From all blindness of heart, from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy,hatred, and malice, and all unchariterableness, GOOD LORD DELIVER US!
With all the pride, vainglory & hypocrisy running around these days if we ever needed to be delivered by the good Lord now would be the time! Hussein, Bush, Blair, Bin Laden, all of them are hypocrites. Whether it be Bin Laden preaching piety & having 40 wives, Hussein killing his own countrymen, Bush killing innocent Iraqi civilians or Blair claiming to fight for freedom when it‘s really about British petroleum Good lord–deliver us! Please! What the fuck is going on?!
These leaders have the nerve to say they’re doing it for God. What!?
If you don't like America, get the fuck out!
How many times has this been said? It seems the moment you say any critical statements about Bush or the war, usually the first response by conservatives matches the quote above. "If you don't like America, get the fuck out."
It isn’t that easy cowboy. Being critical of one’s nation does not necessarily mean that we do not support the troops. Now that we are in Iraq, my prayers are with them. My prayers are also with Iraqi civilians. Thousands of young Americans & Iraqi civilians are dying in the name of imperialism & greed. As Tamilyn Roberson puts it, "We are killing people to teach people that killing people is wrong."
What the hell is going on?
This essay includes quotes from many well-known thinkers & will explore the inherent hypocrisy of this war by all parties involved. Check the links to go directly to the sources. By exposing many of these truths it is this author’s hope that we can use the knowledge to move forward.
Many of the antiwar activists are hypocrites as well. They’ve never got into their Volvo & drove to Skid Row & seen the battleground of urban America. Can you imagine what Bush’s $75-Billion war budget could do for our inner-cities? My biggest beef with the war is that we have enough problems at home. Los Angeles is quickly becoming the murder capital of America. We could use some of Bush’s attention right here. It would be great if all these anti-war activists could put some of their energy & efforts on the homefront. I don’t know how many rich hippie kids I’ve met talking about Free Tibet, when there are equally serious issues less than 10 miles from their lush dwelling.
Tax cuts favoring the rich, health care being cut. Face it folks, all of this is about money. Bush & Cheney’s buddies are gonna make a shitpot full of cash in post-war Iraq.
The most popular conservative argument for the war is stopping Hussein before he gets too powerful. The most sensible justification of this idea I’ve heard cites former UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain & his attempts to reach a treaty with Hitler & Mussolini in 1938. The treaty was reached but Hitler ignored it shortly after & went on to invade Poland. Britain ending up fighting Germany anyway. Some historians have tried to say that if Chamberlain wasn’t so weak in his pursuit to make peace, we may have saved millions of lives & stopped the concentration camps.
These folks feel that by taking care of Hussein now rather than waiting on the UN, he will not have a chance to hurt us later.
Who knows if Hussein was planning to eventually bomb us. It’s too late now. Bush got right to work. Now that we are there we’ve opened an incredible can of worms.
America: According to Michael Moore
"We abhor terrorism -- unless we’re the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.
Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!
We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our day one single bit. We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised when those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause."
We are not so innocent. Our nation did not deserve 9-11, but it is time for Americans to look beyond their self-centered world-view. Our politicians have created this predicament. Like Bin Laden, we also helped create Hussein. Robert Scheer notes, "The Commerce Department under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had long permitted U.S. companies to sell anthrax and other biological and chemical supplies to Iraq, the Senate Banking Committee documented.
Furthermore, it was Reagan who signed National Security Decision Directive 114 on Nov. 26, 1983, committing the U.S. to do "whatever necessary and legal" for Iraq to win its war against Iran, even after documented reports of Iraq's use of what we now call weapons of mass destruction. It was at that time that Donald Rumsfeld was dispatched by Reagan as a special envoy to reassure Hussein of unwavering U.S. support. "
This was back in the 80's. Right about this time we were also giving weapons to Bin Laden & the warring tribes of Afghanistan in their war with Russia. It seems our leaders will do whatever they need to do, even if it may kill civilians. Hussein is even worse.
Bush has made claims that Iraq has violated the Geneva Convention’s Laws of War & he is right.. But so have we. Celebrated British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was fond of bombing civilians.
On the lines below you will find an excerpt from "The Laws of War."
Basic Tenets of the Geneva Convention
"Persons who do not or can no longer take part in the hostilities are entitled to respect for their life and for their physical and mental integrity. Such persons must in all circumstances be protected and treated with humanity, without any unfavorable distinction whatever.
It is forbidden to kill or wound an adversary who surrenders or who can no longer take part in the fighting.
The wounded and sick must be collected and cared for by the party to the conflict which has them in its power. Medical personnel and medical establishments, transports and equipment must be spared. The red cross or red crescent on a white background is the sign protecting such persons and objects and must be respected.
Captured combatants and civilians who find themselves under the authority of the adverse party are entitled to respect for their life, their dignity, their personal rights and their political, religious and other convictions. They must be protected against all acts of violence or reprisal. They are entitled to exchange news with their families and receive aid.
Everyone must enjoy basic judicial guarantees and no one may be held responsible for an act he has not committed. No one may be subjected to physical or mental torture or to cruel or degrading corporal punishment or other treatment.
Neither the parties to the conflict nor members of their armed forces have an unlimited rights to choose methods and means of warfare. It is forbidden to use weapons or methods of warfare that are likely to cause unnecessary losses or excessive suffering.
The parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare the civilian population and civilian property. Neither the civilian population as whole nor individual civilians may be attacked. Attacks may be made solely against military objectives."
The laws of war? It’d be nice, right? Well once war begins, there are no more rules. War is war & once it has begun all the rules go out the window. Interviewing American POW’s on TV was indeed wrong.. So is falsely surrendering & then detonating a suicide bomb like the Iraqi taxi driver did last week. All hell has really broke loose & from here on out whatever happens cannot be controlled. When you dance with the devil there are no rules. Playing fair in war–what! Wake up! There’s no room to complain, ‘cuz we started the game.
General Hamid Gul, former chief of Pakistan military's Inter-Services Intelligence, warned that U.S. troops may get bogged down in guerilla war like Russia did in Afghanistan. He goes on to say Hussein’s tactics of combining conventional war with guerrilla warfare have marked a "new chapter in the history of war."
Hussein is a monster, that much is given. There are no easy answers. We still need to remain vigilant towards Al Quaeda as well. How many millions of people wish we could go back in time now? Spiritual warfare is in full effect.. Cling to your faith folks–‘cuz the government isn't looking out for the common man! Greed has intoxicated the leaders of the world & justice no longer means the same thing.
It’s no secret that France, Germany & Russia voted against the war for their own selfish reasons. They each have an agreement with Saddam Hussein which gives them access to cheap Russian oil coming through the Iraqi pipeline. As Marshall Douglass Smith
notes, "without Saddam, the price for being the middleman who runs the Iraqi pipeline spigot suddenly shoots up. The Russians lose market share, the Germans and French pay the higher world market price."
Once again it all comes back to economics. Victory in Iraq will give the big-oil companies of America access to the Iraqi oil. The greed of corporate America has become the standard that the world sees us by. McDonalds, Starbucks, Nike, Chevron.. As Marshall Douglass Smith says,
"Most foreigners don't distinguish between the hated exploitative big-oil companies and the Americans. To most foreigners, America is the oil company. Now you know why the French, Germans and Russians did not go along with the UN resolution to attack Iraq. Would you willingly vote to double the price of energy in your country?"
HAIL TO THE THIEF
This is just one of the many reasons why the world is in uproar..All over the world this war is being greeted with protests & opposition. Millions of students & activists are staging protests from Europe to Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan & of course in the Muslim Countries of the Middle East. Artists like Zack De La Rocha, Beastie Boys & even Madonna are releasing songs of protest. In an obvious reference to Bush, Radiohead’s forthcoming album is titled Hail to the Thief.
National Geographic & NBC fired journalist Peter Arnett for comments he made on Iraqi televison. He was quickly hired by the antiwar Daily Mirror in Britain.
Tuesday April 1's headline reads "Fired by America for telling the truth... Hired by Daily Mirror to carry on telling it."McCarthyism anyone? Freedom of speech is becoming a myth.
As Sean Penn said in his open letter to Bush, "your administration's deconstruction of civil liberties all contradict the very core of the patriotism you claim." Let’s not even mention the Dixie Chicks.
NOT IN OUR NAME
The most powerful antiwar campaign I have heard is the Not in Our Name EP by Saul Williams.
Here is just a small sample of his Pledge of Resistance:
We believe that as people living in the United States it is our responsibility
to resist the injustices done by our government, in our names.
Not in our name will you wage endless war. There can be no more deaths.
No more transfusions of blood for oil. Not in our name will you invade countries,
bomb civilians, kill more children, letting history take its course over the graves
of the nameless. Not in our name will you erode the very freedoms
you have claimed to fight for..
And of course everyone by now remembers the words of Michael Moore..
"..we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or fiction of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."
Still though Bush doesn’t care.. Though he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, perhaps his only redeeming quality is determination. He’s determined to get Hussein. Operation: Iraqi Freedom.
According to Richard C. Holbrooke, the former United States representative at the United Nations, "Saddam won't win, unlike L.B.J. in Vietnam, Bush won't quit. He's a different kind of Texan. He'll escalate and keep escalating. In the end his military strategy will probably succeed in destroying Saddam. But it may result in a Muslim jihad against us and our friends. Achieving our narrow objective of regime change may take so long and trigger so many consequences that it's no victory at all. Our ultimate goal, which is promoting stability in the Middle East, may well prove elusive."
The consequences of this war are what is most disturbing. Besides unnecessary death, Bush is only making the world hate us more. The original spirit of America has become perverted. (There are many that may say our nation has always been, but that’s another essay.) Ironically Bush now finds himself in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Check what he said in his second presidential debate against Al Gore. "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation but strong, they'll welcome us."
It’s safe to say we’ve been a bit arrogant. What the hell is Shock & awe?
According to Mike Davis it is "a combination of battlefield omniscience, smart bombs, and new weapons like microwave pulses and nausea gases to drive Baghdadis out of their homes and bunkers." With all the hype of "shock & awe" its been pretty much a stalemate..
Famed author Walter Mosley recently wrote a book titled What Next: A Memoir Toward World Peace. Not just another 9-11 book, this slim volume is a hopeful, yet realistic analysis of America, our imperialist foreign policy & what it all means. One of the central tenets is that African Americans as an oppressed class of over 400 years can relate to the anti-Americanism now growing.. At the same time he acknowledges that African Americans are caught in the middle because they are indeed Americans..
"We–Black men and women in every stratum of American society–live in and are part of an eco-system of terror. We, descendants of human suffering, are living in a fine mansion at the edge of precipice. And the ground is caving in under our wealth and privilege."
Mosley’s ideas are some of the most sensible I’ve read.
"Some of the greatest ambassadors representing American culture in the twentieth century have been black people. Louis Armstrong, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr., Josephine Baker and many others have gone abroad, with or without our government's blessings, to show the world the beauty they have found here. They were men and women of peace. For more than a century, African-Americans have represented America's culture and its high moral ideals, not its penchant for economic domination. While the American government was selling arms to the world, we were delivering jazz. While US Presidents waged war on foreign ideals, African-Americans spoke of peace.
Today is just a continuation of that history. We have to get out there and work for peace. We have to reject the fearmongers and the profiteers. Certainly, we have to protect America. Certainly, we have to arrest and monitor those who have made it their express desire to harm our nation. But we must also remember that there will be no defense if the whole world hates us.
We must remember, the only true defense is peace."
Calling all people of the world: wake up! I love my country & I love our people. It would be great if we could deal with our own problems first. The gap continues to grow between rich & poor, there are fewer jobs & more than half our nation doesn’t have Health Care. We’re the richest nation in the world?!
Many people around the world now hate America. It’s a shame because most of us are good people.
A few greedy folks are ruining it for the rest of us.. To all you readers out there: most of us Americans are not like our government.
America at its best is a glorious smorgasbord of culture. The birthplace of the blues, jazz, rock & roll, hip-hop, graffiti art, modern cinema & multiculturalism. We must get back to the principles & the spirit that do make this a great nation. The spirit that made Whitman sing the body electric. I was born here & I don’t want to go anywhere else. It’s time to work for progress. Work for peace. Work for justice. Not some spoon-fed idea from the mass media, but God’s justice–righteous justice. It is time we all take responsibility. Here’s a little more Saul Williams..
We pledge to make common cause with the people of the world
to bring about justice,
freedom and peace. Another world
is possible and we pledge to make it real.
Put the cell phone down & look around! It’s not too late to change the course of history. I don’t write these words to berate our country. Only through self-awareness can healing & growth occur.
We stand at a crossroads. The events of this next year & beyond will set the tone for the new millinnium, for that matter world history. Let us recreate our world & this nation under God. These are not hollow words, only an organized effort of the people of America & the people of the world can bring about world peace. Our leaders are too busy trying to be heroes--Preaching piety, but practicing hypocrisy. It's going to take consciousness & our collective faith to overcome these idiots..Good lord deliver us!