7/21/7 Down, Down...To a "Heroic Narrative": Militarized Society with almost "Liturgical Authority"; Religion & Politics

The ever-deepening U.S. capitalist crisis demands an ever more draconian state to expand the war to restructure capital on a world scale under U.S. control over friends and enemies. The prize is oil/energy resources... whoever controls them controls the world, and the planet. We have only seen the beginning of this agenda. As is now clear, voting in democrats is a vote of support, an imprimatur for their imperialist promises to intensify the "war on terror" ... led by republicans only with their unstinting assistance.
The ruling U.S. finance capitalist class is bipartisan, electoral parties broaden its base and secure its control. The increasingly militarized state is getting all the fascist tools it requires from "both sides of the aisle" to pursue its agenda for global domination militarily and politically. The pivotal loss U.S. is facing in Iraq will not stop its juggernaut nor will it be "corrected" like its stock market" by bogus "terror" threats or giving its rival capitalists' crises a boost. The brief big Dow - high, mainly from [patriotic] increased buying/debt, is threatened by the continuing housing market decline produced by predatory finance capital's loans/mortgages leaving countless working class broke, deeper in debt and desperate ... fodder for the financiers and their politicians who count on state terrorist war blood-letting to expand their global capital accumulation base.

Snippets of "news" like the following, decontextualized at least, frequently disinformation, obscure the blood curdling 'big picture' spelled out below in "A Soldiering Ethos: Toward a Heroic Narrative". Read it, share it, talk about it ... decide what must be done ... because it is totally up to us, the peoples responsible for this world and the future.

Santorum Suggests New Terror Attacks Will Change View Of War
Former Senator predicts "unfortunate events within a year" that will alter perceptions
by Paul Joseph Watson, www.GlobalResearch.ca , April 18, 2007
Last month, the new chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party Dennis Milligan told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001]," "And the naysayers will come around very quickly...
"A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and "restore his image as a leader of the American people," reported by Doug Thompson in Capitol Hill Blue on November 10, 2005 [digest note: and removed from site the same day : "A message from Capitol Hill Blue. . .Article removed from our database By Nov 10, 2005, 06:19 "]

General: Iraq report requires more time
#2 U.S. commander in Iraq needs at least until November, maybe up to 2 years, to accurately assess results of the increase in troop strength...

Defiant hunger strikers increase at Guantanamo
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba -- Twice a day at the U.S. military prison here, Abdul Rahman Shalabi and Zaid Salim Zuhair Ahmed are strapped down in padded restraint chairs, and flexible yellow tubes are inserted through their noses and throats. Milky nutritional supplements, mixed with water and olive oil to add calories and ease constipation, pour into their stomachs... The restraint chair was a practice borrowed from U.S. civilian prisons in January 2006. Prisoners are strapped down and monitored to prevent vomiting until the supplements are digested....to save their lives...
The British human rights group Reprieve labeled the process "intentionally brutal," and Shalabi, according to his lawyer's notes, said it is painful, "something you can't imagine. For two years, me and Ahmed have been treated like animals." ... http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/324581_gitmo21.html

Rules Lay Out C.I.A.’s Tactics in Questioning
July 21, 2007
The White House said Friday that it had given the Central Intelligence Agency approval to resume its use of some severe interrogation methods for questioning terrorism suspects in secret prisons overseas... government officials said the rules would still allow some techniques more severe than those used in interrogations by military personnel in places like the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba...Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he would wait to review the Justice Department’s legal reasoning before he passed judgment. General Hayden briefed the intelligence committees earlier in the year about the agency’s own review... Some Bush administration officials, including members of Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff, pushed for a more expansive interpretation of Geneva Convention language and for interrogation methods that the C.I.A. had not even requested...According to one senior intelligence official, nearly half of the source material used in the recent National Intelligence Estimate on the terrorism threat to the United States came from C.I.A. interrogations of detainees. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/21/washington/21intel.html?th&emc=th

Democrats halt Senate debate on Iraq war
Patrick Martin,WSWS
Senate Democrats abandoned an effort to impose restrictions on the Bush administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq after losing a procedural vote Wednesday to halt a Republican filibuster effectively conceding that there will be no change in US policy in Iraq http://www.uruknet.de/?p=34680

Bush officials widen assertion of privilege
Seattle Times 7/20/7

Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement
Prof. Michel Chossudovsky , Globalresearch.ca
A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and oppose the Iraq war.... the Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of "certain persons" who oppose the US led war in Iraq: "I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people." http://www.uruknet.de/?p=34664

Bush enemies are not necessarily our friends!
White House preparing to stage new September 11
Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year.... Old-line Republicans like Roberts have become increasingly disenchanted with the neoconservative politics of the Bush administration, which they see as a betrayal of fundamental conservative values... Roberts suggested that in the absence of a massive popular outcry, only the federal bureaucracy and perhaps the military could put constraints on Bush's current drive for a fully-fledged dictatorship. http://en.rian.ru/world/20070720/69340886.html

Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.
If America is to remain a democracy, the people need refurbished powers to hold "government of the people, by the people, for the people" accountable. One way of doing this would be a vote of confidence by the people. The question can be put to a national referendum: "Shall the President remain in office?" "Shall the Vice President remain in office?"The state of Florida does this for judges, including Florida’s Supreme Court, so there is precedent for allowing the people to decide whether officials may remain in office. As the American people can no longer rely on elected officials to respond to public opinion, the people must do what they can to gather power back into their hands before they become the subjects of tyrants.

The Invisible Government
John Pilger
This is liberalism.... if we deny its dangers, its open-ended project, and the all-consuming power of its propaganda, then we deny our right to true democracy, because liberalism and true democracy are not the same. Liberalism began as a preserve of the elite in the 19th century, and true democracy is never handed down by elites. It is always fought for and struggled for.

A senior member of the antiwar coalition, United For Peace and Justice, said recently, and I quote her, "The Democrats are using the politics of reality." Her liberal historical reference point was Vietnam. She said that President Johnson began withdrawing troops from Vietnam after a Democratic Congress began to vote against the war. That's not what happened. The troops were withdrawn from Vietnam after four long years. And during that time the United States killed more people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with bombs than were killed in all the preceding years. And that's what's happening in Iraq. The bombing has doubled since last year, and this is not being reported. And who began this bombing? Bill Clinton began it. During the 1990s Clinton rained bombs on Iraq in what were euphemistically called the "no fly zones." At the same time he imposed a medieval siege called economic sanctions, killing as I've mentioned, perhaps a million people, including a documented 500,000 children. Almost none of this carnage was reported in the so-called mainstream media. Last year a study published by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found that since the invasion of Iraq 655, 000 Iraqis had died as a direct result of the invasion. Official documents show that the Blair government knew this figure to be credible. In February, Les Roberts, the author of the report, said the figure was equal to the figure for deaths in the Fordham University study of the Rwandan genocide. The media response to Robert's shocking revelation was silence. What may well be the greatest episode of organized killing for a generation, in Harold Pinter's words, "Did not happen. It didn't matter."

Many people who regard themselves on the left supported Bush's attack on Afghanistan. That the CIA had supported Osama Bin Laden was ignored, that the Clinton administration had secretly backed the Taliban, even giving them high-level briefings at the CIA, is virtually unknown in the United States. The Taliban were secret partners with the oil giant Unocal in building an oil pipeline across Afghanistan. And when a Clinton official was reminded that the Taliban persecuted women, he said, "We can live with that." ...
The enduring tragedy of Palestine is due in great part to the silence and compliance of the so-called liberal left. Hamas is described repeatedly as sworn to the destruction of Israel. The New York Times, the Associated Press, the Boston Globe—take your pick. They all use this line as a standard disclaimer, and it is false. That Hamas has called for a ten-year ceasefire is almost never reported. Even more important, that Hamas has undergone an historic ideological shift in the last few years, which amounts to a recognition of what it calls the reality of Israel, is virtually unknown; and that Israel is sworn to the destruction of Palestine is unspeakable.mThere is a pioneering study by Glasgow University on the reporting of Palestine. They interviewed young people who watch TV news in Britain. More than 90 percent thought the illegal settlers were Palestinian. The more they watched, the less they knew—Danny Schecter's famous phrase.

The current most dangerous silence is over nuclear weapons and the return of the Cold War. The Russians understand clearly that the so-called American defense shield in Eastern Europe is designed to subjugate and humiliate them. Yet the front pages here talk about Putin starting a new Cold War, and there is silence about the development of an entirely new American nuclear system called Reliable Weapons Replacement (RRW), which is designed to blur the distinction between conventional war and nuclear war—a long-held ambition.
In the meantime, Iran is being softened up, with the liberal media playing almost the same role it played before the Iraq invasion. And as for the Democrats, look at how Barak Obama has become the voice of the Council on Foreign Relations, one of the propaganda organs of the old liberal Washington establishment. Obama writes that while he wants the troops home, "We must not rule out military force against long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria." Listen to this from the liberal Obama: "At moment of great peril in the past century our leaders ensured that America, by deed and by example, led and lifted the world, that we stood and fought for the freedom sought by billions of people beyond their borders."

That is the nub of the propaganda, the brainwashing if you like, that seeps into the lives of every American, and many of us who are not Americans. From right to left, secular to God-fearing, what so few people know is that in the last half century, United States administrations have overthrown 50 governments—many of them democracies. In the process, thirty countries have been attacked and bombed, with the loss of countless lives. Bush bashing is all very well—and is justified—but the moment we begin to accept the siren call of the Democrat's drivel about standing up and fighting for freedom sought by billions, the battle for history is lost, and we ourselves are silenced. ..
In all the years I've been a journalist, I've never know public consciousness to have risen as fast as it's rising today. Yes, its direction and shape is unclear, partly because people are now deeply suspicious of political alternatives, and because the Democratic Party has succeeded in seducing and dividing the electoral left...

Google Set to Bid $4.6 Billion for Airwaves[AP]

Federally Funded Plans To Scrap The Internet:Seeking further funding from Congress for "clean slate" projects, by Steve Watson , 4/18/07
URL of this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=WAT20070...
Time magazine has reported that several foundations and universities including Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon and MIT are pursuing individual projects, along with the Defense Department [LB: Pentagon's DARPA], in order to wipe out the current internet and replace it with a new network which will satisfy big business and government:

Google is just one of the major companies preparing for internet 2 by setting up hundreds of "server farms" through which eventually all our personal data - emails, documents, photographs, music, movies - will pass and reside.
Google's Cerf to advise NSF on Internet designs, Oct. 5, 2006
The Computing Research Association (CRA), at the request of the federal government, has formed an advisory board to help guide the design of a next-generation Internet. http://www.fcw.com/article96365-10-05-06-Web

All you need to know about "trusted computing":The Dangers of Digital Imprimatur, John Walker, 9/13/03

Judge throws out Plame's lawsuit
A U.S. judge threw out former CIA analyst Valerie Plame's lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials for illegally disclosing her identity to the public.

Optimism pushes Dow over 14,000
Driven by corporate buyouts, strong profit reports and stock buybacks, the market closed Thursday at a record high.
Citigroup's Profit Rises 18 Percent
(AP) -- Citigroup Inc. its second-quarter profit rose 18 % on strong overseas operations that led to record revenue for the biggest U.S. bank.

Time magazine quoting a former head of the powerful intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence said many foreign observers believe that his days are numbered as leader of Pakistan, raising the issue of who could possibly replace America's primary ally in the war against terror in this critical region. http://tinyurl.com/2jd6zw
Pakistan on Friday called White House comments that US forces could unilaterally strike militant targets inside the country “irresponsible and dangerous.” http://tinyurl.com/2ouzzu

Japan quake jars economy
[AP] http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003797625_japa...
TOKYO — The mammoth earthquake that ravaged northern Japan this week did more than take lives and trigger radioactive leaks. It nailed some of the most important industries undergirding growth in the world's second-biggest economy.Details of the economic fallout were still emerging days after Monday's 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook the Sea of Japan coast. But early repercussions stretched from Japan's top automakers to the country's biggest power company. The Nikkei business newspaper reported that about 70 percent of Japan's domestic auto production had been interrupted because of the hitch... Monday's quake has wreaked havoc on companies with factories in the region and created a logistics nightmare with damaged roads... Of wider concern was an impending electricity crunch.... fears of an electricity shortage in the nation's capital swelled after the world's biggest nuclear-power plant was shut down indefinitely because of safety concerns...
TEPCO warned the closure of its seven-reactor Kashiwazaka-Karima plant, which provides up to 13 percent of the utility's total electricity output, could trigger a power shortage for the busy capital in the summer months.

China’s Growth Accelerates to 11.9%, and Food Prices Spur Inflation
China’s economy grew at its fastest pace in a decade in the second quarter, raising fears [SIC] that the economy was overheating.

stacked children
expose wires
curling sores
worms won’t taste
corruption set
blasted through lunch
shocked waves
black-shawled crows
wailed, “Caw! caw!”
feathers slick crude
saturate heavy burden
tongue click microphone
beat frequency raise
the dead
send living
down down
dystopic dreamward
yesterday’s action news
what else ya got?

By Adam Engel
Adam Engel can be reached at: bartleby.samsa@verizon.net

onward christian-zionist soldiers
We must use the doctrine of religious liberty... until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty or the enemies of God.
Gary North

Religion and Politics a Marriage Made on Earth
Digest commentary:
The US ruling class, its strategy and policy architects are not religious maniacs nor rabid neocon republicans, for the most part. They are first and foremost capitalists. Their strategy increasingly depends on politicians who promote the racist white male supremacist ideology concentrated in christian-zionism. Religion is a strategem and powerful ideological weapon to instill fear and compliance, to galvanize storm-troopers, to set fascist social-political terms of debate. Bipartisan opposition does not exist within the capitalist system. Materially and ideologically white supremacist racism is the lynchpin it was built on and is fueled by. Republicans appeal is engineered to the most reactionary social base, the democrats to liberals. Past U.S. history and the current crisis demonstrate absolutely that the system -- and its geostrategic agenda -- is bipartisan. All capitalist parties team plays well together with a shameless show of "opposition" for us suckers, against our team, the working class and oppressed peoples and nations by whose labor and lives capitalism survives and thrives. We are capitals' enemy, the "terrorists", whose resistance and revolution they must fear and fight in the name of spreading democracy and "counter-terrorism". They understand -- so must we: only we, everywhere, can halt imperialism's march to world rule.

SANE: An Islamophobic group attempts to banish Islam from the U.S.
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
June 16, 2007
posted by Gamila Zahran's Arabian Sights
Stepping into the foot prints of Islamophobist founders of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim forums such as Middle East Forum, Campus Watch, Dhimmi Watch and Jihad Watch, another pro-Israeli Islamophobist, David Yerushalmi, has established an anti-Islam group known with the acronym SANE: the Society of Americans for National Existence. The main objective of the group is banishing Islam from the US by making "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison... The formation of such groups as SANE may be seen as another attempt to
terrorize and intimidate the American Muslim community. Before divulging on the agenda of the new group let us discuss the background of the founder of the group, David Yerushalmi [...]

from SANE
"America was founded and made strong by immigrants from western European countries with Judeo-Christian roots... American national existence... is directly related to the fact that it was founded by white, mostly anglo-saxon, believing Christians"

"...for true soldiering societies, the narrative itself must take on almost liturgical authority..."
Precisely where we're headed: THE NEW BIPARTISAN IMPERIALIST WORLD ORDER ...what will you do to reverse the course?
The Soldiering Ethos
By Michael Vlahos
America has fought a war for two years with its peacetime military. Moreover this is what both the nation and the military have wanted. But the situation is changing. Effective insurgency in Iraq is just the first step moving America's military into long-term wartime....
Administration strategists calculated that the Global War on Terrorism could still be handled by the just-enough paradigm of New Age Peacetime. Thus even periods of relatively intense combat operations could be sustained through a plussed-up overhead of world security management.

Just the Beginning
Iraqi insurgency is slowly destroying this calculation. Not because budget deficits will blow the overhead. Not because we will take too many
casualties. Not because we won't win in Iraq. New Age Peacetime is winning in Iraq -- in the sense of containing and ultimately eradicating resistance there.
But this is not a war about Iraq. This war is only beginning. America faces the prospect of continuing conflict in the Muslim World. Future conflict may look like what we have encountered in Iraq, but on a much greater scale. Future pre-emptive interventions already under active discussion by the Washington establishment include Syria -- an Iraqi "comparable" -- and Iran -- a conflict of incomparably greater magnitude. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are fragile and unstable, and Pakistan even more so....We must come to terms with the true nature of the war, and realize that it is not about "terrorism" but a deep struggle within Muslim identity over the very spirit of Islam. Thus, to turn a Churchillian quip, Iraq will not mark the beginning of the end, nor even the end of the beginning, but rather only, our own end of innocence.

The American Military -- and especially the US Army -- must find a way to effectively prosecute this war over an expanding theater of operations and for an indefinite period of historical time. Furthermore, it must do so without resorting to national mobilization and without ending up as an imperial service. Or at least it must disguise the latter for a while.

Because something has to give. Maybe not right now, but in five or ten years from now - or very possibly even next year. Chances are we will give up a treasured part of our national identity as the price of victory....We earnestly hope that Iraq will soon be put to bed, but possible US occupation of Arabia or Egypt, an invasion of Syria or Iran, is creating a new standard for battlefield performance....This war in contrast has no discernible finish, and its current dynamic suggests decades -- some say, even a century -- of conflict.[viii]

In this forever war there can be no National Guard -- no non-combat MOS (Military Occupational Specialty, or job identity) even -- because everyone will be, inevitably, a true professional soldier in combat -- in the Muslim World. Moreover the US simply will not meet urgent future military commitments without all of its force being a combat force. There are two options. But be warned, they may threaten some core values. ...

Move Toward a New "Heroic Narrative"
There is a necessary third part to the soldiering ethos: a new identity. But it will be very different from the ideology of Transformation.
The occupation of Iraq was expected to conform to US experience in Bosnia and Kosovo -- summed up by code words like "peacekeeping" and "nation-building." Although the current counterinsurgency campaign may look on TV like a clip from "Cops," it is not policing activity but real combat. What positive military identity can be extracted from a COIN-SWAT way of life -- for Counter-Insurgency and Special Weapons and Tactics, the place where military and police become one? If creatively handled, it could lead to a new "heroic narrative" -- one that sustains our soldiers in the forever war, but also one quite different from former tradition.

All military societies build their identities on a canonized heroic narrative. But for true soldiering societies, the narrative itself must take on almost
liturgical authority...(emphasis added)

Michael Vlahos is a frequent TCS contributor. He last wrote for TCS about
Breaking the Resistance in Iraq.
The entire text is here:
X Read the story here: http://www.legion-etrangere.info/site/camerone.php;
See the hand here:

The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control of the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly... must be denied citizenship.
Gary North, a top Republican theorist, in Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (1989)

The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism has awakened!" Pastor John Hagee announced in his booming voice to thunderous applause at the AIPAC Annual Policy Conference last March. What Hagee humbly omitted is that Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a group he formed just over a year ago, deserves much of the credit for arousing the sleepy 50-million-man giant.

Miracles, Wars And Politics
By Pervez Hoodbhoy
...Will It Rain If You Pray?
The history of myths and miracles in pre-Reformation Christianity, of their
growth in earlier phases, and their decline under Renaissance thinking, is
an extremely interesting and relevant subject for those who wish to
understand the state of science and society in Muslim countries today. The
fundamental question then was, and remains today, the following: does God
suspend the laws of physics in response to the actions of human beings (in
which case miracles can happen)? Or has God turned over the day-to-day
matters of running the universe to the laws of physics that he put into
place at the beginning (in this case miracles cannot happen)?

Following the lead of European Renaissance thinkers, Muslim reformers of the
19th century, particularly Syed Ahmad Khan, argued that miracles - as
commonly understood - cannot and do not happen. As a religious scholar who
wrote a tafseer (interpretation) of the Qur'an, Syed Ahmad Khan insisted
that the miracles mentioned in the Qur'an must be understood in broad
allegorical terms rather than literally. Following the Mutazillite tradition
of early Islam he, together with various 19th century Arab modernists,
insisted on an interpretation of the Qur'an that was in conformity with the
observed truths of science, thereby doing away with such commonly held
beliefs as the Noah's Great Flood and Adam's descent from heaven. It was a
risky proposition that brought them closer to modern scientific thought, on
the one hand, and severe condemnation from the orthodox of those times. But
those 19th century battles appear to be forgotten today. Looking at these
old writings, one wonders how those Muslim thinkers dared to engage so
boldly in such controversial matters. But they did, and today we dare not.
This is an indication of the profound philosophical and intellectual
regression of the Muslim world over the last two centuries.

My discussion in a recent seminar in Lahore of the history of miracles,
cause-and-effect in ancient Islam (there was greater acceptance then than
today!), and description of rainfall as a physical process that cannot be
influenced by prayer, drew an angry reaction from a professor at an elite
university. Subsequently, an email was circulated to the entire student body
and beyond, an excerpt of which is reproduced below:

"...The fact that rainfall sometimes is caused in response to prayers is a
matter of human experience. Although I cannot narrate an incident directly,
I know [this] from the observations of people who would not exaggerate.. .
The problem is that Dr Hoodbhoy has narrowed down his mind to be influenced
by only those facts that could be explained by the cause-and-effect
relationship. That's a classic example of academic prejudice.. Our world is
not running on the principle of a causal relationship. It is running the way
it is being run by its Master. Man has discovered that, generally speaking,
the physical phenomena of our world follow the principle of
cause-and-effect. However, that may not always happen, because the One who
is running it has never committed Himself to stick to that principle."

I responded with the following points:
· Prof. X admits that he has never personally witnessed rain fall in
consequence to prayers, but confidently states that this is 'a matter of
human experience' because he thinks some others have seen unusual things
happen. Well, there are people who are willing to swear on oath that they
have seen Elvis's ghost. Others claim that they have seen UFOs, horned
beasts, apparitions, the dead arise, etc. Without disputing that some of
these people might be sincere and honest, I must emphasise that science
cannot agree to this methodology. There is no limit to the power of people's
imagination. Unless these mysterious events are recorded on camera, we
cannot accept them as factual occurrences.

· Rain is a physical process (evaporation, cloud formation, nucleation,
condensation). It is complicated, because the atmospheric motion of gases
needs many variables for a proper description. However, it obeys exactly the
same physical laws as deduced by looking at gases in a cylinder, falling
bodies, and so forth. Personally I would be most interested to know whether
prayers can also cause the reversal of much simpler kinds of physical
processes. For example, can a stone be made to fall upward instead of
downward? Or can heat be made to flow from a cold body to a hot body by
appropriate spiritual prompting? If prayers can cause rain to fall from a
blue sky, then all physics and all science deserves to be trashed.

· I am afraid that the track record for Prof. X's point of view on rain is
not very good. Saudi Arabia remains a desert in spite of its evident
holiness, and the poor peasants of Sind have a terrible time with drought in
spite of their simplicity and piety. Geography, not earnestness of prayer,
appears to be the determining factor.

· Confidence in the cause-and-effect relationship is indeed the very
foundation of science and, as a scientist, I fully stand by it. Press the
letter 'T' on your keyboard and the same letter appears on the screen; step
on the accelerator and your car accelerates; jump out of a window and you
get hurt; put your hand on a stove and you get burnt. Those who doubt
cause-and-effect do so at great personal peril.

· Prof. X is correct in saying that many different people (not just Muslims
alone) believe they can influence physical events through persuading a
divine authority. Indeed, in the specific context of rain-making, we have
several examples. Red Indians had their very elaborate dances to please the
Rain God; people of the African bush tribes beat drums and chant; and
orthodox Hindus plead with Ram through spectacular 'yagas' with hundreds of
thousands of the faithful. Their methods seem a little odd to me, but I
wonder if Prof. X wishes to accord them respect and legitimacy.

Why Science Does Matter
Specious theological beliefs, together with reliance on miracles and
superstitions, have acted as a brake on social progress and often rendered
peoples vulnerable to the depredations of science-based imperialism. Muslims
have been the worst sufferers.

Suffocated by Western colonizers on the one hand, and the weight of
tradition on the other, 19th century Muslim modernizers across the Muslim
world sought new ways to revive their societies. Reconciling Islamic
theology with science was an important challenge because, for these
pioneering individuals, science was the key instrument for promoting
rational thinking on political and social matters. Mohammed Abduh, Rashid
Rida, Jamaluddin Afghani, Syed Ameer Ali, Syed Ahmad Khan, and other
intellectuals, sought to deal with issues such as polygamy and purdah in
Islam, the question of slavery, the permissibility of interest, etc. Their
success - limited as it was - was important in eventually creating a large
Muslim elite that broke with traditional norms and forms of social
But today Islam is once again regressing into pre-scientific thinking and
behaviour - thousands of websites on science and Islam promote the most
egregious examples of scientific crackpotism. But Muslims are not alone. A
similar regression is evident on a global scale with anti-scientific
thinking neatly dovetailing with, and providing justification for,
aggressive forms of social and political behaviour.

This primitivism is starkly evident in George Bush's America which promotes
Creationism and Christian notions of the human foetus. According to the
National Science Foundation's biennial report (April 2002) on the state of
science understanding: 30% of adult Americans believe that UFOs are space
vehicles from other civilizations; 60% believe in ESP; 40% think that
astrology is scientific; 32% believe in lucky numbers; 70% accept magnetic
therapy as scientific... This vast base of ignorance allows for the rise of American
neoconservatism and the blueprint for the New American Century; preparations
for Armageddon; and General Boykin in Somalia to say "my God is bigger than theirs".

In India, superstitious beliefs were actively cultivated by the BJP and its
allies. These included the creation of astrology departments, promotion of
"Vedic" mathematics and cosmology, and a revamping of the school curricula.
Mass hysteria - promoted by orthodox Hindus - accompanied the sighting of
the "Monkey Man", followed by Muhnochwa the "Face-Scratcher", and then the
elephant-like Lord Ganesh's alleged drinking of milk. Charged with the
notion of Hindu superiority, and of wild notions that Hindu deities had been
born under certain mosques, Hindutva forces organized the razing of mosques
and tombs, and massacred Muslims and Christians.

In Israel, orthodox Jews have been the pillars of a state that is built on
the notion of religious exclusion. Israel's drive for total military
superiority, and a strong tradition of Jewish secularism, have so far kept
the orthodox at bay. But it is unclear whether this can persist
indefinitely. For example, certain American cattle tycoons have for years
been working with Israeli counterparts to try and breed a pure red heifer in
Israel, which, by their interpretation of chapter 19 of the Book of Numbers,
will signal the coming of the building of the Third Temple. If they were to
succeed, it could intensify the already strong movement within Israel to
rebuild the Temple, the event of which would ignite the Middle East, as any
new Temple must be built on the Temple Mount current home of the Dome of The
Rock, a Muslim holy site.
Zealots of all persuasions - Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and Jewish - welcome
attacks on science and reason. Social constructivists, postmodernists, and
even some feminists, have unwittingly given them yet more ammunition by
inventing specious arguments. Improvement of the human condition demands a
return to critical reasoning and scientific analysis, a rejection of
cultural relativism, and willingness to accept still-evolving universal
norms of ethics and human behaviour.

...Like a religion, Americanism has become a universal faith that envisions the ultimate transformation of the world in America’s image....
The worst ever theology
Abid Ullah Jan, Media Monitors Network

Thursday 12 August 2004 - Our continued silence over the daily death of hundreds of Iraqis at the hands of occupation forces in Iraq and tens of Palestinians in occupied Arab territories by Israeli forces is outright criminal.
Radicalism, fanaticism and fundamentalism are the terms exclusively used for religions such as Islam, Christianity and Judaism. But the worst form of fanaticism that we witness today is of the American domination theology, which is even worse than a cult.
No religion, no matter how it is exploited by extremists, and misinterpreted by fanatics teaches all that the US is demonstrating these days.

With the bipartisan 9/11 Commission’s declaration of a war on Islamic ideology; Bush and Kerry’s equal resolve to supporting Israel, their joint commitment to making all US occupations a success, and with the globalization of America’s terrorism, it is becoming increasingly absurd to ascribe the global threat to a fanatic fringe, called neo-cons.

Americans who note that America is bastion of democracy and country of peace and tolerance are right, but only in a narrow bookish sense which hides the facts that America’s foundations lie in the genocide of natives and 100 Years of Lynchings. [1]
Other than that, the history of US invading and terrorizing other states, carving state territories from other’s land and imposing its hegemony dates as back to the day when America came into existence. [2]

American foreign policy does indeed permit freedom to both its friends and foes. But the prerequisite for American tolerance is America’s rule. Even its relations with Europe, NATO and its closest allies, the contemporary world’s much vaunted “international community,” is premised on the primacy of American dominance.

Like a religion, Americanism has become a universal faith that envisions the ultimate transformation of the world in America’s image. But unlike large parts of the Muslim and the rest of the Christian world in our time, America has been inching away from religious pluralism based on the equality of faiths.
For America, historical experience reinforces domination theology. America is the only worldly power which boasts to have won two World Wars, defeated an arch global power and many of its leaders lived to see nothing but the triumph of their “invincible” America. Because America knows power from its very inception, many Americans come to see dominance as their birthright. ...For America, only two options exist: dominate or be dominated.

The continued support to Israel to continue its domination and terror machine against Palestinian is the most extreme form of that mind-set. The goal of terrorist policy makers in Washington is not supporting Israel for the sake of Israel, Jews or Judaism, but for using Israel to dominate the whole Middle East. It is another matter that in the process Israel is destined to replace the US as the Ruling Global State in the near future.

Contrary to the American theology for domination, Islam and other faiths do not reinforce religious exclusivity at all costs. They do not propose wiping out whole populations to impose their values on subjects. None of the religions suggests to hold people from living by other religions or to exterminate them until they submit to its values. Contrary to the much criticized fundamentalism ad associated with religions, the US domination theology is far worse as it demands total submission to the values espoused by American “intellectual,” political and military war lords...

Humility is a profound trait in the values the American government parades before the world every day. More than most states, America claims to inculcate in Americans a frank acknowledgment of need to respect others’ freedom and human rights. Americans live with a constant awareness that what the US stands for is in the ultimate good of the humanity.
The dark side of that awareness is the demonic phenomenon of the invasions, occupations and conversion of local populations to the values America espouse at any cost. But at its best, the Americans’ ability to accept deaths and destructions elsewhere, believing that it leads to civilizing the uncivilized, is self-destructive.
Those who want us to believe that the American invasions and occupations abroad and curtailing civil liberties at home are merely the work of a frustrated Neo-con fringe and a few bigots like Pipes are weakening the world’s ability to recognize the scope of the threat and to defend itself from a new totalitarian onslaught... our silence is as criminal as the behavior, words and deeds of the American war lords and occupation troops.
Notes: [...]

On the Pope, Paternalism and Purifying the Savages
David A. Love
During his recent trip to Latin America, Pope Benedict XVI offended millions when he arrogantly suggested that Catholicism had purified indigenous populations, and called the resurgence of indigenous religions a step backward. He also said the native populations were longing for Christianity, and had welcomed the Catholic priests at the time of European conquest. He tried to clean it up afterwards by noting the, "sufferings and injustices inflicted by the colonizers on the indigenous populations whose human and basic rights often were trampled," but the damage was done.
The Pope seems to have selective amnesia when it comes to the Church and its horrendous history of human rights disasters against people of color. This happens at a time when Catholicism is becoming an increasingly southern religion and an increasingly brown religion. Roughly half of Catholics are in Latin America. Not only is the Pope out of step with the needs and everyday realities of the Third World, he is not speaking their language, and not owning up to the sins of the past.

[Western] Religious institutions have excused, aided and abetted crimes throughout history. Indeed, the church has much to atone for. There are three bulls (edicts, or executive orders, if you will) issued by the Papacy with which we should concern ourselves. The Dum Diversas, issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1452, authorized King Alfonso V of Portugal to reduce any "Saracens (Muslims) and pagans and any other unbelievers" to perpetual slavery, thereby ushering in the West African slave trade.

The Romanus Pontifex, also issued by Pope Nicholas V in 1455, sanctioned the seizure of non-Christian lands, and encouraged the enslavement of non-Christian people in Africa and the Americas. Specifically, it gave the green light to "invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed," all for profit, and in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Inter Caetera, signed by Pope Alexander VI in 1493, states, "... we (the Papacy) command you (Spain) ... to instruct the aforesaid inhabitants and residents and dwellers therein in the Catholic faith, and train them in good morals." This papal law sanctioned and paved the way for European colonization and Catholic missions in the New World.

These three edicts opened the floodgates for everything that followed, the raping, pillaging, kidnapping, genocide and enslavement of millions. They established the groundwork for the global slave trade of the 15th and 16th centuries, and the Age of Imperialism. Speaking of organized crime, at this time I'm reminded of a famous line from the movie The Godfather, referring to the drug trade: "In my city, we'd keep the traffic in the Dark People, the Coloreds - they're animals anyway, so let them lose their souls."

Despite the changing color of the church, there has been no pope from outside Europe...

In Brazil, Pentecostalismism is on the rise. There have been efforts to incorporate African rites and drums into Catholic services, in an effort to become more dynamic and more relevant. Yet, in the most African nation outside of Africa, and the world's largest Roman Catholic nation, there are only 11 Black bishops out of 400.

In Latin America, liberation theology remains influential. This school of theology, which focuses on social justice and political activism for the poor, challenges people in high places, and views Jesus as liberator of the oppressed, is rejected by the Vatican. In fact, Pope Benedict has devoted his career to eradicating liberation theology and its supporters, which he rejects as Marxist-inspired, and "a threat to the faith of the church."...

No longer can the great father on high dictate to the masses of colored children. Eradicating poverty, empowering the weak and seeking justice for all are the wave of the future. Glorifying a past that was a nightmare to many, and denying people their basic dignity and cultural self-determination, the Pope and other rusty, outdated institutions must get on the right side of justice, or find themselves relegated to the dustbin of history. BC Columnist David A. Love is an attorney based in Philadelphia, and a contributor to the Progressive Media Project and McClatchy-Tribune News Service. He contributed to the book, States of Confinement: Policing, Detention and Prisons (St. Martin's Press, 2000). Love is a former spokesperson for the Amnesty International UK National Speakers Tour, and organized the first national police brutality conference as a staff member with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. He served as a law clerk to two Black federal judges.
posted on Gamila Zahran's Arabian Sights

“...The Holy Bible in the white man’s hands and his interpretations of it has been the greatest single ideological weapon of enslaving millions of non-white human beings. Every country the white man has conquered with his guns, he has always paved the way and salved his conscience, by carrying the Bible and interpreting it to call the people “heathen” and “pagans”; then he sends his guns, then his missionaries behind the guns to mop up...."
"There is an element of 'whites' who are nothing but cold, animalistic racists. That element is the one that controls or has strong influence in the power structure."
Malcolm X

“Genocide means . . . deliberately inflicting on a group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in
part.” Source: United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

digest note: the following statistics excerpted from from HRW report are probably trustworthy: the political analysis & conclusions by HRW, one of the George Soros liberal imperialist NGO empire, are not [*see sources below]
Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs
Our research shows that blacks comprise 62.7 percent and whites 36.7 percent of all drug offenders admitted to state prison, even though federal surveys and other data detailed in this report show clearly that this racial disparity bears scant relation to racial differences in drug offending. There are, for example, five times more white drug users than black. Relative to population, black men are admitted to state prison on drug charges at a rate that is 13.4 times greater than that of white men. In large part because of the extraordinary racial disparities in incarceration for drug offenses, blacks are incarcerated for all offenses at 8.2 times the rate of whites. One in every 20 black men over the age of 18 in the United States is in state or federal prison, compared to one in 180 white men.
Shocking as such national statistics are, they mask even worse racial disparities in individual states. In seven states, for example, blacks constitute between 80 and 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison. In at least fifteen states, black men are admitted to prison on drug charges at rates that are from 20 to 57 times greater than those of white men. These racial disparities in drug offenders admitted to prison skew the racial balance of state prison populations. In two states, one in every 13 black men is in prison. In seven states, blacks are incarcerated at more than 13 times the rate of whites.
The imprisonment of blacks for drug offenses is part of a larger crisis of overincarceration in the United States. Although prison should be used as a last resort to protect society from violent or dangerous individuals, more people are sent to prison in the United States for nonviolent drug offenses than for crimes of violence. Throughout the 1990s, more than one hundred thousand drug offenders were sent to prison annually. More than 1.5 million prison admissions on drug charges have occurred since 1980. The rate at which drug offenders are incarcerated has increased ninefold. According to retired General Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the nation's war on drugs has propelled the creation of a vast "drug gulag." Drug control policies bear primary responsibility for the quadrupling of the national prison population since 1980 and a soaring incarceration rate, the highest among western democracies.. Drug sentences, even for those guilty of retailing or possessing small drug quantities, can compare to or exceed sentences for serious violent crimes such as armed robbery, rape, and even murder. Supporters of imprisonment for drug offenders insist it removes major traffickers and dangerous criminals from society, deters prospective offenders, and enhances community safety and well-being. Critics point to compelling data showing that few of the drug offenders who end up in prison are higher level dealers or traffickers and, indeed, that the prior criminal records of many incarcerated drug offenders are limited to drug offenses or consist of other nonviolent crimes. The massive use of imprisonment has failed to decrease the availability of drugs or raise their price, and adult drug use has not changed appreciably since the end of the 1980s....

The rate at which black men are incarcerated is astonishing. There are 4,630 black men in prison nationwide per 100,000 black men in the population, whereas the rate for white men is 482.28 In ten states and the District of Columbia, black men are incarcerated at staggeringly high rates that range from 5,740 to 7,859 per 100,000. In contrast, the range among the ten states with the highest rates of white male incarceration is 620 to 1,151. The highest rate of white male incarceration (1,151) is lower than the lowest rate of black male incarceration (1,195). According to Department of Justice calculations, if current rates of incarceration remain unchanged, 28.5 percent of black men will be confined in prison at least once during their lifetime, a figure six times greater than that for white men.29
Because of their extraordinary rate of incarceration, one in every 20 black men over the age of 18 is in a state or federal prison, compared to one in every 180 whites.... In every state, the proportion of blacks in prison exceeds, sometimes by a considerable amount, their proportion in the general population (Figure 2). In Minnesota and Iowa, blacks constitute a share of the prison population that is twelve times greater than their share of the state population. In eleven states -- Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming --the percentage of the prison population that is black is more than six times greater than the percentage of the state population that is black.
Racially disaggregated incarceration rates that measure the number of confined blacks and whites per 100,000 residents of each racial group yield another perspective on the extent of racial disparities in imprisonment. Nationwide, blacks are incarcerated at 8.2 times the rate of whites. That is, a black person is 8.2 times more likely to be in prison than a white person. Among individual states, there are even more extraordinary racial disparities in incarceration rates (Figure 3). In seven states -- Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,and Wisconsin -- blacks are incarcerated at more than 13 times the rate of whites. Minnesota has by far the highest disparity -- blacks in that state are incarcerated at 23 times the rate of whites. In the District of Columbia, blacks are incarcerated at 34 times the rate of whites. Even in Hawaii and Vermont, the states with the smallest racial disparities in incarceration rates, blacks are still incarcerated at more than twice the rate of whites.26

Blacks are incarcerated nationally at a rate of 1,547 per 100,000 black residents. In some states, the black rate of incarceration reaches extraordinary levels (Table 3). In Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia, blacks are incarcerated at rates that exceed 2,000 per 100,000. The lowest incarceration rate for blacks, 570 in North Dakota, exceeds the highest rate for whites, 440 in Arizona.
These rates of incarceration reflect a marked increase since the late 1980s. Although rates increased for both whites and blacks in most states between 1988 and 1996, the black rate in most states increased more than the white rate. The national black rate of incarceration increased 67 percent, from 922 per 100,000 black residents to 1547, while the white rate increased 28 percent, from 134 to 188 per 100,000 white residents (Table 4). In nine states --Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin -- the black rate of incarceration doubled. In another twenty-six states, the rate increased by fifty percent or more. In contrast, the white rate increased by fifty percent in fifteen states; in only two states (South Dakota and Washington) did the white rate double. As a result, the ratio of the rates of black to white incarceration increased from 6.8 to 8.2. [...]

"good going pauli boy...
FEMA knew about toxic trailers
FEMA tested no occupied trailers after March 2006, when it initially discovered formaldehyde levels at 75 times the U.S.-recommended workplace-safety threshold...FEMA Director David Paulison apologized and said "in hindsight" that FEMA should have tested trailers earlier. "The health and safety of residents is my primary concern,"... June 16, 2006, three months after reports of the hazards surfaced and a month after a trailer resident sued the agency, a FEMA logistics expert wrote that agency attorneys had "advised that we do not do testing, which would imply FEMA's ownership of this issue." Another FEMA attorney on June 15 wrote, "Do not initiate any testing until we give the OK. ... you get results and should they indicate some problem, the clock is running on our duty to respond to them."...

FEMA, The Federal Emergency Management Agency, accused of refusing to acknowledge high levels of formaldehyde in nearly 100,000 trailers it provided to hurricane evacuees on the GulfCoast.

NYT July 2007 Video: Casinos Flourish After Katrina

Racist Genocide in New Orleans Continues: "Like 911 But Add Water" by liz burbank
originally published 9/3/05 as "A Catastrophic Success": A Holocaust Shaped by Race
A renaissance of Black resistance and leadership, historically the leading edge of revolution is what the postmodern slavemasters fear most in the racist "homeland".
Katrina was no accident, no surprise, no act of 'mother nature', the 'gods' , or bureaucratic incompetence. The human and environmental and impact on New Orleans of a hurricane of this magnitude had been scientifically calculated. Rescue and recovery were deliberately withheld, working class Black people militarily imprisoned, forcibly dispersed and murdered by the armed state.
This intensification of america's historical genocide, a crime of U.S. imperialist state terrorism, is a premeditated physical and psychological attack on the Black Nation to destroy its strength, pride, cultural cohesion and resistance to capitalist white supremacy's fascist global juggernaut.
Central to the U.S. strategy for global domination, Katrina and the brutal aftermath was engineered to serve this fascist agenda in two interrelated ways: uprooting, dispersing and weakening the Black Nation, while simultaneously inflaming racist support for the consolidation of a fascist mode of state capitalism with martial law under the guise of "rescue, relief and recovery” from a "major casualty-producing event" the state declared a “natural disaster” (see military and 'think-tank briefings following) [...]
full article at http://lizburbankdigest.blogspot.com/2006/03/racist-genocide-in-new-orle...
also at http://www.burbankdigest.com/]

Blacks locked up at 5 times rate of whites
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Blacks in the United States are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites, and Hispanics are locked up at nearly double the white rate, according to a study released Wednesday by a criminal justice policy group.The report by the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based think tank, found that states in the Midwest and Northeast have the greatest black-to-white disparity in incarceration. Iowa had the widest disparity in the nation, imprisoning blacks at more than 13 times the rate of whites. Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut and Wisconsin incarcerated blacks at more than 10 times the rate of whites, the group said, citing Justice Department statistics from 2005. Vermont had a ratio of 12.5, followed by New Jersey with 12.4 and Connecticut with 12... [The Sentencing Project] made several recommendations such as reviewing federal drug laws and giving judges more discretion to decide sentences rather than imposing mandatory minimum prison terms.

[*sources: Washington's New World Order "Democratization" Template: 'Strategic nonviolent struggle is all about political power.'
Jonathan Mowat 9 February 2005 http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOW502A.html
The Cold War propaganda and operations center, Freedom House , now chaired by former CIA director James Woolsey, has also been involved, with billionaire George Soros' foundations, whose donations always dovetail those of the NED.... George Soros "the Daddy Warbucks of drug legalization," has been the top "private" funder of all the Eastern European and Central Asian insurgent groups, as well as those in Myamar. The spread of such mafias, is, of course, one of the most efficient ways of infiltrating and corrupting government agencies of targeted states....
The Democratic party's National Democratic Institute, the Republican party's International Republican Institute, the US State Department and USAID are the main agencies involved in these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and billionaire George Soros's Open Society Institute .

Soros Foundations Network
Open Society Institute Staff Directory
Privatization Project
Open Society Institute Budapest


Human Rights Watch, a George Soros project and a propaganda tool of the CIA...helped overthrow the government of Slobodan Milosevic. HRW is well-funded, and it's well-connected. Its links snake through the foreign policy establishment of the United States, through the State Department, and through...Radio Free Europe."...

George Soros: Prophet of an "Open Society"
Karen Talbot, www.globalresearch.ca 4 July 2003
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/TAL307A.html

29/11/04 George Soros — a profile by Neil Clark New Statesman (UK)
June 2, 2003 http://www.agitprop.org.au/nowar/20030602_clark_george_soros.php

Connie Bruck, "The World According to Soros," New Yorker, January 23, 1995.

Between 1989 and 1994, private foundations spent $450 million in Eastern Europe. Among the recipients were important officials and advisers in various countries. By 1995, there were 29,000 NGOs in the Czech Republic, 20,000 in Poland, and similar numbers in other countries. "They were almost entirely supported by foreign corporations, foundations, governments, political parties and international institutions such as the European Union and the World Bank."
George Soros is perhaps the single most significant private funder to the region. Soros foundations can be found in 34 countries around the globe, 26 of them in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. The recent 'revolution' in Georgia was backed among others by Soros (see Jacob Levich, "When NGOs Attack: Implications of the Coup in Georgia", http://www.counterpunch.com/, 6/12/03). Soros, the NED and other western funding agencies have a hand in the current crisis in Ukraine (see "US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev", Ian Traynor, 26/11/04, The Guardian; "Western aggression: How the US and Britain are intervening in Ukraine’s elections", John Laughland, The Spectator, 5/11/04, globalresearch.ca/articles/LAU411A.html; "IMF Sponsored 'Democracy' in The Ukraine", Michel Chossudovsky, 28/11/04, globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO411D.html)

U.S. Human Rights and Democracy Strategy

"Now I have to confess that I am not much of a believer, but I know now that A BELIEF IN GOD is essential in order to keep people in line. The reason is that a belief in God gives the PROPER MOTIVATION for people to behave properly: there is definitely no doubt about this! Fearing to be punished by God for their misdeeds people behave better, while on the other hand, if they figure that "there is no God" and that after death everything is finished... it has been shown many times,,, and over several centuries, that the behaviour of the United States and now, of the Israeli military in foreign areas, is not just brutal but cruel to the extreme, specializing in the torture and murder of old people, women and children....SO IT IS THE HEIGHT OF ABSURDITY TO ACCUSE GEORGE W. BUSH FOR THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY THE U.S EVER SINCE ITS FORMATION...
Jacques Hardy
239A- (X) HTML - HIDDEN IN THE BUSH - 20070814-0330

History of Fundamentalism:
How far apart are Al-Queda and Extremist Judeo-Christianity?
By Tanya C. Hsu
Senior Political Analyst & Director of Program Development
Institute for Research: Middle East Policy
11/18/2004 Part 2 of a Three Part Series


Conflict Transformation by Peaceful Means: The TRANSCEND Method
By Johan Galtung, Director TRANSCEND
United Nations Disaster Management Training Programme
The best instrument of true globalization would be an improved United Nations, with a UN People's Assembly for global democracy...
An improved UN would build on civil society actors--NGOs and local authorities(LAs) and TNCs, an underutilized peace actor.
* Centro de Estudios Internacionales http://www.ceinicaragua.org.ni/
* Focus on the Global South http://www.focusweb.org/
* Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania. PATRIR
* The Coalition for Global Solidarity www.globalsolidarity.org
* The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) www.transnational.org
* Transnational Institute http://www.tni.org/

Are Physicists Smart? Disciplined Professionals serve Power: "80 % of physicists in North America work for the military"
Prof. Denis Rancourt, GlobalResearch.ca
It is generally assumed that physicists are smart people. Even some chemists look up to physicists. Physics is reputed to be a difficult subject, the stuff of nightmares in high school. The greatest scientists that come to mind are often the physicists Einstein and Newton. The inventors of the atomic bomb are held in awe, as are the cosmologists that gave us black holes and worm holes into parallel universes. The proverbial rocket scientists are physicists. It is generally assumed that anyone who has studied quantum mechanics and can work-in the concept of entropy at a cocktail party is pretty smart. I’m a physicist and I’ve trained physicists and I’d like to advance a different view: generally, physicists, as a group, are pretty stupid, and certainly no smarter than any other group of self-centered and self-serving professionals...

Shocking Report Showing Involvement of US Psychologists in Torture of Military Detainees Requires Emergency Reform of American Psychological Association, Says Coalition of Psychologists
CounterPunch Newswire
Today's deeply disturbing revelations in Vanity Fair show the essential role US psychologists played in the torture of detainees in CIA and Department of Defense (DoD) custody, heightening the urgent need for the American Psychological Association (APA) to issue clear ethical guidelines prohibiting psychologists in the military or intelligence services from violating basic human rights as part of interrogation processes, the Coalition for an Ethical APA stated. When read in conjunction with the recently declassified Defense Department investigation which revealed that psychologists re-engineered counter-terrorist training techniques as mechanisms for detainee abuse at Guantánamo, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, this article is an indictment not only of participating psychologists, but of the Association which refuses to condemn these practices... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=34617

Planetary Oblivion: or how I learned to stop worrying and love capitalism.
posted by lenin
I am told that David Aaronovitch is planning a book entitled 'Voodoo Histories'... a book about 'conspiracy theories'.... This flood of tributes to various kinds of supposedly irrational belief (religion, pomo, New Age, etc) is itself the latest outbreak of obscurantist drivel, a fetish, a symptom of the utter lack of intellectual and moral responsibility among the literati. Having been accessory to something approaching genocide its awful criminality, these guys...want to say something about irrational beliefs and their pernicious effects on politics. A moment's reflection would compel the conclusion that the main types of irrational belief formation that threaten humankind are those that enable colossal damage to be done to us and our life-support systems. I mean to say that those incorrect beliefs that are encouraged by corporate-funded propaganda are covering for the worst, ongoing threat to human life that we have ever faced, bar nuclear war...
The most menacing and dogmatic voices of unreason are therefore: the mad extremists who insist on continuing in our present state of affairs; the utopian idealists who think that it can bring us a poverty-free, well-fed, sustainable planet; the evildoers who profit from it; the cool psychopaths who try to charm us into believing that all will be well; the cruel men of violence who will go to all lengths to conserve and defend the system. Root out the evil ideology within, I say. We have been indoctrinated for too long by this slavish cult of capitalism

scientific dialectical materialist view
Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (excerpts)

Man, who has found only the reflection of himself in the fantastic reality
of heaven, where he sought a superman, will no longer feel disposed to find
the mere appearance of himself, the non-man [Unmensch], where he seeks
and must seek his true reality.

The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion
does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and
self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has
already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside
the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this
society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world,
because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this
world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its
spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn
complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is
the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has
not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore,
indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real
suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the
oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless
conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the
demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions
about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that
requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the
criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that
man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so
that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism
of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his
reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses,
so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only
the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve
around himself.

It is, therefore, the task of history, once the other-world of truth has
vanished, to establish the truth of this world. It is the immediate task of
philosophy, which is in the service of history, to unmask self-estrangement
in its unholy forms once the holy form of human self-estrangement has been
unmasked. Thus, the criticism of Heaven turns into the criticism of Earth,
the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of
theology into the criticism of politics....

The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon,
material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes
a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of
gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it
demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical. To be radical is to
grasp the root of the matter. But, for man, the root is man himself. The
evident proof of the radicalism of German theory, and hence of its practical
energy, is that is proceeds from a resolute positive abolition of religion.
The criticism of religion ends with the teaching that man is the highest
essence for man – hence, with the categoric imperative to overthrow all
relations in which man is a debased, enslaved, abandoned, despicable
essence, relations which cannot be better described than by the cry of a
Frenchman when it was planned to introduce a tax on dogs: Poor dogs! They
want to treat you as human beings!

"Religion is the opium of the people" (translated from the German "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes") is one of the most frequently quoted statements of Karl Marx. Here is what Marx said, in context:
The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man.
Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man — state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. [Emphasis added]
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true sun. Religion is only the illusory sun which revolves around man so long as he does not revolve around himself.

Reference: A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, 1844.