Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Friday, April 30, 2004

for god's sake, stop the killing...

There's all this killing going on in the name of god.

Which god has ordered all these killings? Well, it's a god first invented, some 4000 years ago, by the superstitious, misogynistic and megalomanic men of a tribe who subsequently became known as the Jews.

And a religion was born. And its aim was mind control (usually the mind of the ruling king), and thus, power over the people. And this same manufactured god is also to be found in the Christian religion and the Muslim religion. Three major religions in the grip of a fictitious entity whipped up some 4000 yeas ago by a bunch of authoritarians whose sole aim was to control others for their own ends.

How harmful are these religions? Well, each one teaches its followers that only they are the "chosen people". And each one teaches that this all-powerful god thing is exclusively on their side. So that means you can kill, dispossess, cheat and brainwash gentiles/heathens/infidels because you are superior to them and you are just doing "god's work". Oh, and women can't be trusted in positions of religious leadership. They are unclean. And quite rightly, they are the property of men.

Nice one, Alice..

Now, to a rational, thinking person, all this would sound a bit suspicious. Insane even. But not to a True Believer. A True Believer is taught to have Faith and to Believe in the face of any and all opposing arguments. In a rational world this is known as bigotry and is not valued. But in these religions it is thought of as the highest and most valued state of mind. I call it insanity-producing mind control.

And so you had lots of Jews killed by Christians, Christians and Moslems having lots of wars, Catholics killing heretics galore, Catholics and Protestants having lots of wars, and Jews and Moslems having several wars. All in the name of the same God.

Each blames the "fanatics" on the other side. But they're all fanatics, by definition.

And here we are in 2004. And we're still firmly in the grip of a 4000 year old superstition. And we still can't stop the killing, the land-grabbing, the dispossessing and the brainwashing of others in the name of that insane superstition. I call that mind control of the worst kind.

How can you have democracy when the people are brainwashed?

And it troubles me greatly.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

screwed by privatization...

Check out the New Internationalist magazine: "The great privatization grab. Like modern-day pirates, marauding corporations are hijacking our public services while governments turn a blind eye. Wayne Ellwood debunks the privatization myth."

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

understanding zionism, part 1...

Now for the tricky bit: To address the controversial subject of Zionism. A good understanding of Zionism is essential if one is to understand what's happening in the Middle East. Also, one needs to really look hard at the mountain of evidence which suggests that the US is virtually a puppet of Israel. To avoid any charges of anti-semitism, all of the following references feature quotes by Jewish writers and academics.

Alfred Lilienthal: In his book, What Price Israel, Lilienthal writes: “ Zionism has often been innocently defined as a movement to provide a homeland and refuge for Jews in need of safety in the land where their ancestors lived in ancient times. That definition only sounds good until we realize that almost a million Palestinian Arabs already living there had to be displaced and made homeless in the process. Incredibly, even today so many years later, many Americans and others worldwide still believe that it was 'a land without a people for a people without a land.' It was not! Any real chance for Middle East peace—as well as defusing the reasons behind our present American-led 'war on terror'—must be based on fact and not on intentional or unintentional distortions of past events.”

Israel Shahak: "After 1967, when I ceased being just a scientist and became a political being, my first reason was that after 1967 the Israeli aim was to dominate is the Middle East, which every rational human being knows is impossible. My second reason was that there must be a Palestinian state. It can come into being with a minimum of bloodshed, or a maximum of bloodshed. Even if the intifada were defeated, it would only cause a delay."

To give us a bit of an insight into Zionist thinking, Professor Shahak quotes from the soldier's handbook issued by the Israeli Army Central Regional Command: "When our forces come across civilians during a war or in hot pursuit or in a raid, so long as there is no certainty that these civilians are incapable of harming our forces, then according to the Halakkah [legal system of classical Judaism] they may and even should be killed. Under no circumstance should an Arab be trusted, even if he makes the impression of being civilized. In war when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed, and even enjoined by the Halakkah, to kill even good civilians, that is, civilians who are ostensibly good."
Shahak pointed out that in the religious schools in Israel the supremacy of the Jew as contrasted with other races is emphasized, and children are taught that even the Jewish embryo is different from embryos of non-Jews.
Professor Shahak said this teaching affects Jewish attitudes at all levels of contact between Jews and their neighbors, and even relates to the dead. In his book he notes: "Jews have a tremendous reverence towards Jewish corpses and Jewish cemeteries, but have no respect towards non-Jewish corpses and cemeteries. Thus hundreds of Muslim cemeteries have been utterly destroyed in Israel...but there was great outcry when one Jewish cemetery...was damaged under Jordanian rule."

And this, from Lance Selfa: In 1965, he (Shahak) recalled, "I had personally witnessed an ultra-religious Jew refuse to allow his phone to be used on the Sabbath in order to call an ambulance for a non-Jew who happened to collapse in his Jerusalem neighborhood." Shahak called a meeting with members of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem to ask the state-appointed rabbis if the man’s refusal to help violated Jewish religious law. The rabbis ruled that the man had acted properly.

Further reading: Norman G. Finkelstein, Avi Shlaim

Saturday, April 24, 2004

the dead hero society...

Ok, from here onwards it's just going to be stream of consciousness ranting OK? If you don't like what you read, there are plenty of other blogs.

I'm a Vietnam vet who's seriously got the shits with the world as it is. But let's get one thing straight right here: I'm not a threat to anyone but myself. I have sworn to myself that I will never kill another person as long as I live. That's not to say I won't kill myself. I frequently yearn for the courage to end it all. But so far I've been too gutless.

And before you start hurling your favourite religious sermon at me, let me tell you where I stand on that stuff: There is no god, if by god you mean some kind of supreme being that has made up a set of rules which, if you obey them, you will be rewarded, or, if you disobey them, you will be punished. That's a load of horse manure in my humble opinion..


Having said that, let me say this: I will defend to the death your right to believe whatever you want, just so long as in doing so you don't threaten me. In my view, the writings of the Jews, Christians and Moslems were not inspired by any god. They were the writings of misogynistic male megalomaniacs utterly deluded by their superstitions and long days in the hot desert without food or water, and millions upon millions of people have been killed in the power struggles engineered by these religions.

And those religious engineers are still engineering and the killings are still happening wholesale and everyone reckons that the killing is right because they have god on their side.

How insane do you have to be to believe that load of superstitious claptrap !!!!

And here in Australia we're about to commemorate our war-dead tomorrow, a day we call Anzac Day. We'll jangle our medals, we'll convince ourselves they died righteously, and we'll call them heroes. Church leaders will speak gloriously at countless services around the nation so that the friends and relatives of the dead don't snap out of their convenient hypnosis... And the band played Waltzing Matilda ...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

tales from the help desk

Customer: "I want to download the Internet. Do I need a bigger hard disk?"

Help Desk: "No, to download the Internet, just >> CLICK HERE >>."

Monday, April 19, 2004

spinning democracy

We prattle on and on about how important democracy is. It's so important that we had to invade Iraq, killing tens of thousands in order to force a West-loving form of it down their throats till they choke (ah, the gag reflex and democracy..)

But, aren't we just a bit myopic about what we think democracy means? Let's shift our gaze from Iraq and peruse the whole globe. Do people whom we label as "primitive", "third world", "uncivilised", or whatever, have democratic rights? And if so, what are these rights?

Do they have the right to not have their resources and environment plundered to satisfy our ever increasing need for more and more bling bling?

Do they have the right not be used as mere pawns by those who have set themselves up as arbiters of all and everything?

Do they have the right to protect themselves from such forms of Western cultural fascism?

Why are we, the oh-so-democratic, so overweening in our relations with these people, their resources, their environment, their culture and their belief systems, all the while pretending we have nothing to do with the behaviour of the global resource giants, pretending we have nothing to do with the activities of our cultural bulldozers, the missionaries, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO?

And after an area is inevitably laid waste by these marvellous do-gooders, we finish them off with "foreign aid" programs delivered to a demoralised, disenfranchised people who are then told that the only way "forward" is by way of virtual slave labour and prostitution, servicing their Global (we can't really use the term "Western" anymore) masters and overseers. But it's all for good, we believe, just so we can sleep at night, and dream of even more bling bling.

If, due to the rage induced by the realisation that they are about to be culturally vaporised by seemingly overwhelming forces, they resort to "terrorism" as a means of striking back, they are branded as evil, whilst we, the plunderers, murderers and rapists will not engage in the slightest bit of self-analysis.

Oh no, we can do no wrong. And we have to give no quarter. Might is right. Right? And what's any of this got to do with those people's democratic rights? Absolutely nothing.

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on... La dee da dee dee, la dee da dee dah...

Friday, April 16, 2004

is the usa really interested in democracy?

Democracy. It's such a precious word. With so much meaning. The US, probably more than any other nation on Earth, seems to rant endlessly about it.

But I ask you this: With all of its superpower interventions and massive "programs of liberation" in the last 50 years, where has the US been successful in installing a viable democracy? Having trouble answering that?

Ok, let's try an easier question: Where, in the last 50 years, has the US been interfering with and even preventing democracy. Answer: In lots of places.

Another question: Where, in the last 50 years, has the US installed its own preferred dictatorships to further its own geopolitical megalomania? Answer: In lots of places.

Want some details? Good. Read Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, John Pilger, Robert Fisk and lots of others...

Thursday, April 15, 2004

mercenaries to protect american troops?

Make no mistake about it, dudes and dudettes, we're living in a brave new world.

Up until not so long ago, the use of mercenaries was a sure sign that some shady regime was up to no good. But not, apparently, in this age of privatization. Killing and armed intervention is now Big Business. Soon US shareholders in companies such as Blackwater will be baying for blood globally just to get their dividends up.

Cut-to Iraq: "At least 18 000 mercenaries, many of them tasked to protect US troops and personnel..."

Say what? US troops need to be protected by US mercenaries? Oh really? Mind boggling.

I give up...

Monday, April 12, 2004

i was just following orders...

Ok, so now US soldiers are once again escaping to Canada to avoid participating in what they see as an immoral and illegal war. (Younger readers may not be aware that during the Vietnam war thousands of US conscripts fled to Canada to avoid the draft.)

As someone who served and killed in Vietnam, I have very strong feelings about what is happening right now. In the last 37 years, I've done a complete u-turn about a lot of things, Vietnam included.

I no longer trust or believe the right wing elements in the US or their political clones in Australia, the country I was told I was defending when I was recruited for the war in Vietnam. (To my shame I believed the lying bastards!)

But that's not what I want to talk about today.

Today I want to raise an issue I've raised before in other forums. It's the issue of "The Moral Soldier".

The US, in particular, was a strong advocate for the argument at the Nuremberg Trials (when trying Nazi war criminals) that soldiers cannot hide behind the statement "I was just following orders". The US argued that such statements do not form a valid legal defense. And a lot of Nazi war criminals were hanged on the basis of this legal argument. In invoking this argument, the US imposed on each and every soldier, from that day onwards, the duty to question the moral and legal validity of any and all orders given to them (let's call this Catch 22).

Cool. Sounds good. But.... Soldiers are neither priests nor lawyers...

Now, there are soldiers who join up during a particular conflict and I will not address their case here, other than to say that they may well be hung by their own petard in due course if their case is found to be wanting.

But there are other soldiers. Soldiers who join during a period of relative peace. Soldiers who are encouraged by their recruiting officers to see the military as a "career" in peacetime. It is the rights and responsibilities of these soldiers that I want to address in this article...

Such soldiers, I believe, join up in the belief that if they are ever sent to fight in a military conflict their state-sanctioned killing spree will be moral and legal. And they have every right to believe that (except for Catch 22).

Do you see the dilemma?

If they choose to believe their government's rhetoric for a war, they can subsequently be found guilty of war crimes under the "Nuremberg Precedent", a precedent which, I would remind the reader, was crafted by the US back in the days when it had the hubris to think it could utter the words "International Law" and actually get away with it without the spotlight of exposed hypocrisy immediately illuminating them in all their ridiculous nakedness (interestingly, the Bush regime doesn't want to know about International Law any more...)

But back to the story.. What's a moral soldier to do? The "Nuremberg Precedent" holds that obeying orders is not a valid moral or legal justification for killing people (and I agree). However, there is (as yet) no avenue for regular (non-conscripted) soldiers to mount a claim of conscientious objection, which is what would be needed to get them out of Catch 22. Tell me I'm wrong...

Friday, April 09, 2004

the blogger's curse

I was reading George Monbiot's website today, and the following comment struck me as being a bit relevant to people who blog:

Part of the problem for those of us who make our living by expressing our opinions is that after a while consistency becomes boring, both to the reader and to the writer. Soon you start wanting to shock people, to shake things up, to draw attention to yourself. This is the columnist's fate: either you become irrelevant, one of those dusty old bores, utterly predictable and stale, you'll find in all the newspapers and magazines, or you become incoherent - swinging from one extreme to another, picking on any target, however soft, in an attempt to renew the value of your stock.

Another hazard is success. Your ideas begin to echo in the corridors of power, and two things then happen to you. The first is that you don't want to lose your new-found influence by alienating the powerful people who have begun to listen to you. The second is that you begin to identify with them. The people on whose behalf you claim to speak - the common man and woman - become invisible to you.

And this, of course, is not to mention the opportunities apostasy offers. When you say the magic words - I support those who possess power - the world opens up for you. When you say the opposite, it closes down.

Food for thought I thought...

Thursday, April 08, 2004

a game without umpires?

I was just now watching a football game. What got me was just how the umpire's vigilance and authority were the only things that stopped the game from descending into a free-for-all in which the most vicious and meanest would invariably win.

And I got to thinking that we don't really have a global umpire of any note. So it's no wonder that the rule of the jungle seems to be the operating paradigm.

Oh, the UN is supposed to be the umpire, but it has neither the capacity for vigilance nor the real authority to act. It is a crippled body with any one of five nations having the power of veto. No, the UN is not a body that can be an effective global umpire and gendarme. Its architects made sure of that!

The US? Sure the US sees itself as the global sheriff, but who pinned the star on the US? A study of 100 years of US foreign policy will show to all but the most myopic that the US is interested only in its own supremacy. This is not a candidate for global umpire or sheriff.

And this is part of the global problem. None of the nation players can be trusted to act in any way other than in their own self-interest, so who will be the umpire? And who will respect the umpire's decision? And what authority would the umpire have?

Someone please help me out here. I can only see the doom that will be wrought by unbridled might. Am I wrong?

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

too many lies, not enough truth

There are so many hidden agenda around it's no wonder that all sorts of people are losing it big time. In The Big Lie department, the US and Britain are currently the major players. If the US and Britain do not want to be targets of "terrorists" they must start by telling the truth: The truth about their attempts to control the world for their own economic and strategic benefit. The truth about the part oil plays in their current global machinations.

Individual nations and ethnic groups no longer have any real say in what happens to them, their communities, their culture, their environment, or their resources. Big Business, via the World Bank, the IMF, and Big Business's own corrupt practices, is imposing its will on all manner of peoples in the name of "development". Big Business has corrupted governments to the extent that military might has become a tool of Big Business. I know it's been that way for a long time, but now it's getting even more ominous because it's gone global. Global means there's no longer a way to escape it. It means it's all-pervasive. It means that the whole world must fight against it or be consumed by it.

People who feel they are being undermined and subjugated in this way are turning to terrorism as a way of fighting back. In an environment where these people have no place in which wrongs perpetrated against them can be effectively redressed (international law has become a sick joke thanks to the arrogance of the US and Britain), it is entirely predictable that terrorism is seen by these people as a valid weapon of last resort.

If we in the "developed" world want to stop being the targets of terrorism, we must stop our instrumentalities running rough-shod over (terrorising) other nations and cultures. The "developed" world must recognize, acknowledge, and curb its arrogance, selfishness and greed. Unbridled global capitalism is an evil that must be stopped. Or else, "developed" dudes and dudettes, get used to terrorism coming to a place near you.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

resolving the conflicts...

Ok, this is serious, dudes and dudettes, so pay attention...

In the interests of diffusing the "terrorist" threats posed by Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups, here's my plan. In the best military tradition, we'll give this plan a name. Let's call it Operations Plan (Oplan) Gandhi.

The principles of conflict resolution demand that in any conflict, valid grievances be identified, acknowledged and resolved.

Oplan Gandhi recognizes that there are major grievances in the Arab/Islamist world which "The West" needs to address.

I think it's fair to say that the most strident complaints by the Arab/Islamist world are about the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the illegal Israeli settlements, Israeli military heavy-handedness in dealing with the Palestinian intifadas as well as the refusal of the US to withdraw its military bases from Saudi Arabia.

Oplan Gandhi calls for:

1. The immediate withdrawal of all Israeli military personnel from the occupied territories. The term "occupied territories" as used here means any area occupied by Israeli forces outside the "Green Line".

2. The immediate dismantlement of all Jewish "settlements" in the occupied territories and the relocation of all persons from those settlements to Israel.

3. The immediate recognition of the sovereign state of Israel defined as that area of land bounded by the "Green Line" and the proper compensation and reparations for the Palestinian people by Israel.

4. The immediate recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine defined as being made up of the West Bank and Gaza.

5. The immediate withdrawal of all US military units from Saudi Arabia.

6. The withdrawal of US military units from Iraq and Afghanistan at the earliest possible time unless they are clearly welcome by a majority of the population.

Oplan Gandhi recognizes that until these six points are implemented, Arab/Islamist "terrorist" groups have as much legitimacy in attacking Israeli and US (and allied) targets as these interests have in their attacks on such groups.

The word "terrorist" is a highly charged political term. The word as it is used here defines "terrorist" as person who uses any means to kill or maim _anyone_ to further their political, strategic, economic, or religious aims. It follows that all acts of war are acts of terrorism. Therefore to single out any one group or side in a given war as being "terrorist" is merely partisan propaganda and should be dismissed as such.

I believe that any conflict can only be justly and humanely resolved through the proper application of the well-established principles of conflict resolution and these principles call for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the commencement of negotiations between the conflicting parties.