Thinking of the unfavorable response that the current Bush Administration has received in their handling of
With the 2008 Presidential Elections fast approaching, the Neo-conservatives must devise a new strategic plan to cope with the possible shift in power. Naturally, the best course of action is for another planned terror event to scare the public, and enable the Fascists in disguise (Neo-Cons) to continue dominating American, as well as the worldwide political landscape.
Of the various scenarios that can possibly occur, I have come up with one that will not only allow the Administration to extend their Illegal war outside of
Like most current Nuclear Generating Plants, the actual reactors in San Onofre are housed in thick, reinforced concrete to contain a moderate sized meltdown. These concrete casings are generally too strong to be substantially damaged, but the potential impact of an attempt at damage will suffice for the mass hysteria of the public. After the incident, fear will grip many Americans, and we will be reminded of the porous nature of the border. We will find that these "terrorists" probably arrived through the border illegally, and therefore, we must reinforce and expedite the current security fence. Not only will Domestic Policy become malleable as foreign policy was under the Bush Administration, but we will also come to realize that the terrorists were funded by Syrians, or even possibly Iranians. Considering that
Naturally, this scenario is somewhat of a slippery slope, but the possibility that this can become reality is enough to be concerned. In a previous article, I had stated that diplomacy is the only recourse in this situation, yet, every possibly scenario planned by the current Administration purposely attempts at circumventing and ultimately impeding diplomacy. The possibility that multi-level talks with
In the next blog, I shall attempt to expand on the idea of the steps to take for an honest congress. The system cannot remain as it is, because these politicians are far removed from mainstream thinking. This is why the thought that they can easily be swayed by special interests on the event that another possible terror incident is revealed, is frightening to say the least.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thinking of the unfavorable response that the current Bush Administration has received in their handling of
Monday, December 11, 2006
Throughout the course of human history, there have been many breakthrough moments in culture and thought. Through the last 10,000 years, most of us have gone from primitive agricultural and pastoral lives to the modern world we see around us. We have developed tools to probe the universe with, technology to travel interplanetary distances, communication to interconnect the globe, and the knowledge and accumulated wisdom of millennia.
In times past, technological breakthroughs were slow in development, and diffused at a glacial pace. The means of communication that we've grown so accustomed with were virtually unheard 150 years prior to our current generation. Communication by horse lead to communication by train, then telegraph, telephone, internet, etc. These rapid communication advancements have allowed for a great deal of shared information and development. With the world literally at our fingertips, we have built a complex interconnected web of information and knowledge. Prior to this vast information basin, advancement often met a brick wall and resulted in numerous dead ends. During the Chalcolithic (Copper) Age, human beings had begun to smelt copper, out of the minerals that had been present in surface rocks. The discovery, eventually heralding the Bronze age, although rapid by geological standards, was slow compared to the power of communication in the present day. It took well over a thousand years for the process of smelting copper and then bronze to spread from Anatolia and the Near East, to
The greatest amount of accumulated knowledge occurred during the advent of the Written Age. Writing has to be one of the most important tools in the human arsenal for communication. As more of the general public began to become literate, a larger amount of people were able to contribute to the pool of ideas and technology. Advancements began to proceed at paces only dreamt of centuries earlier. Before literacy crept upon the general populace, many ideas now proven correct took a back seat to wild theories. The microscopic structure of the world was initially defined by many theories and ideas, yet, the most applicable was that of Democritus, who was one of the first to theorize about the existence of the atom (over 2000 years prior). It's specifically because of the written knowledge passed down to us that we're aware of Democritus' near prophetic theories. The possibility that other philosophers and theorists had explained the existence of the atom before Democritus cannot be eliminated. Chances are, others may have had similar ideas, but because of the difficulty in transmitting the information (even through writing), those records have not survived to the present day. Even with the idea of the atom, it was Aristotle's view of the four elements that stalled many aspects of science and technology for well over 1500 years. Another applicable example, involving the theoretical and influential world of Greeks, and that of our own Modern Age, was Medicine. Although highly advanced during the Greek Era, it wasn't until Galen's written texts (Roman Era) of human anatomy that the Zenith of Medicine was thought to have reached. He was so convinced of his theory’s superiority, that he said any further work in the area would be an insult to all of humanity. Galen wrote texts with pictures and anatomical features that he thought described human beings. The studies he used was that of other animals, since dissecting a human being was considered forbidden. Modern Anatomical Medicine didn't really advance again until Andreas Vesalius (mid 1500's), a headstrong and anti-authoritarian anatomist began to challenge Galen's work. Due to the religious restrictions on the treatment of corpses, the Middle Ages saw very little breakthroughs in human anatomy. Thanks to the partial liberalization of religious restriction and the allowance of executed criminals to serve as cadavers, Vesalius was able to determine anatomical features missing from Galen's written accounts. With the pace of Medicine advancing again, we were finally able to delay, and to some extent control, the greatest force of nature. Death, having been a foe that seemed inescapable was suddenly becoming less of a concern. Although unavoidable, we were finally able to diagnose, heal, treat and cure diseases, and the agents (parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) which often brought about an "untimely" demise.
However, through fires and various other catastrophes, many ancient written records, that could have provided us with a greater amount of historical data and knowledge, perished. Even with the possibility of written information being destroyed, the chances for technological advancement were greater then if those records had never been produced. Some that were destroyed found audience in other languages, the translation having come down to us, even with the original having been eliminated. Written information for most of its inception was also heavily biased. Often times, the records that reach us have been those of the victor, and our attempts at consolidating history can be marred by inaccuracies. Yet, even with biased historical records, a lot of context could be revealed, and a greater objective understanding of the forces involved could become apparent.
Compared to the geological time frame of Modern Homo Sapien evolution (about 200,000 years), the lives of individual humans is but a mere blink of the eye. Billions of human beings have come and gone, variations in climate has existed, new species have evolved and become extinct, and yet, our experiences with time allow for more of the same to happen. Just as the fossil record is written in the very ground (land and sea bed) that once occupied all the animals that ever existed on Earth, the record of human achievement is written in the books and knowledge that has also accumulated chronologically. Even our genes don't really matter, because over the course of a few generations, they are diluted to some random genetic consistency very different from our exact sequences. What survives past one's lifetime are thoughts and ideas. Naturalist, and one of the leaders of modern day Evolutionary theory, Richard Dawkins has explained this cultural trait, similar to genetic code in evolution, as a "meme". A meme, just like a gene, is a snippet of information that is able to replicate and transfer its information to the next generation. In terms of a gene, it's the gene's ability to generally out compete other genes and transfer it's information to the next generation. Meme's function very similarly, but the replicating information is not nucleic acids (like DNA and RNA in genes), but thoughts and ideas. Those thoughts and ideas that out compete others to remain in circulation are the successful ones; not unlike survival of the fittest under Darwinian Natural Selection. A great tool to help perpetuate those memes that are truly beneficial is science. Through critical thinking and the scientific theory, scientifically relevant memes can be tested against others, until one that is superior to others can be produced and replicated. Eventually, further additions will help focus the meme into more and more specific information. It's as though a beneficial mutation in DNA will result in advantages that can be focused to near perfection. The Eye is an example of a structure, that through a half billion years has evolved from a disk of light sensitive cells, to the variation we see in all the creatures today.
Having digressed far from the title heading, if it hasn't become apparent already, I must explain my humble reasons for blogging. Long after we're all dead and gone, few of us will have any individual impact on the future of the world. Although we're all contributing to greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and our massive ecological footprints, taken together, contributes in exhausting the raw materials of the Earth, our individual achievements will become just a passing whisper in time. Our atoms will eventually disperse back into the universe, and our individual being will have vanished. As bleak as all this sounds, it may be that only the information and knowledge we leave behind will survive in some form into the future. It is our duty and obligation, having come this far, through countless near misses with fate (extinction events such as asteroid collisions that paved the way for us, or minor climatic changes that resulted in our enlarged brains and eventual cultural growth and sentience, even personal brushes with fate such as car accidents, stupid juvenile snowboard tricks to impress the girls, that trampoline accident when you nearly severed your head, etc), to further our knowledge base and expand beyond individual capacity. If all the information that human beings had collected was somehow preserved, then life would not be in vain. How many people lived through life, with all the information spinning in their heads, died having left nothing for other's to feed off? No matter how much one writes, or attempts to present collected and gathered information in various perspectives (some perhaps never thought of before), there will always be a residual amount lost. Even with this loss, the possibility that some of these theories, thoughts, and ideas will help to perpetuate certain necessary meme's (whether to create new ones or strengthen and elaborate upon existing ones), remains a prime reason for attempting to pass on as much accumulated knowledge as possible. After all, attempting to quench one's thirst for knowledge can never be fully satisfying, unless it's processed and released.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Considering the blatant speculation and misinformation spreading through the American media establishment, it's no surprise that so many people have already passed judgment and guilt upon notable entities within recent years. I shall present two examples that clearly illuminate the acrimonious reactions present. However, because of our increased information onslaught, many important items are easily forgotten when another equally if not more compelling item is presented. The information I will present will involve some historical background to counter the overexposure and public weariness of occurrences with significant notoriety.
Due to the bombardment of a certain high profile story in recent news, my first case will involve
The Second case involving a Media Blitz against
Having spoken of
The blame directed towards
Ultimately then, politically motivated assassinations gain more anger and hate, further mobilizing the opposition, and do greater harm then good. Properly conducted assassinations do not appear as such, and tend to stay under media radar. In order to fully understand events unfolding in the world, it's best to understand the issues, and reason out the scenario. It's best to start asking questions by inquiring as to Who has the most to gain? Do the benefits of such acts outweigh the consequences? Is the act so visible and shocking as to garner greater attention on itself and it's supposed perpetrator? Why is the Media so compliant in chasing after rumor and suspicion, instead of exercising objectivity and reasoning? These are the types of questions that must be answered to fully comprehend an issue. Political powers, although dense at times, and frequently conflicted, are not stupid. These are people who have built careers in manipulating others, and developing a sense of self-preservation. They fight and claw to remain in power, and visible acts such as the ones explained in this blog (among countless others) only do more damage. It's amazing how many parallels can be drawn between the events that transpired towards anti-Russian crowds, and those with anti-Syrian affiliation. Thoughts and conflict, skepticism and critical thinking are tools that help navigate through these troubled waters.
Regardless of how the Influentials (such as the media, the elite, politicians, etc.) attempt to distort reality, the truth is there to be uncovered. One is not a conspiracy monger when deciding on gathering information with a skeptical mind. As thoughtful as my humble blogs may be, I hope that every individual reading can look at the facts and use their own judgment to reach a conclusion. Perhaps those conclusions are different then mine, and perhaps they are complete polar opposites, but as long as the facts are properly analyzed, there will always be room for debate. That's what leads to understanding and advancement.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Watching British Parliament on the Political Cable Network, I couldn't help but notice the honest debate and somewhat combative nature of politics in the
The difference between a Statesman and a Bureaucrat is that a Statesman can represent himself clearly, directly, and confidently. Various world leaders can be categorized under either of these two governing methods. A statesmen is a good representation of his/her country, often times considered a populist. Bureaucrats on the other hand, cannot express themselves with clarity, and often times, have no political charisma. As an Example, Bush would fall well into the Bureaucrat category. With his lack of insight, narrow focus, and difficulty in bridging political gaps, he is the quintessential paper pusher. Pressing his agenda through manipulation and governance through power, greed, and corruption. Tony Blaire, however, with all his faults and weaknesses is the essential Statesman. He can Represent his position clearly, with complex language, and a learned knowledge basis. A leader should not represent the average segment of the population, but must excel at every level. In order to compete in the world, and strive to understand and attain such complex insights, a leader must have qualities that are lacking in Bush.
For all of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's (the President of Iran) faults, his diplomatic skills cannot be underestimated. Bush, believing his beliefs to be superior to others could not begin to address the diplomatic savvy needed to combat the ills of the world. His stance on Israeli Aggression on the Palestinians, his virtual ignorance of South American Policy, and blind eye to the plight of
The following links are directed towards the unaltered letters sent by Ahmadinejad.
The first one, posted on May 9, 2006 -- directed to Bush
The second one, posted on November 29, 2006 -- directed to the American People
A careful reading of these letters will help illustrate the nature of a Statesman (even with certain faults deemed inexcusable). Reaching out, and putting Ego aside to attempt at establishing diplomatic relations is a Stately thing to do. Lying to your people on a daily basis, while perpetuation the same tired jargon, endlessly, and ignorantly till the world is exhausted of resources and hope, is what a Bureaucrat does.
With so much talk and discussion about the state of the world, many words and phrases become tainted with antagonism and disgust. Much has changed through the last few centuries, but a lot has also remained the same. Human nature, which can be slowly molded and shaped cannot change to extremes, especially when masses are involved. Individuals can vary, and some will produce brilliant insights, but when a group of individuals are introduced, the variability of so many human beings becomes a very strong factor for a quasi-static equilibrium. In other words, the extremes in the spectrum, although strong when considered individually are diluted with the buffered middle ground. As with most stable systems, the outliers are far less numerous then the middle ground. Nothing explains this systemic formula better then language. Words especially, can be so powerful, as to significantly shape history. A few key words which I will address in this essay will be Zionism and Judaism (I would address anti-Semitism, but have already done so in a prior essay); explaining the differences and similarities of the terms, and helping to clarify a reasoned and thoughtful position.
Due to the situation in the world today, it's absolutely vital to first, elucidate the facts behind a philosophy called Zionism. This one word is heavily loaded with connotative meaning and can be used through instances ranging from vilification, to anger, pride, cultural kinship, etc. Through many of my previous essays, I have used the word negatively, but in a context outside cultural or religious exclusivity. As with any philosophical entity, Zionism can have positive and negative context, but due to the nature of the current political, religious, and social system, few positives can be gleamed from the modern incarnation and ultimate meaning behind the term. As with any philosophical entity, Zionism competes to influence as many people as possible. Just as Capitalism competes with Socialism and Communism, Zionism competes with other forms of philosophical thought. It just so happens that those other forms are extremely diverse, sharing only the lack of such specifics found in Zionism amongst themselves.
Ultimately, a good place to start is to attempt to define what Zionism is in itself. I will avoid quoting the dictionary meaning because ultimately, if one wishes, they can readily reference any sources to find the appropriate definition. Therefore, in the broader socio-historical context, Zionism is a type of nationalism. It arose in the late 19th century; a time of worldwide nationalistic awakening. In a time when various small states where organizing into countries based on ethnic, social and linguistic ties, the map of the world was constantly being drawn and redrawn. Countries such as Germany arose out of the combined common states of the region, and vied for dominance with those of others, such as the Prussians, Poles, Russians, Austrians, Hungarians, Yugoslavians (in the nationalism context of the time). These trends did not go unnoticed in the population of Jews that lived in those regions. They had looked at the world changing around them, strengthening through nationalism, and realized that a similar trend within would have to start. With these benign origins, many unfortunate circumstances occurred to where the term now generally garners suspicion and negativity. The greatest disservice to Zionism was the establishment of the State of Israel with little thought to the displaced people of
In short summary then, my criticism of
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Evidence has recently surfaced that shakes the foundation of American, and subsequently global society to the core. The unfortunate implications of this are mind numbing and absolutely tragic.
Through the study of history, we view certain societies such as the
Thanks in large part to the shock that Americans and the world experienced after September 11th, the Bush Regime (along with the probably likelihood of either the CIA, FBI, or more likely both) perpetuated a state of fear, and through the fog of anxiety, managed to reduce our civil liberties to tatters. The Constitution itself was circumvented and reinterpreted leading to the American Public's bond with that of the Soviet and Nazi regime's populace.
The Evidence, that has yet to be criticized of methodology, is the metallurgical analysis of the steel from the World Trade Center. A professor from the conservative
A quick summary of the events on September 11th can reveal a great deal about the speed of the reaction and the possible amount of Thermite used. A good place to start would be to visit
http://www9.nationalgeographic.com/channel/inside911/timeline.html and find a comprehensive timeline of the WTC events.
Looking at the events, it's absolutely known that the first plane (American Airlines Flight 77) crashed into the North Tower at 8:46 AM, followed by the Second Plane (United Airlines Flight 175) hitting the South Tower at 9:03 AM.
The first tower to collapse was the
Further resources include :
Many of the events surrounding September 11 2001 can be argued, but when objective analysis leads to results that stray from the "official report", then one must wonder just how much of the truth the public knows. Speculation is naturally rampant, when the facts point one way, the official line points another, and the outcome is the loss of freedom. Without skepticism and speculation, we will become a closed society. The government has become so opaque, that it's vast functions have become a mystery. The transparent government of a true democracy cannot falter, because the populace will be aware of its shortfalls. A closed and opaque government, on the other hand, owes its allegiance to nothing but greed, corruption, and the perpetuation of such ills.
Break the shackles of restraint, and appreciate freedom for all it's worth. The freedom of thought should never become a crime. Think freely, be skeptical, and realize that what happened in the past, will happen again. Embrace knowledge and attempt to unravel the truth. These are the only methods of defeating a monsterous and vile entity known as Tyranny.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Looking through the annals of history, it's impossible not to notice major dates that changed the world. The Day the Huns sacked
September 11, 2001 will in high probability, become a defining moment in History. Not just in the history of the
September 11th didn't have to be known as the moment in history when a superpower so grossly overreacts to a perceived threat, that civil liberties, rational thought, and the presence of a thoughtful opposition are completely lost. A lot could have changed had the Administration properly reacted to the situation. First, a new pledge to lead the world in Environmental issues and perpetuating the growing trend towards renewable resources. The technology and implementation of such things as biodiesel (
Apart from the Environment, 9-11 could have been the moment when the world not only came together, but through proper leadership, stayed a course of mutual trust and assurance. Who now remembers
Friday, November 10, 2006
Regardless of the shift in the political climate within the
Most people who are raised in a Christian environment, whether it be direct (as in Evangelicals), or indirect (as in Secular Europe), own a wealth of repository knowledge to the Bible. One cannot escape from the Bible, merely because they are non-practicing. The stories of the Bible interject with popular culture throughout all Christian societies. Noah's ark for example, even in highly secular circles, is well known. The story of Adam and Eve, in fact, is so well known that even evolutionary scientists must adopt the names to apply them to the genetic ancestors of modern human beings. Mitochondrial Eve, or the Y-Chromosome Adam, exist because the Bible has interjected and rooted itself so deeply in culture, that even science, as secular and rational as it can be, cannot escape from using names and stories to make principles easier to understand. Why not use Ancestral Mitochondrial Female, or Ancestral Y-Chromosome Adam instead? The truth is that fewer people would show interest because those scientifically descriptive names would not evoke the emotional responses that Adam and Eve can.
The Bible is in fact, the mythological legends, histories, and stories of people in the
The Jews of today, who are claiming
Now, these militant Israeli's, who would rather prefer other's to do their dirty work for them (such as the
The problems that arise throughout the world aren't just related to the Bible alone. Even the Koran has influence over how cultures think of the
Ultimately, with all these measures of control over how one must react, there is an escape route. There is always a way out of such strict and confining thought, and that is Reason.
Reason is the life raft in the middle of the ocean; it will provide a mode of survival and navigation through charted and uncharted areas of thought and philosophy.
Reason will develop naturally, once the ideals that we hold are not a product of being force fed, but a product of our own accord. How different would the world be if there were no clergymen? If every single person chose to read the Bible (or other religious texts) themselves, instead of having to go and listen to someone with "spiritual authority" tell them what they should gather. A simple exercise to illustrate this point is to read a transcript from a news analysis show, and then actually watch the show. Upon reading the transcript, one projects their own thoughts and images, their own ideas, and ultimately, deduces one's own analysis because those words being read are being read based on personal experience, based on everything else that's been read. However, when one listens to the program itself, they are unconsciously forced to feel what the analyst feels. We are ultimately empathetic creatures, and the nuances and subtleties of someone talking effects our thinking. The inflection in a person's voice, and where they emphasize their points will differ if one reads a transcript. Even if the program holds views completely opposite, watching it is very different from reading it, and finding holes in the reasoning. It becomes easier to look at things objectively, and avoid being influenced by the emotional inflection of someone's voice.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Of all the human traits that separate man from the other animals on the planet, the inquiry as to Why we are here has to be one of the most fundamental. Many highly intelligent and mentally sophisticated animals can reason quite profoundly, yet, the higher cortical functions that attempt to discern an individuals place in the grand scheme of things are largely absent in those creatures.
Regardless of whether an individual's belief is based on science, religion, or an amalgam of both, the common thread that's shared is the attempt at answering the most fundamental question of all. The Question of origins -- as to how and why we are here resonates deeply across cultural and historic lines. Until the era of Industrialization and the Scientific Method, the attempts at answering a question of origins was based largely on religious, mythological, and mystical thought. A safe grouping would be to include those early tools as philosophical ideas developed to grasp the vast unknown and gain a measure of control over the universe. The belief that beings more powerful then man were involved in helping shape (whether positively or negatively) the direction of our lives was extremely pervasive.
Since the advent of the Scientific Revolution, the order of the questions we ask has changed. Those who have embraced the Scientific Method have come to realize that the question of why we are here cannot be readily answered until more pertinent information can be gathered. Primarily, one must first try to understand the universe in it's physical state. Questions such as How does the Sun glow so bright? What makes the oceans salty? Why do camels have such large eyelashes? Why are other galaxies so far away? What prevents us from floating off into space? Why are Human and Chimpanzee genes so similar? All of these questions start with a curious inquiry and open a vast door into the astonishing world that we live in.
It's highly unfortunate to realize just how many people in the world could care less about many of the most fundamental questions. The curiosity present in children is often lost to the detriment of the human condition. Perhaps to many, the love of science has been destroyed by apathetic teachers, religious extremists, and closed minded individuals. Having a deep seeded love and respect of science is treated by less inquisitive minds as a threat. Because of the intimidation of those who are ignorant, scientists are maligned and especially during the budding years of primary and secondary education, the scientifically minded are often ostracized by their peers. Derogatory names such as Nerd, Geek, Dweeb, Poindexter are used excessively to dissuade the passion of science, and ease the threat that those who are ignorant feel.
When Trillions are spend yearly on the War Machine, and yet, conflict arises because budgetary constraints prevent certain scientific projects to be undertaken, the loser is always humanity. There are countless fundamental questions to ask, and perhaps begin to answer, yet, politics and bureaucracy collude to prevent the dissemination of knowledge and advancement from taking hold in the general population.
If one looks at the self absorbed politicians of the world, regardless of political ideology, an interesting truth emerges: only a handful have any background in the sciences. It has been proven without a doubt that a greater educational level results in more moderate and rational thought. A scientific debate, although sometimes highly charged, has a self moderation mechanism. Scientific theories can constantly be refined and reorganized based on gathered observational evidence. Just as the wheel, evolved into a cart, a horse drawn carriage, and eventually a car as we know it today, so does science through its constant search for answers evolve to include more complexity. At first, we were the center of the universe, then with more and more information, we came to realize that not only are we not the center of the universe, but that there is no center of the universe. Religious belief however, cannot be refined through observational evidence. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, religious refinement is based on political independence. The reason for the various branches of Christianity for example, are rooted in political autonomy.
Therefore, with all the problems of the world created by incompetent politicians, there are many solutions to avoid planetary catastrophe. I propose all elected officials to have at least a crash course in the general sciences, regardless of religion, personal belief, or any other constraint. As an elected official, it's one's duty to have a better understanding of the world around. Whether those officials carry any of that knowledge is a different matter, but having the fundamentals can be enough to jump start a trend that embraces free thought and expression. Science cannot function freely and efficiently under constraint, and neither can the human condition. It's an absolute shame that ultimately, politicians and politics involve lawyers instead of scientists. It's my belief that to have a rational world, every head of state should have a PhD.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The biggest threat to the
The poisonous elements currently exercising their will over such a large segment of the world population can generally be categorized as Neo-Fascists. They are willing to risk the annihilation of the world for profit, power, and influence. The worst of the current perpetrators are Zionists, both Jewish and Christian alike. One must ask ones self and others; who has the most to gain in the current state of affairs that we have in the world today? The answer, not surprisingly, are those currently in charge of the United States Government.
As an example of the sheer influence and will bending power that the Neo-Fascists (particularly Zionists) are currently undertaking, one need look no further then the situation with
The only way diplomacy with
Friday, April 28, 2006
A nuclear weapon? How could it lead to this? What possible road have we taken that resulted in another catastrophic act of nuclear death upon civilians?
Well, as it turned out, Israel had taken it upon themselves to launch a pre-emptive strike upon Iran's Nuclear Facilities, and as an act of retaliation, Iran had launched missiles towards major Israeli populated areas. Considering the devestation this had caused, the United States had in turn, launched "low-yield" nuclear missiles against multiple Iranian targets. We were fully entrenched in WWIII, and the war was just beginning. With our resources stretched thin as it is, and the apathy the world had garnered towards our aggressiveness, we were on our own (save a few dependent nations).
Think this scenario is impossible? Don't hold your collective breath. This is indeed the direction we have been headed in for the past 6 years. The plans to dominate the Middle Eastern region aggressively and forcefully, were in place before 9-11. These are acts of Tyrranical rulers, believing their God would protect them against the heathens. I am not talking about fundamentalist Islam, but in this instance, fundamentalist Christians and Zionists (no, not Jews, but fundamentalist Zionists, yes, there is a distinction). The belief that through the strength of God's/Christ's Will, the victors will fight the moral victory, there is very little rational reasoning that could possibly supplant these fanatical thoughts. When faith overtakes reason, people suffer. As simple as that.
Perhaps the apathy we have garnered through all these years of complacency, has resulted in our weakened perspective in the world. We take many things for granted, believing that our elected officials have the best interest of the public, thinking that democracy will protect us. We don't realize the wool that's been pulled over our eyes, because we refuse to understand implications of our actions. A wise man, 2300 years ago, by the name of Plato once warned about the pitfalls of Democracy. In the Republic, Plato states that if citizens in a Democracy become complacent, the leaders they believe they've elected will become tyrranical under the apathy of the collective public.
Pessimists may say, what's the point of all this conjecture, the seeds are sewn, and it may all be too late. The fact is, perhaps the gears in the watch have begun to move, perhaps WWIII is inevitable, but that doesn't mean we must stand by and allow it to happen in full force.
At the very least, we must understand the possible scenarios of our actions and attempt to dissent against tyrrany.
The way I see it, what we need is a transparent government, that doesn't hold closed door session, and I don't care how Democratic we think we are, we must have true choices in our elected officials. Elected officials should not receive salaries, but should rule based on merit and honor. They would of course be provided with housing and food, but no corporate jets, no million dollar estates. If they are true representatives of the people, they must commit to the terms they were elected for. True leadership would still emerge under these guidelines, and we can only hope that our course of action would become based on critical thinking and rationality, instead of faith and emotional overreaction (based on fear and anger).
One final food for thought; the wars we don't speak of, were the wars that were prevented before they started. During the Cold War for example, as recent Soviet and American Classified documents have attested, many instances of near nuclear annhilation or at the least a new World War were narrowly averted. As humanity continued it's future march, those potential wars were never mentioned again. Countless wars have and will be prevented through the course of human history, let us hope this upcoming one is among those.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The Neo-Conservative ideology that has evolved in the past two decades is certainly not one of the ideological successes to have been embraced in recent years. In fact, neo-conservative thought and policy has become an absolute failure, with very few positive outcomes to speak of. The current application of this failed ideology to world politics is a disaster that will take decades to sort and repair. Such abject ideological failures are a result of lack of foresight and narrow-mindedness. I shall endeavor to illustrate examples that have resulted in wounds running so deep in the current global environment, that only through many years, if not generations of hard work, can we finally extricate ourselves out of the mess that has surrounded us all.
During the Communist containment policies that were exercised throughout the Western World between the 60's and 80's, many ideological branches developed to deal with specifics of countering Soviet influence, and buffering the possibilities of Communism and Soviet style Socialism from spilling over into the West. Whether the policies involved backdoor diplomacy, stalemates, buffer regions, and proxy wars for control of influence, the tide finally turned in the late 80's, resulting in a general success over communism and its influence on the West. In fact, even the early 80's showed promise towards the goal of containment and influence, with the Soviet policies of Glasnost (openness). Those forays into some level of openness, as we now know, was the chinking in the armor that eventually lead to the Reunification of Germany, Collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Democratization of Eastern Europe. Those that were deeply involved in the containment policies knew no other ideology. Their success would be their eventual failure, because they were too far enmeshed in their given ideological agendas to change direction. Thus, the failure of the Neo-Conservative agenda as we have now.
Most of the Principle Spear headers of Neo-conservative thought, came from the School of Soviet Containment. Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz, et al. were significantly and obstinately influenced by containment ideologies, and were thoroughly indoctrinated into those beliefs. Their training and experience, which were largely beneficial at the time for Soviet Containment, are now outdated, and severely hurt progress in the current global society. Containment policies, though they worked for Communism, cannot work for Islamic Fundamentalism. Although superficially, it may seem like a good application, upon further reflection, isolation strategies will not work with cultures, whose values and ideologies are so inherently different (from inception), that any policy without taking into account for the ideological variables and cultural ramifications, will be doomed for failure.
The Irony of the situation is that Islamic Fundamentalism strengthened due to the isolationist policies of containment exercised by the West. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran was mainly orchestrated by the CIA, through incitement of Islamic Fundamentalists. The thought at the time was that Islamic Fundamentalism, like the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Khomeini's Administration in Iran could be a useful tool in destabilizing the Soviet block. Since Soviet Central Asia (Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, etc) was Muslim in majority, perhaps, as the policy leaders in the West mistakenly thought, the populace in those nations would become aware of their religion, and fundamentalism would sweep through Central Asia with a force so strong, as to slowly degrade Soviet influence. As any moderately well versed individual understands, the Islamic Fundamentalist ideology backfired on the West. Instead of freedom from Communist yoke, those nations reverted to religious authoritative rule. Non-secular entities began popping up like mushrooms, some through Democratic Rule (electing Khomeini and other hardliners Democratically in Iran), and others through authoritarian dictatorship. The collapse of communism released the lid that was so tenuously held preventing the clash of civilizations as we see now.
The Neo-Conservatives, in their arrogant belief that the broad brush of containment could be applied to the modern Islamic Fundamentalist Menace (as they saw it), were too stubborn, ill-informed, and inflexible to apply new methods of diplomacy and selective Economic Pressure (not all-encompassing economic sanctions). Further elaboration on policies, such as pre-emptive war, and propaganda unseen since WWII, only further buried the neo-conservative agenda in the ground. Unfortunately, it will now take many years of struggle, trying to dig ourselves out of the hole we fought so hard to prevent.
As a further insult to the failed policies of the Neo-Conservatives, South America is now headed in a completely leftist direction, as the populace has had enough of the bullying tactics they see, by the United States Government. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has had moderate success in checking the balance of American power in South America, and because of the optimism generated by the population (especially the significant amount of poor and working class households), other countries, such as Paraguay, and now Chile have also elected leftist leaders, with socialist policies and agendas. Not only has America become isolated from the Middle East and Central Asia through terrible foreign policy, but South America has also become a bastion of containment against American power and influence. Even Europe, with historic ties to the United States has distanced itself from the grip of American influence. When Bush visited Europe, speaking of European values, his ideas of what constitutes those values were completely misunderstood and ill informed. Europe has abolished capitol punishment, they have moved ahead in scientific progress, and haven't allowed Religious fundamentalism, for the most part, to take a foothold in the region. Sure, there are conservative leaders recently elected, such as the Prime Minister in Germany, but even her stance is leftist compared to Bush's policies. Europe has retained its secular nature for the most part, which cannot be said of America today.
With a final, yet fitting cosmic Irony, those of us in America now find ourselves with far less freedom then we thought possible. Spending decades fighting the cold war, and sinking trillions of dollars into deficit spending to prevent authoritarian ideology such as communism from overtaking our notions, we now find ourselves being monitored and treated nearly as oppressively as those regimes we fought so hard to overcome. Religious fundamentalism and fervor has now overtaken American ideology. The erosion of education, and expansion of ignorance has reached epidemic proportions. Those in power have never, in the history of the United States, had easier control over the population as they do now. They have artificially divided the middle and working class, perpetuated outdated notions and fears about race, and blocked every attempt at critical thinking and the true freedom that the framers of the constitution had in mind. With all this in mind, one must not forget notions of hope and optimism. Broken political ideologies and systems are not like eggs, they can be fixed, and improved upon. It may take a great deal of hard work, dedication, and especially EDUCATION, but it is possible to rise above the torrent of failure, and benefit productively and efficiently. In a future blog, I will attempt to illustrate possible methods that can negate the downhill slide we're now experiencing, and hopefully, improve on concepts and ideologies that are beneficial.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The truth of the matter, as is often the case, is far too complex for simple analysis, but through some objective thinking, leaving empty rhetoric behind, and emotional fallacies at bay, it's quite possible to digest the true nature of the fear that drives the Western World rabid with paranoia at this nation of 68 Million.
To most of us in the West, Iran is a mysterious force we cannot even attempt to understand, let alone predict in terms of political or military actions. As I've stated before, one cannot attempt to dissect the culture, politics, or military infrastructure, if one cannot understand the underlying psyche of a given group of people (in this case, Iranians). Iran does not have a secular government, separating religion from the State. However, Islam is not the sole singular quality that is shared by Iranians, because they've had thousands of years of history before Islam ever reached the borders of the Persian Empire. Preceding Islam, there was Zoroastrianism, and before that, there was an Indo-Persian Pagan element in the religion. As in most groups, Islam (for Iran, in the Shi'a form) is the current unifying trend among the Iranian Masses. This fact alone, not only isolates Iran from the Western World, but also from the Sunni Muslim majority, especially in the neighboring countries and general regions.
Because of this isolation, the internal political movements are unlike those of any other country. Iran in general is an experiment in the making. Can a non-secular Islamic country, compete with the West, as well as the rest of the Muslim world, with a system unlike any other? Not only in the political sphere, but also economically and socially. Can Iran Modernize without cultural or political help from the West? Thus, this is the inherent fear that strikes the general world politics. A fear, that a possible Success in Iran can lead to a Domino effect among other non-secular entities.
When the 13 British colonies of North America decided to break away from the British Yolk, and establish a political system that was unlike any other operating at the time, there was also a great deal of fear in Europe. Subsequently, the French had a revolution of their own, throwing off the Tyrrany of Monarchy, and having the populace determine its own future. This was an experiment that was unprecedented in its time, and as it turned out, became quite successful. In fact, it was so successful, that the experiment itself became a victim of it's own success. We now have a government that is not representative of the People, and an administration that does not differentiate between the Church and the State. Thus, as Americans, we would be hypocritical to judge non-secular entities, when our own back yard is not exacly free of religious domination and thought.
What helped the United States during its infancy was the natural resources and economics that made it a veritable economic cornucopia to colonize in the first place. Thus, we now have Iran, also abundant in resources, attempting to break away from the mould, and establich a system on their own terms. Not on terms based upon the bullying tactics of those in the West, or for that matter, any other regional system.
Currently, Iran is attempting to enrich Uranium to fuel their nuclear power plants, and usher in a new age. It's understandable for the West to view Iran's motives with skepticism, and distrust, but one should also pause and think logically. In order for Iran to accumulate enough weapons grade Uranium (not reactor grade, mind you), there must be many inherently difficult technological steps that must be overcome, before the possibility can even exist. As a conservative estimate, Iran would be at least 10 years away from accumulating enough weapons' grade Uranium to be a threat. This possibility is not to be discounted, but should be seen in the same light as other nuclear nations. India and Pakistan are no less stable places for Nuclear weapons, let alone Israel, with the 200 or so nuclear warheads in possession. As much as the Media likes to vilify Iran as a rogue state, its status is dependent on how the West contends with Iran in a fair and diplomatic manner. If the same draconian tacts towards Iraq are also used in Iran (pre-emptive strikes, misleading weapons of mass destruction information, or ties to Al Qaida), the fear that a rogue state will emerge would be actualized. Iran is in the process of competing with the west in several spheres that have been ignored. Stem cell research, for example, is one of the many technological achievements that Iran has attained. Iran is also hoping to become a technological hub in the Middle East. There are thousands of software designers working closely with IT companies to fully modernize the telecommunications grid, and infrastructure.
Moreover, one must realize the copious resources; such as oil, natural gas, and mineral wealth so needed in the current world, present in Iran. Russia and China, especially, are hoping to capitalize and cooperate in the energy sector with Iran. Thus, Iran can develop the power to set oil and natural gas prices as they see fit, just as in the case of Venezuela.
What actually runs the world is Economics, and Iran is attempting to build an infrastructure that can compete at the same level as western countries in the Global Market. The major difference is that Iran is attempting to do this, with a non-secular political system. For Iran to have the capacity to compete, Nulcear Power is one of the many technologies that must be embraced. The West of course, will attempt to prevent Iran, through economic sanctions, if not all out war (I wouldn't put Israel and the US gov't above taunting and rhetoric to start a war) from ascending into the elite, and becoming a major contender.
In conclusion, this essay is not meant to support or oppose Iran. It's an unbiased, objective analysis of the facts at hand, and attempts to uncover the underlying details so often overlooked in world politics. Granted, it's presented less well organized then it should be (and many details can be further elaborated upon, which I may do on later entries), but considering the many tangents that can take one easily off topic, this is about as succinct as it gets.