By Vince Dhimos
My third instalment of the article on Iran as Trump’s bogeyman garnered some impassioned responses (the first being here), and they were so long as to merit a separate response.
The long response from an unnamed person whom we shall call Frank, contains this assertion:
Frank: "Vince, sorry, Nope. He did [intend to start a new religion] and He stated, I came not to change the law but to fulfil it, by His life and death."
Yes, Frank, modern Bible translations do quote Jesus, in Matthew 5:17, as saying “I came not to change the law but to fulfil it.” This word “fulfil” is the translator’s best guess and it is within the range of possibilities.
However, the verb used in the Greek for Jesus’ quote here is πληρώσαι, a variant of πληρόω. This word can mean to fulfil, but it is also used to mean “to complete” or “complement” (see Strong’s Concordance. BTW, by way of confirmation, the older Classical Greek cognate had the same range of meanings as the later koine Greek of the NT) and based on Christ’s Old Testament references in his teachings, the meaning “to complete” or “complement” seems more likely than “fulfil.” After all, Jesus did not question or criticise the passages that He cited in His teachings. So his doctrine was not a fulfilment but it certainly did add to – complement – the contemporary understanding of the scriptures. He certainly supported all the old Judaic scriptures so his early teachings, aimed at the Jews, could not have been taken as a new theology. Therefore, his original intent was not to found a new religion but to complement the old one. In fact, he told his fellow Jews to obey the teachings of the Pharisees but not to do as they do. Thus for Jesus, the sticking point was not the Judaic law itself but the rigid and hypocritical way it was interpreted by the powerful religious leaders – who eventually would kill him.
As I tried to clarify above, I was referring to Christ’s original intent, not to the modified mission He saw for Himself after the Jews rejected him. The disciples did eventually establish a body of doctrine that was by the most conservative measure a new religion and included the gentiles.
The following is a salient example of how, in his early years, Jesus interpreted the scriptures by adding new insight (complemented them) without changing them:
In Luke 10, a Torah scholar asked Jesus what is the most important commandment for achieving eternal life, and Jesus said: What do you think it is? And the scholar said “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength, and love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus said “Yes, do this and you shall live.”
This passage shows that in Jesus’ view, salvation was possible through the Old Testament law as long as you understood where the emphasis should be – namely, on love. Thus He was still teaching Judaism at that point. But it was a different – or complementary – view of Judaism, with the emphasis placed where it belonged, not on a plethora of rigid do’s and don’t’s taught by the Pharisees. Jesus had completed or complemented – not fulfilled – the teachings of the law simply by shifting the emphasis, making love the priority.
One very serious problem in contemporary Christianity is that most US fundamentalists today base their interpretation on the Scofield Reference Bible notes, and indeed Scofield interprets the passage of Matt 5:17 to mean that Jesus was sent to fulfil the law in the sense that He had come to die for the sins of humanity, thereby vicariously taking the punishment for others’ sins. This is, of course, true and is a remotely possible rendition of that passage. But the problem with these fundamentalists and their sacred Scofield is that this author depends on a consensus of different Bible scholars rather than on sound reason, logic and facts. For example, Scofield, writing during or before 1909, declares in reference to the place names Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 (places that would attack Israel in the latter days), that these names refer to Russia and that “all agree” on this – meaning all Bible scholars agree. But God does not rely on consensus. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Scofield also draws the conclusion that, in that chapter, Meschech is Moscow and Tubal is Tobolsk, based merely on the similarities of the names – thus Scofield was skating on the very thinnest of ice! But beyond this, he reasons:
“Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel.”
Of course, 1909 was well before the emergence of the 3rd Reich. If Scofield had commented on this passage after WW II, he would certainly have deduced that Ezekiel was talking about Germany. And more to the point, ancient Assyrian court records, since then discovered by archaeologists, show that Gog and Magog were in what is now Turkey. So much for the sacred opinion that Ezekiel referred to Russia (this misinterpretation surely has contributed much to the current anti-Russia hysteria). My point is that the reasoning methods used by Bible scholars in Scofield’s day were so flawed as to render any comment by Scofield highly questionable if not useless. Yet fundamentalists today rely on his notes, treating them with the same reverence as they do the scriptures themselves. Not far from blasphemy,
Another friend responded to the article on my FB page, arguing that Jesus did not just come for the Jews. But I had said that his original mission – not his ultimate one – was to minister to the Jews and not the gentiles.
In Matthew 15:22-24 Jesus specifically said "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." His original plan was to minister to the Jews, but they rejected Him. All of his ministry is centred on the Torah but also the rest of the Tanakh (OT).
It was not until He saw that the Jews rejected Him that He began to focus on the gentiles.
This discussion is not over, and it should not be. Please add your thoughts below or in the forum here.
By Vince Dhimos
I recently had a chat with a retired army career man, and in the course of the conversation he volunteered that he didn’t know what the US military is fighting for. His nonchalant attitude betrayed that he figured the higher-ups must know what they are doing, even if the little people are in the dark.
When I asked him if he personally had guesses why the US fights wars, he said he thought ordinary people like us could not know.
I told him people actually can know, but unfortunately, I had not yet formulated how they could.
So the conversation ended there, probably for the better. Then I began to formulate in words why it was that I was so confident that we can know.
A good example of why Westerners should by all means know what is going on in US foreign policy is the Iran issue. Many politicians, almost all of them supporters of Israeli policies, are saying – many of them shrieking in fact – that Iran is the “biggest state supporter of terror.” We have shown before why this is not true (primarily because all major terror groups are Sunni Wahhabists, while Iran is a Shiite-majority country, and these branches of Islam are very different, hardly compatible with each other). Our exposé here shows that an absolute hysteria over Iran reigns in the US (in harmony with Israel) and that even the slightest misstep on the part of anyone even just suspected of being associated with an Iranian group will receive big headlines in the news and a reporting tone aimed at leading readers to hide their sisters and wives and nail the door shut. (Meanwhile the list of no-visa countries that Trump had drawn up for his executive order that failed to pass constitutional muster did not include Saudi Arabia, the country that had sponsored Al-Qaeda for years. Trump sees no risk in granting visas to nationals of the state sponsoring ISIS and Al-Qaeda or its spinoffs but eschews the country that fights ISIS).
You’d think just this one example, the tip of the iceberg, would lead Americans to immediately conclude that their government is up to something sinister. Yet a surprising number of Trump supporters, who have heard him warn over and over again that Iran is a threat to global peace, unquestioningly believe this tripe. A visit to the reader forum of the Breitbart site under any article on Iran will suffice to illustrate this absolute and utter trust in the Iran-as-Satan myth. The main reason for their hysteria seems to be the fact that Iran is Muslim. Yet it seems never to have occurred to most of the posters there that Saudi Arabia is also Muslim but, unlike Iran, is known to have sponsored the terror groups rampaging across the Middle East and Europe, almost all of which adhere to Wahhabism, the Saudi national cult. If you point this out, the commonest response (reflexive) is something along the lines “you’re a lying Muslim, aren’t you?”
It is terrifying to think that America could lead the world into a major war on this utterly brainless basis, but this mind-set is incredibly prevalent among Trump fans. Check it out for yourself if you have the stomach for it.
Now this all brings us back to the false notion that people “can’t know” what is going on around them and to my premise that yes, you can.
Yes you can, but it takes hard work. You don’t get to knowledge in 5 easy lessons. You don’t learn in just 6 short weeks. There is no book “Truth for Dummies,” or if there is, ignore it.
So, how can you eventually come to see behind the curtain your government, the msm, your politicians, your profs or teachers, your pastor or priest and the important people in your life have thrown up between you and the truth?
As the title above says, there are 4 things you must do, and they are not easy. Which is why most will stop reading after the title. But after all, there is no point in letting the reader think the truth is readily accessible because it is not, and as soon as many readers find out it takes a lot of work to get to it, they will quit reading anyway.
But the fact is, getting to the truth is a matter of life or death
Just consider the alternative. Not being aware of the tangled web of lies that influential people of both political parties have thrown over your mind makes you and your loved ones, your compatriots and – quite honestly – the entire world vulnerable to an unspeakable conflagration that would instantly kill and mortally wound millions of people and could create a nuclear winter over most of the earth that would cause massive death by starvation and cold. I am talking about a literal hell on earth.
Think about it for a second and you will know this part – at least – is true. Are you willing to lay down your life for a cabal of criminally minded officials whose livelihood depends on killing people just for the sake of killing – or at best to line the pockets of the military industrialists?
Now whether or not you admit it, unless you are one of the few who know what is going on, ie, who the war-makers are and what their filthy game is, your mind is in prison and you are part of the reason the US can get away with waging endless war. It is not Islam that creates wars (the Shiite world is fighting ISIS), it is people in black suits with briefcases, to quote Vladimir Putin.
The analogy of a prisoner is accurate. You are exactly like a person sentenced to life in prison.
And what would a lifer do to escape? Anything, no matter how difficult.
According to smithsonian.com, one of the greatest prison escapes of all time was accomplished by a team of 12 lifers including the infamous Willie Sutton, by the following excruciatingly difficult method:
“Working in two-man teams of 30 minute shifts, the tunnel crew, using spoons and flattened cans as shovels and picks, slowly dug a 31-inch opening through the wall of cell 68, then dug twelve feet straight down into the ground, and another 100 feet out beyond the walls of the prison. They removed dirt by concealing it in their pockets and scattering it in the yard…”
Now you have to really really want to be free to subject yourself to this kind of pain. But people who know they are captive will not hesitate to whatever it takes.
Now the first thing you have to do is something apart from the 4 steps and this is to be fully aware that your mind is in prison and that you must escape to save your life. By that I mean to live a life of dignity worthy of a human being and not a cud-chewing cow and in such a way that you can help others escape their enslavement. Only in that way can you and others be happy. What is happiness? Happiness is finding the truth and helping others to find it. Intuitively we know that being a mind-slave could not possibly be the way to happiness.
Now, with that realization, there are 4 things that you must do to free yourself, and they are difficult but not as boring as digging with a spoon.
1. You must find the source of the information needed to find the truth. This means painstakingly examining numerous sources and deciding which ones are the most reliable and the most likely to lead you out of your captivity. This step is fraught with pitfalls. Many seekers find themselves caught up in hokus-pokus theories that common sense should tell them could not hold water. For example, there was the famous Y2K theory that all the computers in the world would suddenly stop working in the year 2000. This was based on the theory that computers were only designed to register the date up to that year and would not be able to function after that. There was no scientific basis for this and besides, common sense tells us that computer designers are smart and would certainly not design their machines to operate only until the end of the 20th Century. The year 2000 came and went and this theory fell by the wayside. There was also the hare-brained theory, promulgated by pseudo-Christian web sites like WND, that the unusual confluence of so-called “blood moons,” an astronomical phenomenon relating to lunar eclipses, which was expcted at a certain time in the last few years, predicted a calamity on a certain date, now long past. Nothing like that happened. Anyone with a lick of sense knew that God did not inspire the Bible authors to engage in silly games resembling black magic but rather as a moral guide for our relationships with God and other humans.This silly game playing is, BTW, akin to the misinterpretation of the Bible that led to “Christian” Zionism, as explained here.
In other words, avoid hokus-pokus and look for serious sources that reference provable things and appear not to be motivated by the desire for personal gain, and appear unbiased.
2. Now, assuming you have found sources you believe are accurate and honest, the next step is to study them really really hard for factual content. This by the way is a lifetime task. If you at any time believe you have reached The Truth, you are just kidding yourself. The ultimate truth is like the wind. Once you have captured it in a jar, it ceases to be the wind.
I must admit I learn things from my readers, sometimes by finding out that I was wrong but also by devising cogent arguments and analogies to help them understand concepts. So far I have been wrong only about minor details, but we are all always prone to fall into a major pitfall. It can happen to me too. Read as much history as you can, especially alternate historians. In fact, mainstream historians are often worthless in our quest for truth because their conclusions are generally based on a kind of political correctness, not on objective conclusions drawn from the facts. Use one source to lead to another. Read about economics and about other cultures and religions. Learn a non-Western language, preferably Russian, and go to news sites in that language. This will give you the opportunity to liberate yourself from the Western bias, which is designed to lead to war and is generally anti-Russian to the point of racism. You will be surprised to find out that some of your pet theories were bunk.
3. As you study, look for patterns that can lead to important conclusions. At this stage, you are up against further pitfalls in the form of bias. Never base a conclusion on anything but facts, certainly not on something other people have said or written. Read what they say but always questioning, in the back of your mind “yes, but...” People on the left, the libertarian and the right are easily swayed by what other people of their persuasion say or write. If you have a left-leaning bias, read things written by people on the right and vice-versa and also listen to the factual content of libertarian thinkers. But pay little attention to the viewpoints of the left or right. Just read for facts. Accept no ideologies. Ideologies do not solve problems, they create them. Read Putin’s speeches to understand how people who are guided by common sense and are free of ideology think. The natural tendency to let others impose their conclusions on us is the most dangerous pitfall of all. It is a killer of objectivity.
4. Draw conclusions, but only from the facts. Reagan said “trust but verify.” The Italians have a proverb that beats that. To trust is good, to mistrust is better (fidare è bene, non fidare è meglio).
By Vince Dhimos
Thus the old radical school of the Enlightenment had not died out. It not only survived, it acquired more force than ever, despite the removal of the abuses that had prompted the movement in the first place. This was one of the many examples of movements that outlived their raison d’être but continued to exist on sheer inertia and stubbornness.
In 1917 and thereafter, the movement to establish a Soviet Union instead of a renewed and dynamic Russia was led by the Bolsheviks, who were imbued with the ideals of the more radical Enlightenment. As such, once in power, they immediately set about eliminating all older Russian ideas, and history came to see a variation on the theme of the French revolution. Most of these leaders secretly hated Russia, as described here, and wanted a modern European system to replace all old institutions and popular beliefs and behaviors. Thus, at variance with accepted anti-Russian propaganda, the Soviet Union was in no way a product of Russianness. In fact it was due to all things Russian being suppressed.
The Chinese under Mao took this radical Enlightenment idea still further and, again, while focusing on punishing transgressors rather than solving problems, it aimed to destroy the Chinese culture. The Cultural Revolution was in fact a movement to eliminate all of Chinese culture and thought, even smashing precious antiques, and extirpating the wisdom of ancient philosophers like Confucius from the Chinese psyche. As a result they lost a generation that could have been dedicated to education, science and research. Though imbued with Enlightenment ideals, Mao knew nothing about science, which is why his method of collecting metal for industry, by melting down pots and utensils, including antique ones, failed colossally. He discovered late what ancient Chinese metallurgists had always known, namely, that many different kinds of metals when melted together form a useless malleable or brittle material with virtually no strength. The result of his grand experiment wound up on the slag heap.
However, besides a lack of scientific knowledge, what the leaders were missing in their dealings with the people was the old Confucian ideal of harmony. The favorite tactic for keeping people in line was to stir up people with a hysteria against “capitalist running dogs” and former landlords or wealthy people. People were dehumanized, induced to manufacture all kinds of false charges and rat out their friends, neighbors and family members to deflect suspicions from themselves. It was a rein of terror akin to the black-white hysteria that sometimes causes American streets to boil. The accused were generally taken out with a sign around their neck indicating their supposed crime and then beaten by a disorderly crowed, even killed at times. (Further reading here on the Cultural Revolution). But after Mao’s death, the next generation of leaders realized that they had thrown out the baby with the bath and they dusted off the old banned books about Confucius, studying them diligently but without publicising this or admitting that the party policies had changed (they did not intend to sully Mao’s memory).
You may have read about Xi's response to Trump as they sat over cake at Mar-a-Lago and Trump informed Xi that he had just fired 59 Tomahawks at Khan Sheikhoun. Now Assad is a close ally of China, which has had ties to Syria for decades. In fact, China has plans to rebuild Syria (as shown in our translation of an unusually candid report here). Thus Trump’s obtuse words must have hurt Xi to the quick. But far from confrontational, Xi’s response to Trump was Confucian and harmonious.
According to Trump in a media interview. Xi said:
‘Anybody that uses gases’ —you could almost say or anything else — but ‘anybody that was so brutal and uses gases to do that to young children and babies, it’s okay.’ He was okay with it.”
I suspect even Confucius would have choked at this insincere response. (It reminded me of Will Smith as Hancock, who was advised by a psychologist to compliment his coworkers by saying “good work” after they carried out an assignment, and then proceeded to say this even when it was he who had done the job). Xi’s government later expressed bitter criticism of the Tomahawk attack in its state-owned media.
Both China and Russia seek harmonious relations even with the most difficult partners. This is the wave of the future and it is the result of the East learning from their earlier mistakes and the mistakes of the West, notably the total rejection of all past thought and behavior. China has turned back to Confucius and Russia has turned back to Christ. The result is the same.
Nietzsche, an old school radical philosopher who, while he criticized the Enlightenment, was focused on shocking people with an across the board rejection of the past, including past wisdom. He made no attempt to be conciliatory. As he wrote, he was a suffering soul confined to his bed, with advanced syphilis, which eventually killed him. Being hopelessly ideology bound, he had apparently rejected the notion that promiscuous sex can be harmful, thinking this taboo to be an outmoded Christian idea rather than the universal truth that it was. Despite years of agony that would have caused others to regret their dissipated past, he had learned nothing from his own mistakes, and many of his readers – worshippers really -- are attempting to duplicate his failed experiment.
The West today is imbued with that malignant spirit. Thus, we find swaths of American society, for example, where anyone advocating for traditional marriage can be ostracized or worse, verbally – or even physically -- assaulted, or even lose their job (as reported here); a person entering certain parts of their downtown can be beaten for belonging to the wrong race, as described here; and criminals or gang members of a certain national origin will never be arrested because they are assigned to a victim group. The old notion of law and order, decency and politeness has collapsed. The West is now closer to the ideals of perpetual revolution than even Mao’s China and unlike China, where the insanity finally ended with Mao’s death, there is no promise of a respite because the movement is led not by one person but by a faceless mob.
In stark contrast to the ideology-bound West, the East has moved beyond and is now easily winning the war of ideas by focusing on common sense and doing the will of the people. It turns out that the wisdom of the past is still as valid today as it was then. But these countries are also completely focused on science, as both Enlightenment schools were.
Ironically, the one world power that unabashedly lays claim to a Christian foundation for its public policies is, in terms of science, head and shoulders above the US, which abhors Christianity and still clings to the absurd notion that Christianity is incompatible with science. Emblematic of this situation is the fact that the radically secular US is obliged to purchase rocket engines from the openly Christian Russia.
Russia ushering in the Age of Grace
East and West: the twain shall meet
Making Saudi Arabia great again
In Russian, Their sons of bitches“: US and Britain arm 70 of the world’s dictators
By Vince Dhimos
There was, however, no liberty for the hapless subjects. They either obeyed their leaders or faced death. Nor was there equality for the masses, only for the top elite, who called themselves the Assemblée nationale législative and, without any consultation with the people, handed down their edicts to the masses. Under these circumstances there was no brotherhood ether, naturally. The gap between ruled and rulers was as wide and intractable as it had been under the nobles. And the beheadings had been much less frequent in the bad old days. Indeed, Robespierrre, the ring leader, was already a lawyer and hence a member of the old elite when he spearheaded the movement. Once installed he became a self-worshiping tyrant and often made public appearances dressed like a Roman emperor, until his unfortunate head also rolled from the guillotine.
Thousands upon thousands of people perceived as associated with the ancien régime were sent to the guillotine with little or no trial. Eventually, even many of those who showed less than the desirable degree of enthusiasm for the revolution and its leaders were beheaded, and the streets soon ran red with blood. In a caprice of history, “Enlightened One” (éclairé) became synonymous with “executioner.” Aimed at eliminating excesses such as the Inquisition, the Enlightenment became its own inquisition. As if this were not enough insanity, Napoleon Bonaparte became the carrier of the revolution and rampaged across Europe and Russia to spread this wonderful idea, destroying precious infrastructure, art treasures and architecture in his path until he was brought down by countries that were less than enthusiastic about the Englightenment.
One of the main problems with the movement was confusion. While some of les philosophes based their ideals on Cicero’s ideas of natural law, others did not, leading to the contradictory situation of some philosophers rejecting natural law while endorsing natural science. And then there was de Sade, who seemed to think that lawlessness was natural.
Famous quotations from the Marquis de Sade, once called the Prince of the Enlightenment, sheds light on the movement’s attitudes toward traditional morality. In this list, we find him, for example:
endorsing infanticide, atheism, and crime, justifying theft as a more fair distribution of wealth, cruelty as natural and as a “virtue and not a vice,” characterizing marriage as a “horror”, and condemning humaneness as “nothing but weakness born of fear and ignorance.”
While the “enlightened” French revolutionaries touted themselves as scientific and paid lip service to the scientific method, they showed little aptitude for wielding the method. Real scientists test their hypothesis on a small sampling of guinea pigs to see if it actually leads to the desired result. If they get the expected result, they then use a larger population and keep testing to make sure the solution is safe for large scale application. Instead of this, the entire French populace was subjected to a dangerous experiment without any pre-trials and the medicine killed the patients by the thousands.
Incredibly, Western leaders today continue to use this same failed method, assuming their proposed solutions will work and then when they fail, they pretend the test was a success. In fact, ever since 1789 the French have been celebrating this colossal failure every year on July 14.
So why all the fuss about a philosophical movement that hardly anyone cares or knows anything about?
Because the dichotomy between the radical Enlightenment and its more moderate school—the one that didn’t kill anyone -- is the hinge on which all the conflict between East and West turns.
The war between moderate and radical Enlightened Ones, ie, essentially East and West, is now as fierce as before, but with one major difference: we are now in a nuclear age making a peaceful resolution a matter of life and death for all of us.
Radical Enlightenment thought has led to the disaster that the West has become, with its impossible debt levels, its social unrest, its sharp divisions in a society teetering on the brink of civil war, and endless senseless foreign wars and regime change coups. Thus, among Western leadership, there is not a trace of reason to be found, nothing but edicts from on high. This tragedy is due in large part to the focus on punishing those who are perceived as the perpetrators of the serious issues of the past. In the early days of the Enlightenment, these perceived perpetrators included the leaders behind the excesses of the Church, such as the Inquisition, the sale of indulgences, the religious wars, etc. Since many of the leaders who caused these ills were clerics, the “Enlightened ones” decided with minimal deliberation that the bedrock of Christianity, ie, the belief in God, was the cause of all ills, and they set about to eliminate the clergy and all religious beliefs, replacing them with manmade slogans and rigid ideology-bound leaders.
It needs to be pointed out that the main issues of the past were in fact due to ignorant misguided people calling themselves Christians. That must be stated up front lest the reader think I am making this a defense of so-called Christianity, which today is applied to groups who, often without realizing it, reject the teachings of Christ and cling to legalistic Old Testament notions that are quite the opposite.
The abuses that led to the Enlightenment movement were indefensible. The Catholic Church was guilty of grave human rights abuses and had meddled unfairly in politics. I hasten to add that the beneficiaries of Lutheran’s reforms had learned nothing from their prior mistreatment at the hands of the Catholics either. Instead of taking a more benevolent view of dissidents, treating them with more understanding and kindness than they themselves had been shown by the Catholics, they soon applied the same abusive tactics against the Anabaptists. It was not until the banished Anabaptists reached the shores of the New World and settled there in a relatively peaceful environment that they, the victims of the persecution by the ex-victims of the Catholics, achieved a new level of understanding, at least in political life – namely, that all religious persecution, not just persecution of their one group, must be rejected universally. In accepting this proposition, the Anabaptists had become unwitting pioneers in the movement to keep church and state separate. This new idea removed one of the obstacles toward better understanding between traditional and revolutionary (enlightened so-called). It could have been the start of a generally benign policy toward traditionalism among the elites. But the elites were unmoved and remained hostile as before to Christianity, to the extent that today, for example, in the field of biology, any scientist who expresses even the slightest interest in the concept of Intelligent Design as a factor in the evolution of the species, is considered an outcast in the scientific community. The tacit implication is that a belief in a higher power precludes being considered a scientist. This situation is best described in the documentary titled Expelled (view full film here).
Russia ushering in the Age of Grace
East and West: the twain shall meet
Making Saudi Arabia great again
In Russian, Their sons of bitches“: US and Britain arm 70 of the world’s dictators
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East vs West: Who are the enlightened ones?
By Vince Dhimos
I will be like the most high. Isaiah 14:14
The core mission of New Silk Strategies is to explain the reasons for the Western world’s increasingly conspicuous social, economic, financial, military and foreign policy failures. We have already provided comprehensive reference material for understanding the petrodollar agreement with the Saudis (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) that all but guaranteed a steady series of wars unrelated to the protection of US interests; a comprehensive outline of the US’s designs on Middle Eastern oil along with Chinas’s plans to help Syria protect its own resources (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), and the contribution of Israel to the motivation for US-waged wars, including the irrational antagonism to Iran (here and here), and we have exposed (here) the almost unnoticed role of Christian Zionism in the unquestioned support of Israeli policies that help promote these wars (without most Christians knowing they are part of Zionism).
But we had not yet elaborated on the deeper lying cause, ie, the mentality that makes US and European policy makers and their popular supporters put aside all moral considerations that might give the war makers and their popular base pause. For example, why would most Western officials and the grass roots find it acceptable that Israel should occupy for years a large swath of Syrian territory, the Golen Heights, with no challenge from the US or European governments or the UN?
Why in heaven’s name did the US and Britain declare war on Afghanistan and then Iraq and destroy so much infrastructure in these countries, making a living hell for the lives of the inhabitants, when it was the Saudis and their GCC allies who had founded and sponsored Al-Qaeda, with the tacit support of the US, and the invaded countries had virtually nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks?
Why do the US and Europe still send vast arms shipments to Saudi Arabia? Why does Freedom House, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US government posing as a NGO, list the democratically administered Syria as the worst offender against freedom when the Syrian people are the victims of ISIS, Al-Qaeda rebrandings and other US-supported terrorists in Syria, and not the Syrian government?
And how is it that Iran, a country that contributes mightily to defeating ISIS in Syria, is called the “biggest state sponsor of terror” in the world?
And on the domestic front, how can a Christian country deny life-saving medical insurance to people with pre-conditions, simply allowing them to die under color of protecting the free market?
Why does the US government, whose “enemies” are almost all the product of US provocation (even North Korea, as Andre Vltchek has shown here) or fabricated in the fantasies of government officials and msm, spend on “defense” enough money to solve most of the social, public health and crime problems of the country and invest in projects that create high-paying jobs (projects analogous to the Chinese bank ACIIB and infrastructure project BRI)?
Why have the central bankers and government allowed disastrous financial bubbles and ponderous debt to threaten their own people and the financial stability of the globe?
And why is Africa becoming poorer and poorer even as the IMF lends increasing amounts to that continent (we hope to explore this in further detail later on)?
Finally, why is the West focused on aiding refugees but not on rebuilding the infrastructures of countries, such as Syria, that have been destroyed by terrorism, so that the refugees can go home?
In other words, what is the origin of the underlying lack of all morality, natural law and common sense in Western public life? Is there an ideological bedrock on which all the inequality, injustice, impoverishment and cruelty against people foreign and domestic rest?
Conversely, why is it that Russia and China are not contributing to these problems?
For example, why is Russia’s debt such a tiny percentage of its GDP?
And why does Russia not invade countries, merely going to the aid of countries or regions that have been invaded or assaulted through regime change?
Why is Chinese aid aimed at raising Africa out of poverty instead of exploiting it?
And why are Russia and China focused on rebuilding Syria even as the West continues to impose grossly unfair and impoverishing sanctions on that war torn country?
In summary, why do Russia and China appear to be the humanitarians while the Exceptional Country once describing itself as Christian, along with its allies in Europe, now appear to be the oppressors?
Yes, there is an ideological bedrock underlying all of this that enables us to answer all of these questoins, and we now come to this most thorny and complex issue, namely, Enlightenment thought, originating in the 17th and 18th Centuries, and its extension into the 21st Century. But as we shall see, in its radical form, the word Enlightenment is a cynical misnomer. Yet in its moderate form, it is true to its name. The moderate school, which is a non-ideological problem-solving approach, has been all but eliminated in the West but thrives in the East.
The Enlightenment is generally defined by historians as a movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that sought to apply reason to solve problems facing mankind. It was supposed to be a humanitarian movement and was supposed to replace religious dogma with rationality and enable the common man to overcome the overbearing influence of the rich and powerful, making everyone equal in an enlightened world.
Typically mentioned by historians as the leaders of this Enlightenment are a number of leading philosophers, such as Rousseau and, most famously, Voltaire, whose more radical school of thought generally taught that there could be no compromise with traditionalists or with the ancient wisdom and common sense that were part of the popular European psyche up until them. We could describe this movement and its extension to the modern age as “perpetual revolution.” The radical Enlightenment in its real world embodiment was marked by a zeal not so much to solve problems but to eradicate old ideas and behaviors and to punish those who clung to them. Their targets were common sense and traditional wisdom, particularly of the kind associated with Christianity. The embodiment of this radical school is best illustrated by the French Revolution, the proving ground for the ideology. Unfortunately, the guinea pigs for this trial were the whole of the French people. Such a test of a matter that would necessarily affect the very core of civilization could be compared to a chef elaborating a new recipe on paper and, without first tasting the product, preparing it and serving it to hundreds of select guests in the finest restaurant in Paris. A risk to say the least.
Ultimately, this revolution led to a blood bath, preceded with much fanfare and propaganda consisting essentially of the words “Liberté, égalité, fraternité,” ie, freedom, equality, brotherhood. It failed tragically.
Russia ushering in the Age of Grace
East and West: the twain shall meet
Making Saudi Arabia great again
In Russian, Their sons of bitches“: US and Britain arm 70 of the world’s dictators
To be continued
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One thing today’s conservatives need to understand, no matter how they feel about Russia, is that the Russian government is run on sound fiscal conservative principles, which is why they have almost no debt vs our $20 trillion. Ironically, while conservatives all adhere, on some level of their consciousness, to the notion of not spending more than you bring in, many remain convinced that a war president must be supported wholeheartedly no matter how absurd his pretext for war, and no matter how much money he demands for “defense” (meaning “offense” in today’s Washington), you must support this spending in the interest of “public security” for reasons that, strangely, are never articulated. Thus this latter pillar of conservatism – unquestioned support of a war president, especially a Republican one -- always takes precedence over fiscal conservatism, enabling presidents to continue ad infinitum their policy of squandering the little guy’s last penny on unjustified and ruinous wars.
In fact, though conservatives would never admit it, many put “patriotism” a few steps ahead of godliness as well when push comes to shove. Their unquestioned support for Israel is one example of this. Their reasoning is based on the dry bones prophecy in Ezekiel 37. And yet, this prophecy says the resurrected Israel will be led by King David, which these same Christians interpret to mean that the prophetic Israel will bow to King Jesus. They ignore the fact that the average Israeli today is either atheistic or irreligious and the Orthodox, whose beliefs are much more in line with those of Christians, generally oppose the statehood of Israel because it replaces Judaic religion with secular statehood. Conservatives just cling to the notion that no matter how warlike the modern Israel is, their wars are part and parcel of God’s plan for Israel. (If you are unaware of the USS Liberty story, please read it here at the Chicago Tribune site).
Yet Revelations speaks of false Jews, who would seem to meet the description of most modern Israelis.
I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Revelation 3:9
The term “false Jews” here is generally interpreted to mean Jews who reject God.
The Hilonim constitute the biggest social group in Israel. According to a Pew poll:
“Among Hilonim, … only 4% see being Jewish as primarily a matter of religion.”
“…just 1% of Hilonim say they pray daily, and 79% never pray” Not only do few Hilonim say they attend synagogue on a weekly basis or pray with regularity, but many (40%) also say they do not believe in God.
And Christian Zionists, best represented by former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, want us to believe that these Israelis, best represented by the irreligious Hilonim, are the ones who accept Christ as their king as prophesied in Ezekiel?
Christian Zionists further reason that they must help God usher in the Millennium in the final days by facilitating the fulfilment of prophecies. They ignore the fact that the Old Testament God dispersed the Jews as punishment for their failure to obey Him. In view of the above, when have today’s Jews started obeying God again?
This Christian Zionist narrative relieves Christian conservatives of the obligation to take geopolitical and military factors into account when weighing US policies vis-à-vis Israel. But since in the real world, foreign policy making is an intricate task requiring skill, training and knowledge of international law, different cultures and the history of peoples, this belief is tantamount to hiring clergy instead of certified engineers to build a bridge. Do they really think unskilled amateurs can do a satisfactory job in keeping the peace?
This replacement of intellect with pseudo-religious hocus-pocus puts a large percentage of the US public fully in line with the Chiliastic Christians of past centuries who laid waste to swaths of Europe, burning churches and looting monasteries, until they were finally stopped by the secular powers. These Chiliastics were driven by the notion that they were helping God usher in the Millennium spoken of in Revelation. Just as today’s “conservatives” are oblivious to the specter of nuclear war because they were convinced that God was protecting them, many modern “conservative Christians” believe that they have a mandate to help God fulfill the prophesies concerning Israel. They too have a sense of their own invulnerability in the face of the wars they condone – which risk becoming nuclear -- in favor of Israel. The seemingly courageous medieval “Christian” militants who tore up Europe typically showed no fear until they faced imminent death at the gallows or the stake when they generally melted into a quivering mass of flesh. A complete history of the Chiliastic Christians and their wars is found in the book “The Socialist Phenomenon” by Igor Shafarevich, available in PDF format here. If you read the description of the “socialists of the heresies” starting on page 18, you won’t be able to avoid the startling analogy with modern Christian Zionists who are eager to plunge us into war believing that they are helping God fulfil his prophecies and hence are invulnerable. History has taught us better but we don’t know it.
Yet it is not so much the damage that they do with this cultism but rather their persuasion of their non-religious countrymen to accept their blind support for Israel-led wars that raises concerns. They use the carrot of social acceptance and the stick of possible rejection, suggesting that by supporting Israel, the non-religious can be saved from eternal damnation while if they refuse, they will be condemned for eternity. After all, in Genesis, God said to Israel: I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you. He was referring to a people who initially obeyed God.
Ultimately, then, based on this unspoken religious principle, it is just not patriotic to save the American economy when there is an imaginary enemy of God (the Muslim group du jour, eg, the Palestinians or Iranians) lurking out there. And the absurdity of the narrative on which the war is based, just doesn’t matter because there are considerations of a heavenly order that cannot be questioned without blaspheming and dooming one’s soul. But this kind of thinkingi s legalism, and Christ taught against it, showing in parables that the legalists are the ones doomed to hell.
Obviously, neither the economy nor the national soul will ever be saved as long as this principle prevails. As long as no change in our national psyche is on the horizon, there is, logically, only one possible ending to this tale, and that is total collapse or perhaps another world war, most likely a nuclear one in which, according to Revelation, no flesh will be saved.
When I mention an economic collapse, people will certainly think I am talking about a doomsday scenario. But they forget that, when client countries like the US get in trouble, supplier countries like China necessarily come to their aid. After all, suppliers need solvent customers.
So here goes another “unpatriotic” statement: Assuming the US public is incapable of making a substantive change in their political views, a collapse would be the best possible scenario. We would then be like a bankrupt commercial company in receivership, where a solvent entity such as a government controls the administration of the company in such a way as to avoid any of the administrative errors that caused the bankruptcy in the first place. At that point, the company in bankruptcy is safer than it had ever been in the past and can finally get back on the path to recovery. The receiver entity will not allow the company to make reckless decisions. The bankrupt company is obliged to accept these terms when it accepts the assistance. You can’t have it both ways.
Thus, sad to say, if the US crashes and burns because it cannot manage its own affairs, then someone must manage it until such time as it gets back on a sound footing, reverting to pragmatism instead of ruinous ideology.
The thought of such a scenario is so repugnant to many conservatives (and also to run-of-the-mill Democrats) that they are literally incapable of conceiving of it and will declare you a traitor if you dare to speak of it, even when it is clearly inevitable. They still cling to the idea that America is God’s country. But like the ancient Jews, we have disobeyed.
Indeed if we look back a half-century we will recall that Americans could never conceive in the 60s of China ever outpacing the US economy. Unthinkable. If you had suggested that our reckless gambit of turning over our manufacturing to China would enable that country eventually to match or surpass us, less than half a percent of Americans could have countenanced such a possibility. Yet after 50 years of one failed military adventure and one foolish central-bank policy after the other, that is exactly what has happened. We are like a luckless gambler who has been receiving credit from the gambling house every time he loses and suddenly, after years of lenience, the owner calls in the debt. The reckless gambler can cry all he wants but it was he who made his bed.
Is it China’s fault that it took advantage of a reckless gambler?
And is it the fault of a person with vision that he dares to warn his countrymen of what is about to happen?
In the shifting sands of American thought, I may have lost my status of “conservative” among foolish men who see nothing. But my goal is not to please men. I only want to keep my status as an humble servant before a God who sees all.
I have decided to post this because, despite the hard knocks I have had in my encounters with them, I know that deep down, conservatives are common sense people who will eventually listen to reason. So what is the solution, folks?
Love. Not trust, but love. We need to forgive all the harm that has been done to us by men who have dragged us into war after war but never again trust in men, not even politicians who say all the things we want to hear, or accept their skewed interpretations of the Bible.
As Jesus hung in agony from the cross, he said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” His was not weakness, quite the opposite. It was the way of the future for both Jew and Gentile alike. Our troubles are not due to religion. They are due to our putting country first and God second.
Making Saudi Arabia great again:
Especially relevant to Part 2:
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The Russia-Syria-Iran alliance has all but defeated ISIS and some other minor annoyances like Al-Nusra and other US-allied terror groups, and people everywhere are now eyeing the US presence in Syria as a weary host views uninvited hangers-on at a party that should have been over a while ago.
For those Trump fans who were delighted at the rumor of a possible $400 billion contract for shipment of US arms to Saudi Arabia (which is not a done deal), it must have been disconcerting to learn that on Thursday, King Salman made the first ever official visit of a Saudi king to Moscow and asked to purchase some shiny new S-400s to safeguard its air space. As of now, this is a done deal, according to Business Insider. And this after Moscow had already made an unprecedented volume of arms deals all around the world, including major ones in the king’s back yard: 300 Terminator tank support vehicles – a Russian weapon system like no other in the world – to Algeria, a longstanding partner of Russia’s; a done deal for $2 billion in arms to Egypt; a perspective $2 billion deal with Egypt’s ally Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, also a Russian ally of long standing; a Russian pledge to provide helicopters, night-vision goggles and bullet-proof vests to Tunisian security forces to fight terror; and, to the horror of Washington, Russia is now expected to ink a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a squadron (over a dozen) Su-35 stealth fighter jets. Why would this Arab ally of Washington turn up its nose at the US-made F-35, the nearest analog of the Su-35? Easy. The Su-35 (Russian language site) outmaneuvers the F-35 and sells for around $35 million apiece vs the roughly $120 million price tag of the F-35. The problem is, the US is permanently locked into a system wherein defense contractors donate to (read bribe) political candidates who later decide who gets the defense contracts. This legal graft makes arms prices too high to compete and the rest of the world is therefore drifting toward Russia – where bribery is illegal – for its arms supplies. Russia’s fabulous success in Syria gives it an unbeatable edge in the global arms market.
British Middle East expert John Bradley, writing for The Spectator, reminds us that just 2 short years ago, US defense secretary Ash Carter had predicted a catastrophe for Russia when it entered the war on Bashar al-Assad’s side to fight ISIS and assorted US-trained and armed jihadi groups in Syria. Such deceitful minimization of Russian power has been ongoing since then but the Saudi royals’ visit to Moscow on Thursday was the last straw. The curtain’s been drawn on the Washington wizard, for whom there is now no place to hide.
Bradley also reminds us, with unusual candor for a Western journalist, of all the chicanery, lies, deceit, backstabbing, genocidal acts and other untoward behavior of Western officialdom in all the wars and warmongering of the past half century that has gone into transforming America and allies – seen since WW II as paladins fearlessly rushing to the aid of the oppressed – into a bunch of feared and loathed pariahs. He has nonetheless retained the usual de rigueur references to Putin as “autocratic,” despite the fact that he is one of the most popular elected leaders in the world, in a bid to protect Bradley’s reputation among his peers, although such minor slurs are rare in this piece and are obviously just there to protect his paycheck. We forgive him.
Bradley reminds us of how Putin managed to win over Erdogan even after Turkey shot down a Russian jet over the Turkish-Syrian border and declares:
“It is testament to Putin’s extraordinary diplomatic skills that Russia and Turkey are these days singing each other’s praises as never before.”
No, Putin’s diplomatic feat is so much more than that, Mr. Bradley. In truth, it is a testament to Putin’s being Russian and not Western. That’s exactly the source of his success. But what does it mean to be Russian as opposed to Western?
Although the West has a thin pseudo-Christian veneer over it, the notions of turning the other cheek and leaving vengeance up to the Lord are virtually absent in the Atlanticist empire, particularly in discussions of how to treat an enemy. Even in the reader forums of the pro-Russian site Russia Today (my favorite news site, BTW), we find a lot of criticism of Putin for treating the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia as partners rather than exacting revenge on them for their support for terrorists or for Israel’s attacks on Syria allies fighting ISIS. We also find at this site commentaries by Paul Craig Roberts criticizing Putin for treating the US as a partner and not as an enemy. PCR seems to think Putin is soft-headed and not in fact the highly skilled diplomat that he is. Anyone who has witnessed Putin’s skill in dealing with Erdogan and the dazzling success he has achieved so far with the Turk stream pipeline, the S-400 sale to the Turks, and generally empowering Turkey to defy Germany and the US to protect its own sovereignty ought to admit that Putin knows exactly what he is doing all the time. The fatal flaw in our character, however, is the mental disease of Westernness.
The truth is, the West has never truly received Christ’s message. It is behaving instead in accordance with Old Testament law, as if Christ had never ushered in an age of grace. In testimony to their Old Testament allegiance, Christians are proud to proclaim publicly “I stand with Israel” but we never hear them publicly stating “I stand with Jesus.” Because they actually don’t. The entire Western elitosphere promotes and even enforces a brutal predatory capitalism that hurts their own countrymen, leaving the sick to die of diseases for which they cannot afford health insurance. Their justification? That’s just the way it is in our sacred capitalist system. If we provide free health care to save lives, we would be opening the door to communism and that in turn would usher in Stalin-like purges, jackboots, midnight visits by the KGB, etc. Just look at Cuba, they say. The Cubans are grindingly poor. Yet no prominent Westerner dares to point out that if the Cubans are poor, it is because the US has held them in a stranglehold for years with its blockades and sanctions, and its refusal to trade with them, for the crime of rejecting the American way of life that has now culminated in a crushing debt that will never be paid down or off. In fact the fall of the Soviet Union was as much due to US intervention and subterfuge as is was to internal failures.
Worse, the US hypocritically trades freely with an openly communist China while pretending that the democratically administered Russia is somehow our biggest enemy – not the criminals on Wall Street, Pennsylvania Avenue and in Congress. But the real crying shame of it all is that the US and European populace allows itself to be led by these heartless monsters in Washington, Paris, Berlin and Brussels who have not only impoverished their own countries but have murdered millions abroad over the last half-century, mostly civilians in countries that have not threatened our peoples. It was murder under color of law decreed by the Exceptional Nation.
Western clergy pay lip service to the revolutionary concept of grace as opposed to Old Testament law. But this teaching is for the most part carefully kept separate from real life. Jesus demonstrated in real life and in parables how this new concept is supposed to work. One of the most poignant examples is the story of how He and the disciples were walking through a field of grain on the Sabbath and were seen by the Pharisees to pluck and eat the grain. For this innocuous act they were accused of profaning the Sabbath, which according to the 10 Commandments, was to be “kept holy.” While the scriptures did not detail what keeping it holy meant, it was generally believed that people were not to work on that day. Yet the notion of “work” was subject to interpretation. The Pharisees used this vaguely written law to trip people up and in this way gain power over them. When they used this legalistic line of argumentation to trip up Jesus, he said: how many of you if your ox fell into a well on the Sabbath would not rescue it? None could say that they would leave the animal to die. He had made his point and had given mankind a glimpse of salvation through grace and not law.
Likewise, we recall how he intervened when an adulteress was about to be stoned, saying to the angry mob: let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Thus, in these instances and elsewhere, Christ emphasized not the letter of the law but rather the fact that we are all human and prone to sin, despite our best intentions. This hard and fast fact of human nature demands a solution and that solution is forgiveness through grace. No other religion has this concept. And before Putin, no world leader had ever had the audacity to try applying the concept of grace to geopolitics.
Thus whether or not Putin is consciously acting out Christianity (something he has never claimed to be doing because he knows that to articulate his motives would be to profane the Source of them), he is in fact undeniably behaving like Christ. The radical act of forgiveness toward Erdogan, who had clearly behaved like an enemy, was a clear cut case of practical Christianity. Americans finding themselves in a similar situation would call for war against Turkey. Russians, by contrast, know what war is like on their own soil and, more importantly, they are not motivated by the machismo modeled by, say, Clint Eastwood or Sylvester Stallone. They are increasingly discovering the teachings of Jesus and the value of their application to their lives.
By contrast, most Americans immediately call for revenge against any national leader threatening the US, using such threats as a pretext for war, even though they must know on some level of their consciousness that these threats are empty. Politicians know that the average American wants a tough, machista response and reveres presidents who stand up to a perceived bully, even if this means a war that will drive another nail in the economic coffin and destroy the innocent people of the assaulted country. The fact is, the US itself has become a surly bully much more powerful than the nations who challenge it and does not pick on anyone its own size.
Now we face a threat from a president who says he will respond to a North Korean threat with “fire and fury” and will destroy the entire country. He probably does not realize that air force general Curtis LeMay, who had led the Korean air war, once said that the US had killed, with aerial bombings, an estimated 20% of the North Korean population (this was later disputed but the figure was nonetheless placed at 13.5%, which still easily qualifies as genocide ). The war department knew that the US could not win that war and yet they chose to bomb before pulling out, dropping on North Korea more ordinance than they had throughout WW II. The only possible conclusion as to their motive is revenge. You kill innocent men, women and children in revenge for the sins of their leaders. It’s the American way: Biblical if your basis is the Old Testament and if Jesus is not your King. And this kind of vengefulness is not confined to America because the English also exacted such brutal revenge on the civilian population of Dresden, most of whom were roasted alive by their bombing raid even though it was clear by then that the allies would win the war.
Do you see the diametrically opposite poles here? Russian leadership has had ample opportunity and fire power to avenge itself, for example, of the US and Israeli air forces for their ruthless attacks on Syrian troops even as the latter were fighting ISIS. No one could have blamed the Russians if they had shot down the attacking planes.
Yet they knew that to counterattack would only have weakened their position in the eyes of the world and would have irretrievably destroyed their relations with the offending nations. And now at last, Russia has been vindicated – by an overwhelming defeat of ISIS virtually everywhere in Syria; by the attendant arms sales to countries that could not fail to note the Kalibr missiles leaping out of the Caspian Sea and pinpointing targets hundreds of miles away, by the deployment of the formidable S-400s all over Syria and the unmistakable significance of these facts in terms of Russian arms superiority. And by the visit of a cowed Saudi king to Moscow begging for concessions in terms of reining in Iran, not out of hatred but out of fear for his very life. In other words, a king who once controlled the Middle East begging for mercy before a president who had seized that control from him by doing what was right and doing it so superbly.
After over a half-century – almost as long as the Soviet Union had lasted – the global Western lawlessness cynically called Exceptionalism, had finally given way to the simple saving concept of love.
Written on October 7, 2017, the birthday of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ever since I knew anything, I always thought of myself as a conservative. Back when GW Bush was running for president, I made sure all my friends understood why we needed him to lead us. I had heard him say in his campaign that he was for small government, and also that he did not want to engage in nation building. He also hated abortion and was for gun rights. And he was a born again Christian. I figured he was the change we needed.
I also figured his level headed kind of a guy would never get us embroiled in the affairs of other nations that didn’t concern us. But then after the election, and after the terrorist attack on our country in 2001, the US was bombarded with all this information about how Afghanistan was harboring the arch terrorist Osama bin Laden. So Bush told us that if we didn’t defeat the terrorists on their own turf, we’d have to fight them over here. Bush “protected” us by fighting the Taliban. Not long after we embarked on that sacred mission, we learned that Saddam Hussein was also supporting terror and probably was responsible for the 9-11 attacks.
But shortly after the US “won” the war in Iraq, reports filtered out that the Assyrian Christians, who had lived in relative peace in Mesopotamia for over a millennium, were leaving Iraq in droves. And that the country was in chaos. A famous Iraqi museum with priceless artifacts was looted and many treasures were lost forever. The US never even made a statement about this. Could it be that our leaders had such little regard for the world’s heritage of historical art and archeology?
We also learned that most of the 9-11 attackers were Saudis and that the main funding source of Al-Qaeda, the terror group that had just killed 3000 of us, was Saudi Arabia. I wondered in the secret recesses of my mind why we had not declared war on Saudi Arabia instead of Afghanistan and Iraq. But no one, neither on the right nor on the left, ever mentioned this. I was afraid to utter my secret thoughts at first and waited for someone braver than myself to speak up. But no one did.
I kept thinking long and hard about these things but when I mentioned any of this to my conservative friends, most would give me a blank stare. Some even told me I was no longer a good conservative. I had violated a rule of conservatism: never question the judgment of a conservative leader in time of war. But yet, I wondered: if the American people had been given the opportunity to respond to the 9-11 terror, would it every have occurred to them to invade Afghanistan and Iraq? Wasn’t this really someone else’s war? Why not fight the terror sponsors? It seemed like it was bad manners to criticize the Saudis. People understood that Bush Jr. was a good friend of the Saudi royal family. But should we not work out our own conclusions? Did conservatives really need a leader to tell us what, not how, to think? Wasn’t that kind of group think the hallmark of liberals?
I began to suspect that conservatism was a shape shifter.
I mean there was a check list of items of our faith. To be a good conservative you had to defend gun rights. I checked out on that one. You had to love the Constitution. I got good marks on that. I had even taken a course in the Constitution. You had to believe in God. Check. I was the leader of a neighborhood Bible study. You had to hate abortion. Check. You had to be for secure borders. Check. You had to support your country in time of war. Well, I supported my military. But why were they put in harm’s way? Was it patriotic to send men to fight for something no one understood? Must I also defend the decision makers, who were unable to articulate their motives and goals? And again, the nagging question: what about the Saudis?
I felt guilty that I could no longer support my president as wholeheartedly as before.
I pondered these issues for a long time and finally came to the conclusion that conservatism in America has become an ideology. I had always thought it was just a template, a common sense way of thinking free of ideological baggage.
Now earlier, some astute observer had noted that liberalism was a mental disease. I agreed wholeheartedly.
But now that the age of Trump is upon us, I realize that conservatives are no more exempt from the symptoms of group think than the liberals.
When I remind my conservative friends that America is suffering a relapse of the “Dubbya syndrome,” many of them bristle.
It’s lonely, but should I pretend not to notice things to appease my friends?
Trump promised us to steer clear of interfering in other nations’ business. Just as Bush had promised us never to engage in nation building.
And just as Bush had once famously said he had looked into Putin’s eyes and saw he was a good man, Trump said on the campaign trail that he was sure he could “get along with Putin.”
But after he entered office, Trump turned around and said he was pretty sure the Russians had hacked Hillary’s emails. Yet most Republicans believe Julian Assange’s assertion that no state entity was involved in passing on the emails. So why did Trump suddenly turn around and blame the Russians? Didn’t he know that logic was on the side of the doubters? Yet here he was suggesting that his own path to the White House may have been due to interference from a country that really had no motive to interfere – after all, Putin had said during the campaign that it didn’t matter who was elected because the Washington bureaucracy made all the important foreign policy decisions anyway, regardless of who was president. And now Trump was confirming this keen observation.
Insidiously, many conservatives, including Trump, are now siding with the Hillary camp in its absurd fear and suspicion of Russia. When I pass on information from RT or Russia Insider that rebuts the standard shared warmongering narrative of both Neocons and Neoliberals alike, some of these “conservatives” tell me I am a Kremlin stooge. They refuse to believe that Russia is no longer a communist dictatorship. Many of the readers in the forums at the pro-Trump “conservative” Breitbart site share this absurd thinking. Don’t they realize they are thereby supporting a narrative designed to support Hillary?
I have come to see that the definition of conservatism has changed in America, perhaps permanently. Common sense is out the window and the American Dark Age is upon us.
To be continued
Making Saudi Arabia great again:
Especially relevant to Part 2:
Anton Orlovsky in his op-ed below provides details showing that, in his opinion, the US has lost control over the Far East. And this comes in the wake of the US colossal failure in the Middle East, where US coalition members, notably the Kurdish SDF, have recently tried a ploy to keep Syrian troops out of certain parts of their own country, in the vicinity of the hotly contested Deir Ezzor governate, home to the richest energy deposits in the country which the US covets.
Just this week, Syrian ambassador to the UN Walid al-Muallem told the UN: "Syria reserves the right to respond to any violation by the other party.”
This is a clear warning to the US and its proxies to keep clear of Syrian-Russian operations in Deir Ezzor, where Kurdish US proxies have recently attacked their troops fighting terrorists.
In all the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has never been such a frank warning from a Russian ally to the US military to stand clear. BTW, it was really difficult to find any report of this speech online. The West has all but censored this news – understandably because, as Orlovsky states below, the US is fast losing ground everywhere and is desperate to keep this news under wraps. (I finally found it at a web site in Lebanon, where it is still ok to talk about these things).
But the Neocons are nonetheless busy keeping all news less than complimentary to the US Establishment away from the plebes. For instance, the usual anti-Russian subjects senators McCain and Graham, along with another Neocon senator, have managed to ram through a piggy-back provision in a defense bill that will prohibit obliging cable TV companies to carry programming from the Russian Federation. This is a cagey form of soft censorship aimed at further hermetically sealing off their fiefdom, the US territory, from news embarrassing to the US elites – and that would be almost everything of importance that is happening outside US borders. It is amazing what you can’t find these days.
The US is like a landed white shark. It is not going anywhere and is flopping about helplessly at the bottom of the boat, but it still has its teeth.
Orlovsky’s last sentence at the end of the op-ed about the possibility of Europe changing preferences is not just idle talk. The EU has long been playing ball with China and Russia. Years ago it established yuan clearing centers at key European capitals with a view to accumulating the Chinese currency for settlements of debts – a practice that can only weaken the dollar. Europe also invested heavily in the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and, unlike the US Establishment, which has its head in the sand, is interested in investing in the Belt and Road Initiative Belt and Road Initiative aimed at connecting Asia to Europe and Africa.
NSS translation from the Russian of an op-ed in rusvesna.su.
Hegemon crushed: Russia and China "drop the hammer" at the UN
09-17-2017 - 5:30
When Donald Trump entered office, he promised a whole lot. The American argued that the US is an international superpower whose decisions are unshakable. But, as time has shown, this omnipotence is actually gone.
One of Tramp's bold and boisterous statements was the assertion that Pyongyang would not acquire intercontinental missiles that could threaten the United States in the future. But in the issue of North Korea, the Americans had to make concessions to Beijing and Moscow, because there was a high probability that China or Russia would impose a veto on the US resolution and would not allow the document to go forward.
Moscow and Beijing managed to remove from the document the provocative details of the resolution, which could only provoke Pyongyang, and not force it to start thinking about it. So, Russia and China did not allow the Americans to introduce any oil embargoes, stop ships on the high seas, or deport labor migrants.
This is despite the fact that Russian and Chinese missions to the UN supported sanctions against the DPRK. To a lesser extent, they pressed on the DPRK, so as not to cross the "red line", possibly provoking Kim Jong-un.
And this date - September 11, can be safely entered into the annals of history as a day when the US finally lost influence in the Far East.
It is noteworthy that the inability of the United States to contain the "North Korean regime" and force it to abandon the development of nuclear weapons is not the only time in recent years that the US has failed to assert its own position.
The North Korean failure was preceded by three other setbacks: at the Russian borders, where the US supported the color revolutions (Georgia, Ukraine), the Americans failed to foresee Russia’s reaction, thus preventing them from achieving their goals; in Syria, where Washington intended to curtail the "Assad regime", but achieved nothing; in Central Asia, where gross mistakes by the United States and indulgence towards Pakistan led to the strengthening of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In the big geopolitical game, Washington is giving up its positions, and the firmness, determination and steadfastness they once had are moving to the second and third rung. And Russia and China are already applying for the position of world leaders. And not as international hegemons, but as states offering to work on mutually beneficial terms. Together, and not dictated, as the US has always demanded.
Further it is obvious that in this scenario, it is on Donald Trump’s watch that Washington will finally lose the political gravitas that it once had. It is possible that even Europe will change its preferences after a while.
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Will Spain shell Barcelona?
Catalonia’s push to leave Spain is interesting because if they get their way, the outcome will challenge the West’s unanimous accusation that Russia “illegally” annexed Crimea in 2014.
If the Catalonians succeed in seceding over Madrid's protests, then that raises the question: How can the Crimean secession from Ukraine be such a bitterly contended issue and how can the West impose sanctions on the country to which they acceded if other regions are allowed to secede with relative impunity and accede to a third country?
But, you say, the situation in Catalonia is not entirely analogous to the situation in Crimea. However, the analogies are rather surprising if you think about it. As in Crimea, a referendum is to be held in Barcelona to see if the Catalonians really want to secede (after a million-strong march in favor of the referendum, it seems likely that they do). As in Crimea, the nation to which Catalonian had belonged – Spain – vehemently denied the legitimacy of the campaign to impending referendum, just as Ukraine had challenged the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum.
So far the analogy is perfect. But, you say, while Crimea acceded to Russia, Catalonia is not acceding to another country. But wait, it will predictably want to accede to the EU, an organization with all the earmarks of a sovereign country, which refrains from calling itself a country because it wants the member states to think they are sovereign. Of course, they are not. Not when Brussels is demanding that the “sovereign” Hungary and other Visegrad nations accept “their share” of the EU’s immigrants, which were invited by the EU’s de facto boss Angela Merkel and not by the Hungarian government. It was in fact this kind of encroachment on sovereignty that prompted the Brexiteers to leave the EU. It was their strongest argument and their citizens agreed. Obviously, the UK citizens agreed that they were not sovereign and were in fact ruled by an empire – that is, an organization that has arrogated to itself all the earmarks of a sovereign state. So assuming the Catalonians win the referendum and then apply for membership in the EU as expected, the analogy with the Crimean secession and subsequent accession (not annexation as it is wrongly called in the West) to Russia is complete.
So assuming the Catalonians do hold their referendum and then apply as a sovereign entity for membership in the EU, they will have done all the things in Europe that the Crimeans did in their region.
Now the response was a furor throughout the Western sphere of influence, resulting in sanctions against Russia for allowing Crimea to accede to it. All Western media and pols who want to stay in office are calling this an illegal annexation.
Further, in another situation largely analogous to the Crimean and Catalonian situation, a referendum was held in 2014 in the Donbass region of the then-Ukraine known as pro-Russian and, while the results were unclear, a group of journalists from the Frankfuter Allgemeine Zeitung and the WaPo found in their pre-referendum informal poll that over 98% of the Donbass residents would have voted yes in the pending referendum. No reports indicated that any less than 65% did or would have voted for secession, though the results are clouded by Western frantic attempts to sabotage them.
This Donbass referendum is in a way more important still than the analogy with Crimea because thereafter, the Kiev government started shelling peaceful Donbass civilians and destroying their homes. They’re still at it except that now, the US Congress will be sending arms to help Kiev kill more civilians.
Update, links showing shelling by Kiev:
And what was the response of the Atlanticists to all this bloodshed on the part of its “partners” in Kiev? Dead silence at first followed by the position that both sides were at fault. Imagine if Catalonia won its referendum, which is considered illegal by Spain and in response, Spain starts shelling Barcelona. No one in the West would stand for that and yet they were fine when Kiev shelled Donbass civilians.
If they want to be consistent, the entire Atlanticist Establishment will have to refer to the future accession of Catalonia to the EU as an illegal annexation, allow Spain to shell the wayward Catalonians with weapons furnished by America, and when the latter try to defend themselves, blame both sides for the conflict.
Do you suppose they will do this?
Give us your thoughts in the comments section above.