MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH


December 2, 2002

Miscellaneous Subjects #165: Sobering Views and Courageous Actions


Hello everyone

I believe the material you will receive this week, beginning with this compilation, may forever alter your views on what is currently transpiring from the American Empire and the Dark Veil of Horror and Deception it is trying to lower upon the entire world...

May Peace, Love and Harmony prevail on Earth

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com

This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2002/MiscelSubjects165.htm

P.S. Check also my latest Media Compilation #100: Republicans Are Creating a Polluted, Orwellian, Agressive Police State archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2002/MediaCompilation100.htm


CONTENTS

1. A Feedback from Suzy Ward on The Writing On The Wall Series #10
2. The letter is not from Osama
3. Action Alert! Please send PEACE protest e-mail to Iceland
4. 'Saddam's bombmaker' is full of lies
5. Canadians to lead weapons inspections team into USA & Petition on Rooting Out Evil at Home
6. The Gift of Mayhem


See also:

KISSINGER OUT OF THE CLOSET (Nov 27)
http://www.newswithviews.com/iserbyt/iserbyt3.htm
(...) Americans should demand of their Congressional representatives an investigation of Henry Kissinger's track record before he is allowed to serve in any capacity on any committee for any purpose.

Henry's Revenge (Nov 29)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,850148,00.html
This man is regarded by many outside the US as a war criminal. There are countries he can't travel to for fear of arrest. Why has George Bush just given him a major job? Julian Borger on the Phoenix-like rise of Henry Kissinger. The vastly different reactions on each side of the Atlantic to Henry Kissinger's return to the political centre stage says a lot about the constantly widening gap in political perceptions between the US and Europe. Those Europeans who were aware that the old cold warrior was still alive could be forgiven for assuming he was in a cell somewhere awaiting war crimes charges, or living the life of a fugitive, never sleeping in the same bed twice lest human rights investigators track him down. In the US, the overwhelming response to Kissinger's appointment, at the age of 79, to head the investigation into the catastrophic intelligence failure that led to September 11 has been one of relief mixed with nostalgic affection. (...) Kissinger is also on the "European Strategy Board" of a Dallas investment company called Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, one of the biggest financial contributors to George Bush's political career. (...) Kissinger's second act is sweeter than most - his murky past has not only gone unpunished, it now looks like the unsettling prologue for US policy in years to come.

Kissinger in His Own Chilling Words
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/12.02D.kiss.quotes.htm
Famous Quotes by Henry Kissinger

Bush Not Likely to Testify in 9/11 Probe
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/11.28A.bush.no.911.htm

Material Breach: US Crimes in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/12.02G.wokusch.breach.htm
(...) The justification (that Iraq's Hussein violates international law with his weapons of mass destruction and is thus a menace to world peace) seems a bit ironic in light of US actions in Iraq these past eleven years.

THE "GREAT EVIL" AND THE GREAT POWER
http://www.presentdanger.org/frontier/2002/index.html
There is a "great power" lurking around the world that has assumed for itself the right of vigilante justice.

Censors at the Border? In America?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/11.28F.dellios.censors.htm

John Kaminski: When Medicines Are Meant To Kill (MUST READ! FRIGHTENING!!)
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0211/S00182.htm
(...) Now, with all of these examples of horrific government behavior in vaccine programs, the question becomes: How can the vast majority of legislators in the United States vote for a bill (the Homeland Security bill) that allows the government to give these kinds of shots and punish people for refusing them, given all the evidence of past abuse of these programs?




1.

A VERY STRONG PERSONAL STATEMENT TO WHICH I UNRESERVEDLY SUBSCRIBE. A MUST READ - MUST NETWORK!

From: "Suzanne Ward" <suzy@pacifier.com>
Subject: A Feedback on The Writing On The Wall Series #10: And Yet... "There is Good in The World And It's Worth Fighting For" archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2002/WritingWall10.htm
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002

Jean dear...

I am moved to write because of the "US-led...." part of your personal message below. Even though I know that you know this, I feel I must write it anyway: The people of the United States do not support our president's unconscionable destruction of lives and land in any country and his apparent intention to continue this in his march to "freedom from global terrorism." It is only factions of our government in conjunction with factions of other governments and the behind-the-scenes power-mongers -- like the heads of foreign banking institutions and the armament, petrochemical and pharmaceutical conglomerates, not to mention drug cartels' $mega-billions -- who are doing this now just as they have done in the past. Also, our various administrations' self-serving activities to "liberate" countries under other forms of governing could not have been done without internal collaborators. And the people who have suffered in those countries are not alone in being victimized by outsiders, including the US government: Our "leaders" and their cabal have been victimizing this country's citizens, too.

I've read letters and articles making the Internet rounds that decry the US voter apathy that led to this president who's making unilateral decisions that pose great risk to the world. If we have become an apathetic voting citizenry, it's because we're up against an entrenched system that gives us candidates we don't respect and don't want in office. The only candidates we can choose all are backed by power blocs that fund their campaigns and then control their official activities, and that's why many of us either vote for the lesser evil or, in good conscience, don't vote at all.

I'm not a student of history, but I do know (now!) that soon after our beginnings, presidential administrations started vilely deceiving the populace, and their control of information kept the country in ignorance and delusion. Yes, during these past two and a quarter centuries some presidents did the right thing and others tried to right the wrongs of their predecessors, but their efforts were ended by assassination. And yes, some people knew what was transpiring and courageously spoke out, but their voices were stifled by murder or by our controlled media or by ridicule that discredited them among their peers and thus this country's citizens.

Only recently (in terms of history) -- and especially now with the arrogance of the Bush-led hawks (and not all of them are in the US government!) and the speed of the Internet with its reports like yours -- is it becoming abundantly clear to at least most US citizens that our "leaders" have no more respect for us than they have for anyone else, anywhere. The hypocrisy, greed, deception and corruption that have long reigned are being exposed. Our "democratic" presidential elections are fraudulent and members of Congress are bought or intimidated. Polls are lies, as are unemployment statistics; our poverty ranks and home repossessions are swelling, keeping families locked in fear for their economic survival while blatant corporate and banking thieves get a mild reprimand and then go on under different company names. Our resources are "legally" pillaged to profit the wealthy and official disregard for the environment is shameful.

We've been told mandatory vaccinations are for disease protection when it was known that they cause medical problems and death. With our government's sanctions (or directions) chemtrails have rained toxins upon us. Chemical companies have polluted our land and water and pharmaceutical companies have polluted our food animals and human bodies. The collective effects of these have led to our children being drugged because they are hyperactive and to a burgeoning population with cancers, Alzheimer's and autism, all treated with prescription drugs (the ads for which are funding nightly network news), yet our nation's access to health care is an abominable situation.

The IRS tax structure provides loopholes for our wealthy and socks it to the rest of us.

Social and educational services are reduced or cut entirely while outrageous projects like SDI and HAARP are funded. The CIA, INS, DEA and BATF are as untouchable as the IRS in our courts. Homeland Security is the worst legislation imaginable in a "free" country. While some here are still buying into the government's cry of "patriotism and national security," others are demanding official investigations, but if these happen, they're conducted by puppets or their puppetmasters. And Bush's war plans offer up the lives of our military -- some of whom are Reserve troops being conscripted into combat position -- along with those in other countries where he and the rest of that powerful cabal are determined to control oil.

Despite all of this, and much more -- like our huge prison population of marijuana users and mentally ill, Supreme Court justices who should be ashamed of themselves, and stores that track customers' purchases -- by comparison with circumstances in many nations, the United States still is a pampered country. Furthermore, it's not easy for us as a nation to accept that we have long been governed by deception and corruption, to acknowledge that our government has been betraying us. Many of us -- hopefully most of us -- no longer are ignorant captives and no longer passively accepting what our government is doing to us or to anyone else in the world.

Although the many protests here are being officially ignored and greatly downplayed, if mentioned at all by our media, we are fighting back as individuals and as groups. Those of us who understand what is happening on Earth as a microcosm of the universe are not expecting the off-planet extraterrestrial civilizations who have been helping to preserve Earth to do it all. We are in spirit and body with people all over the world in peaceful endeavors to end the international power-mongers' obvious aim to rule us ALL.

I had to write out my strong feelings, Jean, so I can concentrate on Matthew Book Three.

Love and blessings,

Suzy




A CONFIRMATION OF MY HUNCH WHEN I WROTE THIS TAPE COULD BE "another doctored hoax by the CIA"

2.

Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002
From: "Carolyn" <shekinah@peoplepc.com>
Subject: The tape is not from Osama

Osama bin Laden was confirmed dead over 3 months ago, per an army lieutenant, per a stewardess friend who was enroute with them to Kuwait. He said they were not releasing it to the general public yet...




3.

From: "Deborah Mokma" <dmokma@jeffnet.org>
Subject: Action Alert! Please send PEACE protest e-mail to Iceland
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002

I have checked the genuineness of this request with Peace 2000's - Thor Magnusson <thor@peace.is> who says: "Yes it is genuine. You can call us on +354 557 1000"

Send protest e-mail to Iceland !!!

AND MY REPLY WAS:

Thanks a lot Deborah for alerting me about this incredible story.

This may signal an imminent change as to how political authorities will deal with peaceniks during the coming new war in Iraq - and its possible extension to other surrounding countries.

Thor has been on the ERN list for a long while and I'm sure that once alerted to this, many other subscribers will pitch in and send a letter of support/protest for him.

Love and Light - and may justice and Peace prevail in Iceland and around the world...

Jean

HERE IS THE ALERT ITSELF...

Please send your protest to: althing@peace.is - (There is no editing, it will be distributed immediately to Members of Parliament, Civil Servants and the Media in Iceland).

Please also copy to in case the government tries to shut us down: thormag@myrealbox.com


President of Peace 2000 in prison & computers confiscated in Iceland!

HELP ! ! ! - URGENT ALERT - PLEASE PROTEST THIS GRAVE HUMAN RIGHTS BREACH

Dear friends,

I need your urgent help and attention. Please read this message carefully.

Last Friday Icelandic Prime Minister Mr. David Oddsson and Foreign Minister Mr. Halldor Asgrimsson surprised and shocked most of our formerly peaceful nation with an announcement from the NATO meeting in Prague, that Iceland is no longer a by-stander in military actions and that an agreement has been made with two Icelandic public transport airlines, Icelandair and Atlanta, to use their passenger aircraft for transportation of NATO weapons and soldiers. We have never had a military following a peace meeting by the Vikings at our Althing in the year 1000! But our misguided Prime Minister Mr. Oddsson said this new policy of his government is to "strengthen the military might of the NATO alliance" and to "fly troops and military equipment to war areas and that the Icelandic government would pay for it". The news indicated the first flight operation using Icelandic passenger aircraft for the transportation of weapons and troops may be as soon as with an upcoming war with Iraq that the Prime Minister expects that NATO and his government will support.

I issued a warning immediately on Friday that any agreement linking the use of passenger aircraft with NATO or with the transportation of weapons and troops will compromise the security of those aircraft - also when conducting normal passenger flights.

Within hours of my warning Friday I was arrested by the Icelandic Police. I was taken from a restaurant down town by secret police that was in no uniform into an unmarked car. They refused to let my fiancee and the other people I was with in the restaurant know that I was being arrested. A man simply asked me to come with him outside fo ra moment, and there he arrested me. They could have ditched anywhere and nobody would have known!!! I was thrown into jail and kept there for several days in complete isolation. The first night I was kept in a cell without any toilet and had to do my things on the floor!!! Only when the High Court heard an appeal the Police released me.

But it does not seem to be the end! News report last night said that the police was looking at another letter I sent to the directors of the airlines yesterday, and that today they will make a decision for further action. Our lawyer suggested I sleep the night in hiding somewhere.

People have been phoning us constantly - everyone is shocked. Lawyers say that the arrest has no foundation in law. Our best-known human rights lawyer, Mr. Ragnar Adalsteinsson took it up by himself to speak out in a shock over this on TV while I was in the prison. He tells me the law professors at the Reykjavik University are also shocked. EkstraBladet, a major newspaper in Denmark, said that the imprisonment of the leader of Peace 2000, former Icelandic Presidential Candidate AstThor Magnusson was an obvious action to "shut the mouth of the opposition".

A man called me last night and told me that he has knowledge that my arrest was decided in the Prime Ministers office building. Politicians are not supposed to have any influence on the police here, but this seems to be changing now.

The police raided the Peace 2000 offices and my home in the middle of the night and confiscated computers. They have refused to return the computers and are keeping all member databases and contact lists. Earlier this year, when the President of China visited Iceland, the Icelandic police worked with a "black list" of Falun Gong practitioners that wanted to do a peaceful demonstration against Human Rights abuses in China. On instructions from the government of China as it seems, they arrested whole groups of Falun Gong tourists upon arrival in the country and kept them in a detention centre. The Icelandic police also got the airlines to cooperate and give access to reservation lists to refuse boarding in foreign airports if their name was found on the black list from China. We fear that they have now started to create a black lists of the Peace 2000 members and that this may be used in a similar way as with the Falun Gong black list.

We have written to the directors of both airlines. We have asked them to increase security immediately and to terminate said armaments transport agreement forthwith. In our opinion, while any such agreements are in place, these aircrafts are at increased risk as they seem in that situation to fall exactly within the description of targets by terrorist groups. It is clear that my warning and calling for extra security last Friday was valid. While I was being detained in prison, the UK Observer newspaper printed a new letter from Osama Bin Laden where he calls for terrorist attacks against civilian targets. Yesterday there was an attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger aircraft.

Many fear that the Icelandic government ministers have become so corrupt that they may try to use the police again today to send me back to prison in an attempt to stop me talking about this.

PLEASE SEND YOUR PROTEST:

Please protest my arrest by immediate email and ask all your contact lists to do same. In Icelandic my name is written: Astthor Magnusson. Please also demand that the Peace 2000 computers and data are returned immediately. We've created a mailing list that will distribute your message automatically to all Icelandic Members of Parliament, Civil Servants, the Airlines and to the Icelandic Media. The automatic listserver to protest is: althingi@peace.is

EMAIL NOW PLEASE:

Please send your protest to: althing@peace.is

MEDIA DISTRIBUTION: Please alert your media contacts.

UPDATE:

If I am still walking free later today, I will send you an update if we receive the information requested from the airlines. We can then more clearly determine if there is need for a follow up alert. Atlanta call themselves the airline for the airlines as they are one of the world's largest contract airline and fly under the banners of several internationally known carriers.

Yours truly Thor Magnusson
Peace 2000 Institute
thor@peace2000.org
Telephone: +354 557 1000
Fax: +354 552 2000

WARNING TO AIRLINE PASSENGERS (Posted Dec 1): Icelandair, Atlanta, Air France, Iberia, Virgin Atlantic, Malaysia Airlines, Saudia Airlines, Air Algerie, Excel Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia, Southern Winds Airlines, Nigeria Airways, Aeromar. These airlines may be using aircraft under contract to fly dangerous weapons and troops.

Hundreds of protest letters from all over the world are flooding email boxes of parliamentarians, civil servants and the media in Iceland. It´s really working!

See http://www.peace2000.org for more details




4.

'Saddam's bombmaker' is full of lies
by Imad Khadduri (Canada)
November 27, 2002

Iraqi nuclear scientist Imad Khadduri accuses Khidhir Hamza, Iraqi author of "Saddam's Bombmaker," of being full of lies. This book is being held up by the Bush administration and the media as proof that Hussein has nuclear weapons. However, other Iraqi nuclear scientists who have left Iraq are saying that Hamza is full of lies in order to pay back the CIA, who ferreted Hamza out of Iraq. This is a must read.

Full text: http://www.yellowtimes.org/article.php?sid=889




5.

From: EagleSkyDance@aol.com
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002
Subject: Fwd: Canadians to lead weapons inspections team into USA and Petition on Rooting Out Evil at Home

Canadians to lead weapons inspections team into USA

Toronto - November 21, 2002

A coalition of Canadian peace groups today announced their intention to send an international team of volunteer weapons inspectors into the United States later this winter. The coalition, Rooting Out Evil, are recruiting inspectors through their newly launched website, www.rootingoutevil.org. "Our action has been inspired by none other than George W. Bush," said Christy Ferguson, a spokesperson for the group. "The Bush administration has repeatedly declared that the most dangerous rogue nations are those that:

1) have massive stockpiles of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons;
2) ignore due process at the United Nations;
3) refuse to sign and honour international treaties; and
4) have come to power through illegitimate means.

"On the basis of President Bush's guidelines, it is clear that the current U.S. administration poses a great threat to global security," said Ferguson. "We're following Bush's lead and demanding that the U.S. grant our inspectors immediate and unfettered access to any site in the country - including all presidential compounds - so that we can identify the weapons of mass destruction in this rogue state," added David Langille.

Visitors to Rooting Out Evil's website are invited to sign on as honorary members of the weapons inspection team. Honorary inspectors can participate in the action, or they can simply lend the support of their name as they would on a petition.

The actual inspection team that crosses the border will be comprised of prominent individuals from Canada and other countries.

The Rooting Out Evil coalition includes Greenpeace Canada, the Centre for Social Justice, and the Toronto Committee Against War and Sanctions on Iraq, and is supported by American groups such as the National Network to End the War Against Iraq, Global Exchange and the US section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. They oppose the development, storage, and use of weapons of mass destruction by any state.

Check their site: http://www.rootingoutevil.org

For more information:

David Langille or Christy Ferguson
info@rootingoutevil.org
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Phone (306) 664-6071

Please Sign this Petition Today at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/864351314

Send to as many People as Possible...

Require Weapons Inspections at US Secret Military Bases

We, the undersigned, hereby appeal to the UN Security Council to pass a resolution to require the United States to open its secret military and research facilities for inspection.

Evidence has been mounting, from the world's leading viral scientists, chemical weapons experts, and former military officers at these facilities, that highly dangerous and experimental technologies and weapons are being developed at US secret bases, under the cloak of "National "Security."

The American people, including our representatives, can not gain access to these facilities, under threat of death (posted), and have no way of monitoring the threats to our security, health, and foreign relations. We can no longer trust our secret government agencies to tell us the truth.

If the UN Security Council does not intervene, and no action is taken to expose the deadly nuclear, biological, chemical, and energy weapons in various stages of deployment, then we believe the survival of humanity may be jeopardized.

The United States is not automatically the "good cowboy" simply because we have a pretty flag and a White House on our money, especially with secret elite societies having colonized our military and spy agencies for the past century, now having taken control of the Executive "Command in Chief."

We appeal to the international community to rise up with us and confront this military danger to our children and our future.

Sign it at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/864351314 and read all the comments posted by previous signatories.
Go at http://www.un.org/Docs/scinfo.htm for more info.


"This is not a dress rehearsal for the apocalypse. This is not a pseudo-millenium. This is the real thing folks. This is not a test. This is the last chance before things become so dissipated that there is no chance for cohesiveness."

- Terence McKenna

"It is in the inherent nature of human beings to yearn for freedom, equality and dignity. Brute force, no matter how strongly applied, can never subdue the basic desire for freedom and dignity."

- H. H. Dalai Lama

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."

- Samuel Adams

"We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

- Martin Luther King Jr.




6.

GULF WAR II: THE POSSIBILITIES

MoveOn Peace Bulletin, International Edition

November 27, 2002

Susan V. Thompson, Editor susan.thompson@moveon.org
Leah Appet, Editorial Assistant leah@moveon.org

Read online or subscribe at: http://www.peace.moveon.org/bulletin.php3#sub

CLIP

INTRODUCTION: STILL ON THE BRINK

Will there be a war on Iraq in the next few months? The UN has passed the US/UK resolution on Iraq. Some argue that this has blocked the possibility of war for the time being. Weapons inspectors have arrived in Baghdad, and the optimistic view is that Iraqi compliance with these inspections could yet stave off conflict.

Yet while the rest of the world continues to stress the importance of the inspections, the US remains intent on war. The Bush administration has made it clear that the inspections are little more than a delay before the inevitable full-blown attack. For example, the US very recently characterized Iraqi anti-aircraft fire as a "material breach" of the UN resolution, questioned the competence of Chief Inspector Hans Blix, and flat-out stated that even if the weapons inspectors find nothing, the US will still assume that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Nor have current preparations indicated any withdrawal of aggression. Intimidating numbers of US troops and equipment are now within striking distance of the Iraqi border. US and British planes have been flying missions over the Iraqi no-fly zones that are knocking out more important targets with more frequency. Diplomatic preparations for the war, which include negotiating participation in a US-led coalition, are being made in earnest. And US plans for a post-Hussein regime are apparently in the final stages of discussion.

Meanwhile, Dec. 8th is fast approaching. It is the deadline for the government of Iraq to release a complete report detailing its weapons capabilities. If the report is incomplete, late, or otherwise unsatisfactory, it is likely that Iraq will be declared to be in "material breach" of the UNSC resolution. The US may then draft a new resolution authorizing war to be presented to the UN, probably largely due to international pressure to once again ensure international consensus before acting. Or the US may argue that a new resolution is not needed, and launch a war on Iraq without UN approval. Some British reports have already pinpointed the official start date of a new Iraq war as Dec. 16.

So there are many indications that we remain on the brink of Gulf War II. As the gap between threat and action continues to close, a much clearer picture of the strategies, tactics, and potential consequences of the war is emerging. Based on current reporting and the statements of US officials, it is even possible to begin to piece together a general idea of what the war could look like, from start to finish. For example, it seems clear now that 200,000 to 260,000 US troops will be involved, including reserve troops; that plans for a post-Hussein regime all seem to include an immediate period of rule by a US military regime, headed by a US general; and that a new Gulf War could potentially kill 500,000 civilians, according to conservative estimates.

We are loath to accept the idea that an Iraq war is already a foregone conclusion and this bulletin is not meant as an argument for despair. Rather, now that we are ostensibly in the crucial last days before the war, we believe it is time to examine the war plans being laid in order to stop them.

Now more than ever, it's time to work for peace.

CLIP - Read the rest at http://www.peace.moveon.org/bulletin.php3




7.

THIS IS WHERE VIOLENCE AND THE SICK DESIRE TO GO TO WAR ALL BEGIN

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

November 28, 2002

The Gift of Mayhem

By BOB HERBERT

In The New York Times

Toys for tots. Not.

Forward Command Post is one of the weirder toys being marketed for kids this holiday season. It's essentially a bombed-out doll house, complete with smashed furniture, broken railings and bullet holes in the walls. This twisted variation on a traditional childhood theme is manufactured by a company called Ever Sparkle Industrial Toys and is sold by mainstream retailers, including Toys "R" Us and J. C. Penney. It's being recommended for children 5 years old and up.

Forward Command Post is at the top of this year's "Dirty Dozen" list, an annual compilation of "toys to avoid" that is put out by the Lion & Lamb Project, a group in Bethesda, Md., that opposes the marketing of violent toys to children. The group noted that the Forward Command Post playhouse "comes with dozens of 'accessories,' including a machine gun, rocket launcher, magazine belt and explosives." For 5-year-olds.

Also on the list is a video game called "Burnout 2: Point of Impact." This is an auto racing game - rated appropriate for 6-year-olds - that features spectacularly gruesome crashes. An ad showed a man's head smashing through a windshield. "The last thing to go through your mind," the ad says, "will be your [behind]."

Someone needs to get a grip here, and I don't mean the kids with their hands on the joysticks. Any adult who thinks this stuff is appropriate for a 5- or 6-year-old is a lunatic.

In terms of their approach to the world, a 5-year-old playing with a traditional doll house and a 5-year-old playing with the ruins of the Forward Command Post are at two fundamentally different starting places. The biggest-selling video game over the last couple of years has been a PlayStation 2 game called Grand Theft Auto III. It actually carries a voluntary "M" rating, which means it's not recommended for kids under 17. But teens have no problem buying "M"-rated games, and they love the various incarnations of Grand Theft Auto.

This is a game in which all boundaries of civilized behavior have vanished. You get to shoot whomever you want, including cops. You get to beat women to death with baseball bats. You get to have sex with prostitutes and then kill them. (And get your money back.) The game is a phenomenal seller. At close to $50 each, millions of copies are sold annually. The latest version, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, is expected to be one of the biggest sellers this Christmas.

I don't for a moment think these games should be banned. But I do think that millions of American adults have lost all sense of what are appropriate forms of play for children and teenagers. And the country as a whole behaves as though there is no real-world price to pay for a culture that has so thoroughly desensitized us to violence that it takes a terror attack or a series of suburban sniper killings to really get our attention.

Rockstar Games, which created the Grand Theft Auto series, has come out with another extraordinarily violent game called State of Emergency. It's got rioting in the streets, looting, individual acts of extreme sadism and, of course, endless gory murders. The player gets to be part of it all, killing and maiming at will.

One online enthusiast said, "You could run down the escalator, then wait at the bottom . . . and watch as you blast some guy or gal's head off, watch them stagger about a bit before they collapse, then pick up their severed head and beat them up with it some more." A reviewer on Amazon.com called the game "an enjoyable cacophony of senseless violence."

State of Emergency will no doubt be a hot gift item for youngsters this year.

Reading about State of Emergency reminded me of the riots in Los Angeles 10 years ago, an explosion of violence and inhumanity that did not strike me at the time as the raw material for fun and games. It still doesn't. Even now the murderous violence in parts of Los Angeles is so intense that decent residents often feel imprisoned in their homes. Killers have been running amok in the streets. The murder rate is rising. It's not a video game. And it's not fun.

The building blocks of violent behavior are dehumanization and desensitization. The lessons begin at a very early age.




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