Gaza is a window on our coming dystopia. The growing divide between the world’s elite and its miserable masses of humanity is maintained through spiraling violence. Many impoverished regions of the world, which have fallen off the economic cliff, are beginning to resemble Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians live in the planet’s largest internment camp. These sacrifice zones, filled with seas of pitifully poor people trapped in squalid slums or mud-walled villages, are increasingly hemmed in by electronic fences, monitored by surveillance cameras and drones and surrounded by border guards or military units that shoot to kill. These nightmarish dystopias extend from sub-Saharan Africa to Pakistan to China. They are places where targeted assassinations are carried out, where brutal military assaults are pressed against peoples left defenseless, without an army, navy or air force. All attempts at resistance, however ineffective, are met with the indiscriminate slaughter that characterizes modern industrial warfare.
In the new global landscape, as in Israel’s occupied territories and the United States’ own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege. Prisoners are routinely tortured and “disappeared.” The severance of food and medical supplies is an accepted tactic of control. Lies permeate the airwaves. Religious, racial and ethnic groups are demonized. Missiles rain down on concrete hovels, mechanized units fire on unarmed villagers, gunboats pound refugee camps with heavy shells, and the dead, including children, line the corridors of hospitals that lack electricity and medicine.
The impending collapse of the international economy, the assaults on the climate, the resulting droughts, flooding, precipitous decline in crop yields and rising food prices are creating a universe where power is divided between the narrow elites, who hold in their hands sophisticated instruments of death, and the enraged masses. The crises are fostering a class war that will dwarf anything imagined by Karl Marx. They are establishing a world where most will be hungry and live in fear, while a few will gorge themselves on delicacies in protected compounds. And more and more people will have to be sacrificed to keep this imbalance in place.
Because it has the power to do so, Israel—as does the United States—flouts international law to keep a subject population in misery. The continued presence of Israeli occupation forces defies nearly a hundred U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for them to withdraw. The Israeli blockade of Gaza, established in June 2007, is a brutal form of collective punishment that violates Article 33 of the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention, which set up rules for the “Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.” The blockade has turned Gaza into a sliver of hell, an Israeli-administered ghetto where thousands have died, including the 1,400 civilians killed in the Israeli incursion of 2008. With 95 percent of factories shut down, Palestinian industry has virtually ceased functioning. The remaining 5 percent operate at 25 to 50 percent capacity. Even the fishing industry is moribund. Israel refuses to let fishermen travel more than three miles from the coastline, and within the fishing zone boats frequently come under Israeli fire. The Israeli border patrols have seized 35 percent of the agricultural land in Gaza for a buffer zone. The collapsing infrastructure and Israeli seizure of aquifers mean that in many refugee camps, such as Khan Yunis, there is no running water. UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) estimates that 80 percent of all Gazans now rely on food aid. And the claim of Israeli self-defense belies the fact that it is Israel that maintains an illegal occupation and violates international law by carrying out collective punishment of Palestinians. It is Israel that chose to escalate the violence when during an incursion into Gaza earlier this month its forces fatally shot a 13-year-old boy. As the world breaks down, this becomes the new paradigm—modern warlords awash in terrifying technologies and weapons murdering whole peoples. We do the same in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Market forces and the military mechanisms that protect these forces are the sole ideology that governs industrial states and humans’ relationship to the natural world. It is an ideology that results in millions of dead and millions more displaced from their homes in the developing world. And the awful algebra of this ideology means that these forces will eventually be unleashed on us, too. Those who cannot be of use to market forces are considered expendable. They have no rights and legitimacy. Their existence, whether in Gaza or blighted postindustrial cities such as Camden, N.J., is considered a drain on efficiency and progress. They are viewed as refuse. And as refuse they not only have no voice and no freedom; they can be and are extinguished or imprisoned at will. This is a world where only corporate power and profit are sacred. It is a world of barbarism.
“In disposing of man’s labor power the system would, incidentally, dispose of the physical, psychological, and moral entity ‘man’ attached to that tag,” Karl Polanyi wrote in “The Great Transformation.” “Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, crime, and starvation. Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed. Finally, the market administration of purchasing power would periodically liquidate business enterprise, for shortages and surfeits of money would prove as disastrous to business as floods and droughts in primitive society. Undoubtedly, labor, land, and money markets are essential to a market economy. But no society could stand the effects of such a system of crude fictions even for the shortest stretch of time unless its human and natural substance as well as its business organization was protected against the ravages of this satanic mill.”
There are 47.1 million Americans who depend on food stamps to eat. The elites are plotting to take these food stamps away, along with other “entitlement” programs that keep the poor from destitution. The slashing of trillions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs, given the political impasse in Washington and the looming “fiscal cliff,” now seems certain. There are 50 million people considered to be living below the poverty line, but because the poverty line is so low—$22,350 for a family of four—this figure means nothing. Add the tens of millions of Americans who live in a category called “near poverty,” including all those families attempting to live on less than $45,000 a year, and you have at least 30 percent of the country living in poverty. Once these people figure out that there is no economic recovery, that their standard of living is going to continue to drop, that they are trapped, that hope in the future is an illusion, they will become as angry as protesters in Greece and Spain or the militants in Gaza or Afghanistan. Banks and other financial corporations, handed trillions in interest-free money from the Federal Reserve, meanwhile hoard $5 trillion, much of it looted from the U.S. Treasury. The longer this worldwide disparity and inequality is perpetuated, the more the masses will revolt and the faster we will internally replicate the Israeli model of domestic control—drones overhead, all dissent criminalized, SWAT teams busting through doors, deadly force as an acceptable form of subjugation, food used as a weapon, and constant surveillance.
In Gaza and other blighted parts of the globe we see this new configuration of power. What is happening in Gaza, like what is happening to people of color in marginal communities in the United States, is the model. The techniques of control, whether carried out by the Israelis or militarized police units in our inner-city drug wars, whether employed by military special forces or mercenaries in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq, are tested first and perfected on the weak and the powerless. Our callous indifference to the plight of the Palestinians, and the hundreds of millions of poor packed into urban slums in Asia or Africa, as well as our own underclass, means that the injustices visited on them will be visited on us. In failing them we fail ourselves.
As the U.S. empire implodes, the harsher forms of violence employed on the outer reaches of empire are steadily migrating back to the homeland. At the same time, the internal systems of democratic governance have calcified. Centralized authority has devolved into the hands of an executive branch that slavishly serves global corporate interests. The press and the government’s judiciary and legislative branches have become toothless and decorative. The specter of terrorism, as in Israel, is used by the state to divert gargantuan expenditures to homeland security, the military and internal surveillance. Privacy is abolished. Dissent is treason. The military with its mantra of blind obedience and force characterizes the dark ethic of the wider culture. Beauty and truth are abolished. Culture is degraded into kitsch. The emotional and intellectual life of the citizenry is ravaged by spectacle, the tawdry and salacious, as well as by handfuls of painkillers and narcotics. Blind ambition, a lust for power and a grotesque personal vanity—exemplified by David Petraeus and his former mistress—are the engines of advancement. The concept of the common good is no longer part of the lexicon of power. This, as the novelist J.M. Coetzee writes, is “the black flower of civilization.” It is Rome under Diocletian. It is us. Empires, in the end, decay into despotic, murderous and corrupt regimes that finally consume themselves. And we, like Israel, are now coughing up blood.
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
Bullies choose easy adversaries to pummel. Equal fights are shunned. It’s the same in schoolyards or battlefields.
America and Israel operate this way. They avoid foes able to give as much as they take. Rogue governments never say they’re sorry.
During Cast Lead in January 2009, Professor Jeremy Salt wrote “A Message to the brave Israeli Airmen.” His comments apply to what’s now ongoing.
What’s it like firing missiles at people you can’t see, he asked?
Does it help being unable to see who you’re killing?
Is your conscience eased by inflicting disproportionate force on people unable to fight back and civilian infrastructure?
Are you comfortable about slaughtering civilian men, women, children, and infants?
Does this weigh on your conscience, or are you at ease?
Do you sleep well or have nightmares about men, women and children you killed at home, in beds, kitchens, living rooms, schools, mosques, at work, or at play?
Do farmers in their fields, mothers with children, teachers in classrooms, imams in mosques, children at play, the elderly, frail or disabled threaten your security?
Do you ever question what you’ve done and why?
Have you no shame, no sense of decency, no idea of the difference between right and wrong?
Do you know the law? If so, why do you violate it? Doing so makes you complicit in crimes of war and against humanity? Do you know that?
Do you blindly follow orders or have a mind of your own?
Have you murdered civilians before?
Will you do it again if ordered?
Will you keep following orders blindly or do the right thing?
“Brave” Israeli airmen, soldiers, sailors, and other security force personnel are cowards. They’ve acted lawlessly for decades.
Palestinian suffering is a way of life. Imagine living every day not sure if you’ll live or die. Imagine young children growingup this way. Do Israeli children know what Palestinian ones endure? Are they told? Do they care? Do their parents?
Israel’s moving thousands of troops and heavy weapons to Gaza’s border. Mossad-connected DEBKAfile said:
“Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and the high IDF command are pushing for the ground operation, Stage B of the Pillar of Cloud operation, to start without delay. The prime minister and defense minister prefer to wait.”
Another potential holocaust looms. Civilians always suffer most. Israel and America willfully target them. It part of the imperial strategy of both countries. Human lives don’t matter, just conquest, dominance, and exploitation.
Cast Lead took a terrible toll. Missiles, bombs, shells, and illegal weapons were used against defenseless people. Mass slaughter and destruction followed.
Horrific crimes of war and against humanity were committed. Responsible officials remain unaccountable. Security Council no-fly zone protection wasn’t ordered.
Over 1,400 Gazans perished. More than 80% were civilians. Over 300 were children. Around 5,300 were injured. Over 1,600 were children or infants. Israel willfully targeted them.
Neighborhoods, schools, universities, mosques, hospitals, UN facilities, fishing boats, civilian factories and workshops, municipal buildings, charitable foundations, civilian infrastructure, and other noncombatant sites were bombed and shelled.
Farmland was bulldozed. Power facilities and irrigations systems were destroyed. International leaders were indifferent about human slaughter and suffering. Only three low-level Israeli soldiers received punishments too minor to matter.
The al-Samouni family lost 27 members. Salah Talala al-Samouni saw his mother blown apart. Rocket and shell fire killed his two-year old daughter, father, aunt, cousin, and entire family. Media scoundrels said nothing. They support Israel’s worst crimes.
Under siege, Gazans haven’t recovered from Cast Lead. Now they face the prospect of more war perhaps worse than 2008-09.
International leaders share culpability through silence, indifference, and/or complicity. Washington is involved in all Israeli wars. Weapons, munitions and funding are supplied. Political support is given.
Obama told Netanyahu, go ahead and bomb and shell at will. Call it “self-defense” and pretend no one knows it’s not. On November 15, the Senate unanimously passed a non-binding supportive resolution. Not a single profile in courage expressed opposition.
AIPAC thanked Obama and Senate members for supporting Israel. Gazan civilians and resistance fighters are maliciously called terrorists. They’re heroes, not criminals.
On November 14, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) national director Abe Foxman expressed support for Israeli bombing and shelling, saying:
“Israel has shown tremendous restraint in the face of the unceasing rocket and mortar fire launched from Gaza. This operation is directly targeting the leadership responsible for these attacks, as well as the warehouses and facilities housing their weapons.”
“No country in the world would stand by and tolerate such attacks on more than a million civilians.”
“The international community has a clear obligation to condemn these attacks and to support the actions taken by Israel against Hamas and other terror organizations operating in Gaza as Israel carries out its basic duty to defend its civilian population.”
For almost a century, ADL fronted for Jewish supremacy. It backs occupation harshness. It’s mindless about Palestinian suffering. It conducts smear campaigns against critics.
Its entire history is loathsome. Israeli crimes are called self-defense. It plays the same blame the victim game as Israel, Washington, AIPAC, and other Zionist organizations. Only Jewish rights matter. Palestinians are criminalized for defending themselves.
Israel agreed to halt military operations during Egyptian Prime Minister Hersham Kandil’s visit. He and Egyptian cabinet ministers arrived in Gaza Thursday. He’ll return Friday. Israeli attacks continued.
At Al Shifa Hospital, Kandil visited victims. He denounced Israeli attacks, saying: “This tragedy cannot pass in silence, and the world should take responsibility for stopping this aggression.” Cairo will try to mediate a truce, he added.
Since Saturday, over 40 Palestinians were killed. Hundreds more were injured. Many are in serious condition. Dozens of air strikes continue. Death and injury numbers may rise exponentially. Current figures underestimate the toll because some victims lie beneath rubble.
The International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) said Israel conducted 30 sorties in less than 30 minutes on Friday. At 10PM Thursday, the IDF said it struck 70 targets in the previous hour.
Civilian sites and government buildings were bombed and shelled. Two UN schools were struck. Heavy damage was reported. The Ahrar Center for Detainees’ Studies said a church under construction was targeted.
said, “Children, infants, women and elderly are among the casualties, including children whose bodies were severely mutilated and burnt due to Israeli shells. A pregnant woman and her unborn fetus are among the killed.”
Gazan resistance fighters said they won’t honor truce conditions as long as Israel keeps killing Palestinian men, women, children, infants, and the elderly. On Thursday evening, a Beit Hanoun home was bombed. Three children died. One was nine years old.
A 10-month old infant was killed when another home was struck. Through early Friday morning, at least eight children, a pregnant woman, and two elderly men died.
Thirty thousand IDF reservists were called up. Military leaves were cancelled. Tanks, armored vehicles, and troops are mobilizing on Gaza’s border. Invasion looks ominously likely.
On November 16, Mathaba said the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) “received numerous complaints on the atrocities and possible war crimes committed against the Palestinian people.”
On November 20 and 21, two days of open hearings will be held.
Commission members include former Magistrate Musa Ismail, former Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Dean Zulaiha Ismail, Center for Global Research Director Michel Chossudovsky, and two former Iraq UN humanitarian coordinators – Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday.
On November 16, Alternative News.org headlined “No safe haven: Civilians under attack in the Gaza Strip.” An eyewitness visited Al Shifa Hospital. Many injured Gazans are in serious condition.
Forty-year old Salem Waqef suffered brain injury. He’s in a coma on a ventilator. It’s unclear if he’ll survive.
Ten-month old Haneen Tafesh was admitted unconscious. She suffered a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. She’s also in a coma on a ventilator. Doctors said her condition deteriorated since admitted. Hours later she died.
Ahmed Durghmush suffered brain trauma. Shrapnel penetrated his skull. Brain matter protruded from his head wound. His condition also deteriorated after surgery.
Throughout Thursday, emergency room staff were handling numerous arrivals. Injuries range from easily treatable to severe to life threatening.
Justice Ministry public information director, Khalid Hamad, was at home when shelling targeted a neighbor’s house. Israel “targeted civilians deliberately,” he said. “The Israeli forces don’t make mistakes.”
Thirteen-year old Duaa Hejazi was brought in “bleeding a lot.” She sustained upper body shrapnel wounds. Pieces are still embedded in her chest. She sent a message to other Gazan children, saying:
“I say, we are children. There is nothing that is our fault to have to face this. They are occupying us and I will say, as Abu Omar said. If you’re a mountain, the wind won’t shake you. We’re not afraid. We’ll stay strong.”
Al Shifa director general Dr. Mithad Abbas explained the dire conditions under which hospital staff must cope, saying:
“When those cases arrive at our hospital, it is not under normal circumstances. They come on top of the siege, the blockade, which has resulted in a lack of vital medicines and required medical supplies.”
Al Shifa lacks essential medicines, some equipment and supplies. They include antibiotics, IV fluid, anesthesia, gloves, catheters, external fixators, Heparin, sutures, detergents and spare parts for medical equipment.
Power outages exceed 12 hours daily. Small amounts of fuel maintain operations at those times. Dr. Abbas said his supply will be exhausted in days if current conditions continue.
He doesn’t know where the next missile or shell will strike. Perhaps Al Shifa will be targeted. Israel considers all civilian sites fair game.
On November 15, the Global BDS Movement issued the following statement in part:
“Stop a New Israeli Massacre in Gaza: Boycott Israel Now!”
Despite biased Western media reports, Israel “initiated and escalated this new assault on the eve of its upcoming parliamentary elections, underlining the time-honored Israeli formula of Palestinian bodies for ballots.”
“Israel will continue its belligerence, aggression and state terrorism unless it is made to pay a heavy price for its crimes against the Palestinian, Lebanese and other Arab peoples.”
“It is high time for BDS against Israel. This is the clearest path to freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians and the entire region.”
At issue also is a pending November 29 vote on Palestinian UN non-member observer status. Israel and Washington have gone all out to subvert it. Member States have all the more reason to support Palestine. In less than two weeks we’ll know.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah urged Arab leaders to use all means to halt Israeli attacks on Gaza.
“No one is telling Arab countries today, ‘Please go open your borders and begin the operation to liberate Palestine.’ What we want is to end the attack on Gaza.”
This is everyone’s battle…We’re not asking you for a solution. We’re asking for effort.”
“Some say the Arabs don’t have the courage to stop oil production. Decrease your oil exports or raise the price a little and you will shake the United States. You will shake Europe.”
“Brothers, if you can’t cut off oil, decrease your production or raise the price. Put on some pressure. No one is calling for armies or tanks or planes.”
Nasrallah called Israel’s Gaza attack “criminal aggression.” Multiple crimes of war and against humanity are committed.
Much is at stake in Palestine, the region and beyond. Washington’s aggressive wars continue. New ones are planned. Israel’s a key partner. Both countries have imperial agendas. War features prominently in achieving them.
Michel Chossudovsky calls attacking and invading Gaza “part of the broader US-NATO-Israel military agenda.” Based on what’s happened post-9/11, expect the worst ahead.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36-year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.
It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.
To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.
The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.
How Much Did I Accomplish?
In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways – thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.
All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.
The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.
The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”
Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.
I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.
Authoritarianism vs. Liberty
If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.
During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.
I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.
Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.
They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.
Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.
But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.
The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.
The Age of Redistribution
This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.
The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.
The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.
If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.
We Need an Intellectual Awakening
Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.
If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.
This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely – that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.
The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.
If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.
Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.
Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.
No More ‘isms’
The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.
Just this recognition – especially if we move in this direction – increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.
But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.
Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.
It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.
After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.
Dependency on Government Largesse
Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:
Undeclared wars are commonplace.
Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
Debt is growing exponentially.
The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.
Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.
Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.
Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.
Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.
Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:
Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
Why should there be mandatory sentences – even up to life for crimes without victims – as our drug laws require?
Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?
Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?
Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.
Trust Yourself, Not the Government
Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.
Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.
We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.
Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.
It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.
Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.
Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.
Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.
The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned – or especially when well-intentioned – the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.
This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.
It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.
Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.
No Government Monopoly over Initiating Violence
Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.
Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.
We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.
The Proliferation of Federal Crimes
The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books – they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system – especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.
The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.
Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.
Two choices are available.
A government designed to protect liberty – a natural right – as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously – though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”
Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.
Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.
The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.
The Financial Crisis Is a Moral Crisis
Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.
Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.
A Culture of Violence
American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people – practically at will.
Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.
This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.
Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.
First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.
When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase – as are already occurring – violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.
When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.
When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.
Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.
Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.
To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.
Limiting Government Excesses vs. a Virtuous Moral People
Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.
Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.
If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.
If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.
It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.
But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.
Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.
The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.
Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.
I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.
Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.
If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.
Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.
Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.
What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.
1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.
2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.
3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.
4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.
5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.
Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.
What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.
There is an Old Testament story that parallels with what is going on in America today. The story is found in Numbers chapter 11. God had delivered His people from great bondage. They witnessed His mighty hand of power and deliverance in defeating their oppressors and leading them toward a land of promise and liberty. He even dropped “angels’ food” (called manna) from Heaven to sustain them. But after being delivered from bondage, they began to yearn for a return to Egypt. In verse 5 of that chapter, the people are recorded as complaining, “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick.” (KJV)
Can you believe it? After hundreds of years of floggings, imprisonments, beatings, chains, and slavery, they remember FISH? I don’t know if caviar was considered a delicacy back in those days. If it wasn’t, I suppose it’s possible that slaves ate fish eggs also. But can you believe it? After being delivered from the worst possible slavery, all they remembered was the fish? Holy Creepers, Batman!
Now, to understand what’s going on here, we have to read verse 4, “And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also.”
I have heard countless sermons on this passage, and in all honesty I cannot remember one that identified what they were lusting after. Lust here means “to covet greatly.” So, what were they coveting? Was it food? Was it the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic? No! What they coveted, what they lusted after, was SECURITY!
In the wilderness, there was risk, uncertainty, and potential failure. They had to depend totally on divine Providence. They could not see what the morrow would hold. There were no guarantees, no entitlements, and no assurances. And even though God had delivered them with great power, sustained them daily with manna, and promised them a land of freedom of their very own, they lusted after security. To them, security was more important than liberty.
If this story does not parallel with what is happening in America right now, nothing does! God delivered the American people out of great bondage. He proved His power and might on our behalf. He gave us a land of liberty of our very own. And now all Americans seem to be able to think about are the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic of bondage. They lust for, and greatly covet, SECURITY.
It seems that there is no usurpation of liberty so egregious that the American people, both churched and un-churched, will not gladly accept, as long as it is presented to them as a way to make them feel more secure. In truth, so many Americans–especially so many of those who call themselves Christians–are practicing idolaters. They are worshipping at the altar of safety and security. Big Government politicians and bureaucrats are the priests, the Department of Homeland Security is the temple, and the taxes, fees, and assessments are the tithes and offerings. Hallelujah!
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
And that is exactly what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness. In their lust after the security of Egypt (even if it meant bondage), they so angered the Lord that He allowed them to die in the wilderness with neither liberty nor the safety that they coveted. And if America continues on its current course, this is exactly what will happen to us.
Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has done or said anything that would indicate either man has any intention of dismantling the ubiquitous surveillance society/police state that is engulfing our country. Just the opposite. Both men have committed themselves to the tyrannical provisions of the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the NDAA, etc. Neither man has any intention of dismantling the Warfare State that is leading the United States smack dab into the middle of World War III. In fact, I predict that if Romney is elected (which I think he will be), he will escalate America’s policies of military interventionism to heights never before seen. He will make G.W. Bush’s preemptive war incursions look like child’s play. (And I think the globalists know this and fully intend to put Romney in power for this very purpose.)
Noted researcher and analyst Joel Skousen quotes Daniel Indiviglio, Reuter’s Breakingviews columnist, as saying that Mitt Romney’s future wars will be a budget buster: “Mitt Romney’s foreign policy doesn’t match his thrifty approach to other spending. The U.S. Republican presidential candidate’s speech on Monday suggests a George W. Bush-like interventionist streak, another step away from the party’s pre-World War Two isolationism. That could lead to more Middle East conflict and defense spending. It’s also just as risky as President Barack Obama’s stance.”
In my opinion, Indiviglio greatly understates the problem. These modern-day Republican warmongers, including Mitt Romney, seem to have an insatiable appetite for war. In truth, if Barack Obama loses this election, he will have no one to blame but himself. If he had followed through with his commitment to end America’s military adventurism in the Middle East, he would have won in a landslide. By him choosing to not only continue, but expand, Bush’s wars in the Middle East, he put the nails in his own political coffin. The problem is, Romney will double or triple America’s Warfare State.
And don’t let anyone fool you! Ron Paul was right about “blowback.” Except for a very small minority of militant Muslim extremists, the vast majority of people in the Middle East do not hate the United States because of our freedom; they hate us for the way we have long intruded into the private affairs of their countries, and they hate us for the way we have rained down death and destruction at will upon their fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.
Skousen writes, “Now we have strong evidence from direct interviews with a wide variety of victims that neither of the US government’s claims [of the lack of innocent people being killed by America’s drone attacks] are true. Leon Watson, of the UK Daily Mail, summarizes some of the findings: ‘Just one in 50 victims of America’s deadly drone strikes in Pakistan are terrorists –while the rest are innocent civilians, a new report claimed today. The authoritative joint study, by Stanford and New York Universities, concludes that men, women and children are being terrorized by the operations “24 hours-a day”.
“‘And the authors lay much of the blame on the use of the “double-tap” strike where a drone fires one missile–and then a second as rescuers try to drag victims from the rubble. One aid agency said they had a six-hour delay before going to the scene.’
“Hitting the relief effort can only result in more innocents killed. Everyone in the intelligence community knows that after a strike on suspected militants, all his comrades flee for their lives and try to get farther away. Only innocent relatives and relief works are present during the follow up strikes–which can only be meant to create terror.”
Come on, folks, think! How would we react if Russia or China were raining down missiles on our homes and families day after day after day? And bombing emergency workers’ relief efforts and funerals? Would not any person of decency and civility deem such practices among the most reprehensible that could ever be imagined? I mean, this is right out of 1920’s gangland atrocities. Is Al Capone in charge of our foreign policy, or what?
And Skousen (himself a Mormon), after excoriating Obama, says this about Mitt Romney: “But that isn’t to say Romney would save us from much of the Obama agenda. He’s already sending messages that he would retain most of Obamacare even if repealed. Romney’s problem is that he has too much ambition and is trying desperately to please the establishment. He has hired virtually all establishment and neocon advisors. I hope he loses–not because I want Obama back, but because the conservative movement suffers under Republican presidents who do the establishment bidding while convincing conservatives it’s the ‘right thing to do.’ It’s not.”
And all of this is being sold to the American public under the rubric of SECURITY. Our aggressive warmongering is believed to make us more secure (in reality, it makes us less secure). But security–even false security–is what the American people seem to covet. Plus, in so doing, they seem eager to put the fetters around their own necks here at home by being willing to accept a Soviet-style surveillance/police state. Just like the Israelites of old: many Americans prefer caviar, even if it comes with chains!
In the Middle Eastern corrida, the moment of truth is approaching fast. Assad’s Syria is running around the arena like a wounded bull, fraught and worn down by a year of cruel strife. Banderillas of mujaheeds stick out of his broken hide. The public, the Europeans, the Americans, the Gulf rulers call: Kill him! And the Turkish matador steps forward, pulling out his sword. His cannons rain death on Syrian slopes; fire and lead storm consumes the hills. Erdogan is preparing to deal last blow to his exhausted neighbour.
“Don’t do it, Erdogan! Desist!” – cry thousands of Turks demonstrating against the bloody war. Syria was a good neighbour of Turkey: Assad did not allow the Kurdish separatists to open the second front against the Turks, he delivered Ocalan to their hands, he did not turn the loss of Antioch into a national cause, he kept Israeli army at bay, he bore the brunt of war in Lebanon, supporting the brave warriors of Hezbullah. Post-Assad Syria will be worse for Turkey.
If Erdogan’s Janissaries will deal treachourous strike to Syria, and cause its collapse, a terrible whirlwind will ensue, and it will engulf Turkey as well. Inevitable massacre of Syrian Christians by the mujaheeds with Turkish support will remind the world of so many forgotten Christian villages and cities smashed and depopulated by the victorious Turks. The ghosts of slaughtered Armenians and Greeks will emerge from the lanes of Smyrna and the shores of Van. From broken Syria, Kurdistan will definitely come to being, reducing Turkey to the size envisaged by the Versailles Conference.
Saudis will be the great winners of the war, not the Turks. The dream of Caliphate will be centered on the Gulf, not on the Bosphorus. With their own hands, the Turks prepare their own defeat.
Good relations with Russia will suffer immensely. Russia has called upon Turkey to restrain its actions and reminded of terrible responsibility to be born by the aggressor. Russia wants Syria to find its own way. Russia is the biggest trade partner of Turkey; thousands of Turkish engineers and technicians work in Russia, thousands of Russians holiday in Turkey.
Moreover, the relations of Russia and Turkey are important beyond practical mercantile considerations. These two great countries are heirs to one greatest Eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire. The Ottomans inherited her main body that was broken in 1918 into many splinters; her most important offshoot, Russia inherited her spirit and faith. If you seek symmetry, think of the Western Roman Empire: her main body, Western Europe, was fragmented and is now in the process of being united, while her most important offshoot, the United States of America, inherited her imperial spirit.
Russians and Turks are very similar to each other; the Turks are “Russians in shalvars”, they say. Both nations went through modernisation and Westernisation, but preserved their own identity. Both nations passed through violent denial of faith from 1920s to 1990s, and rediscovered their religious leanings afterwards.
The Russians see the Turks as equal human beings and feel empathy to them. The leading Russian historian Lev Gumilev exalted the Russian – Turkic comradeship-in-arms that broke the wave of Western Crusades in 13-14th Centuries. In modern times Vladimir Lenin gave a hand in friendship to Mustafa Kemal and forfeited all Russian claims to defeated Turkey, for he expected Turkey to sustain its historical role of protector of the East. The Russians and the Turks must remain friends. If the Russians ask Erdogan “Do not do it!” he should listen. Instead, he grounded their plane.
The Russians are not obsessed with Bashar al Assad, nor is he their best friend. He came to power in year 2000, but his first visit to Moscow took place only in 2005, meanwhile he frequented Paris and London. Russian trade with Syria is not too big, either. Israeli PM Netanyahu promised Russian President Putin to protect Russian interests in Syria in case of the rebels’ victory. The Russians aren’t selfish; they insist on peaceful transformation, in accordance with Syrian people’s will, and they do object to the rape of Syria as envisaged by Saudis and the West.
The relations of Turkey with Iran will suffer. For Iran, Syria is an important partner, a window to the Mediterranean. Victory of pro-American forces in Syria will close the window. Iranians will be mighty upset with Turkey. It is not a good idea to spoil these relations.
The people of Turkey do not want war with Syria; even Turkish generals are not keen to unleash the dogs of war. Only pro-NATO Westernisers within Turkish leadership desire to overturn the legitimate government in Damascus. Other Turks remember that doing Western bidding never led Turkey – or Russia – to any good result.
I understand why the Turkish leaders decided to embrace and support the rebels a year ago: they were misled by the Western-cum-Gulf spin of Syrian government’s forthcoming speedy collapse, and they wanted to be on the winning side. But after the noisy media campaign, reality came and debunked the propheciers: despite billions of dollars wasted by Qatar, Saudis and the West, despite heaps of armaments transported through Turkish-Syrian border, the Assad regime stands fast and still enjoys enough popular support.
This is the right time for reassessment. In every game, there is a moment for it, when you decide not to throw good money after bad one. And reassessment started, with many Turks calling to write off the losses, stop supporting the rebels and try to restore normalcy under the good slogan “with neighbours – no problems”. The New York Times reported a few days before the flare-up of the U-turn in Turkish minds: people are disappointed with flow of unruly Syrian mujaheddin, with lawlessness, with flood of refugees, with growth of Kurdish resistance. Turks are known for their daring U-turns. In 1940, they sided with Germany being certain of the Reich’s victory, but in 1944 they understood that the USSR is winning, and changed sides. Now is the time to change sides, to go back to strict neutrality, to stop support of the rebels and seal the border, said the people to the New York Times reporter.
But people overseas who planned the Syrian Disaster, drew different conclusion of this turn of mind: they decided to speed up their operations and provoked the artillery exchanges. We do not know who aimed the mortars at the Turkish border villages: whether it was done by the Syrian Army in the heat of the battle, or by the rebels trying to trigger the war. The Turkish Yurt newspaper reported that the shots were fired from the NATO weapons recently given to the rebels by the Turks: “Erdogan’s Government Handed over the Mortars to Armed (Free Syrian Army) Groups in Syria which Shelled Akcakale Town” – they headlined. The ammunition was reportedly NATO ammunition 120 AE HE-TNT. Even the New York Times admitted that it’s unknown who’s responsible for mortars landing in Turkey. A German TV canal ZDF reported: mortars were launched from territory controlled by FSA fighters. A leaked video clip said they admitted responsibility for striking Akcakale and killing five Turkish nationals.
But it is possible that the shells were fired by the government troops who shot at the rebels and the Turkish villagers became innocent victims. Provided the Turks allow the rebels to operate freely on their territory, it is quite possible.
It is still not a good reason to begin war. Let us remember 2010, when the Israelis murdered mafia-style nine unarmed Turkish volunteers on board of Mavi Marmara. This was brutal murder at full daylight, filmed and undoubted. Erdogan threatened to send Turkish Navy to the shores of Palestine and relieve Gaza by force. Now, did he do it? No, he did not. Now he is brave to shoot at tired and devastated Syria; but why he was not brave enough to deal with Israel, like the Syrians did?
Now Israelis hope Erdogan will help the rebels to destroy Syria; they asked Turks to coordinate joint action with them. So instead of punishing Israel, Erdogan ends with doing Israel’s desire.
I remember snowy February 2003 in Istanbul, when I came to argue for banning the US army passage to Iraq. I told them that “the long standing Zionist plan is being realised. First, Iraq must be destroyed. After that, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, until all the former Ottoman Empire and its neighbours from Pakistan to Africa are turned into a Zone of Special Interests for Israel, policed by the Turks.
This plan was outlined by General Sharon many years ago, re-formulated by the Zionist Neo-cons Richard Perle and Douglas Feith in 1996, and is now upheld by the Wolfowitz Cabal, the people who run the US foreign policy. If it will be done, it will have been done with the connivance of Turkey, of its ‘Islamic’ government.
I am sorry for you, friends. You were shepherds of the Middle East, now you help the Wolves. You were the rulers of men, now you have become the servants of your masters. You were the protectors of Islam, now you are about to allow desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque.”
What I said then, became true; nothing good came out of Iraqi war. And now, I can say it again: nothing good will come out of Syria War.
The stories of multiple massacres are often just stories. Wikileaks published a Stratfor report saying: “most of the [Syrian] opposition’s more serious claims have turned out to be grossly exaggerated or simply untrue.” And the events on the ground are certainly not worse than whatever was done to Kurds in Turkey, and the Turks probably do not cherish a R2P intervention in their country.
My advice: do not try to finish off Syria, return to your policy of strict neutrality, cease fire and logistic support of the rebels. Let the Syrians sort out their problems themselves, without foreign intervention.
Everywhere I look these days, I see hypocrisy and double standards being usedby Americans — locally, nationally and internationally.
Locally, for instance, a neighbor of mine recently intimidated and bullied her landlord into giving her all kinds of favors and perks. However, when this same landlord attempted to do something that would have benefited all of his tenants, she suddenly threatened to take him to court. “More stuff for me, less stuff for you,” seemed to be the argument that she plans to present to the judge.
And another neighbor of mine claims to be a devout Christian yet supports war (any war!) bigtime. Jesus would never do that.
And our city’s current mayor, a developer himself, always seems to favor other developers and to go out of his way to twist, bend and chew up city procedures if this could possibly get yet another unnecessary highrise built downtown by his developer friends. And yet our mayor screams bloody murder when city procedures might actually benefit just some Average Joe like you and me.
On the national level, Willard “Mitt” Romney wants to take from the poor and give to the rich — and he’s really really good at this too. Fine. He’s rich. This policy benefits him. I understand that. But then he talks to the rest of us poor schmucks like he’s gonna be our savior too — when this is actually the farthest thing from his mind? Hypocrisy? Absolutely.
Obama claims to represent America’s grassroots community. But who gets the most benefits from his largess? Wall Street. And War Street. And “health insurance” companies. Of course he’s better at benefiting you and me than Mitt is – but not by all that much. Saint Obama he is not.
And during this current election cycle, Americans all seem to be bitching and moaning about the direction that their country is going in — yet no one will vote for a viable candidate with good ideas such as Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party (who just got arrested for having the gall to ask for her rightful place at the last presidential debate). Or even Roseanne Barr. Trust me. Roseanne Barr has a lot more good ideas than Romney and Obama combined. But Americans would rather just bitch and whine and “vote for the lesser of two evils”. Hypocrisy.
There are two excellent films out right now, entitled “We’re Not Broke“ and “Story of Broke“ . Both movies clearly demonstrate that we have more than enough money in our treasury to benefit the 99% wonderfully — but are benefiting the greedy 1% instead. That’s just wrong.
And here is a link to a film about Monsanto — how it is systematically killing off as many human beings as possible for fun and profit, both in America and abroad. Perhaps Monsanto has mistaken us humans for weeds?
And on the international scene, we can see the most hypocrisy of all. Global corporate interests with American ties have caused the deaths of over ten million people in the Congo in the last three decades — and then these same enormous conglomerates actually have the NERVE to say they are just representing free enterprise. Since when did Adam Smith ever tell us that capitalists need to take their market advantages from the barrel of a gun? Or from welfare subsidies from the USA, the IMF and the UN?
America’s corporate-owned government bleats constantly that it is representing democracy abroad — despite all the election fraud, jailing of demonstrators, free speech suppression, media control, indefinite detention and phone-tapping going on here — which makes our “democratic” leaders on the international level the biggest hypocrites of all.
For instance, just look what happened recently regarding that low-rent porno flick, “Innocence of Muslims”. It has been vigorously protected as supposedly representing “free speech”. But when the Jenin Freedom Theater in Palestine puts on plays that highlight the brutal and insane injustice of the corporate-owned Israeli occupation and land-grab, the theater’s artistic director is jailed. Jailed. And tortured. How protective of free speech is that?
And then there’s Al Qaeda — bad guys when you need a boogieman in America, but good guys when you need boogiemen in Libya and Syria. And Israel? It’s a heroic Jewish state when War Street needs to propagandize it – but an anti-Semite down-and-dirty commandment-breaker and disrespecter of Torah in real life whenever War Street needs a land-grab in the Middle East .
So. Selfishness and hypocrisy have become the new American morality — both locally and nationally. And internationally too. Everyone in America seems to expect everyone else to play by the rules — except for themselves. ‘What’s mine is mine — and what’s yours in mine too!” should be solemnly engraved on every single American coin and should definitely replace “E Pluribus Unum” on all dollars.
Either that, or Americans might actually consider going back to attempting to do things cooperatively so that everyone benefits — not just for benefiting you at a very high price to me.
Nah. That will never happen. Too late.
The single most often broached argument that Liberty Movement writers, analysts, and strategists are confronted with by skeptics alongside well meaning but cynical newcomers is the assertion that while we happen to be very effective at pointing out the dangers of globalism and centralization, we rarely seem to take the initiative to offer “solutions” to the problem. This same argument is also used by establishment shills as a way to distract the public’s attentions from the very real despotic enterprises of their elitist employers. It is an often used disinformation tactic; demand that those who expose the truth of a criminal enterprise also offer an all encompassing solution to the complex dilemma. When the truth-tellers cannot present a neatly packaged miracle on a gold plated platter, the shills claim that their exposures of wrongdoing are meaningless, because they can do nothing about it anyway. And thus, the cycle continues…
In reality, the contention that the Liberty Movement offers no solutions is entirely false. We have constructed many. The problem is that these solutions are not the kind that the general American public wants to entertain. The average person desires a “silver bullet” answer to every crisis. They want quick, they want easy, and most of all, they want to sit back and relax while this silver bullet is set in motion by someone other than themselves.
The best and most practical solutions are almost never easy. They require time, overwhelming effort, and painful sacrifice. It is a law of nature; the weight of an obstacle must be met with equal or greater energy to be removed. The greater the enemy, the greater the cost. There is no such thing as a “silver bullet” or an easy way out. Yes, the Liberty Movement offers answers, but many people refuse to hear them.
When it comes to violent centralization and collectivism in the form of totalitarian rule, our options are indeed limited. The masses often pursue politics first, because it is much easier to hand one’s responsibility and vigilance over to a leader instead of taking on the monster alone. It is much easier to “hope” for “change”, rather than take matters into our own hands and struggle through the mire and pitch of our thoroughly corrupt system. Of course, politics is a game, a game that can be controlled by the very same despicable men we wish to dethrone.
Next is civil disobedience, which is useful to a point, as long as the offending government deems it necessary to APPEAR fair and just. When the oligarchy no longer needs to play good cop, simple protest and activism falls apart. In the face of unrelenting malice and destructive subjugation, waving signs and chanting phrases is utterly senseless.
In the year of 2012, America is on the very cusp of such tyranny. The legal and political framework has been put into place through bills and presidential directives like the Patriot Act, the FISA domestic surveillance bill, Presidential Directive 51 (the martial law and continuity of government EO established by George W. Bush that not even members of Congress are allowed to read), the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, the National Defense Resource Preparedness EO, etc. Simultaneously we have seen unprecedented special orders for ammunition by DHS and other government agencies (including the Social Security Administration) numbering in the realm of 1.4 billion rounds (such large orders that the DHS is now attempting to redact and hide these numbers from public record)!
The common debate theme from the establishment is “hey, these laws and directives exist, but they aren’t being implemented, so stop being paranoid”. First of all, many of these laws ARE being implemented, just not on a large scale yet. My response is; when has any government, especially one disposed to corruption, ever created a law it did not intend to use or assert a right of authority that it ever gave back? The fact is, our government fully plans to exercise their newfound powers of oppression. They only require a particular set of circumstances to give them the rationalization.
Economic disaster is the most imminent and obvious catalyst. When a population is hungry, desperate, and internally conflicted, almost any action on the part of leadership can be made “acceptable”. And, if it is not accepted immediately, they can simply rewrite the history books later.
With the announcement of the private Federal Reserve’s open ended (infinite) QE3 stimulus package, the European Central Bank’s print and buy bond scheme, along with Japan’s own QE initiative, what we are faced with is a spectacular global race to the bottom. A battle of currency devaluation is about to ensue, and the first casualties will be everyday citizens whose cost of living is soon to skyrocket even further than it already has in the past four years.
In the U.S. in particular, all that is required is for the dollar to lose its coveted world reserve status, which would destroy its credibility as a safe haven investment and annihilate its purchasing power in one fell swoop. This would cause an inflationary environment that many in this country are completely unequipped to handle.
The conditions today are ripe for disaster as well as dictatorship.
The bottom line is that there is little time left for top-down political fairytale dreams, and little utility left in standard street actions. The real solutions require blood, sweat, and tears, starting with a method I have discussed for quite some time: Decentralization.
In order for a Collectivist system to prevail, its controllers MUST convince the masses that people need the system to survive. Elitists deliberately deny or forcefully remove options and choices from the public view, until we are led to believe that there is only one way to live. Only one way to subsist. Only one path to security. Collectivists must condition the populace to believe that the machine is indispensible to their prosperity, even if that same machine is actually bringing about their downfall.
Decentralization is essentially any action which removes you from dependence on the establishment. Meaning, Americans must fight back by first being able to provide for themselves the necessities of economy and of life. Any counter-movement to tyranny that thinks it can combat the system while being completely dependent on the system is wholeheartedly fooling itself. There will be no infiltration and conversion, as the Ron Paul Movement can now attest.
The concept of decentralization is often confused with so-called “isolationism” by those heavily conditioned with globalist rhetoric. What they fail to grasp is that collectivist constructs are inherently flawed. As we have seen in regions such as the European Union as well as most of the economic world overall, interdependency, especially engineered interdependency, destroys redundancy. Globalization has made us WEAK, not strong. It has tied nations together artificially, not to make them safer, but to make them unsustainable and easily toppled. Centralization removes individual imperative. It causes cultures to sacrifice their ability to self-heal. It creates incontinent invalid alzheimers societies, incapable of standing on their own two feet.
People who promote globalism unknowingly (useful idiots) are often dumbstruck by the idea that anyone would actually want to walk away from the collective entirely. They have so embraced their servitude to the con of the “greater good” that they are incapable of imagining any other alternatives. They therefore see any person who separates from the hive in any way as an immediately outlandish threat; an “isolationist”, which is just another term for “selfish hoarder”.
One can form or be a part of a community that does not require him to cast aside his individualism or sovereignty. “Community” does NOT necessarily denote “communism” as long as it respects the pursuit of independence by its members. There is such a thing as voluntary compassion, charity, mutual aid, and industry. Societies have in the past functioned quite well without overt government administration and mandatory participation. The suggestion that mankind cannot survive without being told how by some faceless bureaucracy is absurd, not to mention historically inaccurate.
Decentralization and voluntary community go hand in hand. In order to defeat a collectivist system which seeks to dissolve individual liberties and focus social power, we must build communities outside of the mainstream that foster individual liberty and disperse social power. This begins with personal sustainability, or what some of us call “prepping”. Each and every Liberty Movement proponent can and should distance himself from the globalist construct. This takes time, and planning. It requires us to learn useful skills, to produce many of our own goods, and to eventually form legitimate face-to-face networks which localize businesses and services.
International corporate chains and banks siphon wealth away from communities in exchange for a limited number of low-wage service sector jobs. This trade is highly uneven. These entities will continue to hold sway over our towns and cities as long as we continue to give them all our business. Our first goal, then, should be to remove them from the picture. By forming our own markets, whether through barter or through alternative currencies (as long as those currencies are backed by something tangible), Americans can break the false paradigm of the consumerist cycle, and support themselves and each other while keeping wealth steadily flowing within a region.
The method here is obvious; make the corrupt system obsolete by building a better one ourselves. It is, however, not simple, or easy. I do not deny that the government as it exists now would use force to ensure that the public conforms to centralization. That is a given. But, I will say that decentralization makes resistance possible. The Founding Fathers of our nation took steps to decentralize economically from Great Britain long before they ever fired a shot against them. The advantage of walking away from the chessboard should be clear; when the enemy pulls out his gun in order to make you play the game, he loses all semblance of the moral high ground. Spectators who once sat on the fence finally discover the true nature of their rulers, and are forced by conscience to pick a side. The activists then control the pace and the tone of the conflict, rather than the elites. All honorable revolutions begin with decentralization.
Decentralization breeds redundancy and strength within local economies. It makes citizens more independent and able to cope with disaster. And, it forms real, meaningful community, an advantage that has been all but lost in this country for generations. Its most fantastic advantage, though, is that it removes any excuse the government could use to convince the public and the military that martial law and executive dominance is needed. If towns, counties, and states all over America are decentralized and self-sustaining, they will not need federal help regardless of the calamity. The argument for government intervention becomes moot.
The urgency of this situation cannot be misunderstood. Those who do not decentralize here in America right now will not survive. The scale of fiscal disaster on the horizon is immense. There is no question, no debate. There is only life, and death. Decentralization, or apathy and indecision. Either we decentralize, or, we cease to be.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Now, in the monsoon season, Cambodia is verdant, cool and relaxed. The rice paddies on the low hill slopes are flooded, forests that hide old temples are almost impassable, rough seas deter swimmers. It’s a pleasant time to re-visit this modest country: Cambodia is not crowded, and Cambodians are not greedy, but rather peaceful and relaxed. They fish for shrimp, calamari and sea brim. They grow rice, unspoiled by herbicides, manually planted, cultivated and gathered. They produce enough for themselves and for export, too — definitely no paradise, but the country soldiers on.
Socialism is being dismantled fast: Chinese-owned factories keep churning tee-shirts for the European and American market employing tens of thousands of young Cambodian girls earning $80 per month. They are being sacked at the first sign of unionising. Nouveau-riches live in palaces; there are plenty of Lexus cars, and an occasional Rolls-Royce. Huge black and red, hard and precious tree trunks are constantly ferried to the harbour for timber export, destroying forests but enriching traders. There are many new French restaurateurs in the capital; NGO reps earn in one minute the equivalent of a worker’s monthly salary.
Not much remains from the turbulent period when the Cambodians tried to radically change the order of things in the course of their unique traditionalist conservative peasant revolution under communist banner. That was the glorious time of Jean Luc Godard and his La Chinoise, of the Cultural Revolution in China sending party bonzes for re-education to remote farms, of Khmer Rouge marching on the corrupt capital. Socialist movement reached a bifurcation point: whether to advance to more socialism Mao-style, or retreat to less socialism the Moscow way. The Khmer Rouge experiment lasted only three years, from 1975 to 1978.
Surprisingly, Cambodians have no bad memories of that period. This is quite an amazing discovery for an infrequent visitor. I did not come to reconstruct “the truth”, whatever it is, but rather to find out what is the collective memory of the Cambodians, how do they perceive the events of the late 20thcentury, what narrative has been filtered down by time gone by. The omnipotent narrative-making machinery of the West has embedded in our conscience the image of bloody Khmer Rouge commies cannibalising their own people over the Killing Fields and ruled over by a nightmarish Pol Pot, anybody’s notion of ruthless despot.
A much quoted American professor, RJ Rummel, wrote that “out of a 1970 population of probably near 7,100,000 …almost 3,300,000 men, women, and children were murdered …most of these… were murdered by the communist Khmer Rouge”. Every second person was killed, according to his estimate.
However, Cambodia’s population was not halved but more than doubled since 1970, despite alleged multiple genocides. Apparently, the genocidaires were inept, or their achievements have been greatly exaggerated.
The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life. He was brought up in royal palace circles; his aunt was a concubine of the previous king. He studied in Paris, but instead of making money and a career, he returned home, and spent a few years dwelling with forest tribes to learn from the peasants. He felt compassion for the ordinary village people who were ripped off on a daily basis by the city folk, the comprador parasites. He built an army to defend the countryside from these power-wielding robbers. Pol Pot, a monkish man of simple needs, did not seek wealth, fame or power for himself. He had one great ambition: to terminate the failing colonial capitalism in Cambodia, return to village tradition, and from there, to build a new country from scratch.
His vision was very different from the Soviet one. The Soviets built their industry by bleeding the peasantry; Pol Pot wanted to rebuild the village first, and only afterwards build industry to meet the villagers’ needs. He held city dwellers in contempt; they did nothing useful, in his view. Many of them were connected with loan sharks, a distinct feature of post-colonial Cambodia; others assisted the foreign companies in robbing people off their wealth. Being a strong nationalist, Pol Pot was suspicious of the Vietnamese and Chinese minorities. But what he hated most was acquisitiveness, greed, the desire to own things. St Francis and Leo Tolstoy would have understood him.
The Cambodians I spoke to pooh-poohed the dreadful stories of Communist Holocaust as a western invention. They reminded me of what went on: their brief history of troubles began in 1970, when the Americans chased away their legitimate ruler, Prince Sihanouk, and replaced him with their proxy military dictator Lon Nol. Lon Nol’s middle name was Corruption, and his followers stole everything they could, transferred their ill-gotten gains abroad then moved to the US. On top of this came US bombing raids. The peasants ran to the forest guerrillas of Khmer Rouge, which was led by a few Sorbonne graduates, and eventually succeeded in kicking out Lon Nol and his American supporters.
In 1975, Pol Pot took over the country, devastated by a US bombing campaign of Dresden ferocity, and saved it, they say. Indeed, the US planes (do you remember Ride of the Valkyries in the Apocalypse is Now?) dropped more bombs on this poor country than they had on the Nazi Germany, and spread their mines all over the rest of it. If the Cambodians are pressed to name their great destroyer (and they are not keen about burrowing back into the past), it is Professor Henry Kissinger they name, not Comrade Pol Pot.
Pol Pot and his friends inherited a devastated country. The villages had been depopulated; millions of refugees gathered in the capital to escape American bombs and American mines. Destitute and hungry, they had to be fed. But because of the bombing campaign, nobody planted rice in 1974. Pol Pot commanded everybody away from the city and to the rice paddies, to plant rice. This was a harsh, but a necessary step, and in a year Cambodia had plenty of rice, enough to feed all and even to sell some surplus to buy necessary commodities.
New Cambodia (or Kampuchea, as it was called) under Pol Pot and his comrades was a nightmare for the privileged, for the wealthy and for their retainers; but poor people had enough food and were taught to read and write. As for the mass killings, these are just horror stories, averred my Cambodian interlocutors. Surely the victorious peasants shot marauders and spies, but many more died of American-planted mines and during the subsequent Vietnamese takeover, they said.
In order to listen to the other side, I travelled to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, the memorial where the alleged victims were killed and buried. This is a place some 30 km away from Phnom Penh, a neat green park with a small museum, much visited by tourists, the Cambodian Yad va-Shem. A plaque says that the Khmer Rouge guards would bring some 20 to thirty detainees twice or thrice a month, and kill many of them. For three years, it would amount less than two thousand dead, but another plaque said indeed that they dug up about eight thousand bodies. However, another plaque said there was over a million killed. Noam Chomsky assessed that the death toll in Cambodia may have been inflated “by a factor of a thousand.”
There are no photos of the killings; instead, the humble museum holds a couple of naïve paintings showing a big, strong man killing a small, weak one, in a rather traditional style. Other plaques read: “Here the murderous tools were kept, but nothing remains now” and similar inscriptions. To me, this recalled other CIA-sponsored stories of Red atrocities, be it Stalin’s Terror or the Ukrainian Holodomor. The people now in charge of the US, Europe and Russia want to present every alternative to their rule as inept or bloody or both. They especially hate incorruptible leaders, be it Robespierre or Lenin, Stalin or Mao – and Pol Pot. They prefer leaders keen on graft, and eventually install them. The Americans have an additional good reason: Pol Pot killings serve to hide their own atrocities, the millions of Indochinese they napalmed and strafed.
Cambodians do say that many more people were killed by the invading Vietnamese in 1978; while the Vietnamese prefer to shift the guilt to the Khmer Rouge. But the present government does not encourage this or any other digging into the past, and for good reason: practically all important officials above a certain age were members of the Khmer Rouge, and often leading members. Beside, almost all of them collaborated with the Vietnamese. The present PM, Hun Sen, was a Khmer Rouge commander, and later supported the Vietnamese occupation. When the Vietnamese went home, he remained in power.
Prince Sihanouk, who was exiled by the Americans, also supported the Khmer Rouge. He returned home to his neat royal palace and to its adjacent silver temple with Emerald Buddha after departure of the Vietnamese. Unbelievably, he is still alive, though he transferred the crown to his son, a monk who had to leave monastery and assume the throne. So the royal family is not keen on digging up the past, either. Nobody wants to discuss it openly; the official story of Khmer Rouge alleged atrocities is entrenched in Western conscience, though attempts to try the perpetrators bore scant results.
Looking back, it appears that the Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot failed in their foreign policy rather than in their internal one. It is fine that they canceled money, dynamited banks and sent bankers to plant rice. It is fine that they dried up the great blood-sucking leech, the big-city compradors and money-lenders. Their failure was that they did not calculate their position vis-à-vis Vietnam, and tried to push beyond their own weight. Vietnam was very powerful – it had just defeated the US – and would brook no nonsense from their junior brothers in Phnom Penh. The Vietnamese planned to create an Indochinese Federation including Laos and Cambodia under their own leadership. They invaded and overthrew the stubborn Khmer Rouge who were too keen on their independence. They also supported the black legend of genocide to justify their own bloody intervention.
We talk too much about evils committed under futurist regimes, and too little about the evils of the greedy rulers. It is not often we remember Bengal famine, Hiroshima holocaust, Vietnam tragedy, or even Sabra and Shatila. Introduction of capitalism in Russia killed more people than introduction of socialism, but who knows that?
Now we may cautiously reassess the brave attempts to reach for socialism in various countries. They were done under harsh, adverse conditions, under threat of intervention, facing hostile propaganda. But let us remember: if socialism failed, so did capitalism. If communism was accompanied by loss of life, so was and is capitalism. But with capitalism, we have no future worth living, while socialism still offers hope to us and our children.
You think that America’s corporate-owned government has its drawbacks? Wait until you hear what the corporate-owned government in Nigeria is up to! You think that the results of having corporate Big Money buying off America’s politicians has been scary and sad? Then you obviously haven’t ever been to Nigeria — where they have definitely gone way far beyond merely “scary” or “sad”.
When it comes to having a corporate-owned government, apparently Nigeria has become the prototype, the ideal, the epitome of what corporate-owned government can really achieve if it puts its mind to it. Corporations in America like Citibank and Monsanto and Georgia-Pacific and Chevron can only hope to aspire to the high levels of corporatism that have been achieved in Nigeria.
Nigeria today has broken the mold and set the bar really high.
But how do I know all this? From an interview with an expert on Nigeria that took place yesterday in a local park in Berkeley over tuna-fish sandwiches.
“So. What’s up in Nigeria?” I asked him, immediately diving right in.
“Don’t even ask,” he replied. “For one thing, our government is composed of mainly puppet thugs put into office by corporate neo-colonialists — but these office-holders have no power at all. They are only there as a showcase, an illusion, a shadow puppet show created to make it look like someone with dark skin is in charge over there and to give corporations someone to officially sign the documents that have handed Nigeria over to them.”
That’s ironic. In America, corporations try to dig up shadow puppets with light skin.
“When we were children in Nigeria,” continued the expert, “all of us wanted to go off to college because those in our villages who had gone to college would come home and everyone would honor them. But not any more. Now the children in the villages and towns of Nigeria all want to grow up to be government thugs! To drive big shiny cars and take money from oil companies and beat people up.”
“Something like that has happened in America too,” I replied. “Little kids used to want to grow up to be doctors or firefighters or scientists. High school kids wanted to go to college and become architects or engineers or Bob the Builder. Now all they want to do is study business so they can rush off to Wall Street and make a killing. Who wants to be a doctor when they can orchestrate pension-plan takeovers and outsource American jobs. Or go into politics.” Yeah. And become corporate-owned government thugs like in Nigeria.
“And it used to be that everyone in Nigeria at least had a chance of going to high school,” said the expert. “But the levels of available education there are falling fast.” Keep them barefoot and dumb? Seems to be the trend here in America too.
“Whenever we thought of America when we were children, we all wanted to be like that — democracy and all. Owning something that said ‘Made in America’ on it was a very big deal. And now it’s all made in China. But what amazes me most about Americans today is that they all sit back and take this and say nothing. They just listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck and Fox News and accept their fate like lambs to the slaughter.”
I know what he means. And in my humble opinion, it all started back in 1963 when no one really questioned who shot JFK — and who benefited most. Who had the motive, means and opportunity? It surely wasn’t Cuba or even the USSR. “Who killed the Kennedys? After all it was you and me,” sang the Rolling Stones — and they nailed it. Then most Americans went on to never question the lack of preparedness before 9-11http://www.paulcraigroberts.
“Don’t Tread on Me” is now history, sent off to America’s outdated memorabilia rubbish heap.
“When the BP oil spill happened over here in the Gulf,” my expert continued, “BP spent a lot of money on maintaining their public image in America and making excuses. Well, Nigeria has a big oil spill almost every day. Oil spills like that are common in Nigeria. But the major difference between there and here is that BP doesn’t even bother to make excuses in Nigeria. They don’t even consider Nigerians important enough to even make excuses. They treat us like some kind of annoying pests that they just have to put up with while extracting our oil. Not really human.” Definitely beyond sad.
Imagine all those photos of shorebirds on the Gulf Coast covered with oil — and then imagine Nigerians covered with oil like that too. The toxic “body burden” that many Nigerian villagers are bearing these days is tragic.
“Have you ever been to Nigeria?” he asked me. “Rich people there live in securely gated communities and behind high walls. There is no walking down the streets in Nigeria for rich people. Why would anyone ever want to live like that? To always be guarded and gated and stuck behind walls? That’s no way to live. Having economic equality leads to more freedom — even for the rich.”
But as the rich become more and more separated from the poor here in America too, that’s definitely the direction we also are going in. Freedom, like money, does not trickle down.
Next we discussed a whole bunch of other reasons why having a corporate-owned government has led to a failed nation in Nigeria — and will also lead to a failed nation here. But I forgot to take notes and can’t remember the rest of what all we discussed. But you get the gist. Government of the people, by the people and for the people is good. Corporate-owned government is proving to be very very bad.
To paraphrase a recent saying that’s now making the rounds on FaceBook, “If Romney’s proposed corporatist policies actually work, then George W. Bush would have given the keynote speech at the Republican convention — and Nigeria would be a proud role model for democracy and freedom, not just another miserable failed state.”
PS: Has anyone started to miss Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi yet? If he hadn’t been brutally murdered and his corpse dragged through the streets of Sirte, Ambassador Stevens would still be alive and well too.
And does anybody but me find it ironic that the rockets used to attack the American consulate in Benghazi probably came from the same stockpile of weapons supplied to NATO’s allies, the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and paid for by America’s corporate-owned government?
Shades of Ronald Reagan’s favorite “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan — Osama bin Ladin and friends.
A Nation In Decline…
Stories of citizens being assaulted by TSA (Transportation Security Administration) employees are common internet fare. There are numerous groping complaints, little old ladies are forced to remove their diapers and nubile young women are patted down and ogled by X-ray, knives are confiscated, liquids are poured out, shoes are removed, and time is wasted; all without noticeable results. TSA guru, Janet Napolitano, supports the TSA in the same way police chiefs support errant policemen. When governments write the law they often consider themselves immune to it. Policemen are seldom held accountable for their actions. Agents of the government regularly pillage private property, harass citizens, and even commit murder, all without retribution.
During the 1940s, when I was in high school, the older brother of one of my friends had established a dental practice in a small Northern Illinois town. My friend described his brother’s work as a “Racket” and said he was making piles of money. At that time I had a mouth full of fillings skillfully inserted by a neighbor who was also a relative. My parents paid for the work which though relatively cheap was expensive in the depression days of the 1930s. There was, however, more kindness during this era and service providers felt an obligation to provide care to everyone regardless of ability to pay.
When the government gets involved in licensing members of any profession several things eventually result. 1) License restrictions limit supply and costs go up. 2) Participants collude, and 3) become arrogant and self serving. 4) They devise methods of extracting the maximum amount of money from the public. 5) Their egos grow; they take on god-like qualities and look with disdain on customers whose urgent need of their services supports the inflated cost.
Many Americans travel to Costa Rica where they are able to pay for transportation and stay at a four star hotel with the money they save having their dental work done there. Occasionally an unlicensed dentist learns the mechanics of the trade and establishes a lucrative practice. Read about one here. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
American dentists are very expensive.
With a mouthful of bad teeth and an unwillingness to be overcharged my experience with dentists has been dismal. Several dentists maintained that fillings were not reliable and refused to put fillings in my teeth. Reluctantly I allowed three teeth to be capped. Because I complained about the cost of each procedure and was dubious about what I was being told dentists did not enjoy my presence. Finally, I was shuffled off to a dentist who liked to do fillings. His personality was as dismal as mine but he was a good mechanic. Belying what several other dentist had told me he filled my mouth with mercury fillings.
During my last visit for a six month cleaning, I turned down an X-ray. Past X-rays had added to the cost and had not produced anything of value. I considered his request that I sign a release paper a form of intimidation and refused to sign it. Though I had been a patient for several years and had contributed several thousand dollars to his coffers he dismissed me for refusing to sign. It is my money and that of other patients that support this dentist but it is government created exclusivity and collusion that sustain blunt arrogance.
Collusion allows dentists to ration their services by presenting a universal wall that closes out the uncooperative patient. Being ushered into a dental chair, opening the mouth and having an assistant begin a set of prescribed procedures without discussion is oppressive and leaves the patient without input. It discourages talk about fees and allows them to avoid competition.
Following the rude dismissal by the mercury filling expert, I visited another dentist who advertised for new patients. I was put through the regular expensive set of procedures that go before the appearance of the Mighty One. His dental assistant took X-rays, measured gum loss, and cleaned and inspected my teeth. These preliminaries often cost $200 or more. When all this was finished the dentist inspected my teeth giving his assistant coded remarks about each tooth.
I explained to him that I was almost 83 years old and that I had one tooth that needed to be removed and that I wanted to keep the remainder of my teeth in workable condition for as long as I could. Following a brief examination the dentist disappeared and his assistant arrived with a computer generated treatment sheet recommending several thousand dollars worth of dental work. I was referred to a dental surgeon for the bad, loose, single rooted tooth which he claimed might break. It was obvious he paid no attention to my brief request and when the assistant asked that I sign a form indicating receipt of his recommendations I refused. With predictable arrogance he sent his assistant to tell me I was dismissed. Rejected patients receive a formal letter confirming the rejection.
It is difficult to break through the wall that screens out competition and uncooperative patients because dentists collude and all present the same competitive barriers.
Cutting a man’s hair and filling a tooth both take technical skills and similar amounts of time; the barber gets $10 to $15 while the Dentist gets $200 or more; educational status, the artificial leverage of government licensing, and collusive practices work together to support high fees.
If you have never experienced the God-like demeanor that allows doctors and dentists to dismiss a patient with a formal letter as if partaking of their service is a privilege rather than a high priced sale, you have probably never confronted one of these demigods. Rather than seeking to provide a needed service to society at an affordable price the touchy plutocrats seek to be treated with divine deference.
Young people who begin working at $10.00 an hour (common here in Florida) will work a week and a half (sixty hours) for what a dentist earns in an hour or less. Many young people cannot afford dentists and live with poor dental hygiene Senior citizens whose life span is almost complete can spend several thousand dollars on dental work that death renders useless.
Patients have a vested interest in having their teeth cleaned but despite the heavy padding it is a nuisance to dentists. They maintain their upper 1% status by gluing on crowns and doing root canals. A root canal takes about an hour of the dentist’s time and costs between $600 and $1000 (Sometimes more!). When a crown is added fixing a single tooth might cost $2000. My experience seems to indicate that when a dentist see $10,000 work in a person’s mouth he will take a little guff and might even negotiate but when only cleaning is involved he is quick to dismiss.
Altruism has been wrung out of medical and dental care. The Hippocratic Oath may still be administered in some form but in practice it is as dead as Christianity in the church. Today medical and dental professions are businesses conducted by individuals who have fulfilled educational requirements in order to harvest a bumper financial crop. Ministering to patients is a means of making money and if there is no money to be made or if the patient cannot pay, the relationship is quickly severed. For the patient who fails to pay, the credit rating is ruined and harassing bill collectors are marshaled.
Dentists and doctors have succumbed to the advancing brutality that has infected our culture. It began with the Revolutionary War, advanced during the Civil War; was inflicted on the indigenous Indians, on the civilian population of the Philippines, on the Germans in WWII, on the Vietnamese, it is now ravishing the Arabs in the Middle East and is pervasive in our culture.
Brutality has driven out mercy and justice and fertilized the lawless avarice of pagan Capitalism. John Adam said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Injustice is rampant and mercy is scarce. Our people are religious but immoral. As a nation we have forsaken God’s Law and opted to live under a human standard of justice.
Morality is impossible without law and justice is impossible without God’s Law. Sinful men and women cannot write just law. Those that claim to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through the redemptive work of His Son, The Christ, have drifted so far away from their God that His Laws are repugnant. Even some who should know better delight in the heresy of Dispensationalism denying the efficacy of God’s Law favoring law devised by the evil minds o of men. Death by stoning sounds like cruel and unusual punishment because death by losing the lower half of a human body to an explosive device is hidden and never pictured in our deluded minds.
We live in a sanitized society; hiding grotesque brutality so we can considering ourselves civilized. Aborted babies are seldom seen. Pictures of the slaughter of their tiny bodies are unpopular and in some cases banned. War is advertised as altruistic and soldiers are urged to sign up and see the world. The returning caskets and the maimed participants are not public fare. An aberrant press and media fail to mention that for every soldier killed nine civilians die. The pillage and wreckage of Iraq is kept from the public. In spite of the brief publicity around Abu Grave torture continues as a weapon.
We have lost our fear of God. When there is no fear of God there is no active religion. If stoning did nothing else, it might renew our fear of God
In his lengthy indictment of the Jews Martin Luther wrote, “For every country, if it is to endure, must have these two things: power and law. The country— must have a lord, a head, a ruler. But it must also have a law by which the ruler is guided— For wherever sheer power prevails without the law— there is no government, but tyranny.” (Excerpted)
God admonishes us in Proverbs, “My son, keep my words, and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Chapter 7; 1-3
As our government continues to impose tyrannical laws and procedures on the United States, patriots and Christians approach the coming election with the usual chronic insanity, repeatedly seeking the culprit as the remedy. Though many of our older citizens have lived through many of these same charades they still participate with vigor. The human mind is easily distorted and often incapable of reaching sound conclusions. Elections are rife with empty promises and mendacious accusations. Popularity is manufactured by the press and voting is often controlled by the counter rather than the voter. When the wicked process is over the winner may initiate some minor social changes but the planned shrinkage of American wealth and power continues as it has now for several decades.
It is tragic that good men sell their souls in order to become marionettes on the stage of government. Ron Paul maintained his stance for many years and seemed to be mostly above the evil pragmatism. Nevertheless, he was summarily shoved aside and though he may have siphoned a few votes from the Mormon King he accomplished very little. Powerful forces mute the policies that might remedy our downfall and the soulless empty suits we have elected value their jobs more than their character.
The transformation of our doctors and dentists from responsible contributors to the well being of our society to avaricious wealthy craftsmen is a small matter compared to the complete downfall of civilization. It is, however, a symptom and without confrontation it continues its downward spin along with that of the nation.
Indian Christian intellectual Vishal Mangalwadi has used the clear vision of a Godly man in a newly published book entitled “The Book That Made Your World”. He speaks to Americans in general and Christians in particular about the overweening influence of the Christian Bible on our culture. In the Forward he writes, “It was above all, a civilization in which truth was understood to be real, where the collective pursuit of virtue shaped behavior, and the redemptive work of God in the person of Jesus Christ provided a radical and historically verifiable transforming response to the abyss of human selfishness, corruption , and sin.” Pg.17
Unfortunately, he writes in the past tense.
I was recently interviewed by a journalist for a local newspaper who was developing a story on the exponential rise of the “prepper lifestyle” in America, most especially in Western Montana. Being an outsider to the Liberty Movement, she was naturally curious as to what motivated us to make what some in our culture would see as a drastic and bewildering leap away from the mainstream. She was equally fascinated with our willingness to travel great distances and make substantial sacrifices to live in regions like the American Redoubt.
I will not deny, Montana has indeed become a “hotbed” of survivalism and Constitutionalism, or what the Southern Poverty Law Center would call “extremism and domestic terrorism”. I lived in Pittsburgh for years while writing for Neithercorp and Alt-Market and rarely ran into like minded individuals aware of the tenuous status of our society. Within days of moving to Montana, I was being recognized by complete strangers in supermarkets excited to discuss the inner workings of Keynesian monetary corruption, precious metals investment, and Alinsky disinformation tactics. Yeah…I know…it’s weird.
After living for a while in the Redoubt, you begin to forget that there are still many people in this country that are utterly oblivious to the epic dangers around them, as well as painfully helpless in knowing what to do when those dangers land on their doorsteps. Speaking with the newspaper reporter, and my experiences at Paulfest in Tampa, Florida, reminded me that the world has yet to be reminded of the value of survivalism. There is still a gap, a disconnect, a psychological twitch of the masses, and it compels me to explain, yet again, what they are missing.
I had thought about using parables like the ancient Greek story of Cassandra, who was given the gift of foresight and prophecy, but also stricken with a curse which prevented anyone from believing her dire warnings. Or the story of Noah, who was given an omen, a vision of catastrophe, and directed by God on how to save a remnant of life, while knowing that most of the people around him would perish. And what about Galileo, who simply tried to point out the scientific operations of the universe in which we exist, only to be ostracized by his church and government? In these modern times, however, many find it increasingly difficult to relate to mythology, bible lore, or even historical precedence. Luckily, there is always cinema…
While considering this topic, as if by design, I stumbled upon the film ‘Take Shelter’, the story of a man who suffers from acute intuition. His vivid dreams warn him of a nightmare event, but is he a prophet, or a schizophrenic with delusions of doom?
Human beings hold within them a natural mechanism, a moral dynamo that compels them to alert others to the dangers they see silhouette on the horizon. Every survivalist today has at one time or another felt the overwhelming weight of responsibility that comes with knowing; not believing, but KNOWING the future. The film ‘Take Shelter’ illustrates the internal and external dilemmas of the survivalist in a way that is striking, beautiful, and affirming.
Prophetic dreams and spoken messages from the heavens are not necessarily required to understand the dilemmas our nation faces in the new millennium. It does not take a psychic to see the mathematical certainty of dollar devaluation and loss of world reserve status. The degradation of our civil liberties in the name of state security. The formation of unaccountable supranational bodies which are quickly encroaching upon our individual sovereignty. In fact, a person would have to be mentally blind, deaf, and dumb to NOT grasp what is happening right under their noses. Sadly, this is where a majority of the American populace lives.
Even at Paulfest, a convention and congregation of what I consider some of the most awake and socially aware people on the planet, I discovered that at least half of those in attendance had a minimal sense of urgency as far as a true national crisis was concerned, clinging to the assumption that they had yet more time to stab at top down solutions and political tap dancing that continually falls short of what is necessary to restore liberty.
It is difficult to retain one’s composure in the face of the astounding absurdity of normalcy bias. The idea that today’s comforts will continue on tomorrow and forever is a powerful one. To break such apathy requires steadfast resolve. Sometimes, only startling and terrifying events are enough to rattle the mindless masses. Sometimes, you just have to let the chips fall where they may, speak the truth to the best of your ability, and let the herd sort out the rest in their own good time, whatever there is left of it. What we see as a forgone conclusion, what we passionately fight to expose, in their minds often translates into belligerence and a frightening subversion of their joyous naivety:
As we invade their perfect world with the dreadful facts of life, their subconscious reflex is to regard us as a tangible threat. The first reaction is always to laugh. Ridicule without substance is the primary defense of the ignorant. But, what if you don’t go away? What if your arguments are too precise? What if there is too much clarity to your position? What if you have a whole movement of people behind you? What if you are a force to be reckoned with, and cannot be refuted or dissuaded? What if logic dictates the admission that you are right, and they are wrong?
Then arises fury…
It is not uncommon for the truth tellers of an era to be labeled the enemies of society. To be held as criminals, traitors, and terrorists. In fact, the establishment has in the past two decades made every effort to paint survivalists as the boogeymen of our age; unstable and unpredictable wild-men hell bent on destruction in the name of some hallucinatory ideology. Using generalizations, false associations, and outright lies, corrupt governments seek to fool the citizenry into viewing survivalists as a fringe element and a dark underbelly of their otherwise serene state sponsored existence.
In contrast, I would like to point out to the non-prepper populace the advantages of having some of us “loony” survivalists around. Rarely in the mainstream are we ever presented with the utility of survival proponents, and how they actually serve the interests of the “greater good” to quote a phrase often used by drooling collectivists and statists who desperately try to defame the prepper subculture…
Advantage #1: Survivalists Have Their Own Stuff – They Don’t Need Your Stuff
Survivalists have their own stuff, which means, they will likely not feel compelled to take your stuff, if, that is, you have any stuff worth having. In the midst of a calamity, being surrounded by preppers is one of the best insurance policies a person could acquire. Think about it; would you rather have me as a neighbor, with my guns, ammo, food supply, off-grid solar power and water, and anti-establishment angst, or, would you rather have some superficial sickly fake friendly suburban yuppie with a Mercedes, an overpriced boat, a $100,000-plus debt obligation, a repressed inferiority complex, a vicious department store-addicted trophy wife, three spoiled crusty children with a vocabulary of 80 words or less, and an empty pantry? In a crisis, who is the real threat? Come on!
Advantage #2: Survivalists Keep To Themselves – Your Business Is Your Own
Have you ever lived in the metro areas of California, New York, or Illinois? Ever notice how disgustingly nosy many people tend to become in the more socialist minded regions of America? Neighborhood administrations that cite you for tall grass. Permits on top of permits. Sneers when you smoke a cigarette, even outdoors. Environmental restrictions bordering on the insane. City governments telling you what you are allowed to eat and drink and how much. It’s so enraging it makes you want to wrench someone’s head off their neck and squeeze their skull like an oversized pimple.
Survivalists respect privacy. Grow a garden on your front lawn. Smoke your cigarettes (or whatever). Drink your damned 2 liter mega-gulp. Let your kids play with the water hose for hours, or open a lemonade stand. Don’t worry; the authorities will never be told, because we don’t care. We have far more important things to worry about.
Advantage #3: Survivalists Are Handy
Ever have that one friend, or neighbor, or family member who just seems to have all the right answers when it comes to gardening, or solar power, or repairing that hunting rifle? Who knows all the best camping and fishing spots? Who always seems to be willing to go out of his way to help you set up a good emergency kit in case of that next hurricane, flood, tornado, earthquake, etc? You may very well be working with a survivalist and not even know it.
Advantage #4: Survivalists Insulate A Region
The more survivalists there are in a particular area, the more likely you are to get through a disaster, whether you have prepared for it or not. A network of survival communities offers an enormous variety of skills, an alternative economy and barter system to tap into, safety from harm during a major implosion or socially unstable times, and the ingenuity required to rebuild after the disaster.
Let me put it this way: who is more likely to return your environment to a livable state? Groups of survivalists with the know-how and the desire because they actually LIVE in the region? Or, a faceless government bureaucracy like FEMA with no meaningful ties to the community in which you live?
Advantage #5: Survivalists Cook Up A Mean Barbeque
Show me a survivalist that doesn’t grill like an artist. I defy you!
Advantage #6: Survivalists Stand Their Ground When It Counts
If you ever need someone to back you up in a terrible situation, you can’t do much better than a survivalist. They are used to adversity. In fact, many of us deliberately put ourselves through strenuous training environments in order to learn where we will falter. We make a point to uncover our own weaknesses and improve upon them. Our current comfort obsessed society is almost devoid of this characteristic. Finding a single person who will not let you down is a gift. Finding an entire movement of such people is a miracle. Don’t let it go to waste…
Advantage #7: Survivalists Are Time Capsules For Liberty
Every culture needs watchmen. Not government paid watchmen who seek out power, but citizen volunteers who shun power. Without such watchmen, fundamental principles can be lost or destroyed, and the people of a nation are apt to forget where they came from, and what made them successful in the first place. Though the masses have a tendency to be lured away from the legacy of freedom which once served them towards the twisted ideologies of tyrants and collectivists, in the long run they always return, seeking the almost forgotten abundances of liberty. When the people go searching for freedom once again, the survivalists, the enduring watchmen, will be waiting to greet them.
Advantage #8: Survivalists Are Not Afraid To Remind Society Of Its Mistakes
It is easy to be apathetic to the criminality of government. It is easy to cocoon one’s self inside his own little life, within the minor dramas of his family and of his job. It is easy to turn away from the big picture and hope that the monsters of the world sort themselves out, or overlook us entirely. Unfortunately, this is not how human history has ever been resolved. The worst problems never disappear on their own. Survivalists understand this and are willing to take personal risks in order to uncover the nature of the beast for anyone willing to listen. They understand that their best chance of survival is to preempt a disaster before it ever occurs. The value of this to the longevity of our species cannot be calculated. Without those who can overcome the fears created by conformity, mankind is lost. Our very future depends upon the principles of survivalism, which teaches us to embrace our individuality, love the individualism within others, stand unyielding in the face of oppression, and fight to our dying breath to see that the best in all of us is one day fully realized.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
It’s once again time for my annual survival list column. One does not have to be a prophet to know that we are on the precipice of some potentially catastrophic–or at the very least, challenging–days. In fact, most of us are already in challenging days, and some are already enduring catastrophic events. That is, if one would call being out of work, losing one’s home, facing life-threatening medical conditions without any prospect of medical insurance, several families being forced to live in one house due to homes being foreclosed, etc., catastrophic.
The potential for an escalation of cataclysmic events, however, is very real. Only a “blooming idiot” would call someone who attempts to prepare for “the day of adversity” a Chicken Little now. Anyone who does not see the storm clouds on the horizon isn’t paying attention.
For example, can one imagine what would happen if Russia or China launched a nuclear attack against the United States? (Once again, I encourage readers to watch the CBS TV series “Jericho” to get an idea of how quickly life, and even civilization, could change.) Imagine if there was another 9/11-type event. What would happen if some form of Zimbabwe-style inflation hit the US? What would happen if anything disrupted the distribution of Welfare checks, or food to local grocers? Imagine a Hurricane Katrina-style natural disaster in your town. I think people everywhere are beginning to awaken to just how vulnerable we all really are.
As a result, people from virtually every walk of life have asked my thoughts on how they should prepare. Therefore, I will, again, attempt to share with my readers some of the counsel I have given these folks.
First, a disclaimer. I am not an economist; I am not a survival expert; I am not a firearms expert; I am not an attorney; I am not a physician. In fact, I am not an expert in anything! For several years, however, I have tried to learn from others. I am an avid reader. My work has allowed me to travel extensively. In fact, I have logged over 150,000 miles crisscrossing this great country over the last few years. I have had the privilege of sitting at the feet of–and learning from–many of America’s most learned, most trained, and most qualified “experts” in a variety of fields. What I write today, I have learned from others. I’ve formed my own opinions and priorities, of course, but everything I’m sharing has been said, or written about, before. But if I can share something in today’s column that will help someone be better prepared for the days to come, then my goal will have been achieved.
Analyze your living conditions. Where do you live? Do you live in an urban or rural environment? Is it a big city or small town? Do you live in an apartment or condominium? How close are your neighbors? Do you even know your neighbors? Would you trust them if the electricity was off and they were hungry? Could you grow your own food if you had to? How easily could you secure your home? If you live in a cold weather environment, how long could you stay warm without electricity? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself now.
Over the past several decades, masses of people have migrated into large metropolitan areas. More people currently live in urban areas than at any time in American history. While this may be well and good for times of prosperity, it is an absolute nightmare during any kind of disaster. Does anyone remember what New Orleans looked like after Hurricane Katrina came through? Can anyone recall what happened in downtown Los Angeles during the 1992 riots? Needless to say, any inner-city environment could become a powder keg almost instantaneously, given the right (or wrong) circumstances. And the bigger the city, the bigger the potential problems.
If you live in the inner city, I suggest you consider moving to a more rural location. Obviously, now is a very good time to buy property (especially rural property), but the downside is, selling property is not as favorable. If you can afford it, now is a great time to buy a “safe house” outside the city. If you are fortunate enough to have family or some true friends nearby, you may want to put your heads–and some resources–together in preparation for serious upheaval. Obviously, a team of prepared people is much better than being alone.
If you must stay in your urban location, have some common sense plans in hand in the event of a major disaster. Get to know your neighbors: find out whom you can trust and whom you can’t. Keep some extra gasoline on hand, in case you need to get in your car quickly and leave. Have several exit routes planned ahead of time, in case roads are blocked. Have a “bug-out” bag containing essential ingredients to live on for three to four days. If leaving is not an option, have a plan to secure your home as best you can. You’ll need to think about things such as food, water, medicine, warmth, self-defense, etc. But at this point, to do nothing is absolute lunacy!
Most readers probably know that my entire family and I made the decision two years ago to move 2,600 miles from our home of 35 years in the Florida panhandle to the Flathead Valley of Montana, which is located about 75 miles south of the Canadian border in the Rocky Mountains. I can tell readers without equivocation or hesitation that we are so glad we made this move. We absolutely love it here–all the difficulties and trials associated with such a life-changing move notwithstanding. In fact, I’ve never lived in a place I love so much!
If readers want to learn more about what prompted our move to Montana, please peruse the information on this web page:
During a major disaster, food will quickly disappear. Living for over three decades on the Gulf Coast, I can tell you with absolute certainty that whenever disaster strikes (usually an approaching hurricane, for those folks), food and provisions at the store sell completely out in a matter of a few hours. People panic, and within hours, you cannot find food, bottled water, ice, generators, batteries, candles, etc. In a matter of hours, every gas station in the area will be completely out of gas. Not days. Hours!
Furthermore, almost all disasters include a complete loss of electricity. The water supply is compromised. Bottled water becomes more valuable than bank accounts. Dehydration becomes a very real and present danger. I remember witnessing a man offer an ice vendor $100 for an extra bag of ice during Hurricane Ivan. My wife and I went two weeks (14 days) without electricity in the aftermath of that hurricane. Believe me, I got a taste of just how precious bottled water, ice, batteries, generators, fuel, etc., can become.
I suggest you have a supply of food and water to last at least a month. Many survival experts insist that a six-month supply is the minimum. Personally, I can live a long time on tuna fish or peanut butter. You can purchase MREs from a variety of sources, as well as “camp-style” packaged food from many sporting goods stores. Of course, bottled water is available everywhere during normal times. Stock up! Distilled water will store longer than spring water. Plus, I suggest you have some water purification tablets or a Katadyn water filter on hand. And, if you are able, prepare to grow your own food. In cold weather climates such as we have here in Montana, people quickly learn how to construct and utilize greenhouses in which to grow food. Canning food is another very helpful hedge against deprivation. If your parents and grandparents were like mine, this was standard operating procedure.
Get a generator. Keep a supply of fuel on hand. Stay stocked up on batteries, candles, portable lights, first aid supplies, and personal hygiene items–especially toilet paper. Trust me, during times of intense and prolonged disaster, toilet paper could become more valuable than money. I also suggest you never run out of lighters or matches. You never know when you’ll need to build a fire–and during a prolonged survival situation, fire could save your life. If you live in a cold weather climate, you probably already have some sort of wood stove or fireplace. And don’t overlook the necessity of a good knife.
Obviously, you need to take stock of your clothing. Do you have clothes suitable for extended outdoor activity? What about boots? During a disaster, you would trade your best suit from Neiman Marcus for a good pair of boots. Do you have gloves? Insulated underwear? What about camouflage clothing? These could become essential outerwear in the right conditions. Plus, any “bug-out” bag will need to include spare clothing. And as most folks here in Montana know, “cotton kills.” For extended outdoor wear in cold weather, wool is the only way to go!
Communication and medical provisions are also a high priority in any kind of emergency. How will you communicate with your loved ones when the phones (including cell phones) go down? Portable ham radios are a very valuable resource. But the time to buy (and train to use) one is NOW! A preordained rally point (or safe house) might be something to think about. And what about medical supplies? Do you have enough to take care of routine (and not-so-routine) emergencies? What about your prescription drugs? How long could you function if you were cut off from your pharmacist for any length of time? Also, seriously consider learning about natural, herbal medicines. Those plants growing in your “back forty” might just cure a headache, stop bleeding, or even save your life. Think about it now.
And one more suggestion, while we’re on this subject: the best resources in the world are of little use if one is physically incapable of making good use of them. In other words, GET IN SHAPE. During any kind of emergency situation, physical exertion and stamina become immensely important.
I suggest you have at least some cash on hand. Just about any and all disasters will result in banks being closed for extended periods of time. That also means credit card purchases being suspended. You need to have enough cash to be able to purchase essential goods (if they are even available) for an undetermined amount of time.
Of course, some survival gurus insist that during any cataclysmic climate, precious metals will become the only reliable currency. A little gold and silver could go a long way in a prolonged emergency. For that matter, with the way our fiat money system is coming unraveled, you may want to seriously consider moving your IRA accounts into precious metals, if for no other reason than to better protect your savings. Ask yourself, how much money have I already lost at the hands of these banksters in the Federal Reserve and their toadies in the stock market?
In fact, in a disaster, what is considered a valuable commodity can change rather quickly, as the barter system takes a life of its own. What is valuable is determined by what you need and how badly you need it. In a prolonged disaster, simple things such as toilet paper, canned goods, ammunition, and clothing could become extremely valuable; while cars, video games, televisions, etc., could be reduced to junk status. In antiquity, wars were fought over things such as salt. You might be surprised to learn that there are already active barter groups in your area. I suggest you establish a relationship with these people now!
Speaking of cars, remember that during a prolonged “national emergency” that might involve some sort of nuclear attack or widespread civil unrest, an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) might be employed; in which case, most every late model vehicle would be completely inoperable. Accordingly, if one can keep an older, pre-computer-age vehicle in good working order, he or she might be driving the only non-government vehicle capable of going anywhere. Of course, you might not want to drive it to town!
Needless to say, during any kind of disaster, your safety and protection will be completely up to you. If you really think that the police are going to be able to protect you during an upheaval, you are living in a dream world.
In both the New Orleans and Los Angeles disasters, police protection was non-existent. Lawless gangs quickly took control of the streets, and people were left to either defend themselves or swiftly become the helpless prey of violent marauders. In fact, in New Orleans, some of the policemen actually abandoned their oaths to uphold the law and joined with the criminals, turning their weapons upon the public.
Face it, folks: in any kind of disaster, you must be able to defend yourself, or you and your family will be meat for these animals of society that will quickly descend without mercy upon the unprepared, unsuspecting souls around them. This requires that you be armed! It also requires that you be skilled enough to be able to efficiently use your arms. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you purchase firearms sufficient to keep you and your family safe, and also that you practice sufficiently to know how to use them.
Now, when it comes to a discussion of which firearms are preferable for self-defense, the suggestions are as varied as the people who proffer them. These are my suggestions:
I believe every man (along with his wife and children of adequate age) should be proficient with the following weapons: a handgun in .38 caliber or above, a .22 rifle, a center-fire bolt-action hunting rifle, a semi-automatic battle rifle, and a shotgun.
My personal preference for a self-defense handgun is either a .45 ACP 1911 (either Colt or Kimber), a Glock .45, or a .40 S&W. In the .40 caliber, my favorite is a Glock 22 or 23. In the 1911, I like the Commander size configuration. I prefer either the Model 21 or the Model 30 in the Glock .45. And I will also admit to sometimes carrying a 9mm Glock 19 or a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver. My two favorites in this caliber are the Model 66 with a 2 ½-inch barrel and the Model 586 with a 4-inch barrel. My wife prefers to carry a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver in the snub-nose, J-frame configuration. But this is primarily due to the reduced weight of these weapons for carry purposes. If needed, she could make a good accounting of herself with the Glock 19. If you are someone who has never owned and seldom fired a handgun, I recommend you buy a Glock. They are as simple as revolvers to operate, reliable, and almost indestructible. Plus, they provide increased magazine capacity, and are safe. They are also very easy to disassemble and clean. Of course, in dangerous game territory, you will need the power of a 10mm (the Glock 20 shines here), .45 Long Colt, .44 Magnum, or even a .454 Casull. These calibers are not for the limp-wristed, but when one is facing a brown bear or mountain lion, it is what one will need to survive. Plus, when your life is on the line, you’ll never feel the recoil.
For a .22 rifle, I really like the Ruger 10/22. A Marlin tube-fed .22 is also very effective. The CZ bolt-action .22 just might be the most accurate .22 on the market. For a hunting rifle, my suggestion is either a .270 or .30-06 caliber bolt-action rifle. I prefer the Remington Model 700 BDL or Browning X-Bolt, but there are several fine weapons in this configuration and caliber by numerous manufacturers. In dangerous game territory, a Marlin .45-70 could be a lifesaver. For a battle rifle, I suggest an AR-15-style weapon in .223 caliber or a .308 Springfield M1A. For a shotgun, I suggest a 12-gauge pump. Here I prefer a Winchester Model 1300, which is not made anymore. So, you’ll probably have to choose between Mossberg and Remington. For ladies, however, a 20-gauge shotgun is probably a better choice, and at “bad breath” range (where a shotgun shines, anyway), it is just as lethal.
Whatever you choose, practice with it to the point that you are able to use it proficiently. And be sure you stock up on ammunition. A gun without ammo is reduced to being either an expensive club or a cumbersome paperweight.
Go to your local independent sporting goods store (I don’t recommend the large national chain stores to do your firearms shopping.) and get to know your hometown firearms dealer. Most of these people are kind and helpful folks who will be more than happy to assist you in finding exactly what type of firearm is suitable for you and your family.
I firmly believe that man is created to have fellowship with his Creator-God. I really don’t know how people can face the uncertain future that we currently face without the spiritual knowledge, wisdom, comfort, and power that is made available through Jesus Christ. I believe the maxim is true: “Wise men still seek Him.” I strongly suggest that you seek to possess a personal relationship with God’s only begotten Son. In truth, spiritual preparation is far and away the most important preparation of all. Accordingly, be sure to pack a copy of God’s Word in your survival gear.
And if you have not been able to find a local church where the pastor isn’t afraid to deal with the kind of issues like I am dealing with in this column, I invite you to worship online with us at Liberty Fellowship. People all over America who are tired of these 501c3, establishment churches–who have no clue as to what is going on and who wouldn’t take a stand if they did–are tuning in to hear my messages at Liberty Fellowship every Sunday afternoon. To tune in this Sunday, go to:
That we are facing challenging days is a certainty. Exactly what that means is yet to be determined. I trust that some of my suggestions will help you be better prepared for what lies before us. Plus, here is an excellent online Survival Blog chock-full of great suggestions and resources for all things survival. Check it out:
And if you are considering relocation, please check out Joel Skousen’s web site at:
And if you think you may want to relocate to the Flathead Valley of Montana, George Hudson, a man at Liberty Fellowship who “escaped” from California to locate here–and who is now helping scores of people from all over the country to resettle in our beautiful valley–may be contacted at:
Please give him a few days to email you back, but he will be happy to try to answer any questions you have about moving here.
I am sure that I have left out several items that others more qualified than me would include. I welcome their suggestions, as I am always desirous to learn from those who are wiser and more experienced. In the meantime, remember your Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.”
The United States has collapsed economically, socially, politically, legally, constitutionally, and environmentally. The country that exists today is not even a shell of the country into which I was born. In this article I will deal with America’s economic collapse. In subsequent articles, i will deal with other aspects of American collapse.
Economically, America has descended into poverty. As Peter Edelman says, “Low-wage work is pandemic.” Today in “freedom and democracy” America, “the world’s only superpower,” one fourth of the work force is employed in jobs that pay less than $22,000, the poverty line for a family of four. Some of these lowly-paid persons are young college graduates, burdened by education loans, who share housing with three or four others in the same desperate situation. Other of these persons are single parents only one medical problem or lost job away from homelessness.
Others might be Ph.D.s teaching at universities as adjunct professors for $10,000 per year or less. Education is still touted as the way out of poverty, but increasingly is a path into poverty or into enlistments into the military services.
Edelman, who studies these issues, reports that 20.5 million Americans have incomes less than $9,500 per year, which is half of the poverty definition for a family of three.
There are six million Americans whose only income is food stamps. That means that there are six million Americans who live on the streets or under bridges or in the homes of relatives or friends. Hard-hearted Republicans continue to rail at welfare, but Edelman says, “basically welfare is gone.”
In my opinion as an economist, the official poverty line is long out of date. The prospect of three people living on $19,000 per year is farfetched. Considering the prices of rent, electricity, water, bread and fast food, one person cannot live in the US on $6,333.33 per year. In Thailand, perhaps, until the dollar collapses, it might be done, but not in the US.
As Dan Ariely (Duke University) and Mike Norton (Harvard University) have shown empirically, 40% of the US population, the 40% less well off, own 0.3%, that is, three-tenths of one percent, of America’s personal wealth. Who owns the other 99.7%? The top 20% have 84% of the country’s wealth. Those Americans in the third and fourth quintiles–essentially America’s middle class–have only 15.7% of the nation’s wealth. Such an unequal distribution of income is unprecedented in the economically developed world.
In my day, confronted with such disparity in the distribution of income and wealth, a disparity that obviously poses a dramatic problem for economic policy, political stability, and the macro management of the economy, Democrats would have demanded corrections, and Republicans would have reluctantly agreed.
But not today. Both political parties whore for money.
The Republicans believe that the suffering of poor Americans is not helping the rich enough. Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are committed to abolishing every program that addresses needs of what Republicans deride as “useless eaters.”
The “useless eaters” are the working poor and the former middle class whose jobs were offshored so that corporate executives could receive multi-millions of dollars in performance pay compensation and their shareholders could make millions of dollars on capital gains. While a handful of executives enjoy yachts and Playboy playmates, tens of millions of Americans barely get by.
In political propaganda, the “useless eaters” are not merely a burden on society and the rich. They are leeches who force honest taxpayers to pay for their many hours of comfortable leisure enjoying life, watching sports events, and fishing in trout streams, while they push around their belongings in grocery baskets or sell their bodies for the next MacDonald burger.
The concentration of wealth and power in the US today is far beyond anything my graduate economic professors could image in the 1960s. At four of the world’s best universities that I attended, the opinion was that competition in the free market would prevent great disparities in the distribution of income and wealth. As I was to learn, this belief was based on an ideology, not on reality.
Congress, acting on this erroneous belief in free market perfection, deregulated the US economy in order to create a free market. The immediate consequence was resort to every previous illegal action to monopolize, to commit financial and other fraud, to destroy the productive basis of American consumer incomes, and to redirect income and wealth to the one percent.
The “democratic” Clinton administration, like the Bush and Obama administrations, was suborned by free market ideology. The Clinton sell-outs to Big Money essentially abolished Aid to Families with Dependent Children. But this sell-out of struggling Americans was not enough to satisfy the Republican Party. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to cut or abolish every program that cushions poverty-stricken Americans from starvation and homelessness.
Republicans claim that the only reason Americans are in need is because the government uses taxpayers’ money to subsidize Americans who are unwilling to work. As Republicans see it, while we hard-workers sacrifice our leisure and time with our families, the welfare rabble enjoy the leisure that our tax dollars provide them.
This cock-eyed belief, on top of corporate CEOs maximizing their incomes by offshoring the middle class jobs of millions of Americans, has left Americans in poverty and cities, counties, states, and the federal government without a tax base, resulting in bankruptcies at the state and local level and massive budget deficits at the federal level that threaten the value of the dollar and its role as reserve currency.
The economic destruction of America benefitted the mega-rich with multi-billions of dollars with which to enjoy life and its high-priced accompaniments wherever the mega-rich wish. Meanwhile, away from the French Rivera, Homeland Security is collecting sufficient ammunition to keep dispossessed Americans under control.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
“Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret. - Dr. Robert Hare,
Above is the unvarnished opinion of the man who is, arguably, the world expert on the subject, who also provides this list of characteristics of psychopathy.
Read over the characteristics of psychopathy and descriptions of behavior and strategies they employ.
Psychobusters confronts the issue of how individuals can cope with the problem directly, using examples from the lives of three women.
The approach is not without risks and hazards, but if you have a psychopath in your life you understand the costs they are already exacting and can best decide for yourself whether this could work for you.
Because psychopaths study us from inside our world, but are not of our world their behavior does not include the limitations of compassion, empathy and conscience. Their behavior is predatory. We are their prey. Because they lie without conscience they feel no guilt. Therefore, when confronted, either in person or in court, they are often able to persuade listeners and juries. The victim, often already traumatized, is likely to appear frightened, stammering, distraught. The psychopath often appears cool and assured.
Additionally, even in our personal lives, many people decide who to believe based, not on the facts, but who is more likely to benefit them.
Psychopaths use barrages of emotional abuse, directed at their victim. Shocked at the untruths, the victim is often traumatized into inaction, allowing the psychopath to get when he or she wants.
Psychopaths study how to be charming. Charm is the bait which hooks their prey so the reeling in can take place and the evisceration begin.
You never have a relationship with a psychopath, you have just not been consumed yet.
The Gradient in Psychopathy
Individual psychopaths exhibit a range of behavior depending on their inherent attributes for intelligence and other factors. Smart ones are far more dangerous than dumb ones.
Psychopaths who are less intelligent are generally focused on shorter range goals. The more intelligent psychopaths may lay out long range strategies for obtaining their goals, for instance running for Congress and becoming president, a ‘defense’ contractor, or some other massive accrual of power.
When the more intelligent of these individuals, and at any time 20,000 psychopathic individuals with I. Q.s over 180 are walking among us, gain power in government, finance, or business, their impact is radically increased.
For all of these reasons the strategies used by psychopaths need to be well understood by all normal people so recognition of the psychopathic among us becomes less expensive for us as individuals and as a people.
What we know today – Impact on us as individuals and as a society
While our understanding of the condition of psychopathy has grown enormously over the last 15 years, coping with its impact on us, as individuals, and as a society, has not yet really begun. Yet it must, and immediately.
The impact of psychopaths on finance, government, the judiciary, and business, has grown enormously, along with changes in law instituted by these same individuals to limit their potential liabilities and facilitate their predations.
The more intelligent among the psychopathic study our emotional reactions, emulating these to better facilitate their manipulation of us emotionally and so control us.
The most successful con-artists are psychopaths. As the psychopathic rise in influence they build a culture among those around then which works to modify the behavior of otherwise normal individuals, habituating them to accepting roles in which they, too, act without conscience.
We are vulnerable to these modifications of our behavior, as documented by the Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures. This series of social psychology experiments was conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, measuring the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who ordered them to perform acts which conflicted with their personal conscience.
The chilling result demonstrated most people will follow orders when these come from an individual acting in authority.
Psychopaths, acting without conscience, routinely assume roles of authority they do not possess, but also abuse authority when able to occupy positions of authority ‘legitimately.’ When these are positions within government these are actions taken ‘under color of law,’ and are actionable, when recognized as such. However, psychopaths are rarely identified through our justice system as of yet.
Estimates of the losses to all of us through the the actions of psychopaths are not easily estimated, though the one estimate by a recognized expert, neuroscientist Kent Kiehl, placed the national cost of psychopathy at $460 billion a year. Losses caused by psychopaths originate from multiple causes.
Individuals suffer dislocations, loss of assets, decreased ability to work, loss of friends and other relationships, and physical trauma. Psychopaths routinely destroy family trust, the capital, which for all humanity, provides stability.
These costs are also borne by the agencies, public and private, which provide for those in need. Often victims are forced onto welfare and made jobless due to the actions of the psychopathic among us.
Psychopaths are born with the normal range of I.Q.s. Victims lose their homes, their professions, their self-esteem and can be left traumatized and unable to function.
Understand and take action.
Our Personal and Business Lives
Is there chaos in your life? Look for the psychopath, be discerning, it is not always easy to identify the correct individual. In families, others impacted themselves, could be engaging in angry behavior as a result of their relationship with the psychopath. Psychopaths sow hatred and distrust where ever they go.
The psychopath is often found at the center of the web of deceits which can stretch in all directions.
Psychopaths try to get those around them to fight. When those in your family cannot trust each other the psychopath can accrue power and control to themselves.
The cure for this is truth and transparency.
If you are told something about another individual ask them directly, and immediately, for the facts. Give them a chance to defend themselves. A psychopath will attempt to limit your communications through manipulations all of which have the same bottom line, “don’t mention this to them,”
Nearly everyone you meet will tell you to put your tail between your legs and hide when you realize you are confronting a psychopath. Their reasons are numerous and founded in undeniable fact.
Psychopaths, having no conscience, have no limits to their behavior except how it benefits them.
All serial killers are psychopaths, all con-men are psychopaths.
In professions and in their ‘personal’ lives, psychopaths use charm, lies, power, manipulation, intimidation, and extortion as part of their routine means for achieving their goals.
They cannot be trusted. Ever.
The concentration of highly psychopathic individuals increases as you move up the ladder in wealth and status and these individuals are far more dangerous because they are more likely to cooperate.
Psychopaths change the culture within corporations, families, and all organizations where they achieve footholds and power by influencing the attitudes and choices made by those around them. These individuals become, ‘situational psychopaths.’
Inform yourself before you start. Become familiar with the increasing body of academic information now available at Life Stealers and elsewhere.
Extracting yourself from a relationship with a psychopath is hazardous. Many people spend years in the attempt, made highly problematical because psychopaths seize control of assets and manipulate family members, persuading them to distrust their target, thus isolating them emotionally and denying them what is needed to escape. Also visit Love Fraud, which has an excellent forum, offering support and advice from those who have escaped.
Changing your name, abandoning your past, family pets, cherished possessions, sometimes even your family, are all issues which you may confront if you choose to run.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO FIGHT BACK -
The court system has no framework for recognizing the unvarnished fact psychopaths lie consistently and persuasively since they possess no conscience. Our court system is designed taking into account a human being who has a conscience and exhibits behavior which reflects real guilt, doubt, and a normal human reaction to stress.
Psychopaths emulate human emotions, but do not feel them.
Our approach does not include taking the psychopath to court, until and unless, you can overcome these issues by presenting expert witnesses in court on these facts.
On this site we provide information on fighting back using two tools, accountability and transparency.
You must clearly, thoroughly and persistently document the acts of the psychopath, using their name and providing proofs which, if presented in court, would be sufficient to make your case without other testimony.
You must be prepared to be attacked, ruthlessly, continuously, and viciously. Psychopaths lie and will attempt to destroy all which makes your life worth living.
Although psychopaths tend to be loners this is not always the case. They can and will cooperate when cooperating is in their best interests, jointly. Read – When Psychopaths Cooperate
If the psychopath is a family member you must never have undocumented communication with them again.
If phone conversations take place, record them. Copy all communications, make multiple copies and keep at least one off site.
Rewrite all wills and property agreements to end any claims the psychopath might use in the future. Notarize and file these with the court and send copies to all members of the family and close friends with whom you are in communication.
Anything and everything can be used as a weapon against you by a psychopath. Children are routinely destroyed by psychopaths when their spouses attempt to leave the marriage or relationship. Since our court system routinely shows calloused disregard for the well being of children, you must take this into account in advance.
Putting all of these materials up online will both immunize you and help others avoid the psychopath you are attempting to evade.
Make sure you change your locks, get security if you believe the psychopath might present a physical threat to you, your family, friends or property.
Coping with trauma
Anyone who had been through a relationship with a psychopath will come out of it with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Today technologies exist allowing us to alleviate the symptoms and return to normal functioning. Two excellent technologies are neurofeedback, NeurOptimal works well, though there are many others. Biofeedback is also excellent. See Quantum Alliance
These technologies, and more, are about to become far more accessible.
Freedom from living with the chaos which accompanies the psychopath is sweet beyond measure. You can achieve this peace along with renewed stability.
What in the world has happened to America? How has it come to this? The America that we currently see is unrecognizable from the America many of us grew up in. The America that many oppressed people risked their lives to escape to now more resembles the oppressed nations that those people fled. (I’ve had scores of immigrants tell me that personally.) And make no mistake about it, the problem is much deeper than the shallow partisan mantra, “It’s the Democrats’ (or Republicans’) fault.” The root cause of America’s woes is much deeper than that. For decades, we’ve been trading Democrats for Republicans, Republicans for Democrats, liberals for conservatives, and conservatives for liberals, and nothing has changed–except the problems keep getting worse!
To the heathen king, Abimelech, in Genesis chapter twenty, Abraham said, “Surely, the fear of God is not in this place.” Two thousand years later, in Romans chapter three, the Apostle Paul said, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” I’m inclined to believe that this may be at the root of most of America’s problems. And for the non-religious reader, please don’t stop reading now. Hear me out.
For one thing, a person does not have to be a Christian to possess the fear of God. I’ve met many unbelievers who possess a firm and unmistakable fear of God. Furthermore, from what I’ve seen among professing Christians, most of them do NOT possess the fear of God–their Christian profession notwithstanding!
At the risk of sounding “carnal,” I am literally sick to my stomach with all this talk about electing “Christians” to public office! A thorough examination of the Scriptures teaches us that the Bible itself does not promote the concept of choosing “Christians” to be civil magistrates. A political candidate’s Christian profession or church affiliation means absolutely nothing to his or her fitness for public office. You heard me: NOTHING!
When John F. Kennedy was running for office, I remember all the excitement among Catholics to go out and elect a Catholic president. When Jimmy Carter was running for office, I remember all the excitement among Baptists to go out and elect a Baptist president. When G.W. Bush was running for office, I remember all the excitement among “born-again” Christians to go out and elect a “born-again” president. This year, Mormons are all excited that they can go out and elect a Mormon president. It’s all hooey! Whether our civil magistrates at the federal level are Democrat or Republican, Catholic or Baptist or “born-again” Christian or Mormon, our country continues to spiral into oppression and despotism. Instead of getting all wrapped up in a candidate’s religious profession or affiliation, we should heed the counsel of Holy Writ.
Here is the Biblical requirement for civil magistrates: “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” (Exodus 18:21 KJV)
See it again: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” (II Samuel 23:3 KJV)
What difference does it make if one is a Democrat or Republican, if he or she doesn’t have the fear of God in his or her heart? What difference does it make if one is a Catholic or Baptist or “born-again” Christian or Mormon, if he or she does not have the fear of God is his or her heart? What difference does it make if they are “conservative” or “liberal,” if they are not men and women of truth, men and women who hate covetousness, and men and women who are just?
No two men were more different than George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They were opposites in just about every measure of determination. But without a doubt, these two men were two of the most valuable and influential men at the time of America’s founding. It is safe to say that without these two men, the United States of America would not even exist. Though they differed in religious persuasion, background, education, etc., they both expressed the same sentiment in regard to the discussion at hand.
George Washington said, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”
Thomas Jefferson said, “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
Christians or unbelievers, churchgoers or non-churchgoers, Federalists or Democrat-Republicans, northerners or southerners, to a man, America’s founders were men that feared God. That doesn’t mean they were without sin. It doesn’t mean that they possessed some sort of super-spirituality. But universally, the founding generation (and many generations afterward) possessed an innate fear of God.
Almost to a man, the founders emphasized that morality was the underpinning of liberty and freedom. And what is morality if it is not the governance of the way people treat one another? Furthermore, morality is something that must come from within; it cannot be coerced or forced externally. And, pray tell, where does morality come from if one has not the fear of God in his or her heart? And, again, this has nothing to do with one’s religious profession or affiliation–or lack thereof!
The fear of God is part of the Natural Law of God written in men’s hearts. The problem is that far too many people’s hearts have grown callused and hard to the “inner voice” of moral consciousness. How else can one explain the conduct of so many people?
The natural fear of God is a predicate for a person’s respect for their mother and father. (Leviticus 19:3) The fear of God is a predicate for a person’s respect for others, especially those who are disadvantaged. (Leviticus 19:14) This passage specifically notes the deaf and the blind.
So, how can TSA agents at the Louisville, Kentucky, airport possess the fear of God when they mockingly laugh at deaf people who were leaving the annual conference for the National Association of the Deaf in that city, calling them “F*%# Deafies”?
See the story at:
The fear of God is a predicate for people’s respect for the elderly. (Leviticus 19:32) The fear of God is a predicate for a political leader’s respect for liberty and refusal to engage in or allow oppression. (Leviticus 25:17) The fear of God is a predicate for honest financial and business practices. (Leviticus 25:36) And the fear of God is a predicate for a leader of any kind to not be tyrannical and heavy handed. (Leviticus 25:43)
And, as we are approaching the anniversary of the federal fiasco that took place near Ruby Ridge, Idaho, I am reminded again of how the lack of the fear of God is demonstrated in the way that our political leaders conduct themselves. How could federal agents possess the fear of God when they shot a fourteen-year-old boy in the back, and when one of them took aim through a high powered scoped rifle and shot the brains out of a young mother who was innocently standing in the doorway of her own home holding her infant child in her arms? Furthermore, how could federal agents possess the fear of God when they machine-gunned mostly elderly men, women, and children as they fled the burning buildings at Mt. Carmel outside Waco, Texas?
In addition, how can politicians in Washington, D.C., possess the fear of God when they routinely lie, steal, violate their oaths to the Constitution, and wreak havoc upon the liberties and freedoms of the American people? How can the banksters at the Federal Reserve possess the fear of God when they deliberately rape the US economy and purposefully manipulate the markets so as to destroy the financial well being of tens of millions of families? How can federal government officials at the highest levels possess the fear of God when they engage in international drug running and murder?
For that matter, how can professing Christians possess the fear of God when they engage in deliberate character assassination and slander? How can they possess the fear of God when they steal the honor and reputations of their own brothers and sisters? How can they possess the fear of God when they demonstrate selfishness, greed, and hypocrisy? How can they possess the fear of God when Christian school administrators lord over their staff and students as oppressively as any tyrant? How can pastors possess the fear of God when they willingly allow themselves to become the sheepish slaves of the state by avoiding–or even deliberately altering–the sacred principles of liberty set forth in the Holy Scriptures?
National policies and practices are totally dependent upon the personal fear of God by those who enact these policies and practices. No wonder the Scriptures admonish people to select civil magistrates who fear God. Forget his or her church affiliation! Forget his or her “Christian” profession! Are they people of their word? Do they hate covetousness? Are they people of truth? Are they men and women of character and integrity? Do they fear God?
America is not falling because of its politics. It is not falling because of its financial foibles. It is not falling because of its religious preferences. It is falling because “the fear of God is not in this place.”
Israel’s refusal to stop building illegal settlements in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem is a poignant reminder the Palestinians could share a fate similar to the indigenous American Indian people of the 1800’s.
According to the author, James W. Loewen, the U.S government’s model of wiping out nearly 54 million  indigenous people, with the remaining numbers relocated to desolate reservations, inspired Adolf Hitler to do the same against the Jews.
“Hitler admired the American concentration camps set up for Indians in the West and often lauded them to his inner circle for the effectiveness of American aptitude for promoting starvation and unequal combat, which inspired him for his own extermination of Jews and Gypsies. [Romani people],” Loewen wrote.
Noam Chomsky, the political author and professor of linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT), believes today’s role reversal of the Palestinians becoming the indigenous American Indian people is merited, but up to a point.
“It’s bad enough, but not that bad. The leading figures of the US conquests were quite explicit about taking over everything, and ‘exterminating’-their word-anyone who stood in the way. What we’d call ‘genocide’ if anyone else were to try it,” Chomsky said.
By mid-2011, 131 illegal settlements were in the region, housing 498,000 Israeli Jews, of which the majority of settlements are on privately owned Palestinian land, not part of Israel.
Israel occupies 77.5% of expropriated land, it terms, “State land”. This demographic change took more than 50 years of planning by the World Zionist organisation, a Jewish nationalist movement, exploiting Judaism, to advance colonisation in Palestine for a Jewish nation.
Integral to Israel’s land drive is an 8 metre concrete wall enclosure that surrounds illegal settlements. The idea was suggested in 1923, by the Polish Zionist, Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of the Jewish terrorist group, Irgun, in the Jewish Herald, stating: “This colonization can develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.”
Israel’s colonisation depends on exploiting natural resources. The Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea area have 37 illegal settlements of 9,500 settlers and up to 56,000 Palestinians, yet Israel pumps most of the water to its settlements, forcing the Arabs to ration water supplies. When supplies end, families risk contamination from polluted streams or make up the 67% forced to buy water in tanks from the Mekorot Company, which is expensive. 
To Palestinian farmer’s, water shortages limit the variety of crops grown, affecting an already crumbling economy, which Israel controls, to almost $1.83bn in lost annual revenue,  with complete losses in the West Bank and Gaza totalling around £4.4bn. 
Nazism rise to power in Germany was an important juncture for Zionism. Although, the persecution of Jews didn’t interest the Zionists, Hitler’s demise in 1945 provided the opportunity to take advantage of Jewish suffering, by sabotaging efforts to relocate Jews to other parts of Europe, instead increased Jewish migration into Palestine.
By 1946 the Jewish population rose to 602,586, which was nearly four times the 1931 British Mandate population figure of 174,610, with 65% (approximately 1,339,763) being Arab as opposed to 759,717 (73.5%) in 1931.
“There are multiple motives behind the settlement enterprise, such as cheap housing, but nationalist and religious ideologies (e.g. the belief the West Bank, or ‘Judea and Samaria,’ is part of the biblical ‘Eretz Israel’ play a very significant role,” said Human Rights Watch spokesman, Bill Van Esveld.
The Judaic significance refers to, ‘chosen people’ and ‘promised land’, prominent among settler motives, and forms the basis of Israeli claims over Palestinian land. Most Rabbis peddle Zionist interpretation in the Jewish Holy book, the Tanakh, focusing on (Genesis 15:18) that, ‘God promised Abraham’s descendants the land between the River of Egypt and the Forat (Euphrates)’, and in (Exodus 23:31), where ‘the border was set from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines; the inhabitants of the land would be delivered into your hand; and the people shall be driven out’.
According to traditional Jewish scholars it is not for the Jewish people to fulfil this promise but a pact between God and the prophet Elijah, yet to be delivered. Once delivered, it would signal the later arrival of the Messiah, who would redeem the Jews and all of mankind. Until then, God commands the Jews to remain in exile until it is time to be redeemed. The term, ‘exile’, refers to Jews being loyal subjects to their nation of residence, and not establishing rule over the native population, including the land of Palestine. 
To gain unconditional public support, exploiting Judaism wasn’t enough. Zionism needed land. In 1901, a proposal was accepted by Zvi Hermann Schapira, a rabbi and professor of mathematics, to establish an institute, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), to aggressively purchase land for Jewish settlement, and form a ‘Jewish territory’ in the process.
By the 1930’s the JNF using its leading influence, persuaded other land agencies to adopt its practices of retaining the legal title of the land, with leases granted to Jewish settlers.
The first Zionist land purchase was in the Jezreel Valley, bought from the Sursuk family in 1925. The Judaic importance and its nearly 100,000 acres, of which at least 93,000 acres were fertile and arable, made it one of the most fertile lands in Palestine. The Sursuk family bought the land from the Turkish government for 18,000 Palestinian pounds (roughly $50,000). The Zionist movement offered Sursuk an obscene amount of 726,000 Palestinian pounds (approximately $2 million), which was accepted by the Sursuk family.  This kind of exploitive dealings was common practice.
Most land purchases were followed by Arab expulsion. A secret memorandum in 1930, written by Dr. A. Rupin, the Jewish Agency agriculture and settlement expert, to his Agency, confirms expulsion is built into Zionism, when he said, “Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land thus far, both owners of the land and tenants.”
It is believed 1270 Palestinian Arab families were removed from 13 villages. To avoid a public scandal, each family was compensated 24 Palestinian pounds (just above $50), seen as an exception to the rule, as normally Arab families received nothing, for example the land purchase of Hefer Valley, saw about 2000 Arab peasants dispossessed. 
The Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, dismisses the argument of the Palestinians leaving on their own accord. In his research paper, later included in his book, ‘The ethnic cleansing of Palestine’, he reveals the official version of the 1948 Arab expulsion.
“On 10 March 1948, a group of 11 veteran Zionist leaders and Jewish officers put the finishing touches to a large scale military operation for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Military orders that evening, were despatched to units, preparing Palestinian expulsion from vast areas of the country. The detailed methods included: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centers; setting fires to homes, properties, and goods; expelling residents; demolishing homes; and finally planting mines in the rubble to prevent the expelled Arabs from returning. Each unit was issued its own list of villages and neighbourhoods to target in keeping with the master plan, Code-named Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew)”.
Taking six months to complete its mission, more than half of Palestine’s population, over 750,000 people, had been uprooted, 531 villages destroyed, and 11 urban neighbourhoods had been emptied of their inhabitants.
The squeezing of Arab lands, especially during 1948-1959, further expanded Israeli territory. Some of the villages included, the village of Umm Al-Fahm, with a population of 7000 and a land of 140,000 dunam*, by 1959 its population increased to 11,000 but the land was reduced to an astonishing 1500 dunam. The village of Tayyiba inhabited 3,500 people, with 45,000 dunam of land, by 1959 the population climbed to 7,000 but were left with only 13,000 dunam of land. The village of Tira with a population of 3100 people, owned 28,000 dunam, by 1959 the population rose to 5100 but only occupied 7,500 dunam of land. 
Deception was also used to expel Arab villagers, as witnessed in the Arab-Christian village of Ikrit in December 1948. The villagers were instructed by the Israeli army to leave their village temporarily, for two weeks, alleging land mines where found in the area and needed to be cleared for their safety. The residents moved to the nearby village of Rama, which became the Rama Refugee Camp, until it was safe to return.
Two weeks has now become 64 years. Instead of being resigned to their fate, in 1952 the villagers filed a lawsuit action, as they were instructed to leave for a limited time, so their property couldn’t be considered ‘absentee property’. The judges deceived the plaintiffs ruling in favour of the plaintiffs’ right of return to their land, but on condition of attaining a permit issued by the military governor. In reality, the Governor would never issue a permit.  The case still goes on. The court’s decision underlines how complicit the legal system is with Zionism’s policies.
Resistance also came from individuals, such as the Syrian, Shaykh Muhammad Izz ad-Din al-Qassam. He was an Imam of a local mosque in Haifa and an educator by night, teaching literacy to labourers. It was his student’s experiences, largely ex-farmers, recalling how they had to leave their lands by the JNF, which had a profound impact on Al-Qassam, who decided armed Jihad, (resistance) was necessary to end Arab dispossession, and in 1930, he formed a small militant group.
By 1935, the group raided Jewish settlements and sabotaged British rail lines, but Al-Qassam wanted a national revolution and wrote to the Arab leadership in Jerusalem, to support an armed struggle, but was rejected, as the leadership felt Arab rights could still be achieved through negotiations.
When news reached the British of al-Qassam’s vision, military units were deployed around a cave near Ya’bad in Jenin, where he was hiding, with twelve of his followers. Soon afterwards, the British soldiers pounded the area with heavy artillery. Al-Qassam, rather than surrender, took a last stand and was killed.
Al-Qassam’s efforts were not in vain, who instantly became a symbol of resistance, epitomising the Palestinian land struggle. His martyrdom triggered the great Arab Revolt (1936-1939). His legacy lives on with the military wing of Hamas named after him, Ezzedeen al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.
By the time Britain’s rule expired on 14 May 1948, the newly Zionist-aligned U.S government emerged as the leading global political power, and using its influence, forced the voting U.N nations to accept the two-state resolution, which the Palestinians rejected, giving 56% of the land to the Jews and 42% to the Arabs, the remaining land went to Christian and other small minority groups.
The pressure for U.N Nations to vote was acknowledged by James Forrestal, the U.S Minister of Defense at the time, in his memoirs, stating, “The methods used to pressure and to constrain the other nations within the U.N. were close to scandalous.” 
Since then, political elites have conspired to view the Palestinians as the ‘unseen’ people, which is emphasised with the ‘peace’ broker, the U.S government, forging strong economic and political ties with Israel, while ensuring there are no Palestinian agreements in dismantling illegal settlements and reclaiming civil rights equal to the Israeli citizens.
Palestine’s full admission to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), in October 2011 is a historic small step for the Palestinians to address its rights with some authority, and with at least 112 countries endorsing Palestinian statehood, the pressure to be given full U.N membership, is growing and cannot be ignored for much longer.
*One dunam is approximately 1,000 square metres
1 Denevan, William. “The Native Population of the Americas in 1492”. 2nd edition Publication. 1992.
2 Loewen, James W., “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong”. Touchstone, Simon & Schuster. 1995.
3 Peace Now Settlement Watch Team, Report-“Construction of Settlements upon Private Land-Official Data”, March 2007.
4 Jabotinsky, Vladimir. The Jewish Herald (South Africa). “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs)”. November 26, 1937.
5 Ma’an Development Center, Parallel Realities: Israeli Settlements and Palestinian Communities in the Jordan Valley, 2012.
6 7 The economic cost of the Israeli occupation for the occupied Palestinian territory, A bulletin published by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy in cooperation with the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), September 2011.
8 Palestine 1946: District and District Centers during the Mandate period. Source: Palestine Remembered
9 Census of Palestine 1931, Volume I. British Mandate of Palestine.
10 Leizer Fishberg, Jews Against Zionism group.
11 Rabbi Cohen, Ahron. “Declaration on ‘the Palestine issue’ by Neturei Karta of the UK”. 25 June, 2003. (Accessed 26 June 2012).
12 The composition of the group that met is the product of a mosaic reconstruction of several documents, as demonstrated in my book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006). The document summarizing the meeting is found in the Israel Defense Force Archives [IDFA], GHQ/Operations branch, 10 March 1948, File no. 922/75/595, and in the Haganah Archives [HA], File no. 73/94. The description of the meeting is repeated by Israel Galili in the Mapai center meeting, 4 April 1948, found in the HA, File no. 80/50/18. Chapter 4 of my book also documents the messages that went out on 10 March as well as the eleven meetings prior to ﬁnalizing of the plan, of which full minutes were recorded only for the January meeting.
13 Lehn and Davis 1988: 24, 86-7.
14, 19 Fouzi el-Asmar, “Zionist land-aggression in Israel/Palestine”, 4th Edition. English translation by Uri Davis, 4th Edition.
15 Arakhim, (Hebrew Newspaper), “The Arab Population in Israel”, No. 3, 1971, p.10
16 The historian Meir Pail claims, in From Haganah to the IDF [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Zemora Bitan Modan, n.d.), p.307, the orders were sent a week later. For the dispatch of the orders, see also Gershon Rivlin and Elhanan Oren, The War of Independence: Ben-Gurion’s Diary, vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense, 1982), p.147. The orders dispatched to the Haganah brigades to move to State D—Mazav Dalet—and from the brigades to the battalions can be found in HA, File no.73/94, 16 April 1948.
17 On Plan Dalet, which was approved in its broad lines several weeks before that meeting, see Uri Ben-Eliezer, The Emergence of Israeli Militarism, 1936–1956 (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1995), p. 253: “Plan Dalet aimed at cleansing of villages, expulsion of Arabs from mixed towns.”
18 Ilan Pappe, white paper, p.7, “The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”.
20 Yediot Aharonot, Hebrew newspaper. 30 June 1972.
21 Pappe, 2006, p. 35 Pappe speech given by the Pakistani representative to the U.N Sir Zafrullah Kahn on 28 November 1947
22 “Forrestal’s Memoirs”, p.363, N.Y., The Viking Press. 1951.