Finny's News and Views.: "Against War"    
 "Against War"9 comments
7 Sep 2002 @ 21:21, by John Finn

Against War September 08, 2002 By Neve Gordon

I am against the war, the (perpetual) war on terrorism as well as the war against Iraq. I am against empire, the control of nearly 40 percent of the world's resources secured by the deployment of air, naval, and ground forces in over 800 bases across the globe. And I am against deception; the claim that United States foreign policy is aimed at ensuring freedom, justice and democracy around the world, when in fact its overseas agenda is driven by corporate greed, power and domination.

With the Bush administration determined -- rhetoric aside -- to oust Saddam Hussein and gain control of oil resources in Iraq, in what will most likely become an extremely bloody conquest, and the democratic party rambling along without even a murmur of protest, it is high time that ordinary citizens speak out clearly and stridently against Bush's insane imperialistic aspirations.

My claim is straightforward: in the name of fighting terrorism and spreading democracy around the globe -- which is outright propaganda considering the embrace of Pakistan's new dictator -- the Bush administration is undermining democratic processes and institutions within the United States. Put differently, Bush is exploiting both grief and fear to ruin the very essence of democratic life.

Let's look at the facts. In order to fund his wars, Bush is insisting on a $48 billion increase to the current $335 billion military budget, thus designating 53 percent of government spending on the military budget, which is already over twenty-three times the combined military spending of countries identified by the Pentagon as likely adversaries: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

Meanwhile, only 9 percent of the budget will go towards education and social services, and 6 percent to health. All this at a time when almost 17 percent of children in the U.S. live in poverty, 44 million people have no health insurance, and 85 percent of public schools need repair. Incidentally, the cost of one B-2 Bomber would be enough to repair over 1,000 aging school buildings.

The intolerance towards the plight of the poor is accompanied by a rapid increase in the authoritarian elements of state power. Not enough can be said on the ongoing attack on civil liberties, which began when the USA Patriot Act anti-terror bill was passed in October of last year. Due process has been suspended in many areas of the criminal justice system, including the right to speedy trial, freedom from arbitrary police searches, prohibition against indefinite incarceration and incognito detentions. Surveillance authority has also been widely broadened, whether through wiretapping or through the federal government's sweeping new powers to investigate electronic communications, personal and financial records, computer hard drives and other individual documents.

In order to justify its foreign policy goals, the administration has been demonizing all perceived enemies and in this way has helped awaken local xenophobic tendencies. Not surprisingly, this jingoistic tactic has had far reaching ramifications for Arabs and Muslims inside the U.S. as well.

Bush's Manichean worldview alongside his attack on civil liberties and utter lack of compassion towards the poor is done in the name of some distorted notion of patriotism. Anyone who so much as questions the rationality of the policies is immediately shut up and ostracized. All of which amounts to a drastic diminution of what political philosopher Hannah Arendt called the public sphere.

Democracy is, after all, dependent on a plurality of views, on the opportunity of people to express their opinions, debate issues, and persuade each other. Without a decent education, access to health, basic civil liberties and an atmosphere of tolerance towards the other, the public sphere -- which is necessary in order to express one's views -- shrinks.

Accordingly, I am against the war not only because it will help Bush underwrite the most egregious acts of violence, which will only increase hatred towards the U.S. and international terrorism, but also because Bush's wars undercut basic democratic practices inside the U.S. One year after the hideous terrorist attacks, U.S. democracy is under assault. The enemy, though, is not Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein; the enemy is within.



Neve Gordon teaches politics at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, and can be reached at ngordon@bgumail.bgu.ac.il


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9 comments

7 Sep 2002 @ 23:00 by b : bee says
This is a war about hate. From the hate comes the terror. One third of the world population is Islamic. Islamic religionists hate all who are not Muslim and are against fanatic fundelmental Islam. Muslims hate American as the bastion of personal freedoms that it is. There is a Muslim world within the World of Earth. The family of Saudis, they who style Arabia as the Kingdom of Saud. aspire to control the Muslim world and lead it to the death or conversions of the infidels. That includes you too Finny. Their scriptures say tht if any Muslim converts to another religion they are called renegade and to be killed. I bet they use nukes first. As if that could make a difference.

The above is for you Finny not for the cut and paste you inserted. That is the smoke and mirror approach you spoke of elsewhere.  



8 Sep 2002 @ 01:53 by finny : Fundamentalism
Bberez. "Where do you go to my lovely when you are alone at night? What are the thoughts that surround you?" From a Peter Sarssted song (1972). Why isn't it a war against the Suadis then? Bush is sucking up to them. You are right about the hate and that's what I'm getting from you, my man. The US has already used nukes, what are you talking about? Where do you get your information from???  


8 Sep 2002 @ 02:31 by vaxen : thankyou finney...
yes, you're questions to bee are good. but this situation, here in america, was not created by mr bush alone. it has been a gradual takeover from before reagon till today with the pathetic stance as it is.

the situation, per-se has been predicted by many of the worlds elegant religions as well as shamans and soothsayers galore. a time of crass tyranny when our fate as men and women will be sorely challenged by outre forces who wish to outshine the sun. in the nahuatl traditions of ancient aztec mexico and america we find that just before the immergence of the 6th sun we will go through a very trying period of time wherein our fates, and our very existence as humans, will be sorely tested. from all accounts i have gatherred that we do live in this time period and things are getting very dark...but as the old adage has it...the day gets darkest just before the sun rises.

take heart, then, good fellow finn for you are not alone as your article so valiently points out. the time is now to fight for all that we know to be true and of worth in the human spirit. and the transition is young...the battle, really, has not even yet begun...though we daily prepare ourselves for it.

thanks a million, dear friend, for your views. i believe them to be spot on and it encourages me, always, to see that i also am not alone. the rampant hypocrisy of the united states over many years, even before i was born, should be evident to thinkers everywhere...the fluff and the lies of the politicians shant withstand the hurricane nights of justice when she comes to make her claims. good show mate. see ya later.  



8 Sep 2002 @ 05:02 by istvan : For Bee.....a response to his coomment
A good method for you could be to print this picture, hang it on your wall and let the nukes fly; like birds of prey, covering the land with vile antimatter and the ever so popular passtime of the unenligtened, ANTIWISDOM.
[ ]
And if you still have time read this:
[ [link] ]

Than print this picture:
[ ]
Set up an altar in reverent worship of the alltime superpresident, as a prayer read this:
[ [link] ]
And to justify it all, read this;
[ [link] ]
And than may your soul rest in peace.  



8 Sep 2002 @ 14:43 by delphinius : WAR
War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery.Ignorance is Strength. Shall we Escalate the Economy again and start another War?

"War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday life, is it not? War is merely an outward expression of our inward state, an enlargement of our daily action. It is more spectacular, more bloody, more destructive, but it is the collective result of our individual activities. Therefore, you and I are responsible for war and what can we do to stop it? Obviously the ever-impending war cannot be stopped by you and me, because it is already in movement; it is already taking place, though at present chiefly on the psychological level. As it is already in movement, it cannot be stopped - the issues are too many, too great, and are already committed. But you and I, seeing that the house is on fire, can understand the causes of that fire, can go
away from it and build in a new place with different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce other wars. That is all that we can do. You and I can see what creates wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war.

"An American lady came to see me a couple of years ago, during the war. She said she had lost her son in Italy and that she had another son aged sixteen whom she wanted to save; so we talked the thing over. I suggested to her that to save her son she had to cease to be an American; she had to cease to be greedy, cease piling up wealth, seeking power, domination, and be
morally simple - not merely simple in clothes, in outward things, but simple in her thoughts and feelings, in her relationships.
She said, "That is too much.

"You are asking far too much. I cannot do it, because circumstances are too powerful for me to alter". Therefore she was responsible for the destruction of her son.

"Circumstances can be controlled by us, because we have created the circumstances. Society is the product of relationship, of yours and mine together. If we change in our relationship, society changes; merely to rely on legislation, on compulsion, for the transformation of outward society, while remaining inwardly corrupt, while continuing inwardly to seek power, position,
domination, is to destroy the outward, however carefully and scientifically built. That which is inward is always overcoming the outward. What causes war - religious, political or economic? Obviously belief, either in nationalism, in an ideology, or in a particular dogma. If we had no belief but goodwill, love and consideration between us, then there would be no wars. But
we are fed on beliefs, ideas and dogmas and therefore we breed discontent. The present crisis is of an exceptional nature and we as human beings must either pursue the path of constant conflict and continuous wars, which are the result of our everyday action, or else see the causes of war and turn our back upon them.

"Obviously what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money; also the disease called nationalism, the worship of a flag; and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a dogma. All these are the causes of war; if you as an individual belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce
a society which will result in destruction. So again it depends upon you and not on the leaders - not on so-called statesmen and all the rest of them. It depends upon you and me but we do not seem to realize that. If once we really felt the
responsibility of our own actions, how quickly we could bring to an end all these wars, this appalling misery! But you see, we are indifferent. We have three meals a day, we have our jobs, we have our bank accounts, big or little, and we say, "For God's sake, don't disturb us, leave us alone". The higher up we are, the more we want security, permanency, tranquillity, the more we want to be left alone, to maintain things fixed as they are; but they cannot be maintained as they are, because there is nothing to maintain. Everything is disintegrating. We do not want to face these things, we do not want to face the fact that you
and I are responsible for wars. You and I may talk about peace, have conferences, sit round a table and discuss, but inwardly, psychologically, we want power, posit1on, we are motivated by greed. We intrigue, we are nationalistic, we are bound by beliefs, by dogmas, for which we are willing to die and destroy each other. Do you think such men, you and I, can have peace
in the world? To have peace, we must be peaceful; to live peacefully means not to create antagonism. Peace is not an ideal. To me, an ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need - food, clothing and shelter - is destroyed. We are seeking psychological security, which does not exist; and we seek it, if we can, through power, through position, through titles, names - all of which is destroying physical security. This is an
obvious fact, if you look at it.

"To bring about peace in the world, to stop all wars, there must be a revolution in the individual, in you and me. Economic revolution without this inward revolution is meaningless, for hunger is the result of the maladjustment of economic conditions produced by our psychological states - greed, envy, ill will and possessiveness. To put an end to sorrow, to hunger, to war, there must be a psychological revolution and few of us are willing to face that. We will discuss peace, plan legislation,
create new leagues, the United Nations and so on and on; but we will not win peace because we will not give up our position, our authority, our money, our properties, our stupid lives. To rely on others is utterly futile; others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will bring peace is inward transformation which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not a withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace.

"To put an end to outward war, you must begin to put an end to war in yourself. Some of you will nod your heads and say, "I agree", and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world's miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be stopped only when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will
transform yourself; peace will come only when you yourself are peaceful, when you yourself are at peace with your neighbour."  - J. Krishnamurti  



8 Sep 2002 @ 18:05 by finny : War as Personal Growth Issue
Good rave MMelster. Although I agree with most of what you say, I reject the overriding thesis of your message that War will be averted or cease to exist if I do my personal growth work sufficently well. Or that the causes of War are just as much my personal process as that of, for instance George W Bush. Nor do I agree that we must end our own internal stuggles to allow for world peace. Peace is a process, and it is seldom lastingly achieved through violence. Outward and internal conflicts are part and parcel of the peace process ongoingly. There are many and diverse ways to work for peace, your message is one powerful way, but not the only way in my view.  


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