171886 the invasion by israel shamir April 3, --------- 170144  The Cost of Israel to the American People --------- JohnPilger.com on Venezuela ----- 170620 Afghanistan martyrdom bombing kills nine US soldiers ------- 170628 Yellow Journalism and the assault on peace activists Mark Bialkowski ------ 171070 + 14 Sam Bahour on wether Palestinians are human  --------- ---------------- Salon article via robotwisdom -- Media O.D. Todd Gitlin talks about media overload, the cluelessness of the TV networks, the Washington Post's love for Ken Starr and why conservative viewpoints thrive on TV and radio. ------------ SKETCH OF JOHN TANNER, KNOWN AS THE " WHITE INDIAN." BY JUDGE JOSEPH H. STEERE. ------------- Justin Hall resembles me; he studies Michael Taussig -------------Intro to pyrotechnic insanitarium by Mark Dery ---------- CTHEORY THEORY, TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE VOL 18, NO 1-2 Article 25 95/04/19 Editors: Arthur and Marilouise Kroker Radical Thought == ~Jean Baudrillard~ ~Translated by Francois Debrix~ ----------- Michael Taussig on George Bush ----------------- corpse.org/issue_9/foreign_desk/lee.htm Amazonia: Shamanism vs. Capitalism: The Politics of Ayahuasca --------------- xxxxxxxxxx ---------------- 171886 the invasion by israel shamir April 3, 2002 Sharon's Easter War is the end of a chapter, not of the story. This week, we learned the full measure of despair and humiliation. Our protests and petitions, emails and demonstrations turned out powerful as charms and curses against tanks. Politically correct, or outrageous, witty or rude, friends of equality in Palestine were outgunned. The US President acclaimed 'Israeli right to self-defence'; BBC and CNN found a formula 'in response'; and Sharon's troops invaded Palestinian towns. They effectively eliminated the Palestinian self-rule and carried out intensive searches, mass arrests, and cold-blooded executions. In Bethlehem, a peaceful demonstration of European non-violent protesters was machine-gunned by the invaders. Local people speak of dozens murdered Palestinians, shot point-blank. Israel and the US, long managed by a single set of men, block the UN and the international organisations, while preparing the part two of their operation, invasion of Gaza. It is difficult time, but not as bleak as our enemies would like us to think. The suborned Western media reported on 'fighting between Palestinians and Israelis'; but, as a matter of fact, Israeli soldiers met little resistance. Why the fabulously brave Palestinian fighters did not give a fight to the invading Jews? One answer is obvious, and it was offered by the Israeli journalist and peace activist, Uri Avneri. The disparity of force is too big for the poorly equipped Palestinians to take on the third strongest army in the world backed up by its tame Juggernaut, the US. But there is another reason Avneri did not mention: the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) hasn't become the national symbol worth defending and dying for the Palestinians. Life under PNA remained life under Jewish rule. It is not the right time to dwell on PNA's faults well described by Robert Fisk and many others. I shall quote only Muna Hamzeh from Deheishe refugee camp, who wrote: 'Since Arafat and his authority took control of Zone A in Bethlehem in December 1995, this is what he has used "funds" for in Bethlehem: to build a new police station with a new jail; new headquarters for his Preventive Security forces; new headquarters for his intelligence; new presidential headquarters for Arafat and his VIP guests; and a personal helicopter pad built on Jabal Anton, a small hilltop overlooking Dheisheh and the only natural extension for the camp, where Arafat would have been better off building a playground for the refugee camp's children. This is what Arafat built in Bethlehem. ('Holocaust Revisited', 12.3.02) Muna Hamze exaggerated: Bethlehem received a fresh facelift, its roads were paved, Manger square refurbished, new hotels opened and quality of life improved in the years of PNA administrative control. Still she expressed the gut feeling of many her countrymen, from Professor Said to the refugees in Deheishe, deeply unsatisfied with the PNA. Whether they tried to deliver the goods to the ultimate ruler, Israel, or to the squeezed population, they weren't popular. PNA was established by the Israelis in order to police Palestinian population. It was not established to improve Palestinians' life. I doubt it could do much more. In the unfolding Palestinian holocaust, PNA was forced to play a morally ambiguous, nay, impossible part of Judenrat, the Jewish Authority, established by Germans in the ghetto and camps of the occupied Europe. Germans had as little desire as Israelis to police and administrate their alien subjects. They preferred to give them a limited self-rule in internal affairs. Some enlightened Nazis were ready to arrange a separate Jewish state with the framework of the Third Reich, somewhat along the lines of Sharon's vision of the Palestinian state. They actually did it around Lublin, an area of Poland with big Jewish population. It had a few names: Lublinland, Jewishland, Judenland, Jewish Reserve, and Jewish Autonomous Area. After the war, there were many books and plays produced on the activities of this Jewish Authority. Jews were unhappy with their own Judenrat, they considered it 'corrupt', 'attentive to demands of the enemy', and other allegations so familiar to us today. But Judenrat could not achieve more that it did. Nor could the PNA. Palestinians did not receive a bout de soufflé, they were and remained subjects of the Jewish apartheid state, within or without the PNA. Sharon's invasion buried forever the screwy idea of Palestinian self-rule ('independence') on a small slice of Palestine. It was basically the Nazi idea of Lublinland transferred to Ramallah by the Jewish pseudo-left. The idea of democracy in all of Palestine, liquidation of apartheid, came again to the forefront. Do not look back with nostalgia for the days of PNA; look forward with hope to the tomorrow's free and democratic Palestine, from the River to the Sea. II Muna Hamze called her essay 'Holocaust Revisited'. The holocaust image has been evoked by Jose Saramago, the Portuguese Nobel Prize winning writer, who compared the besieged Ramallah with the Warsaw Ghetto. Saramago, who just yesterday was glorified by the Jewish press because of his unorthodox treatment of Jesus, became an object of massive attack. Among the attackers, there were the leading lights of Israeli Jewish pseudo-Left, Ari Shavit and Tom Segev. Tom Segev mobilized his pen to the service of the Jewish state. "Saramago declared that Israel's actions in the territories are comparable to the crimes that were perpetrated at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. That sounds more like something he read on the inside of the door of a public lavatory than something he wrote in his books. What he said was harmful to the cause it was supposed to serve, so he also emerged from the episode looking stupid. " Somehow I got tired of hearing this well-meaning mantra, harmful to the cause, from the Jewish "left-wing" advisers to Palestinians, from Tom Friedman or Tom Segev. I do not believe they wish this cause to succeed. And now, the practical difference between the Jewish 'soft left' and 'hard right' became cosmetic. The following lines were written by a 'leftist' Ari Shavit, but they could be written by 'extreme rightist' Barbara Amiel, Conrad Black's wife and a friend to Sharon and Pinochet: "The things Jose Saramago said on Monday in Ramallah were not clear criticism of the occupation. They were an ugly incitement against the Jews. They were not merely foolish, nor only a statement of groundless historical fact. They were a form of bloodletting. For if Ramallah is Auschwitz - and that's the parallel Saramago drew - then Israel is the Third Reich. It deserves extinction. Maybe not all its citizens should be killed, but its sovereign institutions should be smashed. And if Ramallah is Auschwitz, then Tel Aviv is Dresden. Burning it would not be a war crime." Professor Alan Stoleroff well answered him: "once again there is an attempt by a left-wing Israeli to face the cold facts of the ongoing crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation. If Saramago's words, or my own Jewish words, had compared the encirclement and the blockades to the Warsaw ghetto, would you react the same way? Didn't it come out in Israeli papers that an Israeli general had urged the study of Nazi tactics at Warsaw in order to put down the Intifada? Didn't Israeli soldiers stamp serial numbers on detained Palestinians? Don't 40% of Israeli Jews respond positively to survey questions when asked if they favor transfer of the Arabs? And the carpet bombing of Dresden WAS itself a war crime". If Shavit insists, I am ready to oblige: Israel, this Jewish apartheid state, deserves to disappear. Its sovereign institutions indeed should be dismantled. And its supporters elsewhere turn themselves into participants of the war crimes, and into combatants to their own peril. They would not be able to claim their neutrality. The chasm is not an ethnic or religious, as proven by Jerry Levin of Alabama. Jerry Levin--CNN's Bureau Chief in Beirut, who was held hostage by the Hizballah in 1984-85--and who these days, is working with CPT (the Christian Peacemaker Teams) to protect defenseless Palestinian children, women, and men from settler rage and violence. He reminds of "Adam Shapiro, who is Jewish, is a member of the International Solidarity movement, and works in Ramallah". One should add marvellous Jennifer Loewenstein, whose report from Gaza came now in Palestine networks, and other friends of equality elsewhere. These people of differing opinions together with their friends take on the "left-right" block of Jewish supremacists. ---------- The Cost of Israel to the American People (english) Richard Curtiss 8:01am Fri Apr 12 '02 (Modified on 10:14am Fri Apr 12 '02) article#170144 How American Taxpayers pay for Israeli racist colonialism and violence. The Cost of Israel to the American People Richard Curtiss, Editor-in-Chief of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine (speech given to Al Hewar Center in Virginia, May, 1998) By now many Americans are aware that Israel, with a population of only 5.8 million people, is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, and that Israelís aid plus U.S. aid to Egyptís 65 million people for keeping the peace with Israel has, for many years, consumed more than half of the U.S. bi-lateral foreign aid budget world-wide. What few Americans understand however, is the steep price they pay in many other fields for the U.S.-Israeli relationship, which in turn is a product of the influence of Israelís powerful U.S. lobby on American domestic politics and has nothing to do with U.S. strategic interests, U.S. national interests, or even with traditional American support for self-determination, human rights, and fair play overseas. Besides its financial cost, unwavering U.S. support for Israel, whether itís right or wrong, exacts a huge price in American prestige and credibility overseas. Further, Israelís powerful U.S. lobby has been a major factor in delaying campaign finance reform, and also in the removal from American political life of some of our most distinguished public servants, members of Congress and even presidents. Finally, the Israel-U.S. relationship has cost a significant number of American lives. The incidents in which hundreds of U.S. service personnel, diplomats, and civilians have been killed in the Middle East have been reported in the media. But the media seldom revisits these events, and scrupulously avoids analyzing why they occurred or compiling the cumulative toll of American deaths resulting from our Israel-centered Middle East policies. Each of these four categories of the costs of Israel to the American people merits a talk of its own. What follows, therefore, is just an overview of such losses. First is the financial cost of Israel to U.S. taxpayers. Between 1949 and 1998, the U.S. gave to Israel, with a self-declared population of 5.8 million people, more foreign aid than it gave to all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, all of the countries of Latin America, and all of the countries of the Caribbean combined Ė with a total population of 1,054,000,000 people. In the 1997 fiscal year, for example, Israel received $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, at least $525 million from other U.S. budgets, and $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the 1997 total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel was $5.5 billion. Thatís $15,068,493 per day, 365 days a year. If you add its foreign aid grants and loans, plus the approximate totals of grants to Israel from other parts of the U.S. federal budget, Israel has received since 1949 a grand total of $84.8 billion, excluding the $10 billion in U.S. government loan guarantees it has drawn to date. And if you calculate what the U.S. has had to pay in interest to borrow this money to give to Israel, the cost of Israel to U.S. taxpayers rises to $134.8 billion, not adjusted for inflation. Put another way, the nearly $14,630 every one of 5.8 million Israelis had received from the U.S. government by October 31, 1997, cost American taxpayers $23,241 per Israeli. Thatís $116,205 for every Israeli family of five. None of these figures include the private donations by Americans to Israeli charities, which initially constituted about one quarter of Israelís budget, and today approach $1 billion annually. In addition to the negative effect of these donations on the U.S. balance of payments, the donors also deduct them from their U.S. income taxes, creating another large drain on the U.S. treasury. Nor do the figures above include any of the indirect financial costs of Israel to the United States, which cannot be tallied. One example is the cost to U.S. manufacturers of the Arab boycott, surely in the billions of dollars by now. Another example is the cost to U.S. consumers of the price of petroleum, which surged to such heights that it set off a world-wide recession during the Arab oil boycott imposed in reaction to U.S. support of Israel in the 1973 war. Other examples are a portion of the costs of maintaining large U.S. Sixth Fleet naval forces in the Mediterranean, primarily to protect Israel, and military air units at the Aviano base in Italy, not to mention the staggering costs of frequent deployments to the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf area of land and air forces from the United States and naval units from the Seventh Fleet, which normally operates in the Pacific Ocean. Many years ago the late Undersecretary of State George Ball estimated the true financial cost of Israel to the United States at $11 billion a year. Since then direct U.S. foreign aid to Israel has nearly doubled, and simply adjusting that original figure into 1998 dollars would send it considerably higher today. Next comes the cost of Israel to the international prestige and credibility of the United States. Americans seem constantly astounded at our foreign policy failures in the Middle East. This stems from a profound ignorance of the background of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, which in turn results from a reluctance by the mainstream U.S. media to present these facts objectively. Toward the end of the 19th century when political Zionism was created in Europe, Jews were a tiny fraction of the population of the Holy Land, much of which was heavily cultivated and thickly populated, and certainly not a desert waiting to be reclaimed by outsiders. Even in 1947, after half a century of Zionist immigration and an influx of Jewish refugees from Hitler, Jews still constituted only one third of the population of the British Mandate of Palestine. Only seven percent of the land was Jewish-owned. Yet when the United Nations partitioned Palestine in that year, the Jewish state-to-be received 53 percent and the Arab state-to-be received only 47 percent of the land. Jerusalem was to remain separate under international supervision, a "corpus seperatum" in the words of the United Nations. One of the myths that many Americans still believe is that the initial war between the Arabs and Israelis broke out on May 15, 1948 when the British withdrew and military units from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria entered Palestine, allegedly because the Arabs had rejected a partition plan that the Israelis accepted. In fact, the fighting began almost six months earlier, immediately after the partition plan was announced. By the time the Arab armies intervened in May, some 400,000 Palestinians already had fled or been driven from their homes. To the Arab nations the military forces they sent to Palestine were on a rescue mission to halt the dispossession of Palestinians from the areas the U.N. had awarded to both the Jewish and the Palestinian Arab state. In fact history has revealed that the Jordanian forces had orders not to venture into areas the U.N. had awarded to Israel. Although the newly created Israeli government didnít formally reject the partition plan, in practice it never accepted the plan. To this day, half a century later, Israel still refuses to define its borders. In fact, when the fighting of 1947 and 1948 ended, the State of Israel occupied half of Jerusalem and 78 percent of the former mandate of Palestine. About 750,000 Muslim and Christian Palestinians had been driven from towns, villages and homes to which the Israeli forces never allowed them to return. The four wars that followed, three of them started by Israel in 1956, 1967, and 1982, and one of them started by Egypt and Syria to recover their occupied lands in 1973, have been over the portions of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt which the Israelis occupied militarily in those wars, the other half of Jerusalem, and the 22 percent of Palestine Ė comprising the West Bank and Gaza Ė which is all that remains for the Palestinians. It is the unwillingness of successive U.S. governments to acknowledge these historical facts, and adjust U.S. Middle East policies to right these wrongs, that has resulted in such a devastating loss of international credibility. Americans, who once were identified with the modern schools, universities and hospitals they had established throughout the Middle East starting more than 150 years ago, now are identified with U.S. misuse of its veto in the United Nations to condone Israeli violations of the human rights of the Palestinians living in the lands Israel has seized by force. The Israeli occupation violates the preface to the United Nations Charter banning the acquisition of territory by war. What the Israeli government has been doing in the occupied territories also violates the Fourth Geneva convention, which forbids the transfer of populations to or from such areas. Governments of Middle Eastern countries which once looked to the United States as their protectors from European colonialism, now find it very difficult to justify maintaining cordial relations with the United States at all. Friendly Arab governments are jeopardized by their U.S. alliances, and the fall of one, the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq, was directly attributable to its premature withdrawal of its armed forces from Palestine during the 1948 fighting, and its subsequent membership in a military alliance with the U.S. and Britain. Even our European and Asian allies have joined in deploring the perpetual American tilt toward Israel. In a recent vote on a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling upon Israel to curb further encroachments on Palestinian lands by Jewish settlers, only the United States and Micronesia voted with Israel. Of the 185 U.N. member nations, all of the others, without exception, voted against Israel or abstained. Yet Americans seem oblivious to such examples of how their Israel-centered Middle East policies are isolating the United States in the world. Next is the cost of Israel to the American domestic political system. In December 1997, Fortune magazine asked professional lobbyists to select the most powerful special interest group in the United States. They chose the American Association of Retired Persons, which lobbies on behalf of all Americans over 60. In second place, however, was the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Israelís official Washington, D.C. lobby, with a $15 million budget Ė the sources of which AIPAC refuses to disclose Ė and 150 employees. AIPAC, in turn, can draw upon the resources of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a roof group set up to coordinate the efforts on behalf of Israel of some 52 national Jewish organizations. Among those organizations are groups such as Bínai Bírith's Anti-Defamation League (ADL), with a $45 million budget, and Hadassah, the Zionist womenís group, which spends more than AIPAC and sends thousands of Americans every year to Israel on Israeli government-supervised visits. Both AIPAC and the ADL maintain secret "opposition research" departments which compile files on politicians, journalists, academics and organizations, and circulate this information through local Jewish community councils to pro-Israel groups and activists in order to damage the reputations of those who dare to speak out and thus have been blackballed as "enemies of Israel." In the case of ADL, police raids on the organizationís Los Angeles and San Francisco offices established that much of the information they had compiled was erroneous, and thus slanderous, and some also was illegally obtained. In the case of AIPAC, this is not the organizationís most controversial activity. In the 1970s members of AIPACís national board of directors set out to form deceptively named local political action committees (PACs) which could coordinate their efforts in supporting candidates in federal elections. To date, at least 126 pro-Israel PACs have been registered, and no fewer than 50 PACs, like AIPAC, can give a candidate who is facing a tough opponent and who has voted according to AIPAC recommendations up to half a million dollars. Thatís enough money to buy all the television time needed to get elected in most parts of the country. What is totally unique about AIPACís network of political action committees is that they all have deceptive names. Who could possibly know that the Delaware Valley PAC in Philadelphia, San Franciscans for Good Government in California, Cactus PAC in Arizona, Chili PAC in New Mexico, Beaver PAC in Wisconsin and even Ice PAC in New York are really pro-Israel PACs. So just as no other special interest can put so much hard money into any candidateís election campaign as can the Israel lobby, no other special interest has gone to such elaborate lengths to hide its tracks. Some of Americaís wisest and most distinguished public servants have been kept from higher office by the blackballing of the Israel lobby. One such leader was George Ball, who served the Kennedy administration as Under Secretary of State and the Johnson administration as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Given his unmatched brilliance in forecasting international developments, there is no doubt that he would have become secretary of state had he not publicly expressed the skepticism about the U.S. relationship with Israel which most Americans involved in foreign affairs privately feel. In membership meetings which journalists are not allowed to attend, AIPAC presidents have boasted that the organization was responsible for the defeats of two of historyís most distinguished chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ė Democrat J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and Republican Charles Percy of Illinois. The list of other Senators and House members for whose election defeats AIPAC takes credit is too long to recount. There is good evidence also that had it not been for complex maneuvers by the Israel lobby, including encouragement of third party candidates and unrelenting partisanship by pro-Israeli syndicated columnists and other media figures, Democratic President Jimmy Carter probably would have been reelected in 1980, and Republican President George Bush almost certainly would have been reelected in 1992. The cost to our political system of losing national figures who refused to allow U.S. domestic political interests to dictate U.S. foreign policy has been enormous. So long as AIPAC and other powerful lobbies continue to thwart meaningful efforts on behalf of campaign finance reform, Americans will continue unknowingly paying such costs. Finally, there is the cost of Israel in American lives. References to the attack by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats on the USS Liberty in which 34 Americans were killed and 171 wounded on the fourth day of the Six-Day War of June 1967 often are met by disbelief. Very few Americans seem to have heard of the attack on the ship operated by the U.S. Navy for the National Security Agency to monitor Israel and Arab military communications during the fighting. The Israeli government claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. The members of the crew and other naval officers who were stationed in the Mediterranean and in Washington at the time state that it was a deliberate attempt to sink the ship and blame Egyptian forces for the disaster. It is the only such event in U.S. Naval history the cause of which has never been formally investigated either by Congress or by the Navy itself. Major losses of American lives at the hands of Arab forces opposing Israel are better known. These include the loss of 141 U.S. service personnel in the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1984. They also include the loss of several U.S. diplomats and local employees of the U.S. government in two bombings of the American Embassy in Beirut. Other such events include the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, the taking of U.S. hostages in Beirut of whom three were killed, the deaths of Americans in a series of Middle East related skyjackings, the deaths of 19 U.S. service personnel in the bombing of the Al Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, and the 1997 assassination of four U.S. accountants working for an American company in Karachi. All of these incidents, and many more in which Americans have died, resulted directly from one-sided U.S. support for Israel in its refusal to participate in the land-for-peace settlement with the Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors envisioned in U.N. Security Council Resolution 242. The U.S. has given lip service to that resolution since November 1967. But in practice the U.S. has done nothing to force Israel to comply, even though the resolution has been accepted by the members of the League of Arab States. That U.S. hypocrisy fuels rage and frustration throughout the Middle East and South Asia which will continue to take a toll of American lives until Israel finally gives back the lands it occupied in 1967, or the U.S. stops subsidizing Israeli intransigence. Claims that there are positive aspects of the U.S.-Israeli relationship seldom stand up to scrutiny. During the Reagan administration it was labeled for the first time a "strategic relationship" conferring benefits on the U.S. as well as on Israel. The idea that Israel Ė smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong Ė can offer the United States benefits sufficient to offset the hostility that relationship arouses among 250 million Arabs living in a 4,000-mile strategic swath of territory stretching from Morocco to Oman is ludicrous. It becomes even more ludicrous when one realizes that the relationship also has alienated another 750 million Muslims who, together with the Arabs, control more than 60 percent of the worldís proven oil and gas reserves. Apologists for Israel also describe the U.S.-Israeli cooperation in weapons development. The fact is that the one or two successful joint weapons programs have been largely U.S. financed, while for their part the Israelis have repeatedly sold to rogue nations U.S. weapons turned over at no cost to Israel. It is a sad but proven fact that the Israeli government also has obtained secret U.S. military technology which Israel has sold to other countries. For example, after the U.S. sent Patriot missile defense batteries on an emergency basis to help defend Israel during the Gulf War, the Israelis seem to have sold the Patriot missile technology to China, according to the U.S. State Departmentís inspector general. As a result, the U.S. has been forced to develop a whole new generation of missile technology able to penetrate the defenses China has developed as a result of the Israeli treachery. Perhaps the most hypocritical rationalization offered by friends of Israel is that U.S. special treatment is justified because Israel is "the Middle Eastís only working democracy" and that Israel and the U.S. have many basic institutions in common. In fact, Israeli democracy does not work for non-Jews. In contrast to the United States, where by law all citizens have equal rights regardless of religion or ethnic origin, Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel do not have equal rights with regards to military service, the extensive social benefits available to veterans of Israeli military service, or even in terms of Israeli tax rates imposed on Arab citizens and Israeli government expenditures in Arab communities within Israel. Further, Israeli citizenship is not available to the Muslim and Christian Palestinians driven from their homes in Israel in 1948, nor to their descendants. But a Jew, born anywhere in the world, can have Israeli citizenship for the asking. Perhaps most shocking is the little-known fact that by now 90 percent of the land in Israel proper is held under restrictive covenants barring non-Jews, even those with Israeli citizenship, from owning the land or from earning a living on it. Unfortunately, the land held under such covenants is increasing, not decreasing. It would be difficult, therefore, to find two countries more profoundly different in their approaches to basic questions of citizenship and civil and human rights as are the United States and Israel. add your own comments ==== Just Reciprocity (english) Big Owl 8:16am Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170159 The Palestinians can stop the Israelis at any time by just behaving like civilized people instead of greedy, immoral, murderous animals who blow themselves up for a $25,000 payoff from their Iraqi pimps. The Palestinian terrorists and their supporters deserve to share the fate of their victims. . ======== big owl (english) peace to all 8:45am Fri Apr 12 '02 (Modified on 9:27am Fri Apr 12 '02) comment#170182 what fuckin planet do you live on ======= Zionazi Genocide (english) Zelda Zionist 8:48am Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170184 Big Owl have you been eating Zionazi mushrooms again? Thanks for the one second hate session. Maybe you should get deprogramed from Zionazism and change your evil ways. Once a Jew always a Jew (english) 'quote me' 8:55am Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170193 Scumbags for the last 6000 years. Nothing much changes. ==== Let's not forget WTC as one of the costs (english) mike 10:14am Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170241 Israel stood to benefit from the WTC attacks. This is clearly evident as several Jews were caught jumping with joy at the NYC's Liberty Park at the sight of burning WTC. Those attacks costs over 2000 American lives. There is good reason to believe that Israeli Mossad, a world-reknown terrorist organization, was behind and had planned the WTC attacks in order to pit public opinion against the Arabs. This is reasonable, as the Zionist controlled US media would naturally point a finger at the Arabs. The results have been predictable as Israel is now in the process of a massacre of thousands of Palestenians in the occupied territories, in the name of "fighting terrorism". Furthermore, Ariel Sharon is widely recognized around the world as a vicious war criminal, and is now on trial in absentee in Belgium for crimes against humanity for his direct role in the massacre of thousands of refugees in Sabra and Shatila. He is a psychopath without conscience, and cares for no one, not Palestenians, not Americans nor even the Jewish people, and he will kill anyone as necessary to further his agenda for Israel. With him in power, many thousands of more American lives are at grave risk for more such attacks like WTC. There is no reason for Americans to support this terrorist state with 11 billion dollars a year direct and indirect assistance. IT IS TIME TO CUT OFF AID TO THIS TERRORIST STATE. ---------- 170620 Afghanistan martyrdom bombing kills nine US soldiers (english) ummah.com 6:18pm Fri Apr 12 '02 (Modified on 11:45pm Fri Apr 12 '02) article#170620 Eyewitnesses at the scene counted at least nine bodies of American soldiers being loaded in green body bags onto US army vehicles. Afghanistan martyrdom bombing kills nine US soldiers 2002-04-11 19:33:38 http://www.ummahnews.com/viewarticle.php?sid=3223 www.azzam.com 11 April 2002 A martyrdom bomber Mujahid blasted a US checkpoint in Gardez, killing at least nine American soldiers and injuring others. The Afghan Defence Office confirmed this incident and said that one American soldier was killed and several others were injured. However, eyewitnesses at the scene counted at least nine bodies of American soldiers being loaded in green body bags onto US army vehicles. Although there have been several martyrdom operations of this kind against Coalition troops before, this is the first one to be acknowledged by the Afghan Defence Office. Ummah.com ======== ====== news (english) mike 6:36pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170626 finally some news. ===== what do you mean-- finally? (english) James 6:54pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170635 haven't read any news out of Afghanistan? Or, maybe it's just that the "news" hasn't been to your liking eh? Dead US Soldiers..now THAT's news that you like! It's a false report anyway...so don't get too excited. ===== Verified? (english) SVA 6:57pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170637 Can you independantly verify this claim? If not then it becomes nothing more then wasted bytes.... SVA ======== 2 minute rule is in effect! (english) COINTELPRO Tool 8:01pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170677 As an elder statesman among the trolls here, I feel an obligation to let you neophytes in on the joke: Azzam.com is a jihadi website, allegedly run out of England, that has consistently flooded cyberspace with false claims of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan. They've had some legal problems, and haven't been able to post on their own site for quite some time, but Indymedia has no problem whoring itself out as a surrogate. In fact, Azzam played a big role in lifting the spirits of these fools in the early days of the Afghanistan campaign. Escape from reality is what they crave, and boy does Azzam provide! http://cointelprotool.blogspot.com Cointelprotool is exactly that (english) .... 8:19pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170688 Click for full size picture Cointelprotool is a zionazi and claims to have a hard on for http://www.idf.il/english/idf_in_pictures/2000/september/5.stm this whore. He is Jewish conTROLLed. Meet his other girlfriend. (Attached) Jewish Joke of the Day (english) .......... 8:33pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170691 Aaron was recently offered to marry a young girl with all the right compliments: "She is beautiful, intelligent and rich." So Aaron sent the Shadkhan to do some investigating of her own. When she returned, the Shadkhan declared, "This young woman distinctly resembles 'The Dreyfus Affair'!" "How so?" asked Aaron. "Well, she pretends to be innocent, but the officers in the mess think quite the opposite!" Toitally Jewish http://www.totallyjewish.com/community/news/ ====== Maybe the Jihadi report is true. (english) J. 11:45pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170768 Difficult to say what exactly is happening. I wouldn't trust CNN any more than Azzam.com and the Jihadi sources, without independent confirmation. It appears that extreme violence and instability are the order of the day in Afghanistan, at least according to this article published in the Pakistani paper "Dawn" www.dawn.com -------- Wave of violence puts Afghanistan on edge By Susan B. Glasser & Peter Baker KABUL: A wave of violence and political conflict in recent days has set Afghanistan on edge and threatens key steps on the fractured country's road to reconstruction, including the scheduled return of the exiled king and the promised delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid. In a week that began with an assassination attempt against the defence minister, new reports of instability have emerged every day since. Just on Thursday, the United Nations reported the murder of an aid worker in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, while international peacekeepers turned up a large weapons cache near the capital. The Afghan government has also been confronted by factional fighting between local commanders near Iran and by revolts in the southern part of the country by poppy farmers upset over eradication of their lucrative opium crop. "The last few days have not been very positive," said John Fairhurst, who heads operations in Afghanistan for the international aid group Oxfam. "Everyone's quite jittery." Such anxiety was in evidence on Thursday at the conclusion of a two-day conference of international donors who pledged in Tokyo earlier this year to give 1.8 billion dollars for Afghan reconstruction but so far have handed over only 360 million dollars. The meeting here was designed, as a top UN official put it, "to move from plans to action." But the Afghan interim government came away with little more than new promises from a handful of countries and a 100 million dollars loan offer from the World Bank that the Afghans would prefer not to accept when donations have been pledged. During the closed-door talks, donors expressed deep concern about the security situation, according to participants. "They don't want to give money to support the interim administration," said an attendee. "They are worried about security and what they see as continuing instability." Similar apprehension may yet thwart the planned return of former king Mohammed Zahir Shah, a popular figure among many Afghans but also the target of virulent opposition from anti- government forces. Zahir Shah already has postponed his trip several times because of security concerns. An Afghan government spokesman on Thursday said the king remains committed to coming next Tuesday, but many in Kabul remain skeptical. Persistent outbreaks of violence could also create problems for the next stage in the process of creating a genuine democratic government in Afghanistan. Voting begins next week in a lengthy and complicated process to select delegates to a loya jirga, or national assembly, that will meet in June to establish a transitional government. The first voting is scheduled to begin in Mazar-e-Sharif on Monday. The world body lodged an official complaint with the government in Kabul and pledged to take up the matter with Rashid Dostum, who rules Mazar-e-Sharif and also serves as deputy defence minister of the interim government. UN spokesman Manuel de Almeida e Silva listed several violent incidents involving aid workers in the north, including a February attack when armed men broke into the home of an Afghan aid worker and "raped the women and looted all the household assets." Other parts of the country also have seen disturbances this week. In the eastern city of Jalalabad, a bomb attack on Monday narrowly missed a convoy that included Defence Minister Mohammed Fahim, killing five bystanders. Not far away, poppy farmers protesting the government's anti-drug programme succeeded, at least temporarily, in blocking the key highway to Pakistan. By later in the week, the highway was reopened and several suspects arrested in the attempted attack on Fahim. A senior Defence Ministry aide said on Thursday that four suspects were in custody; he described them as "men for hire," but did not disclose who might have paid them. A top local leader in Jalalabad, Mohammed Zaman, said in a telephone interview that only two men had been arrested. "The security situation in the country is fragile," Zaman said, "and there are elements within the country who would like to take advantage of that." Even in Kabul, which has been a relative oasis of calm, men have been rounded up and accused of plotting to bomb the capital as well as a rocket attack against international peacekeepers in recent days. A security official said additional mass arrests of armed men suspected of seeking to destabilize the government are anticipated. Last week, the government rounded up hundreds of men in Kabul allegedly affiliated with the Hezb-i-Islami headed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a commander who rose to prominence in the 1980s war against the Soviets and is an opponent of the current government.-Dawn/The Washington Post News Service. ---------------- 17062 Yellow Journalism and the assault on peace activists (english) Mark Bialkowski 6:37pm Fri Apr 12 '02 (Modified on 9:02pm Fri Apr 12 '02) mbialkowski@rogers.coMAPSBLOCK article#170628 Yet Another Israel/Palestine article; this one analyzes one columnist's attack on peace celebrity Adam Shapiro, and touches on the media's wider attack on anyone who speaks up for peace and against the occupation. Debbie Schlussel joined the anti-peace assault on Adam Shapiro in an inflammatory article published on April9th. She tried her best to counter Shapiro's claims of being a pro-peace activist and portray him instead as the "Jewish Taliban" that others accuse him of being. In the process, she managed to take quotes woefully out of context on purpose and expose herself as a shrill warhawk hell-bent on tarring anyone opposed to occupation and war as a traitor. Schlussel accuses Shapiro of producing "ample writings in the defense of terrorism" and blasts reporters calling him a peace activist of being "incompetent nitwit newsgatherers, at best." She even goes so far as to brashly claim that "[a] little research and fact-checking by lazy reporters covering this American supporter of terrorism against Americans, Jews, and Israelis, would show that Adam Shapiro is hardly a peace activist of any kind." She then goes on to present a quote from a Palestine Chronicle article dated January 29, 2002 that apparently proves Adam is more of a mujahideen than a peace worker: On January 29th, Shapiro and his Palestinian American fiancee, Huwaida Arraf of Roseville, Michigan, praised suicide bombers' missions and "martyrdom" in the Palestine Chronicle. "This is no less of a jihad. This is no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah [martyred]." Schlussel flagrantly took a quote out of context and misrepresented the entire message of an article with this statement. The paragraph containing the offending quote reads: In actuality, nonviolence is not enough. Rather, what is needed is nonviolent direct action against the occupation. This includes roadblock removal, boycotts, refusing to obey curfew orders, blocking roads, refusing to show ID cards or even burning them. Yes, the Israeli army and settlers will use violence. Yes, people will get killed and injured. They are now also. Hamas claims it has many men ready to be suicide bombers - we advocate that these men offer themselves as martyrs by standing on a settler road and blocking it from traffic. This is no less of a jihad. This is no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah. But an action like this cannot happen once and it cannot be the only type of action. Large-scale, mass popular participation must be developed in order for a movement to have an effect. - (MB: bolding mine) Schlussel took a paragraph encouraging potential suicide bombers to choose a non-violent, yet visible form of resistance, and turned it into praise for terrorist attacks. Where I come from, that's being dishonest. Not satisfied with that, she goes on to mischaracterize more of Shapiro's words. She continues: In the same article, Shapiro and Arraf wrote of their support for armed struggle. "The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both nonviolent and violent. But most importantly it must develop a strategy involving both aspects . . . . Let us reiterate, we accept that Palestinians have a right to resist with arms." What Schlussel conveniently left out in the process of taking two quotes out of order and mashing them into one claimed exhortation for violence, presumably suicide bombings, bears reproduction: Let us reiterate, we accept that Palestinians have a right to resist with arms, as they are an occupied people upon whom force and violence is being used. The Geneva Conventions accept that armed resistance is legitimate for an occupied people, and there is no doubt that this right cannot be denied. But that does not mean that this right must be utilized. Regardless of what is a right and what is not, the elements that will make any change in the situation are strategy and tactics. To date, the use of violence as part of the resistance has not evinced a strategy. Not in operations against the military or settlers; not in operations inside the Green Line. The choice of using nonviolence would not be effective either if it was not organized strategically. (MB: bolding mine) Clips and quotes aside, the entire article is worth reading. Huwaida Arraf and Shapiro wrote the article as a response to another columnist's article questioning whether nonviolent resistance can be effective against the occupation. They make a compelling case for increasing the use of civil disobedience and nonviolent direct action to resist the occupation. The core message of the article that Schlussel misrepresented, on purpose it must be assumed, is summed up in the closing words: Palestinians too should use any means necessary, and that includes the use of nonviolent direct action. Using a gun does not make one a man, a human being or deliver respect or rights. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were gunned down as well, but their deeds defined historical changes. Schlussel goes on to claim that Shapiro supported the Taliban, with a quote from the January 29th edition of the Jordan Times where he says "Like the Taliban in Afghanistan, the rightful and legitimate Palestinian leadership has been stripped of its standing in the international community and has been deemed irrelevant by its opponent." The Times only keeps seven days worth of archives on its website, and a quick Google search didn't bring up a cached copy of the article, but Schlussel's previous out-of-context quoting brings into question her claims about Shapiro's intentions behind the Taliban quote. Schlussel exposes her own anti-peace biases by describing Seeds of Peace, a camp that tries to build bridges between Arab and Jewish youth, as a "joke." Shapiro was once a counselor at the camp. Ironically, the dismissal of the camp's purpose appears to be based on Schlussel's own deliberate falsification of Shapiro's motives and their reflection on the camp as a whole. Schlussel completes her hateful tirade by blasting Shapiro's embattled parents, saying: The Shapiro family cast their garbage upon the waters, and it has revisited them. The fact that they were born of Jewish blood may be a novelty to the media. But it is really just an accident of birth. That their son is a terrorist for Yasser Arafat and defends the Taliban is a matter of choice and improper parenting. Schlussel attacks the family's veracity and claims of suffering death threats by saying "Like his brother's and future sister-in-law's comments, you can't believe anything Shapiro's family says." Considering Schlussel's own lack of scruples and honesty in her attack on Shapiro, she has no place calling anyone else a liar. In a further assault on anti-occupation and pro-Palestinian supporters as a whole, the New York Post published a scathing editorial on April 11 accusing peace activists of giving "aid and comfort to the enemy that launched the Sept. 11 attacks." The editorial specifically attacked Women in Black as a group that "condones suicide bomb attacks on civilians in Israel" and hates America. This may prove to be a very stupid comment on the Post's part, bordering on libel, as Women in Black is made up of Jewish women, including many who live or once resided in Israel. In fact, the group was founded in Israel during the first intifada. The article leaves out the possibility that a person can oppose what the Israeli government is doing to Palestinians while also not condoning terror bombings against civilians. The Bush Doctrine of "you're either with us or with the terrorists" has taken hold at the Post and numerous other American - and Canadian - publications. The resulting intellectual and journalistic dishonesty is breathtaking, the moral relativism striking. Such is the problem with every person and entity that subscribes to a doctrine of "my country, right or wrong." The editorial ends with the line "Honest is as honest does." The Post should take some of its own advice and stop misrepresenting people genuinely interested in peace. Across North America, columnists, pundits, and editors are taking any opportunity to absolve Israel of responsibility in the horrible mess that is the Middle East. All blame is intended to fall on mad, Qu'ran-wielding Arabs who mindlessly hate Jews and Americans. Anyone who dares to question these racist stereotypes and recognize that all sides in the conflict - Israel, the Palestinians, the surrounding states - have a share in the blame, who want to see a peaceful solution that ends the killing on all sides, are branded as traitors and supporters of terrorism. Voices calling for peace are slandered as fifth-columnists agitating for terrorist war. This abuse of mass media by those who support war and domination says more about the people writing the columns and editorials attacking pacifists than about the pacifists themselves. platdragon.cjb.net ======== finally an honest call for honesty (english) rb 9:02pm Fri Apr 12 '02 comment#170707 Finally an honest article calling for honesty in reporting on the Palestinianian-Israeli conflict. But to expect the New York to be seriouisly involved in Honesty of any sort, even sardonically, is a bit much. Unfortunately too much of what the supposed reporting from and or about the mideast is is merely propogation for the postion one holds. For years we have heard about Jewish and Israeli peace movements in respect to this brutal situation. I have not seen anyone, nevertheless heard of a well orgainized and effective group, struggling for peace and reaaprochment amongst the Palestinians or the Arab world. Is such a thing even possible??? I'm not being rhetorical. Even the Americans had Tories during their revolutioin who were heard from during that protracted fight, but I dont hear any reporting concerning such feelings from Palestine. Before the latest Intifada I had seen some stuff involving kids from Jewish and Muslim neighborhoods getting together but that's about it. ---------------- 170517 US jewess 34 YEARS OF ISRAELI POLICY HAVE LAID THE GROUNDWORK FOR ITS UNHOLY WAR (english) Ellen Cantarow 2:44pm Fri Apr 12 '02 article#170517 A Jewish voice of sanity Speak Out 34 YEARS OF ISRAELI POLICY HAVE LAID THE GROUNDWORK FOR ITS UNHOLY WAR IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA by Ellen Cantarow April 06, 2002 I am Jewish. I am a writer. From 1979 to 1989 I reported for THE VILLAGE VOICE, MOTHER JONES, INQUIRY and other US publications from Israel and the West Bank. During those years I witnessed on the ground the rapid growth of Israel's settlements and the seizure of Palestinian land and water for them: today over half the West Bank's resources now are in Israel's hands. (About a third of Gaza's resources have suffered the same fate.) I conducted in-depth interviews with ultra-right-wing settlers and settler-leaders whose cry was: "Let them bow their heads, or let Israel expel them." I interviewed Palestinian villagers who had suffered settler vigilante actions and read accounts of these by Israeli-Jewish reporters of conscience in HA ARETZ and other Israeli papers. These vigilante actions ran the whole gamut: wanton destruction of property and crops, rampages through villages with cries of "Death to the Arabs" and smashing of car windows, casual in-the-street humiliation of Palestinian civilians, beatings, murder. Within Israel I witnessed the increasing polarization of Israeli society by the occupation; the growing, virulent racism of new generations. Take, for instance, the Moroccan Jews in Kiryat Shemona, members of Menachem Begin's voting base about whom I wrote for THE VILLAGE VOICE in 1982 and who most commonly told me, "The only good Arab is a dead Arab." When I first arrived in Israel in 1979, a "Master Plan for the Development of Settlements in Judea and Samaria, 1979-1983" had just been drafted. In it Matityahu Drobles, head of the World Zionist Organization's Department for Rural settlement wrote: "The disposition of the [Israeli] settlements must be carried out not only around the settlements of the minorities" - by settlements Drobles referred to towns and villages centuries old like Bethlehem and Hebron - "but also in between them." Drobles's rationale for this was that "over the course of time, with or without peace, we will have to learn to live with the minorities and among them [ by "minorities" Drobles meant the Palestinian people] while fostering good-neighborly relations." Thus from the start of occupation Israeli policy-makers projected the permanent colonization of the West Bank and, later, Gaza. To single Ariel Sharon out as Israel's exceptional evil - if only he were gone and polite, decent folks like Shimon Peres could guide the nation - is to be oblivious of history. It wasn't under Ariel Sharon that the Drobles Plan was drafted, nor under Sharon that Kiryat Arba was established in 1968, but under Labor. Permanent settlement, retention and expansion of the settlements: this has driven Israeli policy under all every government since 1967. To rule the land into which it has made its incursions Israel from the late 60s has enforced a military legal code completely separate from the laws governing Israel. The army, the military courts and other elements enforce military rule. Under it, for the past 34 years, collective punishment for the alleged acts of individuals has the order of the day - for example, 23-hour-a-day curfews lasting for weeks on end; the bulldozing of homes. During the years I was writing about the situation, stone-throwing and street demonstrations were what most commonly brought collective punishment. Suicide bombing is a post-Oslo phenomenon triggered by the doubling of settlement population after the accords were signed and by the dawning realization that Oslo consolidated a South African-style plan for permanent Bantustanization of the West Bank. On all my stays in the West Bank I witnessed the daily humiliation of Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints; the casual landscape and social scenery of apartheid (the most obvious and continual manifestations were the checkpoints with differing treatment of Palestinians on the one hand; Israeli Jews and internationals on the other, and the different color of license plates - blue for Palestinians, yellow for Israelis). I interviewed villagers whose homes had been blown up and/or bulldozed by Israeli soldiers. I heard accounts by men and women jailed, abused, and tortured in Israel's prisons (the practice is an established fact acknowledged by Israel 's B'tselem and foreign human rights organizations and is ongoing as I write: THE FINANCIAL TIMES April 6 reported, "The Israeli human rights organization B'tselem yesterday petitioned the High Court after receiving reports of torture at the Ofer detention center near Ramallah.") About all of the foregoing the Hebrew press was quite open while the US press was almost invariably silent. We now arrive at the current nightmare. As I write, collective punishment is ratcheted up a thousand fold in full-blown war atrocities committed throughout the West Bank. Israel's war machine has moved into the northern West Bank as well as in Gaza, from which I received an American relief worker's e-mail this morning. For the past week my computer has delivered to me daily - even hourly - desperate e-mails begging for help from international human rights organizations. They plead with me and others in my list serves to call our congress people and senators, protest to the press. One writer, a university researcher by profession, describes looting by Israeli soldiers invading his home: "I had a little money (about 800 NIS) in the upper drawer of my desk which I got from the bank on Thursday when an invasion was expected . . . I found [the drawer] broken and the money gone." Another passage, from a different letter, reads: "Their 'visits' to our houses are no different from [visits by] gangsters. They went to . . . my very close neighbors' houses, they start by asking all of them to stay in one room with their faces against the wall, then they enter all rooms . . . go to the kitchen, collected all the food . . . and start eating it . . . the rest of the food they take . . . with them, they also take jewels, money and electronic equipment . . . Two of my neighbors have heart problems. The first thing they did when they knew about their sickness was to go and get their medicine and destroy it in front of their eyes." In London's THE INDEPENDENT Robert Fisk confirms, "The Israeli army . . . is proving once more - as it did in Lebanon - that it is not the 'elite' force it's cracked up to be. It is impossible to dismiss the widespread reports of looting from homes in Ramallah (not least because that is exactlywhat Israeli soldiers used to do in southern Lebanon in 1983); and that brave Israeli academic, Avi Schlaim, has himself charged Israel with extra-judicial killings in Ramallah." Other e-mails describe ambulances shot at and stopped from arriving at their destinations; hospitals invaded and medical personnel prevented at gunpoint from carrying out their responsibilities; people bleeding to death while soldiers block, at gunpoint and in tanks, their safe passage to medical relief; corpses rotting in hospital corridors (numerous e-mails warn of the threat of imminent epidemics); relatives forbidden to carry out decent burials (one group of the slain had to be buried in a Ramallah parking lot); civilians shot if they venture out their doors; massive looting and vandalizing of homes; cultural institutions invaded and files destroyed; electrical systems for water pumps destroyed so that whole urban areas have their water supplies cut off; internationals and Palestinian press members wounded by Israeli gun-fire. As I write this on April 6, the most urgent e-mail of today is entitled, "Deliberately Created Humanitarian Crisis Reaches Intolerable Point April 6th, 2001, 11AM," and describes six Nablus field hospitals with scores of people in serious-to-critical condition, doctors forced to operate with minimal equipment. In one such improvised center, corpses rot in the operating room while Israeli snipers fire on anyone trying to enter or leave. In Jenin 50 houses are reported seriously damaged by Apache helicopter fire, 20 people injured and bleeding in the street. There is much, much more. Like Nero, President Bush has fiddled while Rome burns and has issued too little too late. What is needed is an immediate order for withdrawal and a threat of economic sanction (this is what President Eisenhower did in the Suez Crisis of 1956, resolving it immediately.) What is needed is for Colin Powell to be on the ground now, not a week from now or this coming Sunday. Sharon, the Milosevic twin ordering these atrocities, is the self-same war criminal who commanded the infamous Unit 101 which killed 99 defenseless civilians at Kibyeh in October, 1953; who in August, 1977 ordered the destruction of 2000 Gaza homes and expulsion from them of 16,000 civilians during an Israeli "pacification" onslaught in the strip; who oversaw the IDF while it enabled the Phalangist massacre of over a thousand Palestinian civilians in the Beirut refugee camps Sabra and Shatila in 1982; who triggered the second intifada when, with an escort of 1000 soldiers, he "visited" Al Aksa mosque in September, 2000 - a visit followed next day by the IDF's shooting of Palestinian demonstrators at the mosque. I am old enough to remember a childhood just after World War II. I am filled with a mix of grief, helplessness, despair and anger as Israel, pretending to act in my name and using the Nazi holocaust against the Jews to exonerate its crimes, proceeds with a clear effort to obliterate the economy, the social, political and cultural institutions, and the entire infrastructure of the Palestinian people. Those who do not speak out against the abominations these horrors are complicit by their silence. Those who exonerate or apologize for Israel as it commits them are guilty by association. Ellen Cantarow, Medford, MA 02155 (address for identification purposes only.) --------------- He has won two elections, and he has made a start on relieving poverty. So now the US wants to get rid of Venezuela's president Almost 30 years after the violent destruction of the reformist government of Salvador Allende in Chile, a repeat performance is being planned in Venezuela. Little of this has been reported in Britain. Indeed, little is known of the achievements of the government of Hugo Chavez, who won presidential elections in 1998 and again in 2000 by the largest majority in 40 years. Following the principles of a movement called BolIvarism, named after the South American independence hero Simon BolIvar, Chavez has implemented reforms that have begun to shift the great wealth of Venezuela, principally from its oil, towards the 80 per cent of his people who live in poverty. In 49 laws adopted by the Venezuelan Congress last November, Chavez began serious land reform, and guaranteed indigenous and women's rights and free healthcare and education up to university level. Chavez faces enemies that Allende would recognise. The "oligarchies", which held power since the 1950s during the corrupt bipartisan reign of the Social Christians and Democratic Action, have declared war on the reforming president, backed by the Catholic Church and a trade union hierarchy and the media, both controlled by the right. What has enraged them is a modest agrarian reform that allows the state to expropriate and redistribute idle land; and a law that limits the exploitation of oil reserves, reinforcing a constitutional ban on the privatisation of the state oil company. Allied with Chavez's domestic enemies is the Bush administration. Defying Washington, Chavez has sold oil to Cuba and refused overflying rights to American military aircraft supplying "Plan Colombia", the US campaign in support of the murderous regime in neighbouring Colombia. Worse, although he condemned the attacks of 11 September, he questioned the right of the United States to "fight terrorism with terrorism". For this, he is unforgiven. On 5-7 November, the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Agency held a two-day meeting to discuss "the problem of Venezuela". The State Department has since accused the Chavez government of "supporting terrorism" in Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador. In fact, Venezuela opposes American-funded terrorism in those three countries. The US says it will "put Venezuela in diplomatic isolation"; Colin Powell has warned Chavez to correct "his understanding of what a democracy is all about". Familiar events are unfolding. The International Monetary Fund has indicated it supports a "transitional government" for Venezuela. The Caracas daily El Nacional says the IMF is willing to bankroll those who remove Chavez from office. James Petras, a professor at New York State University, who was in Chile in the early 1970s and has studied the subversion of the Allende government, says that "the IMF and financial institutions are fabricating a familiar crisis. The tactics used are very similar to those used in Chile. Civilians are used to create a feeling of chaos, and a false picture of Chavez as a dictator is established, then the military is incited to make a coup for the sake of the country." A former paratrooper, Chavez apparently still has the army behind him (as Allende did, until the CIA murdered his loyal military chief, opening the way to Pinochet). However, several senior officers have denounced Chavez as a "tyrant" and have called for his resignation. It is difficult to assess this; in its rumour-mongering, the hostile Caracas press plays a role reminiscent of Chile's right-wing press, with poisonous stories questioning Chavez's sanity. The most worrying threat comes from a reactionary trade union hierarchy, the Confederation of Venezuelan Workers (CTV), led by Carlos Ortega, a hack of the anti-Chavez Democratic Action Party. The CTV maintains a black list of "disloyal" and "disruptive" members, which it supplies to employers. According to Dick Nichols, writing from Caracas, Chavez's most serious mistake has been his failure to move against the union old guard, following a national referendum in which a majority gave him a mandate to reform the CTV. The crime of Hugo Chavez is that he has set out to keep his electoral promises, redistributing the wealth of his country and subordinating the principle of private property to that of the common good. Having underestimated the power of his enemies, his current counter-offensive is imaginative but also hints of desperation. He has set up what are called "BolIvarian circles", of which 8,000 are being established in communities and workplaces across the country. Based on the revolutionary heritage of Simon BolIvar's triumph in the war against Spain, their job is to "raise the consciousness of citizens and develop all forms of participatory organisations in the community, releasing projects in health, education, culture, sport, public services, housing and the preservation of the environment, natural resources and our historical heritage". Allied to this is a popular command "unifying and strengthening the forces in support of President Chavez". These are fighting words that echo through the continent's history of epic struggles. They say that yet another South American country, in offering its people an alternative to poverty and foreign domination, the "threat of a good example", is entering a period of great uncertainty and fear. The achievements in Venezuela are a clear response to those who say that radical dreams and change are no longer possible. Chavez should be supported by all democrats. Chile must not happen again. http://www.johnpilger.com ------------------ 171070 Sam Bahour Given the cynical political manipulation of the current situtation, a reprint of an article that first appeared on the Israel indymedia site about five months ago Are Palestinians Human? by Sam & Leila Bahour "There are many pointless deaths but never a needless suicide". As Israeli warplanes pounded Palestinian cities, Israel's media spin- doctor, Benjamin Netanyahu, was being interviewed on the Fox News Channel where he likened Arafat to Osama bin Laden and accused him of having "suicide kindergarten camps for kids to prepare the next generation of suicide bombers" (Dec. 3, 2001). It is exactly this type of hogwash that leads to innocent Palestinian and Israeli lives being lost to desperation. Mr. Netanyahu should be incarcerated for inciting ethnic violence and hatred. Regarding the Palestinian children living in the Occupied Territories, if there is any hatred toward Israelis brewing in their eyes, it is not being taught to them by any parent, school, church or mosque. These feelings, if exist, come out of the incidents that occur daily in their lives (Israeli F-16 planes circling above their homes and dropping missiles which kill a parent, uncle, aunt, cousin, or school mate, their schools being closed, their inability to play in their yards, etc.). What Israel has been and continues to create is a generation of Palestinian children suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a direct result of the Israeli occupation. Unfortunately, the world has turned a blind eye to the atrocities conducted by Israel and somehow has turned the Palestinian child into an aggressor only worthy of death. Listening to the mini-army of Israeli media spin personalities, one is led to ask if Palestinians are really human. For 15 months now, Israel's well-defined whirlwind media effort has been preciously focused on promoting its insidious campaign to dehumanize the Palestinian people. Assuming Palestinians are no different than any other people (they have two arms, two legs and all major organs), we then should take a step back from the nightly news and media spin and understand why any Palestinian would commit suicide, let alone take innocent Israeli lives with his own. Since Palestinians are human, the sciences apply to them just as it does to the rest of humanity. Edwin Shneidman, a clinical psychologist who is a leading authority on suicide, and who is sometimes called the Father of modern Suicidology, has described the ten characteristics of suicide in his book "Definition of Suicide" (1985). 1. The common stimulus in suicide is "unendurable psychological pain". 2. The common stress in suicide is "frustrated psychological needs". 3. The common purpose of suicide is "to seek a solution". 4. The common goal of suicide is "cessation of consciousness". 5. The common emotion in suicide is "hopelessness- helplessness". 6. The common internal attitude toward suicide is "ambivalence". 7. The common cognitive state in suicide is "constriction". 8. The common interpersonal act in suicide is "communication of intention". 9. The common action in suicide is "egression" (a way out). 10. The common consistency in suicide is with "life-long coping patterns". If these are the findings of science, then why is it that the investigative reporters of the world do not enter the lives of these bombers to see if they fit the profile of a suicidal person? Why the immediate acceptance of the Israeli spin machine that Palestinians, in some twisted logic, take happiness in killing themselves and others. Worse yet, why do some try to understand the bombings in terms of being part of some orchestrated media campaign that can be turned on or off at will? As we look at the research on suicide and try to understand the mind of the suicidal individual, the picture should become clearer as to how these characteristics apply to a Palestinian suicide attacker. Dr. Shneidman states in his article "At The Point Of No Return" in Psychology Today (1987, p.56), "Suicide, I have learned is not a bizarre and incomprehensible act of self destruction. Rather, suicidal people use a particular logic, style of thinking that brings them to the conclusion that death is the only solution to their problems. This style can be readily seen, and there are steps we can take to stop suicide, if we know where to look". Although this research applies to suicidal individuals and not necessarily suicide bombers which take additional innocent lives with their act, through studying the ten characteristics of the suicidal individual, it certainly seems they apply even more so to the suicidal bomber. These individuals seek to escape overwhelming emotional pain. Shneidman terms this "metapain" (hurt and pain on top of hurt and pain). So, from where does this hurt and pain come? If only the answer were as simple as the question. Living under Israeli occupation for years with basic human rights stripped away and collective punishment the norm would be the best one sentence answer that could be offered at this time. Another quote that seems to apply from Shneidman (1985) is, "There are many pointless deaths but never a needless suicide". Every suicide seems logical to the individual who commits it. In a suicidal individual's mind, suicide is the only way out of an unbearable situation. A person can only cry so long with nobody listening before his options become constricted and suicide seems to him the only answer. In working with the "typical" suicidal individual, the first step is listening and trying to understand the pain, frustration and hopelessness/helplessness that he is feeling. "Hopelessness" and "helplessness" exactly describe the feelings of the Palestinian people living under occupation. It seems nobody wants to hear the reality of the situation but at the same time everyone seems so willing to label and then be in astonishment when one of these horrendous acts is committed. It is past time to look at the reality and begin to provide other viable options to the Palestinian people. A simple start to begin with would be giving them their dignity and right to existence without occupation. Suicide bombers are never ever justified in their actions but those who want to try to understand may understand their motivation. To reach a logical conclusion of why these horrific events take place, one must scratch below the surface that the sustained Israeli occupation has made thicker and thicker with every passing year since 1967. Further complicating matters, Israel has been successful in allowing the passive observer to the conflict equate the actions and mindset of the occupied with those of the occupier. This equality is unfair, illogical and unscientific. We must separate between those who carry out deplorable suicide attacks, those innocent victims of the attacks and those that politically plan, fund, and recruit for the attacks. The overwhelming majority of those who carry out the attacks are no more than normal young men, either born into Israeli occupation or still imprisoned by many years of it. They are victims of Israeli policies of dehumanization and continued military occupation. They lack any means of military resistance while facing a world-class military machine. As one of my readers of a past article stated, "[If only the media would cover] who they were, what their lives were like, who and what were left behind -- it would be a whole different story about public perception of the problem in Israel and Occupied Territories." The innocent Israeli lives, especially those of the children, which such attacks so abruptly end, are only to be mourned by Israelis and Palestinians alike. Their memories should serve as an eternal burden to all sides that without an end to the occupation there are no winners or losers, only more mourners on both sides. As for those political entities that breed in the desperation that occupation has created, they take innocent Israeli lives by exploiting Palestinians in despair while simultaneously stripping their own people of any political agenda, or even legitimate armed resistance agenda, for ending occupation. They thrive on disruption and chaos with a clear political goal of complicating any chance for a negotiated solution. These entities perfectly fit Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's strategy of ending the potential for a negotiated peace. Sharon continues to give them, non-stop, since his election to office, ripe grounds to operate from--economic despair, closures, assassinations, etc. Those that facilitate such attacks could not have asked for a better Israeli leader, one that has given them a never ending seven day grace period to kill more Israelis. The US has joined the Israeli media chorus in demanding Arafat to do more to stop the suicide bombings. Arafat only wishes he had the power to stop the suicide attacks. He does not, for he cannot end occupation. Israel, and only Israel, can stop the suicide attacks by giving back Palestinians their freedom, dignity and a reason to live by ending 34 years of their brutal military occupation and 54 years of suffering. To the person who thinks in absolute terms, this may seem like Israel would be giving in to a suicide bomber. On the contrary, to the rational, intelligent human being who knows that the world does not operate on historical or religious slogans, but rather "reality", this would be looking at the underlying problem rather than adopting a simplistic "Band-Aid" approach defined by Israel. If Israel refuses to accept its historic responsibility to end its terrorizing of the Palestinians, then, sadly, it should not question why science applies to the Palestinian people. As Palestinians and Israelis continue to bury and weep for their innocent victims, Palestinians and Israelis alike, the world would be well advised to remove its head from the sand. December 5, 2001 www.awitness.org/ ====== ===== Just wondering... (english) Bingo 1:50pm Sat Apr 13 '02 bingo142C@hushmail.com comment#171079 ====== Are you a human? I'm not sure why I doubt it! ==== Beautiful (english) publius redux 1:52pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171082 Beautifully well put. If only commentaries such as this one would be allowed to reach the mainstream news sources, then the Israel-Palestine conflict would not be so distorted in the public's mind. But, alas the reason we need this sort of independent media is simply because this stuff isn't allowed in the mainstream news. ========= You are right! (english) Bingo 2:25pm Sat Apr 13 '02 bingo142C@hushmail.com comment#171101 Beautifully well put! ======= Root of the Problem (english) The Cynic 2:29pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171104 Congratulations, you have reached the root of the problem. In the Middle East conflict, as in any ethnic conflict, it all comes down to the adversaries believing that their opponents are less than human. ========= monkey ass balestiniacs (english) MDJ 2:33pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171108 balestiniac = ballistic palestinian maniac that big radioactive negro cock in mecca has gotta go, we're gonna nuke it TOP 10- BEST USES FOR THE QURAN (1) Toilet Paper for your ass. (I bet you already knew that:-) (2) Line the bottom of your Bird Cage with it. (3) Put it on the floor when you leave the house, just in case your dog has to take a shit. (4) Stuff it in the stinking, crab infested cunt of your Muslimah maid, when she is menstruating. (5) Use it as heating fuel, by shoving it in your fireplace or furnace. (6) Use it to wipe the cum off the leg of your Muslimah maid, after she gets her daily fucking from the dog. (7) Soak the Quran in some gas and set a Muslim Imam on fire, just for laughs. Do this every day during Ramadan. (8) Go to your local Masjid, AKA Mosque, and take a LONG HOT PISS all over the fucking floor! When the Imam asks you what you are doing, beat the fuck out of him with the Quran. (9) Hollow out a copy of the Quran, take a shit into it, put it in a box, and mail it to your local mosque. Write "Present for the Imam" on the package. (10) Kidnap Arafat, pull his pants off, bend him over, and then stuff a kerosene soaked, rolled up Quran up his asshole! Anybody got a match? ======== Solution to Balestiniac Problem (english) MDJ 2:40pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171112 Yes it's a real tragedy, what's happening in the middle east, so let's be helpful and come up with some solutions to help these lost people find their way. Here's a couple: 1) Create a Alibaba Space Agency - launches the Palestinian human garbage into Deepest Inner Arabia. Can also be used to send loads of sewage from the settlements to Mecca to give blessings to the pedophile Muhammad. 2) All Balestiniacs should be forced to go the ocean closest to them and make a home in such an ocean. If in the process they die, too bad. ======= Read The Article Before Posting A Comment (english) publius redux 2:45pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171117 Cynic, i don't think you actually read the article. The point that was made, was that the press labels the Palestines as inhuman and therefore finds an excuss not to actually investigate what would lead someone to commit an act such as a suicide bombing. The author is saying the Palestines are human, just as the Israel's are, and that this issue cannot be washing aside as the media has tried by simply labeling one group as lacking any sensible thought process. I hope you read the whole article not just the title next time before commenting for or against it. ======= I did not read the article! (english) Bingo 2:57pm Sat Apr 13 '02 bingo142C@hushmail.com comment#171127 It was too long. Sorry, keep the shit short! ======== mdj's monkey ass (english) kat 3:07pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171135 mdj you are fucking waste of space the only good use for a nuck is to stick it up your ass ======== right on the dot (english) mongol 4:33pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171174 you hit it right on the spot. everything is conditions. instead of just simply labeling these people evil we must figure out why people would do this. Fuck the mainstream media for failing to show opinions like these. This is essentially an equation. Under these conditions a certain number of people will become like this. ======= Most important reason for Suicide (english) Wilber 4:52pm Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#171185 There is one reason for suicide that we seem to have forgotten in this article. Namely, to these bombers, this isn't suicide at all. It's just an act that moves them toward their greater glory. They aren't doing this out of depression or hopelessness, but HOPEFULNESS! This is are sure, one way ticket to Allah. You distort what happens in TRUE suicide by including these brainwashed victims of others. ------------------------- 171259 Israelis and Palestinians are genetically identical 5th and last comment: Ruemynations piet 1:27am Sun Apr 14 '02 comment#171448 After seeing 5.000 arabs file past me (posted a brief account 12 hours ago)I have some afterthoughts: The 'regreen the middle east' phrase was my invention and I did not manage to infect anybody though the arabs proved very pleased a white man would shout hisself hoarse with them. Wat I did hear was: 'bush sharon terrorist!!!' and 'sharon murderer' out of very angry mouths. Philosophy section: If half of all of humanity are women and women have .. lessay a choice (mix) of THE semitic traits (the courage and the cowardice of conviction, not to mention emotion) than there are simply to many rank n hyrarchy obsessed semitic mechanisms (in a loose sense) on the loose in the world and the foke I heard yesterday are the more realistic when turning conceptual tables: "Bush and Sharon are number one and two terrorists", .. but . . aren't they a hypoverdrive Arab leading the spread of traumatising machismo to the furthest corners of the world? I mean they themselves seem to declare them their invincible superiors simply demanding sacrifices their positions call for and archaically 'merit' and one hears a whole lot fewer alternatives than the tired old 72 virgin stories. Anti-semitism has been pretty selective cause the penstroke mindmolding violence one f(r)action perpetrated was reserved to a tiny elite of the rest who invariably betrayed their constituency (or what would have to be called that in case a pretense of democracy was made; not an arab world strong point). Meanwhile violence leads nowhere but desolation, emphasis and insistence are things arabs excel in but despite the green band in the Palestinian flag I don't know a single Arab ecologist. ----- Dutch conclusion: Met geweld kom je nergens en kun je nergens blijven, het gaat nergens over maar wel over ergens, over het verergeren ervan. erg = bad erger = irritation ergens = somewhere nergens = nowhere hier en nu = here and now verergeren = worsen vraag = demand vergen = calling for, demanding verenig = united (identical comment posted at 171000 a latuff cartoon with windmills, the armsail of which is made out of palestinian flag) 171191 the return of an old timer awitness.org with his weird combo of Bible text and satellite pics of (the little and/or lacking) greenery in the sahara. --------- 171070 + 14 Sam Bahour on wether Palestinians are human 170915 15- 20.000 foke (officials say 5000) carried banners and sang slogans (Sharon featuring big; one flyer takes the peace sign to a bomb in 4 steps while the word shalom degenates into sharon keeping step). Regreen the middle east (and the near and far as well while we're at it). Ps: no article. deed's all fokes. add your own comments Where, Pease? (english) Anonymous 9:11am Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#170927 And when, while you're at it. Germany (english) Edda 9:54am Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#170944 I dont know, were Piet saw the demos - but here in Germany there where this afternoon thousends on the streets - about 15.000 in Berlin (some threw stones at the british embassy) 7000 in Frankfurt, 3ooo in Stuttgart and about 3000 in Munic. All demonstratet against the israeli army-attac on helples Palestinians and shoutet words like: Its Sharon the murder and the terrorist sorry dummyold me; Amsterdam, today (english) piet 9:56am Sat Apr 13 '02 comment#170946 A nice balance of men and women, some children as well as over the top anger and plenny of diy bannering; the ones equating zionism to nazism were announced to be illegal in a big daily today but carried unmolested. Few white fokes there; a small contingent of 'jews for a different sound' brought up the rear. The speeches suffered from a poor soundsystem. some additions (english) piet 3:04am Sun Apr 14 '02 comment#171475 item 17070 and 17000 have them; officials figures have risen to 10.000 (police) and 30.000 (organizers); of course the hate filled/loving/exuding uneducated rebels, the costly (due to dished and ditched education, parried and evaded discipline) males had their predictable type moments, accounts of which in Dutch via indymedia.nl. I witnessed a dispute between a softspoken, subdued and respectful father and his son, a rebellious beau with fancy clothes 'blowing high from the tower' (as the dutch have it) in harsh tones. I always deplored the lack of such opportunity but a similar bias found its way into the words instead of the censored tone. Conclusion: Pride, porn, pomp, pump, appearance and apparanthood are the worst classifiers ---------- ----------     ------------------ Amazonia: Shamanism vs. Capitalism: The Politics of Ayahuasca by Martin A. Lee Author's Links Wander long enough through the bustling passageways of any crowded village marketplace in the Northwest Amazon and you'll come upon herbalist stands with dried plants, hanging animal parts, and lots of bottled medicines. Among the local offerings you'll inevitably find ayahuasca, a fearsome, foul-tasting, jungle brew sold by the liter. Pronounced "ah-yah-waska," the word is from the Quechua language; it means "vine of the soul," "vine of the dead," or "the vision vine." Known by various names among 72 native ayahuasca-ingesting cultures in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, this legendary, industrial-strength hallucinogen is used by curanderos, or witch doctors, to heal the sick and communicate with spirits. Many rainforest shamans simply refer to ayahuasca as el remedio, "the remedy." Revered by indigenous people as a sacred medicine, a master cure for all diseases, it is without a doubt the most celebrated hallucinogenic plant concoction of the Amazon. "Plant teachers" Long ago, South American Indian medicine men and medicine women became adept at manipulating an array of ingredients that were mixed and boiled into ayahuasca or yage, as it is often called. An elaborate set of rituals governed every step of the process, from gathering leaves, roots, and bark to cooking and administering the intoxicant. Ayahuasca is unique in that its powerful psychopharmacological effect is dependent on a synergistic combination of active alkaloids from at least two plants: the banisteriopsis caapi vine containing the crucial harmala alkaloids, along with the leafy plant psychotria virdis or some other hallucinogenic admixture that contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT) alkaloids. Most curious is the fact that when taken orally, DMT is metabolized and deactivated by a particular gastric enzyme. But certain chemicals in the yage vine counter the action of this stomach enzyme, thereby allowing the DMT to circulate through the bloodstream and into the brain, where it triggers intense visions and supernatural experiences. Contemporary researchers marvel at what chemist J.C. Callaway describes as "one of the most sophisticated drug delivery systems in existence." Just how the Amazon Indians managed to figure out this amazing bit of synergistic alchemy is one of the many mysteries of yage. The ayahuasqueros, the native healers who use yage, will tell you that their knowledge comes directly from "the plant teachers" themselves. Hallucinogenic botanicals are viewed as the embodiments of intelligent beings who only become visible in special states of consciousness and who function as spirit guides and sources of healing power and knowledge. According to indigenous folklore, ayahuasca is the fount of all understanding, the ultimate medium that reveals the mythological origins of life. To drink yage, anthropologist Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff once wrote, is to return to the cosmic uterus, the primordial womb of existence, "where the individual 'sees' the tribal divinities, the creation of the universe and humanity, the first couple, the creation of the animals, and the establishment of the social order." The great cleansing Ayahuasca was never used casually or for recreational purposes in traditional societies. Only a ritually clean person who maintained a strict dietary regimen (low on spices, sugars and animal fat) for several weeks or months was deemed ready to partake of the experience. Shamanic initiation rites entailed a lengthy period of preparation, which included social isolation and sexual abstinence, before novices got to ingest yage with the curandero. A connoisseur of the chemically-induced trance-state, the curandero provides guidance to those who wish to embark upon a "vision-quest." But rainforest shamans typically "resist the heroic mold into which current Western image-making would pour them, " says anthropologist Michael Taussig. Instead, they often exude a bawdy vitality and a funny, unpretentious, down-to-earth manner. More of a trickster than a guru or saint, the curandero is unquestionably the master of ceremonies, the key figure in the ayahuasca drama. After nightfall, the bitter brew is passed around a circle from mouth to mouth, and the shaman starts to sing about the visions they will see. Listening to his chant, the novices feel some numbness on their lips and warmth in their guts. A vertiginous surge of energy envelops them. And then all hell breaks loose: wretching, vomiting, diarrhea Í an unstoppable, high colonic that penetrates the innards, sweeping through the intestinal coils like liquid draino of the soul, cleansing the body of parasites, emotional blockages, long-held resentments. It is for good reason that Amazonian natives refer to as la purga when speaking of yage. "One cannot help be impressed by the remarkable health-enhancing effects attributed to the purging action of the vine," writes Sonoma-based psychologist Ralph Metzner, editor of Ayahuasca, an anthology of scholarly and first-person accounts of the yage experience. Metzner notes that there have been anecdotal reports of the complete remission of some cancers after one or two ayahuasca sessions. The rejuvenating impact of la purga would help to explain the exceptional health of the ayahuasqueros, even those of advanced ages. "Space time travel" After the unavoidable episode of purging, the senses liven up and the initiate experiences a kind of "magnetic release from the world," as Wade Davis put it, followed by an onslaught of spectacular visions, a swirling pandemonium of kaleidoscopic imagery that changes faster than the speed of thought. While under the influence of ayahuasca, it is not uncommon for people to feel as though they have been lifted out of their bodies and catapulted into a strange, aerial excursion. During this voyage to far-off realms, they see gorgeous vistas and enchanted landscapes that suddenly give way to harrowing encounters with fierce jaguars, huge iridescent snakes, and other predatory beasts intent on devouring the novice. William Burroughs described the sensation of long-distance flying when he took ayahuasca during an expedition to South America in 1953. "Yage is space time travel," he wrote in a letter to Allen Ginsberg. "The blood and substance of many races, Negro, Polynesian, Mountain Mongol, Desert Nomad, Ployglot Near East, Indian -- new races as yet unconceived and unborn, combinations not yet realized pass through your body. Migrations, incredible journeys through deserts and jungles and mountains. . . A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum." It is not known why the visions provoked by ayahuasca often involve Amazon jungle animals, even when people from other continents swallow the acrid tonic. Stories of anacondas the length of rivers and electric eels that light up the night sky are classical elements of the yage experience. Heinz Kusel, a trader living among the Chama natives of northeastern Peru in late 1940s, recounted how an Indian once told him that whenever he drank ayahuasca, he had such beautiful visions that he "put his hands over his eyes for fear that someone might steal them." Drug wars in the New World Indeed, there was a time when people did try to steal the visions. Ever since the European invaders came to the New World more than 500 years ago, they scorned and demonized ayahuasca and other hallucinogenic substances that were employed by native peoples in their healing rituals. Western knowledge of yage ceremonies was first recorded in the 17th century by Jesuit missionaries who condemned the use of "diabolical potions" prepared from jungle vines. The ruthless attempt to eradicate such practices among the colonized inhabitants of the Americas was part of an imperialist effort to impose a new social order that stigmatized the ayahuasca experience as a form of devil-worship or possession by evil spirits. But the ingestion of yage for religious and medicinal purposes continued, despite the genocidal campaigns of the conquistadors. It wasn't until the 1930s that Richard Evans Schultes, director of Harvard University's Botanical Museum, provided a scientific analysis of the complex ethnobotany of yage and many other psychoactive plants in the Amazon region. By this time, the shamanic use of ayahuasca had spread from remote jungle areas to South American urban centers, where mestizo curanderos added a Christian gloss to archaic Indian ceremonies. Several Brazilian churches started to administer ayahuasca as a sacrament in a syncretic fusion of Catholicism and shamanism. The two largest of these church movements Í- Santo Daime and Uniao de Vegetal Í utilized yage in their religious services without interference by the Brazilian government until the mid-1980s, when U.S. officials pressured Brazil's Federal Council on Narcotics to put the banisteriopsis caapi vine on a list of controlled substances. The ayahuasca churches protested and a government committee was appointed to investigate the matter. After examining the churches' use of yage and testing it on themselves, the members of this committee recommended that the ban on ayahuasca be lifted. The Brazilian government acted upon this recommendation and legalized the sacramental use of yage in 1987, much to the dismay of the U.S. embassy. Resurgent shamanism The revival of shamanic rituals found a fertile ground particularly in areas where wealthy plantation owners and multinational corporations displaced peasants from the land. For these poor and desperate people, ayahuasca was a gift that helped them cope with the expansion of the market economy into the frontier. As their subsistence society unraveled, so, too, did their sense of sanity and well-being. Consequently, a growing number of mentally-ill individuals and uprooted wage-laborers sought out curanderos, who were forced into a new role. In addition to curing the sick and communicating with the spirit world, many witch doctors began using ayahuasca to mediate class conflict. As one Putumayo medicine man told Michael Taussig, "I have been teaching people revolution through my work with plants." The more big business encroached upon native turf, the greater the resurgence of shamanism. And in another ironic twist of globalization, the sacred beverage of the Amazon made its way to Europe and the United States, sending law enforcement into a tizzy. The Santo Daime religion has taken root in Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area, where yage sessions are held in secret. This ayahuasca church also has branches in several other countries, including Great Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Japan. In October 1999, successive police raids targeted Santo Daime members in Amsterdam, Paris, Marseilles, and Germany. The crackdown prompted church representatives throughout Europe to mobilize. They are seeking official recognition of their religion, and they want the sacramental use of ayahuasca to be legalized. Predictably, U.S. narcotics control officials are opposed to ending the prohibition against yage, despite Peruvian medical studies that indicate ayahuasca can be an effective treatment for cocaine addiction. The fact that yage tastes so awful Í- to the point where some people can't even bring themselves to swallow it Í- provides an additional safeguard against those who might use it in a cavalier fashion. Who owns yage? In recent years, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry seems to have developed a rather unhealthy interest in ayahuasca. Loren Miller of the International Plant Medicine Corporation tried to obtain a patent for banisteriopsis caapi, which would have given her exclusive rights to create and sell new varieties for profit. Miller had pulled out a yage plant from the garden of an Ecuadorian family without asking permission, hurried back to the United States with the vine, and then applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Upon learning what had transpired, the Ecuador-based Coordinating Committee of Native Organizations of the Amazon Basin denounced Miller and her company as "enemies of the native peoples" and proclaimed they were unwelcome in indigenous territories. Because of this scandal, the Ecuadorian government refused to sign a bilateral agreement on intellectual property rights with the United States in 1996, which would have made U.S. patent law applicable in Ecuador. Washington countered by threatening Ecuador with economic sanctions. Miller's patent application was eventually rejected by the U.S. government. But if her company manages to produce a synthetic version of yage, then a patent could be granted. Thus far, the U.S. Senate has refused to ratify the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity that recognizes the property rights of native people. More than 100 countries have signed this treaty, including Ecuador. While U.S. corporations seek to plunder the natural treasures of the Amazon, the destruction of the rainforest continues at an accelerated pace. "I feel a great sorrow when trees are burned, when the forest is destroyed," explained Peruvian painter Pablo Cesar Amaringo. "I feel sorrow because I know that human beings are doing something very wrong. When one takes ayahuasca, one can sometimes hear how the trees cry when they are going to be cut down. They know beforehand, and they cry. And the spirits have to go to other places, because their physical part, their house, is destroyed." --------------------------- Magic of the State? by Michael Taussig George Bush comes to NYC today. Will he wear a mask? I see people clapping the police, the firemen, and the construction workers along the West Side Highway down at Christopher Street and outside St. Vincent's Hospital. They have American flags and crudely lettered cardboard signs saying "We Love You," and "The Bravest." There is a feeling of carnival in the air and the cars honk back. Foucault is famous for his idea of bio-power, that the modern state is dedicated not to punishment or violence but to life, that it practices a sort of manipulative altruism. Don't think of the hangman. Think of the fireman. An older wisdom than Foucault's has long maintained that war is the health of the state. A professor of history on NPR says he is encouraged that this will put an end to criticism of the police in NYC. Dawn of a new era. Down below 14th Street the smell can be acrid and your eyes may itch but the grocers have their flowers for sale and people sit in bars and restaurants and seem relaxed and happy while people stick "missing" foto-portraits to the walls and the WTC smolders. Anti-monument indeed. "Pancaked," they say. Today's NYT has a letter urging a memorial monument--the empty space where stood the WTC. The President urges us to pray. He is absorbing the enormous power of the dead whose spirits are otherwise uncontainable. He says this is the first war of the 21st century. Fighting terrorism will be the focus of his administration. "We will lead the world to victory," he says. The world! The flag is everywhere but nobody seems to have much of a handle on how to ritualize the event. Grieving is massively complicated by the hate and sinking fear that reactionary political agendas are in the ascendant. It is staggering to hear sane people talking of killing innocent people in massive amounts in the Middle East as revenge--"to stop terrorism." A strange sense of "imagined community" is being forged before our eyes and inside our psyches. What do you do if you don't feel part of it or are repulsed by it? Susan Stanberg talks on NPR of "the weapon of patriotism," in "disrepute the past decades," now bursting forth, and you can hear the choking in her voice. She loves "these simple things' such as a flag and a song. The things "we" learnt in grade school. What really is this "community," you must be asking yourself as a budding anthropologist. Durkheim's social fact, his collective representation, "society" as God. Birth of a nation. Birth of a discipline. On 100th St and Riverside there is in the early evening a wailing coming from inside of the earth. Or so it seems. It is a young woman chanting while playing a small organ, rocking back and forth as she chants. It is marvelous. I should have started class the same way on Wednesday. What was I thinking? In front of her by a monument are a few picked flowers and carefully written signs. One consists of two stanzas of Dante's Inferno: Canto 23 from The Inferno, and Canto 23 from Paradise. Another lists America's war dead; I remember Gettysburg, Korea, and Vietnam on the rather short list. Over at Columbia a large brown strip of paper has been laid down in front of Low Library for people to write on. It is full of statements about God and America. There seems not the slightest awareness of how perilous the world has become at this moment, of how a floundering and incompetent President could plunge us into a crazy war that could never be "won" and would curtail civil liberty in the US as well as propel the US further along the policies of hate, division into rich and poor, racism, and destruction of the environment. However, down at Washington they are not scribbling sentimental banalities on strips of brown paper. They are converting those scribbles into another emotional currency. "The American people made a judgment--we are at war," Secretary Colin Powell said Thursday, and this was the theme picked up later that day by President Bush. What sort of war would that be? We already have one War, the War Against Drugs, which eroded civil liberties in a devastating fashion as well as boosting the street price of cocaine and heroin. The Defense Department is confident it will get more than ample funds. Their budget allocation is safe and will receive substantial additional funding; around midnight I hear that up to 50,000 reservists are being called up, something LBJ hesitated to do for Vietnam. A Vietnam Vet calls in to NPR talk radio and says he feels a whole lot more certain about this war than Vietnam. What sort of war would that be? How does a state fight terrorism--fight a handful of people in some sense sustained by world-wide resentment towards the US? "An eye for an eye," says an NPR "senior correspondent" who advocates nuclear attack. While Bush and aides talk of ending states that harbor terrorists. But what is war? A war means armed conflict between states or, as we have come to know full well during the 20th century, guerrilla and counter-guerrilla warfare, and more recently as in Latin America, "low-intensity warfare." Deleuze and Guattari make an equation between terrorism and nomadism, terrorism and the war machine. Fair enough. They say the war machine is external to the state apparatus. Fair enough. Then they complicate this by saying the war machine, in its "externality," is part of the state, like a foreign body or a heterogenous component, reminding me of the poet Gary Snyder many years ago equating the CIA with "primitive" hunters and gatherers. Terrorist attacks do not simply strengthen the stately power of the state, meaning authoritarianism. Terrorist attacks also augment the nomadic war machine character of the state, and that is the nature of the new type of "war" to which we can look forward. Nietzsche saw this as a core feature of the state where he says "Prisons make men hard and cold. The mere sight of judicial procedures prevents the criminal from feeling bad about his act because he sees the same kind of action practiced in the service of justice and given approval, practiced with good conscience: like spying, duping, bribing, setting traps, the whole wily skills of the policeman and prosecutor, as well as the most thorough robbery, violence, slander, imprisonment, torture and murder, carried out without even having emotion as an excuse."1 What is crucial--and difficult to express--in Nietzsche and Deleuze is what I call "the Nervous System" or play on order and disorder; in a word, using your nomadic war machine to create some sanity, invent an ability to grieve that makes sense, and be politically sensitive at the same time--in the face of a state apparatus whose own war machine has been so vastly strengthened by terrorism. Anthropology is implicitly as much a creative enterprise as it is a clinical study of, for example, "the magic of the state." The urge to create an "anti-monument" is testimony to that. George Bush comes to NYC today. Will he wear a mask? Michael Taussig is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. **** 1 Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, edited by Keith Ansell-Pearson, translated by Carol Diethe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1994, p.59 ------------------- Amazonia: Shamanism vs. Capitalism: The Politics of Ayahuasca by Martin A. Lee Author's Links Wander long enough through the bustling passageways of any crowded village marketplace in the Northwest Amazon and you'll come upon herbalist stands with dried plants, hanging animal parts, and lots of bottled medicines. Among the local offerings you'll inevitably find ayahuasca, a fearsome, foul-tasting, jungle brew sold by the liter. Pronounced "ah-yah-waska," the word is from the Quechua language; it means "vine of the soul," "vine of the dead," or "the vision vine." Known by various names among 72 native ayahuasca-ingesting cultures in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, this legendary, industrial-strength hallucinogen is used by curanderos, or witch doctors, to heal the sick and communicate with spirits. Many rainforest shamans simply refer to ayahuasca as el remedio, "the remedy." Revered by indigenous people as a sacred medicine, a master cure for all diseases, it is without a doubt the most celebrated hallucinogenic plant concoction of the Amazon. "Plant teachers" Long ago, South American Indian medicine men and medicine women became adept at manipulating an array of ingredients that were mixed and boiled into ayahuasca or yage, as it is often called. An elaborate set of rituals governed every step of the process, from gathering leaves, roots, and bark to cooking and administering the intoxicant. Ayahuasca is unique in that its powerful psychopharmacological effect is dependent on a synergistic combination of active alkaloids from at least two plants: the banisteriopsis caapi vine containing the crucial harmala alkaloids, along with the leafy plant psychotria virdis or some other hallucinogenic admixture that contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT) alkaloids. Most curious is the fact that when taken orally, DMT is metabolized and deactivated by a particular gastric enzyme. But certain chemicals in the yage vine counter the action of this stomach enzyme, thereby allowing the DMT to circulate through the bloodstream and into the brain, where it triggers intense visions and supernatural experiences. Contemporary researchers marvel at what chemist J.C. Callaway describes as "one of the most sophisticated drug delivery systems in existence." Just how the Amazon Indians managed to figure out this amazing bit of synergistic alchemy is one of the many mysteries of yage. The ayahuasqueros, the native healers who use yage, will tell you that their knowledge comes directly from "the plant teachers" themselves. Hallucinogenic botanicals are viewed as the embodiments of intelligent beings who only become visible in special states of consciousness and who function as spirit guides and sources of healing power and knowledge. According to indigenous folklore, ayahuasca is the fount of all understanding, the ultimate medium that reveals the mythological origins of life. To drink yage, anthropologist Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff once wrote, is to return to the cosmic uterus, the primordial womb of existence, "where the individual 'sees' the tribal divinities, the creation of the universe and humanity, the first couple, the creation of the animals, and the establishment of the social order." The great cleansing Ayahuasca was never used casually or for recreational purposes in traditional societies. Only a ritually clean person who maintained a strict dietary regimen (low on spices, sugars and animal fat) for several weeks or months was deemed ready to partake of the experience. Shamanic initiation rites entailed a lengthy period of preparation, which included social isolation and sexual abstinence, before novices got to ingest yage with the curandero. A connoisseur of the chemically-induced trance-state, the curandero provides guidance to those who wish to embark upon a "vision-quest." But rainforest shamans typically "resist the heroic mold into which current Western image-making would pour them, " says anthropologist Michael Taussig. Instead, they often exude a bawdy vitality and a funny, unpretentious, down-to-earth manner. More of a trickster than a guru or saint, the curandero is unquestionably the master of ceremonies, the key figure in the ayahuasca drama. After nightfall, the bitter brew is passed around a circle from mouth to mouth, and the shaman starts to sing about the visions they will see. Listening to his chant, the novices feel some numbness on their lips and warmth in their guts. A vertiginous surge of energy envelops them. And then all hell breaks loose: wretching, vomiting, diarrhea Í an unstoppable, high colonic that penetrates the innards, sweeping through the intestinal coils like liquid draino of the soul, cleansing the body of parasites, emotional blockages, long-held resentments. It is for good reason that Amazonian natives refer to as la purga when speaking of yage. "One cannot help be impressed by the remarkable health-enhancing effects attributed to the purging action of the vine," writes Sonoma-based psychologist Ralph Metzner, editor of Ayahuasca, an anthology of scholarly and first-person accounts of the yage experience. Metzner notes that there have been anecdotal reports of the complete remission of some cancers after one or two ayahuasca sessions. The rejuvenating impact of la purga would help to explain the exceptional health of the ayahuasqueros, even those of advanced ages. "Space time travel" After the unavoidable episode of purging, the senses liven up and the initiate experiences a kind of "magnetic release from the world," as Wade Davis put it, followed by an onslaught of spectacular visions, a swirling pandemonium of kaleidoscopic imagery that changes faster than the speed of thought. While under the influence of ayahuasca, it is not uncommon for people to feel as though they have been lifted out of their bodies and catapulted into a strange, aerial excursion. During this voyage to far-off realms, they see gorgeous vistas and enchanted landscapes that suddenly give way to harrowing encounters with fierce jaguars, huge iridescent snakes, and other predatory beasts intent on devouring the novice. William Burroughs described the sensation of long-distance flying when he took ayahuasca during an expedition to South America in 1953. "Yage is space time travel," he wrote in a letter to Allen Ginsberg. "The blood and substance of many races, Negro, Polynesian, Mountain Mongol, Desert Nomad, Ployglot Near East, Indian -- new races as yet unconceived and unborn, combinations not yet realized pass through your body. Migrations, incredible journeys through deserts and jungles and mountains. . . A place where the unknown past and the emergent future meet in a vibrating soundless hum." It is not known why the visions provoked by ayahuasca often involve Amazon jungle animals, even when people from other continents swallow the acrid tonic. Stories of anacondas the length of rivers and electric eels that light up the night sky are classical elements of the yage experience. Heinz Kusel, a trader living among the Chama natives of northeastern Peru in late 1940s, recounted how an Indian once told him that whenever he drank ayahuasca, he had such beautiful visions that he "put his hands over his eyes for fear that someone might steal them." Drug wars in the New World Indeed, there was a time when people did try to steal the visions. Ever since the European invaders came to the New World more than 500 years ago, they scorned and demonized ayahuasca and other hallucinogenic substances that were employed by native peoples in their healing rituals. Western knowledge of yage ceremonies was first recorded in the 17th century by Jesuit missionaries who condemned the use of "diabolical potions" prepared from jungle vines. The ruthless attempt to eradicate such practices among the colonized inhabitants of the Americas was part of an imperialist effort to impose a new social order that stigmatized the ayahuasca experience as a form of devil-worship or possession by evil spirits. But the ingestion of yage for religious and medicinal purposes continued, despite the genocidal campaigns of the conquistadors. It wasn't until the 1930s that Richard Evans Schultes, director of Harvard University's Botanical Museum, provided a scientific analysis of the complex ethnobotany of yage and many other psychoactive plants in the Amazon region. By this time, the shamanic use of ayahuasca had spread from remote jungle areas to South American urban centers, where mestizo curanderos added a Christian gloss to archaic Indian ceremonies. Several Brazilian churches started to administer ayahuasca as a sacrament in a syncretic fusion of Catholicism and shamanism. The two largest of these church movements Í- Santo Daime and Uniao de Vegetal Í utilized yage in their religious services without interference by the Brazilian government until the mid-1980s, when U.S. officials pressured Brazil's Federal Council on Narcotics to put the banisteriopsis caapi vine on a list of controlled substances. The ayahuasca churches protested and a government committee was appointed to investigate the matter. After examining the churches' use of yage and testing it on themselves, the members of this committee recommended that the ban on ayahuasca be lifted. The Brazilian government acted upon this recommendation and legalized the sacramental use of yage in 1987, much to the dismay of the U.S. embassy. Resurgent shamanism The revival of shamanic rituals found a fertile ground particularly in areas where wealthy plantation owners and multinational corporations displaced peasants from the land. For these poor and desperate people, ayahuasca was a gift that helped them cope with the expansion of the market economy into the frontier. As their subsistence society unraveled, so, too, did their sense of sanity and well-being. Consequently, a growing number of mentally-ill individuals and uprooted wage-laborers sought out curanderos, who were forced into a new role. In addition to curing the sick and communicating with the spirit world, many witch doctors began using ayahuasca to mediate class conflict. As one Putumayo medicine man told Michael Taussig, "I have been teaching people revolution through my work with plants." The more big business encroached upon native turf, the greater the resurgence of shamanism. And in another ironic twist of globalization, the sacred beverage of the Amazon made its way to Europe and the United States, sending law enforcement into a tizzy. The Santo Daime religion has taken root in Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area, where yage sessions are held in secret. This ayahuasca church also has branches in several other countries, including Great Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Japan. In October 1999, successive police raids targeted Santo Daime members in Amsterdam, Paris, Marseilles, and Germany. The crackdown prompted church representatives throughout Europe to mobilize. They are seeking official recognition of their religion, and they want the sacramental use of ayahuasca to be legalized. Predictably, U.S. narcotics control officials are opposed to ending the prohibition against yage, despite Peruvian medical studies that indicate ayahuasca can be an effective treatment for cocaine addiction. The fact that yage tastes so awful Í- to the point where some people can't even bring themselves to swallow it Í- provides an additional safeguard against those who might use it in a cavalier fashion. Who owns yage? In recent years, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry seems to have developed a rather unhealthy interest in ayahuasca. Loren Miller of the International Plant Medicine Corporation tried to obtain a patent for banisteriopsis caapi, which would have given her exclusive rights to create and sell new varieties for profit. Miller had pulled out a yage plant from the garden of an Ecuadorian family without asking permission, hurried back to the United States with the vine, and then applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Upon learning what had transpired, the Ecuador-based Coordinating Committee of Native Organizations of the Amazon Basin denounced Miller and her company as "enemies of the native peoples" and proclaimed they were unwelcome in indigenous territories. Because of this scandal, the Ecuadorian government refused to sign a bilateral agreement on intellectual property rights with the United States in 1996, which would have made U.S. patent law applicable in Ecuador. Washington countered by threatening Ecuador with economic sanctions. Miller's patent application was eventually rejected by the U.S. government. But if her company manages to produce a synthetic version of yage, then a patent could be granted. Thus far, the U.S. Senate has refused to ratify the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity that recognizes the property rights of native people. More than 100 countries have signed this treaty, including Ecuador. While U.S. corporations seek to plunder the natural treasures of the Amazon, the destruction of the rainforest continues at an accelerated pace. "I feel a great sorrow when trees are burned, when the forest is destroyed," explained Peruvian painter Pablo Cesar Amaringo. "I feel sorrow because I know that human beings are doing something very wrong. When one takes ayahuasca, one can sometimes hear how the trees cry when they are going to be cut down. They know beforehand, and they cry. And the spirits have to go to other places, because their physical part, their house, is destroyed."  ---------------   -----------------  on religions (suns and sons confusion)   by Peter Myers B. A. Hons B. Sc., 21 Blair St., Watson ACT 2602 Australia. Ph -61-6- 2475187. Date 7 Sept. 95; update 27 Oct .99.: via the gunnutty (gonady?; a dutch translation of finnegan's wake hits the stands today but the postcarnation (grandson of) James Joyce has been blocking it, wanted to have the original go along with ((into?!!)) it too) and innovist dpouzzer's architecture of modern political power site Unravelling Western Civilisation What we call "Western Civilisation" was forged during the latter centuries of the Roman Empire. The Polytheism of the empire was a sort of Multiculturalism, in which all religions (gods, temples, value systems) were accepted in an atmosphere of tolerance. However this multiculturalism was challenged by a monotheism which rejected all other religions as evil. A battle was fought between two rival monotheisms, the religion of Mithra the Sun God, which the Roman legions had imported from Persia, and a Jewish one, Christianity. Even the latter, however, was a descendant of a Persian religion, Zoroastrianism, through the influence of the Persian empire (the First and the Second i.e. Parthian) on the Jews of Babylon over many centuries. To defeat Mithraism, Christianity adopted a number of its features, such as depicting Jesus as the Sun, accepting Sun Day as the day of rest, and moving Jesus' birthday from January 6 (still its date in the Eastern Orthodox churches) to the winter solistice De cember 22/25, feastday of Mithra. Christianity won against Mithra and all the other gods, but only at the price of incorporating many of their beliefs and practices into its own cult. The theology of Jesus shows clear influence from that of Osiris (Egypt), while Mary took on many features of the goddesses Isis (Egypt) and Ishtar (Sumeria). Just as Jesus became an emasculated god, lacking in sexulaity, so Mary became an effeminated goddess, also lacking in sexuality - unlike Osiris and Isis. To depict her naked in the act of giving birth - the source of the mystery and power of the old goddesses - would be deemed blasphemous. Even before Christianity developed, Jewish philosophers such as Philo, based at Alexandria, the New York of its day, had sought to fuse the Jewish religion with the best the empire had to offer. Such Jews were called "Hellenisers" by the Orthodox, who used the ascetic-guerilla-warrior Zealot movement as much against the Hellenisers as against Rome. On account of the Hellenisers, however, Judaism had gained many converts, such that, according to some writers, as many as one in 11 of all persons in the Empire were Jews; one in 5 in the Eastern Empire. Many of these people found the Jewish purity laws onerous, so when Christianity later offered a release from them, they switched to it, which at that time was still regarded as a branch of Judaism. When Constantine accepted Christianity, only one in 5 persons in the Empire were Christians, but they were destroying the unity of the empire much as Radical Feminism (which emerged from Marxism-Leninism) is destroying our society today. Constanti ne did not so much become a convert as do a deal: if you can't beat them, join them. The Church took over the Empire, gradually ostracising all other religions, including Judaism which by then had separated completely from Christianity; but the Empire also took over the Church: the first Councils of the Church were called, not by any Pope or Bishop, but by Constantine as Emperor, in 313, 314, 325, 334 and 335, in order to try to resolve the incessant squabbles over dogma (A. H. M. Jones, Constantine and the Conversion of Europe). For the same reason, the canon of New Testament books was declared at Carthage in 397. Constantine's vision - not merely a cross but a cross upon the sun - meant to him that Jesus was a manifestation of the Sun God (Mithra, Sol Invictus), much as in India today many different saints ("gods") are considered avatars i.e. manifestations of God. He did not realise the unyielding exclusiveness of the Church; he did not intend his "conversion" to mean exclusion of ot her religions, but thought that they could co-exist, each as a partial claim to the truth. He continued to issue coins showing his head with the Sun, and the Church blurred the difference between the two religions: having moved the sabbath from Saturday (Saturn's day) to Sunday (the Sun's day), it now moved Christmas to December 25. The monstrance, still used in Catholic and High Anglican Churches, shows golden rays radiating out from the consecrated host in the centre: Jesus as Sun God (Jacquetta Hawkes, Man and the Sun). In its basic ideas (its metaphysics) Western Civilisation developed as a fusion between the Greek and Hebraic culture-streams. This involved an equation of Yahweh with Plato's God. Philo accomplished this fusion as follows: "for God, as apprehending beforehand, as a God must do, that there could not exist a good imitation without a good model, and that of the things perceptible to the external senses nothing could be faultless which was not fashioned with reference to some archetypal idea conceived by the intellect, when he had determined to create this visible world, previously formed that one which is perceptible only by the intellect, in order that so using an incorporeal model formed as far as possible on the image of God, he might then make this corporeal world, a younger likeness of the elder creation, which should embrace as many different genera perceptible to the external senses, as the other world contains of those which are visible only to the intellect" (Philo, On the Creati on [De Opficio Mundi], in The Works of Philo, tr. C.D. Yonge). This sentence, fusing the Greek and Judaic culture-streams, is the basis of Christendom, and through it Western Civilisation. In his paper Bruno Bauer and Early Christianity, Frederick Engels writes, "Bauer studied this question [the origin of Christianity] until his death. His research reached its culminating point in the conclusion that the Alexandrian Jew Philo, who was still living about 40 A.D. but was already very old, was the real father of Christianity, and that the Roman stoic Seneca was, so to speak, its uncle." Into the Genesis account of creation, Philo interposed Ideas between God and the material creation: God first created his blueprint, as Platonic Forms; then, using them, he created material reality. The Platonic God was synthesised with Yahweh, Reason with Revelation, the Bible providing insights into God's Blueprint (Forms) which were often not attainable through Reason. The Aryan Vedic concept, which was also that of the Greek "heroic" age, is of linear time, in one's personal life, but without the whole of human history being seen as a linear, teleological salvation-history culminating in a utopia. The notion of time as cyclic, both on a cosmic scale and through personal reincarnation was accepted into later Aryan thinking, like the god Shiva, as an influence from the subject non-Aryan population of India. From there it spread to the Pythagoreans, whom Plato followed. With Philo's fusion, the Platonic tradition abandoned the concept of time as cyclic, expressed in its acceptance of reincarnation, for the Judaic (originally Zoroastrian) linear concept of time as "salvation history". The Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion says that Philo's contribution to the beginnings of Christian theology led to his being ignored by later Jewish scholars. Augustine continued the synthesis pioneered by Philo. Plato's metaphysical God, the ahistoricist mathematician, fused with the jealous tribal historicist Yahweh; the new synthesis completed the shift in Western culture from Shame-Culture (that of Japan today, as Ruth Benedict identified) to Guilt-Culture, a shift identified in Ancient Greece by E. R. Dodds in his book The Greeks and The Irrational. The "internationalists" are desperately trying to effect such a shift in Japan today, while the New Age in the West is trying to go the other way, to make room once again for the irrational, the primitive and the animist (much to the alarm of R. C. Zaehner in Our Savage God): this partly explains the fascination for Ancient Egypt, where these elements are seen as balanced with the rational, in the 2000-year empire of the Western World, matched only by the Chinese Empire. Alain Danielou in Gods of Love and Ecstasy writes, "Throughout Brahmanism, official Greek or Roman religion, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity or Islam, we always find the same opposition to the survival of the ancient religions of Shivaism, Dionysism, Sufism and mystic sects in general founded on the love of nature and the pursuit of ecstasy. One of the weapons of city religion is moral tyranny, based on dogmas which allow it to discipline man and to oppose his self-realisation. Puritanism is totally unknown in the primitive or natural world" (p. 17). This rationalism was not original in the Semitic peoples (now called Afroasiatic; the Egyptians are included) - even early Judaism had its shamans - but came from the interaction between the invading Indo-European or "Aryan" peoples and those they invaded (the Upanishad movement of India, the Zoroastrian priests of Iran, and the philosophers of Greece); we often fail to realise that these peoples were all part of the one vast invasion around 4000 years ago, and therefore retained much in common. In the synthesis between Greek and Judaic culture, I surmise that the Greek tradition was first separated into its rational and nonrational components, the latter was rejected, and the former combined with the nonrational Judaic tradition to form a new synthesis. This might explain the West's problem, in the humanist/enlightenment project, in trying to remove the Judaic component from the synthesis: we find ourselves with the "rational" Greek side, but with no means for sensible expression of th e nonrational: we tend to be either puritans (rejecting the nonrational) or (being excessively nonrational) mindless hedonists or sado-masochists (the holocaust being one result). Marxism fused two utopias: Plato's Republic and the Jewish millenium. The "scientific socialism" of Plato's Republic would occur in a historicist context, with a struggle between the forces of Good and Evil, a Prophet, a Holy Book, a Church (the Party organisation), and Salvation conceived as Heaven on Earth: this Heaven (Millenium) being implemented by secular intellectuals. The similarities are made explicit by Engels. Even Nazism belongs to the utopian-fundamentalist-millenial stream (see James Rhodes, The Hitler Movement). As James Burnham put it in The Managerial Revolution, ideology is an "indispensable social cement". Yet all the ideologies available to the West, religious or secular, are mired in that tradition, depicting History as a war between Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, with no shades of grey: for Christians and Moslems, between God and the Devil; for Marxists, between bosses and workers; for Radical Feminists, between Men and Women; for Nazis, between Europeans (Arya ns) and the Rest; for Zionists, between Gentiles (the Evil force, forever Persecuting God's people) and Jewry (forever Victim). Prior to the struggle is an initial Paradise; after it, a Return to Paradise; the sense of Victimhood and the prospect of Return motivate the "Good" side in their war. Although Christendom was formed as a fusion between Hebraic and Greek culture streams, only a narrow part of the Greek heritage was retained. The "Enlightenment" or "Humanist" period of the last 500 years has largely been an effort to regain what was lost of the Greek culture-stream, by throwing off the Hebraic strait-jacket. Ironically, the Zionist movement assisted this process, because it rejected that particular sect of Judaism which had led to the formation of the Christian Church. It rejected that particular Hebraism, but after the victory of the Enlightenment it wanted to impose its own brand of Hebraism. It would assist the promotion of atheism, individualism and nihilism, then, after that was seen to have failed, present itself as the Messiah for the world. It penetrated the Enlightenment movement, persuading many intellectuals to identify Bolshevism (and now Radical Feminism) with Plato's Republic: it found a way to use Socrates and Plato against Hellenism. By depicting Jesus as a figure in the mould of Che Guevara, it found a way to use Jesus against Christianity. The Enlightenment, having compromised itself by dallying with Bolshevism and Radical Feminism, each of which emerged from the Hebraic stream of Western culture, the very stream it was seeking to escape from, is now in serious danger of disintegrating. It can only survive if it can separate itself from that stream, without lapsing into Nazism, which is just as bad. The dilemna facing the West is now so serious, that I have suggested that the only solution is a major infusion of East Asian culture, which is largely free of the utopian-fundamentalist-millenian tradition. That tradition did reach China, in the form of Manichaeism, Islam and Marxism, but the strength of East Asia's own traditions enabled it to resist them. (The author's final proposal, that traditional eastern ideology be assimilated, is errant. That tradition is one of death worship. What is needed is Innovism.) from http://www.artnet.net/~acharya/truth/origins.htm: The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ by Acharya S Introduction Around the world over the centuries, much has been written about religion, its meaning, its relevance and contribution to humanity. In the West particularly, sizable tomes have been composed speculating upon the nature and historical background of the main character of Western religions, Jesus Christ. Many have tried to dig into the precious few clues as to Jesus's identity and come up with a biographical sketch that either bolsters faith or reveals a more human side of this godman to which we can all relate. Obviously, considering the time and energy spent on them, the subjects of Christianity and its legendary founder are very important to the Western mind and culture. The Controversy Despite all of this literature continuously being cranked out and the significance of the issue, in the public at large there is a serious lack of formal and broad education regarding religion and mythology, and most individuals are highly uninformed in this area. Concerning the issue of Christianity, for example, the majority of people are taught in most schools and churches that Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure and that the only controversy regarding him is that some people accept him as the Son of God and the Messiah, while others do not. However, whereas this is the raging debate most evident in this field today, it is not the most important. Shocking as it may seem to the general populace, the most enduring and profound controversy in this subject is whether or not a person named Jesus Christ ever really existed. Although this debate may not be evident from publications readily found in popular bookstores1 , when one examines this issue closely, one will find a tremendous volume of literature that demonstrates, logically and intelligently, time and again that Jesus Christ is a mythological character along the same lines as the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Indian or other godmen, who are all presently accepted as myths rather than historical figures2 . Delving deeply into this large body of work, one uncovers evidence that the Jesus character is based upon much older myths and heroes from around the globe. One discovers that this story is not, therefore, a historical representation of a Jewish rebel carpenter who had physical incarnation in the Levant 2,000 years ago. In other words, it has been demonstrated continually for centuries that this character, Jesus Christ, was invented and did not depict a real person who was either the "son of God" or was "evemeristically" made into a superhuman by enthusiastic followers3 . © 1998 Acharya S at yahoo.com ------------------- Bestiality: Animal Liberation or Human License? "Heavy Petting," by Peter Singer, www.Nerve.com, March 12, 2001. Dearest Pet: On Bestiality by Midas Dekkers. 2000. London and New York: Verso. First published 1994. By Karen Davis, PhD In March, Princeton philosophy professor Peter Singer, the author of Animal Liberation (1975, 1990), published a startling book review essay, "Heavy Petting," in the online sex magazine Nerve. Singer's essay was prompted by Dutch writer Midas Dekkers' controversial book Dearest Pet: On Bestiality. Dearest Pet takes us on a journey of human sexual interest in and use of nonhuman animals as documented in art, literature, court records, personal confessions, veterinary files, and popular culture through history up to the present. Dekkers forces us to look at some old things in a new way. He says, for instance, that since the God of the Christians, like Zeus of the Olympians, once descended in the form of a bird to know a woman-the story of Leda and the Swan and the story of the Virgin Mary being visited by the Holy Spirit in the form of a Dove--Christianity "is founded on bestiality" (9). Of the perennial sexual abuse of farmed animals, Dekkers says that girls "have less opportunity than b oys, if only because almost all animals are of their own sex: cows, ewes, sows, chickens, nanny-goats" (137), and that "Since animal abuse has been institutionalized in our society in the food industry, it cannot be difficult for sadism to find satisfaction" (147). Dekkers does not argue that human imposed sex with farmed animals per se is sadism; however, any sex with small animals such as chickens and rabbits, he says, "automatically involves sadism" (146). In addition to sexual abuse of small animals, Dekkers documents severe internal injuries that have been diagnosed in cows and calves as a result of their being raped by men using everything from their own bodies to pitchforks (126). He documents men getting revenge on female farmed animals who refuse their advances, showing another aspect of the link between nonconsensual sex and human violence. He cites a French farmer "who thought that many of his chickens and turkeys were dying in suspicious circumstances" (126). He persuades us that such circumstances may not be uncommon. Even while noting that the sex life of domestic animals is "completely organized by human beings" (178), raising the question of whether the consent of a domestic animal is ever possible under any circumstances, desire notwithstanding, Dekkers says that "as long as none of those involved suffers pain, no form of sex should be seen as pathological, bad or mad" (148). In his essay, Peter Singer is almost as equivocal as Dekkers is, though both seem to agree that whatever may or may not be wrong with it, the central issue in any sexual encounter between humans and other creatures is whether it involves cruelty, meaning coercion and/or infliction of physical pain and bodily harm, regardless of who the perpetrator is. Singer's suggestion that interspecies sex, whether initiated by humans or nonhumans, could conceivably be moral and mutually satisfying, raised a furor among many animal advocates. Some insisted that Singer should be exiled from the modern movement of which he is the "father"; others demanded that he step down as head of The Great Ape Project. While philosophy professor, Tom Regan, of North Carolina State University and the author of The Case for Animal Rights (1983), argued in the Raleigh News & Observer (April 3) that the morality of bodily contact cannot be reduced to issues of pain and pleasure alone, as Singer's utilitarian ethics migh t imply, the two main grievances advanced by animal advocates on the Internet were that Singer in publishing his shameless essay discredits our movement in the eyes of the public, and that nonhuman animals are not in a position to give informed consent either by virtue of other species' presumed inherent intellectual inferiority to humans or by virtue of the built-in constraints of captivity: the limited options, inability to escape, physical coercion, and psychological pressure that captivity imposes on a captive individual. I argued the latter in a letter published in The Village Voice, April 10, p. 6. Not only is it the height of arrogance to reduce the rest of creation to the level of planetary idiocy and human childhood; it's absurd. Adult nonhuman animals, from gorillas to guinea fowl, negotiate complex environments every day. They form adult relationships with their peers. They raise and teach their young. They socialize, provide nurturing, and groom themselves and each other (in birds it's called preening). As functional adults, nonhuman animals perform a multiplicity of cognitive acts, including practical decision-making, that are not exhibited by human children or the mentally impaired. Fair pleading demands that we stop "defending" other animals from ourselves by calling them "dumb." Just as Peter Singer predicted in "Dearest Pet," the primary mainstream objection to bestiality, and to his essay, if the The New Republic and National Review Online are representative, is that sex between humans and nonhumans, regardless of the circumstances in which it occurs including rape, is "an offence to our status and dignity as human beings (5)." For Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online the red flag is any suggestion that "humans ain't nothing special" ("Peter Singer Strikes Again," March 8). She seemed more threatened by the prospect of shared speciality and by Singer's use of four-letter words than by what he had to say about what hens are put through by the egg industry-the institutionalized assault they endure so nonvegetarians can eat their eggs--and about the sexual assaults some hens have been forced to undergo from an animal whose hands are as big as a hen's entire body. Likewise Peter Berkowitz of the The New Republic (March 8) complained that for Singer, it appeare d that "the only consideration we need bear in mind in using animals to satisfy our sexual desire is whether we are causing cruelty," as if to say that cruelty (or at least cruelty to animals, like animals themselves in his view) amounts to little more than a pesky footnote in the ethical account of humanity. Berkowitz seemed far more aggrieved by the idea that other creatures have a dignity that links us to them than by the cruelty we impose on them without a shred of compassion or restraint, which is exactly how hens are treated by the egg industry in the case that Singer cited to show how deeply woven into the fabric of human life human obscenity really is. Most people who "raise" animals and who eat them and the products of their bodies, including their young, do so with no more remorse towards their victims than the acknowledged hen rapist feels towards his victim. This connection makes bestiality a core moral issue. From animal agriculture to zoos, the core of our relationship with the animals we use is our invasion of their sexual privacy and our physical manipulation of their sex, reproductive, and family lives. Historically, animal agriculture has facilitated bestiality, not simply because of the proximity of farmed animals, but because controlling other creatures' bodies invites this extension of a license that has already been taken. Humans engage in oral intercourse with unconsenting nonhuman animals every time they put a piece of an animal's body inside their mouth. Partly as a result of such eating, people over 50 with enough money in Western culture will soon be, if they aren't already, walking around with half their internal o rgans having been taken by force from creatures they think it demeaning of our species to have sex with. Instead of trivializing the case for animal rights or seeking to degrade humans, as some have asserted, Peter Singer's essay on bestiality helps to make the banality of what is truly bad as clear as the fact that parents who know that by feeding their children animal products they are setting them up for preventable health risks and medical bills are practicing child abuse. The taboo that needs to be shattered is not the prohibition against bestiality, but against caring about nonhuman animals in a respectful, nonpatronizing, and unapologetic way, and against starting one's kids off the right way at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, no matter how much this causes people to talk. Related links: 3/15/2001: UPC Letter to National Review Online re:Bestiality 4/4/2001: UPC Letter Re: Laura Vanderkam, Peter Singer's 'Heavy Petting,' 4/4/2001: Village Voice Letters Re: Bestiality United Poultry Concerns. April 22, 2001 another book by him The Way of All Flesh Midas Dekkers Farrar Straus Giroux Non-Fiction ISBN: 0374286825 Midas Dekkers is the Stephen Jay Gould of Holland, a popular biologist and writer who illuminates the messy processes of life with the sheer force of his lively, eminently readable prose. His latest book, THE WAY OF ALL FLESH, puts forth the inevitable fact that where there is life there is death. With evident glee, Dekkers piles on the evidence: the holes in our Swiss cheese are created by bacteria farting gasses into moldering cheese; the skin and hair on which we lavish so much care is already dead; and even the most well-intentioned attempts at historical preservation are misguided and often hasten the processes of decay. There's at least a touch of smugness in Dekkers's rehearsing of the myriad ways in which our food, our bodies, our loved ones, and our world are destined to crumble and return to dust. But it's to a purpose: Western society, according to Dekkers, is obsessed with youth --- with plastic surgery and Viagra, with beauty, novelty, and the notion of continual rebirth. In humbler times, people saw fit to keep memento mori close at hand: Dekkers mentions the 18th century "stairway of life" drawings; one might also mention Shakespeare's obsession with time's fleeting arrows, or Beckett's pithy formulation that man "gives birth astride a grave." But we moderns prefer to look forward rather than backward, up instead of down. Perhaps Dekkers's most hard-hitting observation is that the so-called "gray explosion," the burgeoning populations of the elderly in Western societies, has been foreseeable for at least the past 50 years; but we have been collectively looking the other way and are left totall y unprepared. Ignoring aging and death is not only unrealistic, it neglects what Dekkers sees as the romance of ruins and the semi-tragic beauty of decay. Dekkers makes a case for allowing buildings to fall to pieces naturally, rather than be knocked down, and for art and historical artifacts to be left alone. Pointing out that "where there's death, there's life," he cites the bizarre story of how, when the British Museum was bombed in 1940, silk tree seeds brought from China 150 years earlier spontaneously began to sprout, sparked to life by the hoses of the fire brigade. It seems appropriate that this book was written by a Dutchman; even during their Golden Age, the Dutch weren't able to feel immortal, knowing that their low lands could at any time be reclaimed by the sea. Dekkers possesses the wry wit and lack of pretensions of the best European intellectuals, and the English translation by Sherry Marx-MacDonald is nearly flawless. While it's not exactly an uplifting book, THE WAY OF ALL FLESH is strangely satisfying, offering a palliative to our culture's obsession with the next big thing by reminding us of the fragility of all things. --- Reviewed by Martha Hostetter (c) Copyright 2000, Bookreporter.com. All rights reserved. You shouldn't have any trouble finding reviews of his book at amazon ---------------------