was dishonest. Under cover of Obama’s iconic image, the US spread the violence and chaos of its wars and regime changes and the armed resistance and terrorism they provoke farther and wider, affecting tens of millions more people from Syria and Libya to Nigeria and Ukraine.

Now Trump has taken the mask off and the world is once again confronting the unvarnished, brutal reality of US imperialism and aggression.

China’s approach to the world based on trade and infrastructure development has been more successful than US imperialism. The US share of the global economy has declined from 40% to 22% since the 1960s, while China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy in the next decade or two – by some measures, it already has.

While China has become the manufacturing and trading hub of the global economy, the US economy has been financialized and hollowed out, hardly a solid basis for future growth. The neoliberal model of politics and economics that the US adopted a generation ago has created even greater wealth for people who already owned disproportionate shares of everything, but it has left working people in the US and across the US Empire worse off than before.

Like the “next to nothing” that Danny Sjursen came to realize he was fighting for in Iraq and Afghanistan, the prospects for the US economy seem ephemeral and highly vulnerable to the changing tides of economic history.

The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers

In his 1987 book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000, historian Paul Kennedy examined the relationship between economic and military power in the histories of the Western empires who colonized the world in the past 500 years. He described how rising powers enjoy significant competitive advantages over established ones, and how every once-dominant power sooner or later has to adjust to the tides of economic history and find a new place in a world it can no longer dominate.

Kennedy explained that military power is only a secondary form of power that wealthy nations develop to protect and support their expanding economic interests. An economically dominant power can quickly convert some of its resources into military power, as the US did during the Second World War or as China is doing today. But once formerly dominant powers have lost ground to new, rising powers, using military power more aggressively has never been a successful way to restore their economic dominance. On the contrary, it has typically been a way to squander the critical years and scarce resources they could otherwise have used to manage a peaceful transition to a prosperous future.

As the UK found in the 1950s, using military force to try to hold on to its empire proved counterproductive, as Kennedy described, and peaceful transitions to independence proved to be a more profitable basis for future relations with its former colonies. The drawdown of its global military commitments was an essential part of its transition to a viable post-imperial future.

The transition from hegemony to coexistence has never been easy for any great power, and there is nothing exceptional about the temptation to use military force to try to preserve and prolong the old order. This has often led to catastrophic wars and it has always failed.

It is difficult for any political or military leader to preside over a diminution of his or her country’s power in the world. Military leaders are rewarded for military strategies that win wars and expand their country’s power, not for dismantling it. Mid-level staff officers who tell their superiors that their weapons and armies cannot solve their country’s problems do not win promotion to decision-making positions.

As Gabriel Kolko noted in Century of War in 1994, this marginalization of critical voices leads to an “inherent, even unavoidable institutional myopia,” under which, “options and decisions that are intrinsically dangerous and irrational become not merely plausible but the only form of reasoning about war and diplomacy that is possible in official circles.”

After two world wars and the independence of India, the Suez crisis of 1956 was the final nail in the coffin of the British Empire, and the Eisenhower administration burnished its own anti-colonial credentials by refusing to support the British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt. British Prime Minister Anthony Eden was forced to resign, and he was replaced by Harold Macmillan, who had been a close aide to Eisenhower during the Second World War.

Macmillan dismantled the remains of the British Empire behind the backs of his Conservative Party’s supporters, winning reelection in 1959 on the slogan, “You’ve never had it so good,” while the US supported a relatively peaceful transition that preserved Western international business interests and military power.

As the US faces a similar transition from empire to a post-imperial future, its leaders have been seduced by the chimera of the post-Cold War “power dividend” to try to use military force to preserve and expand the US Empire, even as the relative economic position of the US declines.

In 1987, Paul Kennedy ended The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers with a prescient analysis of the US position in the world. He concluded,

“In all of the discussions about the erosion of American leadership, it needs to be repeated again and again that the decline referred to is relative not absolute, and is therefore perfectly natural; and that the only serious threat to the real interests of the United States can come from a failure to adjust sensibly to the newer world order.”

But after Kennedy wrote that in 1987, instead of accepting the future of peace and disarmament that the whole world hoped for at the end of the Cold War, a generation of American leaders made a fateful bid for “superpower.” Their delusions were exactly the kind of failure to adjust to a changing world that Kennedy warned against.

The results have been catastrophic for millions of victims of US wars, but they have also been corrosive and debilitating for American society, as the perverted priorities of militarism and Empire squander our country’s resources and leave working Americans poorer, sicker, less educated and more isolated from the rest of the world.

When I began writing Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq in 2008, I hoped that the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq might bring US leaders to their senses, as the Suez crisis did to British leaders in 1956.

Instead, eight more years of carefully disguised savagery under Obama have squandered more precious time and good will and spread the violence and chaos of US war-making even farther and wider. The new National Defense Strategy’s implicit threats against Russia and China reveal that 20 years of disastrous imperial wars have done nothing to disabuse US leaders of their delusions of “superpower status” or to restore any kind of sanity to US foreign policy.

Trump is not even pretending to respect diplomacy or international law, as he escalates Bush’s and Obama’s wars and threatens new ones of his own. But maybe Trump’s nakedly aggressive policies will force the world to finally confront the dangers of US imperialism. A coming together of the international community to stop further US aggression may be the only way to prevent an even greater catastrophe than the ones that have already befallen the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Honduras, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Or will it actually take a new and even more catastrophic war in Korea, Iran or somewhere else to finally force the United States to “adjust sensibly to the new world order,” as Paul Kennedy put it in 1987? The world has already paid a terrible price for our leaders’ failure to take his sound advice a generation ago. But what will be the final cost if they keep ignoring it even now?


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Syncretism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncretism

Syncretism (/ˈsɪŋkrətɪzəm/) is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in expressions of arts and culture (known as eclecticism) as well as politics (syncretic politics).

Nomenclature

The English word is first attested in the early 17th century,[1] from Modern Latin syncretismus, drawing on Greek συγκρητισμός (synkretismos), supposedly meaning "Cretan federation", but this is a spurious etymology from the naive idea in Plutarch's 1st-century AD essay on "Fraternal Love (Peri Philadelphias)" in his collection Moralia (2.490b). He cites the example of the Cretans, who compromised and reconciled their differences and came together in alliance when faced with external dangers. "And that is their so-called Syncretism [Union of Cretans]". More likely as an etymology is sun- ("with") plus kerannumi ("mix") and its related noun, "krasis," "mixture."

Erasmus probably coined the modern usage of the Latin word in his Adagia ("Adages"), published in the winter of 1517–1518, to designate the coherence of dissenters in spite of their differences in theological opinions. In a letter to Melanchthon of April 22, 1519, Erasmus specifically adduced the Cretans of Plutarch as an example of his adage "Concord is a mighty rampart".

Social and political roles

Overt syncretism in folk belief may show cultural acceptance of an alien or previous tradition, but the "other" cult may survive or infiltrate without authorized syncresis nevertheless. For example, some Conversos developed a sort of cult for martyr-victims of the Spanish Inquisition, thus incorporating elements of Catholicism while resisting it.

Some religious movements have embraced overt syncretism, such as the case of melding Shintō beliefs into Buddhism or the amalgamation of Germanic and Celtic pagan views into Christianity during its spread into Gaul, the British Isles, Germany, and Scandinavia. Indian influences are seen in the practice of Shi'i Islam in Trinidad. Others have strongly rejected it as devaluing and compromising precious and genuine distinctions; examples of this include post-Exile Second Temple Judaism, Islam, and most of Protestant Christianity.[further explanation needed][citation needed]

Syncretism tends to facilitate coexistence and unity between otherwise different cultures and worldviews (intercultural competence), a factor that has recommended it to rulers of multi-ethnic realms. Conversely, the rejection of syncretism, usually in the name of "piety" and "orthodoxy", may help to generate, bolster or authenticate a sense of uncompromised cultural unity in a well-defined minority or majority.

Religious syncretism

Religious syncretism exhibits blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions. This can occur for many reasons, and the latter scenario happens quite commonly in areas where multiple religious traditions exist in proximity and function actively in the culture, or when a culture is conquered, and the conquerors bring their religious beliefs with them, but do not succeed in entirely eradicating the old beliefs or, especially, practices.

Religions may have syncretic elements to their beliefs or history, but adherents of so-labeled systems often frown on applying the label, especially adherents who belong to "revealed" religious systems, such as the Abrahamic religions, or any system that exhibits an exclusivist approach. Such adherents sometimes see syncretism as a betrayal of their pure truth. By this reasoning, adding an incompatible belief corrupts the original religion, rendering it no longer true. Indeed, critics of a specific syncretistic trend may sometimes use the word "syncretism" as a disparaging epithet, as a charge implying that those who seek to incorporate a new view, belief, or practice into a religious system actually distort the original faith. Non-exclusivist systems of belief, on the other hand, may feel quite free to incorporate other traditions into their own. Others state that the term syncretism is an elusive one,[2] and can be applied to refer to substitution or modification of the central elements of a dominant religion by beliefs or practices introduced from somewhere else. The consequence under this definition, according to Keith Ferdinando, is a fatal compromise of the dominant religion's integrity.

In modern secular society, religious innovators sometimes create new religions syncretically as a mechanism to reduce inter-religious tension and enmity, often with the effect of offending the original religions in question. Such religions, however, do maintain some appeal to a less exclusivist audience.

Cultures and societies

According to some authors, "Syncretism is often used to describe the product of the large-scale imposition of one alien culture, religion, or body of practices over another that is already present."[3] Others such as Jerry Bentley, however, have argued that syncretism has also helped to create cultural compromise. It provides an opportunity to bring beliefs, values, and customs from one cultural tradition into contact with, and to engage different cultural traditions. Such a migration of ideas is generally successful only when there is a resonance between both traditions. While, as Bentley has argued, there are numerous cases where expansive traditions have won popular support in foreign lands, this is not always so.[4]

During the Enlightenment

The modern, rational non-pejorative connotations of syncretism date from Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie articles: Eclecticisme and Syncrétistes, Hénotiques, ou Conciliateurs. Diderot portrayed syncretism as the concordance of eclectic sources.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
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Why I am Angry

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/08/why-i-am-angry/

by Uri Avnery

I am angry with the Mizrahi elite. Very angry indeed.

Mizrah is the Hebrew word for East. Eastern Jews are those who lived for many centuries in the Islamic world. Western Jews are those who lived in Christian Europe.

The words are, of course, misnomers. Russian Jews are “Westerners”, Moroccan Jews are “Easterners”. A look at the map shows that Russia is far to the East of Morocco. It would be more accurate to call them “Northerners” and “Southerners”. Too late, now.

Westerners are generally called “Ashkenazim”, from the old Hebrew term for Germany. Easterners were usually called “Sephardim”, from the old Hebrew term for Spain. But only a small part of the Easterners are actually descended from the flourishing Jewish community in medieval Spain.

In today’s Israel, the antagonism between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim is growing stronger from year to year, with vast political and social repercussions. It is no exaggeration to see this as the determining phenomenon of current Israeli society.

Before I continue, allow me to state (once again, I am afraid) my personal part in this.

My last few years in Germany, before we fled, were spent in the shadow of the ascent of the Swastika, the last half year already under Nazi rule. I came to hate Germany and everything German. So when our ship reached the port of Jaffa, I was enthusiastic. I was just ten years old, and the Jaffa of 1933 was in every respect the exact opposite of Germany – noisy, full of exotic smells, human. I loved it.

As I learned later, most of the early Zionist “pioneers” who arrived in Arab Jaffa hated it on sight, because they identified themselves as Europeans. Among them was the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl himself, who did not want to go to Palestine in the first place. On his only visit here, he hated its Oriental character. He vastly preferred Patagonia (in the Argentine).

Fifteen years later, during Israel’s war of independence, I was promoted to the lofty rank of squad-leader and had the choice between new immigrant recruits from Poland or Morocco. I chose the Moroccans and was rewarded by them with my life: when I was lying wounded under fire, four of “my Moroccans” risked their lives to get me out.

It was then that I got a foretaste of things to come. Once, when we got a few precious hours of leave, some of my soldiers refused to go. “The girls in Tel Aviv don’t go out with us,” they complained, “for them we are blacks.” Their skin was just a little bit darker than ours.

I became very sensitive to this problem, when everybody else still denied its very existence. In 1954, when I was already the editor-in-chief of a news-magazine, I published a series of articles that caused a huge stir: “They (expletive) the Blacks”. Those Ashkenazim who did not hate me before, started to hate me then.

Then came the riots of “Wadi Salib”, a neighborhood in Haifa, where a policeman shot a Mizrahi. My paper was the only one in the country to defend the protesters.

A few years later the small group of Mizrahim started an unruly protest movement, expropriating the American term “Black Panthers”. I helped them. Golda Meir famously exclaimed: “They are not nice people”.

Now, many years later, a new generation has taken over. The Internal conflict dominates many aspects of our life. The Mizrahim make up about half the Jewish population of Israel, the Ashkenazim form the other half. The division has many manifestations, but people don’t like to talk about them openly.

For example, the great majority of Likud voters are Mizrahim, though the party leadership is predominantly Ashkenazi. The opposition Labor Party is almost completely Ashkenazi, though they just elected a Mizrahi leader, in the vain hope that this will help them to overcome the profound alienation of the Mizrahim.

My opposition to the treatment of the Mizrahim was primarily a moral one. It sprang from the desire for justice. It also sprang from my dream that all of us, Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, would eventually be submerged in a common Hebrew nation. But I must confess that there was another motive, too.

I have always believed – as I believe now – that there is no future for Israel as a foreign island in the Oriental sea. My hopes go much further than just peace. I hope for Israel’s becoming an integral part of the “Semitic region” (an expression I invented long ago).

How? I have always entertained a monumental hope: that the second or third generation of Mizrahim will remember its heritage, the times when Jews were an integral part of the Muslim world. Thus they would become the bridge between the new Hebrew nation in Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, and indeed the entire Muslim world.

Being despised by the Ashkenazim as “Asiatic” and inferior, would it not have been natural for the Mizrahim to reclaim their glorious heritage, when the Jews in Iraq, Spain, Egypt and many other Muslim countries were fully integrated partners in a flourishing civilization, at a time when Europeans were mainly barbarians?

Jewish philosophers, mathematicians, poets and medical doctors were partners of that civilization, side by side with their Muslim counterparts. When the persecution and expulsion of Jews and the inquisition were facts of life in Europe, Jews (and Christians) enjoyed full rights in the Muslim world. They were accorded the status of “Peoples of the Book” (the Hebrew Bible) and fully equal, except for being exempted from army service and paying a tax instead. Anti-Jewish incidents were rare.

When all the Jews were expelled from Christian Spain, only a small minority immigrated to Amsterdam, London and Hamburg. The vast majority went to Muslim countries, from Morocco to Istanbul. Curiously enough, only a handful settled in Palestine.

However, when masses of Oriental Jews arrived in Israel, my hopes were dashed. Instead of becoming the bridge between Israel and the Arab world, they became the most ardent Arab-haters. The centuries of Muslim-Jewish culture were erased, as if they had never existed.

Why? Being despised by the “superior” Ashkenazim, the Mizrahim started to despise their own culture. They tried to become Europeans, more anti-Arab, more super-patriot, more right-wing.

(Though one Mizrahi friend once told me: We don’t want to be a bridge. A bridge is something people trample on.)

Yet no one can escape from himself. Most Mizrahim in Israel speak with an Arab accent. They love Arab music (presented as “Mediterranean” music), and have no love for Mozart and Beethoven. Their features are different from European ones. All the more reason to hate the Arabs.

The erasing of the Eastern-Jewish culture is all-encompassing. Israeli children of Eastern descent have no idea of the great writers and philosophers of their heritage. They don’t know that the Christian Crusaders who conquered the Holy Land butchered Muslims and Jews alike, and that Jews defended Jerusalem and Haifa shoulder to shoulder with their Muslim neighbors.

Rabbi Moses Maimonides – the great Rambam – is well known, but only as an important rabbi, not as the friend and personal physician of Saladin, the greatest of Muslim heroes. The many other medieval Sephardic intellectuals are hardly known at all. None of them appears on our paper money.

Yet I am an optimist, in this respect also.

I believe that a new Mizrahi intelligentsia will search for its roots. That with the rise of its social status, social complexes will give way to a normal patriotism. That a fourth or fifth generation will come forward and struggle not only for equality, but also for peace and integration in the region.

As our Arab friends would say: Inshallah.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Blood Groups and the History of Peoples

http://www.dadamo.com/txt/index.pl?1010

in The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia by Peter D'Adamo

There is a vast span of human existence of which little is known. Archeological ruins from the beginnings of civilization have been unearthed, and there have been occasional discoveries of a more prehistoric nature, but not much else. The impermanency of our physical existence is responsible for this void; our flesh and body fluids rapidly decompose after death. Unless preserved by extraordinary means, even skeletal remains eventually crumble and disappear. Early peoples did not practice ceremonial burial. Left to the elements, bodies soon completely decomposed: "Dust to dust" was not a mere poetic metaphor. It was a recorded observation of our transient natures.

Only in the last century have scientists and anthropologists begun using biological markers such as the blood groups in the search for humanity's imprint on our distant past. These studies have allowed a greater understanding of the movements and groupings of early peoples as they adapted to changing climates, mutating germs, and uncertain food supplies. Recent analyses, using sophisticated genetic measures, have produced the most accurate picture to date of human evolution.

The variations, strengths and weaknesses of each blood group can be seen as part of humanity’s continual process of acclimating to different environmental challenges. Most of these challenges have involved the digestive and immune systems. It is no surprise, then, that many of the distinctions between the blood groups involve basic functions of our digestive and immune systems.Evolution is usually considered in the context of millions of years, which is the time frame needed to explain the many differences between animals or other species. Yet humanity’s own life span provides ample time for the myriad number of small day-to-day refinements, representing the constant struggle between inherited traits and environmental challenges.

And, although evidence points to the fact that the individual genetic mutations that produced the ABO genes are quite ancient (1) this is trivial importance with regard to the actual demographics of the individual ABO blood groups in ancient populations. In genetics it is not the actual age of the gene that matters, it is its frequency or drift. This is computed by geneticists using a formula called the Hardy-Weinberg equation. Hardy-Weinberg posits that if the only evolutionary force acting on the population is random mating, the gene frequencies remain unchanged constant. In essence if you start off with a small number of a particular gene in a larger gene pool (such as the gene for blood group B in the gene pool for ABO blood type) and nothing other than random mating occurred, at the end of a period of time, you would still have a small number of B genes in the ABO gene pool.

So something other than random mating is responsible for the present day differences in frequency between the ABO blood groups; why for example, are there such large populations of blood group O (40-45%) and A (35-40%) versus much lower rates of groups B (4-11%) and AB (0-2%)?

First, it can be said that perhaps the mutation that produced the B gene was just not as common an occurrence as the mutation that produced the A gene. Yet, if they occurred at the same time, why would this be? Also, if the mutations are of such paramount importance, why is the distribution of the B gene so geographically limited to an area of high concentration stretching as a belt of territory from the Himalayas to the Urals?

The answer lies not in the ancient nature of the mutations that produced the A and B genes, but rather in the discreet interactions that occurred between early man and his environment that were under the influence of his ABO blood group. These included the areas and climates he chose to inhabit, each with their unique populations of microbes and foods that he chose to catch or cultivate.

As humans migrated and were forced to adapt their diets to local conditions, the new diets provoked changes in their digestive tracts and immune systems, necessary for them to first survive and later thrive in their new habitats. Different foods metabolized in a unique manner by each ABO blood group probably resulted in that blood group achieving a certain level of susceptibility (good or bad) to the endemic bacteria, viruses and parasites of the area. This probably more than any other factor was what has influenced the modern day distribution of our blood group. It is fascinating to note that virtually all the major infectious diseases that ran so rampant throughout our pre-antibiotic history have ABO blood group preferences of one group or another.(2)

This results from the fact that many microbes possess ABO "blood types" of their own. It is perhaps useful to understand that the ABO blood group antigens are not unique to humans, although humans are the only species with all four variants. They are relatively simple sugars which arte abundantly found in nature. A bacteria which for example possessed an antigen on its surface that mimicked the blood group A antigen would have a much easier time infecting a person who was group A, since that bacteria would more likely be considered "self" to the immune system of a blood group A person. Also microbes may adhere to the tissues of one ABO group in preference to another, by possessing specialized adhesion molecules for that particular blood group.(3)

The horrors of the Black Plague, which ran unchecked throughout Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, is a perfect example. The Plague was a disease caused by bacterial infection and was almost certainly fatal to those who contracted it in the early years of its initial spread. By the fifteenth century, however, fatalities were rare, although many people continued to contract the infection. In just two generations, traits were developed in the survivors that protected them from fatal infections. Since these traits were necessary to survival, they were then passed on and retained as a form of genetic memory.

The Black Plague is especially interesting from a perspective of the ABO blood groups, since Yersinia is a bacteria with a preference for individuals of specific ABO group, in this case, group O. (4,5)

The effects of ABO blood group on survival against most forms of epidemic illness is so distinct that a modern day map of the ABO blood group distribution in Europe closely parallels the locations of major epidemics, with higher densities of blood group A and lower frequencies of blood group O in areas historically known to have had long histories of repeated pandemics.

On the other hand, in pre-urbanization days the survival advantage would have laid with blood group O as they are known to be more resistant to the flukes and worms that routinely parasitized these early humans, probably because they are the only blood group with antibodies against two other antigens, A and B.

These changes are reflected in the local success or failure of each of the blood groups, which appear to have each had a moment of pre-eminence at a critical juncture in our history. The ascent of humans to the top of the food chain (the early advantage of blood group O), the change from hunter-gathering to a highly concentrated, urban environment and agriculturally-based diet (the ascent of blood group A), and the mingling and migration of the races from the African homeland to Europe and Asia ( the opportunity for blood groups B and AB).

The Ancestral Foundation

From a purely scientific point of view, chemical analysis of the group O antigen reveals that from a structural perspective, it is the simplest blood group and it serves as the backbone for the synthesis of increasingly complex A, B and AB. These later blood groups evolved by adding other sugars onto the basic O sugar, much like a modern city might be built upon the foundations of an ancient one. Thus if the mutations that produced the A and B antigens are ancient, the gene for blood group O is infinitely older.

Another dimension testifying to the great antiquity of group O comes from the science of physical anthropology and suggests that a greater part of humanity's existence has been lived exclusively as group O.

New studies on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) support the theory that Homo sapiens emerged in Africa and only later infiltrated other regions. Unlike DNA, which is inherited from both parents and changes minutely with each generation, mtDNA is passed directly from mother to child. It is contained in eggs but not in sperm. Since only random mutations alter its sequence, it is a more accurate measure of the trajectory of human evolution. Extensive mtDNA studies demonstrate that humans evolved from a common ancestor. These studies also confirm the theory that the blood groups evolved as migratory mutations.

The extraordinarily high percentage of blood group O in "ancient" or otherwise isolated populations also testifies to its great age. (6) Even though the early migrations dispersed the gene for group O blood throughout the world, there are some extraordinary examples of "old" populations existing in our world today. Because of their geographic locations, these societies have remained isolated from interaction with other populations. If A, B and O had developed simultaneously, the isolated population groups would have had all of them. But these "old societies" are group O because genes for the later blood groups never had the opportunity to enter into their populations. They have remained unchanged.

The Basques are an ancient people whose origins are still a mystery. The Basque language, the only western European language not connected by Indo-European roots, appears to be related to several dialects found in small isolated populations in the valleys of the Caucasus Mountains. Although they look much like their French and Spanish neighbors, Basques possess the lowest frequency of blood group B---originally having no group B at all---and the highest frequencies of blood group O in Europe. Cattle, abundant on the European plains, and fresh water fish seem to have been the staples of their early existence, as evidenced by the extraordinary renderings of the famous cave paintings found in the Basque country.

More than fifty percent of the Basque population is Rh negative, as opposed to sixteen percent for the rest of Europe. Like the gene for group O, the genetic mechanism for the Rh negative blood type is simpler, hence undoubtedly older, than the gene for Rh positive.

Native Americans are another example of the "old peoples" existing in our world today. It has often been asserted that all full-blooded American Indians are group O, and recent studies on largely intermingled Amerindian populations show a very high (sixty-seven to eighty percent) predominance of O, indicating that their migration from Asia to Alaska was probably much earlier than previously believed.(7,8) Their high rate of blood group O suggests that the Amerindians and Eskimos are directly descended from Cro-Magnon ancestors, probably Mongolians, who migrated around 15,000 B.C. to the Americas. In contrast to the Basques, however, the Asian Amerindians must have mingled extensively with other Asian populations, picking up along the way the gene for Rh positive blood.

As with the Basques, few Native Americans are group B, so they must have migrated to the Americas late enough to pick up the Rh positive gene, but too early to pick up the gene for B. (9) This migration probably took place across the land bridge that at one time connected Siberia to Alaska. As the last Ice Age ebbed and the lands warmed and glaciers receded, the rising water levels eliminated the land bridge between Asia and American, bottling up the Native Americans and a high-O enclave and preventing for another 10,000 years any communication between the continents. Forensic studies support this theory: in Chile no B or AB have been noted either in pre-Columbian or Colonial mummies. (19)

Another theory for the extremely high incidence of blood group O in Native Americans is that O individuals seem relatively resistant to syphilis and smallpox, major killers of Native Americans that were introduced into the Old World by Columbus. (22)

Agricultural advances in the Americas were late in coming, because the new American homeland was abundantly populated with game and fish, which discouraged agriculture. Even corn, which was the staple grain, didn't appear to be domesticated until 4500 B.C., and common beans appear to be an even more recent addition, first being cultivated around 2200 B.C. So, like the Basques, meats and not grains were the primary staple of the Native American diet.

In England, Wales and Scotland there is a strong association between ABO blood group and geographical differences in the death rate (10) Studies of blood group distribution in the British Isles show a general increase of group O frequency from relatively low numbers in southern England to increasingly higher ones in northern England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. (11) This suggests that the Anglo-Saxons had relatively high A levels, and that O increased as the proportion of Celtic ancestry increased, although the origin of the high incidence of blood group O in the Irish may represent the remnants of Mesolithic peoples. (23) This is also the case with continental Europe, where the percentage of group O increases in northern Germans and Danes. It is also known that the Icelanders had high O frequencies, close to those frequencies found in the populations of Scotland and Ireland.

Among the Nomads of the Arabian Peninsula, and the Berbers of the Atlas Mountains, two old populations, the frequency of the blood group O gene is high. Africans, on average, have more O genes and less A genes than do Europeans. So it can be seen that the gene carried by people who are blood group O is ancient by evolutionary standards.

The Age of The Hunter-Gatherers

Our first human ancestors likely emerged in sub-Sahara Africa between 170,000 and 50,000 years ago. These ancestors probably ate a rather crude, omnivorous diet of plants, grubs, and the scavenged leftovers of other, more successful predatory animals. Since humans have neither the sharp teeth or claws of a true predator, one could speculate that these people were perhaps as much prey as predator. Yet within these early humans lay the greatest predatory tool yet devised: The human brain.

In a study reported in the journal Science, anthropologists said their tests of the carbon content of teeth of Australopithecus africanus indicate that these individuals ate large quantities of food rich in carbon 13 - like grasses and sedges - or animals that ate these plants, or both. The research indicated that the australopithecines, which walked upright but also climbed trees, were already venturing out of their usual forest habitat to forage in open grasslands. It also suggested that hominids were consuming high-protein animal foods before the development of stone tools for butchering. They noted that many theories of human origins invoke a switch to a meat-rich diet to explain the sudden expansion of brain size with the first Homo species. If they were eating meat, it probably came from small animals that could be caught without tools or the scavenged remains of meals left by large predators. (12)

Perhaps I am not alone in recognizing the paradoxical nature of a high meat diet being the driving factor behind the dramatic growth of the human brain, the result being the production of nutritionists who advise a vegetarian diet for virtually everyone.

Big game hunting by humans started in Africa about half a million years ago, although the full force of armed human bands may not have been felt much before 100,000 B.C Early human's relationship to their environment changed dramatically with the appearance of our first direct ancestor, Cro-Magnon, around 40,000 B.C. Named for a site in France where remains were first identified and studied, Cro-Magnons developed the beginnings of communication and tool working, and were also superb hunters. Using simple signals and gestures, they began to hunt in organized packs, wielding bone or simple stone weapons. This major advance catapulted what had been one of the less successful primates all the way to the top of the food chain. As skillful and formidable hunters, Cro-Magnons soon had little to fear from any animal rival.

Cro-Magnons possessed such modern human features as a higher, vertical forehead, a reduced brow ridge, a smaller face and teeth, and a chin. Their skeletons indicate great muscularity, suggesting they were employed in much more strenuous activities than are most modern peoples.

By the time of the Cro-Magnons, hunting and the consumption of a mostly carnivorous diet had become a way of life. It was in the midst of this carnivorous frenzy that the digestive attributes of Blood Group O reached its full expression, with the highly efficient acid and pepsin production of the stomach geared for the digestion of meat. With no natural predators (other than themselves), and an assured supply of game, the population of wily, physically agile Cro-Magnon hunters must have flourished.

Once early humans had gained ascendancy, it took a surprisingly short time for them to deplete the numbers of major game animals. By 50,000 B.C., most large game herds were already extinct in Africa. The scarcity of a primary food source led to widespread migration in search of new and fertile hunting grounds. The feast had come to an end. It had been a fairly routine task to feed a small hunting group on the kill of a single enormous animal carcass for a week or more. Now, having to hunt and kill a sufficient number of small game, most of whom proved fast and elusive, was much more difficult. Hunger began to take its toll on the previously successful tribes of hunters. The young, old, and weak fell by the wayside, succumbing to disease and starvation. Bands of hunters began warring with each other for the limited food supply.

This depletion of the large game in Africa, coupled with climatic changes and possibly population pressures encouraged early humans to begin moving out of Africa. The more barren northern areas, previously covered with ice, had started to warm, while a shift in the trade winds began to parch and desiccate what had once been fertile land in the African Sahara.

All of these factors joined together into what was quite possibly the greatest series of migrations in human history. These migrations seeded the planet with a base population of blood group O, helping to make it the widespread and ubiquitous blood group it continues to be to this day.

The Wanderings

By 30,000 B.C., bands of Cro-Magnons were migrating eastwards and northwards in search of new hunting lands. By 20,000 B.C., migration into Europe and Asia was so significant that large game herds began disappearing from those areas as well. Other food sources had to be discovered, and the search was a desperate one. Under these pressures, our ancestors may have become omnivorous again, feeding on a broader menu of new plant and animal species. In particular, the food resources of the shore and the sea were systematically exploited for the first time.

Cro-Magnons were getting smarter and more creative, developing more sophisticated housing and clothing. These alterations allowed bands of hunters to search for new game herds in northern grasslands and forests. By l0,000 B.C., human hunting groups occupied all the main land masses of the earth, except for Antarctica. Hunting bands found their way to Australia between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago. Some 5,000 to 15,000 years later, other bands managed to cross the Bering Strait from Asia and entered the Americas. In these later, relatively more sophisticated hunting societies, the extermination of large game accelerated. Cro-Magnon hunting methods were becoming increasingly efficient, as evidenced by the vast number of animal bones piled up at some of the recently unearthed archeological sites. At Solutre, France for example, the remains of more than 10,000 horses have been found. At Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic, a large number of bones from extinct mammoths litter the site. Some archeologists estimate that from the time human migration to the Americas began about 15,000 years ago, it took less than one thousand years to exterminate most of the large game in North and South America. The reason that the Aztec civilization was so easily toppled by the Spanish Conquistadors was the sheer terror that the horse-mounted warriors brought to the relatively primitive Aztec foot soldiers. Horses were previously unknown to the Aztecs---in earlier migrations from north to central America, their ancestors had exterminated the wild horses of the American plains, slaughtering them for food. They had no idea that horses could be utilized to far greater purposes than as a food source.

The expansion of Cro-Magnon hunting bands across the earth has been called "a period of unalloyed success for humankind". The effect of a carnivorous diet on human growth was profound. The movement of the early humans to more temperate climates stimulated genetic responses. They developed lighter skins, less massive bone structures, and straighter hair. The skeleton, especially in Caucasians, matures slowly, and their lighter skin is better protected than darker skin against frostbite. Lighter skin is also better able to metabolize vitamin D, vital to survival in a land of shorter days and longer nights.

The dominance of the Cro-Magnons eventually brought about their own downfall. They suffered greatly from their own success. Overpopulation soon led to the exhaustion of available hunting grounds. Before long, most of the large game herds in the populated regions were destroyed by overhunting. This led to increased competition for a limited food supply. Competition led to war, and war to further migration.

The Agricultural Dawning

The Neolithic Period, or "New Stone Age" followed the "Old Stone Age" or Paleolithic period of the Cro-Magnon hunters, beginning around 30,000 B.C. Agriculture and animal domestication are generally recognized as the hallmarks of its culture. The ability to cultivate grains and livestock allowed these early people to forgo the hand-to-mouth existence of their nomadic ancestors, and settle down in cities, allowing for substantial population concentrations. The British prehistorian V. Gordon Childe coined the term "Neolithic Revolution" to describe the change from a hunting and gathering society to one based on food production, and he considered it the greatest advance in human history after the marshaling of fire.

The Neolithic Period was also an important watershed in the distribution of the ABO blood groups. This new, relatively sedentary, agrarian lifestyle and the major change in diet resulted in a new mutation in the digestive tracts and immune systems of these early people. Many of them became carriers of group A blood. The blood group A variant allowed humans to tolerate and better assimilate grains and other agricultural products. Blood group A initially appeared in any significant numbers in the early Caucasian peoples, sometime between 25,000 and 15,000 B.C., somewhere in western Asia or the Middle East. The gene for group A was carried into western Europe and Asia during the movement of these Neolithic societies, especially a branch termed the Indo-Europeans, where it penetrated extensively into the pre-Neolithic Type O populations.

The Indo-Europeans appeared originally in South Central Russia, and between 3500 and 2000 B.C. spread southward into Southwestern Asia, especially to Iran and Afghanistan. At some point after this, they began to spread again, this time further westward, into Europe. Not only did their migration serve to transport the gene for group A to pre-Neolithic hunter-gatherers, but it also served as a major catalyst in stimulating the adoption of Neolithic developments, such as agriculture. Almost all modern Europeans share a common ancestry with the Indo-European peoples.

The invasion of the Neolithic Indo-Europeans was scattershot and incomplete. In some areas, pre-Neolithic societies were obliterated through warfare and intermingling, while leaving others, such as the Basques of Spain, relatively alone and intact.

The Neolithic Revolution was the original "diet revolution," as it introduced new foods and lifestyle habits into the simpler immune systems and digestive tracts of the early hunter-gatherers, and produced the environmental stress necessary to spark the development of a new

blood group variation, A. As the digestive tract of this new blood group gradually lost its ability to digest the carnivorous diet of the hunter-gatherers, the simpler, pre-agricultural diet dependent largely on hunting and gathering disappeared.


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The Emergence of The Collective

Settling into permanent communities presented new developmental challenges; the individualistic tendencies of the hunter-gatherer now gave way to a more structured society. Skill specialization can only evolve as part of a larger whole; the basket weaver is dependent on the farmer, the farmer on the toolmaker. One no longer thought of food only when hungry; fields needed to be sown and cultivated in anticipation of future reward.

The cultivation of wheat and barley, coupled with the domestication of food animals such as sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and later cattle, first occurred between 9000 and 5000 B.C. in southwestern Asia, a fertile mixing ground in which all three major races co-mingled.

The new farming economies spread slowly from southeast Europe to the north and west. The permanent settlements that developed as a result of the new agrarian society gave rise to the early cities.

Neolithic sites in southeast Europe date from before 6000 B.C., and are located in areas with the most workable soils and temperate climate. Cattle, sheep, or pigs, in addition to wheat, barley, peas, beans, and flax, were raised. By 4000 B.C., a series of settlements were established on the lake shores of Switzerland, and agriculture was adapted to the Alpine environment, with emphasis on cattle, legumes, and fruit, in addition to wheat.

Cereal crops and cattle were introduced to western France by 4000 B.C., and were in use in southern Scandinavia, the British Isles, and in the northern European plains by about 3500 B.C., pushing the remaining hunter-gatherer peoples farther north into the wilderness, or influencing them to adopt the new, settled mode of life. 4000 B.C. marked the beginning of the Neolithic period in Britain and Ireland, and is denoted by an extensive clearing of the forests at that time for agriculture, burial rituals, and the building of "megalithic" structures, such as Stonehenge in England.

There is good evidence to support the link between the ascendancy of blood group A and the development of the urban society. As discussed, many areas of the world that have long histories of urbanization and frequent outbreaks of plague, cholera, and smallpox show a predominance of group A over group O. This statistic clearly proved that group A was more resistant to and able to survive the infections common to densely populated areas. One might well wonder how blood group O survived at all-much less how it has remained to this day the most ubiquitous blood group on the planet. One reason might be the sheer amount of group O in the gene pool; it is recessive in A and B and thus remains self-replicating.

Blood group A is found in the highest concentrations among western Europeans. Unlike blood groups B and O, there are many varieties of group A. The major grouping, A1, accounts for about ninety-five percent of all A blood. The largest subgroup, A2, is found principally in Northern Caucasians. A2 is found in very high concentration in Iceland and Scandinavia, particularly among the Lapps, ancient settlers of the area. They are almost unique in their high frequency of A, and have the highest frequency of A2, registering forty-two percent in one group. The A2 gene is almost entirely confined to Caucasian populations.

The European frequency of group A decreases as we head eastwards. Over much of Europe the frequency of the A gene is greater than twenty-five percent. It is also found in considerable numbers around the entire Mediterranean Sea, particularly in Corsica, Sardinia, Spain, Turkey, and the Balkans. It is clear that humankind most often laid down permanent settlements in those areas where conditions offered them the best chance of survival.

The Nomadic Mutation

The gene for blood group B first appeared in significant numbers somewhere around 10 to 15,000 B.C., the tail end of the Neolithic period, in the area of the Himalayan highlands now part of present day Pakistan and India. Like the environmental conditions which spawned the advent of group A, the development of blood group B was in large part a response to changes in the environment. But unlike A, which began to supplant group O as a response to new types of infections, then thrived as a result of the new dietary changes, group B appears to have been more of a response to climatic changes, followed by a different set of dietary adaptations. Life in the tropical flat savannahs of eastern Africa gave way to a harsher existence as the Cro-Magnon hunters migrated to the colder, drier, mountainous areas of the subcontinent and the barren endless plains of the central Asian steppes.

It is possible that blood group B may have been the only blood group with the capabilities to survive in such a harsh environment. There is some science behind this theory: For example, variability in the levels of the hormones testosterone, estradiol, and somatotropic hormones in mountaineers of the Pamirs and Kirghizes was examined in relation to their place of residence in terms of elevation above sea level. At high altitudes blood O group had had lower concentrations of estradiol and testosterone, blood group B the highest. (13)

Under times of famine, two biologic functions diminish: First is the ability to fend off infection. And the second is the ability to reproduce. Essentially omnivores, group B may have been the only blood group whose immune systems were capable of functioning with a diet described by one Roman historian as "soured milk and mare's blood." In addition to having the ability to survive pestilence, blood group B women may be more fertile than the A and O counterparts (14) and may begin to menstruate earlier. (15)

Higher concentrations of the group B gene exists in direct relationship with the demographics of the pre-existing caste system. Since the caste system was the direct result of consecutive layers of foreign conquest, it appears that the B gene may have been introduced into the Indian subcontinent via conquest. (16) In a study among fourteen Hindu caste groups, besides Christian and Muslim populations of West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India All the Hindu castes except Brahmin, Kshatriya and Reddy exhibited relatively higher frequency of group B over group A (24) In a study of ABO distribution along the Silk Route of Northwestern China a distinct increase of blood group B was seen, especially when those subjects of Mongolian extraction were compared to Caucasian. (25)

An almost continuous belt of mountainous terrain extends from the Urals in Russia to the Caucasus in Asia, and then onto the Pyrenees of southern France. This barrier split the

migrations of the blood groups into two basic routes; a northern stream and a southern one. The invaders taking the southern approach became the ancestors of the Mediterranean people and western Europeans, and carried with them the gene for blood group A. The Ural Mountains prevented a large migration westwards from Asia, although small numbers of Caucasians entered eastern Europe, carrying with them the gene for blood group B that they picked up by intermingling with the Asian Mongolians. This barrier served to divide blood groups into a western group, A; and an eastern group, B.

Blood group B Mongolians continued to travel northward, toward present day Siberia. They developed a different culture, dependent on herding, and emphasizing the use of cultured dairy products. These nomadic people were expert horsemen, and wandered extensively over the Siberian flat lands, the great Steppes. These nomads must have been compact, tightly knit, and genetically homogenous. A recent study using sophisticated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology determined the ABO groupings of on the dried remains of nine human mummies which had been discovered at Taklamakan desert in 1912. Of the nine, eight were group B. (17) At various times they penetrated large swaths of Eastern Europe, at one time reaching as far as the gates of Vienna, Austria. The Mongolians were certainly responsible for introducing the gene for blood group B into the eastern European populations.

Two basic blood group B population patterns emerged out of the Neolithic revolution in Asia: an agrarian, relatively sedentary population located in the south and east, and the wandering nomadic societies of the north and west. This schism stands as an important cultural remnant in Southern Asian cuisine -the use of dairy products remains practically nonexistent. To the Asian culture, dairy products are considered the food of the barbarian.

In the Middle-East it appears that tribes of Semitic group B nomads may have infiltrated into pre-existing Neolithic cultures, both passively and aggressively. Semitic peoples called the Hyksos were foreign rulers of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Exactly who those foreign rulers were is not known, but it is assumed they were Asiatics. The Egyptian term for Hyksos merely means "rulers of foreign lands." It was once thought that foreign rule in Egypt would have necessarily entailed a violent overthrow, but instead there is the appearance of a peaceful takeover. More likely, the numbers of these foreigners slowly increased in the Delta region until they became a powerful political force. Under the rule of the Hyksos, the continuity of Egyptian culture and ritual was preserved, indicating that these foreign kings had become fully Egyptianized. Persian suzerainty may have also added large amount of B gene to the upper-class Egyptian gene pool, since a third century BC Egyptian mummy, 'Iset Iri Hetes' was recently typed and found to be group B. (18) Interestingly, Africa in general (independent of any racial categorization) has a higher incidence of group B than Europe or the Middle East. Whether this is the result of intermingling or the original B gene pool is unknown, however it does imply that the links between ancient Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa are deeper and older than generally recognized.

The blood group characteristics of the various Jewish populations have long been of interest to anthropologists. As a general rule, regardless of their nationality or race, there is a trend towards higher than average rates of blood group B. The Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe and the Sephardim of the Middle East and Africa, the two major sects, share high rates of group B blood and bear no discernible differences. Babylonian Jews differ considerably from the present-day Arab population of Iraq, in that they have a high frequency overall of group A, and an even higher frequency of group B blood.

The Jews of the Tafilalet Oasis in Morocco, an ancient community, now dispersed, also had a high frequency of the gene for blood group B, around twenty nine percent of the total society.

The Karaites, who have an extraordinarily high rate of blood group B, are members of a Jewish sect founded in Babylonia in the eighth century A.D. A singular community of Karaites continues to exist in Lithuania, and they were known to have migrated as a body from the Crimea. The Karaites consider themselves Jews by religion only, not by race. This claim of racial separation was accepted by the Nazi authorities, who controlled Lithuania during the Second World War. Because of this, the Karaites were spared the horrors of the Holocaust. (6)

To modern day anthropologists, blood group B continues to this day to be an "Eastern" blood group. It is found in high numbers among Asians such as the Chinese, Indians, and Siberians. In Europe, blood group B is more frequently found in Hungarians, Russians, Poles, and other eastern Europeans. It is not found in large numbers among western Europeans. Among pre-Neolithic people, such as the Basques and Amerindians, group B is practically nonexistent.

Of all the ABO blood groups, B shows the most clearly defined geographic distribution. Stretching as a great belt across the Eurasian plains and down to the Indian subcontinent, blood group B is found in increased numbers from Japan, Mongolia, China and India, up to the Ural Mountains. From there westward, the percentages fall until a low is reached at the extreme western end of Europe.

Blood group B is a distinctly non-Indo-European blood type. In Europe, only two areas with a high rate of blood group B appear: one among the group of non-Indo-European peoples known as the Finno-Ugrics (such as the Hungarians and the Finns), the other among the central Slavic peoples (Czechs, Southern Poles, and Northern Serbs). The Viking invaders may have also had a relatively high percentage of B gene, since many of the towns of Britain and western Europe that are linked to the coast by internal lines of communication such as large rivers, have a disproportional amount of blood group B when compared to the surrounding territory.

The small numbers of blood group B in old and Western Europeans represents western migration by Asian nomadic peoples. This is most clearly seen in the easternmost Western Europeans, the Germans and Austrians, who have an unexpectedly high incidence of blood group B blood compared to their western neighbors. The highest frequency of blood group B in Germans occurs in the area around the upper and middle Elbe River, an important natural boundary between "civilization" and "barbarism" in ancient and medieval times.

Modern subcontinental Indians, a Caucasian people, have some of the highest frequencies of blood group B in the world. Interestingly, among the Asiatics, they and the Japanese are the only areas that show high frequencies of blood group A as well. The northern Chinese and Koreans have high rates of blood group B, and lower rates of blood group A.

Nowadays, blood group B accounts for about ten percent of the world's population.

The Intermingling

Blood group AB is found in less than five percent of the population. It is certainly the most recent blood group. Unlike the other Abo blood groups, group AB resulted from the intermingling of group A Caucasian people and group B Mongolian people. Some of this may have been peaceful, some must have been part of the violent turmoil that marked the great "Migration of Peoples" at the end of the Ancient Period (300AD-800AD)

This time period was characterized by the collapse of the ancient civilizations, brought on by the influx of various wandering hordes of predominantly Eastern origin. The incidence of blood group B was probably very high in these Steppe dwellers, so the appearance of group AB in Europe is probably the result of the intermingling of these Eastern invaders with their European hosts. In Europe, the distribution of this blood group parallels group B, with a low incidence in Western Europeans. There is a very high incidence of AB blood in subcontinental Indians, again probably the result of migration, conquest, caste distinctions and intermingling .

Little evidence for the occurrence of group AB extends beyond 900 to 1,000 years ago, when a large western migration of Eastern peoples took place. Blood group AB is rarely found in European graves prior to 900 A.D. Studies of prehistoric grave exhumations in Hungary indicate a distinct lack of this blood group into the Langobard age (fifth to seventh century A.D.). This would seem to indicate that, up until that point in time, European populations of blood groups A and B did not come into common contact. If they did, they neither mingled nor intermarried.

Blood group AB may be a purely human invention. This blood group takes the concept of tolerance to the extreme, as it sees all things A-like or B-like as self, and manufactures no opposing blood group antibodies. As early as the 1940s it was noticed that blood group AB had a higher incidence of cancer than the other blood groups. On the plus side, group AB's tolerance perhaps minimizes the chances of allergies and other autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and inflammation.

There may be a similar survival benefit with regard to possession of a B antigen that is shared between groups B and AB. For example, it has been noted that group B individuals are on average a bit taller than their A and O counterparts, (20) and that women who are AB are in general a bit heavier than the other ABO groups.(21)

Something about AB "works" in a modern sense, because these people inherit the tolerance of both A and B. Perhaps this serves to enhance the AB immune system's abilities to manufacture more specific antibodies to microbial invaders, as it possess neither anti-A or anti-B antibodies.

Blood Group Distribution Today

Our blood groups are not a hit or miss act of random genetics without any real purpose. Rather, the ABO blood groups are a set of differing solutions to a host of environmental variables, such as diet and infection, which insured the survival of the human race. The blood group adaptations were a change in "human antigenicity"---a biological desire to identify with the prevailing currents of the environment.

By looking at the distribution of blood groups today, we can see the threads of our evolutionary history. In the United States, O is the most prevalent blood group, A is second, followed by B, and finally AB. The breakdown in Great Britain is very similar to the U.S. percentages. In Germany there are slightly more A than O; B and AB remain almost the same as U.S. percentages. In Japan and China As, Os and Bs are fairly evenly split, and the AB percentage increases over that found in European populations.

Until the end of the Second World War, physical anthropology usually meant the comparison of various physical characteristics of the body between different human populations and individuals. This usually included measurements of the body and its parts, especially the skull. However probably as a result of the intensive use of blood transfusions during the war the blood groups have come to provide an alternative to the often highly subjective methods of body measurement. Here was a definitive biological marker, that could be used to map migrations and classify human groupings. Physical anthropology had its first scientific tool.

"History is bunk," wrote the industrialist Henry Ford. It is a quote with the ring of truth in it. We are destined to interpret past events through the eyes of who left the record (usually the winner) and our own modern day thoughts and rationales. Losers rarely write history and it is just about impossible for the average person to put himself or herself in the mindset of a person living in a world without light, heat, supermarkets and the internet.

Yet of all my writings on the blood groups, it has been their anthropologic significance that readers have time and again told me is their favorite section. There is something very intellectually and emotionally riveting about understanding the ebb and flow of our human experience. Not only is it fascinating from an intellectual standpoint, but we also can see, feel and touch the modern day physical ramifications of these long ago events.

In that sense, we are all survivors.


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We're nearly all Celts under the skin

https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/we-re-nearly-all-celts-under-the-skin-1-1141420

Thursday 21 September 2006

A MAJOR genetic study of the population of Britain appears to have put an end to the idea of the "Celtic fringe" of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Instead, a research team at Oxford University has found the majority of Britons are Celts descended from Spanish tribes who began arriving about 7,000 years ago.

Even in England, about 64 per cent of people are descended from these Celts, outnumbering the descendants of Anglo- Saxons by about three to one.

The proportion of Celts is only slightly higher in Scotland, at 73 per cent. Wales is the most Celtic part of mainland Britain, with 83 per cent.

Previously it was thought that ancient Britons were Celts who came from central Europe, but the genetic connection to populations in Spain provides a scientific basis for part of the ancient Scots' origin myth.

The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, following the War of Independence against England, tells how the Scots arrived in Scotland after they had "dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes".

Professor Bryan Sykes, a human geneticist at Oxford, said the myth may have been a "residue" in people's memories of the real journey, but added that the majority of people in England were the descendants of the same people who sailed across the Bay of Biscay.

Prof Sykes divided the population into several groups or clans: Oisin for the Celts; Wodan for Anglo-Saxons and Danish Vikings; Sigurd for Norse Vikings; Eshu for people who share genetic links with people such as the Berbers of North Africa; and Re for a farming people who spread to Europe from the Middle East.

The study linked the male Y-chromosome to the birthplace of paternal grandfathers to try to establish a historic distribution pattern. Prof Sykes, a member of the Oisin clan, said the Celts had remained predominant in Britain despite waves of further migration.

"The overlay of Vikings, Saxons and so on is 20 per cent at most. That's even in those parts of England that are nearest to the Continent," he said.

"The only exception is Orkney and Shetland, where roughly 40 per cent are of Viking ancestry."

In Scotland, the majority of people are not actually Scots, but Picts. Even in Argyll, the stronghold of the Irish Scots, two-thirds of members of the Oisin clan are Pictish Celts.

However, according to the study, the Picts, like the Scots, originally came from Spain.

"If one thinks that the English are genetically different from the Scots, Irish and Welsh, that's entirely wrong," he said.

"In the 19th century, the idea of Anglo-Saxon superiority was very widespread. At the moment, there is a resurgence of Celtic identity, which had been trampled on. It's very vibrant and obvious at the moment.

"Basically the cornerstone of Celtic identity is that they are not English. However, to try to base that, as some do, on an idea that is not far beneath the surface that Celtic countries are somehow descended from a race of Celts, which the English are not, is not right. We are all descended from the same people.

"It should dispel any idea of trying to base what is a cultural identity on a genetic difference, because there really isn't one."


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Celtic vs. Rangers: Catholicism vs. Protestantism

https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297a/Celtics%20vs%20Rangers,%20Catholics%20vs%20Protestants.htm

Roger Levesque

December 6, 2002

EDGE Paper

Most European cities can boast of a professional football (soccer) club and a competitive rivalry with a neighboring team. However, Glasgow, Scotland is the home of one of the oldest and most heated rivalries in the world. Two of the most prestigious football clubs in Europe, Celtic and Rangers, both call Glasgow their home. The cross-town rivals first met on the pitch on February 28, 1888. At that point, "none of the 2,000 spectators at the game could have guessed that they were present at a historic occasion, for that evening marked the first of what was to become the most famous, long-lasting – and bitter – sporting rivalry in the history of football" (Murray 4). Almost a hundred years after the inaugural match, the conflict between fans came to fruition when Celtic and Rangers met in the 1980 Scottish Cup Final. Immediately following an entertaining and relatively problem free match, built up tension exploded into violent riots before anyone had even le! ft the stadium. Celtic supporters, excited after the victory, rushed the field to celebrate with their beloved players. Angered by the loss and the expression of joy shown by their nemesis, Rangers fans also rushed the field. However,

…There was no question of celebration in the minds of the fans who invaded from the West end of the ground. They had violence in mind and no sooner was it offered than it was returned with enthusiasm. The brutal and disgusting scenes which followed as bottles flew and drunken supporters charged and counter-charged from one end of the field to that other, brought disgrace upon the two clubs concerned, upon Scottish football generally, and were an affront to Scotland as a nation (Murray 196).

The riots after the 1980 Scottish Cup Final acted as a springboard for the conflict between Celtic and Rangers. Before that game, the extent of the tension between the two groups had gone unrealized. However, the truth behind the violence on the field that day continues to plague the rivalry today.

Despite the age-old on field rivalry, the tension between Celtic and Ranger supporters runs much deeper than what takes place on the soccer field. The conflict between the fans has erupted into violence on many occasions, with games between the two clubs ending in some of the worst riots and greatest tragedies in sporting history. Despite the tension created through competition, the origin of hatred between clubs and fans is not just the result of bad tackles and endless taunting. Soccer in Glasgow has become a public stage for sectarianism, the religious bigotry that has plagued Scotland for hundreds of years (Murray xi). The very foundations of the two Glasgow football clubs are built on the religious division between Catholicism and Protestantism. Traditionally, Rangers supporters are Protestant while Celtic fans support the Catholic Church. Sectarianism in Scotland emerged after 16th century reformations of the Church of Scotland (Sanders, Origins ! of Sectarianism). At the beginning of the 16th century, Scotland was a piously Catholic nation. Despite strong devotion to the Catholic Church, educated Scots began to look beyond Rome and its doctrines, seeking more personal forms of a spiritual experience. The emergence of the influential John Knox and the circulation of Lutheran books expressing the Protestant ideas of Martin Luther gave those searching for more something to embrace. When the Reformation initially split the Church into Catholic and Protestant factions, Scotland took its first step in the transition from a once Catholic country to a country having a Protestant majority (Renaissance and Reformation). Even though Protestant support had almost completely wiped out Catholicism by the beginning of the 19th century, support for the Catholic Church would soon retake its place in Scottish society. It did this with sheer numbers as Irish Catholics were forced to move to Scotland because! of the great potato famine in Ireland. Not only did the potato famin e increase the number of Irish Catholics in Scotland, but it also increased the bitter feelings on the part of a threatened Scottish Protestant population (Sanders, Origins). This tension would only grow with time .

        Problems continued in Glasgow as more and more Irish Catholics looked for refuge in Scotland. Since families left Ireland because of famine, they arrived in Scotland with almost nothing, just the clothes on their backs and the hope to make a new life. With more people in the same space, fierce competition erupted between the two groups. Protestants found themselves competing directly with Catholics for jobs, often losing out, as Irish Catholics were willing to work harder for longer periods of time at lower wages (Sanders, Origins). The Glasgow shipyards epitomized this struggle as Catholics tried to get work in an industry that had traditionally been controlled by the Protestant population. While some industries hired Catholics in order to obtain cheaper labor, some remained loyal to Protestant only policies. Rangers football club adopted the Protestant only policy early on in the team’s development. A major proponent of the Protestant only policy, Rangers maint! ained it for 116 years and was eventually one of the last to see the policy go. Because of the unfortunate circumstances that brought them to Scotland in the first place, the Catholic community also found itself failing to meet the respectability standards laid down by the Scottish Protestant community. Protestants frowned upon the Catholics blue-collar way of life, as well as certain Catholic policies on divorce, contraception, mixed marriages and what they saw as the desecration of the Sabbath. Rangers actually refused to play soccer on Sundays (Sanders, Origins). It was small differences like these that pushed the two religious groups to hate one another.

        Even though Scotland provided better conditions than a famine stricken Ireland, Irish Catholics found that 19th century Glasgow was not as pleasant as they had hoped. In addition to living in extremely poor conditions in a highly industrialized city, oppression and abuse plagued the Irish Catholic community as well. Struggling to settle into their new community, Catholics found that Protestants did everything they could to make life more difficult for the newcomers. Because of these obstacles, leaders in the Catholic community recognized the need for something to help their people settle into their new home. Their savior was soccer. Celtic Football Club was initially founded in November 1887, and then officially established in 1888 to raise money for a Catholic charity, the Poor Children’s Dinner Table. Leaders of the Catholic community hoped that the team would also help maintain people’s interest and devotion to the Catholic faith. This was so impo! rtant in a time where Protestantism and the possibility of a better way of life tempted even the most devout Catholic supporters (Sanders, Celtic FC). Despite its beginnings as a vehicle to promote Catholic support, over time the Celtic Football Club moved away from the religious foundations on which it was based. Although an 1895 resolution suggested that the team introduce a limit on the number of Protestants allowed into the team, this was rejected and the club has since remained open to all faiths. By not practicing any form of religious exclusion, Celtic quickly became one of the most successful football teams in the country.

        Glasgow Rangers had a very different beginning than its counterpart Celtic. Formed in 1872, Rangers Football club’s initial connection to Protestantism, like many other football clubs at the time, was not much more than that they were made up of Protestant players. In addition to this, Rangers immediately found support and created strong links with the world of shipbuilding, a predominately Protestant profession at the time. However, despite these connections, Rangers’ association with Protestantism was pushed to the forefront until after the formation of Celtic. With Celtic’s strong ties to Catholicism, Protestants in Glasgow wanted a team of their own. Conflict and competition between Catholics and Protestants in the shipbuilding industry naturally pushed Rangers to take that role. "Given the anti-Catholic feeling at the time, it is no surprise that Celtic’s success was not well received. Scottish society demanded a Protestant team to redress the balance! and it was Rangers who emerged as suitable candidates" (Sanders, Glasgow Rangers). Unlike the movement of Celtic away from its Catholic roots, Rangers supporters seemed to embrace Protestantism and the conflict between the two Glasgow sides. It was not until the 1960’s that sectarianism forced itself into the public spotlight. The combination of several events re-ignited the conflict at the foundation of which Celtic and Rangers are based. First, a former Rangers player publicly announced the club’s Protestant only policy, a policy they had kept since the formation of the club. The discrimination angered Catholics, mostly because their club had no such policy. When questioned about the policy, vice Chairman of Rangers Football Club Matt Taylor stated that he felt the policy was "part of our tradition…we were formed in 1873 as a Protestant boys club. To change now would lose us considerable support" (Sanders, Glasgow Rangers). To keep the policy meant! to promote sectarianism. Shortly after this decision, Rangers suppor ters openly practiced this racial bigotry. In the opening moments of a football match in 1963, Rangers fans jeered during a minute silence taken for the assassinated Catholic U.S. President, John F. Kennedy. Supporters of Catholicism were furious with this blatant act of bigotry. Even local papers, indifferent of the tension created by sectarianism, were embarrassed by the Rangers indiscretion. Ian Archer of the Glasgow Herald was even quoted as saying, "as a Scottish football club, they [Rangers] are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist" (Sanders, Glasgow Rangers). The Catholic community fully supported this statement.

        In Glasgow, violence and abuse have gone well beyond football hooliganism. No longer can people view the conflict solely as football fans rioting after an exciting victory or a heartbreaking defeat. Cara Henderson realized this at age 15 when her boyfriend was murdered for supporting the wrong team. On October 7, 1995, Mark Scott was murdered by sectarianism.

On the day that he would die, Mark Scott's mother urged him not to wear his Celtic top in case it brought him trouble. Zipping his jacket to cover the green and white hoops, the 16-year-old schoolboy had laughed. "Don't worry, Mum," he said. "They don't do that kind of thing any more." But they did, and hours later Mark had his throat cut by a man who picked him at random from a group of Celtic supporters as they walked home from a match through a Protestant area of Glasgow. His jacket was still zipped (A Game of Two Halves).

The Mark Scott tragedy is one of many that have plagued the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers in the recent years. Like Scott, people were not aware of the level of seriousness that which sectarianism had reached. It took a personal tragedy and the love for a lost friend to prompt action. Cara Henderson was so motivated by the killing that she launched "Nil By Mouth", a campaign to put an end to sectarianism in Scotland. In 1999, four years after her friend’s murder, Henderson took it into her own hands to increase awareness and stop the violence on the streets of Glasgow and throughout all of Scotland. Recognizing that the problem existed in the way that people thought, Henderson devised a program to improve education and increase awareness of sectarianism. Addressing the murder of her friend, Henderson thought that, "when that Rangers fan stepped out from the pub doorway and looked into the crowd of Celtic fans he didn't see Mark the schoolboy, Mark the brot! her, the son, the friend...he saw Mark the Fenian, Mark the tim..." (Sanders, Old Firm Supporters). With the help of others, Henderson launched her anti-sectarianism campaign with the following objectives:

    To inform the general public about, and promote through education and awareness of, the problems of sectarianism and bigotry within Scottish society
    To promote the integration within Scottish society and the celebration of cultural diversity
    To encourage people to respect all cultures and to resist sectarianism, racism and bigotry in any shape or form
    To encourage everyone to take responsibility for their own attitudes and language, recognizing that this will help to change our society
    To raise awareness of the damage, violence and death in our society resulting from sectarian behavior (Sanders, Campaigns).

With increasing support from Rangers, Celtic, a series of schools, employers and political parties, Nil by Mouth has gained recognition and support in both the Catholic and Protestant communities. With the recruitment of public figures, Nil by Mouth hopes to become more influential as it appeals to wider audiences. Henderson herself has appeared in a series of debates broadcast on television and over the radio encouraging people to abandon sectarian behavior. Nil by Mouth’s publicity campaign extends beyond the spoken word in a series of posters displaying anti-sectarianism sentiments through the harsh realities of its consequences. These posters, released in mass quantities in 2000, included a picture of a gravestone with the words "don't be a die hard" below and a face covered in stitches with the slogan "sectarian jokes can have you in stitches." Both were accompanied by the phrase "sectarian behavior can lead to violence and death" (Sanders, Campaigns). A strong ! start in the campaign supporting anti-sectarianism has given people like Cara Henderson hope for a peaceful future.

Great strides have been taken in order to improve education and increase awareness of the conflict in Glasgow. However, to the extent at which sectarianism has plagued the supporters of Celtic and Rangers, and the rest of the country for that matter, it is not something that is going to disappear overnight. Changing peoples’ attitudes, especially those that have grown out of such strong belief systems like Catholicism and Protestantism, is not going to be easy. The competition between the two football clubs will make the movement away from sectarianism even more difficult. Even with today’s increased awareness, supporters from both clubs still chant sectarian songs during matches. Even though most people may sing to support of their respective club, the roots of the songs represent discrimination and religious bigotry that began even before the establishment of the two clubs. Until people make a serious commitment to put an end to sectarianism, like Cara Henderson,! others may find themselves losing loved ones simply because of the color of a shirt.


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Nuclear War and Christian Responsibility

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/nuclear-war-and-christian-responsibility

From the Feb. 6, 1962 issue

By Thomas Merton
January 3, 2018

It is no exaggeration to say that our times are Apocalyptic, in the sense that we seem to have come to a point at which all the hidden, mysterious dynamism of the "history of salvation" revealed in the Bible has flowered  into final  and decisive crisis.


It has been said so often that it has become a cliché, but it must be said again at the beginning of this article: the world and society of man now face destruction. Possible destruction: it is relatively easy, at the present time, to wipe out the entire human race either by nuclear, bacterial or chemical agents, separately or together. Probable destruction: the possibility of destruction becomes a probability in proportion as the world's leaders commit themselves more and more irrevocably to policies built on the threat to use these agents of extermination. At the present  moment, the United States and the Soviet bloc are committed  to a policy of genocide. Not only are they committed to the use of nuclear weapons for self-defense, but even to their use in first-strike attack if it should be expedient. This means that the policies of the United States and Russia are now frankly built on the presumption that each one is able, willing and ready to completely destroy the other at a moment's notice by a "first­strike"; that the one destroyed is capable of "post mortem retaliation" that would annihilate not only the attacker but all his allies and satellites, even though the defender were already wiped out himself.

There is no need to insist that in a world where another Hitler is very possible the mere existence of nuclear weapons constitutes the most tragic and serious problem that the human race has ever had to contend with. Indeed, the atmosphere of hatred, suspicion and tension in which we all live is precisely what is needed to produce Hitlers.

It is no exaggeration to say that our times are Apocalyptic, in the sense that we seem to have come to a point at which all the hidden, mysterious dynamism of the "history of salvation" revealed in the Bible has flowered into final and decisive crisis. The term "end of the world" may or may not be one that we are capable of understanding. But at any rate we seem to be assisting at the unwrapping of the mysteriously vivid symbols of the last book of the New Testament. In their nakedness, they reveal to us our own selves as the men whose lot it is to live in the time of a possibly ultimate decision.

We know that Christ came into this world as the Prince of Peace. We know that Christ Himself is our peace (Eph. 2:14). We believe that God has chosen for Himself, in the Mystical Body of Christ, an elect people, regenerated by the Blood of the Savior, and committed by their baptismal promise to wage war with the great enemy of peace and salvation. As Pope John XXIII pointed out in his first encyclical letter, Ad Petri Cathedram, Christians are obliged to strive for peace "with all the means at their disposal" and yet, as he continues, this peace cannot compromise with error or make concessions to it. Therefore it is by no means a matter of passive acquiescence in injustice, since this does not produce peace. However, the Christian struggle for peace depends first of all upon a free response of man to "God's call to the service of His merciful designs." The lack of man's response to this call, says Pope John, is the "most terrible problem of human history" (Christmas message, 1958). Christ Our Lord did not come to bring peace to the world as a kind of spiritual tranquilizer. He brought to His disciples a vocation and a task, to struggle in the world of violence to establish His peace not only in their own hearts but in society itself.

The Christian is and must be by his very adoption as a son of God, in Christ, a peacemaker (Matt. 5:9). He is bound to imitate the Savior who, instead of de­ fending Himself with twelve legions of Angels (Matt. 26:55) allowed Himself to be nailed to the Cross and died praying for His executioners. The Christian is one whose life has sprung from a particular spiritual seed: the blood of the martyrs who, without offering forcible resistance, laid down their lives rather than submit to the unjust laws that demanded an official religious cult of the Emperor as God. That is to say, the Christian is bound, like the martyrs, to obey God rather than the state whenever the state tries to usurp powers that do not and cannot belong to it. We have repeatedly seen Christians in our time fulfilling this obligation in a heroic manner by their resistance to dictatorships that strove to interfere with the rights of their conscience and of their religion.

*

We are no longer living in a Christian world. The ages which we are pleased to call the "ages of Faith" were certainly not ages of earthly paradise. But at least our forefathers officially recognized and favored the Christian ethic of love. They fought some very bloody and un-Christian wars, and in doing so they also committed great crimes which remain in history as a permanent scandal. However, certain definite limits were recognized.  Today a non-Christian world still retains a few vestiges of Christian morality, a few formulas and clichés, which serve on appropriate occasions to adorn indignant editorials and speeches. But otherwise we witness deliberate campaigns to eliminate all education in Christian truth and morality. The Christian ethic of love tends to be discredited as phony and sentimental. It is therefore a serious error to imagine that because the West was once largely Christian, the cause of the Western nations is now to be identified, without further qualification, with the cause of God. The incentive to wipe out Bolshevism may well be one of the apocalyptic temptations of twentieth-century Christendom. It may indeed be the most effective way of destroying Christendom, even though man may survive. For who imagines that the Asians and Africans will  respect Christianity and  embrace it after it has apparently triggered  mass-murder  and destruction of cosmic proportions?  It is pure madness to think that Christianity can defend itself with nuclear weapons. The mere fact that we now seem to accept nuclear war as reasonable is a universal scandal.

True, Christianity is not only opposed to Communism, but is in a very real sense at war with it. This war­fare, however, is spiritual and ideological. "Devoid of material weapons," says Pope John, "the Church is the trustee of the highest spiritual power." If the Church has no military weapons of her own, it means that her wars are fought without any weapons at all and not that she intends to call upon the weapons of nations that were once Christian.

*

We must remember that the Church does not belong to any political power bloc. Christianity exists on both sides of the Iron Curtain and we should feel ourselves united by very special bonds with those Christians who, living under Communism, often suffer heroically for their principles.

Is it a valid defense of Christianity for us to wipe out these heroic Christians along with their oppressors, for the sake of "religious freedom?" It is pure sophistry to claim that physical annihilation in nuclear war is a "lesser evil" than the difficult conditions under which these Christians continue to live, perhaps with true heroism and sanctity preserving their faith and witnessing very effectively to Christ in the midst of atheism. Persecution is certainly a physical evil and a spiritual danger, but Christ has said that those who suffer persecution in His Name are blessed. (Matt. 5:10- 12)

At the same time, one of the most disturbing things about the Western world of our time is that it is beginning to have much more in common with the Communist world than it has with the professedly Christian society of several centuries ago. On both sides of the Iron Curtain we find two profoundly disturbing varieties of the same moral sickness: both of them rooted in the same fundamentally materialist view of life. Both are basically opportunistic and pragmatic in their own way. And both have the following characteristics in common. On the level of morality they are blindly passive in their submission to a determinism which, in effect, leaves men completely irresponsible. Therefore moral obligations and decisions have become practically meaningless. At best they are only forms of words, rationalizations of pragmatic decisions that have already been dictated by the needs of the moment.

Naturally, since not everyone is an unprincipled materialist even in Russia, there is bound to be some moral sense at work, even if only as a guilt-feeling that produces uneasiness and hesitation, blocking the smooth efficiency of machine-like obedience to immoral commands. Yet the history of Nazi Germany shows us how appalling was the irresponsibility which would carry out even the most revolting of crimes under cover of "obedience" for the sake of  a "good cause." This moral passivity is the most terrible danger of our time, as the American Bishops have already pointed out in their joint letters of 1960 and 1961.

On the level of political, economic and military activity, this moral passivity is balanced, or overbalanced, by a demonic activism, a frenzy of the most varied, versatile, complex and even utterly brilliant technological improvisations, following one upon the other with an ever more bewildering and uncontrollable proliferation. Politics pretends to use this force as its servant, to harness it for social purposes, for the "good of man." The intention is good. The technological development of power in our time is certainly a risk and challenge, but that does not make it intrinsically evil. On the contrary, it can and should be a very great good. In actual fact, however, the furious speed with which our technological world is plunging toward disaster is evidence that no one is any longer fully in control—and this includes the political leaders.

A simple study of the steps which led to the dropping of the first A-bomb on Hiroshima is devastating evidence of the way well-meaning men, the scientists and leaders of a victorious nation, were guided step by step, without realizing it, by the inscrutable yet simple logic of events" to fire the shot that was to make the cold war inevitable and prepare the way perhaps inexorably for World War III. This they did purely and simply because they thought in all sincerity that the bomb was the simplest and most merciful way of ending World War II and perhaps all wars, forever.

*

The tragedy of our time is then not so much the malice of the wicked as the helpless futility even of the best intentions of "the good." There are war-makers, war criminals, indeed. They are present and active on both sides. But all of us, in our very best efforts for peace, find ourselves maneuvered unconsciously into positions where we too can act as war criminals. For there can be no doubt that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, though not fully deliberate crimes, nevertheless crimes. And who was responsible? No one. Or "history." We cannot go on playing with nuclear fire and shrugging off the results as "history." We are the ones concerned. We are the ones responsible.  History does not make us, we make it—or end it.

In plain words, in order to save ourselves from destruction we have to try to regain control of a world that is speeding downhill without brakes, because of the combination of factors I have just mentioned: almost total passivity and irresponsibility on the moral level, plus demonic activism in social, military and political life. The remedy would seem to be to slow down our activity, especially all activity concerned with the production and testing of weapons of destruction, and in­ deed to back-track by making every effort to negotiate for multilateral disarmament.

This may be of great help, but still only a palliative, not a solution. Yet at least this is perhaps feasible, and should at all costs be attempted, even at the cost of great sacrifice and greater risk. It is not morally licit for us as a nation to refuse the risk merely because our whole economy now depends on this war-effort. On the contrary, our national reliance on this substantial source of income and profit hardly qualifies as Christian.

Equally important, and perhaps even more difficult than disarmament, is the restoration of some moral sense and the resumption of genuine responsibility. Without this it is illusory for us to speak of freedom and "control." Unfortunately, even where moral principles are still regarded with some degree of respect, morality has lost touch with the realities of our situation. Moralists tend to discuss the problems of atomic war as if men still fought with bows and arrows. Modem warfare is fought as much by machines as by men. Even a great deal of the planning depends on the work of mechanical computers. An entirely new dimension is opened up by the fantastic processes and techniques involved. An American President can speak of warfare in outer space and nobody bursts out laughing­ he is perfectly serious. Science-fiction and the comic strips have all suddenly come true. When a missile armed with an H-bomb warhead is fired by the pressing of a button and its target is a whole city, the number of its victims is estimated in "mega-corpses"—millions of dead human beings. A thousand or ten thousand more here and there are not even matter for comment. Under such conditions can there be serious meaning left in the fine decisions that were elaborated by scholastic theologians in the day of hand-to-hand combat? Can we assume that in atomic war the conditions which make double effect legitimate will be realized? Obviously not. And to make this perfectly clear, the explicit and formal declarations of governments leave no doubt that indiscriminate destruction is intended.

*

In atomic war, there is no longer question of simply permitting an evil, the destruction of a few civilian dwellings, in order to attain a legitimate end: the destruction of a military target. It is well understood on both sides that atomic war is purely and simply massive and indiscriminate destruction of targets chosen not for their military significance alone, but for their importance in a calculated project of terror and annihilation. Often the selection of the target is determined by some quite secondary and accidental circumstance that has not the remotest reference to morality. Hiroshima was selected for atomic attack, among other reasons, because it had never undergone any noticeable air bombing and was suitable, as an intact target, to give a good idea of the effectiveness of the bomb.

It must be frankly admitted that some of the military commanders of both sides in World War II simply disregarded all traditional standards that were still effective. The Germans threw those standards overboard with the bombs they unloaded on Warsaw, Rotterdam, Coventry and London. The allies replied in kind with the saturation bombing of Hamburg, Cologne, Dresden and Berlin. Spokesmen were not wanting on either side, to justify these crimes against humanity.  And  today, while  "experts"  calmly  discuss  the  possibility  of  the United States being able to survive a war if "only fifty millions" of  the  population  are  killed;  when  the Chinese speak of  being  able to "spare" three hundred million  and "still get along," it is obvious  that we are no longer in the realm where moral truth is conceivable. The only sane course that remains is to work frankly and without compromise for the total abolition of war. The pronouncements of the Holy See all point to this as the only ultimate solution. The first duty of the Christian is to help clarify thought on this point by taking the stand that all-out nuclear, bacterial or chemical warfare is unacceptable as a practical solution to international problems because it would mean the destruction of the world. There is simply no "good end" that renders such a risk permissible or even thinkable on the level of ordinary common sense.

At this point someone will say "The Church has not condemned nuclear war." First of all there is no need to condemn something that already quite obviously stands condemned by its very nature. Total war is murder. The fact that the Church tolerates limited war and even theoretically tolerates the limited use of "tactical" nuclear weapons for defensive purposes does not mean that she either advocates or tolerates indiscriminate killing of civilians and military. Pope Pius XII, in 1954, made this perfectly clear. He said: "Should  the evil consequences of adopting this method of warfare ever become so extensive as to pass entirely beyond the control of man, then indeed its use must be rejected as immoral." Uncontrolled annihilation of human life is "not lawful under any title." There is much debate over the term "entirely beyond control." If a missile with a nuclear warhead can be aimed so as to destroy Lenin­ grad rather than Helsinki, is this sufficient to be termed control? One doubts this was the mind of Pius XII.

It might be possible to get people to admit this in theory, but it is going to be very difficult in practice. They will admit the theory because they will say that they "certainly do not want a war" in which nuclear agents will be used on an all-out scale. Obviously no one wants the destruction of the human race or of his own nation, although he will not admit it in practice because foreign policy entirely depends on wielding the threat of nuclear destruction. But in an issue of such desperate seriousness, we have to face the fact that the calculated use of nuclear weapons as a political threat is almost certain to lead eventually to a hot war. Every time another hydrogen bomb is exploded in a test, every time a political leader boasts his readiness to use the same bomb on the cities of his enemy, we get closer to the day when the missiles armed with nuclear warheads will start winging their way across the seas and the polar ice cap.

The danger must be faced. Whoever finds convenient excuses for this adventurous kind of policy, who rationalizes every decision dictated by political opportunism and justifies it, must stop to consider that he may be himself cooperating in the evil. On the contrary, our duty is to help emphasize with all the force at our disposal that the Church earnestly seeks the abolition of war; we must underscore declarations like those of Pope John XXIII pleading with world leaders to renounce force in the settlement of international disputes and confine themselves to negotiation.

Let us suppose that the political leaders of the world, supported by the mass media in their various countries, and carried onward by a tidal wave of ever greater and greater war preparations, see themselves swept inexorably into a war of disastrous proportions. Let us suppose that it becomes morally certain that these leaders are helpless to arrest the blind force of the process that has been irresponsibly set in motion.  What then? Are the masses of the world, including you and me, to resign themselves to their fate and march on to global suicide without resistance, simply bowing their heads and obeying their leaders as showing them the "will of God"? I think it should be evident to everyone that this can no longer, in the present situation, be accepted unequivocally as Christian obedience and civic duty.

On the contrary, this brings us face to face with the greatest and most agonizing moral issue of our time. This issue is not merely nuclear war, not merely the possible destruction of the human race by a sudden explosion of violence. It is something more subtle and more demonic. If we continue to yield to theoretically irresponsible determinism and to vague "historic forces" without striving to resist and to control them, if we let these forces drive us to demonic activism in the realm of politics and technology, we face something more than the material evil of universal destruction. We face the moral responsibility of global suicide. Much more than that, we are going to find ourselves gradually moving into a situation in which we are practically compelled by the "logic of circumstances" deliberately to choose the course that leads to destruction.

We all know the logic of temptation. We all know the vague, hesitant irresponsibility which leads us into the situation where it is no longer possible to turn back and how, arrived in that situation, we have a moment of clear-sighted desperation in which we freely commit ourselves to the course that we recognize to be evil. That may well be what is happening now to the whole world. The actual destruction of the human race is an enormous evil, but it is still, in itself, only a physical evil. Yet the free choice of global suicide, made in desperation by the world's leaders and ratified by the consent and cooperation of all their citizens, would be a moral evil second only to the crucifixion. The fact that such a choice might be made with the highest motives and the most urgent purpose would do nothing whatever to mitigate it. The fact that it might be made as a gamble, in the hope that some might escape, would never excuse it. After all, the purposes of Caiphas were, in his own eyes, perfectly noble. He thought it was necessary to let "one man die for the people."

The most urgent necessity of our time is therefore not merely to prevent the destruction of the human race by nuclear war. Even if it should happen to be no longer possible to prevent the disaster (which God forbid), there is still a greater evil that can and must be prevented. It must be possible for every free man to refuse his consent and deny his cooperation to this greatest of crimes.

In what does this effective and manifest refusal of consent consist? How does one "resist" the sin of genocide? How are the conscientious objectors to mass suicide going to register their objection and their refusal to cooperate? Ideally speaking, in the imaginary case where all-out nuclear war seemed inevitable and the world's leaders seemed morally incapable of preventing it, it would become legitimate and even obligatory for all sane and conscientious men everywhere in the world to lay down their weapons and their  tools  and  starve and be  shot  rather  than  cooperate  in  the  war  effort. If such a mass movement should spontaneously arise in all parts of the world, in Russia and America, in China and France, in Africa and Germany, the human race could be saved from extinction. This is indeed an engaging hypothesis- but it is no more than that. It would be folly to suppose that men hitherto passive, inert, morally indifferent and irresponsible might suddenly recover their sense of obligation and their awareness of their own power when the world was on the very brink of war. Indeed we have already reached that point. Who says "No!" except for a few isolated individuals regarded almost generally as crackpots by everybody else?

It is vitally necessary that we form our conscience in regard to our own participation in the effort that threatens to lead us to universal destruction. We have to be convinced that there are certain things already clearly forbidden to all men, such as the use of torture, the killing of hostages, genocide (or the mass extermination of racial, national or other groups for no reason than that they belong to an "undesirable" category). The destruction of civilian centers by nuclear annihilation bombing is genocide. We have to become aware of the poisonous effect of the mass media that keep violence, cruelty and sadism constantly present in the minds of uninformed and irresponsible people. We have to recognize the danger to the whole world in the fact that today the economic life of the more highly-developed nations is centered largely on the production of weapons, missiles and other engines of destruction. We have to consider that hate propaganda, and the consistent nagging and baiting of one government by another, has always inevitably led to violent conflict. We have to recognize the implications of voting for politicians who promote policies of hate.

These are activities which, in view of their possible consequences, are so dangerous and absurd as to be morally intolerable. If we cooperate in these activities we share in the guilt they incur before God. It is no longer reasonable or right to leave all decisions to a largely anonymous power elite that is driving us all, in our passivity, towards ruin. We have to make ourselves heard. Christians have a grave responsibility to protest clearly and forcibly against trends that lead inevitably to crimes which the Church deplores and condemns. Ambiguity, hesitation and compromise are no longer permissible. War must be abolished. A world government must be established. We have still time to do something about it, but the time is rapidly running out.


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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The One True Faith: Nuclear Weapons Are God’s Gift to the United States of America, Alone

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-one-true-faith-nuclear-weapons-are-gods-gift-to-the-united-states-of-america-alone/5604508

By Dr. T. P. Wilkinson
Global Research, August 17, 2017

We must constitute ourselves trustees of this new force–to prevent its misuse, and to turn it into the channels of service to mankind. It is an awful responsibility which has come to us.

We thank God that it [nuclear weapons] has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it [nuclear weapons] in His ways and for His purposes. Harry Truman, August 9, 1945


*   *   *

Like obscene profits from great fraud or theft, “wonder weapons” of mass destruction, to which the atomic bomb certainly belongs, have their origins in the inability and unwillingness to accept the equality and dignity of one’s opponents/ competitors (never mind whether one’s cause/product is legitimate).

The ambivalence of the US position during WWII — the discrepancy which became apparent after 1945 between the stated and unstated policies — allowed and even promoted the mythic justification for US atomic bombing.

When I first moved to Germany more than thirty years ago, I was appalled at the insensitivity — to put it mildly — in US policy with the deployment of the Pershings. Placing new medium-ranged missiles in Germany at that time caused vocal opposition even among those whose anti-communist credentials (no virtue in my book, but for the “alliance” at least acceptable opposition) were undisputed. However, there was no evidence that anyone (in the US) was willing to grasp that the reply to Pershings would not be ICBMs but more probably Soviet medium-ranged delivery vehicles to Germany! The general US response was that Germany should appreciate the “protection” it was getting from the US. The fact that these missiles were a threat to Germany and the Soviet Union but not to the US was simply disregarded (as is the stationing of missiles on Russia’s borders today.)

The US has the largest gratuitous war machine on the planet. Whatever its claims, as the only belligerent in the past century’s two world wars not to suffer any destruction to its national territory (colonies aside), it can safely be said that it is the only country for whom war is exclusively business. As Smedley Butler said, war is a racket!

“Fire and Fury”: Who should be feared more? Macduff or Macbeth?

The recent threats to Korea — addressed to the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea — are ultimately “business” policies. That is why they are so difficult to challenge effectively. Mr Trump is not making statements which originate in any actual threat or the imperative of a response to such. He is driven by policy objectives that simply are not subject to open discussion let alone democratic process (like most business policy).

Bruce Cumings’ detailed study, The Origins of the Korean War, upon which I have repeatedly drawn in previous attempts to explain US regime policy not only in Asia, shows just how difficult it is to ascertain the underlying policies and interests driving US regime behavior when the war against Korea began. One is forced to infer, interpolate, extract conclusions from information the coherence and relevance of which to public policy is never openly admitted. This leaves what little potential for public — democratic — intervention seriously inhibited.

It is of little help to arrive at the legitimate system level analysis and say that it is American capitalism — a particularly virulent strain of that ideology — which drives US belligerence. This does not tell anyone how to stop particular instances of egregious violence.

One point in all this is that the US policy of non-proliferation is so obviously one directed solely at those countries not utterly allied or subservient to it. (Here it is important that the US allies perceived as “white” are allowed to have atomic bombs and delivery vehicles.) But beyond that, the NPT was also an agreement to reduce and eliminate all atomic weapons — an objective with which the US regime has never materially complied — in fact, quite the opposite. Such threats against Korea — conventional bombing capacity notwithstanding — are clearly only possible because the policy of first strike and super atomic superiority (including the enormous profits this earns for those who run the industry) have never been seriously challenged, revised or abandoned.

There is no doubt, in fact, if not in rhetoric, that the US is led by some of the most spiteful people on the planet for whom gratuitous violence is not only foreign policy, but domestic and cultural obsession. “White rage” and its attendant “lynch justice” are firmly entrenched elements of American culture, not just among the elite. Here in Portugal almost every public venue has a television screen. A friend of mine has several cable channels running in his restaurant– mostly fueled with American product. Since I do not have a television and have not had one for almost thirty years I “miss a lot”.

The TV/cable/cinema programming comprises entirely allusions to libertinism (music videos) or high tech mass violence (so-called crime drama and the endless supply of films and series with highly organised state violence, usually against people in the target countries of US policy). The worst we had when I was growing up was re-runs of WWII propaganda films, Aaron Spelling/Jack Webb Los Angeles police soaps and Hoover’s FBI propaganda. Looking back that seems all incredibly harmless.

Who produces this stuff — with the enormous support from DOD et al?

As I just argued albeit tongue in cheek, the atomic power of the President is not as easy to measure as it seems. In fact, the President — whether Truman or Trump — executes policy but does not really make it. Today no serious scholar can deny that Truman’s decision was prepared for his approval. In fact, everything was done to minimize the possibility that he would deny it. I believe we have to see Trump in the same capacity. Truman is formally responsible for the mass murder in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because the law and Constitution assign that responsibility to him and because he lacked the moral fortitude to refuse mass murder, like many before him. But he did not create the weapon or order its creation nor did he start the war in which it was used.

Donald Trump has always had an inflammatory style — even when he was only a NY real estate mogul. That is nothing new. So now he is President his style is not going to change. There is something actually comical about Trump’s appearances. Who remembers Reagan’s off the cuff “joke” about bombing the Soviet Union?1 These are not accidents. They express the contempt which all Presidents ex officio have for the targets of their atomic bombs. Who now remembers anything George Bush said during their respective terms in office? Every US president has had his style of presenting the wantonly murderous capacity of the US war machine. This is also nothing new.

One has to ask two questions, one historical and the other contemporary.

Historically: It must be asked how and why under the Obama reign the largest increase in the US atomic arsenal since 1989 was performed? Mr Trump came into office with vastly more lethality because of actions taken over the previous eight years approved by his predecessor and the heiress apparent-pretender.

Contemporary: second question is really two. What and above all who is driving this policy? Who or what is their target?2

I believe that there are no countries besides the US and Israel (which are for all intents and purposes one country) that seriously contemplate first strikes with atomic weapons. I also believe that the few sane people in the policy-making venues of the US regime know this — just as George Kennan knew it when he wrote his mendacious “X” article and Dean Acheson knew it too. This leaves us with two simple non-exclusive explanations for the present situation.

Enhancing deniability and lethality

One — the atomic bomb system is a perpetual motion machine for those who own it like DuPont inter alia. There is simply too much money to be made to ever willingly stop producing these weapons that no sane person would ever employ at the strategic level. However, there has been, it would seem, enormous progress in miniaturisation of atomic weapons — including depleted uranium or enhanced radiation — opening the possibility to genuinely “micro-nuke” US competitors.

I am convinced this was already tested against China. The point is that deniable atomic attacks have been on the drawing board for at least twenty years. Hollywood not only propagates fantasy but illustrates the nascent agenda of the national security state. The US generally accuses others of doing what it is, in fact, doing (e.g. brainwashing and germ warfare). So we have been saturated with films and other stories about micronukes in various forms in the hands of criminals (the illegal half of the Business community). Everyone outside the US generally knows more about US policy than the American public and as Cumings indicated in his Korea research the PDRK knew and paid more careful attention to US policy before the US war against Korea started than any reputable people in the US itself. They were not surprised like the average American — who is hermetically isolated from unpleasant reality.

In short, Trump may simply be echoing what has been apparent in the boardrooms of the US regime for the past fifteen years:

    We have approached the level of atomic weapons development where we can deliver atomic devastation in ways that only experts will be able to verify. We will be able to graduate the use of our most powerful weapons in such a way that no one will be able to justify retaliation and so this option will disappear.

This is, in fact, the continuation of the policy of limited war — which was so far successful because only those who actually fought, were wounded or died, have any testimony to the fact that the US has been at war without interruption since 1945. So there is first the huge business in atomic weapons which needs targets to justify its existence. Trump is just keeping the public aware of targets so that the business continues unabated.

On one hand there is the imperative to have atomic threats to justify atomic weapons. If the only threats to US “security” came from Serbia or Samoa, this would not be very convincing and it is part of the US system that virtual unanimity for policy must be manufactured. That is about the only way to maintain the appearance of a democracy — aside from annual introduction of a “new” formula of Coca Cola or more massive versions of the terminally mediocre Microsoft products.

On the other hand, the US business elite cannot afford all out war with anyone who has the capacity to defend themselves. (Aside from the fact that the US military is only capable of “winning” aggressive war against the defenseless, like Grenada or Panama.) Yet economic domination of the world has been the number one mission of US policy since 1945. Now China (where there are many US factories) and the alliance with Russia (which under Putin seems to have resisted the continuation of the Kissinger policy of playing China and Russia against each other) can actually challenge US dominion. So the strategic issue is again (!) how to control China but not lose the economic advantages of producing there at high profit to feed US consumers.

Two: Asymetric war — as the new jargon likes to call the GWOT — is not really about the US against little “rogue states” or “state aspirants”. It is the US doctrine of “limited war” revised to include the new generation of micro-atomic weapons. The aim of asymetric war is to wage a tactically brutal assault against a US adversary/competitor which is apparently too small to allow a response that would a) threaten the US, in fact, or b) expose the US as the aggressor. Thus any response by the target would have to be (appear to the international public as) vastly disproportionate. Thus deterrence takes the old meaning from school days. The bully hits when no one is looking and knows that the counterblow comes just when the teacher is watching.

This is the kind of blackmail that all the films from Hollywood show — not because there are some “rogue criminal elements” waiting to act — but because this is the US policy for which the public has to be prepared. Just like they were prepared for the WTC destruction. Most people I know reacted the same as I did to the first images on TV — we thought this was a scene from one of those perennial Hollywood-NY disaster films.

(In fact, it was filmed by crews in place before the event so that all the work was done like Hollywood would have done it in the studio.) We have been watching US policy in preparation for the past twenty years. But for most people — including many from whom one would expect more sense — it was only decided in January of 2017.

Does this offer any options for ending the crisis? Not immediately. It does tell us, however, that Trump is not the crisis. Moreover his removal from office will not alter a policy he did not make. Even the obvious questions like “what about Mr Pence?” are not asked. If the crazies (i.e. those who believe that Trump must go at all costs) were actually to force the dismissal or resignation of Donald Trump, they would then have Mr Pence as President. The administration would not change at all. (Ronald Reagan actually covered the first Bush presidency. Although Alexander Haig may have thought he was president for a few hours– which says more about what actually happens in the White House than anything we read in the organs of the Business Party. The Bush dynasty began in 1980 and has more or less continued to this day.)

It’s the Open Door that lets all the (F)lies in…


It should tell the sane, educated and those with some access to public opinion shaping institutions that the driving force of the atomic industry and those who finance it has grown enormously, not declined and that this industry, not the POTUS, is driving the war machine. So if there are any systemic interventions possible, they must be aimed at closing down the atomic bomb industry entirely. To do this it is necessary to honestly identify the people in that industry, its producing, financing, and beneficiary members natural and corporate. After 1945, certain corporations were dissolved in Germany on the premise that they were criminal conspiracies. Notwithstanding the deception and circumvention — this was public policy. That means there are precedents for dealing not only with natural criminals but with their corporate shells. In fact, the so-called RICO Act is US law. Imagine General Butler defined war as a “racket”. Taking this literally all enterprises engaged in the war “industry” are “racketeers” in the meaning of the act…

It should also tell those same people that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way Asian policy is made and the policies themselves. Cumings’ book Dominion from Sea to Sea comes very close to stating the problem in its historical essence and showing why it is almost impossible to counter US policy: namely, it enjoys a centuries old consensus among the elite and one manufactured for just about a century now for everyone else. There has been no change in the fundamentals driving it — of which most people are only subliminally aware. Nothing — even on the so-called Left — has been or is being done on a meaningful scale to revise the view of the United States of America as “god’s gift to humanity”. As long as the vast bulk of the US population (and certainly almost all “whites” who also think Jesus God is just like them — even if they do not believe in either) is convinced that they live in God’s country, they can be forgiven for thinking like Harry Truman, that the atomic bomb was god’s gift to them.

In all this lies one very serious core problem — the US is an empire and there are no empires which have voluntarily surrendered their claims to power and expansion.

If my assertion about the state of ordnance and doctrine is correct — and I have every reason to believe it is — then Korea is reacting to knowledge and awareness of this policy by extroverted means. China, on the other hand, is responding introvertedly. They see the difficulty of confronting this enhanced deniability. They also do not want to provide more fuel to inflame the US lynching party. And behind the scenes the instruments of covert power are supporting whatever business objectives may best be served by this enhanced bellicosity.

Of course, I write “it should tell the sane…” If by that one means those who publish the leading organs of official opinion and that which is “fit to print” if in support of same, then there is not much reason to expect a sane response. In these venues it is not the policy which is in dispute but the sociability among the factions. One cannot expect any efforts to reorganize and reorient leading opinion (the rest of opinion does not matter anyway).

So currently the only limitations on US policy and action will come from abroad in the form of challenges that the regime is unable to suppress or where they are unable to prevail. There are indications that China and Russia are, in fact, capable of sustaining such challenges. The US regime may be losing its international diplomacy campaign with Trump — which will probably be the only factor in a potential dismissal. He is obviously trying to counter that with obsequity toward the centres of bureaucratic power — the CIA and the Pentagon (and those who own these two bureaucracies).

It is apparent to anyone outside the US that the regime has no alternative to imperialism — it has cannibalised its entire economy to maintain its “open door” (if necessary by means of a solid kick with a “standard issue”) empire. Even the US cannot live by marketing alone. It has been reduced more or less to its origins, a country ruled by traffickers in drugs, arms, contraband, bonded labour, and stolen goods — whose claim to trade is based on the imposition of the USD. Unfortunately this empire has simply more destructive power (and the nihilism to exercise it) than any previous empire of such longevity. So unless the US regime is disarmed by its population (now it seems pretty much the other way around), we will just have to watch the carnage continue. The Open Door will continue to let the flies in and there will be plenty of dead flesh upon which their larvae will feed.


---------------------------
Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   

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Everyman decries immorality
Onward, Christian Soldiers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onward,_Christian_Soldiers

"Onward, Christian Soldiers" is a 19th-century English hymn. The words were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, and the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. Sullivan named the tune "St. Gertrude," after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune.[1][2] The Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.[3] The piece became Sullivan's most popular hymn.[1] The hymn's theme is taken from references in the New Testament to the Christian being a soldier for Christ, for example II Timothy 2:3 (KJV): "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."


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Everyman Standing Order 01: In the Face of Tyranny; Everybody Stands, Nobody Runs.
Everyman Standing Order 02: Everyman is Responsible for Energy and Security.
Everyman Standing Order 03: Everyman knows Timing is Critical in any Movement.
   
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