Friday, August 19, 2005

More Posts Coming Soon

Once again, life took a busy turn, preventing me from posting in the last few months. With so much occuring in the world, it's unfortunate the posts are few and far between. However, each article stands on its own, and should not be read as current news, as much as information providing a tool that will be relevant to assess and disassemble the world we live in.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Fascist Wolf and his Democratic Disguise

Now that George Bush has placed one of his puppeteers in charge of the World Bank, Tyranny has become absolute.

For the last 5 years, the Executive Branch of the United States has become hostage to the Neo-Conservatives and their reprehensible agendas. One of the main pseudo-intellectuals in charge of developing this Neo-Conservative Ideology has been Paul ”comb licker" Wolfowitz. Behind any of the major Tyrannical plans that have recently been implemented, such as the Invasion of Iraq, Axis of Evil rhetoric, the Patriot Act, and the countless hypocritical lies advanced through greed, lust for power, and attempt at the unilateral domination of the global Economy, Wolfowitz has been captaining the helm of the fascist vehicle the world has come to know. Now, Bush has rewarded his chief captain-in-arms to an even more powerful position in charge of World Bank monies and the entrustment of the finances effecting Billions of people worldwide. Thanks in part to the growing strength of the Euro, the weakening of the dollar, and the downward spiral of US debt and economy, the downfall of the US as a world power is eminent. In order to swindle and launder billions of dollars from an organization enshrined to help Developing countries and fight World Poverty and debt, the Neo-conservatives have decided to intervene and funnel funds away from those who disagree with the New-conservative viewpoint. The World Bank also allocates money to the IMF (International Monetary Fund), thereby giving an increase in power and control by those supporting this Tyrannical attempt at a new world order.

In order to fully comprehend the massive impact that Wolfowitz and his Neo-conservatives can have on the world, it is important to look at his track record of lies, deceit, and hypocrisy that has plagued this current administration. As I write this article, Wolfowitz is attempting to convince others of his own benevolence. Perhaps he assumes that most people are either stupid, ignorant, oblivious, forgetful, or too high to learn from previous experiences. Any intelligent creature learns from negative experiences and attempts to prevent those from occurring again. A rat, knowing that receiving a food source will result in electrocution will eventually end up starving in order to avoid the shock it knows to expect. Yet, countless people, through their own ignorance will believe every honey encrusted lie that comes out of a Neo-conservatives mouth. Find yourself disagreeing, and depending on where you live, you are labeled negatively. If one lives in America, attempting to better the political climate, and striving for a time when the resources and power is used efficiently, as well as accountably, they are deemed un-patriotic. Unpatriotism is following a government that is clearly not in the best interest of the people, and only works for greed, corruption, and the domination of the world. The politically charged labels don't stop with domestic criticism, but extend to the foreign arena. When others in the world, look at the Tyrannical Behavior of those few in power, and show it for what it is, they are deemed as unfriendly, anti-democratic, and anti-American. When the powers in charge, affect the lives of others, whether directly or indirectly, they too should have a forum to voice their concerns.

So far, any country that has even remotely succeeded at stifling the unilateral growth and domination attempted by the Neo-conservative movement, has been labeled in a negative light that can be so harsh at times, as though it seems purely evil and vile. When Chavez, the Venezuelan President, decides that US intervention in its own political environment must come to an end, he is labeled a Communist, a hater of Americans, and if left to Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Bush and others, would be assassinated in a heartbeat. It seems as though the Neo-conservatives are achieving their ultimate goal of an Israeli Approach to their opposition. They view any criticism as hateful and take it so personal, that if left totally to their own devices, they would assassinate anybody who questions their goals, and the lies they feed to others. Just as the Israeli Defense Force razes hundreds of homes, considers collateral damage a past-time, and pretty much mirrors the tactics used by Nazis (such as condoning torture, belief in extreme nationalism, and constantly pulling the underdog card at every turn), Neo-Conservatives in turn have adopted many of these strategies to deal with their own "dissidents".

Ignorance has been the single greatest weapon of those imposing Tyrannical rule on a populace. As of today, the countless misinformation that has been obtained by chiefly, the American public is baffling. Ask a cross-sectional group of people if Persians are Arabs, 8 in 10 will agree. Ask another group of people if the majority of Arabs in America are Muslim, and 97 in 100 will agree. Yet, when one takes the time to look at the world objectively, and attempts to shed years of misinformation and all out lies, one can arrive at a better understanding, and perhaps empathies with others.

Some recnt facts that are now widely known (easily suspected beforehand though), which few in the mainstream Media correct, are the following: Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction; Saddam Hussein Never had ties with Osama Bin Laden; The Invasion of Iraq was a technical and logistical gross miscalculation; Much more money has been spent on securing Iraq then ever proposed; More troops were needed then ever originally calculated; and behind all of it, lies one of the main perpetrators -- Paul Wolfowitz. After all this, we are now supposed to trust that this same individual, that cavorts as a patriot, yet swears his allegiance to a foreign country (Israel)? In truth, Neo-conservatives should not be confused with moral and religious people. Moral people do not lie and disseminate misinformation at a rate that would shame the Amazon River. Hiding behind religion and belief in the sanctity of life, they control the agenda of billions of people. How is life supposed to be sacred, when hundres of soldiers, not yet drinking age, die every year (yet, none of these pseudo-intellectuals ever fought in an actual war?), countless innocent lives are lost and maimed from weapons that are produced under this "morally rich government", and capital punishment is a growing industry? How Hypocritical is it to fight for the sanctity of life, opposing abortion and one's right for euthanasia, yet supporting capital punishment, collateral damage, and a war that barely differentiates an innocent civilian from an insurgent?

Wolfowitz, why don't you collect your earnings, obtained through greed and manipulation, and leave the political arena. As for all the other neo-conservatives, you are not patriots, Christians, or Americans; you are part of a Tyrannical machine helmed by greed, power-politics and corruption (If history, or the analysis of politics in history was ever an indicator, few have ears for it). It's not as though the populace was never warned that one of the main pitfalls of Democracy is that it can lead to Tyranny. I am not advocating Communism though, far from it, but treading cautiously through Democracy is important, in order to avoid the pitfalls. For further reading, I suggest looking at a work written 2300 years ago by Plato -- The Republic (Before it's banned for subversion). Some of the material can be so concurrent, one wonders if Plato had psychic powers.

Effective revolution is not through the gun, the Bible, or economics, it's through knowledge. Reduction of ignorance is the greatest tool in one's arsenal against those who seek to control our thoughts (at least, they are ours at the moment). In the end, we are left with only the freedom of our thoughts, which given a cursory glance, may not seem like much, but in the end is far better then full uncontrolled domination.

***UPDATE: 5/17/07 -- Paul Wolfowitz will resign effective June 30th, ending 2 years of cronyism and destruction. Few will be sorry to see this bastard shill of Neo-Conservatives leave.

Friday, February 11, 2005

First Iraq, now Iran -- Global Domino game succeeding

Now that the truth has come out regarding the lack of weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq, and the Benefit of all the chaos reaching oil companies, the "Coalition of the Greedy" (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Blair, Howard, etc.) have turned their eyes towards Iran. It's not enough that Iraqi oil is now being exploited, not to mention the Iraqi populace, but that's not nearly enough for the Greedy. Seeking Natural gas, and a government that will bend over to allow itself to be exploited for the benefit of Western Imperialism, the Coalition of the Greedy have decided that Iran's time has come. What does it matter to them, that the current state of affairs in Iran, can directly be attributed to manipulation. When the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the US, and replaced with a weak, pro-Western leader, the resentment built to revolutionary levels. Ayatollah Khomeini took advantage of the growing dissatisfaction, and ever since, Iran has been dominated by religious clerics. What was meant to be a grand scheme of exploitation backfired, and now, thanks to the added push by Israel, Iran is in the crosshairs. The Domino effect does not end with Iran -- Syria and Lebanon are also on the agenda. There are three main reasons why such bold and reckless behavior, endangering the world, and driving us to the brink of WWIII, is being practiced. First, the ever expanding need for resources by a machine exploiting capital and resources from nations that cannot defend themselves is applied as though generously painting a house. Second, the security of Israel, thanks to their influence in Western Politics. As soon as one reveals the global dominance that Israel has, they are branded anti-Semitic and a threat to peace. Yet, the truth is in front of everyone's eyes. With Israel claiming that Iraq is just the first to fall, and Iran, Syria, as well as Lebanon are also on the agenda (as long as it's American troops, and American youth that have to die), is not only criminal, but extremely reckless. It seems at times, that they are forever inviting conflict, but it's no surprise that a fascist state must be run as a war machine. Ever expanding borders, claiming to be defending their territory, using the resources of others for their malicious purposes, is not something that has been buried with Nazi Germany. Israel today is very much like the fascist state that Nazi Germany was. A government that is always militarily ready, thirsts for warfare and conflict, and oppresses minorities is present in this day and age, not to mention the Propaganda that is globally present, showing a picture of peace and stability. The worst part is that most people, being uneducated, believe the lies they are fed, and actually think that every Muslim is waiting to commit Jihad. This is the single greatest propaganda that has befuddled us in this generation. Without knowing any Muslims, many are misled towards a faulty premise. Every group has extremists, whether it's Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus. This does not mean that the majority of the people support those views. For those who don't know, the bridge between Greek advances in the sciences to the modern times was bridged by Muslim Arabs. It was the Arabs that translated and preserved many of the documents that the fanatical Christians destroyed during the Middle Ages. Considering all non-Christians as heretics, and their advances as devil's work, science stagnated for centuries in Europe. However, science was advancing in the Arab world. Just because currently, many of the fanatical Muslims seem to adopt non-modern ways of living, does not mean that this will always be the case, or that most progressive Muslims (which are definitely the majority in the world) also believe this. But I digress, the Third reason why the world's being endangered by the war machine I call the "Coalition of the Greedy" is the fanatically conservative belief of those in charge. They, called Born Again Christians, or Right Wingers, believe that they can only be saved spiritually, following extremist Biblical Destiny and Dogma, if they allow Israel to become a powerful state, with control over the Middle East. Thus, with Exploitation of resources, Israel's ability for Propaganda and Fundamentalist belief by the Architects of this Domino effect, the world is rapidly headed towards a very chaotic Epoch.

Going back to Iran, the saber rattling we currently hear, regarding Iran's development of a nuclear program is unbelievably hypocritical. Just because a nation, struggling to incorporate nuclear power as a cleaner and alternative source of energy is marginalized and isolated, does not mean their goals are malevolent. Do Western Imperialists actually expect Iranians to go on burning coal and wood for the rest of this century? And what is wrong in Iran defending themselves (definitely not by Nuclear weapons, which are just a propaganda tool to exploit Iran) from such aggressive neighbors? Iran would not endanger its status with Russia or any of the other economic partners, without a pre-emptive strike first. Now that North Korea publicly admits to having Nuclear Weapons, there is no chance an invasion will take place. Nuclear Weapons are deterrents, and one would be suicidally stupid to invade a country that can defend itself. Knowing that Iraq did not possess any WMD's made the invasion seem that much easier, although with typical lack of foresight, never realizing the fact that the dissatisfied would not fight a direct war, but would blend into the crowd and fight a Guerilla war, as they do now. Guerilla wars have been fought since time immemorial, and for those who have no other option, who can't match troops, or technology, can only retaliate in one way. Sometimes, from a military standpoint, it's better to allow yourself to be captured/occupied, knowing that you can inflict higher casualties later, as time moves on.

In short, all the prodding and forcing that the US and Israel is pushing on Iran will not stop, until the goals of this global domino effect are reached. Having direct control of the Middle East, is just one step towards a larger solution to the global domino players. What does it matter to the power Elite if other's children die for a cause that cannot be ethically justified.
Hopefully things are now clearer, with Fascists and Crusaders presently abound, unilaterally acting on a self-righteous belief in their dominance and superiority. What those people do not realize is that Earth is an extremely small place, and in the long run, their petty grappling over land, and resources means little to the grand scheme of the Universe. They are ants, struggling over ant-hills, without realizing that existence is more then material possession and greed. Stepping outside one's self, and looking at things objectively, with an open mind willing to accept new ideas, flexible enough to embrace that which makes universal sense, should be the ultimate goal, not greed, politics, or power.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Corporate Greed and the Synonymous Nature of the Pharmaceutical Industry

The underhanded behavior of the Pharmaceutical Industry has only recently reached the forefront of mass media. For at least five decades, these greedy and ruthless corporations have been hiding important information that would require extreme caution on behalf of the consumer. They have blocked research data that would reveal the true dangers and nature of the very drugs that they vehemently push upon the American public. Only through recent widespread news, has the truth come out on the manipulation exerted upon the Physicians and Patients that have been tricked into a false sense of security regarding the effects of their products.

The recent news that Vioxx and Celebrex, touted as the "next generation anti-inflammatory drugs", are over prescribed and have had a large part to play in recent heart attacks was known for many years. Further research and unbiased data reveals the damage that these products can do to the heart muscle, resulting in an increased rate of heart attack and stroke. There are a number of reasons these drugs were prematurely pressed on the public, and few outside the industry understand the reasons. Many physicians were pressured to switch to the "new generation", because Aspirin, used as the primary anti-inflammatory, often had the side-effect of stomach and intestinal distress. As many know, Aspirin is not the friendliest drug on the stomach, and can lead to bleeding ulcers, and pain. Another reason for the proliferation of "next generation" anti-inflammatory was the dependence of patients on opiates such as Vicodin and Codeine. Physicians are split between different treatment methods to joint and body pain. For example, when a patient with a chronic history of lower back pain is examined, some physicians prescribe a combination of Anti-Inflammatories and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the pain. Others, especially physicians who have lower back pain themselves, and can sympathize with their patients, prescribe opiates for the pain. Since the advent of the Next Generation Anti-inflammatory, more of the latter physicians were encouraged to switch treatment methods, because of the reduced side-effects by the new medication (remembering the stomach problems that the previous treatment, Aspirin, had on the patient). As it happens, all this prodding and encouragement was a result of manipulated data on the safety of the "new and better" treatment method. (

Many may question how Physicians, an intelligent and trusted group of people can be manipulated into dumping their time tested medication, to new and rather experimental drugs. This is where the Pharmaceutical Representatives come in. Physicians, being trapped in their offices all day, seeing sick and infirm patients not on their best days, light up when a very well dressed and attractive woman arrives selling a pharmaceutical product. They come with "free gifts" and expect to eventually receive some recognition of their product. The amount of money spent on advertising and marketing by these corporations is much greater then the national product of many countries around the globe.

Not only do pharmaceutical companies manipulate data, but they function as any ruthless corporation would. First, their research labs are fortified with security barriers, electric fences, and thick concrete walls. Further, they have their employees sign confidentiality agreements, with no right to privacy if they are suspect on leaking data. This means that they can tap phone lines, and have private investigators intrude upon their private lives. The prices for the products they sell are hyper inflated, and only with significant monetary resources can one take the recommended treatment offered. Another method of generating great income is through expanding an existing disease to include "new" standards. The current trend in prescribing drugs on children for various "diseases" need not be fully elaborated upon. Any learned person knows the over prescription of Ridalin and Prozac because the parents and educators of these children do not have the patience to deal with the issues. There may be a few individuals who are truly in need of such medication, but they are highly outnumbered by those that do not need these drugs. Recent news has also revealed the increased rates of suicide that results from adolescents taking anti-depressants such as Paxil (

As one scans through the isles at the store, it's hard to avoid the large amount of space devoted to pharmaceutical products. Many of these are typical treatments, which do not aim to cure the underlying ailment. This is where alternative medicine, often times used in conjunction with contemporary treatments, works. Alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and herbal remedies, aims to cure and soothe the ailment in a natural and homeopathic way. Even if the treatments don't work chemically, the placebo effect they invoke of those that use them is instrumental in a patient's recovery. Building and acquiring immunity is not solely based on chemical means, but also, on a stronger immune system. As long as patients believe in the treatment or cure, the process itself, goes a long way in recovery. These are not attributed to magical means, but the natural act of one's immune system strengthening based on a suggestion from their mind.

The best way to counteract the dominance of Pharmaceutical companies is first, to realize when it's important to avoid taking medication (such as antibiotics) for simple things as the flu, and limiting the amount of relief obtained through drugs. Further, it's important to realize that some medicine, such as those involved in Chemotherapy, are important, but can be used in conjunction with alternative sources (as long as they don't counteract each other). And of primary importance is Preventing, and not just treating an illness. A good diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are important ingredients for prevention of most illnesses.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Religious Evolution due to Politics

It can equivocally be stated that throughout history, the search for Political Independence has shaped the Religious direction of a given group. The belief in Religion so often attributed to singular faith, would have no basis if it wasn't for the intervention of Politics. I can list dozens of examples, but I shall endeavor to concentrate on one specific Religious Group, only because I know more about its political history then I know of others. Christianity, as we know it today, is not the same entity that emerged at first, as a branch within another religious philosophy (Judaism as we've been told). During the first few hundred years after Jesus, there was great chaos in deciding how best to represent the growing movement. There were thousands of different views on the matter, each influenced by some zealot, clergy member, or philosopher with ties to political groups and power.
Before I continue further, I would like to make a few statements and provide some background information that should help in better explaining the whole situation. I am working on the assumption that there was a man named Jesus (although this is the Hellenized version of his name), who had numerous followers, starting a movement within the Jewish population towards the inclusion of non-jews. Some religions, or even intra-religious branches, are highly exclusive. What this means is that these groups do not actively proselytize, trying to convert or accept new members. As a rule, Judaism is a highly exclusive religious, with the belief that the Jews are superior to other ethnic groups, and that they are the true Children of God. Some did not agree with this presumptively arrogant and exclusive viewpoint, and decided that why limit acceptance to heaven on one ethnic group? In other words, why be bound to religion through blood, and not through other means such as plain faith? Thus, Jesus and his followers traveled around, trying to spread the movement Within their religion, for inclusion. They didn't set out to start a new religion or even new branches, but they disagreed on a philosophical basis with the Dogma of Judaism at the time. Aside from this, I have purposely left out identifying the region that lead to the movement which eventually became Christianity. The reason for this is the loaded nature of naming a given place, especially one that has been involved in numerous political and ethnic conflicts throughout its history. Generally, it is better to refer to most places geographically then politically. Thus, I will not use modern political names, or even ancient ones of the region. I will not refer to Israel, Palestine, land of Canaan, or whatever else may be. I can say Western Middle East, but this is an awkward and broad geographical term. From here on, I will use Southern Levant when I refer to the region. Geographically speaking, the Levant is the Eastern Shore of the Mediterranean that stretches from modern day Syria, through Lebanon, to Southern Israel and Gaza.
In order to better explain the shaping of Christianity through Politics, it is important to understand the reason for the Major divisions within Christianity. Generally, there are three main branches, the First, being the Orthodox, the Second the Catholics, and the Third branch consisting of Protestants. The fundamental Division between these beliefs was a result of the search for Political Independence and Dominance.
During the early Chaos of Christianity, it was decided by the various leaders, that a council must be convened to decide on a solid and stable platform. A philosophy was intent on being found that would unite the various factions and result in a substantial foundation. Thus, in the year 325, the Council of Nicea was convened within Constantine's Empire, to attempt at an initial reconciliation. Many philosophies were discarded at this time, charging those who practiced them as heretical. Christian Gnosticism (Various branches) for example, was one of the discarded beliefs, and those who tolerated, and especially practiced it, where persecuted to their eventual deaths.
The Adoption of Christianity by Constantine was not a religious miracle, but a move for greater political autonomy and independence. At the time of Constantine, Roman power and might was fading quickly, and in order for some remnant of the once might empire to remain, Constantine decided to Settle on the Bosporus, in what we now call Istanbul, previously known as Constantinople. By Adopting Christianity, Constantine solidified his power and dominance, binding the Eastern end of the crumbling Roman Empire together.
By the year 451, Christianity had not only taken a hold, but was flourishing in an ever expanding empire. The only problem was although many different groups had adopted Christianity, Constantinople was pressuring them to lose political independence and become a fully integrated member of the Empire. When the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) was convened to decide on the true nature of Christ, many of the politically autonomous groups decided to solidify their autonomy and avoid gradual assimilation into the ever expanding Byzantine Empire. This is when the first major division occurred, with the Oriental Orthodox church, moving away from the main branch on theological grounds (but in reality, based more on political autonomy). The main subject of this division was on whether Christ had a dual nature, being both fully human and fully divine, or on a single nature of Divinity, called Monophysite. This first division led to the Armenian, Syrian, Coptic (Egyptian), Ethiopian and Indian Orthodox Churches.
As the Byzantine Empire grew Stronger, Rome was invaded by incoming nomadic hordes, and the whole Western region of the Roman Empire had become disorganized and Chaotic. As the years went on, Rome and the Western end of the once former Roman Empire eventually recovered and prospered. While the Byzantine Empire put political pressure on Rome, many of the rulers resented these "Eastern Overlords" and slowly drifted away to retain their political identity. Finally, after centuries of simmering tension, the Great Church Schism of 1054 occurred. In this, Rome made the decision to break away from Byzantine Religious superiority, and instead develop and strengthen what we now consider the Catholic Religion. Thus, the Greek Orthodox, and Roman Catholics emerged from the political division that Rome sought.
Turks and Mongols eventually conquered the Byzantine Empire, but since the political strength of Christianity had once again shifted, this time from Constantinople to Rome, Catholicism finally retained religious dominance over Orthodoxy.
With Catholicism being such a dominant force, a new line of friction emerged with the Holy Roman Empire (not to be confused with the Roman Empire). The Holy Roman Empire (which was neither, Holy, Roman, or an Empire) was a conglomeration of political regions within what are now France, Germany and Austria. As Southern Europe increasingly felt the threat of Muslim Power, religious dominance once again shifted. By the 1500's, the Protestant Reformation was under way, resulting in the 3rd and last major split of Christianity. In this, the many regions within Central Europe decided they had enough political pressure from Rome, and in order to avoid assimilation and dominance, decided to adopt a new belief separating them politically from Rome. If one looks at the further divisions within the Protestant Church, it's again possible to see the political overtones. The Anglican Church, Lutherans, Calvinists, Methodists, among many others decided to further attain political autonomy and adopt these beliefs.
As can be seen from all the examples, and a small amount of Church History, religion retains divisions not on personal belief structures but on political autonomy and independence. It's not as easy adopting a new language or alphabet, as it is adopting a slight religious difference to retain autonomy. I am not stating that it's not possible to adapt a new alphabet, because all one has to do is look at Cyrillic (the Russian Script) to realize that religious in not the only method of independence. However, Religion is far more effective then an alphabetical or linguistic change.
Finally, with all the previous information one has in mind, how can anyone be sure of the original intent of a particular set of beliefs? These beliefs were shaped by ecumenical politics, linguistic shifts and violent transitions. The bible for example, is often thought by many Christians as the sole unaltered Word of God. How is it possible, that a document can remain unaltered through so much change in the course of its given history? Aside from the numerous linguistic translations that are nowhere near to the original in connotation and meaning, one can also understand the politics that have shaped and molded the belief into what it has become today. To summarize, Religion cannot be taken literally, either as the word of God or written in its original form, because even if that was the case, which I highly doubt, the original meaning and intent would have shifted greatly due to politics, language, and the passage of time in general.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hypocracy and the Absence of Public Outcry (WMD's)

Now that the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction is over, where is the outcry from the same community that was screaming for the blood of Sadaam Hussein and every Iraqi that would not cooperate with the Western Overlords?
The US State Department, Media, as well as various instiutions had been tearing their hairs out accusing Iraq of stockpiling, producing, as well as even the distribution of WMD's. Since the search has so quietly ended, all these groups are responsible for the death of soldiers, innocent Iraqi civilians, and the resulting Chaos that we see today. Where are the Nuremberg trials during circumstances such as what we've currently experienced. Milosevich was accused of far less then these "responsible" bodies were. How is it that these people in charge of the various intitutions can just walk away from such a quagmire, with neary a scowl exhibited in their direction?
The whole notion of a pre-emptive strike has just been proven to be a bloody power struggle for regional dominance (Western Imperialism), as well as the exploitation of a sovereign nation. Manifest Destiny was not just a 19th century doctrine, but in fact, has been present, and exceeding any bounds originally intended.

Aside from the catastrophic failure of the invasion of Iraq, we now find ourselves in a Quandry. Another important story that will very soon be buried under mountains of BS news (such as Michael Jackson, etc.) is the recent kidnapping of an Iraqi Christian Priest.
Where is the outrcy from the Neo-conservatives, as well as all the Right Wing Christian groups regarding this matter? It's obvious at some point, they will use this story for their advantage, to prove how evil the Iraqi insurgents are. Instead, what should be seen is the invasion of a sovereign nation, setting off an escalating civil war involving ethnic groups, religious minorities, as well as many other elements. Althoug Iraq was an oppressed society under Saddam Hussein, at least the internal conflicts (aside from those supported by Special Forces, such as the exploitation of the Kurds) were kept to a minimum. The society had a rigid structure, specifically preventing the escalation of such ethnic differences. In order to better equate Iraq's treatment of Minority Christians, one should look at the power Christians had during Saddam's regime. Tariq Azziz, the second in command under Saddam was himself a Christian. How often has this fact been ignored by the media? Only 2% if that, of the Iraqi population is actually Christian, just as about 3% of the American Population is Muslim. Can one imagine a Muslim Vice President, or Secretary of State in the United States? Now, thanks to the invasion and subsequent occupation, Christians are being summarily executed, kidnapped, and even forced to leave their homes and relocate outside of Iraq. Whether Sunni groups win during the Iraqi elections, or Shiies instead, does not make the situation any better for Christians and other minorities. The kidnapping of the Catholic Priest, bombing of Christian Churches, and random killings will only get worse with time.

I will now post some links that will futher illuminate the situation, and hopefully reflect the true nature of the Iraqi Occupation.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Paradox of Modern Warfare in Central Asia and the Middle East

Modern warfare as we know it today, cannot possibly be as effective as it once was during World War II, especially when applied to the countries within the Middle East and *Central Asia. In order to be efficient in warfare, once must know the enemy as well as one's own self. It is impossible to commit to an escalated conflict, without realizing the psychology and social organization amongst the people recognized as the Enemy. Particularly difficult in assessing such situations, are conflicts that are not fought against a particular state, but a select few who have chosen a different path towards self-rule.
The current "war on terror" is not as delineated as the populace is lead to believe. What actually defines a terrorist as opposed to a freedom fighter? Terrorist is such a blanket term, that these days, can be applied not only to a group that sets the stage of fear on an international scene, but to groups that fight within their own ethnic soil to retain their land and values. When the American colonies decided to defy the British Crown by any means necessary, they were not viewed as terrorists today, but as Freedom Fighters, or Revolutionaries who struggled to retain self-rule and autonomy. When a group of Bostonians decided to dump tea into the Boston Harbor, they were revolting against what they saw as oppression by the British Crown. If Iraqi "insurgents" decide to explode oil pipelines and conduits that fuel what they deem as foreign oppression on their own soil, how is that action different from those of the American Revolutionaries? When Palestinians feel oppression through walls, barricades, constant humiliation, and checkpoints at every turn on their own soil, how can one not react to such external threats? The very fact that only a small minority of Palestinians or Iraqis actually rise to break the bonds that have resulted in exploitation and humiliation is constantly glossed over by the Western, and particularly American media. The fact is, in terms of the general population, many people resent oppression, but few actually feel so dissatisfied and inpatient, that they decide to turn to violence in order to achieve their goals of autonomy. By watching and listening to Media coverage, one is lead to believe that the threat of insurgency comes from every single individual, but in truth, that is not the case. If one looks at the actual figures, those that wish for peaceful means and resolution FAR outweigh those resorting to violence to achieve their objectives.
The borders of the countries that are found within the Middle East and *Central Asia are just lines drawn by Western Imperialist during the heights of their territorial extent. Afghanistan for example, should not be considered a unified sovereign nation as the United States, Germany, France, or any number of examples. Similarly, the borders of most of the African countries was demarcated by Imperialists establishing colonies, and not based on common ethnicity or values. When one looks at the extent of civil war and social upheavel in Africa, one must understand the range of exploitation and division that was thrust upon the many different people by European Impersialism. I will not dwell on the African situation too much yet, that will a seperate post, but it's helpful just as an extended example of the similar situation in Central Asia and the Middle East.
The fact that borders are recognized by cartographers, does not mean that the indegenous populations, especially those that are nomadic, also accept those "paper" lines drawn by others. Going back to the example of Afghanistan, all Afghans are definately not of one ethnic tribe or shared values. The Pashtun, Tajik, Hazaras, Uzbek, and Turkmen amongst many others do not share all the common values or goals between themselves. Each group would prefer to have their own leaders to that of the other's. When one speaks of warlords, it's a battle, both figuratively and literally, between the different ethnic groups (and in many cases, within one ethnic group) to provide a leader that can best succeed at the goals shared by the community. This unrecognized border is the reason for the porous nature between the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's not as though there are fences or other obstructive structures through the whole extent of the territorial lines. In fact, there are countless passes, and caves, that provide a ready made conduit between the two nations (as we recognize them in the West). It should be no surprise that Osama Bin Laden, or any other person has such an easy access between the two regions. It's unbelievably stupid and naive for one to know this information, and still believe it's an attainable goal to capture everyone sought after, especially deemed so highly within a region. Of course, many have been captured, thanks to modern technology, but just as many have evaded detection. Further, it would be extremely difficult to convince an ethnic group that share a border, and live between both regions, to decide and recognize the international lines.
Similar to the situation in Afghanistan, Iraq also has various ethnic groups vying for dominance, and hoping to either control their own region, or the whole of the nation. Generally, Iraq has three main divisions within it's populace. There are Sunni Muslims, generally living within the central region of the country, Shiia (or Shiite) with ties to Iranians, living within the Southern third, as well as the Kurds, found within the Northern extent of Iraqi territory. Hearing the leaders of the United States, as well as the vocal media, assuming that the Shiia would accept American forces with open arms seemed like an insane notion, especially when one understands the social intricacies within Iraq. How could the Shiia, with ties to Iran, an "Axis of Evil" nation, readily accept invading "Coalition of the Willing" (an interestingly stupid term) forces, when the Iranian leaders look to the West, particularly America with such animosity and contempt? It is impossible to win the hearts and minds of a people that don't want to have anything to do with the values and interests of the occupying forces.
One cannot win a "War on terror" or succeed in an occupation (even if it's labelled as a transitory democracy) with a people that are so divided, that their only common thread is the hatred of the foreign occupiers. Even the Kurds, with all the friendliness and help that they provided to the West, are constantly left to their own defense. They are used and discarded so often, that even a recycled bottle would be surprised at the extent of abuse.
With all this in mind then, how can one work to better the situation? What does one have to do under the current situation that we're presented with? Personally, in terms of Iraq, I believe a form of Confederation should be instituted. No central rule should be forced upon the Iraqi people. I think Iraq should be divided into three semi-autonomous republics, Kurdistan in the North, Central Iraq, and Southern Iraq (within the Shiia governance). This would be the fairest, and least conflict prone method of solving the situation. I realize it's far too late now, to suddenly pull back the occupying forces, because a civil war will ensue. Therefore, what the current forces should attempt is to allow the Iraqi's semi-autonomy within the regional powerhouses. This of course will never happen, because the resources would also be divided, and exploitation cannot occur at the extent to justify the conflict.
The same Confederate solution should also be applied to Afghanistan. Provide each region with ethnic majorities semi-autonomy, and allow the populace to vote. I realize the semi-autonomous republics would argue over the borders drawn, but that is what the United Nations along with the indegenous population could work out.
A detractor might say, where is the evidence for such a Confederate nation to succeed? I would like to point out Switzerland as an example. In a previous post, I've already discussed the Swiss configuration, so I'll try to keep it summarized. Switzerland is divided into 7 semi-autonomous cantons, with a rotating president among the different regions. The central government is generally weak, and presides over such bodies as the military, education, transport. I think a similar situation in Iraq would work, as long as there is international backing for such an endeavor. The same can be said for Afghanistan, and many of the countries within Africa.

*When I refer to Central Asia, Afghanistan is not the only conflict prone region. The fact is many of the former Soviet Republics, such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are also under a similar ethnic compositional difference as Afghanistan. The only differnce is the fact that those Central Asian nations have Authoritarian rulers, brandishing the laws of governance and commerce with an iron fist when applicable.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

New Posts coming soon

It's been quite a while since my last blog, thanks to the vicissitudes of life. Things ended up quite busy, getting fired from one job, juggling for another as it came along, and just scratching by the skin of my teeth. I had originally intended to update some of my previous blogs, as I had many questions left unanswered. I had intended to post new blogs regarding the imperialistic invasion of the Middle East, the exploitation of countries regarded as friendly, as well as many other new topics. Further, there's a lot of support for previous blogs that I had intended to supplement (support such as links to books, and other information that can lead to further ones knowledge on the subject).
Also, I would appreciate any criticism, and thoughts, even antagonistic to my posts. Only through skepticism and critical thinking, can we begin to unravel the truth. Some things I may say may seem inflammatory, and certain people may get offended, I would appreciate to hear any and all comments, as long as it's put forth in an educated and contrite manner.
Updates should be coming along shortly. I would also like to post other topics, and interests that I may have. Look for new subjects coming soon.