MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
April 28, 2003
Heroes of Our Times Series #3: The Voices of the Peacemakers
Here is some very interesting material for you to begin this week.
Enjoy and share ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
This compilation is archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/Heroes3.htm
Check also my latest Media Compilation #133: The Saint, The Anti-Christ And The War Profiteers + SPECIAL NORTH KOREA SECTION archived at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Archives2003/MediaCompilation133.htm
1. Feedback on Meditation Focus #84: Persevering in Service to The Light
2. The War Business
3. Comments on the Aftermath of the War on Iraq
4. A Kinder, Gentler Patriotism
5. 13-year-old adding college degree to long resume
6. The Iraq war is a continuation of the 9-11 and Afghanistan Wag The Dog
Green Party of the United States
NEVER AGAIN? ONLY IF WE MAKE THE MOST OUR POLITICAL DIVERSITY
by Ben Manski, Co-Chair, Green Party of the United States.
(...) In sum, we are in the midst, not the beginning, of a protracted war of corporate colonialism, waged on many fronts. Long after the ruins of Baghdad buildings and markets have ceased smoldering, tens of thousands of Americans in uniform will still be serving in active duty, allocated to the maintenance of the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and whichever other countries the Pentagon invades next. We're in this for the long haul. If the anti-war movement is to eventually reverse the Pentagon's post-Cold War triumphalist march, we will need to make appropriate use of every effective tool available to us, and we will need to develop a long-term comprehensive strategy for success. As a global political party and social movement rooted in common values of non-violence, grassroots democracy, ecology, and social justice, the Green Party is a committed partner in the movement for world peace. Green elected officials in the United States were among the first to introduce anti-war resolutions at the local level, sponsoring "Cities for Peace" style resolutions on 25 city, county, school, and state elective bodies. Greens across the world, in North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, Europe, and Africa, were among the first to swell the streets of our cities in protest against the invasion of Iraq, as well as against the invasions of Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. Greens serving in high office in Germany, Finland, Belgium, and other countries worked effectively to keep their governments, and the European Union, opposed to the invasion of Iraq. The Green Party has made some important contributions to the anti-war movement; we will never stop contributing our utmost.
When Did Poisoning Foreign Farmers Become US National Security Policy? (March 7)
While discussions about the long term effects of Monsanto's Agent Orange are underway in Vietnam now, another of the company's chemical brews is beingsprayed on Colombia by the corporation Dyncorp under US government contract as part of the US-backed Plan Colombia. Dyncorp in turn is being sued in a class action suit in US federal court, filed September 11, 2001, by plantiffs representing up to 10,000 Ecuadorian indians living along the Ecuador/Colombia border in the Province of Sucumbios, who have received fallout from the extremely dangerous chemicals being used ostensibly to kill coca and poppy plants. Citing horrific examples of fevers, diarrhea, skin rashes, eye irritations, body aches, outbreaks of sores, vomiting, bleeding from the intestines, even 4 dead children in the area, not to mention all the dead dogs, cats, horses, pigs, cows, corn, coffee, yucca and other crops, the subsistence farmers, teachers, and other plaintiffs want the spraying into Ecuador stopped, economic recompense from Dyncorp for injuries sustained by themselves and their environment, and medical attention. (...) "This poison does not know the difference between corn and cocaine." Made up of glyphosate, the generic term for Monsanto's herbicide Round-Up, and a surfactant to make the herbicide stick to the plants, the spray used in Colombia has never been tested on human beings to gauge its effects, according to Beers' testimony. CLIP
I FULLY CONCUR...
From: "Anna Ferrero" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Meditation Focus #84: Persevering in Service to The Light
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003
I believe that to have a Meditation Focus every Sunday is very important and can help our Earth. And I would like to add my friend's suggestion here. It will create an enormous shift - if all of us each morning as we wake up and still are in a relaxed space just for 5 minutes to concentrate on Love, Peace, Harmony, Creativity and Joy. So if we do it in our own local time - for the whole day around the globe there will be a belt of very light energy.
Love, Peace and Light to you, and thank you again for your Service.
THIS IS A MOST EXCELLENT, WELL RESEARCHED AND VITALLY IMPORTANT ARTICLE. NOT ONLY DOES DOUGLAS MATTERN DESCRIBE VERY WELL THE HYPER-WEAPONIZATION PROBLEM OUR WORLD FACES BUT HE ALSO OUTLINES SOME ELEMENTS OF SOLUTIONS NOTABLY THROUGH THE CREATION OF A THIRD GENERATION UN, A GOAL THE ENTIRE WORLD MUST URGENTLY SET UPON TO ACCOMPLISH.
From: "Doug Mattern" email@example.com>
Subject: The War Business
Date: 15 Apr 2003
Below is the latest article from the Association of World Citizens. It is OK to reprint the article which was published by Liberal Slant. Stay tuned to the AWC website for articles and news items from around the world: http://www.worldcitizens.org
Douglas Mattern, President, Association of World Citizens firstname.lastname@example.org>
The War Business
Everything About it is Appalling
By: Douglas Mattern - 04/13/03
With apology to Irving Berlin:
There's no business like war business, like no business so low
Everything about it is appalling, everything that greed will allow
Nowhere to you get that sickening feeling as when they're selling arms like now
There's no people like war people who smile when they make dough
Whether selling guns or tanks, it's just more money in their banks
Which keeps politicians in their ranks, so they can go on with the show
And what a show!
We are now in the third year of the new century and we stand bewildered by what happened to the wonderful expressions of hope and joy that were expressed in the millennium celebrations. Today the world is a mirror image of the 20th century, which was the most brutal and destructive in human history. A major factor is the war business that promotes militarism and conflict while producing enormous financial profit. A tragic indicator of the values of our civilization is that "There's no business like war business."
Just think of all the missiles, bombs, etc. that will be replaced for profit by the armament industry after the current U.S. military assault on Iraq. In the first 14 days the U.S. dropped over 8,700 bombs, including more than 3,000 cruise missiles. This includes cluster bombs, which is one of the most barbaric weapons ever created by the human mind.
Cruise missiles cost over $500,000 each. The Apache Longbow Helicopter costs about 22 million dollars each. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle costs over 1.2 million dollars. Each B-1 Stealth bomber costs over $2 billion.
Today it's Iraq on the receiving end of U.S. bombing. This country seems to have a proclivity for bombing small developing countries. Over the past several decades the list includes: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Cuba, Indonesia, Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Bosnia, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Congo, and Iraq the first time around.
Since 1992, the U.S. exported over $142 billion dollars worth of weapons to states around the world. This macabre world market is dominated by the U.S., which accounted for nearly half of all weapon sales in 2001, more than $12 billion dollars for U.S. manufacturers. The Center for International Policy estimates that about 80 percent of U.S. arms exports to the developing world go to non-democratic regimes.
Of the active conflicts in 1999, the U.S. supplied weapons or military training to parties in 39 of 42 conflicts. Other leading nations in this "merchants of death" business include Russia, France, Great Britain, China, Germany, and to a lesser degree, Sweden, Israel, Belgium, Belarus, Italy, North Korea, and more.
For U.S. companies, even larger profit is in the annual Pentagon budget.
Over $60 billion was allocated to purchase new weapons for 2003. The Pentagon spends over $30 billion annually in research and development for new weapons.
The U.S. armament industry is the second most subsidized industry after agriculture.
The administration's FY 2004 military budget is a big increase over 2003 at nearly $400 billion when including funding for nuclear weapons that is under the Department of Energy (DOE) Budget. Moreover, military spending is scheduled to increase over the coming years with projections of a $502 billion budget in FY 2009.
Steven Kosiak, director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, says, "We've come to the point where we're spending more money than we spent during the Cold War." This money is to pay for a new generation weapons, including the militarization of space, which is a dream of never ending profits for the weapons industry.
The top lobbyist for the 2000 elections was Lockheed Martin at $2.8 million.
In 2001, Lockheed-Martin had $14 billion in sales of weapons to the U.S. and foreign buyers. Moreover, Lockheed Martin recently received a $3.5 billion contract to sell F-16 jet fighters to Poland. As a new member of NATO, Poland, along with Hungary and the Czech Republic, agreed to modernize their military and purchase new weapons. For the Lockheed sale, the U.S. Government loaned Poland $3.8 billion. The expansion of NATO is a vehicle to sell U.S. weapons, and not surprising, the weapons industry is the biggest lobbyist for NATO expansion.
The small arms trade is also a lucrative business, totaling between 4-6 billion dollars per year. The leading exporters in terms of value are the U.S. and Russia. But this business is spread around the world with over 1,000 companies in some 98 countries involved in the production of small arms and/or ammunition. Small arms kill over 500,000 people a year in conflicts.
The violence and obsession with armaments goes down to rifles and handguns, with the U.S. leading the parade. There are more than 65 million handguns in the U.S., and some 192 million in total firearms. In 1998 alone, dealers sold an estimated 4.4 million guns in the U.S., nearly two million of them handguns. The result was 12,102 people murdered by firearms.
The nuclear weapons industry may soon get a new boost as the Bush team is threatening to resume nuclear testing at the Nevada underground site to develop new nuclear weapons, including "bunker busters" for use against hardened underground targets.
The Cold War ended over a decade ago, but the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports the world nuclear stockpile in 2002 totaled over 30,000 warheads. In addition to deployed nuclear warheads, thousands more are held in reserve and are not counted in official declarations. Moreover, thousands of U.S. and Russian warheads are on a hair-trigger alert, ready for launch in a few minutes notice. The Center for Defense Information reports the United States spends $27 billion annually to prepare to fight a nuclear war.
Today the war business is in full swing with thousands of scientists and engineers going to work daily with the task of building or developing new weapons, including space-based weapons that would turn the heavens above into a new source of terrorism for humanity below.
At the same time, UN Secretary General Koffi Annan reminds us that half of humanity lives in poverty, existing on an average of $2 a day. The Arias Foundation reports that world military spending increased from $798 billion in 2000 to $839 billion in 2001. Half of the world's governments spend more on the military than for health care. This expenditure is a monumental waste of our wealth, resources, and intellectual talent for the means of destruction and astonishing profits for the armament companies. The war business is the world's ultimate criminal activity.
We are at a pivotal point in history, thus the decision by the U.S. and Britain to wage war on Iraq, rather than working tirelessly for a civilized resolution through the United Nations, is a step backward to the barbarism of 20th century warfare. Time is crucial! It's imperative that we do all that is necessary to initiate a dramatic change to end the violence and war that now threatens the very fabric of our civilization.
This requires that we pull down the curtain on the "architects of destruction" and put the war business permanently out-of-business. And it means ending the foolish quest to establish an American empire. We must put our energy and priority into strengthening and building a new United Nations. As former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali puts it, a third generation UN.
The first generation, the League of Nations, represented governments only. The current second generation UN is also comprised of governments which have the power, but it also includes a tremendous input and dependence on Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). The third generation UN must be democratic and also include the representation of the world's people and NGOs, and with some corporate responsibility. This could include a two-tier Parliament. One tier comprised of governments, and the second tier comprised of civil society.
The imperative change in the third generation UN must be the ability to resolve conflicts between nations and peoples through the framework of world law. There is no workable alternative to end the war system with all of its political, economic, and cultural elements.
"The age of nations is past, the task before us now, if we would survive, is to shake off our ancient prejudices and build the earth."
- Teilhard de Chardin
Douglas Mattern is president of the Association of World Citizens (AWC); a San Francisco based international peace organization with branches in 50 countries, and with UN NGO status.
The website for AWC is http://www.worldcitizens.org/
Douglas is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant.
Sources for material in this article include: Center for Defense Information (CDI)
Federation of American Scientists (FAS)
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIRPI)
United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
United Nations Department for Disarmament
U.S. State Department
Find more articles by Douglas Mattern in the Liberal Slant Archives at
The views expressed herein are the writers' own
and do not necessarily reflect those of Liberal Slant
THIS COURAGEOUS AND STRIDENT MORAL VOICE SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING FOR ALL HUMAN BEINGS ON THIS PLANET, LEST WE ALL FORGET THE MURDEROUS CRIMES JUST COMMITTED IN IRAQ UNDER THE PRETENSE OF LIBERATING THIS PEOPLE AND DENYING A FORMER AMERICAN PUPPET DICTATOR THE USE OF NON-EXISTENT (so far) WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION...
John Pilger: The unthinkable is becoming normal. Do not forget the horror The saving of one little boy must not be a cover for the crime of this war
Independent (London) 20 April 2003
Last Sunday, seated in the audience at the Bafta television awards ceremony, I was struck by the silence. Here were many of the most influential members of the liberal elite, the writers, producers, dramatists, journalists and managers of our main source of information, television; and not one broke the silence. It was as though we were disconnected from the world outside: a world of rampant, rapacious power and great crimes committed in our name by our government and its foreign master. Iraq is the "test case", says the Bush regime, which every day sails closer to Mussolini's definition of fascism: the merger of a militarist state with corporate power. Iraq is a test case for western liberals, too. As the suffering mounts in that stricken country, with Red Cross doctors describing "incredible'' levels of civilian casualties, the choice of the next conquest, Syria or Iran, is "debated'' on the BBC, as if it were a World Cup venue.
The unthinkable is being normalised. The American essayist Edward Herman wrote: "There is usually a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set of individuals ... others working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalise the unthinkable for the general public.''
Herman wrote that following the 1991 Gulf War, whose nocturnal images of American bulldozers burying thousands of teenage Iraqi conscripts, many of them alive and trying to surrender, were never shown. Thus, the slaughter was normalised. A study released just before Christmas 1991 by the Medical Educational Trust revealed that more 200,000 Iraqi men, women and children were killed or died as a direct result of the American-led attack. This was barely reported, and the homicidal nature of the "war'' never entered public consciousness in this country, let alone America.
The Pentagon's deliberate destruction of Iraq's civilian infrastructure, such as power sources and water and sewage plants, together with the imposition of an embargo as barbaric as a medieval siege, produced a degree of suffering never fully comprehended in the West. Documented evidence was available, volumes of it; by the late 1990s, more than 6,000 infants were dying every month, and the two senior United Nations officials responsible for humanitarian relief in Iraq, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned, protesting the embargo's hidden agenda. Halliday called it "genocide". As of last July, the United States, backed by the Blair government, was wilfully blocking humanitarian supplies worth $5.4bn, everything from vaccines and plasma bags to simple painkillers, all of which Iraq had paid for and the Security Council had approved.
Last month's attack by the two greatest military powers on a demoralised, sick and largely defenceless population was the logical extension of this barbarism. This is now called a "victory", and the flags are coming out. Last week, the submarine HMS Turbulent returned to Plymouth, flying the Jolly Roger, the pirates' emblem. How appropriate. This nuclear-powered machine fired some 30 American Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraq. Each missile cost
700,000: a total of 21m. That alone would provide desperate Basra with food, water and medicines.
Imagine: what did Commander Andrew McKendrick's 30 missiles hit? How many people did they kill or maim in a population nearly half of which are children? Maybe, Commander, you targeted a palace with gold taps in the bathroom, or a "command and control facility", as the Americans and Geoffrey Hoon like to lie. Or perhaps each of your missiles had a sensory device that could distinguish George Bush's "evil-doers'' from toddlers. What is certain is that your targets did not include the Ministry of Oil.
When the invasion began, the British public was called upon to "support'' troops sent illegally and undemocratically to kill people with whom we had no quarrel. "The ultimate test of our professionalism'' is how Commander McKendrick describes an unprovoked attack on a nation with no submarines, no navy and no air force, and now with no clean water and no electricity and, in many hospitals, no anaesthetic with which to amputate small limbs shredded by shrapnel. I have seen elsewhere how this is done, with a gag in the patient's mouth.
One child, Ali Ismaeel Abbas, the boy who lost his parents and his arms in a missile attack, has been flown to a modern hospital in Kuwait. Publicity has saved him. Tony Blair says he will "do everything he can'' to help him. This must be the ultimate insult to the memory of all the children of Iraq who have died violently in Blair's war, and as a result of the embargo that Blair enthusiastically endorsed. The saving of Ali substitutes a media spectacle of charity for our right to knowledge of the extent of the crime committed against the young in our name. Let us now see the pictures of the "truckload of dozens of dismembered women and children'' that the Red Cross doctors saw.
As Ali was flown to Kuwait, the Americans were preventing Save The Children from sending a plane with medical supplies into northern Iraq, where 40,000 are desperate. According to the UN, half the population of Iraq has only enough food to last a few weeks. The head of the World Food Programme says that 40 million people around the world are now seriously at risk because of the distraction of the humanitarian disaster in Iraq.
And this is "liberation"? No, it is bloody conquest, witnessed by America's mass theft of Iraq's resources and natural wealth. Ask the crowds in the streets, for whom the fear and hatred of Saddam Hussein have been transferred, virtually overnight, to Bush and Blair and perhaps to "us''. Such is the magnitude of Blair's folly and crime that the contrivance of his vindication is urgent. As if speaking for the vindicators, Andrew Marr, the BBC's political editor, reported: "[Blair] said they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right.'' What constitutes a bloodbath to the BBC's man in Downing Street? Did the murder of the 3,000 people in New York's Twin Towers qualify? If his answer is yes, then the thousands killed in Iraq during the past month is a bloodbath. One report says that more than 3,000 Iraqis were killed within 24 hours or less. Or are the vindicators saying that the lives of one set of human beings have less value than those recognisable to us? Devaluation of human life has always been essential to the pursuit of imperial power, from the Congo to Vietnam, from Chechnya to Iraq.
If, as Milan Kundera wrote, "the struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting", then we must not forget. We must not forget Blair's lies about weapons of mass destruction which, as Hans Blix now says, were based on "fabricated evidence". We must not forget his callous attempts to deny that an American missile killed 62 people in a Baghdad market. And we must not forget the reason for the bloodbath. Last September, in announcing its National Security Strategy, Bush served notice that America intended to dominate the world by force. Iraq was indeed the "test case". The rest was a charade.
We must not forget that a British defence secretary has announced, for the first time, that his government is prepared to launch an attack with nuclear weapons. He echoes Bush, of course. An ascendant mafia now rules the United States, and the Prime Minister is in thrall to it. Together, they empty noble words - liberation, freedom and democracy - of their true meaning. The unspoken truth is that behind the bloody conquest of Iraq is the conquest of us all: of our minds, our humanity and our self-respect at the very least. If we say and do nothing, victory over us is assured.
Amy Goodman Interview with Robert Fisk (April 22)
Goodman: After spending a month in Iraq, could you describe your thoughts?
Saddam Was key in early CIA plot
U.S. forces in Baghdad might now be searching high and low for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but in the past Saddam was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism and they used him as their instrument for more than 40 years, according to former U.S. intelligence diplomats and intelligence officials. CLIP
Yes, U.S. Helped Iraq Get Chemical, Biological Weapons (April 20)
(...) Yet even after Saddam began gassing his own people in Northern Iraq, the flow of goods continued. In November 1989, Bush approved $1 billion in loan guarantees for Iraq in 1990, and from July 18, 1989, to Aug. 1, 1990, the U.S. approved $4.8 million in advanced technology sales. CLIP
From: David Allen Stringer email@example.com>
Sent: 18 April 2003
Subject: Comments on the Aftermath of the War on Iraq
Most of these forwarded messages are now coming in from the Anti-War Resistance in the USA (with the exception of Jean Hudon of the Earth Rainbow Network in Quebec) while the mood in Europe/UK seems to be more in the nature of a post-mortem or "coroner's report", as if it was really all over, - short of mopping up the mess and one hell of lot of peoples lives in Iraq will have been messed up for a long time to come!
Our TV News says that so far this war has cost the US government $20 billion! - well, are they also going to foot the bill for the damage their weapons (of mass-devastation) have done as other consequences of how they have gone about it - like neglect to guard hospitals which need everything replacing as well (damage thru negligence)?
The War is not over for our friends & comrades, the Peace People of America, as, they are still lumbered with that "Pathocratic Bush Government" (as Mutanex expresses it) that is just as likely to do the same again, on the next flimsy excuse, bleeding & weakening their country's economy, reputation, principles and democracy - so the onus is on us all, everywhere else in the World to continue our Peace Militancy in solidarity with them. There are plenty more cluster bombs & missiles stocked up in its arsenal for a few more Armageddon's yet!
Whether we like it or not, almost by default, with the disintegration of the Power and economic health of the former Soviet Union, except for the European Union, the US Federal Government (to differentiate this from the other regional State administrations and the many & varied peoples of the USA) has become the biggest & most influential super-power in the world, almost by historical DEFAULT, with FAR TOO MUCH POWER concentrated on its Presidency & Associated corrupt vested interests. This has been the case for a long time now, but, previously, fortunately for us all, MOST presidents have been reasonable & sane, wise, intelligent & responsible people (if not ideal - alas, we all have human weaknesses, as Bill Clinton might have said).
It only took someone like Bush & his kabal to come along to open up the full potential dangers of this situation - so that, in the long run, the only ultimate guarantee of World Peace, will be a radical change within the USA itself, in both the form of its democracy (it is not democratic enough!) and the xenophobic attitudes of its redneck rump - hence our long-term need for solidarity with those who have sent out these messages to forward to the rest of the World - which usually only sees the politicians, with their "spin" on the Media!
La Lotta Continua - ("The Struggle Continues')
Emmanuel Petrakis, our Universal Alliance coordinator in Athens, reports that:
"According to the Greek Press, the toxic pollution cloud (radio-active) in Iraq covers 12.500 sq. kms. Some of these radio-active elements take three generations to dissolve. So we can expect during that time a sharp increase in cancer, leucaemia & abnormal births for those living there, including US and other troopsl business concerns/embassy staff" - depleted Uranium? It appears from this that the final toll of civilian deaths from this war cannot yet be counted!
Of course, also, in Athens, the anti-war cause was marred by the usual crowd of nutty violent anarchists (not all anarchists are violent - some are "Christian Tolstoyans" or "Ghandian" or other anarcho-pacifists, dedicated to a non-violent society) demonstrating outside the European Summit and ending up throwing petrol bombs. Such demonstrators are as "neanderthal" as the "rednecks" of the US Government when the revolution we seek is a spiritual-ethical one that will finally establish non-violence as the ruler from within the hearts and minds of all in one united humanity self-expression of ones anger, sure but not if it damages others or our Peace Messages, besides which, anger, in itself, is a form of emotional violence, the inward root of manifest physical violence, to be kept restrained, even if, we being human, it cannot be totally avoided. After 9/11 a lot of Americans were angry this has helped to fuel the pathocracy of the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq since.
The real basic conflicts, now, in the 21st century are not so much between Nation-States (or even coalitions of Nation-States) but between the linked forces of violence and the ever more emergent spiritual-ethical moral forces of non-violence, thus, of the people who now support the cause of Peace, many are people who have previously not done so, as always did the old-fashioned Peace Activists the question which of these sides are you on, either by intention or default?
David Allen Stringer
Vision Quester News Agency &
HERE IS A PERSPECTIVE WITH WHICH I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE
A Kinder, Gentler Patriotism
By Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn is a professor emeritus at Boston University and author of "The People's History of the United States."
April 13, 2003
At some point soon the United States will declare a military victory in Iraq. As a patriot, I will not celebrate. I will mourn the dead - the American GIs, and also the Iraqi dead, of which there will be many, many more. I will mourn the Iraqi children who may not die, but who will be blinded, crippled, disfigured, or traumatized, like the bombed children of Afghanistan who, as reported by American visitors, lost their power of speech.
We will get precise figures for the American dead, but not for the Iraqis. Recall Colin Powell after the first Gulf War, when he reported the "small" number of U.S. dead, and when asked about the Iraqi dead, Powell replied: "That is really not a matter I am terribly interested in."
As a patriot, contemplating the dead GI's, should I comfort myself (as, understandably, their families do) with the thought: "They died for their country?" But I would be lying to myself. Those who die in this war will not die for their country. They will die for their government.
The distinction between dying for our country and dying for your government is crucial in understanding what I believe to be the definition of patriotism in a democracy. According to the Declaration of Independence - the fundamental document of democracy - governments are artificial creations, established by the people, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed", and charged by the people to ensure the equal right of all to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Furthermore, as the Declaration says, "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it."
When a government recklessly expends the lives of its young for crass motives of profit and power (always claiming that its motives are pure and moral ("Operation Just Cause" was the invasion of Panama and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in the present instance) it is violating its promise to the country. It is the country that is primary - the people, the ideals of the sanctity of human life and the promotion of liberty. War is almost always (one might find rare instances of true self defense) a breaking of those promises. It does not enable the pursuit of happiness but brings despair and grief.
Mark Twain, having been called a "traitor" for criticizing the U.S. invasion of the Philippines, derided what he called "monarchical patriotism." He said: "The gospel of the monarchical patriotism is: 'The King can do no wrong.' We have adopted it with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: 'Our country, right or wrong!' We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had: the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when he believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism."
If patriotism in the best sense (not in the monarchical sense) is loyalty to the principles of democracy, then who was the true patriot, Theodore Roosevelt, who applauded a massacre by American soldiers of 600 Filipino men, women and children on a remote Philippine island, or Mark Twain, who denounced it?
With the war in Iraq won, shall we revel in American military power and - against the history of modern empires - insist that the American empire will be beneficent?
Our own history shows something different. It begins with what was called, in our high school history classes, "westward expansion" - a euphemism for the annihilation or expulsion of the Indian tribes inhabiting the continent - all in the name of "progress" and "civilization." It continues with the expansion of American power into the Caribbean at the turn of the century, then into the Philippines, and then repeated marine invasions of Central America and long military occupations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
After World War II, Henry Luce, owner of Time, Life and Fortune, spoke of "the American Century", in which this country would organize the world "as we see fit." Indeed, the expansion of American power continued, too often supporting military dictatorships in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, because they were friendly to American corporations and the American government.
The American record does not justify confidence in its boast that it will bring democracy to Iraq. It will be painful to acknowledge that our GIs in Iraq were fighting not for democracy but for the expansion of the American empire, for the greed of the oil cartels, for the political ambitions of the president. And when they come home, they will find that their veterans' benefits have been cut to pay for the machines of war. They will find the military budget growing at the expense of health, education and the needs of children. The Bush budget even proposes cutting the number of free school lunches.
I suggest that patriotic Americans who care for their country might act on behalf of a different vision. Do we want to be feared for our military might or respected for our dedication to human rights? With the war in Iraq over, if indeed it is really over, we need to ask what kind of a country will we be. Is it important that we be a military superpower? Is it not exactly that that makes us a target for terrorism? Perhaps we could become instead a humanitarian superpower.
Should we not begin to redefine patriotism? We need to expand it beyond that narrow nationalism which has caused so much death and suffering. If national boundaries should not be obstacles to trade - we call it globalization - should they also not be obstacles to compassion and generosity?
Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own? In that case, war, which in our time is always an assault on children, would be unacceptable as a solution to the problems of the world. Human ingenuity would have to search for other ways.
Tom Paine used the word "patriot" to describe the rebels resisting imperial rule. He also enlarged the idea of patriotism when he said: "My country is the world. My countrymen are mankind."
A MOST AMAZING HUMAN BEING!!
Forwarded by "Mark Graffis" firstname.lastname@example.org>
13-year-old adding college degree to long resume
ASHLAND, Virginia (AP) - He was solving math problems at 14 months, reading and correcting adults' grammar by 2 - the same age he decided to become a vegetarian.
He was explaining photosynthesis to kindergarten classmates at 5. He breezed through 10 grades of school in three years, graduated with honors from high school at 9, founded an international youth advocacy organization, met with prime ministers and presidents, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Twice.
Now, 13-year-old Gregory Robert Smith is about to add another line to his resume: College graduate. Greg will receive his bachelor's degree in mathematics May 31 from Randolph-Macon College, a private Methodist school 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Richmond. Greg, who was elected Phi Beta Kappa, is graduating cum laude.
He has not yet said where he will attend graduate school. He plans to earn Ph.Ds in math, aerospace engineering, political science and biomedical engineering, and pursue multiple careers while continuing to champion nonviolence and children's rights.
Among his goals is to become president of the United States. "It would give me the opportunity to help so many people,'' Greg said in an interview in the campus office where Janet Smith spends her days managing her son's always-packed daily schedule. Greg's arrival at Randolph-Macon in September 1999 drew so much attention that he had to schedule two news conferences - one before classes and one at the end of the day.
School officials expect a similar crush on graduation day. Since that first day of college, Greg has shot up 13 inches (33 centimeters) - "5 feet 7 (1.7 meters),'' he says proudly - but his maturity and personal growth are much harder to quantify, said his mentor, psychology professor Michael Wessells. "I don't have a measuring stick for it,'' Wessells said. "He has come much farther in three years than anyone I've ever known.'' Greg already was well ahead of his classmates intellectually when he arrived, Wessells said.
But the cheerful lad with the distinctive bowl-shaped mop of golden hair lacked life experience and cultural understanding. That is where he has made the greatest strides, Wessells said. "He has boundless curiosity, a tremendous sense of values around peace and social justice, and great motivation. His is a mind that should not be straitjacketed.'' Greg could have entered a larger and more well-known college. But Janet and Bob Smith liked the small classes at the 1,100-student school and what seemed a safe environment for their son, who received his first threatening note - likely from a jealous classmate - when he was 8. An adult is always by his side, often a campus security officer. Janet Smith said concerns that her son has missed out on his childhood are misplaced.
Greg has charted a course that makes him happy, and that includes not only advanced learning but also playing sports with children his own age. "I feel I've lived the life of a normal child,'' Greg said. "I've just been given so many incredible opportunities.''
Among those opportunities was attending Randolph-Macon on full scholarship. However, much of his energy has been spent working with the Richmond-based Christian Children's Fund and traveling as the founder of International Youth Advocates, which champions nonviolence and human rights. He visited Kenya, where he was a guest at the signing of a peace treaty between warring tribes, and witnessed the despair of crack-addicted children in the slums of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has met with Mikhail Gorbachev, Jordan's Queen Noor and Nobel peace laureates.
"He's traveling in circles very few humans ever attain, let alone 13-year-olds,'' Wessells said. Greg earns money on the speaking circuit to support his philanthropic work. He writes his own speeches, which he delivers with the polish of a veteran campaigner.
"When I was very young,'' Greg says in one videotaped speech, drawing laughter from the crowd of about 11,000. He waits for silence and begins again: "When I was very young and witnessed the video accounts of children suffering from disease or malnutrition, separated from their families or subjected to violence, I knew I had to act. I was just 7 years old then, but I was certain that there must be a way that I could make a difference.''
Greg continues to advocate for children and peace, which he said go hand-in-hand. "The first step to peace is education. That's one reason I'm working so hard,'' Greg said.
Greg's lessons outside the classroom included what Wessells called "an encounter with the school of hard knocks'' at the United Nations' first children's summit last May.
He was a delegate to the fractious meeting, which ended with approval of a compromise children's rights document that pleased virtually no one. "I saw firsthand how countries that didn't want to deal with these issues sabotaged the document,'' he said.
"He was quite upset by the level of political rhetoric and all the self-serving positions that were taken,'' Wessells said. "It was a bitter pill for him, but that's part of growing up. He didn't lose his idealism, but tempered it with a better sense of reality.'' - AP
CLIP - Several heart-wrenching pictures of bleeding Iraqi children are first displayed...
The Iraq war is a continuation of the 9-11 and Afghanistan Wag The Dog.
"Cui prodest scelus, is fecit - The one who derives advantage from the crime is the one most likely to have committed it."
There are two classes of motives, the ones that serve the self interest of George Bush Jr. and the altruistic motives used to sell the war to the public. I contend there is not a compassionate or altruistic bone in George Bush's body, and these altruistic motives are 100% hypocrisy.
Bush compassionately wanted to liberate the Iraqis from the evil Saddam Hussein. US soldiers planted the American flag on Iraqi soil signifying conquering not liberation. Bush bombed the water treatment plant in Basra in order to kill children and civilians. This is hardly the work of a compassionate man. His minions on the net scream "Kill all the sand niggers" and "Kill all the sand maggots" These people claimed to be liberating Iraq but they surely don't sound as if they valued the lives of Iraqis in the least. Bush claimed self defense. Saddam had nukes and he had to be disarmed. Bush was caught three times perjuring the USA an the UN presenting phony evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Inspectors found nothing after 300+ inspections. Saddam has not used nukes even after the US attacked, so it seems unlikely he has them. He may have a little poison gas left that he bought on credit with Rumsfeld's and Cheney's blessing from a Florida company prior to Gulf War I. Inspectors destroyed 95% of Iraq's remaining weapons at the end of Gulf War I. Iraq was never able to kill even a single American in 12 years of sanction bombings. If Iraq has such weapons, why don't they use them? They won't even use them when attacked, so surely they would not have used them had they been left alone.
Iraq is sitting on $20 trillion in oil reserves. Bush wants to control them, guarantee low oil prices, and cut out the French, Germans, Russians and Chinese who were buying the oil prior to the war. The economic victims of the war are France, Germany, Russia and China who will have their oil supply stolen by the USA. $20 trillion is an astounding amount of money, $70,000 for every man woman and child in the USA, though of course only a handful of billionaire oil investors will get their hands on it. Bush has already given Halliburton, Cheney's company, the go ahead to rebuild Iraq's oil equipment. He did this without going to public tender. Iraq will be paying through the nose to Cheney to repair the damage that Bush did. Talk about adding insult to injury. The Iraq war has been in the works since 1996. Cheney even tried to sell the idea to Clinton. Various key players even wrote books about their imperialist plans long before Bush took office. An Israeli Hebrew language newspaper claimed that 1/2 of Democratic campaign contributions and 1/3 of the Republican ones come from the pro-Israel lobby. Bush was bribed to fight a war on behalf of Israel. The United States gives an astounding amount of money in foreign aid to Israel in the form of money, weapons (which Israel sometimes sells to the Chinese) and loan guarantees which Israel has always defaulted on. Bush's ratings in the polls shot way up. War always helps boost an unpopular or incompetent president's popularity. It takes the spotlight off his scandals and incompetence with the economy. It provides an excuse to further curtail civil liberties. Bush has closed down websites that opposed him and even assassinated the entire ITV news team under cover of the war.
The Defense Department claims 12 nations with nuclear weapons programs, 13 with biological weapons, 16 with chemical weapons, and 28 with ballistic missiles as existing and emerging threats to the United States. But only one of those countries sits atop the second largest oil reserves in the world. [Iraq] ~ Charles Peña, Senior Defense Policy Fellow of the Cato Institute, for The Chicago Tribune
Excuses For The War
Bush has proposed a four bogus excuses to help sell his war:
1. Take the WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) motive.
Bush was caught falsifying evidence three times. Even after the war started, and no WMDs were used or found, this did not dampen the enthusiasm for this deception one iota. America wants to deceive itself. After stating solemnly that this is the "single question", Bush-Powell went on the next day to announce that it wasn't the goal at all: even if there isn't a pocket knife anywhere in Iraq, the US will invade anyway, because it is committed to "regime change."
2. Take the kill-Saddam-to-save-Iraqis motive.
Saddam was originally selected by the CIA as will be his replacement. There are dozens of brutal dictators even worse that Saddam. But Saddam was the only one sitting on $20 trillion in oil. The war carried on just as furiously after he was dead. Just like his father, Bush Jr. targeted the very children he was supposedly liberating with attack on the Basra water supply. Bush trained his troops to "kill kill kill" and hate all Iraqis, even though this was supposedly a compassionate war to liberate them. Again Americans failed to notice this motive was bogus. America wants to deceive itself. At the Azores summit, where Bush-Blair issued their ultimatum to the UN, they made it clear that they would invade even if Saddam and his gang left the country. So "regime change" cannot be sufficent motive either.
3. Take the Democracy motive.
Bush announced his plans to set Iraq up as a "protectorate" aka colony run by 43 American bureaucrats headed by viceroy American General Jay Garner to be later replaced by dictator Amad Chalabi, a convicted embezzler. Bush refers to this slave colony status as "democracy".
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
- George Orwell
Philip J. Carroll chief executive of Shell Oil is the one most likely to be tapped to oversee Iraq's oil production. Bechtel, Halliburton (Cheney's company) and Shell have all been given blank cheques on the Iraqi treasury to bleed the country dry. Everyone knew America has not left a democracy in its wake since WWII, especially Afghanistan, the latest broken promise. Again Americans failed to notice this motive was bogus. America wants to deceive itself.
"Since the Second World War, the US has bombed China, Korea, Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, Guatemala (again), Peru, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala (third time lucky), Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Iran, Panama, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia - in that order - and in not a single case did the bombing produce a democratic government as a direct result." ~ Terry Jones
Brent Scowcroft, National Security Adviser to Bush Sr, just repeated the obvious: "What's going to happen the first time we hold an election in Iraq and it turns out the radicals win? What do you do? We're surely not going to let them take over."
4. Take the Revenge-For-9-11 motive.
bin Laudin was a Saudi Wahabi fundamentalist Muslim. Saddam is an Iraqi secular ruler. Proprosing a conspiracy between these two makes about as much sense as a conspiracy involvolving the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. They hate each other intensely. On at least two occasions bin Laden's organisation tried to assassinate Saddam. There is no evidence the two ever were in cahoots. So killing Iraqi citizens in revenge for 9-11 makes about as much such as kicking the dog because the cat peed on the sofa. Racists don't care; any excuse to kill brown skinned people will do. Bush has all but abandoned his search for bin Laden.
"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." ~ George Bush Jr. 2001-09-13 "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." ~ George Bush Jr. 2002-03-13
5. To make an example.
When a new crime boss takes over, he may have some hapless victim publicly and brutally beaten. This establishes his authority. The PNAC (Project for the New American Century) plan is for America to dominate the world through military intimidation. Iraq was a good choice for show intimidation because she was utterly defenseless, having been disarmed by the UN. Bush lied to the American people claiming that Iraq had a military superior even to America's so that his deed would look more powerful. The actuality was that, before Gulf War II, Iraq ranked
35 not #1 as a military power, and America spent 283 times as much each year on the military as Iraq. "We will emerge victorious against the world's greatest military [Iraq]." ~ George Bush Jr.
Now consider the true motive, the oil motive. Cheney's company, Halliburton, got the contract without tender to rebuild Iraq. Conflict of interest? What does that mean? The heist will net America $20 trillion in oil deposits, enough to repay the national debt three times over. Yet Americans piously pretend it is not about the oil. What hypocrites! They are the beneficiaries of the crime, $70,000 each approximately. No wonder the all play innocent OJ Simpson and smilingly expect he rest of the world to play along just because they are so darn lovable. Americans know perfectly well this motive is the true one, however, accepting it would be very painful. The mirror would show them to be a nation of of muggers and child abusers.
History of Iraq
The Iraq war is about oil, not to disarm Saddam. At the end of Gulf War I, most of Saddam's weapons were destroyed. Inspectors destroyed 95% of what was left. Americans deliberately poisoned the Iraqi water supply, in violation of the Geneva Convention article 54. For the following dozen years the US bombed Iraq daily. During that time 1 in 11 Iraqis were killed and zero Americans were killed. The Pentagon claims these bombings were done in "self defense". Inspectors have done over 300 more inspections and found nothing of consequence. It is safe to say Iraq has far fewer weapons than in Gulf War I, and in Gulf War I she was a pushover. Iraq is thus no great danger to anyone.
Why then is Bush in such an all-fired hurry to spend $1 trillion ($333 million dollars for each of the 3000 Pentagon's projected Iraqi deaths) and nuke the garden of Eden? The U.N. projects 100,000 deaths, or a mere $10 million each at the bulk discount. Somebody is overcharging to kill Iraqis. Arafat talks people into becoming suicide bombers for a mere $15 thousand each. Companies who sell war supplies are going to get very rich off this war. Chevron won't put up a cent of its own money for the war, but will get the $20 trillion in oil. The oil motives are complex, dealing with euro petrodollars, and busting OPEC.
The nuking of an unarmed Iraq is also a callous show of shock and awe a gangster's technique of publicly, dramatically and brutally beating one victim, then everyone else watching meekly hands over the extortion money or whatever else the gangster wants. America has embarked on an imperialistic phase where she plans to dominate the world by force and fear charted by PNAC (Project for a New American Century) Bush's militarist fascist think tank.
Finally the war helps distract from the many scandals, the collapsing dollar and the record deficits.
Some of the things the USA has done in the Gulf War II:
1. Bush bombed the water treatment plant in Basra in order to kill children.
This is a repeat of this same Geneva convention violation during the sanction bombings. This is deeply shameful thing to do because it targets children specifically. They die faster from lack of water and they die more quickly from drinking polluted water. This is a particularly grievous war crime. Dying of thirst is a hideous torture millions of times more painful than you would ever imagine. I have experienced being tortured this way personally. You must stop this.
2. Assassinated the ITV news team after threatening both the ITV and BBC teams. They did not arrest, they blew them to tiny pieces.
3. Shut down websites that showed any of the dead soldiers, civilians or destruction. They shut down yellowtimes.org. They shut down whatreallyhappened.com after PayPal cut them off so they could not receive donations. They shut down thenausea.org. I suspect they have a Denial of Service attack going on aljazeera.net. You can sometimes find the censored materials by searching with google and selecting cached.
4. Destroyed the cameras of the Lebanon news team that discovered 40 dead Americans.
5. The proposed Oregon anti demonstrator bill that provides a 25 year sentence without parole for any demonstrator, if anyone in a demonstration interferes with commerce or is rowdy, even if that person was a plant. By this law Martin Luther King would have got life at his first lunch counter protest.
6. Dropped three precision bombs "by accident" on Iran. They claim these thing are accurate to the foot, but they could not even get the right country three times. I see.
7. Dropped five precision bombs "by accident" on Syria 300 miles away from Baghdad. Strangely, no bombs at all fell "by accident" on Israel which is 200 miles from Iraq.
8. Landed five precision Tomahawk missiles "by accident" on Saudi Arabia.
9. Sent a missile into a Kuwait shopping center.
10. Bombed Children's Hospital in Rutbah.
11. The United States stopped firing missiles at Iraq through Turkish airspace Friday after a missile in flight fell in southeastern Turkey.
12. The Americans destroyed the Iraqi TV broadcasting station. The Americans have intimidated, shut down or killed most of the effective voices opposing the war.
"The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honour you can bestow on him. It means that you recognise his superiority to yourself." ~ Joseph Sobran
13. On 2003-04-02 US aircraft hit a Red Crescent maternity hospital in Baghdad, the city's trade fair, and other civilian buildings killing several people and wounding at least 25. At least five cars were crushed with drivers burned to death inside.
The Pentagon is shutting down websites with news about the war at an alarming clip. Your best bet for news is by passing it along in emails, or by searching google for the lesser known sites.
CLIP - This very large site contains hundreds of very relevant links to loads more of info. So it is worth a thorough look... at http://mindprod.com/iraq.html
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