peace

"Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world”

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A reminder from Peter Chamberlin

Whether you are on the right or left, you understand that the America which you thought you knew (in the innocence of your youth) is no more, or never was. We are left with an illusion, a shell of our former grandeur, not knowing for sure, just who and what we are as a Nation.

The power we once had to alter the course of history itself has been squandered on a plan for world conquest and personal gain for the powerful elite who rule through the power of illusion. The war to conquer the minds of man has become the primary battlefield, relegating the force of arms to a secondary role of serving the greater “psy-war.” Battles waged in distant arenas provide the necessary psychological stimuli needed to reshape the thoughts and to control the behavior of the homeland. The shaky mental condition of most Americans (the primary targeted population) is common to all who are part of “the grid” under the constant barrage of “news” in some form, which reflects the faltering state of the global war and its attendant economic consequences.

The key to conflict/population management, through the application of trauma-based conditioning, is to keep the wars small and static, so as to avoid forcing the population/patient into a breaking point, a tipping point, where the patient “snaps” and takes uncontrolled actions. Those actions could be in the form of an uncontrolled surge of patriotism, or that of a violent reaction against government. The programmer must avoid pushing the targeted populations outside the trap of the closed loop internal arguments, thus preventing these uncontrolled reactions from occuring.

We live under the constant threat of global war in one form or another, being led by the controlling powers into believing that this is the goal of the plan. Global war may not be the plan, but it is a contingency of the plan, in case one of the great games gets out of control. Belief that the elitist controllers want to destroy the world that they are scheming so hard to control, is a circular logic trap. Escape from the trap requires that we point-out the errors in logic which lead to that wrong conclusion.

The proof of intent is not in the words these killers say, but in their actions. Evidence of prolonging our wars, just to keep them going, is circumstantial evidence that limiting wars is the goal. Proof that Iran has not been attacked, (even when preparations for that attack were at their highest under Bush and Cheney) is proof that a massive war against Iran is not the plan, but it is a contingency, in case other plans for destabilization fail. Global war is not imminent, but it could happen by mistake, as the great powers scheme to merge the dictatorships under one unified command.

This tells me, that the best way to fight the controlling elite may be to create breaks within the circular logic traps, allowing people to begin to think on their own. Eyes set in a forward gaze, looking for the controlled path, set by misleading cues provided by the programmers, must be diverted into looking within. We must frame our arguments and appeals in ways that our words act like mirrors, reflecting the image of that person’s future, if they stay on their current path. They must be made to see the image of what they are to become, if they continue to follow their current beliefs, beliefs that were instilled within them by others. Letting them see what they will get if they actually get what they think they want, is the best way to turn their focus inward. Seeking is finding.

This July Fourth will long be remembered by our posterity, or by the survivors of what is to come, as our last Independence Day. A year from now, our fate as the first free Nation shall be sealed, either the great international merger will have become a fait accompli, or the great world revolution will have begun. Either way, the American people will have become citizens of the new world, whatever that new world is to be. We will either have become entrapped in the same slavery as everybody else, joined in chains to the rest of the exploited world, or hand-in-hand with them, together as partners in a global awakening movement.

As for me, I will join hands with the rest of the world, but I will not join them in their shackles. I am one of the uncontrollables–wild cards running outside the system (as much as possible), generating all the uncontrollable reactions that we can. There are many other free radicals such as myself, serving as islands of inspiration, firing-off our own peaceful “truth bombs” into the belly of the Beast, doing whatever we can to shake things up. In the America of 2010, that is the best that real American patriots can hope for, serving the Spirit of 76, while defending both country and Constitution as best we can, from the planned final assault on freedom.

“Freedom” is not am American concept, neither is it a shining light upon a hill, but is instead, a burning flame within the heart of every human who has a conscience. Keeping it alive and burning in these troubled times may be the best thing that we can do, but I believe that we have it within us to do so much more. Neither our great forefathers, nor the God of Peace that many of them sought to serve would approve of what we have become. We who have been blessed by birth to be born in a land where the promise is so great, cannot sit idly on our hands, lazily watching the completion of the abomination. It is time to act. The time has come to set things straight. We must move en masse toward the door labeled “Peace.”

The following inspirational writings reflect my own feelings about True Peace and the proper path which leads to that cherished goal, as well as the human obstacles to that Peace. The promise of Peace is the Promise of God–Seek the Path and all things shall be opened to you. The enemies of peace will become powerless in the face of the outraged, righteous masses. We have the Keys to Peace within us–all we have to do is to reach for them.

Peace is not one man’s burden, nor that of any organized group.

Peace, World Peace, shall come on the day that the human race looks within and finds God smiling back at them.

Resistance is a never-ending vigilance, waiting to fill the void of despair with limitless hope. Whenever the conscience calls, actions must follow. The words of our last true leader, JFK, still ring-out to us, echoing down the corridors of time, beckoning to all of us to take the actions necessary to help establish True Peace on the face of the Earth within our time.

What kind of peace do I mean?
What kind of peace do we seek?
Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world
by American weapons of war.
Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave.
I am talking about genuine peace,
the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living,
the kind that enables men and nations to grow
and to hope and to build a better life for their children –
not merely peace for Americans
but peace for all men and women –
not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

~ President John F. Kennedy at American University, 10 June 1963

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Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize for not yet bombing Iran

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And for not yet authorizing 500,000 more troops to Afghanistan….

And for moving those missile defense systems around from one place to another.

And for pulling out all of our troops from Iraq…oh…that’s been derailed…

And for getting that one state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue and ending Israeli genocide… opps…maybe that’s still to come.

And last but not least, for keeping that massive U.S. pentagon budget intact…

The world puts the pressure on Obama to live up to this award. Can it be taken back if he doesn’t?

OSLO (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for giving the world “hope for a better future” and striving for nuclear disarmament, in a surprise award that drew both warm praise and sharp criticism.

The decision to bestow one of the world’s top accolades on a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” But critics — especially in parts of the Arab and Muslim world — called its decision premature.

Obama’s press secretary woke him with the news before dawn and the president felt “humbled” by the award, a senior administration official said.

When told in an email from Reuters that many people around the world were stunned by the announcement, Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, responded: “As are we.” {more}

The Russia Today spin…

Obama joins other notables such as Henry Kissinger as great peacekeepers who have won the award.

Day 12 – The Gaza Journey

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The Gaza Journey
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By the time you read this our two boats, the Free Gaza and SS Liberty should be sailing from Chania’s old port in Crete despite a gloomy forecast of storms ahead.

Our captains have decided it is time to quit our dock for security reasons and so we are heading along the Crete coastline on our way to pick up the rest of our passengers who have been waiting patiently in Cyprus.

We could be in for a rough ride, but without going into too much detail, we probably are more at risk by not moving.

Israel has a history of using Mossad and Kidon to sabotage and destroy peaceful operations designed to help or show solidarity towards Palestinians.

From Crete we will head towards larnaca, Cyprus to pick up the rest of our group and then we are bound for Gaza to break the medieval siege imposed by Israel.

Media interest is once again gathering momentum and there are those who want to join us on board while others are considering hiring their own boats … the more the merrier. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a huge flotilla?

However, there are concerns from the media because Israel has a history of shooting, killing, and arresting journalists who try to report the truth about the brutal occupation of Palestine.

I was reminded of this only this morning as I read a release a few minutes ago from Reporters Without Borders. The human rights group was condemning today’s announcement by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to detain Ibrahim Hamad, a soundman employed by the Palestinian news agency Ramattan, for six months without bringing charges and without taking him before any court.

Hamad was arrested by Israeli soldiers at his home in Qalandiyah, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on July 15. “The Israeli military may not under any circumstances arrest journalists or media assistants without giving a reason,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“If they think a journalist has done something wrong, they must say what it is and they must explain why they are arresting him. We call for Hamad’s immediate release.”

When reached by Reporters Without Borders, the management of Ramattan firmly condemned his arrest and called for his release.

They also called on the Israeli authorities to explain why they are holding him. “This is not the first time that one of our employees has been arrested by the Israeli military,” the agency said.

Israeli boasts it is a democracy … these are not the actions of a democratic state. These are the actions of a brutal state which tries to crush those dedicated to telling the truth about the full horrors of the Zionist regime and its determination to see through its deliberate and slow genocide of the Palestinian people.

We will be able to see in a few days time exactly how the Israelis react to a group of peaceful activists who want to sail into Gaza armed with nothing more than love and support for their Palestinian brothers and sisters.

If Israel is really a free and open democracy then its Navy will let us past, Mossad will stop trying to sabotage our journey and all of the journalists on board, including myself, will be able to report the truth about what is happening in the world’s largest open air prison called Gaza.
In the meantime, I would urge the IOF to release our brother Ibrahim Hamad and allow him to continue his media work.

The Change We Need (Part Two)

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Dashiell

(Part I can be read Here)

For the United States to make the transition from a war society to a peace society, many old ways of thinking will need to be abandoned, ways that have determined public policy for a long time. It may seem as if completely new ways of thinking will have to replace them, but in fact the change we need would in many ways constitute a return to humanist values that have been part of our heritage as a republic, but ignored and shoved aside in favor of empire.

In politics there are assumptions that tend to lead to certain kinds of policies. Assumptions reflect interests. The powerful interests in our society have of course been those of big business, and it is usually assumed that it is in the self-interests of big business to take the directions it has taken, towards greater expansion worldwide, greater hegemony for corporations, and ever-greater profits for the same. But what kind of self-interest is this, really? When a system only considers short-term advantages, and those only within the narrow scope of personal profit, imperial policies seem to make sense. But if we look realistically at the long term, given a finite planet, what advantage is there in wasting and polluting our natural resources to the point where the future of the human race is in peril? In the long view, does the hoarding of wealth by a small minority, with the gradual increasing impoverishment of the majority world-wide, lead to a stable situation or to a dangerous one, even for the wealthy? The same considerations are valid regarding the escalation of weapons production, especially of nuclear weapons. How long can we expect human imperfection to get away with this kind of behavior without eventually producing disastrous consequences? And at the risk of sounding facetious, wouldn’t a wise businessperson seek to preserve future real estate, future business, the economic inheritance of the next generations, against its destruction, either from environmental or nuclear destruction?

Those who persist in thinking short-term about such matters can only resort, in the end, to denial. Thus we witness, for instance, the absurd spectacle of so-called conservatives saying that global warming is a plot by liberals to undermine the economy. We would hope that saner heads prevail, but it’s unsure how many saner heads there actually are.

So the first change in thinking is this: The good of society must be recognized as legitimate self-interest. Most CEOs will be the first to admit that financial profit is the overriding purpose of business. So it won’t do to turn around and say we need to privatize hospitals, schools, or other social services because it’s more efficient. It won’t be, because there are other important values besides profit. These values have to have a place in public policy, with no apologies. And that includes rigorous regulation of business practices that affect the public good.

The next change in thinking is an important corollary to this: War is not good for society. Or in the short form coined by General Sherman, “War is hell.” Now this may seem obvious to many readers. But this simple fact is covered with a shroud of denial, both in the corridors of power and in the culture. Stating the seemingly obvious, over and over, is necessary in order to break through the denial.

War kills, wounds, and maims human beings. It also damages minds and spirits, families and homes. Anyone who has been in combat or has witnessed the effects of war will tell you that it is a ghastly, horrifying experience. Do you think it was fun being at Anzio? Or Okinawa? Or Khe Sahn? Do you think seeing somebody’s guts fall out of his body, or his head blown off, is a fulfilling experience?

Yes, this all seems obvious, but we are inundated with the myth of glory. Politicians get all idealistic when they talk about war—it’s always about honor and freedom and bravery. They mention sacrifice too, but in that moist reverential way that people who don’t know about sacrifice talk about. In movies and TV, war is often made to look exciting. We have ads for the Marine Corps that show Arthurian knights fighting nobly in some phony Dungeons n’ Dragons conflict, morphing finally into that proud figure, the Marine. On Memorial Day we supposedly honor and mourn the dead, but there’s an air of celebration about it all as well.

It’s a lie. We must refute the glory myth. And no, this doesn’t mean pacifism. War may be necessary if the country is truly in peril, under attack by enemies, which means that we fight in self-defense. But this necessity isn’t glorious or fun or even right. If it’s necessary in certain cases, it’s still a rotten dirty business that should be gotten through as soon as possible so that we can enjoy peace again. Peace is the value that society aims for, not war. Warmongers, most of whom never fight themselves but pay or force others to fight, have turned this upside down and made war into a value, which it is not. Conversely, they have denigrated peace and ridiculed those who work for it as if they were somehow weak or bad citizens. But in the end, would anyone except the most rabid ideologue refuse to value peace, or to teach their kids the value of peace? Our most natural impulses have been undermined by a false upholding of war as a positive value. Peace must be reinstated as a primary goal and value of society.

To make the transition to a peace society, we must ultimately change basic assumptions about who we are as a nation. For a long time, and especially for the last sixty years, we’ve been poisoned by the notion of being the most powerful nation on earth, an empire responsible for the maintenance of world stability. America has assumed the right to determine what leaders other nations should elect, what policies they should have, and what their economies should look like. It has assumed the right to force its political will on the world, overtly and covertly. We have a world-wide military presence. In short-term thinking, this benefits the corporations, who thereby gain control of markets and resources. The official line is that it also provides us with security, but this has proven to be false, time and again. A lot of mental contortions are necessary in order for it to seem as if the Israeli-Arab conflict makes us safer, or escalating missile systems in Europe. The diversion of our resources, human and material, into foreign adventures leaves our own country, our own children and schools and neighborhoods, neglected.

In cultural terms, this translates into idiotic chants of “We’re number one!” and other kinds of jingoism. It translates into a mind-set that reacts to any criticism of U.S. policy as attacks on the prestige of the country. Empire as an idea is inherently autocratic; it encourages the most anti-democratic elements, submission to authority rather than freedom of ideas.

Part and parcel of this is the elevation of the military to a place beyond criticism. Every military dictatorship does this, but it’s relatively new on the American landscape. There is no democracy in the military—it’s a hierarchical organization based on obedience, which is fine in its place, but dangerous if taken as a principle of civil society. The military should always be a servant of the people, supervised by a civilian authority. When it becomes a power unto itself, with its own political motives, it erodes basic values.

The change of thinking here will perhaps be the most difficult of all, yet the most necessary: Abandon the false dream of empire, and return to the ideals of a free republic. The founders of this country did not envision us becoming just another big shot imperial power entangled in games of world domination. Quite the opposite—they wanted the U.S. to avoid that fate, and they were quite explicit about it. To enjoy the liberty of a free people, sustaining institutions that promote life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—that was the American vision, not being the most powerful nation on earth, which is an essentially corrupt idea no different from the delusions of ancient Rome or the decrepit traditions of European powers from which the founders deliberately broke.

In practical terms, this means gradually reducing the American global military presence. It means respecting the sovereignty of other countries, even if we don’t agree with their policies. It means rejecting the idea of policing the world, and turning instead to our own country, focusing on what we can do to improve conditions here.

Inevitably someone will call this isolationist. But we don’t need to be isolated. We can still be engaged in world affairs, in the business of addressing common needs and discussing solutions to common problems. But narrow self-interest can no longer determine our foreign relations. Once again, I believe that true self-interest, one that recognizes the good of society and not just profit, coincides with doing the right thing in the world, even with altruism as part of foreign policy. We need to take responsibility for doing good. With all our talk about how great we are, for instance, we contribute a much smaller percentage of our GNP to disaster relief than Sweden. We blithely accept the degradation of the Third World as if it didn’t concern us . Such ignorance cannot last long without bad consequences.

Influence is a much more subtle affair than the militarists imagine. The attempt to bend the world to our will through force has actually weakened American influence. Imagine the immense influence that this country would wield internationally if it led the way in promoting economic equality, human rights, environmentalism, peace, and justice. For people who can only think of themselves and their personal profit, such ideas seem like nonsense. But the time is coming when we will have to see that empire is not only bad for society, but bad for business as well.

By the same token, we must recognize that equality is more beneficial than disparity. If wealth and services are distributed more evenly, prosperity actually increases. Poverty, on the other hand, promotes instability and crime. This applies in foreign affairs as well. To complain about illegal immigration when at the same time we’re sucking the wealth out of the Third World is nothing but mendacity. Self-determination and self-sufficiency in foreign countries improves overall trade. The only thing that suffers is greed. Greed needs to be reimagined as an antisocial and anti-spiritual force.

Promoting peace will also mean affirming human rights. The U.S. has heretofore backed the most repressive regimes in the belief that this kind of authority benefits U.S. businesses. Such strategies have proven ephemeral. When subject peoples finally throw off their yoke, they’re less likely to trust in good American intentions. This process started long before Bush; it’s only been accelerating faster. Now we’re seeing a drastic erosion of respect for human rights at home as well as abroad. As long as we take that stance, war will be in our future. Not only do we need to validate human rights as an American ideal, we also need to stop encouraging violators in other countries. We need to realize that it’s against our interests to do business with countries that employ slavery and torture, because it damages our own credibility.

We need to take the lead in disarmament. The official position at this point is that other countries shouldn’t have nukes, but we should. This is obvious hypocrisy that convinces no one. If the U.S. gradually reduces its nuclear forces, and its top-heavy military might in general, that gives us more authority to work towards the same goals world-wide. There’s no magic solution to this; progress will be incremental, but what’s the alternative? Being endlessly poised on the brink of annihilation is to surrender to a kind of global mental illness. We are the only country so far to use nukes. It makes sense that we would be the country leading the way towards their abolition.

This may all seem overwhelming. But it’s not as if we have much of a choice. We either take charge of events, with peace as the primary idea and goal, or events will surely take charge of us. The first step is changing our own minds. The war society is not just “out there.” We’ve internalized it in our own assumptions about what is valuable, and what is possible. The greatest obstacle is fear. Make no mistake, those who push for a peace society will continue to be demonized and attacked. But our persistence and resolve will improve if we have a clear vision of where we need to go. Saying “no” to war and injustice will continue to be important. But if we’re just an “antiwar movement,” then the movement will fade whenever a particular war ends. We need to be truly a peace movement. Peace is the necessary precondition for all the other changes we need in order to survive as a species, and (as Faulkner said) to prevail. There is no passing event, conflict, or petty political difference that can outweigh that.

We tend to underestimate the power of ideas. To reorient a society towards peace is largely a matter of ideas. Speaking out in whatever way we can, through whatever communication or political action, inside or outside the system, liberates others who want to speak out as well. We can create the change we need by proclaiming peace with energy and tenacity, again and again—and what has always been a human value will be acknowledged openly and gain a decisive power of its own.

Renunciation and Escalation: Conflicting Tides in the Terror War

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Written by Chris Floyd
Thursday, 17 July 2008

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As we noted here last year, “an important development has been taking place in the real “war” on terror — not the profit-making, fear-and-domination machine of the Bush Administration’s devising, but the genuine struggle to quell the violence of Islamist extremism. Yet despite the great potential of this breakthrough, an overwhelming majority of Americans have never heard of it. Certainly it has not been featured — or even mentioned — by the corporate press and government PR engines in the United States. And why not? Because it is a breakthrough toward peace — and peace, as we all know, is not boffo box office.”

Britta Sandberg has a new article on this topic at Salon.com, updating the developments since the spark for last year’s story: the stunning renunciation of violence by one of the co-founders of al-Qaeda, the Egyptian doctor Sayyid Imam al-Sharif. Sandberg focuses on a former Libyan terrorist, Noman Benotman, as an example of the trend, and also notes the fatwa against violence issued this spring by the hardline Deoband faction:

In late May, India’s influential Deoband religious movement issued a fatwa against terrorism. In a joint proclamation at a meeting in New Delhi attended by representatives of the country’s leading Islamic organizations, the groups stated: “It is the goal and purpose of Islam to extinguish all forms of terrorism and to disseminate the message of global peace. Those who use the Koran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad to justify terror are merely upholding a lie.”

The supreme mufti of the Deobandis and three envoys signed the document. “In terms of its theological significance, this is roughly the equivalent of a ruling by the Supreme Court in Washington,” activist Javed Anand later said. The Deobandis, whose name is derived from a small city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, once inspired and offered religious instruction to fighters in the Islamic world. Militant Pakistani groups, jihadists in Iraq and even the Taliban invoked the Deobandis for many years. But those days are now gone.


Sandberg also notes the founding of UK-based group, the Quilliam Foundation, set up by former militants. But this group is more problematic than Sandberg allows in her story. It is now heavily backed by the UK government, and some of its members have simply converted their Islamic extremism into anti-Islamic extremism. Recently, its most high-profile adherent, Ed Hussain, who wrote a best-selling book about his turn from extremism, was instrumental in sabotoging an important UK conference examining “the diversity of Muslim art and culture” in Britain and drawing moderate, mainstream Muslim forces into a greater political and social engagement, as Seamus Milne notes in the Guardian:

The political debates brought together a broad range of voices – from the US Nixon Centre’s Robert Leiken to Rached al-Ghannouchi, who played a key role in reconciling mainstream Islamism with democratic principles in the 1990s – as well as many more women than attend most mainstream British political events.


But plans for government ministers to take part were scuttled by attacks from Hussain and the Tory party and press, who claimed that some of the event’s organizers “had had links with Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, though the details are contested,” as Milne reports:

Note that there is no suggestion of involvement in current terrorism in this controversy, in Britain or Israel. The issue is the government’s growing hostility to dealing with anyone connected with the highly diverse movement that is Islamism. This is a political trend that has violent and non-violent, theocratic and democratic, reactionary and progressive strands, stretching from Turkey’s pro-western ruling Justice and Development party through to the wildest shores of takfiri jihadism. But it’s largely on the basis of this blinkered opposition that the government is now funding Husain’s Quilliam Foundation, promoting other marginal groups…

The British government, which is taking part in the military occupation of two Muslim countries, is hardly in a position to throw up its hands in horror at sympathy with political violence abroad. But blurring the lines between support for those fighting foreign occupation and backing for violent attacks on civilians at home helps get the government off the hook of its own responsibility for the terror threat…

This is also the key to official policy towards Muslim organisations in Britain. The groups currently regarded as beyond the pale – such as the organisers of IslamExpo – are those keenest to promote Muslim involvement in British society and politics. But they are also the most actively opposed to western policy in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine – an important point of common ground, incidentally, with most non-Muslim Britons. The organisations the government backs, on the other hand, are those who keep quiet about the wars the US and Britain are fighting in the Muslim world. If the priority is really community integration and prevention of terror attacks, this sponsorship of clients and stooges is going to have to stop.


But “sponsorship of clients and stooges” is the lifeblood of Anglo-American policy, and has been for decades. British and American leaders have never been interested in genuine engagement with other political or cultural viewpoints; they want acquiesence, obedience – or else. And as wholesale purveyors of political violence, they much prefer dealing with violent extremists – either by supporting them or fighting them (or, as in Iraq, doing both at the same time) – than coming to terms with more moderate forces who seek peaceful accomodation of diverse interests within society. That’s too much like hard work.

Still, the fact that the Terror Warriors in Washington and London are inevitably trying to turn Islamist renunciations of terrorism into another prop to justify their own violence does not lessen the development’s importance in the real world. To be sure, this renunciation trend is in no danger of turning into a movement of satyagraha. Most of the Islamists renouncing terrorism against civilians still support the idea of open armed conflict against those “directly attacking Muslims.” And as we noted last year:

The sentiments and strictures of the “corrected” Islamists remain repugnant — as are all blinkered, self-righteous fundamentalisms, of whatever religious or secular character. But the repugnance of a set of beliefs — or our fierce disagreement with the believer’s ultimate dreams and ambitions — are not, in the end, as important as the methods that believers adopt to achieve those ends. For example, if the neo-cons had stayed cozily nuzzling on the teats of rightwing cash cows, dreaming their dreamy dreams of “national greatness,” “full spectrum dominance” and what have you — and not sought to impose their extremist ideology on the world by state terrorism on a near-genocidal scale — then who could object to what those consenting adults got up to in the privacy of their own think-tanks? Let them — and the Islamists — and any and all groupthinkers ply their music as they will, make their cases, proselytize, publicize, peddle their wares in the marketplace of ideas. But when an ideology arms itself, when blood is its argument and force and fear are its methods, then it becomes a crime against humanity.

For years now, the world has been suffering from a nasty gang war between two such criminal factions — the Islamists and the Bushists. Both are tiny, radical minorities within the wider polities they falsely claim to represent. The fact that some major figures in one of these factions are now renouncing the use of “killing operations” to advance their odious ideas is surely a welcome development. If it saves only one innocent life from destruction, that is cause enough for rejoicing.


But not, as noted above, among the Terror Warriors. Again, last year’s observations still hold true:

Yet this process — which began in some quarters years before 9/11, and now involves hundreds of jihadist leaders and activists — is being ignored by the very people who, ostensibly, have the greatest reason to trumpet it. But of course, such a development is actually bad news for the fanatical militarists of the Bushist faction. They ignore, reject or twist anything that undercuts their cartoonish myth of a vast, monolithic “Islamofascism” bent on world conquest at any cost — and capable of carrying it out, unless stopped by multitrillion-dollar American war machine ranging over every continent.

That’s why they will never declare “victory” in the “War on Terror.” The “Terror” part of their PR slogan has never mattered in the slightest to the Bushists; this is evident in the fact that all expert analysts — including America’s own intelligence services — say clearly that the Bushists’ policies have actually increased terrorism around the world. It is the “War” in the “War on Terror” that the Bushists are concerned with. If bin Laden himself came down from the mountain (or, more likely, got up from his grave) and denounced terrorism as an abomination in the eyes of Allah; if every Sunni militant and Shiite militiaman in Iraq laid down their weapons and embraced Gandhian non-violence; if every jihadi training camp locked its gates, dismantled its bombs and turned its suicide belts into swaddling clothes, the Bushist “War on Terror” would go on. Some other suitable terrorism would be provoked, fomented or manufactured to justify their militarist, authoritarian agenda.


Of course, the emphasis on the “Bush Faction” in the preceeding passage is a bit misleading. Because the “War on Terror” is not simply a Bushist operation; on the contrary, it is enthusiastically embraced by the entire bipartisan Washington establishment. For example, Barack Obama has made it a linchpin of his national security strategy, especially with his intention to escalate the conflict in Afghanistan, which he calls a “war we have to win”: words that should chill the blood of everyone who recognizes the implications of such an open-ended commitment. For if we “have” to “win” in Afghanistan – if defeat is not an option (just as Bush and McCain say of Iraq) – then what won’t we do to secure that victory”? After all, Obama has pledged himself to what has become the most sacred, bipartisan principle of American foreign policy: no president should ever take any option “off the table.” [For more on this, see Arthur Silber’s devastating essay, Songs of Death.]

What a strange pass we have come to: a founder of al Qaeda has taken extremist Islam’s most potent weapon “off the table” – while the would-be heirs of Jefferson and Madison adamantly refuse to forego anything — even the threat of nuclear terror — in an endless global war that has already killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

More Police State Doings at the "Rainbow Gathering"

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When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow — Old Native American Prophecy

Too bad you can't see this, it's a beautiful picture of the Welcome Home tent from the 1992 Colorado National ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

U.S. Forest Service officers pointed weapons at children and fired rubber bullets and pepper spray balls at Rainbow Family members while making arrests Thursday evening, according to witnesses.

“They were so violent, like dogs,” Robert Parker told reporter Deborah Stevens of the libertarian-oriented, Round Rock, Texas-based We the People Radio Network [www.wtprn.com] after the incident.

“People yelled at them, ‘You’re shooting children,'” Parker said during an interview on the network’s “Rule of Law Show.”

About 7,000 people have arrived at the gathering near Big Sandy in the Wind River Mountains for the annual Gathering of the Tribes, a seven-day event of fellowship, partying including illicit drug use, praying, and living on the land.

They camp on Forest Service land around the country every year, but the Rainbow family’s nonhierarchical methods — no one can speak for the Rainbows, much less sign a land use permit — often have stymied their relationships.

But rarely do the tensions escalate into violence.

The Forest Service’s Incident Command Team in Rock Springs issued a press release Friday morning, saying officers were patrolling the main meadow of the gathering Thursday evening when they contacted a man who fled and was later caught. Another Rainbow was detained for physically interfering.

Officers began to leave the area with the subjects and were circled by Rainbow participants, according to the news release from Rita Vollmer of the Incident Command Team.

Ten officers were escorting the detained subjects when about 400 Rainbows surrounded the squad, and more officers were requested, according to the news release.

“The mob began to advance, throwing sticks and rocks at the officers. Crowd control tactics were used to keep moving through the group of Rainbows,” the news release said.

Other law enforcement agencies were called to the scene, the news release said.

Officers made five arrests; one officer suffered minor injuries and was cleared by a local hospital; and a government vehicle sustained damage, the news release said.

“This lawless behavior is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it,” said John Twiss, Forest Service director of law enforcement. “The safety of our employees, public and Rainbow participants is our number one priority, and we will continue to protect everyone on the national forest.”

Vollmer of the Forest Service Incident Management Team did not return calls requesting comment Friday.

Rainbow Family members’ accounts told a different story.

One member who identified himself only as “Ryan” told Stevens he was with his two children in his tent at the Rainbows’ Kid Village north of the main meadow where the major prayer circles and dinners are held.

One of the 10 officers pointed a pepper spray gun at him and his children, he said. His girlfriend was using the latrine outside when four officers came to her and asked if she was smoking marijuana.

The officers then ran through the Kid Village and through its kitchen, and chaos erupted, he said.

Other witnesses recounted seeing about 10 officers of the Forest Service’s incident command team drag an older man from the woods near the Kid Village, according to interviews by Stevens.

A woman in the village told the officers to take their guns out of the Kid Village. An officer threw that woman to the ground and pulled her head back by her hair while she was being handcuffed, one Rainbow named Rick told Stevens.

“I got out and yelled, ‘what the f— are you doing?'” Rick said. “That got it started.”

The officers backed up in a defensive position, and some used their Tasers on Rainbows, he said.

Rainbows called for their crisis management team, and Rainbow family elders urged the crowd to remain calm, he said. However, the crowd kept moving, and the Forest Service officers began randomly spraying the crowd with pepper spray bullets.

The officers, with their two suspects in custody, found an exit trail from the main meadow, and the peacekeepers urged the crowd to let them go, he said.

“These people deliberately, for hours, were aggressively working the camp over and working the people over,” Ryan said. “They chose the kiddie village — the one place, the kids, to take their stand and create a riot, and I bought into it. … They were looking for an excuse to do some damage to us.”

Ryan’s partner, Feather, told Stevens she was pepper-sprayed, and saw another Rainbow with welts all over his body.

Feather also recounted seeing a couple with a young child and an infant who had just emerged from the woods and didn’t know what was happening.

The couple asked the officers what was going on, and the officers pointed their guns at the children. The officers walked away, but one turned around and pointed his rifle at the baby, she told Stevens.

Robert Kinn of Afton told the Casper Star-Tribune in an interview Friday that he and his family had been camping and drove to Big Sandy because they’d never been to a gathering.

Forest Service officers gave Kinn a citation and a $175 ticket for allowing someone to ride on his vehicle’s trailer, and said the officers weren’t polite. “I was scared, was harassed.”

Kinn and his family went to the main circle for dinner, when they heard people yelling about needing help to put out a fire in the Kid Village.

About 10 minutes later, people came back to tell the main circle the fire was over, and the crowd resumed eating, he said.

One of the senior Rainbows gathered the crowd and explained the clash with the Forest Service, and another man showed where rubber bullets hit him in the stomach, Kinn said.

Kinn and his family drove home that night, he said.

Reach Tom Morton at (307) 266-0616, or at Tom.Morton@trib.com.

Source: Casper Star Tribune

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Rainbow Family Gathering photos by Chad Harder
Photo by Chad Harder

Saturday, July 5, 2008

100 from Rainbow Family made appearances at a temporary federal court

Rainbows appear in court
By TOM MORTON – Casper Star-Tribune – 07/05/08
FARSON, Wyo. — More than 100 participants in the annual Rainbow Family of Living Light “Gathering of the Tribes” near Big Sandy made appearances at a temporary federal court at the fire station here this week.

The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management had issued numerous citations and warnings, ranging from traffic violations to drug possession, during the week before the event semi-officially began Tuesday.

Chief U.S. District Judge William Downes signed the unusual order to create the temporary courtroom because the closest federal courtrooms to the gathering are in Green River, Lander and Jackson, he said Thursday.

Farson was chosen because it is close to the gathering and because it imposed the least inconvenience to law enforcement and the Rainbow gathering participants, Downes said. “We sent the magistrate judges to them.”

This marked the first time in Downes’ nine-year tenure that he has signed an order to create a temporary court, he said. “But it was clearly appropriate here.”

The court will remain as long as Rainbow gathering participants are in the area, he said.

About 40 participants appeared in court on Wednesday, and an unknown number appeared on Thursday, according to the clerk of federal court in Casper. One defendant on Wednesday apparently got out of hand and was subdued with a Taser, she said.

On Tuesday, about 70 participants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Marty of Green River.

One group of about a dozen defendants included a family with two children and a mother nursing an infant.

None of the defendants was in custody.

Seated behind the cited Rainbows were at least two dozen U.S. Forest Service and other law enforcement officers.

The Forest Service had assembled an incident management team of more than 40 officers from across the country, plus police dogs and administrative personnel, agency spokeswoman Rita Vollmer said before the gathering began. Vollmer did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Those cited by the Forest Service and other agencies had been charged with Class B misdemeanors, which are punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail, Marty told the court.

The U.S. attorney’s office did not recommend any jail sentences for any of the charges, she added.

Several defendants had been arrested for minor traffic violations, including lack of proof of insurance, expired registration, failure to use a turn signal, and parking five feet away from a posted area.

Based on the recommendations of U.S. Attorney Jim Anderson, Marty fined most of these defendants minor amounts such as $20, plus $25 in court costs and $10 for the victims’ compensation fund.

Marty dismissed the citation of a Colorado man whose vehicle had one of his two rear license plate bulbs burn out during his 700-mile trip to the gathering.

Jim Anderson told the court most drug charges he would prosecute were related to marijuana possession, and he would recommend fines of $250.

However, one defendant who possessed multiple drugs and fireworks received a fine of $400.

Like other Rainbow Family events, the courtroom scenes took on their own surreal flavor.

The defendant with the $400 fine shook the hand of an officer before she left the building.

Other defendants mouthed, “We love you,” to the officers.

One officer gave a toy badge to a child of one of the defendants.

Another officer recorded the courtroom with a video camera. Recording and other electronic devices are forbidden in federal courtrooms unless a judge authorizes their use, Downes said.

Outside the fire station, Forest Service officers took their police dogs around vehicles to sniff for drugs.

U.S. marshals brought out a case of bottled water for the defendants lined up at the tent where security personnel conducted searches.

There, too, Rainbows made nice with the government.

One Rainbow asked a marshal how he kept a straight face.

“I’m smiling on the inside,” he responded.

http://adap2k.blogspot.com/2008/07/100-from-rainbow-family-made.html

~~~~~~~~~~~
See: Rainbow Family site

The Free World Owes Hezbollah a “Thank You”

Posted on

By Peter Chamberlin


Bush’s secret war against Lebanon has been reversed by the people of Lebanon. Hezbollah forces were saying “No,” for the whole nation. Bush’s use of local mercenary forces to undermine the national resistance to Israeli aggression didn’t set well with either side of the Lebanese people. Lebanon was set to become the new battlefield in a regional war, to guarantee the security of Israel.

Once again, we see that the Cedar Revolution lives on in the hopeful people who have risen as one, to oppose outside intervention in their blossoming democracy. The success of the Doha Accord will prove in Lebanon that Democracy and Islamic thought is compatible, if the foreign devils can be kept away from their doors.

On the eve of the eighth anniversary of Hezbollah’s first liberation of the people of Lebanon from the Zionist invader, the world should finally understand that the Lebanese Resistance forces are not the “terrorists” that the American/Israeli press makes them out to be. http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=44372&language=en

Once again, those whom the Zionist press has labeled as terrorists have proven to be just patriots defending their homes.

Rami G. Khouri has given us a perfect summary of the new paradigm Bush has created: http://dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=92376

“This accord has been forged in the furnace of Middle Eastern demographic and political realism, in contrast to the hallucinatory absolutism that often drives US-Israeli policy in the region.

The US was not fully defeated, but it was fought to a draw. Recent events put into concrete political form the most powerful force that has defined the Middle East in recent decades: the willingness of individuals, political movements and some governments to openly defy, challenge, resist and occasionally fight the United States, Israel and their Arab and other allies.

Now that we have a draw in the broad ideological confrontation throughout the Middle East that pits Israeli-Americanism against Arab Islamo-nationalism, we should expect the players to reconsider their policies if they wish to make new gains.

It is no big deal in Washington when nearly 500 million Arabs, Iranians and Turks ignore and defy the US. But when Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East, America’s eternal ally, and the bastion of the epic modern struggle against fascism, totalitarianism, Nazism, communism and terrorism – ignores the United States, that is newsworthy.

So we now have a rare moment in the Middle East: Iran, Turkey, all the Arabs, Hizbullah, Hamas and Israel all share one and only one common trait: They routinely ignore the advice, and the occasional threats, they get from Washington. Condoleezza Rice was correct in summer 2006 when she said we are witnessing the birth pangs of a new Middle East. But the new regional configuration is very different from what she had in mind and tried to bring into being with multiple wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia and Lebanon, and threats against Iran and Syria. The new rules of the political game in the Middle East are now being written by the key players in the Middle East, which should be welcomed.”

http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/6926