August 17, 2014 by Al Cronkrite
Will God Allow It?
“Instead of a new order they institute disorder, and their controls lead to uncontrollable results. In the spheres of economics, politics, and education, we see the plans and works of humanistic statists rapidly spinning out of control. The dream of humanistic reason becomes a nightmare.” Rushdoony Systematic Theology Pg. 656
Wars are always conducted in a sea of chaos. Even the most well planned offensives seem to veer off into unforeseen directions and quickly get out of control. It appears that the contemporary new world order has hit a snag. Obama has ordered air strikes in Iraq. In Afghanistan an American General has been killed. The New York Times reports that “scores of these so-called insider attacks have plagued the American military in recent years”. In Iraq ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has found a popular niche and is expanding control over large parts of Iraq and Syria. Iran remains independent and presents a dilemma for the United States battle for elite hegemony.
The U. S. wants to replace their original Iraqi stooge with another stooge and the original stooge is balking. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has deployed troops to defend his regime against a U. S. effort to oust him. Read here.
It appears that the fangs of United States imperialism have been cracked if not broken and the wheels of the juggernaut have been slowed.
The object behind all this murder and mayhem is to set up a puppet government in these Arab lands that can be controlled by the new world order forces that are behind U. S. imperialism. These governments have been set up in both Iraq and Afghanistan but they have never been stable.
With the usual obsequious self-righteousness Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says “It is up to the people of Afghanistan to make these decisions, their military, their new leadership that will be coming in as a result of their new government.” He admits that “there is no guarantee” that Afghanistan’s puppet regime might collapse like floundering Iraq. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan must know that when the only candidates are stooges in what is called a “Democratic Election”, they are being subjected to fraud.
Money is the rail that supports the train of the new world order. Western societies are money oriented and ambitious humanists are vulnerable to offers of wealth and power. Societies that values religion more than money present a more difficult problem. They cling to their religious beliefs and seek to organize themselves around them. Afghans discern the duplicity and chaos that accompanies efforts to destroy their religion and bring them under the tyrannical tent of Western power. Read here.
Meanwhile in Iraq Floyd Brown of “Wall Street Daily” reports that title ISIS (Independent State of Iraq and Syria) has been changed to Islamic State and that under Sharia law Sunni Caliph Ibrahim will become head of both state and religion. This powerful organization has shaken the control of U. S. ally Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and made it impossible to continue the sham of democracy that U. S. forces had fought so hard to implement.
Problems in the U. S. military are beginning to grow as officers who fought in Iraq are disillusion with the chaos that has resulted from their efforts to bring order. It becomes difficult to maintain a proper esprit de corps when hard won victories turn into depressing defeats.
It appears that the American war party made a poor decision when they set about creating controlled democracies in nations with intractable internal conflicts. Any semblance of freedom seems to erupt into murder and mayhem.
To make matters worse knowledgeable insider David Stockman is predicting the total collapse of what he calls the “American Imperium”. He cites the impossible task of reversing massive military spending and believes American superpower status is in jeopardy. Listen here.
Most Americans now know that our nation is slated for disaster: Flying on a recent trip I was informed by my fellow travelers that they were stocking foods and had purchased weapons for their homes. A college professor, a Registered Nurse, and a New England office worker the wife a policeman all related their serious concern for the future of the homeland.
We are a nation being controlled by a mentally unbalanced cabal. The promotion of Feminism Homosexuality and Lesbianism has seriously eroded the family which is the key unit of government in the Creation.
The attempt to promote women into male equality is similar to trying to transform a cat into a dog. It provides an accurate definition of cognitive dissonance; they are weaker physically, their bodies are constructed differently, they are softer, more helpful, and have an ability to do several things at once. Men are physically stronger and aggressively sexually attracted to women. Women are designed to be helpmates to men who are vested with the duty of protecting them; first fathers then husbands. When physically inferior women are put together with predatory males they will be assaulted and laws will not prevent it.
Homosexuals and Lesbians pervert the sex act and promote their lifestyles in rebellion against the normal procedures of marriage and procreation. Sexual practices are often formed by the primary sexual experience; homosexuality usually becomes imbedded early in a person’s life. Some may be born with these tendencies but more are acquired. Questioning the sexuality of young and adolescent children can cause serious problems as they fight to grow into adulthood.
Recently on Public Radio an interviewer asked a guest if he believed Creationism should be taught in schools; his answer was “no” because Creationism is not based on scientific evidence. How any realistic human could miss the diversity and complexity of the creation and spend worthless time trying to deny it was created is beyond rationality. Living things do evolve but they do not evolve into more complex organisms. That billions of years would defy what is plainly evident is a wanton distortion of reality. Matter deteriorates over time it does not evolve into more complex living organisms. If you doubt, read here.
R. J. Rushdoony contends that the quest for freedom by humanists always ends in slavery. The weaker masses become the slaves of the powerful elite – history is replete with proof. We were created to be governed by God and to obey His Law. Maximum autonomy results from living under God’s Commandments.
We are created in the image of God to be His regents in His creation. Attempts to replace His dominion result in a flight from reality that spawns first anarchy and chaos and then grinding humanistic tyranny. “Because all reality, including man himself, is God-created and made according to God’s will and eternal purpose, man cannot have a right relationship to himself, to other men, and to the world around him except through God and His word.” Rushdoony, “Systematic Theology”, Pg.642
This is where we are in the United States of America, everything is breading down: We are hopelessly in debt, our courts no longer produce justice, civil order is tenuous, we have lost our moral standards, families are in disarray and are failing to produce enough children to maintain the race, our government is hoarding weapons while they seek to disarm citizens, our soldiers are losing the fight for world empire, and our churches are weak and full of serious theological error.
Now, let me shock you, gentle reader. From this chaos God will build His Kingdom! When the world is thoroughly tired of living in murder, mayhem, and captivity, God may change enough hearts to return the world to His justice and His peace.
August 17, 2014 by Dr. Franklin Lamb
The statistics are just beginning to be analyzed—by UN agencies and a myriad of NGO’s whose mandates include salvaging young lives from the nearly incalculable ravages of the five-week (and counting) Zionist aggression upon Gaza. It is of course the third aggression in six years against the 1.8 million Palestinians, sardine-canned into what is increasingly referred to as history’s largest open air prison, but the outcome this time is looking particularly cruel and grim.
As the Netanyahu regime announced (on 8/10/14) that its attacks on Gaza would continue, increasing numbers of obscene calls—for Israel to “finish the job” and “go all the way” etc.—are floating in the Zionist state’s malodorous public echo-chamber, emanating from such figures as the Knesset’s deputy speaker, who advocates driving Palestinians into the Sinai desert and resettling Gaza with Jews.
In Khuza’a “the Israeli military had trapped at least 32 people in a home and then prevented the Red Cross from evacuating them before shelling the area,” reported Lebanese-American journalist Roqayah Chamseddine. Hoping for safe haven, the people in the house sought refuge in the basement of a neighbor’s home, where they found additional families already inside.
“By that point we were 120 people, 10 men and the rest women and children,” Kamel al-Najjar recalled for Human Rights Watch.
After dawn and without warning (no polite leaflets or knocks on the roof apparently), Israel struck the house, killing three people and wounding 15 others.
The toll of the war on Gaza’s children has been “catastrophic,” according to UN agencies. At least 450 have been killed, and those not having their physical bodies buried have found their innocence entombed. It is another casualty in the war—a war against all things daring to live and resist in Gaza. According to Chamseddine:
“Israel has forced the children of Gaza to lay flowers atop headstones, and watch helplessly as coffins that are filled with not only their most beloved family members, teachers, neighbors, and friends but also their most treasured memories, lullabies, lessons learned and those that will never come, descend into the belly of the earth. Their lips will memorize and form prayers for the dead and the stars that defied the siege that flickered freely high above them will be snatched from their skies.”
Increasingly it is being heard from Gazans that “Israel has stolen everything beautiful in our lives,” and Israel’s barbarity confirms this sentiment.
Middle East analysts point out that it is difficult to recall a time in modern history when there has been so much sustained slaughter of this region’s civilian population, with more than two-thirds of the victims being women and children. For the past year, UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations have lamented a simple reality—that there is not a sufficient level of international aid to save lives and treat those in need of emergency and longer term medical care.
But now something is changing.
The horrors we have just witnessed, especially with respect to traumas inflicted on children, is producing, as should be the case, a major and rapidly growing international focus on salvaging young lives. Descriptions and evaluations of the consequences of Gaza wars are being published and urgently discussed. Some analysts and government officials, including Pentagon planners, are calling for a ‘Medical Marshall Plan,’ to save Gaza’s children. One proposed first step is the dispatching of a humanitarian support group of hospital ships that would sail to Gaza without further delay.
What can and must be done, by the United States and other countries with the naval and medical capacity to do so, is to organize a Hospital Ship flotilla to break the siege of Gaza, to anchor offshore, and to begin caring for the medical needs of all, with a special focus on children and their psychological well-being. Call it a Mercy Mission. Initially it could include the following countries—all well known for their hospital ships with up-and-running medical staffs: the USA, UK, France, China, Russia, Spain, Argentina, and Australia. Within this group of nations are ships with hundreds of patient beds and fully stocked pharmacies. Moreover, it is a group not likely to be interfered with by those who have imposed the inhumane blockade of Gaza (and of course it even includes some of their collaborators in the region), but perhaps most importantly, every country on the list possesses one or more hospital ships that are fully staffed and available to act.
France is reportedly ready to join such an effort and is also working on a related crisis—in Iraq, where it plans delivery of first aid equipment “in the coming hours,” according to the office of Francois Hollande. The French president has “reaffirmed the will of France to stand by the side of civilian victims of continued attacks” in Iraq, and his spokesmen said that “France will do the same thing for Gaza.”
“The European Union is called upon to also take necessary measures with great urgency to respond to immediate humanitarian needs,” the spokesman added.
Hundreds of EU citizens, with their specialized skills in fields of pediatric medicine and child psychology, are reportedly ready to help the children of Gaza. Two fully stocked and staffed American medical ships, the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort, could contribute greatly to the effort. Each ship’s hospital is a full floating medical treatment facility, containing 12 fully equipped operating rooms, a 1,000-bed patient capacity, digital radiological services, medical laboratory, pharmacy, optometry lab, and intensive care ward; each also has a dental clinic with full services, CT scanner, and two oxygen-producing plants.
Helicopter landing decks are available as well, for patient transports, and the ships also have side ports that could take on patients from Gaza fishing boats and other crafts at sea. In addition to these two mammoth-sized medical vessels, dozens of other US Navy ships also have hospitals on board. For example, in one year, the medical department of the USS George Washington handled over 15,000 out-patient visits, drew almost 27,000 lab samples, filled almost 10,000 prescriptions, took about 2,300 x-rays, and performed 65 surgical operations—and nearly 100 other US ships are capable of doing the same.
Just one example with respect to capacity is illustrative. In April of this year, the USNS Comfort—a converted 70,000-ton tanker—sailed from Norfolk, Virginia carrying 900 doctors, nurses, and engineers, including staff from the U.S. military, civilian agencies, non-government charities, and even foreign navies. The ship is designed to be deployed quickly for four month intensive full service medical assistance; yet similar capacities obtain in certain other US ships and in foreign navies as well. All of these resources must be put to immediate use to save Gaza’s children.
Looking at the longer term, the Pentagon should seriously consider ordering a sufficient number of catamaran transports and shallow-draft littoral ships to fill out the flotilla, vessels capable of delivering aid by sea via the relatively shallow Gaza coastline. The success of breaking the siege of Gaza will likely give impetus to a UN Security Council decision to construct a seaport for Gaza, perhaps with a shipping channel to Cyprus.
Similarly, the UK hospital ship, RFA Argus, designated as a ‘Primary Casualty Receiving Ship,’ is moored in Falmouth, England, and is also uniquely designed for this type of humanitarian crisis; and it, too, is reportedly ready to sail once given the green light by Downing Street.
Five Hospital ships are urgently needed along Gaza’s shoreline at the following locations: opposite Jabaliya and North Gaza, Gaza City, Deir al-Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah.
Although attacking a hospital ship is clearly a war crime, the Israeli pattern of targeting medical facilities in Gaza is well known, and threats from the settler movement and the right wing Likud Party to “sink any ship that enters Gaza waters if judged to be aiding the terrorists” must be taken seriously. Yet one imagines the occupation regime would have to think carefully about sinking another US Navy vessel as it did in 1967 with the repeated bombing of the USS Liberty.
Instead of recycling raw combat power, the White House can best meet the demands of a war-weary American public through an emphasis on missions such as those the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort are designed for. Poll after US public opinion poll reveal that Americans believe their humanitarian values are best reflected when our navy is tailored for delivering humanitarian aid to places like Gaza, and not by delivering munitions to occupying colonial regimes.
August 17, 2014 by Sartre
When the billionaire tech jet set decides to let down their hair, what do they talk about around the campfire? According to the New Your Times, “Google is sponsoring an elite conference this week at a golf resort in Sicily, with a guest list of chief executives, investors and celebrities, all of whom were invited to bring their families. On the agenda are high-minded discussions of global issues — along with relaxation by the Mediterranean Sea.” How quaint! . . . For the real scoop, Here’s What Went On At Google’s Exclusive Conference For The Rich And Famous In Sicily.
“Sicilian blogger Tony Siino talked to an attendee about what went on, and told Business Insider via email that the conference, dubbed “The Camp,” was three-days of intellectual discussions, relaxation, and sight-seeing.According to Siino’s source, morning discussions included a wide range of topics, including how to extend human life and the design of cities of the future.”
Reported by NBC local TV channel in the Bay Area has “guests include Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd C. Blankfein, executives from German and Spanish banks, Uber chief Travis Kalanick, Tesla boss Elon Musk, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts and Snapchat boss Evan Spiegel. Also on hand is Ben Horowitz, venture capitalist with Marc Andreessen at make-or-break Silicon Valley fund Andreessen Horowitz.”
Spending quality time with the family between sessions in the next round of tech discoveries hardly seems to be the best use of time. Yet, time may well be the ultimate objective if you can uncover the mysteries of anti-aging research. Life Extension Magazine reports that Google Life Extension is investing in a venture called California Life Company, or Calico for short, and its goal is to extend human life by 20 to 100 years.
At this point, Google is being highly secretive about their plans for Calico. All Google would reveal is that Calico will focus “in particular on the challenge of aging and associated diseases.”
Calico could produce startlingly counterintuitive breakthroughs, as a result, of Google’s strengths in the following areas:
- Non-commercial dedication — rather than a focus on commercial marketing of mediocre drugs as pharmaceutical companies now do.
- Vast consumer access and core data-handling skills — with unprecedented data gathering, pattern-matching, and causal-relationship detection.
- Ability to attract the brightest minds — potentially preferring to work on life-and-death problems instead of cutesy apps and games.
Further speculation in an essay - How’s Google Dabbling in Health, Life, DNA, and Immortality? – cites areas of research has cutting-edge technology pushing the limits of the wheel of life itself.
“A CNN article listed a few common subjects, like cryonics (a process where the body is preserved in liquid nitrogen), cryotherapy (which exposes injured patients to very low temperatures for short periods of time), cloning and body part replacement, nanotechnology (deploying small robots to overcome the problem of incorrect DNA replication, one cause of aging), and even research into telomeres, the ends of a chromosome that protect cells against degradation.”
Hidden within a “feel good” sentiment behind the altruism to elevate the life span of the human race is an unconvincing skepticism. In an article like Google Wants You to Live 170 Years, just does not seem believable to a rational observer.
“What Google brings to the table is data. “Not just one set of data, multiple forms,” says Harry Glorikian, founder of life sciences consulting firm Scientia Advisors. “Search data, GPS data, all sorts of other pieces, electronic breadcrumbs that you produce all out there to get a picture of you.”This data could be paired with each person’s genome — a partial genome can be mapped today for $99 via 23andMe (another Google investment), but many are hoping a full genome will cost as much in the next few years.”
Even if such ambitious projections that life extension might become common-place for the masses, it does not guarantee that everyone will be a candidate for future “Camp” invitations. Google hardly needs to market the secrets of the gods in order to maintain or enhance their cash flow. The Globe and Mail describes the gathering, “Like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – an annual gathering of the elite at a snowy ski resort – the upstart conference from Google projects an aura of exclusivity. Its existence has not previously been disclosed.”
Following the example of other enigmatic elitist stratagems, “The Camp” shows no signs of a charitable motivation when the onion is peeled. Michael Downey in the account, Google Wants To Extend Your Life laments that not enough is being done to achieve the holy grail of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth.
“Tragically, while the government spends over $3 billion annually on “health concerns” of the elderly, it operates on the assumption that aging is not a disease. Corporations lack the longer-term view needed. And extremely few of the world’s 1,426 billionaires, with a total net worth of $5.4 trillion, have included anti-aging research in their charities.”
Do you really believe that the beautiful people, much less, the corporatist return on assets crowd, or the great democracies of the planet are eager to share any medical, genetic or nanotech leap forwards with the chattel serfs? Attending boot camp for the peasants is quite different from rubbing elbows with these Nouveau riche Sicilian Dons in the global technocratic mafia. The blueblood patricians of the banksters’ families will enlighten their newly made men into the rules and ways of the global syndicate.
The Calico family franchise promises to be more alluring than the temporary ecstasy of a drug high. Most godless souls want to live forever, since rejecting an afterlife is automatic to such atheistic masters of the universe. Google has proven to be a “New Age” android. Hence, it is natural for apps, developed to manage the life cycle, become part of the smart set. The key question is will the source code become available to the masses, or will the elites maintain the restricted knowledge only for their devil witch coven.
August 17, 2014 by Doug Newman
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and thus clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” - H.L. Mencken
Whenever I read stuff like this, all I can think is: “And they call Alex Jones paranoid.”
National Review’s David French wants us to join him in his fear, among other things, that ISIS will “raise the black flag [of jihad] over the White House.”
If anyone actually believes this, you are just as gullible as those who believed Obama was going to give America free health care.
Ever since 9/11, paranoia pimps of French’s ilk have wanted us to believe that “radical Islam’s stated goal” is complete global domination. Never mind that it has been several centuries since an Islamic country conquered a non-Islamic country.
Take two minutes and watch this video. Ever since Old Testament – old, as in the book of Genesis – times, the entire history of the Middle East has been one of empires rising and falling. None of them last forever.
And here’s a stated goal: I hereby state that I will be the winning pitcher for my beloved Dodgers in Game 7 of this year’s World Series.
I guess that means it is going to happen, right?
As for ISIS “wealth”, $2 billion is chump change. The U.S. military goes through $2 billion on an average day. To put $2 billion in perspective, retail sales in Paramus, New Jersey, last year were $5 billion.
Oh, sure, ISIS may have procured a few tanks. But even if they have, do they have the technical sophistication to maintain them for long, let alone manufacture new ones?
ISIS has no ships, planes or nukes. America, on the other hand, has 473 naval ships, over 8000 tanks and over 13,000 military aircraft. We have enough nuclear warheads to kill every person on the planet several times over. And we have 300,000,000 firearms in private hands.
And why is there so much concern all of a sudden for the plight of Iraqi Christians? No one gave a rip about the mass exodus during the Bush years. As horrible as Saddam was, Christians were not abandoning Iraq en masse until after his ouster by the United States in 2003. (No group supported this war more enthusiastically than American Christians.) And how many of the 500,000 Iraqi children who died as a result of U.S. imposed sanctions in the 1990s were Christians?
And if the persecution of Christians in Iraq justifies American military action, what about the persecution of Christians in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, China and North Korea?
French says ISIS is to be more feared than Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was only able to succeed on 9/11 because American airplane passengers were unable to defend themselves. Any fool knows that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.
And, no, 9/11 did not happen because “they hate our freedom.” When you throw your weight around to the extent that the U.S. does, it is inevitable that a lot of people will hate you. And while third world countries can’t conquer you militarily, they will find other ways to make your life miserable.
I had an interesting conversation with a Swiss girl recently. I told her that her country does it right: they are armed to the teeth and they mind their own business. She said that it is indeed nice to live in such a country.
Right-wingers are just as prone as left-wingers to come unglued when certain buttons are pushed. To paraphrase the British historian and politician Lord Thomas Macaulay, there is no spectacle so ridiculous as the American public in one of its periodic fits of morality.
August 16, 2014 by Chuck Baldwin
If You Don’t Have Such A Rifle, Go Buy One Now!
The recent killing of an unarmed teenager by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer incited riots in and around the northern St. Louis area. As usual, the police version and the version of several eye witnesses lie in stark contrast. The police version is, the young man was struggling with the officer and trying to take his weapon from him–and the officer fired his weapon in self-defense. Several eyewitnesses say the young man had his hands in the air and was surrendering when the officer shot him. The latter version is the more popular view of local residents, which prompted hundreds of people to riot. Yes, the victim was a young black man.
It is very unfortunate and counter-productive when race becomes the focus of any story such as this. But it almost always does. Our propaganda media, which loves to use the race card, almost always makes any such tragedy some kind of racial discrimination story. Sometimes it is; but more often than not, race had nothing to do with it.
It is also very unfortunate that among the vast majority of God-fearing, law-and-order Americans, policemen are automatically assumed to be guiltless in the face of accusations of police abuse. It’s almost like when a man puts on a badge and a gun, he becomes incapable of human misconduct.
Am I suggesting that a majority of police-killings are unjustified? I am not. I still believe that the vast majority of our men and women in blue (and brown for sheriff’s deputies) are good-hearted, sincere, law-abiding people who do a tough job outstandingly well. The vast majority–but not all.
Sadly, incidences of police abuse seem to be skyrocketing. Examples of police arrogance and overreach are ubiquitous. More and more law enforcement personnel have an “us versus them” mentality. And the “them” are the citizens they (the “us”) took an oath to protect and serve. More and more policemen have a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later mindset. And more and more of them look upon their fellow citizens as “the enemy.”
True story: A Christian policeman was recently asked to speak at a church gathering. The officer works in the traffic division of a small town. Mostly, he gives out parking and speeding tickets. As he opened his address to his fellow churchmen, he said, “I am a cop; I work among the dregs of society.” Really? People who get parking tickets and drive 10 or 15 miles an hour over the speed limit are the “dregs” of society? That statement should have disqualified everything the officer had to say after that. But, sadly, the vast majority of Christians in the audience thundered their approval with choruses of “Amen!” This illustrates the depth of the problem we are now facing.
Putting on a badge and a gun no more makes a man righteous than putting on a tool belt or a fire suit or a waitress apron or a clergyman’s frock or a welder’s helmet or a lab coat, etc. If anything, putting on a badge and a gun makes a man more accountable for his actions than an ordinary profession.
While the incident in Missouri is still being investigated, there are plenty of examples of police conduct that is either questionable at least or downright Gestapo-like at worst. Last month, an unarmed man was choked to death by a police officer in Staten Island, New York. Five years ago, an Oakland, California police officer shot and killed a young man while he was lying face down on a subway platform. Two years ago, an unarmed National Guardsman was shot and killed by a New York policeman during a traffic stop. Unfortunately, these incidents seem to be escalating. Yes, the Oakland officer was prosecuted and convicted, but this is the exception not the rule. Seldom is an offending police officer ever charged with a crime–or even removed from his post.
Add to the list of police killings the tens of thousands of people who are severely beaten or abused, often without provocation, by out-of-control rogue officers, and the picture becomes even more ominous. Again, I readily recognize that these rogue officers are the exception and not the rule, but the sad reality is that these bad cops are mostly allowed to continue their brutality with impunity. For a policeman to be removed from his job, much less face prosecution, is a rarity indeed.
And here is the kicker: after the New York and Missouri incidents mentioned above, the U.S. Justice Department has announced that it is widening its involvement in local policing in an attempt to curb the growing abuse of power.
Are you kidding me?
The reason that so many of our local and State police agencies are succumbing to increased examples of police abuse is directly due to the militarization of local and State police agencies by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is providing the funding, the armaments, the military-style vehicles, military-style tactics and training, etc. for all of these local and State police agencies. The arrogance and heavy-handed tactics of these rogue police officers is largely attributed to the influence of the U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security. Now, this same U.S. government is going to “widen” its involvement with local police agencies in order to curb police violence? Get real! You know what’s happening: the U.S. Justice Department is widening its involvement in local police agencies in order to further its parochial political agendas and to further promote political correctness.
What we need are constitutional sheriffs who will courageously serve as the people’s vanguard against both the overreach of the federal government (which spawns so much police abuse, both local and federal) and against rogue officers among the police agencies of his jurisdiction. We also need partisan-free prosecutors in the local court systems. So many prosecutors are primarily motivated by partisan politics than they are “liberty and justice for all.” And we also need jurors who are truly blind to their prejudices and propensities and are willing to acquit or convict on the basis of proven fact alone. When a policeman steps over the line, he or she must be held as accountable as any ordinary citizen.
I personally believe, and would aggressively support, making all sheriff and county prosecutor’s races non-partisan (like judges). Justice should always be politically (and, yes, racially) blind. We have far, far too many political prisoners in our jails and prisons in this country. And if you don’t think that’s true, it’s because most of the local media refuses to report this kind of injustice due to the political connections and partisanship of the paper’s publishers and editors. The same is true with local television news. Accordingly, I strongly believe that sheriff and county prosecutor’s races should be non-partisan. We should probably throw in the State attorney general’s race, also. Lady Justice is supposed to be blindfolded, but political partisanship has taken away her blindfold and given her tainted glasses.
Obviously, even if the killing of the young man in Missouri was unjustified, the ensuing riots were also unjustified.
My friends, if you live in a big metropolitan area, you are one Rodney King or Hurricane Katrina event away from a potential all-out war against your family and property. As in the riots in South Central Los Angeles in 1992, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, people in northern St. Louis were subjected to the destruction of their property and the potential loss of life in the aftermath of the shooting of the young man in Ferguson.
And, just as was the case in South Central Los Angeles, business owners in northern St. Louis protected their lives and properties with–you guessed it: AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. Had President Obama and Senator Feinstein had their way a few months back, those people in North St. Louis would have been defenseless against the violent rioters that were attacking them. The presence of the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle saved many a life and much property in Los Angeles, California in 1992, in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005, and in North St. Louis, Missouri in 2014.
In any kind of civil unrest, the best protection any of us have is God, the loyalty and dedication of good friends and family members who are willing to protect our backs, and a .223 or .308 semiautomatic battle rifle with loaded, large-capacity magazines. If you don’t have such a rifle, GO BUY ONE NOW! If you don’t have enough ammo, go buy it now. And if you live in a State or city that won’t let you buy one, MOVE!
Add to the chaos of civil unrest caused by either man-made or natural disasters the fact that the U.S. government is unloosing hundreds of thousands–maybe millions–of violent illegals into our country, and anyone who is not well-armed for his or her own protection is downright foolish. According to Texas State officials, there have been nearly a half-million felonies committed by illegals during the last four years IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ALONE–including over 5,000 rapes and over 2,000 murders. Remember, these are crimes committed by illegals alone in the State of Texas alone.
Border Patrol agents are warning us that violent Mexican gang members, many of whom have already committed murder, are being allowed free access into the heartland of America. Texas State Senator Dan Patrick recently reported that his State now has over 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members. Again, that’s just in Texas.
The crime rate across the United States has been declining for years, and is currently at its lowest level in recent history. But watch out! Violent illegal gang members, including members of one of the most violent and notorious gangs ever, MS-13, are pouring into this country. The crime rates in communities across America are about to explode. There is no way that local police agencies are going to be able to protect you. And, in truth, that is not their job. It is your job to protect yourself, dear friend. And you are not going to protect yourself from marauding rioters or violent gang members with a six-shot revolver. Oh, the handgun is fine defense for one or two attackers; but for more than that, you need a large-capacity semiautomatic battle rifle. How many examples of civil unrest do you need to convince you? I guess the one that breaks out next to your neighborhood, huh?
Of course, the federal government is allowing these violent illegals into our country KNOWING the crime and havoc they will unleash on this country. They WANT violence and havoc to be unleashed on this country. They must raise the crime rates in America in order to justify the expansion of the national Police State they are determined to construct. But in the meantime, tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of Americans are going to be beaten, paralyzed, robbed, raped, and murdered.
We don’t have to make it easy for these two-legged beasts: we can and should be an armed and ready populace capable and determined to protect our families, friends, neighborhoods, and communities: anything less is un-American, unmanly, and, un-Christian. Yes, you heard it right: It is un-Christian.
The Bible tells believers that any man who does not provide for his own, especially those of his own house, he has denied the Christian faith and is worse than an infidel. (I Timothy 5:8) And most certainly, “providing” for one’s own entails protection as much as it does food, clothing, and shelter. I, therefore, maintain that any Christian who is not prepared to protect and defend his family by being duly armed and trained in the use of arms has denied his faith and is truly worse than an infidel. Even heathens understand the Natural Law of self-defense. In fact, the entire natural kingdom understands the law of self-defense.
The recent killing of that young man in Missouri should serve to remind us that police, too, must abide by the law (I sincerely hope that the police officer involved did just that), that civil unrest can erupt anywhere in seconds, and that the need of the people to keep and bear, not just any arms, but semiautomatic battle rifles, is the best insurance for the survival of our lives and our liberties.
August 16, 2014 by Jane Stillwater
OMG, I am so sick and tired of writing about American-sponsored neo-Nazis in the Ukraine, American-financed genocide in Gaza and American-backed ISIS murderers in Syria and Iraq. Geez Louise. It’s enough to make me sick!
But not sick enough to stop eating.
Even though women and children are starving in Gaza and refugees in Erbil are hunkering down in city parks and Ukrainian babies are being shot by swastika-waving skin-heads, I still gotta have three or four square meals a day.
And all the average American can say about this insane world situation is, “Where the freak is Erbil?” It’s in northern Iraq, stupid. “Oh yeah? So where is Iraq?” It’s that rat-hole where three trillion of your tax dollars have been pounded down in the last 20 years. Iraq is the reason you have no jobs, no infrastructure, no schools — and no solar heating. http://www.truth-out.org/
“But what’s a Gaza?” Huh?
“It’s that charnel house in Palestine where Netanyahu practices being a fascist.”
“Who is Netanyahu?” He’s that guy in Israel that you pay billions of dollars to every year so he can commit genocide. Oh, good grief.
I need comfort food! Now!
Forget about genocide and dead babies. Let’s talk about sushi! And mac ‘n’ cheese. What is your favorite food? I think mine is ice cream. But I’m not sure. Chocolate cake sounds good too. http://blog.umamimart.com/
I once ate a beef stroganoff MRE in the Green Zone. It was delicious. And they had deep-fried tarantulas on offer at a roadside stall in Cambodia. Yummers! http://johnpilger.com/videos/
Got caught in a massive five-day storm off of Antarctica one time and popped Dramamine like it was candy — but still managed to eat. http://www.funnyordie.com/
Was stuck in Shenyang, China, for three weeks while waiting for my visa to North Korea to come through. Thirteen million people in that city and only ten of them spoke English. So I just drew a picture of a chicken and showed it to waiters. That worked fine until one waiter brought me a live chicken. Er, no.
And about a year later, when I finally did manage to get into North Korea, it was amazing to discover that Pyongyang featured luxury hotels, casinos, golf courses and elaborate 150,000-person choreographed mass games, all geared toward European tourists — who came in droves. The food there, however, was on the level of mediocre California Chinese take-out — but I still felt guilty eating it, knowing how many North Koreans had starved to death in the past.
In Uganda, a young girl was selling homemade flour-and-grease chapatis on the street that were so good that I still dream about them. “What’s a chapati?” Oh shut up.
The hummus and matzos in Israel/Palestine were great, served under an olive tree in Hebron. Loved Bethlehem and old Jerusalem — but why do people still keep accusing me of being anti-Semitic when I’m actually only anti-fascist and anti-apartheid? I just don’t understand. As Barb Weir is always fond of saying, “How come they never accuse the brave people who fought against apartheid in South Africa of being anti-white?”
On the beach in Yelapa, Mexico, an hour’s boat-ride south of Puerto Vallarta, friendly ladies will sell you lemon meringue pie right there on the beach. But now you don’t even have to go to Yelapa to get it, you can buy lemon meringue pie right there in Puerto Vallarta. Definitely worth the flight down if you can afford it — and if you can’t, there’s always the chocolate cream pie at the Sweet Adeline bakeshop here in Berkeley. http://rt.com/op-edge/178640-
In Motswedi, in northern South Africa, their potato fries are the best. Just ask for Mma Peter if you go there. Everyone knows her. And give her a big hug from me if you do.
In Damascus, the oldest city in the world (I think), they had fabulous ice cream for sale in the souk. That’s ICE cream, not ISIS cream. If it had been ISIS cream, I wouldn’t have had to pay for it myself — Congress woulda footed the bill.
In al Anbar province, Iraq, I accompanied a U.S. Marine colonel and his staff to a “goat pull” thrown by the local sheik. You gotta love goat meat. But now that whole area is overrun by ISIS thugs, thanks to Bush, Obama and Hillary Clinton and their grand competition to see who can destabilize the Middle East best.
At a sidewalk cafe in Cairo, a waiter jokingly offered me 200 camels for my daughter Ashley’s hand in marriage. At least I think he was joking. And in the Caliphate of Saudi Arabia, biological mother to ISIS and Al Qaeda (America’s military-industrial complex is the father, but insists on keeping that fact on the down-low), I lived on KFC and Cinnabons at a high-end mall in Mecca.
In Haiti, you just gotta love their pumpkin soup. In Afghanistan, their chicken kebobs were the best — unlike in Iran, where the kebobs tended to be rather dry. Burma offered up excellent hand-made noodles. Argentina had empanadas and beef. Berkeley has the Berkeley Bowl, best produce store in the world.
I love food! I love to eat!
So why do I keep thinking about all those poor starving children in Gaza and those poor slaughtered babies in Syria and Ukraine — thanks to the Yankee dollar?
August 16, 2014 by Marsha West
We are told throughout the New Testament to judge, to test, to discern, to assess, to rebuke, to hold one another to account, to make moral distinctions, and to pronounce judgment when and where it is due. ~ Bill Muehlenberg
The phrase low-information voter (LIV) was made popular in the mid-1990s. Although the LIV is uninformed on the issues, he casts his vote. The LIV is often highly opinionated even when he has no idea what he’s talking about. A popular conservative talk show host has labeled a segment of those who vote for liberals LIVs.
D. Edmund Wright expresses his disdain for the LIV in a rather harsh way:
But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact. Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances. Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country. And why not? (Source – emphasis in original)
While reading Wright’s rant against the organized left (and rightly so) it occurred to me that evangelicalism is dealing with the same sort of crisis – low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. So for the purpose of this piece I’ll refer to them as low-information evangelicals (LIE).
Reminiscent of the LIV, the high-profile LIE does not understand the impact that his unorthodox view has on the visible church. When it comes to the Bible, the LIE has opinions on a variety of challenging topics. Even when his opinion is decidedly unbiblical, he presents it as the gospel truth. The LIE’s arguments are often based, not on what God’s Word clearly teaches but instead on esoteric experiences he’s had or what he’s picked up from LIE celebrities. As a side note, whenever I write a column for the express purpose of exposing a LIE-celeb’s unbiblical teaching and even though I included an abundance of evidence to support the biblical view, the LIE rarely uses logical argumentation to contest the facts and win me over to their way of thinking. Instead he resorts to personal attacks. For example I’m often scolded for being unloving…ungracious…mean spirited…hateful…homophobic…judgmental…and far worse.
Facts are stubborn things. And the fact of the matter is that it’s biblical to report on a high-profile Christian leader whose teaching is unbiblical. Much of the problem lies in the fact that oodles of LIE-celebs are unapologetically liberal in their worldview and their teaching reflects that. (For the record, “progressive Christian” is an oxymoron.)
Several influential Bible teachers started out as good Bible expositors but got off track when they became enamored with Eastern mysticism. Today the beliefs some Christians hold contain a good deal of New Age/New Thought ideas borrowed from Eastern mysticism. Bible teacher, conference speaker and founder of Living Word Ministries Beth Moore is one of those teachers.
Over the years Moore has gained substantial popularity with women, so much so that her resources line the shelves of churches and Christian book sellers everywhere. Because she’s affiliated with the SBC her overt acceptance of “charismania” surprised a lot of people. For instance, at one of her conferences she shared a vision she supposedly received of “the church as Jesus sees it.” Listen to this bombshell:
You know what He [God] told me not too long ago? I told you when I first began this whole concept, He first started teaching it to me about five years ago, and He said these words to me: “Baby, you have not even begun to believe Me. You haven’t even begun!”
You know what He said just a few days ago? “Honey, I just want you to know we’re just beginning.” Oh, glory! That meant I had begun. Hallelujah!
But He was telling me, “When this ends, we ain’t done with this. Honey, this is what we do for the rest of your life.” And He says those words to me over and over again: “Believe Me. Believe Me. And I hope it’s starting to ring in your ears, over and over again, Believe Me.” (Source)
Does that not make your hair stand on end? “He said these words to me…” is the same as saying “Thus saith the Lord!” Any discerning Christian will no doubt find Moore’s alleged chats with God troubling.
Contrary to what Beth Moore believes, when the Lord allegedly speaks to her it couldn’t be His voice she’s hearing. How do I know that? Because the way in which she claims the Almighty communicates with her is unbiblical. How does God speak to us today? We are told in Hebrews that He speaks to us by His Son through His Spirit in His Word.
In 1 Thes 5:21 Paul commands us to “test everything; hold fast what is good.” With this in mind, I challenge Beth’s fans to test her teaching by the Word of God. Those who are open to the truth will discover that this Bible teacher is feeding her followers rotten fruit!
Erin Benziger has been warning of Beth Moore’s shift into mysticism for quite some time. Erin points out that:
Beth Moore has demonstrated time and again that she cannot properly handle the biblical text. And yet, she is a mentor and teacher to many women who look to her leadership and knowledge as a foundation for their own spiritual walk.
In recent months, Moore participated as a speaker at the Unwrap the Bible conference, which was held at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. The event was hosted byWomen of Faith ministries, and also featured such dangerous teachers as Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Lisa Harper, Sheila Walsh and of course, Victoria Osteen. Nearly 11,000 women were in attendance at this event. 11,000. That is a tremendous number of women who were exposed to deceptive and erroneous Bible teaching. These are women in your Bible study and in your church. These are women who will now take the principles they learned and will begin to influence other women and girls within their church. This ought to be of no small concern to those who love and revere the Word of God. (Source)
Before I move on, I should mention that I don’t enjoy tearing down the powerful magnetic personalities professing Christians revere. My purpose for taking aim at Beth Moore is to get undistinguished LIEs (ordinary folk) up to speed on her unbiblical teaching. Sadly, some undistinguished low information evangelicals (u-LIEs) assume that popular pastors, teachers and best-selling authors would never steer them wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth!
The Undistinguished LIE
The u-LIE learns Scripture in a variety of ways: (1) Best-selling “Christian” books; (2) Blog posts; (3) Religious TV programs; (4) “Christian” radio/podcasts; (5) Trendy market-driven/seeker sensitive churches; (6) Family and friends (some of whom are nominal Christians at best and Bible illiterates at worst.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the u-LIE who utilizes the above resources won’t learn anything worthwhile. He will! In fact it’s a good idea to gain knowledge from mainstream Bible scholars/theologians/apologists/bloggers and ministers of the gospel; likewise from TV, radio/podcasts of solid Bible expositors. But we must see to it that those from whom we learn, including LIE-celebs, continually guard against error. As I said above, when someone’s theology lands outside of the pale of orthodoxy it’s appropriate to challenge what’s being taught and to (gasp!) “name names.” How else will we know who to be wary of?
Christians must never lose sight of the fact that false teachers are deceptive and evil. And by the way, anyone who’s exposed as a wolf or wolverine must swallow their pride and repent of their sin against God. The objective is restoration.
What has resulted from all the abysmal teaching in the Church? U-LIEs have accepted liberal/progressive theology. Likewise, they’re up to their eyeballs in aberrant/heretical movements such as liberal/progressive/social justice; emergent/emerging; word-faith/health & wealth/name-it-claim-it; New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism/Latter Rain. Moreover they’ve become easy prey for the Kingdom of the Cults. How does one avoid becoming ensnared by the wiles of the devil? By becoming a Berean! (Acts 17:10-15)
Thanks largely to Christian mystics such as recently deceased ordained Baptist Minister Dallas Willard and Quaker Richard Foster, many u-LIEs have been introduced to spiritual formation. Sounds biblical, but I assure you it’s not. In a nut shell, spiritual formation,
encourage[s] believers to incorporate a wide variety of extrabiblical spiritual practices, such as contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, creative expression, and yoga. In fact, some of the most popular methods of spiritual formation have been lifted from Catholicism, new age mysticism, or other religions and rebranded with biblical-sounding terminology. (Source)
Ken Silva cautions that involving oneself in mysticism can lead to a “denial of the Reformation and the acceptance of apostate Roman Catholicism as a viable form of Christianity.”
Both Willard and Foster, as well as Rick Warren, John Ortberg, Ruth Haley Barton and Tony Campolo have encouraged believers to read the writings of Roman Catholic Trappist Monks such as Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger and Thomas Keating to name a few. From individuals like these, Eastern pagan practices have been introduced into mainline Protestant churches, likewise independent, nondenominational, charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
Because of books penned by Catholic monks, an increasing number of u-LIEs embrace the idea that God speaks to His people in much the same way that He spoke to the patriarchs and apostles. And this is the primary reason Christians boast that they hear directly from God.
LIE-celebs and u-Lies who are exposed to mysticism will say things such as: “I had a word from the Lord” or “God said (this or that)…” Or “God told me to do (this or that)…” And “I have received revelation knowledge.” Anyone who makes these claims is saying that God speaks directly to them! The danger in thinking this way is that when God doesn’t “speak” to a professed Christian, she worries that He’s silent because she doesn’t have enough faith, or she has a “hidden sin” in her life because if she didn’t, God would speak to her; or perhaps the Lord’s silent because He’s angry over an act of disobedience…and the list goes on.
The Silence Is Not Golden
The aforementioned monks, or Desert Fathers, allege that by engaging in a prayer method called The Silence they’ve been able to achieve a profound experience with God. “We enter the silence to consciously experience our oneness within the one Mind, God.” The idea of experiencing oneness within the mind of God comes, not from the Bible, but from Eastern mysticism. It makes no sense for God’s people to borrow from a corrupt religious system that God despises. Listen to Isaiah 2:6:
For you [God] have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with foreigners.
The Desert Fathers have so little discernment that they not only participate in recycled paganism, they encourage others to go that route! Willard and Foster and other LIE-celebs know full well that they’re “striking hands with foreigners” and they do it anyway!
Being that the Lord condemns paganism, His people are to have nothing to do with it. No dabbling! Steer clear of anything to do with mantra meditation. Methods such ascontemplative prayer…centering prayer…breath prayer…are forbidden! Even though this will ruffle some feathers, my advice is to steer clear of “Christian” yoga. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph 5:11)
Part 2, coming up!
Entering “The Silence” (Posting this with a warning)
Contemplative Prayer–On Solid Rock Resources
Cults and Heretical Teaching—On Solid Rock Resources
Occult—On Solid Rock Resources
August 16, 2014 by Doug Newman
When Christians entangle themselves with the kingdoms of the world, they become worldly in the very worst way. — Pastor Gregory Boyd…
When someone becomes director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at the age of 33, you need to admire such an achievement.
When, at 36, this same man leads a surgical team that separates Siamese twins who were joined at the head, youreally need to admire such as achievement.
And when you learn that this man was raised in poverty by a single mom in the Detroit ghetto, you should simply stand in absolute awe of their life story.
But when this person gets serious about running for president of the United States, you need to start asking serious questions.
This person of such incredible accomplishments is Dr. Ben Carson. And according to this story, he has taken a “major step” toward a run at the White House.
What questions should you ask?
Does Carson understand his job description, i.e. the Constitution?
Does Carson understand the Second Amendment? Read his remarks here about semi-automatic weapons.
Does Carson understand the Ninth and Tenth Amendments? To his credit, Carson supports medical marijuana. However, he is all reefer madness when it comes to recreational marijuana.
And this has nothing to do with whether or not you yourself hit the lettuce. A government that will fine or imprison you for a victimless act like smoking marijuana will intrude on your life without end. And if you would fine or imprison someone for hitting the lettuce, you thereby forfeit your right to complain when an overbearing government intrudes on your life. Drug prohibition has turned the “land of the free” into the nation with the world’s highest incarceration rate.
And then there is the question of whether Carson understands constitutional limits on foreign policy and the military. Does he understand that there is absolutely zero constitutional basis for America being a “superpower” with a global troop presence?
Read this 600-word column in which Carson calls Obama’s already overly aggressive foreign policy “rudderless”. Can anyone interpret this as anything other than a call for endless war and meddling whenever Washington wants wherever Washington wants?
This is from a man who had originally opposed America’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. But now, he serves up a lot of pre-election year pabulum to pander to the neoconservative base.
Carson also appears to be much more pro-Second Amendment than before. While I agree with his more recent remarks, I am a concerned about the timing. Can we truly trust a man who changes his positions when he appears poised to run for president?
To be sure, Carson opposes Obamacare. However, he appears to support extensiveunconstitutional federal intrusion in the medical marketplace. And if you are implicitly trusting of what a Carson administration would do with these powers, just ask yourself what would happen with these powers in the hands of some Democratic president some day.
Unlike Carson, Ron Paul had an impeccable pro-Constitution and antiwar voting record throughout his 12 terms in Congress. And he did not change his message when he ran for president.
Back now to the subject of war.
Carson is well known for his Christian beliefs. I will take him at his word. And he appears to have lived a morally exemplary Christian life. Has he now succumbed to the temptations of fame and politics?
He has no problem with America’s status as a “superpower”. What is Christian about this? When the devil offered Jesus unlimited political power – Matthew 4:8-10 – Jesus declined the offer. Why is it then that so many Americans who claim to follow Jesus are so enamored with America’s military might?
He calls the recent sanctions that Obama imposed on Russia “toothless”. What would “toothy” sanctions look like in real life? And is there anything Christian about barriers to trade? In the Great Commission – Matthew 28:18-20 – Jesus tells His followers to bringthe Gospel to all nations, regardless of political circumstances. And when products cannot cross borders, bibles and missionaries can’t do so either.
And Carson craftily writes this essay without using the word “war” once. Again, what will Carson’s foreign policy look like other than global war? And who will be spilling their blood in all these conflicts? Will it be Carson or will it be kids from the South Bronx and the Oklahoma Panhandle whose names he will never know and whose funerals he most probably will not attend?
(Just in case anyone is interested, Carson himself never served a day in the military.)
And can Carson be taken seriously as “pro-life” when he advocates so much militarism?
War is just like Obamacare or any other government program. Those who promote it would rather have their fingernails extracted without anesthesia than talk about its real world implications.
And I know Carson sounds well-intended. Did you ever hear a politician who didn’t sound this way?
A government that will act without restraint abroad is just like a government that will interrupt your life for smoking marijuana. It will acknowledge no restraint anywhere.
There is an overwhelming temptation to believe that if we just put “good people” in power, they will wield this power benevolently. The difference between Ron Paul and Ben Carson is that Ron Paul understood the role of government and remained uncorrupted. Ron Paul would not compromise his principles for political gain. Carson, on the other hand, appears to be falling into way too much temptation way too soon. Indeed, it has been said that when you dance with the devil, you don’t change him, but he changes you.
Christianity is not about controlling the world from the top down, but influencing the world from the bottom up. Christians are to influence the world with the examples they set in their daily lives – Matthew 5:13-16, Galatians 5:22-23, I Peter 2:12 – rather than through accruing unlimited political power.
Just the other day, I read the following status update on Facebook: “I have heard many warnings about addictive substances and activities. If only there were more warnings and more wariness about the allure and the addictiveness of power. ‘If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ Jesus (Mark 9:35)”
As Christians, we pray “Lead us not into temptation” – Matthew 6:13.
Ben Carson has done way too much good with his life to squander his legacy in one of the most corrupt offices on earth, that of the presidency. (It was unspeakably corrupt LONG before Obama.) He could do so much more to benefit so many more people if he would just stay away from politics.
“But if we don’t get someone like Carson, we will wind up with Hillary!”
As Lew Rockwell once so succinctly put it, the right hates the left more than it hates the state. We need to fear God’s Judgment far more than we fear Hillary. Empires are the ultimate expression of human arrogance and hubris. As history shows, they all come to an end, and often a very ugly end. And if you are a Christian, read Revelation 18 and tell me who you think it is about.
It will take enormous courage for Ben Carson to eschew the allure of the White House. However, he needs to step aside and do it now if he truly is the genuine article.
August 16, 2014 by Mike Whitney
Standing In Washington’s Way…
The Obama administration is pushing for regime change in Iraq on the basis that current prime minister Nouri al Maliki is too sectarian. The fact is, however, that Maliki’s abusive treatment of Sunnis never factored into Washington’s decision to have him removed. Whether he has been “too sectarian” or not is completely irrelevant. The real reason he’s under attack is because he wouldn’t sign the Status of Forces Agreement in 2011. He refused to grant immunity to the tens of thousands of troops the administration wanted to leave in Iraq following the formal withdrawal. That’s what angered Washington. That’s why the administration wants Maliki replaced.
Check out this White House statement of support for new prime minister-designate Haider al-Ibadi (Maliki’s rival) by Vice President Joe Biden just hours after the change (coup?) was announced. The document is titled “Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi”.
“Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to congratulate him on his nomination to form a new government and develop a national program pursuant to Iraq’s constitutional process. The Prime Minister-designate expressed his intent to move expeditiously to form a broad-based, inclusive government capable of countering the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and building a better future for Iraqis from all communities. The Vice President relayed President Obama’s congratulations and restated his commitment to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL. The two leaders also discussed practical steps towards fully activating the bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement in all of its fields, including economic, diplomatic, and security cooperation. Prime Minister-designate Abadi thanked Vice President Biden for the call, and they agreed to stay in regular communication as the government formation process proceeds.” (White House)
Did you catch that part about the “bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement in all of its fields”. That’s the kicker right there. That’s what this is all about. Here’s one small section of that document under the heading of “Defense and Security”:
“…. Iraq Joint Military Committee (JMC),…. addressed issues such as border security, Iraqi military strategy, and engagement of Iraqi Security Forces in regional training exercises. The next JCC likely will be held in Washington this year.
Acting Defense Minister al-Dlimi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Security Cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense. This agreement represents the strong military to military relationship between the United States and Iraq, and provides mechanisms for increased defense cooperation in areas including defense planning, counterterrorism cooperation, and combined exercises.
… The Iraq FMS program is one of the largest in the world and is an important symbol of the long-term security partnership envisioned by both countries. We remain committed to meeting Iraqi equipment needs as quickly as possible.” (US Strategic Framework Agreement, US Department of State)
This is just the camel’s nose under the tent. There’s no doubt that the administration’s ultimate objective is to put US “boots back on the ground” which, by the way, is the reason why Obama is allowing the terrorist militia (ISIS) to seize 30 percent of the Iraqi landmass, capture the nation’s second biggest city, and move to within 50 miles of Baghdad without lifting a finger to help. It’s because Obama wants to create a pretext for boosting troop levels in the country. What better way to redeploy thousands of US combat troops to Iraq, then to scare Iraqi policymakers into submission with visions of bloodthirsty terrorists (ISIS) lopping off heads and slitting throats at every opportunity. It’s all about persuasion. (Note: It’s easy to see that–while ISIS may not be directly under US control–its presence in Iraq certainly serves Washington’s overall strategic aims. )
Independent researcher and journalist, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, appears to be one of the few analysts who’s figured out what’s going on. Check out this clip from Iran’s Press TV from interview with Ulrich:
“America has long-standing plans to be permanently present in Iraq, and in the Persian Gulf region as a whole”, said Ulrich. “Domination of the Persian Gulf is the lynchpin of US strategy…the presence of ISIL helps them in this goal.”
After Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki forced American forces out of Iraq by refusing to sign a Status of Forces Agreement allowing the forces to stay on permanently, US found its way back again, she added.
The government of Maliki refused to grant immunity to thousands of US troops, who were to remain in Iraq beyond 2011 under the pretext of training local forces.
The government had agreed to allow some of the US forces to stay longer for “training” purposes, but refused to shield them from prosecution. As a result, that residual force was never deployed.
According to a 2008 bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), all the US troops left the country by December 2011.
Ulrich said, “It’s very interesting that ISIL has captured towns and regions that have been vital for the US policy in the region — one is the oil-rich [region], America’s training and funding of Kurds, and Israel in fact started training of the Kurds in 2005 and the thinking that oil from Iraq would go to Israel, and it’s happening.”….
“I don’t believe for a moment that America has given up the idea of having Iraq and Syria and Iran under its full control,” the independent researcher and writer empathized.” (“‘US raises ISIL specter to stay in Iraq’”, Press TV)
Bingo. The “too sectarian” trope is a fraud. This is all about Washington stationing combat troops where the oil is. It always gets back to oil, doesn’t it? U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel summed it up perfectly in July, 2007, when he said:
“People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” (Washington’s blog)
So how does Obama’s bombing of ISIS jihadis outside of Ebril (N Iraq) fit with his earlier comments that he wouldn’t help defend Iraq unless their was movement on the political front? (In other words, until Maliki was removed from office.)
He sure changed his tune fast, didn’t he? But, why?
Oil, that’s why. Let’s put it this way: There are 10 reasons why Obama bombed ISIS positions outside of Ebril. They are:
4–Marathon Oil Corporation
5–Hillwood International Energy
So what’s the message here? What is Obama telegraphing to ISIS about US policy?
It’s simple. “You can kill as many Arabs and Christians as you want, but if you lay a finger on even one oil well, we’ll nuke you into oblivion.” Isn’t that the message?
Of course, it is. By the way, the reason the US exited Iraq to begin with wasn’t because Obama wanted to keep his campaign promise. Oh no. That was just public relations hype. The real reason was because Obama handed the Iraq Brief over to lunkhead Biden when he first took office, and Biden flubbed the deal. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Take a look at this blurb from the New Yorker:
“When I was profiling Biden last month, his advisers argued …that they had never favored Maliki, and had backed him because he won the support of a majority in Iraq. But that reading of history underplays Biden’s activism. …. Biden predicted that Maliki would sign on to a Status of Forces Agreement to keep U.S. troops on the ground. “Maliki wants us to stick around because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise,” Biden said, according to the account. “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA.”
Neither of those predictions came true. Maliki did not deliver, and U.S. forces left Iraq in December, 2011. As the crisis deepened this spring, the White House did not openly disparage Maliki, but made it clear that it was ready for a change. By all estimates, that sentiment was long overdue, and this week, America’s protracted divorce from Maliki is nearing completion. Obama has returned American military aircraft to the skies over Iraq, authorizing strikes to protect U.S. diplomatic missions and religious and ethnic minorities, and to prevent Sunni militants from advancing on the Kurdish city of Erbil. On Monday, another political sinkhole opened in Baghdad: the President nominated a new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, to replace Maliki. But Maliki has refused to give up power; on television, he vowed to use legal action to challenge the decision, while security forces loyal to him were seen taking up positions around the city.” (“Breaking Up: Maliki and Biden“, The New Yorker)
Read that passage over again; that’s the whole ball of wax, right there. Biden botched the SOFA agreement, so Obama decided to get rid of Maliki. Soon after, the plan to replace Maliki with Haider al-Abadi was put into motion.
It’s worth noting, that Obama has been blasted in the media for more than a year for withdrawing the troops from Iraq. A simple Google search of “Maliki Status of Forces agreement” will produce hundreds of articles lambasting Obama as the man “who lost Iraq”, or who “abandoned Iraq”, or the man who organized “the tragic withdrawal”. To America’s right wing pundits, the problem was never the war itself, but the way it ended. They blame Obama for everything that’s gone wrong. That’s why Obama wants to remove Maliki and deploy troops back to Iraq. It’s an attempt to placate the right.
Naturally, the fact that Obama, Biden, Kerry and everyone else in the administration has expressed their support for the nearly-unknown Abadi, has led to suspicions that US Intel agencies (and perhaps the State Department) have been acting behind the scenes to depose Maliki. But Obama vehemently denies any involvement. Check out this article in the Guardian:
“American officials have denied participating in a plot to oust Iraq prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, despite a series of phone calls made by Barack Obama and Joe Biden to support the appointment of his successor…..
The Obama administration had become increasingly strident in its criticism of Maliki in recent weeks, accusing him of the current Islamic uprising by failing to govern in the interest of all Iraqis…..Obama had “instructed his diplomats in Washington and Baghdad to find an alternative” to Maliki. ….(Obama) also dangled the prospect of direct US military support against the Islamic State, the separatists also known as Isis or Isil, if the putative new prime minister Haider al-Abadi succeeds in forming a lasting government.
But officials rejected allegations on Monday that it was encouraging “regime change”, insisting instead that the US was merely supporting a constitutional process rather than favoring individual politicians in Baghdad.” ….(“US denies role in plot to oust Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki”, Guardian)
Obama stepped up his criticism of Maliki in the last few weeks.
Obama blamed Maliki for the “current Islamic uprising” which was nurtured by US Intel agencies that armed, trained and funded the respective wahhabi crackpots who then moved into Iraq.
Obama says the US will not help to defeat the jihadi invasion unless Maliki is replaced.
Obama told” his diplomats in Washington and Baghdad to find an alternative” to Maliki.
At the same time, US “officials rejected allegations on Monday that it was encouraging “regime change”, insisting instead that the US was merely supporting a constitutional process.”
What a joke. If it walks like a coup and quacks like a coup; it’s a coup. It doesn’t matter what Obama says. It doesn’t matter what the media say. It’s painfully obvious that the US is involved.
On top of that, we have this from the New York Times:
“Other senior Obama administration officials said American representatives in Iraq had been increasingly and deeply involved in Baghdad discussions during the last 10 days to settle on an alternative to Mr. Maliki.” (“Iraqis Nominate Maliki Successor, Causing Standoff”, New York Times)
Isn’t that an admission of guilt? If “senior Obama administration officials” had been huddling for the last ten days to decide on a successor to the current Prime Minister, then how is that different than Victoria Nuland plotting the removal of Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych for US-puppet “Yats”? It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
Here’s something else from the NYT that’s worth mulling over:
“It was only during the past week that Mr. Abadi became a candidate. He is a onetime ally of Mr. Maliki’s, and because Mr. Abadi is from the same party his candidacy became attractive, as it recognized the legitimacy of the election victory for Mr. Maliki’s bloc in April’s national elections.
This is what “encouraged them to make a coup against Maliki,” said one of the Shiite negotiators, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss internal deliberations.”
Can you believe what they’re saying? So, it wasn’t Abadi’s position on the issues or his views on sectarianism that made him the “preferred” candidate at all. He was chosen strictly on the basis that his candidacy had the greatest chance of success. That’s it. This isn’t democracy; it’s a “dump Maliki at all cost” campaign orchestrated by the Obama troupe. That’s how desperate these people are.
But maybe Obama is right this time; is that what you are thinking, dear reader? After all, Maliki IS a vicious, iron-fisted tyrant who has fueled sectarian hatred and divisiveness. Maybe it would be better if he WAS gone. Maybe Obama is sincere in wanting (as the New York Times says) “to preserve Iraq’s cohesion while helping to stop ISIS’ avowed goal of creating a monolithic Islamic caliphate that ignores national boundaries.”
If that’s what you are thinking, you’re wrong. Changing the man at the top, will not change the system. Nor does Washington want to change the system. The US wants a savage, remorseless tyrant, (Have you taken a look at Egypt lately?) they just want one that will follow orders, that’s all. Maliki went off the reservation, so now he’s getting his pink slip. That’s all there is to it.
The idea that Abadi will reunify Iraq is ridiculous. The de facto partitioning of Iraq has already taken place. It won’t be reversed. In fact, this is what many in the political establishment (including Joe Biden) wanted from Day 1. A separate Kurdish state that will sell cheap oil to Israel and refuse to pass its oil revenues on to Baghdad, is already a reality, just as the borderless Sunni heartland (that will eventually take shape over the next few years) is a reality. Abadi will not alter these facts on the ground. Iraq is being torn apart by forces too powerful for him to contain or control. His function is merely to sign on the dotted line and allow the US to reopen its bases, redeploy its troops and get on with the business of empire.
The United States does not want a strong, independent Iraq. The US wants oil. The US wants power. The US wants Arabs killing Arabs. The US wants to extinguish Arab identity, culture, pride, literature, science, poetry, etc; anything that could lead to a reemergence of Arab nationalism, anything that could lead to an independent, sovereign state, anything that could impede the looting of Arab countries.
This is just the way that empire’s work. Maliki got in Washington’s way, so now Maliki is going to vanish. End of story.
Whether he was “too sectarian” or not, doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. His fate was sealed the moment he refused to sign the SOFA agreement.
August 13, 2014 by Selwyn Duke
One reason predictions of a Mitt Romney victory in 2012 were inaccurate, say analysts, is that the turnout among certain Democrat constituencies — in particular blacks and Hispanics — was greater than expected. And what a significant factor this is. Whether we call it getting out the vote, having a great “ground game” or just turnout, it can make or break an election.
But while the phrase “getting out the vote” is well understood, there is a lesser known election strategy: getting in the vote. What’s the difference? While the former involves getting as many as possible of the set number of sympathetic potential voters to the polls, getting in the vote is the process by which you increase that number of sympathetic voters. This process is most effectively exercised by Democrats, and it’s done in two ways. One is by indoctrinating people — especially young people — via academia, the media and entertainment. The second way is through immigration.
Why immigration? Because virtually the whole world is, to use our provisional (and lacking) political terminology, to the “left” of America. In addition, indoctrinating a young person is effective, but it’s an expensive process that must continue throughout his formative and teen years. Far easier is to import ready-made leftists. The results are quicker, too: the targeted babe born today won’t be entering the voting booth for 18 years. An immigrant, however, can perhaps be naturalized in just a few years. And politicians are more interested in the next election than in a future election involving the next person to hold their seat.
Moreover, you have to add to this the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965’s creation of a status quo in which 85 percent of our immigrants now hail from the Third World and Asia. This is significant because, like it or not and whatever the causes, there is an ironclad correlation between racial/ethnic identification and voting patterns. The GOP derives 90 percent of its votes from approximately 63 percent of the population: whites. In contrast, there is no major non-white group (note that I’m including Hispanics in this even though most are anthropologically classified as Caucasian) that doesn’t break Democrat by wide margins. Blacks cast approximately 94 percent of their votes for Democrats, while Hispanics and Asians come in at about 75 percent.
So if you’re a Machiavellian leftist who values power above all else, what do you do?
You increase the non-white segment of the population while decreasing the white segment percentagewise — as much and as fast as possible.
Call this demographic warfare. The idea is that if the people won’t change the government to your liking, you change the people.
This places our current border crisis in perspective. It explains why Barack Obama will not enforce immigration law. It explains why we’ve had seven amnesties during the last few decades, all accompanied by unfulfilled promises to secure the border. And it explains why a promoter of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was hard-core leftist Ted Kennedy. Expecting power-hungry Democrats to seal the border and not facilitate the invasion of our nation is like supposing they will cancel their get-out-the-vote drives. Migration — illegal and legal — is one of the main ways in which they grow their constituencies.
Yet while we, again, face a largely statist world, Democrats would still prefer non-white migrants. There could be many reasons for this, but I will mention three. First, many such migrants are especially socialist, which is why south-of-the-border peoples have elected demagogues such as Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales. Second, they’re poor. This means that, unlike some European immigrants, they have no reason to be concerned about higher income tax rates. It also means that in a prosperous land in which they see wealth surrounding them, their socialist tendencies will be stoked all the more. Envy is a dangerous and easily exploited sin, and why shouldn’t they get a piece of that American pie?
Lastly there is the divide-and-conquer factor. Even if European immigrants are left-leaning, they will nonetheless associate with and more quickly assimilate into the more conservative white majority. In contrast, consider Hispanic immigrants. They generally will circulate within a left-leaning group — the wider Hispanic community — which places them in an echo chamber in which their socialist tendencies are reinforced, nurtured and where deviation from them could make one a pariah. It also makes them ripe for racial/ethnic demagoguery. You don’t want to vote like the gringos, do you? And I think here about how Obama told Hispanics in the run-up to the 2010 mid-term elections to “punish” their “enemies.” To whom do you think he was referring?
In fact, assimilation of many of these newcomers isn’t just unlikely, it’s impossible. This is because we have in our midst more than just an ethnic echo chamber — we have a burgeoning nation within our nation.
Consider: approximately 50 percent of our legal immigrants come from Mexico, and 67 percent of American Hispanics have origins in that nation. This translates into a legal and illegal Mexican-heritage population of 20 to 30 million — perhaps 20 percent of Mexico’s population. The consequences of such an unbalanced and suicidal immigration policy are severe, and they were explained well by University of Edinburgh professor Stephen Tierney in his book Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution.
In a situation in which immigrants are divided into many different groups originating in distant countries, there is no feasible prospect of any particular immigrant group’s challenging the hegemony of the national language [press one for English, folks?] and institutions. These groups may form an alliance among themselves to fight for better treatment and accommodations, but such an alliance can only be developed within the language and institutions of the host society and, hence, is integrative. In situations in which a single dominant immigrant group originates in a neighbouring country, the dynamics may be very different. The Arabs in Spain, and Mexicans in the United States, do not need allies among other immigrant groups. One could imagine claims for Arabic or Spanish to be declared a second official language, at least in regions where they are concentrated, and these immigrants could seek support from their neighbouring home country for such claims — in effect, establishing a kind of transnational extension of their original homeland in their new neighbouring country of residence.
So liberals are seeking to overwhelm what they call white America through demographic change. In the name of power, of a get-in-the-vote drive, they happily commit cultural genocide, the fear of which, Professor Tierney goes on to write, “is often compounded in situations where the immigrant group has historic claims against the receiving country. … For example, in the Mexican-United States case….”
This is why our handwringing over the current border crisis is a little ironic. Yes, the situation is outrageous, but taking exception to illegal migration while blithely accepting our legal-immigration regime is like thinking that government death squads are preferable to roving gangs of murderous miscreants. Demographically, politically and culturally the two types of migration have precisely the same effect. All the illegal variety does is accelerate the process, giving the left more votes now and authentic Americanism a quicker, and perhaps more merciful, death.
August 13, 2014 by Mike Whitney
My Money’s On Putin…
“History shows that the United States has benefited politically and economically from wars in Europe. The huge outflow of capital from Europe following the First and Second World Wars, transformed the U.S. into a superpower … Today, faced with economic decline, the US is trying to precipitate another European war to achieve the same objective.”… Sergey Glazyev, Russian politician and economist
“The discovery of the world’s largest, known gas reserves in the Persian Gulf, shared by Qatar and Iran, and new assessments which found 70 percent more gas in the Levantine in 2007, are key to understanding the dynamics of the conflicts we see today. After a completion of the PARS pipeline, from Iran, through Iraq and Syria to the Eastern Mediterranean coast, the European Union would receive more than an estimated 45 percent of the gas it consumes over the next 100 – 120 years from Russian and Iranian sources. Under non-conflict circumstances, this would warrant an increased integration of the European, Russian and Iranian energy sectors and national economies.” Christof Lehmann,Interview with Route Magazine
The United States failed operation in Syria, has led to an intensification of Washington’s proxy war in Ukraine. What the Obama administration hoped to achieve in Syria through its support of so called “moderate” Islamic militants was to topple the regime of Bashar al Assad, replace him with a US-backed puppet, and prevent the construction of the critical Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. That plan hasn’t succeeded nor will it in the near future, which means that the plan for the prospective pipeline will eventually go forward.
Why is that a problem?
It’s a problem because–according to Dr. Lehmann–”Together with the Russian gas… the EU would be able to cover some 50 percent of its requirements for natural gas via Iranian and Russian sources.” As the primary suppliers of critical resources to Europe, Moscow and Tehran would grow stronger both economically and politically which would significantly undermine the influence of the US and its allies in the region, particularly Qatar and Israel. This is why opponents of the pipeline developed a plan to sabotage the project by fomenting a civil war in Syria. Here’s Lehmann again:
“In 2007, Qatar sent USD 10 billion to Turkey´s Foreign Minister Davotoglu to prepare Turkey´s and Syria´s Muslim Brotherhood for the subversion of Syria. As we recently learned from former French Foreign Minister Dumas, it was also about that time, that actors in the United Kingdom began planning the subversion of Syria with the help of “rebels”’ (Christof Lehmann, Interview with Route Magazine)
In other words, the idea to arm, train and fund an army of jihadi militants, to oust al Assad and open up Syria to western interests, had its origins in an evolving energy picture that clearly tilted in the favor of US rivals in the region. (Note: We’re not sure why Lehmann leaves out Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or the other Gulf States that have also been implicated.)
Lehmann’s thesis is supported by other analysts including the Guardian’s Nafeez Ahmed who explains what was going on behind the scenes of the fake civil uprising in Syria. Here’s a clip from an article by Ahmed titled “Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern”:
“In May 2007, a presidential finding revealed that Bush had authorised CIA operations against Iran. Anti-Syria operations were also in full swing around this time as part of this covert programme, according to Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker. A range of US government and intelligence sources told him that the Bush administration had “cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations” intended to weaken the Shi’ite Hezbollah in Lebanon. “The US has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria,” wrote Hersh, “a byproduct” of which is “the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups” hostile to the United States and “sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” He noted that “the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria”…
According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009: “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business”, he told French television:
“I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”
… Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”
So what was this unfolding strategy to undermine Syria and Iran all about? According to retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to “attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years”, starting with Iraq and moving on to “Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” In a subsequent interview, Clark argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.”
(“Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern“, The Guardian)
Apparently, Assad was approached by Qatar on the pipeline issue in 2009, but he refused to cooperate in order “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally.” Had Assad fallen in line and agreed to Qatar’s offer, then the effort to remove him from office probably would have been called off. In any event, it was the developments in Syria that triggered the frenzied reaction in Ukraine. According to Lehmann:
“The war in Ukraine became predictable (unavoidable?) when the great Muslim Brotherhood Project in Syria failed during the summer of 2012. …In June and July 2012 some 20,000 NATO mercenaries who had been recruited and trained in Libya and then staged in the Jordanian border town Al-Mafraq, launched two massive campaigns aimed at seizing the Syrian city of Aleppo. Both campaigns failed and the ”Libyan Brigade” was literally wiped out by the Syrian Arab Army.
It was after this decisive defeat that Saudi Arabia began a massive campaign for the recruitment of jihadi fighters via the network of the Muslim Brotherhoods evil twin sister Al-Qaeda.
The International Crisis Group responded by publishing its report ”Tentative Jihad”. Washington had to make an attempt to distance itself ”politically” from the ”extremists”. Plan B, the chemical weapons plan was hedged but it became obvious that the war on Syria was not winnable anymore.” (“The Atlantic Axis and the Making of a War in Ukraine“, New eastern Outlook)
There were other factors that pushed the US towards a conflagration with Moscow in Ukraine, but the driving force was the fact that US rivals (Russia and Iran) stood to be the dominant players in an energy war that would increasingly erode Washington’s power. Further economic integration between Europe and Russia poses a direct threat to US plans to pivot to Asia, deploy NATO to Russia’s borders, and to continue to denominate global energy supplies in US dollars.
Lehmann notes that he had a conversation with “a top-NATO admiral from a northern European country” who clarified the situation in a terse, two-sentence summary of US foreign policy. He said:
“American colleagues at the Pentagon told me, unequivocally, that the US and UK never would allow European – Soviet relations to develop to such a degree that they would challenge the US/UK’s political, economic or military primacy and hegemony on the European continent. Such a development will be prevented by all necessary means, if necessary by provoking a war in central Europe”.
This is the crux of the issue. The United States is not going to allow any state or combination of states to challenge its dominance. Washington doesn’t want rivals. It wants to be the undisputed, global superpower, which is the point that Paul Wolfowitz articulated in an early draft of the US National Defense Strategy:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
So the Obama administration is going to do whatever it thinks is necessary to stop further EU-Russia economic integration and to preserve the petrodollar system. That system originated in 1974 when President Richard Nixon persuaded OPEC members to denominate their oil exclusively in dollars, and to recycle their surplus oil proceeds into U.S. Treasuries. The arrangement turned out to be a huge windfall for the US, which rakes in more than $1 billion per day via the process. This, in turn, allows the US to over-consume and run hefty deficits. Other nations must stockpile dollars to purchase the energy that runs their machinery, heats their homes and fuels their vehicles. Meanwhile, the US can breezily exchange paper currency, which it can print at no-expense to itself, for valuable imported goods that cost dearly in terms of labor and materials. These dollars then go into purchasing oil or natural gas, the profits of which are then recycled back into USTs or other dollar-denominated assets such as U.S. stocks, bonds, real estate, or ETFs. This is the virtuous circle that keeps the US in the top spot.
As one critic put it: “World trade is now a game in which the US produces dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy.”
The petrodollar system helps to maintain the dollar’s monopoly pricing which, in turn, sustains the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It creates excessive demand for dollars which allows the Fed to expand the nation’s credit by dramatically reducing the cost of financing. If oil and natural gas were no longer denominated in USDs, the value of the dollar would fall sharply, the bond market would collapse, and the US economy would slip into a long-term slump.
This is one of the reasons why the US invaded Iraq shortly after Saddam had switched over to the euro; because it considers any challenge to the petrodollar looting scam as a direct threat to US national security.
Moscow is aware of Washington’s Achilles’s heel and is making every effort to exploit that weakness by reducing its use of the dollar in its trade agreements. So far, Moscow has persuaded China and Iran to drop the dollar in their bilateral dealings, and they have found that other trading partners are eager to do the same. Recently, Russian economic ministers conducted a “de-dollarization” meeting in which a “currency switch executive order” was issued stating that “the government has the legal power to force Russian companies to trade a percentage of certain goods in rubles.”
Last week, according to RT:
“The Russian and Chinese central banks have agreed a draft currency swap agreement, which will allow them to increase trade in domestic currencies and cut the dependence on the US dollar in bilateral payments. “The draft document between the Central Bank of Russia and the People’s Bank of China on national currency swaps has been agreed by the parties…..The agreement will stimulate further development of direct trade in yuan and rubles on the domestic foreign exchange markets of Russia and China,” the Russian regulator said.
Currently, over 75 percent of payments in Russia-China trade settlements are made in US dollars, according to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.” (“De-Dollarization Accelerates – China/Russia Complete Currency Swap Agreement“, Zero Hedge)
The attack on the petrodollar recycling system is one of many asymmetrical strategies Moscow is presently employing to discourage US aggression, to defend its sovereignty, and to promote a multi-polar world order where the rule of law prevails. The Kremlin is also pushing for institutional changes that will help to level the playing field instead of creating an unfair advantage for the richer countries like the US. Naturally, replacing the IMF, whose exploitative loans and punitive policies, topped the list for most of the emerging market nations, particularly the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) who, in July, agreed to create a $100 billion Development Bank that will “will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar. The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, and unlike the IMF or World Bank, each nation has equal say, regardless of GDP size.
According to RT:
“The big launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step to break the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollar-backed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions BRICS countries have little influence within…
“This mechanism creates the foundation for an effective protection of our national economies from a crisis in financial markets,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.”
(“BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance“, RT)
It’s clear that Washington’s aggression in Ukraine has focused Moscow’s attention on retaliation. But rather than confront the US militarily, as Obama and Co. would prefer, Putin is taking aim at the vulnerabilities within the system. A BRICS Development Bank challenges the IMF’s dominant role as lender of last resort, a role that has enhanced the power of the wealthy countries and their industries. The new bank creates the basis for real institutional change, albeit, still within the pervasive capitalist framework.
Russian politician and economist, Sergei Glazyev, summarized Moscow’s approach to the US-Russia conflagration in an essay titled “US is militarizing Ukraine to invade Russia.” Here’s an excerpt:
“To stop the war, you need to terminate its driving forces. At this stage, the war unfolds mainly in the planes of economic, public relations and politics. All the power of US economic superiority is based on the financial pyramid of debt, and this has gone long beyond sustainability. Its major lenders are collapsing enough to deprive the US market of accumulated US dollars and Treasury bonds. Of course, the collapse of the US financial system will cause serious losses to all holders of US currency and securities. But first, these losses for Russia, Europe and China will be less than the losses caused by American geopolitics unleashing another world war. Secondly, the sooner the exit from the financial obligations of this American pyramid, the less will be the losses. Third, the collapse of the dollar Ponzi scheme gives an opportunity, finally, to reform the global financial system on the basis of equity and mutual benefit.”
Washington thinks “modern warfare” involves covert support for proxy armies comprised of Neo Nazis and Islamic extremists. Moscow thinks modern warfare means undermining the enemy’s ability to wage war through sustained attacks on it’s currency, its institutions, its bond market, and its ability to convince its allies that it is a responsible steward of the global economic system.
I’ll put my money on Russia.
August 12, 2014 by William Blum
During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the Soviet Union because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World). Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.
E-mail sent to the Washington Post July 23, 2014 about the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17:
Your July 22 editorial was headed: “Russia’s barbarism. The West needs a strategy to contain the world’s newest rogue state.”
Pretty strong language. Vicious, even. Not one word of hard evidence in the editorial to back it up. Then, the next day, the Associated Press reported:
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for ‘creating the conditions’ that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. … the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.
Where were these words in the Post? You people are behaving like a rogue newspaper.
– William Blum
I don’t have to tell you whether the Post printed my letter. I’ve been reading the paper for 25 years – six years during Vietnam (1964-1970) and the last 19 years (1995-2014) – usually spending about three hours each day reading it very carefully. And I can say that when it comes to US foreign policy the newspaper is worse now than I can remember it ever was during those 25 years. It’s reached the point where, as one example, I don’t take at face value a word the Post has to say about Ukraine. Same with the State Department, which makes one accusation after another about Russian military actions in Eastern Ukraine without presenting any kind of satellite imagery or other visual or documentary evidence; or they present something that’s wholly inconclusive and/or unsourced or citing “social media”; what we’re left with is often no more than just an accusation. Do they have something to hide?
The State Department’s Public Affairs spokespersons making these presentations exhibit little regard or respect for the reporters asking challenging questions. It takes my thoughts back to the Vietnam era and Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the man most responsible for “giving, controlling and managing the war news from Vietnam”. One day in July 1965, Sylvester told American journalists that they had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good. When one of the reporters exclaimed: “Surely, Arthur, you don’t expect the American press to be handmaidens of government,” Sylvester replied: “That’s exactly what I expect,” adding: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? – stupid.”
Such frankness might be welcomed today as a breath of fresh air compared to the painful-to-observe double-talk of a State Department spokesperson.
My personal breath of fresh air in recent years has been the television station RT (formerly Russia Today). On a daily basis many progressives from around the world (myself included occasionally) are interviewed and out of their mouths come facts and analyses that are rarely heard on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Fox News, BBC, etc. The words of these progressives heard on RT are typically labeled by the mainstream media as “Russian propaganda”, whereas I, after a long lifetime of American propaganda, can only think: “Of course. What else are they going to call it?”
As for Russia being responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Flight 17, we should keep in mind that the current series of events in Ukraine was sparked in February when a US-supported coup overthrew the democratically-elected government and replaced it with one that was more receptive to the market-fundamentalism dictates of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Union. Were it not for the coup there would have been no eastern rebellion to put down and no dangerous war zone for Flight 17 to be flying over in the first place.
The new regime has had another charming feature: a number of outspoken neo-Nazis in high and low positions, a circumstance embarrassing enough for the US government and mainstream media to turn it into a virtual non-event. US Senator John McCain met and posed for photos with the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok (photos easily found on the Internet). Ukraine – whose ties to Naziism go back to World War Two when their homegrown fascists supported Germany and opposed the Soviet Union – is on track to becoming the newest part of the US-NATO military encirclement of Russia and possibly the home of the region’s newest missile base, target Moscow.
It is indeed possible that Flight 17 was shot down by the pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine in the mistaken belief that it was the Ukrainian air force returning to carry out another attack. But other explanations are suggested in a series of questions posed by Russia to the the Secretary-General of the UN General Assembly, accompanied by radar information, satellite images, and other technical displays:
“Why was a military aircraft flying in a civil aviation airway at almost the same time and the same altitude as a civilian passenger aircraft? We would like to have this question answered.”
“Earlier, Ukrainian officials stated that on the day of the accident no Ukrainian military aircraft were flying in that area. As you can see, that is not true.”
“We also have a question for our American colleagues. According to a statement by American officials, the United States has satellite images which show that the missile aimed at the Malaysian aircraft was launched by the militants. But no one has seen these images.”
There is also this intriguing speculation, which ties in to the first Russian question above. A published analysis by a retired Lufthansa pilot points out that Flight 17 looked similar in its tricolor design to that of Russian President Putin’s plane, whose plane with him on board was at the same time “near” Flight 17. In aviation circles “near” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. Could Putin’s plane have been the real target?
There is as well other serious and plausible questioning of the official story of Russia and/or Ukrainian anti-Kiev militias being responsible for the shootdown. Is Flight 17 going to become the next JFK Assassination, PanAm 103, or 9-11 conspiracy theory that lingers forever? Will the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Syrian chemical weapons be joined by the Russian anti-aircraft missile? Stay tuned.
Will they EVER leave Cuba alone? No.
The latest exposed plot to overthrow the Cuban government … Oh, pardon me, I mean the latest exposed plot to bring democracy to Cuba …
Our dear friends at the Agency For International Development (USAID), having done so well with their covert sub-contractor Alan Gross, now in his fifth year in Cuban custody … and their “Cuban Twitter” project, known as ZunZuneo, exposed in 2012, aimed at increasing the flow of information amongst the supposedly information-starved Cubans, which drew in subscribers unaware that the service was paid for by the US government … and now, the latest exposure, a project which sent about a dozen Venezuelan, Costa Rican and Peruvian young people to Cuba in hopes of stirring up a rebellion; the travelers worked clandestinely, using the cover of health and civic programs, or posing as tourists, going around the island, on a mission to “identify potential social-change actors” to turn into political activists. Can you believe that? Can you believe the magnitude of naiveté? Was it a conviction that American exceptionalism would somehow work its magic? Do they think the Cuban people are a bunch of children just waiting for a wise adult to come along and show them what to think and how to behave?
One of these latest USAID contracts was signed only days after Gross was detained, thus indicating little concern for the safety of their employees/agents. As part of the preparation of these individuals, USAID informed them: “Although there is never total certainty, trust that the authorities will not try to harm you physically, only frighten you. Remember that the Cuban government prefers to avoid negative media reports abroad, so a beaten foreigner is not convenient for them.”
It’s most ironic. The US government could not say as much about most of their allies, who frequently make use of physical abuse. Indeed, the statement could not be made in regard to almost any American police force. But it’s this Cuba that doesn’t beat or torture detainees that is the enemy to be reformed and punished without mercy … 55 years and counting.
The United States and torture
Two of the things that governments tend to cover-up or lie about the most are assassinations and torture, both of which are widely looked upon as exceedingly immoral and unlawful, even uncivilized. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and has led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance and encouragement by American instructors, particularly in Latin America.
Thus it is somewhat to the credit of President Obama that at his August 1 press conference he declared “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.”
And he actually used the word “torture” at that moment, not “enhanced interrogation”, which has been the euphemism of preference the past decade, although two minutes later the president used “extraordinary interrogation techniques”. And “tortured some folks” makes me wince. The man is clearly uncomfortable with the subject.
But all this is minor. Much more important is the fact that for several years Mr. Obama’s supporters have credited him with having put an end to the practice of torture. And they simply have no right to make that claim.
Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that “rendition” was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.”
The English translation of “cooperate” is “torture”. Rendition is simply outsourcing torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, to name some of the known torture centers frequented by the United States. Kosovo and Diego Garcia – both of which house large and very secretive American military bases – if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business. The same for the Guantánamo Base in Cuba.
Moreover, the Executive Order referred to, number 13491, issued January 22, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”, leaves a major loophole. It states repeatedly that humane treatment, including the absence of torture, is applicable only to prisoners detained in an “armed conflict”. Thus, torture by Americans outside an environment of “armed conflict” is not explicitly prohibited. But what about torture within an environment of “counter-terrorism”?
The Executive Order required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and noise, and stress positions.
After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had “left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules … Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of ‘rendition’ – picking terrorism suspects off the street and sending them to a third country. But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions ‘that violate our human values’.”
The last sentence is of course childishly absurd. The countries chosen to receive rendition prisoners were chosen precisely because they were willing and able to torture them.
No official in the Bush and Obama administrations has been punished in any way for torture or other war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and the other countries they waged illegal war against. And, it could be added, no American bankster has been punished for their indispensable role in the world-wide financial torture they inflicted upon us all beginning in 2008. What a marvelously forgiving land is America. This, however, does not apply to Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, or Chelsea Manning.
In the last days of the Bush White House, Michael Ratner, professor at Columbia Law School and former president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, pointed out:
The only way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure that those who were responsible for the torture program pay the price for it. I don’t see how we regain our moral stature by allowing those who were intimately involved in the torture programs to simply walk off the stage and lead lives where they are not held accountable.
I’d like at this point to once again remind my dear readers of the words of the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”, which was drafted by the United Nations in 1984, came into force in 1987, and ratified by the United States in 1994. Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity.
The Convention Against Torture has been and remains the supreme law of the land. It is a cornerstone of international law and a principle on a par with the prohibition against slavery and genocide.
“Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States.” – United States Attorney General Eric Holder, July 26, 2013
John Brennan, appointed by President Obama in January 2013 to be Director of the CIA, has defended “rendition” as an “absolutely vital tool”; and stated that torture had produced “life saving” intelligence.
Obama had nominated Brennan for the CIA position in 2008, but there was such an outcry in the human-rights community over Brennan’s apparent acceptance of torture, that Brennan withdrew his nomination. Barack Obama evidently learned nothing from this and appointed the man again in 2013.
During Cold War One, a common theme in the rhetoric was that the Soviets tortured people and detained them without cause, extracted phony confessions, and did the unspeakable to detainees who were helpless against the full, heartless weight of the Communist state. As much as any other evil, torture differentiated the bad guys, the Commies, from the good guys, the American people and their government. However imperfect the US system might be – we were all taught – it had civilized standards that the enemy rejected.
Just because you have a right to do something does not make it right.
The city of Detroit in recent months has been shutting off the supply of water to city residents who have not paid their water bills. This action affects more than 40% of the customers of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, bringing great inconvenience and threats to the health and sanitation of between 200 and 300 thousand residents. Protests have of course sprung up in the city, with “Water is a human right!” as a leading theme.
Who can argue with that? Well, neo-conservatives and other true believers in the capitalist system who maintain that if you receive the benefit of a product or service, you pay for it. What could be simpler? What are you, some kind of socialist?
For those of you who have difficulty believing that an American city could be so insensitive, allow me to remind you of some history.
On December 14, 1981 a resolution was proposed in the United Nations General Assembly which declared that “education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development are human rights”. Notice the “proper nourishment”. The resolution was approved by a vote of 135-1. The United States cast the only “No” vote.
A year later, December 18, 1982, an identical resolution was proposed in the General Assembly. It was approved by a vote of 131-1. The United States cast the only “No” vote.
The following year, December 16, 1983, the resolution was again put forth, a common practice at the United Nations. This time it was approved by a vote of 132-1. There’s no need to tell you who cast the sole “No” vote.
These votes took place under the Reagan administration.
Under the Clinton administration, in 1996, a United Nations-sponsored World Food Summit affirmed the “right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food”. The United States took issue with this, insisting that it does not recognize a “right to food”. Washington instead championed free trade as the key to ending the poverty at the root of hunger, and expressed fears that recognition of a “right to food” could lead to lawsuits from poor nations seeking aid and special trade provisions.
The situation of course did not improve under the administration of George W. Bush. In 2002, in Rome, world leaders at another UN-sponsored World Food Summit again approved a declaration that everyone had the right to “safe and nutritious food”. The United States continued to oppose the clause, again fearing it would leave them open to future legal claims by famine-stricken countries.
I’m waiting for a UN resolution affirming the right to oxygen.
- See various examples at RT.com, such as “Jen Psaki’s most embarrassing fails, most entertaining grillings”, or simply search the site for “Ukraine Jen Psaki”
- Congressional Record (House of Representatives), May 12, 1966, pp. 9977-78, reprint of an article by Morley Safer of CBS News
- “Letter dated 22 July 2014 from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General”, released by the UN 24 July, Document No. A/68/954-S/2014/524
- “Pre-WWIII German Pilot Shocker, MH17 ‘Not Hit By Missile’”, Before It’s News, July 31 2014
- Associated Press, August 4, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2009
- New York Times, February 6, 2009
- Associated Press, November 17, 2008
- Associated Press, November 26, 2008
- Washington Post, November 18, 1996
- Reuters news agency, June 10, 2002