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Getting On : All My Politics

Civil liberties-Fear before Rights

from moon beam - Saturday, April 02, 2005
accessed 1417 times

Quotes with commentry

I put this together pretty fast, due to the fact that a new bill has recently been passed by Tony Blair, where suspected terrorists can be held without trial, and what this means for civil liberties.
With the elections coming up, here in the UK, I figure this one will be quite interesting.

/ Yet another threat to our civil liberties has reared its head. Coupled with previous attacks on constitutional protections in the war on terror, the Bush administration has set a disturbingly consistent pattern of whittling away constitutionally protected rights and liberties.

“Criminal Terrorist Organizations” Act of 2003, dubbed the VICTORY Act contains numerous provisions that have generated attention because they expand the government’ s control, including increased wiretapping powers and easier access to the financial records of suspected criminals.

Though other government policies have attracted controversy, the PATRIOT Act is the best known. The PATRIOT Act allows surveillance orders based in part on government obtained records of websites you visited and books checked out of public libraries. To facilitate this process it authorizes governmental investigators to force internet service providers, libraries, and others to provide patron records on request.

Separate from that much maligned bill is the alleged maltreatment of so-called “enemy combatants” at Guantanamo Bay, racial and religious profiling, undisclosed detentions, of Muslim men.

Due process, access to counsel, fair trials--bedrocks of civil society--are being trampled upon. When taken together, these developments paint a very disconcerting picture.

(Washington, DC) Attorney General John Ashcroft’s staff drafted new "anti-terrorism" legislation to be the sequel of the USA Patriot Act. Mel Lipman, president of the American Humanist Association, responded, “The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 encroaches on the rights and protections of Americans even more than its predecessor did. At its core this legislation is intended to drastically expand the powers of law enforcement and federal intelligence agencies with apparent disregard for the rights it tramples upon.”

Lipman continued, “If the Domestic Security Enhancement Act were to become law we would see our basic freedoms diminished along with key checks and balances on executive branch powers.

As with provisions in the original Patriot Act, this will result in certain individuals being targeted based not on their actions but on their “potential threat,” which can be ethnicity, belief, appearance, or other unrelated factors.

Specifically, this legislation would codify existing administrative efforts to secretly arrest citizens and hold them without charges. Government would be immune from judicial oversight of certain surveillance methods. This would expand capital punishment and prevent courts from questioning certain government actions. Perhaps worst of all, it would have a chilling effect on our freedom of association by enabling government to strip citizenship from people who’ve supported organizations the government deems to have links with terrorism.

During the McCarthy era, Humanist philosopher Corliss Lamont was wrongly accused of being a communist sympathizer and was illegally investigated by the FBI. Fortunately, he was able to use our laws guaranteeing privacy and due process to win judgments and clear his name.

If this legislation passes, such protections that freed innocent activists in the 1950’s will be history. If we continue down this road of sacrificing liberty for false security we will have nothing left to secure. For when freedom goes, more is soon lost, and tyranny usually overwhelms what remains of civil liberties,” Lipman stated.

Lipman concluded, “The Domestic Security Enhancement Act is the latest in the Bush Administration’s continued efforts to expand executive powers--even at the cost of our rights and liberties. The time to make our voices of dissent heard is now, before government acquires the power to legally stifle us.”

THE DRACONIAN Prevention of Terrorism Bill passed its first reading in the House of Commons (UK) last Wednesday by 309 votes to 233, with 32 Labour rebels voting against it. The Bill is a savage assault on civil liberties.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke is under pressure to put this through as quickly as possible because he will have to release alleged terrorists still held in Belmarsh without charge or trial because of a Law Lords ruling last year that this breached Human Rights legislation and was discriminatory — it applied only to suspects who were not British citizens.
So Clarke — and his predecessor Blunkett — put together a new series of measures to replace the 2001 anti-terror laws that were passed in a hurry in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in America.
The new measures are even more draconian and include civil control orders, electronic tagging, restrictions on association, the use of telephones and the internet and possible house arrest.
The victims would have no information on the evidence against them or any chance to challenge the accusations brought against them by Britain’s secret police.
And it’s not as if the secret services are noted for the accuracy of their intelligence. The 30-year war waged by British forces against Irish republicanism was littered with horrendous miscarriages of justice in spite of laws supposed to protect the innocent. Clarke’s Bill will remove even that protection.

“Tory leader Michael Howard last week wrote in the Independent: ‘Why I am so opposed to the new terror legislation’. He said: ‘I believe those accused of terrorist offences should be brought to trial \u2026 And I believe that their innocence or guilt should be determined in a court of law — not by the Home Secretary.’
His main objection to Clarke’s proposals was that the initial decision to impose a control order or house arrest on a suspect would be made by a politician not by a judge.
Clarke made a small concession and agreed that such an order should be subject to judicial review within seven days. This is a long way from an open trial in which the accused knows what they are accused of and can answer back.
He also later conceded that although house arrest powers would still be a part of the Bill, he would not use them but keep them in reserve until he needed them. What sort of a concession is that? Who decides when he might need them? Himself, of course.
The Liberal Democrats are making similar objections and there is a lot of negotiating going on. If the Tories and Lib Dems maintained their opposition to Clarke’s Bill it could fall because the opposition from the Labour backbenches is growing fast.
But it seems this opposition is the only kind that we can rely on in Parliament. Real opposition will have to be exerted outside Parliament.
This Bill is part of a package of draconian measures that include the introduction of compulsory identity cards within a few years. As communists we have always recognised that, under pressure, capitalism will readily tear up all its boasted civil liberties and human rights. The only rights that really matter to this system are the rights to exploit, make money and defend wealth.
That is not to say that many bourgeois politicians are not surprised and alarmed at this gallop towards fascism.
The capitalists are not, currently, under pressure from an organised and challenging working class. They are under pressure from divisions in their own ranks as the world’s natural resources are no longer enough for their greed, and they must fight each other over them.
This is what drives American imperialists to try to seize global energy assets and control the planet and what drives others, like the European Union and Russia, to resist.
Working people throughout the world will suffer. The assault on civil liberties will be followed by an assault on living standards.
We must build and strengthen our own organisations and fight all these assaults on our civil liberties.”

The German people were not thinking when they followed the Nazi call to arms. When they blamed the Jews they were not thinking, they were being lied to, and told to be patriotic and believe. Today members of the coalition are not thinking. We are being lied to, and told to be patriotic and believe.

Believing lies can be comforting to some, but it can come at a hell of a cost. Detention without trial is the mark of totalitarian regimes, and the repetition of Dictatorships, e.g USSR and nazi Germany.

After all it has been said it is “morally bankrupt” to advocate human rights and justice for all?

;to believe everyone deserves a free and fair trial no matter what crime they are accused of.

; to seek peaceful solutions to complex problems and have faith that the spirit of global co-operation will win out over unilateralism and mindless corporatism.

; to believe that the force of arms should only ever be turned to as an absolute and necessary last resort.

IMO, No, the moral bankruptcy cleary lies on the side of those who seek to undermine the rule of law, who have abandoned the spirit of global co-operation, who war monger. At this moment in the history of the west, we are our own worst enemy. We are conducting ourselves in a manner that is dividing us and giving the greatest comfort of all to our ‘enemies’. When we advocate, tolerate or excuse torture when it is committed by ‘us’ we lose the right to condemn it when it is committed to ‘us’.

When we abandon the rule of law and give up one of the key blanks of our democracy we give credence to our enemies’ claims that democracy is ‘evil'. When we fail to engage with the real cause of islamic militantism and instead seek to treat only the symptoms then we have admitted that we may well win the battle but we have already lost the ‘war’.
The challenge for the next century is not for the triumph of one ideology over another. It is for humans to develop the tolerance to accept the diversity of humanity and to respect the rights and views of all. That is a burden that the US must carry even more so if the US wants to lead the world, and all the evidence tells us that this is so, then they have to lead in accepting different views to theirs and respecting the rights of all other peoples and countries.

The definition of terrorism is not restricted solely to acts of violence committed against civilians.

The official US Code defines terrorism as "the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature…through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear". In other words, Shock and Awe. The British Government’s definition of terrorism is, "the use of, or threat, of action which is violent, damaging or disrupting, and is intended to influence the government or intimidate the public and is for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause".

Words from Paul Roberts;
"America has blundered into a needless and dangerous war, and fully half of the country's population is enthusiastic. Many Christians think that war in the Middle East signals 'end times' and that they are about to be wafted up to heaven. Many patriots think that, finally, America is standing up for itself and demonstrating its righteous might. Conservatives are taking out their Vietnam frustrations on Iraqis. Karl Rove is wrapping Bush in the protective cloak of war leader. The military-industrial complex is drooling over the profits of war. And neoconservatives are laying the groundwork for Israeli territorial expansion.

"The evening before Thanksgiving Rush Limbaugh was on C-Span TV explaining that these glorious developments would have been impossible if talk radio and the conservative movement had not combined to break the power of the liberal media.

"In the Thanksgiving issue of National Review, editor Richard Lowry and former editor John O'Sullivan celebrate Bush's reelection triumph over 'a hostile press corps'... There was a time when I could rant about the 'liberal media' with the best of them. But in recent years I have puzzled over the precise location of the 'liberal media'.

"Not so long ago I would have identified the liberal media as the New York Times and Washington Post, CNN and the three TV networks, and National Public Radio. But both the Times and the Post fell for the Bush administration's lies about WMD and supported the US invasion of Iraq. On balance CNN, the networks, and NPR have not made an issue of the Bush administration's changing explanations for the invasion.

"Apparently, Rush Limbaugh and National Review think there is a liberal media because the prison torture scandal could not be suppressed and a cameraman filmed the execution of a wounded Iraqi prisoner by a US Marine. Do the Village Voice and The Nation comprise the 'liberal media? The Village Voice is known for Nat Hentoff and his columns on civil liberties. Every good conservative believes that civil liberties are liberal because they interfere with the police and let criminals go free. The Nation favors spending on the poor and disfavors gun rights, but I don't see the "liberal hate" in The Nation's feeble pages that Rush Limbaugh was denouncing on C-Span.

"In the ranks of the new conservatives, however, I see and experience much hate. It comes to me in violently worded, ignorant and irrational emails from self-professed conservatives who literally worship George Bush...

"The Iraqi War is serving as a great catharsis for multiple conservative frustrations: job loss, drugs, crime, homosexuals, pornography, female promiscuity, abortion, restrictions on prayer in public places, Darwinism and attacks on religion. Liberals are the cause. Liberals are against America. Anyone against the war is against America and is a liberal. "You are with us or against us."

"This is the mindset of delusion, and delusion permits no facts or analysis. Blind emotion rules. Americans are right and everyone else is wrong. End of the debate.

"That, gentle reader, is the full extent of talk radio, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal."

What are you trying to hide?
If these governments truly believed in freedom and democracy and truly believe their actions are legal then surely they would be only too happy to have their actions tested in a court of law. As long as they refuse to do so then the prudent observer must be forgiven to suspect that in actual fact they are afraid of freedom and democracy and use it as mere justification for the exploitation, murder, torture and humiliation of those they claim to set free.
So in your idea of democracy, Innocent until PROVEN guilty becomes, Guilty unless you can PROVE innocent?
Having read Bush’s inaugural speech a sense of fear and dread has come over me. Bush is a fundamentalist every bit as bad and as dangerous as Osama Bin Laden. Bush has taken on the language of born again Christians to justify his own unique form of tyranny. I laugh every time I hear him speak about liberty and freedom. Here is a man who put more people to death than any other governor in the history of the union. Here is a man who sanctioned and signed off on the USA Patriot Act a grotesque and abhorrent piece of oppressive legislation.
The Left didn’t start the torture nonsense. The nut bags on the Right did. It’s the Right that started the war, it’s the Right that got it wrong on WMD and it’s the Right that sanctions and endorses torture. Once again the Right is Always Wrong!
You can tell the Rotten Right by their smell. The stench of hypocricy is all around them. These are the people who scream at the top of their lungs about Family Values but who have a porn collection that rivals Larry Flynt’s.
These are the people who call themselves God fearing Christians but are caught out cheating on their wives. These are the people who claim to live by and uphold the teachings of Jesus Christ. As Rev. Jim Wallace asks, "When did Jesus become pro-tax cuts for the rich, pro-war and only pro-American?" God is not an American by the way.
The Left doesn’t bitch and moan about American dominace. We bitch and moan about the way in which that dominance is created and the way in which that dominance is used. America is the most powerful nation on earth. If only they would use their power for good instead of so much evil. The world does not revolve around the United States. America is not the centre of the universe.
I’m not anti-American. On a personal level I’ve found Amecians to be intelligent, articulate, warm hearted and generous. I’ve also found some Americans to be obscenely greedy, prepared to sell their own mother if there was a buck in it.
Winston Churchil once said, "American’s can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities."
The real "twilight zone" is the idiotic realm of religious fundamentalism. Note that the sadists of Abu Ghraib were Christian fundamentalists. America's founding fathers were committed to secular humanism - Jefferson called Christianity "the most perverted system that ever shone on man" - so torture is not consistent with American values, as someone claimed in the article.
However torture IS consistent with fundamentalist christian and islamic values - the end always justifies the means ("saving souls", "defending islam", whatever) for these obsessive primitives. The great challenge our generation now faces comes from those who wish to destroy modern society and overturn scientific understanding, psychological research etc.. to replace this with a return to the Dark Ages, mentally, socially and physically.

QUOTE “I hear instead the marching drums and shrill patter of the fife leading the congregation of believers in "Onward Christian Soldiers" as they assemble for the final battle Christ has promised them if they are to attain everlasting glory. But I hear as well the distant wail of children blinded and burned by our depleted uranium, and those crushed beneath the rubble of our precision bombing, and those caught in the savagery of "green parrots," tantalizing toys created by our weapons merchants to dismember and maim innocent children, and those caught by chance in the crowds as Israel hurls missiles at men it has judged worthy of death but not worthy of a trial, a decidedly democratic way of celebrating the rite that brings Bush to the presidency of a purportedly Christian nation. "All those who take the sword will perish by the sword," (Matt. 26: 52) appears to be a forgotten admonition, as forgotten as the words of the Psalmist by the Jews: "O Lord, if I have done this, if there is injustice on my hands, if I have rendered evil to him who was at peace with me, or, without cause, have plundered him who was no enemy, let the enemy pursue and overtake my soul; let him trample my life to the ground and lay my honor in the dust." (Psalm 7: 3-5).
No, I'm afraid this inauguration is not a celebration for me or for half the nation who voted against this Cabal, whose ruthless and un-Christian actions hurl America backward in time and morality to barbarous days when might made right and life was reserved only for those willing and capable of killing. No, I'm afraid the righteous must do the celebrating even as they attend his coronation as Emperor of Fools. Let them celebrate his morality that proclaims salvation for the yet to be born while he mutilates children in kindergartens with misplaced missiles; decries terrorist acts of wanton slaughter even as he and Sharon, his puppeteer, terrorizes innocent civilians with crippling and deadly missiles hurled into crowded streets and apartment buildings; feigns outrage at suicide bombers but demands his minions torture and kill prisoners, then, shamelessly denies that he is responsible; admonishes the nations of the world for permitting the UN to be ridiculed by rogue nations that defy their resolutions while he supports, nay encourages, Israel to terrorize the indigenous population of the land they have stolen despite having mocked the UN by defying more than 155 Resolutions; brazenly condescends to Israeli demolition of homes, thousands of them, in full violation of human rights and international law; lures the compliant citizenry of the US into a devastating, illegal and immoral invasion of another state by lying to the people, time and time again, compounded by his lying that he had not lied; and, most ironically, ridicules the evangelical Christian community, those most devoted to his cause, by hypocritically declaring that he is a messenger of God, indeed, on a mission from God since he receives messages from Him, when, in fact, he is but a deluded fool responsive to myths believed as reality. Zealots, unfortunately, succumb to imposed literalism as a salve to suppress ignorance, and that in turn allows the most insidious evil to escape scrutiny.
These pseudo-Christians, these end-timers, dominionists, Zionist evangelicals raise their collective hands in swaying unison proclaiming passionately their belief in Jesus, damning disbelievers who threaten their institution of marriage with civil unions and their pro-life commandment with a woman's right to choose, believing erroneously that Jesus preached these truths. He did not. "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful," (Luke 6:36) that is what He said; "As you wish that men would do to you, do you to them," (Luke 6:31) that is what He said; "So also my heavenly Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart," (Matt: 18:35) that is what He said; "Judge not, that you be not judged," (Matt: 7:1) that is what He said; "This I command to you to love one another," (John 15: 16-17) that is what He said; "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven," (Matt: 5: 43-45) that is what He said; "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another," (John 13:33-35) that is what He said. These are the words of the Christ, not "Kill, Kill!" Where is the NEW Testament in the rants of the ministers of war? Why do they resort to the wrathful, malicious, judgmental G-d of the OLD Testament? Let that G-d judge His chosen people; let Jesus open salvation to all in mercy and forgiveness. Enough of vengeance and retaliation; bring back the sun of Christ's spirit.
These ministers mock the democracy they claim to support by denying the unalienable rights guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence since they crush freedom of thought under the monolith of prescribed dogma and doctrine; they turn religion into tyranny over the mind, forcing their faithful to negate thought in favor of "belief" in them, regardless of reason's questioning the literalism of their teachings or the probability that Robertson or Bush talks to God, a convenient ruse that allows them to accept "faith" without question but denies that route to God to those of other faiths; and, most deceptively and insidiously, they convert Christianity into cruelty in the name of the most peaceful man to tread the earth as they raise their collective swords against the infidels in the mid-east. Their religion is a religion of hate, of oppression, of fanatical singleness of belief, of divisiveness, of arrogance, of exclusivity that denies the ideal of the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind, of mercy and charity, of love and forgiveness, the sun of Christ's spirit.
Ironically, the neo-cons who wrote the sacred books of this administration the Patriot Act, Powell's WMD presentation before the UN, the National Security Strategy Report deny the validity of Christianity even as they delight in the blindness of the faithful as a tool to be used to solidify their intent to control the world. These modern, Machiavellian manipulators salivate at the millions who accept on faith that God has chosen Bush to fulfill His mission to bring about the Rapture and usher in the 1000 years of peace. Equally ironic one could argue is the laughable parallel between this inauguration and that held when Cromwell took power in England in the mid 1600s, another time when mis-guided clergy predicted the coming of Armageddon as that state moved toward a theocracy. How many times must Armageddon come before we realize Revelations is a work of metaphors not a history text or the word of God? “

These measures replace one fear with another, the fear of being unjustly accused and being locked up with no charge, no evidence and no way of disputing the detention as a result. I fear my own government far more than I do the bogeymen that the government is so keen to frighten us with.
It's unnerving that the government seems unwilling to introduce more reasonable safeguards against the current terror threat. For example, allowing evidence such as wiretaps, appointing judges with high level security clearance etc. I personally suspect the reason the government is against the idea of allowing access to their "supposed" evidence is because there isn't any. Instead, it feels to me like some Orwellian nightmare slowly being drip fed to the nation. Should we win this imaginary "war on terror" what happens to these laws? They stay in place and are used on whom? Political activists? Journalists? Opposition leaders?
I can only assume that those who are in favour of the new laws are not envisaging them being applied to themselves. The problem is not the application of such powers to guilty people, it is the risk of them being wrongfully applied to innocent people, who will have no way to defend themselves as they will have no right to ever be tried, or even to know what the case against them is.
Imagine that it happens to you, perhaps because you gave some money to a charity in the street, and that charity turned out to be indirectly funding “terrorism.” You would never know this was why you had lost your freedom, you would keep protesting that there must have been some mistake, and your protests would get you absolutely nowhere. And how will the public ever know if the powers are being used reasonably or not, when the grounds for a control order will never be made public?
I don't believe these anti-terror plans are the answer, whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?
The threat of terrorism is not a new thing. Since explosives were invented, people had the opportunity to blow himself or herself or anyone else up. Why not bring these measures in 10 or 20 years ago when the IRA was at its most militant in the UK? We, as a nation, condemn countries such as Iraq and Syria for detaining "suspects" without trials while we bring laws in to enforce the same measures. So house arrest was wrong in Apartheid South Africa, is wrong in Burma, but ok in the UK because we can 'trust' our politicians?

I have met the programmed "born-agains," those who believe robot-like that what they view on TV as current history is the working out of biblical prophecy. One woman mentioned the battles of Gog and Magog that must precede the final reckoning. She identifies "100% with our President." He, unlike the lascivious Bill Clinton, "is a true Christian." Most say "that's the price we have to pay for security."

Nothing in the fundamentalist theology seems to inhibit consumption, however. these God-fearing people buy gas-guzzling vehicles, pay Mexicans to mow their lawns and drop chemicals into their swimming pools and take periodic vacations in Las Vegas-where God does not always bless them. In church, they listen to the pious sermons about what being a Christian means in daily life. But their interpretation of the Bible does not sensitize them to the pain of the Iraqis. I notice a satisfied, almost smug smile on the faces of the men as they announce their support for the president and his war like policies. They repeat Bush's lines about the need to get rid of Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction" and "we had to act because the UN is worthless" arguments.

Terrorism is a political act, a response to U.S. foreign policy. It is an act of war waged by people too weak to have a conventional army or one large enough to take on the United States. Therefore, capturing an individual terrorist does not even address the problem. People who execute terrorist actions are expendable, replaceable soldiers. Catch one, kill one, and two will take his place.
Because the terrorism is political, so, too, is the solution. One ends terrorism by ending the policies that create it.
Yes, I know, many Americans believe that their government are so good, so beneficent, so kind, so idealistic that it is an absolute mystery why anyone in the world would dislike them, much less hate them enough to kill.
The Clinton administration perpetuates this wrong evaluation of reality by implying that terrorists are evil and mad, like some demons, who, for no rational reason, strike out at the innocent. They like to say, as if they were heroic defenders en route to liberate France, ``We will not be deterred.'' Notice, however, that they never say what we will not be deterred from doing.
Maintaining cruel sanctions on Iraq that already have cost half a million innocent lives? Those sanctions alone are enough to spawn terrorism for the next 40 years. The sanctions are unjust, injuring and killing people who are innocent of any wrong doing. They are stupid, because they only strengthen Saddam Hussein's government. The sanctions have enraged not only Iraqis but also Arabs throughout the Middle East who are sick of the U.S. double standards, lies and hypocrisy.
For example, the United Nations nuclear inspectors gave Iraq a clean bill of health, certifying they have no nuclear weapons and no physical plants to produce them. They recommended closing the book on the nuclear issue. The United States said, ``No.'' the United States will not agree to lift the sanctions no matter what Iraq does that I don't know why they even maintain the pretence of looking for weapons.
Actual U.S. foreign policy is far from idealistic. We arbitrarily sided with former Nazi allies in the Balkan civil war and bombed Serbs who fought with us in two wars. We slapped sanctions on Sudan allegedly because someone in Washington doesn't like its internal human-rights policies that, you can be sure, are far more humane than China's or those of some of the African dictators we so ardently supported. I suspect the real reason is the current government won't cut a deal on the oil discovered in Sudan many years ago.
Why do Iranians hate Americans? We overthrew their government in the 1950s and installed a dictator whom we backed for decades while he executed and tortured his opponents. Why does anyone expect the survivors of a U.S.-imposed tyrant to like the United States?
The one-sided support of Israel, even when Israel is clearly an aggressor or an abuser of human rights, creates enemies. When your wife/husband, mother father, and children are killed with U.S. weapons wielded by a government backed by the United States and protected from U.N. sanctions by the United States, it can’t be that surprising that it doesn't sit too well.
Foreign policy does affect your life. It can get you or your children killed. It can make it unsafe for you to travel. Don't tell the parents of those Americans who died on Pan Am Flight 103 or in the twin towers that foreign policy has no effect on Americans.
A U.S and a western government that actually lived up to our ideals and treated people justly would eliminate terrorism. All the security measures and macho rhetoric in the world can't and won't eliminate it.

“What is the message of the Christian Zionist? Simply stated it is this: Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us.
"Never mind what Israel does," say the Christian Zionists. "God wants this to happen." This includes the invasion of Lebanon, which killed or injured an estimated 100,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, most of them civilians; the bombing of sovereign nations such as Iraq; the deliberate, methodical brutalizing of the Palestinians—breaking bones, shooting children, and demolishing homes; and the expulsion of Palestinian christians and muslims from a land they have occupied for over 2,000 years.
Christian Zionism is a dangerous and growing segment of Christianity, which was popularised by the 19th-century American Cyrus Scofield when he wrote into a Bible his interpretation of events in history. These events all centred around Israel—past, present, and future. His Scofield Bible is today the most popular of the reference Bibles.
Scofield said that Christ cannot return to earth until certain events occur: The Jews must return to Palestine, gain control of Jerusalem and rebuild a temple, and then we all must engage in the final, great battle called Armageddon. Estimates vary, but most students of Armageddon theology agree that as a result of these relatively recent interpretations of Biblical scripture, 10 to 40 million Americans believe Palestine is God's chosen land for the Jews.
Has the power of the Christian Zionists diminished?
I do not think so. Rather, we are seeing how the Christian Zionists, motivated by religious beliefs, are working hand in glove with politically motivated, militant Jewish Zionists around the world. It is the Christian support of Zionism that emboldens Zionists to believe they can dictate to relatively weak and dependent countries such as Austria, whom they may choose as their president.
It is the Christian support of Zionism that allows Manuel Noriega to remain the strongman in Panama, misusing his power, regardless of what harm he causes to the United States, his neighbours, and his people.
It is the Christian support of Zionism that enables the militant Israelis to take over Palestinian homes surrounding the Al-Aqsa mosque in pursuit of their well-documented plan to destroy Jerusalem's most holy Islamic site, sacred to a billion Muslims around the world—one-fifth of humanity. “

However, it seems that if the Religious Right has its way, civil liberties would cease to exist in America. To the detriment of our freedoms and even to our very way of life, the sacred principles contained in the Bill of Rights are repeatedly and routinely ignored by the Religious Right! Why is this true?
Why did we not hear conservative Christian leaders speak out against the federal government's massacre of Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, or the murder of Randy Weaver's wife by federal agents near Ruby Ridge, Idaho?
Why is it that we never hear national spokesmen for the Religious Right speaking out against an unconstitutional Patriot Act, or the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security, or the creation of a SS-style position of National Intelligence Director?
The sad truth is, Americans have lost more constitutional protections of personal freedoms under President George W. Bush than under any president in modern memory. And the Religious Right is either totally oblivious to this reality or party to it. How can this be?
Does not the Religious Right understand that without allegiance to our Constitution and Bill of Rights and rule of law, all politicians, even those that profess to be Christians, become tyrants? Do our national Christian leaders not comprehend that when freedoms are lost to some, they are lost to all? Do they really not understand that when they allow politicians to dismantle constitutional government, they are forging the chains that will be placed around their own necks?
What makes the story so appealing to Christian fundamentalists, but so delusional to me, is that before the big battle begins, all "true believers" (ie those who believe what they believe) will be lifted out of their clothes and ascend up into the clouds, up to heaven during an event called the rapture. Not only do the worthy get to sit at the right hand of God, but they will be able to watch, from the best seats, their political and religious opponents being devoured by boils, sores, locusts and frogs, during the seven years of Tribulation which follow.
The true believers are now seeking to bring all this about. This means staging confrontations at the old temple site (in 2000, three US Christians were deported for trying to blow up the mosques there), sponsoring Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, demanding ever more US support for Israel, and seeking to provoke a final battle with the Muslim world/Axis of Evil/United Nations/ European Union/France or whoever the legions of the antichrist turn out to be.
We can laugh at these people, but we should not dismiss them. That their beliefs are bonkers does not mean they are marginal. American pollsters reveal that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or movements, which subscribe to these teachings.

It is evident that Christian Zionists and their overzealous supporters in the US senate are determined to force their unconditional love of Israel on the Arabs and the rest of the world. The biased pro-Israel Senate vote on May 2 proves that American congressman have become more extremist and racist than the Zionist themselves.
To quote Gideon Samet in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz: “When it comes to terror and the Arabs, the United States has become more Israeli than the Israelis — raining abuse and demonizing the Palestinians.” Isn’t it time Zionist Americans in leading government positions behaved in a more morally responsible manner? Haven’t they heard how many Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the occupied territories as the only honorable option. How many have signed “Courage to Refuse,” the mission statement of the “Refusenik” soldiers who are desperately trying “to save their country from complete moral collapse.” (go to to read their statement
How many prominent Jewish politicians, writers, journalists, and academics have denounced the atrocities of the Israeli government and its treatment of Palestinians? This is Gerald Kaufmann, the prominent British MP: “It is time to remind Sharon that the star of David belongs to all Jews, not to his repulsive government. His actions are staining the star of David with blood.” Liz Spikol, a Jewish American journalist for Philadelphia Weekly writes: “But now Israel has crossed a line, and I — and many, many American Jews like me — will not be able to cross it with them.” This is Tanya Reinhart, a professor of linguistics at Tel Aviv University and a signer of the European petition for the academic boycott of Israel:
“What Israel is doing now exceeds the crimes of South Africa’s white regime. It has started to take the form of systematic ethnic cleansing, which South Africa never attempted. After fifty-two years of occupation, it is completely clear that the only two choices the Israeli political system has generated for the Palestinians are Apartheid or ethnic cleansing (‘transfer’)”.
Just read the words of the Torah leaders, learned rabbis and pious laymen of Neturei Karta, Jews United Against Zionism, who have condemned the “central heresy” and “atheistic philosophy” of Zionism and rejected its policy of aggression against the Palestinian people. This is an excerpt from a speech by Rabbi Dovid Weiss at Time Square in Manhattan, June 1, 2001:
“The justice of the current situation lies entirely with the Palestinians people. They have been disposed. Political control over the land and of course, including all of Jerusalem and Al-Aksa rightfully belongs to the Palestinian people.
This is the position of the God fearing Jewish people. They have opposed Zionism from its inception over one hundred years ago. Zionism is an embarrassment to the Torah Jew.”
Compare the above statements expressing moral outrage at Zionist atrocities in Palestine with the arrogant and morally offensive statements vented by top US officials. At the Jefferson Memorial on April 23, surrounded by Israeli flags, Sen. John McCain described the moral bond between America and the Zionist state of Israel: “To be proudly pro-American and pro-Israeli is not to hold conflicting loyalties — it is about defending the principles that both countries hold dear. And I stand before you today, proudly pro-American and pro-Israeli.” Sen. Bob Dole’s self-righteous love for Zionist-American alliance is ominous and foreboding:
“American-Israeli friendship is no accident. It is a product of our shared values. We are both democracies. We are both pioneer states. We have both opened our doors to the oppressed. We have both shown a passion for freedom and we have gone to war to protect it.”
Recently, Dick Armey, the Republican leader in the US House of Representatives and a key Bush ally, called for Israel to “grab the entire West Bank” and expel the Palestinian inhabitants. In March, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma took the Senate floor and said the Sept. 11 attacks were punishment by God in response to US policy toward Israel. (May 10, 2002 CounterPunch Special Report, by congressional staffer). Asserting that Israel is “entitled” to the West Bank, he also criticized his fellow citizens who counseled the Israelis to use restraint.
"The greatest peril to the Palestinian State being proposed by our leaders is that God is not in favor of it.........Those who are pressuring for a Palestinian State not only are working at cross purposes with God, but they place themselves and their own nations in great peril," Dr. James M. Hutchens, President of CHRISTIANS FOR ISRAEL and Editor of "The Jerusalem Connection" moonies

It is one of the oldest political ploys in the world. Old it may be, but it keeps right on working. The ploy goes like this. An (apparently) immense and dangerous crisis blows up outside the nation. Politicians galore scream about a great danger and then promise to protect the public. An army marches and an armada sails. There follows a stunning military advance to strangle the danger and to institute a regime in the newly "pacified" area which will be just as good as the one back home.
The general public, now scared out of its wits, follows each twist and turn with spellbound fascination. And while the public is fixated on the external dramatics, the leader quietly pulls a fast one. In this case, with the public fixated on the capture of Saddam, President Bush was quietly signing into law the most dictatorial powers act in American history on December 13th. Too often, our leaders cause us to look in the exact opposite direction from where they are taking really serious action. While people everywhere were celebrating the capture of Saddam, virtually no one was noticing that Americans had just lost their liberties and Constitutionally protected rights. As of the signing into law of HR 2417, commonly referred to as Patriot Act II, Bush has the power of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung.
The definition is vague and potentially covers a whole range of incidents. It will give the government sweeping powers if it calls an emergency. As Tony Bunyan, editor of Statewatch, comments, 'The powers available to the government and state agencies would be truly draconian. Cities could be sealed off, travel bans introduced, all phones cut off, and websites shut down. Demonstrations could be banned and the news media be made subject to censorship. New offences against the state could be "created" by government decree. This is Britain's Patriot Act - at a stroke democracy could be replaced by totalitarianism.”
“Under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 the police can now stop and search without any suspicion in an 'authorised' area. All of London has been placed under this category. Between 2001/02 and 2002/03 there was a 151 percent increase in the use of this draconian power. However, in 2001/02 under 3 percent of those stopped were arrested and fewer than 0.3 percent were arrested in connection with terrorism.”
"The continual intrusion into our minds of the hammering noises of arguments and propaganda can lead to two kinds of reactions. It may lead to apathy and indifference, the I-don't-care reaction, or to a more intensified desire to study and to understand. Unfortunately, the first reaction is the more popular one."
~ Joost Meerloo

It’s not like they even hide what they think or keep secret their methods."Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially insofar as it might bring out something favorable for the opponent."
~ Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)

"The history of mankind is a history of the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the 'ruling class'. The ruling class has many manifestations. It can take the form of a religious orthodoxy, a monarchy, a dictatorship of the proletariat, outright fascism, or, in the case of the United States, corporate statism. In each instance the ruling class relies on academics, scholars and 'experts' to legitimize and provide moral authority for its hegemony over the masses."
Ed Crane

"Today the primary threat to the liberties of the American people comes not from communism, foreign tyrants or dictators. It comes from the tendency on our own shores to centralize power, to trust bureaucracies rather than people."
~ George H. Allen (1922-1990)

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for"
Hermann Goering quotes
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that - it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.
Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.
The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history.
The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.
If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.

Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that - it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.
Noam Chomsky
They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.
Benjamin Franklin
"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes
"There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears so to speak. Producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution."
- Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961 -
This letter was sent by representatives of the people of Fallujah to the UN
secretary general Kofi Annan

" IT IS more than evident that US forces are committing daily acts of
genocide in Iraq. As we write, these crimes are being perpetrated against the
of Fallujah.
US war planes are launching their most powerful bombs against the civilian
population, killing and wounding hundreds of innocent people. Their tanks are
pounding the city with heavy artillery.
As you know, there is no military presence in the city. There have been no
actions by the resistance in Fallujah in the last few weeks because
negotiations are in progress between representatives of the city and the Allawi

The new bombardment by the US has begun while the people are fasting during
the celebration of Ramadan. Now many of them are trapped in the ruins of
their homes and cut off from any outside assistance.
On the night of 13 October a single US bombardment destroyed 50 houses and
their inhabitants. Is this a crime of genocide or a lesson about US
democracy? The US is committing acts of terror against the people of Fallujah
for only
one reason—to force them to accept the occupation.
Your excellency and the whole world know that the US and their allies have
destroyed our country on the pretext of the threat of weapons of mass
Now, after their own mass destruction and the killing of thousands of
civilians, they have admitted that they have not found any.
But they have said nothing about the crimes they have committed. The whole
world is silent, and even the killing of Iraqi civilians is not condemned.
Will the US be paying compensation, as it made Iraq do after the 1991 Gulf War?

We know that we live in a world of double standards. In Fallujah the US has
created a new and shadowy target—Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Al-Zarqawi is a new excuse to justify the US’s criminal actions. A year has
passed since this new excuse was dreamed up, and every time they attack
homes, mosques and restaurants, killing women and children, they say, “We
launched a successful operation against al-Zarqawi.”
They will never say they have killed him, because he does not exist.
The people of Fallujah assure you that this person is not in the city, nor
probably anywhere else in Iraq.
Many times the people of Fallujah have asked that if anyone sees al-Zarqawi
they should kill him. We know now that he is nothing but a phantom created by
the US.
Our representatives have repeatedly denounced kidnapping and killing of
civilians. We have nothing to do with any group that acts in an inhumane
We call on you and the leaders of the world to exert the greatest pressure
on the Bush administration to end its crimes against Fallujah and pull its
army back from the city.
When they left a while ago, the city had peace and tranquillity. There was
no disorder in the city. The civil administration here functioned well,
despite the lack of resources.
Our “offence” is simply that we did not welcome the forces of occupation.
This is our right according to UN Charter, according to international law
and according to the norms of humanity.
It is very urgent that you, along with other world leaders, intervene immed
iately to prevent another massacre.
We have tried to contact UN representatives in Iraq to ask them to do this
but, as you know, they are sealed off in the maximum security Green Zone in
Baghdad and we are not allowed access to them.
We want the UN to take a stand on the situation in Fallujah.
Best wishes, in the name of the people of Fallujah, the shura council of
Fallujah, the trade union association, the teachers’ union, and the council
tribal leaders "
Kassim Abdullsattar al-Jumaily: President
The Study Center of Human Rights & Democracy
On behalf of the people of Fallujah and for:
Al-Fallujah Shura Council
The Bar Association
The Teacher Union
Council of Tribes Leaders
The House of Fatwa and Religious Education

War crimes are center stage
May 7, 2004
Limabugh and Savage prove that this administration condones dangerous mouths to speak to the masses
Savage openly calls for putting anyone who criticizes the government in a forced labor camp.
Limbaugh declares that his listeners should accept that those committing the crimes were "blowing off steam"
Laidies and Gentlemen: We cannot do much more. We have made the case. It's time for you to make whatever sacrifice you deem is appropriate to change the current course. It's an upside down world. It's time you understand you have a role and place in turning it around.
Israel voted in Sharon to free them from the shackles of Oslo. They have now fully discovered that Sharon is Peres with a bigger waistline. Similiarly all facets of our government are aligned major league with the NWO agenda, one that permits 9-11, abuse, indiscriminate murder and mayhem and is willing to tolerate as acceptable collateral damage deaths of innocents including infants and children. What took the cake today is hearing that Rush Limbaugh Republican spokesman actually told his audience to tolerate the torture and humiliation in Iraq as part and parcel of the need of the military there to blow off steam. Look, the Germans during WWII were out there blowing off steam from their defeat and humiliation in WWI and the net result was global warfare and the most repressive and reprehensible regime in world history. The German Congress and people were happy to have a dictator mow over the form of government in Germany and create a new Germany, a new vision, for a new future of world domination and control. If that is what you want or will tolerate we can't do more than what we have done. We have proven that President Bush not only allowed 9-11 to take place but was complicit in it. We also consistently highlighted a (NWO) regime that showed wanton disregard for life including those of children and innocents, who allowed hospitals to be plundered rather than the world see armless and legless children at the hospital recovering as collateral damage to an invasion without a legitimate predicate. If you are happy that the new America with its new regime went out to seize the oil so you can have cheaper oil prices, and tolerate this then you deserve what this new regime has in store for you (and it won't be cheaper oil). This new regime told us many many years ago that the American people would lay down as sheep and without a media hollering about the injustices in play would accept allowing themselves to serve as the victims of humiliation, to their country, their flag, their heritage, their infrastructure, their Constitution, their Bill of Rights, their culture, their families and themselves. You will just go to the gas pump and pay whatever is the price, allow those victimizing you to skirt taxes altogether, while you revel in finding out that perhaps a crumb or two went your way. You will wake up in the morning, keep your nose straight, and just be happy at the end of the day to learn that the new American government doesn't have you on their list for extraction under the new laws protecting the new America. If you hear that your neighbor got picked up for questioning and interrogation, or at least that is what your neighbor's family believes is the case, because you neighbor doesn't get legal representation, and the government needn't admit or deny that he is in thier custody, then you will go to sleep and pray that tomorrow it is not you that gets extracted when you are in your car, stopped by police state authorities, told to abandon your car, and come with them for questionning. Thus, it's all OK as long as its not you, but you will keep quiet and silent if it is your friend or neighbor. You thus see that we have now proven that you have sunk into a status of a compliant whimp and sheep unwilling to do anything as long as they leave you alone. The New World Order loves you. You are their type of American. A sap among a nation of saps. Here's the link to what Rush Limbaugh had to say. It would be similar to a German broadcaster spinning the torture and murder that reigned supreme during the course of an era that should not be quickly forgotten. That lesson as I have expounded was to make sure that history did not repeat with a Congress acquiescing when a presidential administration moves to change the form of government and assume powers that allowed it to commit abuses foreclosed to it under the original form of government. Allow this to occur again and they have won and you have lost. I can only tell you with all my heart and soul I believe the consequences are going to be quite monumental for you and your family. The yesterday you are familiar with will become a distant memory and a new dark world will open up all because you allow a presidential administration to commit heinous crimes against humanity, including treasonous crimes against their own country allowing 3000 citizens to die and now intent on committing war crimes and atrocities rejected by history and the true original form of government for this country. Thus we live in an upside down world that is structurally unstable where dramatic changes are surely ahead for us all.
CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank that stacked up naked men --
LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You of heard of need to blow some steam off?
The day before, on his May 3 show, Limbaugh observed that the American troops who mistreated Iraqi prisoners of war were "babes" and that the pictures of the alleged abuse were no worse than "anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage."
LIMBAUGH: And these American prisoners of war -- have you people noticed who the torturers are? Women! The babes! The babes are meting out the torture.
LIMBAUGH: You know, if you look at -- if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I'm -- yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City -- the movie. I mean, I don't -- it's just me. ***
Neo-Con talk show hosts across the country from Limbaugh to Michael Savage are making outbursts on a daily basis that would make Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin blush. Savage openly calls for putting anyone who criticizes the government in a forced labor camp.
In an age of increasing regulation of free speech, it's astounding that talk show hosts with tens of millions of listeners can get away with advocating torture, rape and murder. The new definition of 'conservatism' according to Limbaugh is making naked men perform homosexual acts for laughs. The world truly has turned upside down.

Recommended reading: About American complicity.

Reader's comments on this article

Add a new comment on this article

Monday, April 04, 2005 - 11:28

Avoiding the draft
(reply to this comment)
Monday, April 04, 2005 - 10:17

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
"Frankly, part of me says - even though everything since September 11 has been a nightmare--'you know what, we deserve the problem on our hands because some things Bin Laden says are true'. One of the things he said on that last tape was that 'until we live in security, you're not going to live in security', and there is a certain amount of rightness in that. Why should Americans go on with their lives as normal, worrying about calories and hair loss, while other people are worrying about where they are going to get their next piece of bread? Why should we go on merrily with our lives while so much of the world is suffering, and suffering incidentally not with us merely as bystanders, but with us as the indirect and direct perpetrators. So that I think that you can summon up all the heroic and self-aggrandizing rhetoric you want, but there is a problem facing all of us now, and maybe it's about time that the United States starts having to confront the same sort of problems that much of humanity has had to confront on a daily basis for God knows how long."

Don Atapattu lives in Manchester, England.
(reply to this comment)
from Sonderval
Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 14:15

ACK, I HATE MY BLOODY COMPUTER, halfway through arguing politics with Ne Oublie in chat and I'm kicked out and now it won't let me back in as it says I'm still logged in, ruddy tory probably thinks he's winning the argument now, GAH.
(reply to this comment)
from Sonderval
Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 11:51


wow, just took the time to read the entire post, perhaps some of my cynicism is wearing off, or perhaps I'm just delaying leaving my house so I don't have to move the last of my stuff.

I'm conflicted, every now and then I get all fired up about this tuff but it usually just leaves me feeling impotent because I feel I can't change anything, but perhaps that doesn't matter because when I get fired up I talk, I post and I rant about it, perhaps that's better than nothing, hrm, perhaps I should get involved in political activism again.
(reply to this comment)

From ameliaus
Sunday, April 03, 2005, 13:25

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
write your representatives, blog, talk to your friends - fill them in; it isn't weird to be informed anymore. & when the times require it, vote.(reply to this comment

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