Wrestling with Modern Imperialism

“All I know is that you have participated directly or indirectly in the crime.”
Why is Half of Iraq in Absolute Poverty? By: Layla Anwar

This is a line from an article written by an Iraqi woman named Layla Anwar. The crime she is referring to is, of course, the U.S. occupation of Iraq. She talks about the crimes of apathy and arrogance on the part of Westerners who want to ‘save’ the ‘those people’. This is arrogance is a part of all of our foreign policy – especially in international aid to the supposed ‘third world’, or the global south including the Americas, Africa, and Southern Asia.  She talks about the lack of direct action on the part U.S. citizens to stop war before it began. Of course, she talks about the ramifications of our ‘democracy building’ in Iraq – of how many are starving, are displace, are scarred for life. I found myself torn between my occupation advancing peace ideologies and my education in international development. My life is focused on all the things she condemns and yet I feel my work is important.

Then I remember what drove me to be a part of the peace movement in the first place. I was in Kosovo (Kosova for those in the know) and I worked with a local group, the Kosova Womens Network, deeply entrenched in the feminist movement during the Serbian occupation and today. In my work there I came into contact with the Women in Black from Serbia. They told me their stories of standing in front the Belgrade government buildings asking “how can we talk about democracy in our country while we squash it abroad.” These stories affected me in so many ways. Regardless of the imminent danger they were in; regardless of the stigma and harassment they faced – they stood in solidarity against violence meted out in their names. That is why I joined the peace movement.

And yet, in my inbox today was a recently released study on the ‘progress’ we’ve made in Iraq. According to this study by the University of Michigan, Iraqis are becoming more nationalistic and secular in their government. Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? Is it my place to say one way or another? Certainly it is not my place to make judgments on what is good or bad for Iraq.

It is only my place to emphatically say it is our job as U.S. citizens to expose the crimes of our government. It is my duty to be uncomfortable in acknowledging that the lifestyle I lead is directly related to this war. The same is true for you who are reading this. Every time we turn on our AC, drive the children to work, eat fresh citrus from Mexico, and drink water out of bottles we contribute to the deaths of millions across the world through our modern imperialism.

We live in a system, a globalized system, created hundreds of years ago when the first colonialists boarded their ships to explore and dominate for gold, God, and glory. We perpetuate this system with ‘development programs’, ‘international aid’, and ‘democracy building’. War is not the only way we destroy the culture and infrastructure of other states. The only way to uproot this system is to challenge our idea of what is ‘progress’, ‘democracy’, ‘wealth’, ‘education’, and ‘power’. I challenge you, as peacemongers, to do so in your daily lives. I promise you to take that challenge with you. I bid you peace to do the good work I know you want to do.

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7 Responses to Wrestling with Modern Imperialism

  1. BIGGEST VIOLATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION:

    We as citizens of the United States request that
    no further funding of a religious state with Our
    public funds continue. We request that no further military aid be given to a religious state. We also
    request a return of our funds. From the “Jewish State of Israel”.
    Our constitution specifically separates church & state. NONE of our tax dollars should be used in support of any religious institution, government or
    annex of such state.

    They may have declared themselves a separate State, but our constitution strictly forbids using
    our public money or tax dollars from supporting such,
    and we demand that such practice discontinue immediately.

    The term “Jewish state” is used to describe the State of Israel and refers to its status as a nation-state for the Jewish people. This concept of a national Jewish homeland is enshrined in Israeli national policy and reflected in many of Israel’s public institutions. The concept was codified in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 as well as in the Law of Return, which was passed by the Knesset on 5 July 1950, and stated “Every Jew has the right to come to this country.
    Should the Justice system be based on secular common law, secular civil law, a combination of Jewish and common law, a combination of Jewish and civil law, or pure Jewish law?
    On what mandate or legal principles should the constitution of a Jewish state be based
    What role do schools play in supporting Jewish heritage, religion, culture, and state
    They integrate the economy of the state in line with Jewish law.

    Hamas and Israel’s “Right to Exist”

    This conundrum should have diplomats, parliamentarians, and foreign ministries huddled in their back rooms trying to sort out their own positions, rather than attempting to starve the Palestinians into Hamas’s capitulation. For it is not only the funding freeze that has become rampant nonsense. The entire Road Map logic has become nonsense, too.

    Zionists have betrayed all of this, and that is a tragedy not just for Jews, but for all of us.

    Did the Jews of the Old Testament come from what is now Israel? The answer is No.

    “people who occupied some land two thousand years ago for a historically brief period, to the detriment of those who have been there since.”

    “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.”

    “Israel was established on the basis of theft. The State of Israel is Satan’s offspring – a satanic offspring. It was founded on theft from the first moment. It was founded on the basis of robbery, terror, killing, torture, assassination, death, stealing land and killing people and will continue this way, never able to exist because its birth was unnatural, a satanic offspring, and cannot exist among human beings…

    It cannot exist naturally, like other nations in this world.”

    “Our position is that even if the Zionist State [Israel] is the size of a postage stamp it has no right to exist. Occupied Palestine must be decolonized, deracialized and restored to the Palestinian people as a single sovereign state. In plain English, the Zionist State must be dismantled.”

    “All Palestine should be returned to the Palestinians and other occupied lands should be returned to their owners. And the Zionist enterprise should cease to exist. Only then will the misery wrought by Zionism disappear.”

    “This Naqba ['Catastrophe'] is the worst day of remembrance for the Palestinian people … because with the loss of Palestine, the Arab nation was lost, and with the establishment of the false state of Israel, the whole Muslim nation was lost… He who says that the Jews have any right over this land – besides being occupiers – is a liar, and they will disappear.”

    “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.” It is entirely legitimate for Hamas to require firm confirmation of Israel’s borders before recognizing it. It should also be incumbent on the international community to confirm where those borders will be before insisting that Hamas recognize Israel’s “right” to them. Otherwise, recognizing Israel’s “right to exist” could be construed to mean that Israel has a “right to exist” within whatever borders it chooses in coming years.

    As the Palestinians stand to lose most of what is left of their homeland to this fuzziness, Hamas is refusing to endorse it. Is this extremist Islamic intransigence, warranting a funding freeze? Let us run a little thought experiment: Would Canadian, or Norwegian, or English, or French governments be called on the international carpet for not recognizing the “right to exist” of a neighboring state that is, with military force, settling its own ethnically defined population within contiguous walled cities and enclaves in Canadian, Norwegian, English or French national territories, while promising to carve those nations into “cantons?”

    The problem is that the quid pro quo that supported this recognition, formalized in the Oslo process, is now clearly wrecked by Israel’s unilateral annexations of land. Carving the West Bank into cantons has eliminated any hope of a viable Palestinian state. The two-state solution is not working. In these conditions, should Hamas recognize Israel’s “right to exist” if it is recognized to be eliminating Palestinian sovereignty altogether?

    The more embarrassing problem, however, is that the EU itself has not explicitly recognized Israel’s “right to exist” in this sense. Nor has Canada, or Norway. The United Nations has not done so, either. They haven’t, because they can’t.

    This may take some people by surprise, but the UN has not used the term “Jewish state” since 1947. Resolution 181 then called for a “Jewish state” and an “Arab state,” with gerrymandered borders designed to craft Jewish and Arab majorities in each state. But the attempt was rendered obsolete when Zionist forces established “Israel” on a much greater swath of territory that had, in total, held a substantial Arab majority, and expelled most of the Arab residents. As refugees, according to the Geneva Conventions, those Arab residents have the right to return to their homes, villages, towns and cities. But their return would eliminate the Jewish majority in what became “Israel,” so Israel hasn’t allowed this.

    Hence the UN cannot confirm Israel as a Jewish state (i.e., a state that can legitimately sustain a Jewish majority) without contradicting international law regarding the right of refugees. When the UN refers to “Israel” today, it does not understand Israel as the “Jewish state” in the old ethnic-majority terms of 1947, because Israel can be granted no “right” to an ethnic demography that would prevent the return of refugees.

    Also, times have simply changed. In 1947, ethnic nationalism still made some belated sense, although it was already discredited by the dreadful abuses wreaked by Germany and Japan. Today, recognizing the “right” of any state to compose itself legally as an ethnic-majority state would clearly flout UN conventions on human rights and non-discrimination. The UN and EU therefore cannot openly endorse Israel’s right to compose itself as one. It would make hash of international efforts in Rwanda, the Sudan, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and many other crisis spots.

    So the US has lured the EU, Canada, and Norway into a trap. If they hold that Hamas must recognize Israel as a Jewish state (with a right to preserve an ethnic-Jewish majority), then they must state clearly that it endorses ethnic-majority governance. But them themselves cannot explicitly endorse Israel’s right to ethnocracy, because it would contradict international law as well as its own diplomacy in a host of other conflict zones, so on what grounds does they require Hamas to do so?

    Why is the USA involved.
    Due to (AIPAC), and a move for globalization, Israel
    and select Eletus from USA will become the
    brokers of all Middle East Wealth.

    ORGANIZED CRIME CONTROL MADE LEGAL ??

    HYPOCRISY: The political, religious, and corporate
    leaders using Faith to promote their AGENDA &
    RETHORIC for their special interest is what is being
    attacked. All heavily invested in Defense contracts &
    contractors. Military equipment etc.
    The Israeli and USA connection, (AIPAC) better
    known as Organized Crime Syndicate now being
    exposed such as it is. Evil domain.

    The lobby that Israel and its supporters have built in the United States to make all this aid happen, and to ban discussion of it from the national dialogue, goes far beyond AIPAC, with its $15 million budget, its 150 employees, and its five or six registered lobbyists who manage to visit every member of Congress individually once or twice a year.

    AIPAC, in turn, can draw upon the resources of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a roof group set up solely to coordinate the efforts of some 52 national Jewish organizations on behalf of Israel.

    AIPAC, or the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, describes itself as the most important organization affecting the U.S. relationship with Israel. With a budget of $65 million, and membership now standing at over 100,000, it is no wonder that congressional staffers consider it one of the most powerful and effective lobbies on Capitol Hill.

    This conundrum should have diplomats, parliamentarians, and foreign ministries huddled in their back rooms trying to sort out their own positions, rather than attempting to starve the Palestinians into Hamas’s capitulation. For it is not only the funding freeze that has become rampant nonsense. The entire Road Map logic has become nonsense, too.

    Zionists have betrayed all of this, and that is a tragedy not just for Jews, but for all of us.

    Did the Jews of the Old Testament come from what is now Israel? The answer is No.

    “people who occupied some land two thousand years ago for a historically brief period, to the detriment of those who have been there since.”

    “Israel was established on the basis of theft. The State of Israel is Satan’s offspring – a satanic offspring. It was founded on theft from the first moment. It was founded on the basis of robbery, terror, killing, torture, assassination, death, stealing land and killing people and will continue this way, never able to exist because its birth was unnatural, a satanic offspring, and cannot exist among human beings…

    It cannot exist naturally, like other nations in this world.”

  2. MINISTERS OR POILITICIANS IN THE PULPIT:

    THERE IS NO PLACE FOR POLITICS IN GOD’S HOUSE:

    Can you believe it. The republicans still will tell
    you , God told them to kill more people in the world
    then what will vote for them in any coming election. To profit from WAR and give the Church
    10% to invest in more WAR equipment.
    To assist Israel in their genocide of Palestinians,
    and to ignor the suffering in Sudan.
    To create more and more widows, orphans, and
    disabled people so the drug companies can sell
    more goodies. Paid for by the middle class tax
    payer, certainly nothing from the Church, except
    in alms from the poor congregations.
    I certainly hope that the christian people don,t fall for the deceptions of the Republican party again.
    I hope they realize what separation of church & state means. I hope they pay attention and stay home
    praying for change in the world. Listen to their
    GOD tell them not to concern themselves with the
    business of government and corruption. It will
    always demoralize its people.

    Where in your BIBLE does it say to involve yourselves in Ceasar’s business.

    Where does it say you should not pay taxes, and
    should invest your funds in WAR.

    NO MORE PUBLIC FUNDS, TAX DOLLARS, FOR ISRAEL SUPPORT !
    We as citizens of the United States request that
    no further funding of a religious state with Our
    public funds continue. We request that no further military aid be given to a religious state. We also
    request a return of our funds. From the “Jewish State of Israel”.
    Our constitution specifically separates church & state. NONE of our tax dollars should be used in support of any religious institution, government or
    annex of such state.

    They may have declared themselves a separate State, but our constitution strictly forbids using
    our public money or tax dollars from supporting such,
    and we demand that such practice discontinue immediately.

    OXYMORONS:

    DEMOCRACY—-BUSH REGIME
    OCCUPYING—–LIBERATE
    CHRISTIAN——–REPUBLICAN
    ETHICS ——–=- CARL ROVE

  3. Fourteen Characteristics of Fascism :

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
    4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
    5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
    6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
    7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
    9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
    10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
    14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

    WE HAVE WITNESSED ALL 14 OVER THE LAST SEVEN YEARS.

    THE CONTROLLED ELECTRONIC VOTING
    WILL BE THE LAST, AND END TO DEMOCRACY AND OUR CONSTITUTION..

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.”

    “Fascism is coming to America in the name of national security.”

    The above fourteen point definition of fascism clearly describes the current state of the United States of America, particularly under the second Bush Administration – a regime awash in corruption, secrecy, theocracy, militarism and election fraud. Never before in the history of this country have the people as a whole been rendered so powerless by a ruling, corporate, elite and gang of “Project For a New Century” imperialists.

    Given the media control by a handful of powerful and unelected few, never before has the need for radical reforms been so necessary, and yet so difficult to mount.

    It is very apparent, that the Fascism-anti-christ, has taken over the Christians already.

  4. Barbra says:

    Ronald — I would never censor you but it appears you don’t even read my blog before posting. Can I suggest you start a blog of your own as well? We can reflect on each others writing and ideas rather than you just leaving comments on mine. What do you think?

  5. dan wilson says:

    Ronald: do the website as Barbara suggests.

  6. Just a Woman says:

    The world is in a rerrible situation, maybe the old hippies had right.

    greetings

    http://sofiawinterborn.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/sofiascrew-the-world-into-peace/

  7. Letter to the Editor:

    AMERICANS FOR AMERICA WILL STAY VIGILANT
    PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTION

    EVERY ONE NEEDS TO VOTE IN THE PRIMARIES:

    The assassination of PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
    Nov. 22, 1963 began my interest in our Country and
    where it was going.
    The war on Organized crime, and proverty by the
    president and, Attorney General Robert Kennedy,
    has held my interest to this date.

    I became a Police Officer, always keeping in mind
    the above eliments, following the changes in
    the economy, and political controls that have
    since taken place.

    Trace back, remember private owned businesses,
    inter-city conditions, and what is now.

    The main thing to remember, is the presidents
    famous statement. Ask not what your country
    can do for you, but what you can do for your
    Country.

    Then Rev. Martin Luther King. I HAD A DREAM !!
    The following is the outline as I have seen it.

    I support Barack Obama as president 2008,
    because of the similarities to President Kennedy,
    and a refreshing reality to Rev. Kings dream.

    You may not agree, right now we have a right
    to disagree. BUT we may not have, if we do not
    protect our Constitution.

    The rest of my thoughts:

    John Edwards–Vice-President. One America.
    Dennis Kucinich– Secretary of State. What a Statesman.
    Joe Biden– Secretary of Defense. An Expert on Foreign Policy..

    The Dream Team we need. Not more Polarization..

    Thank You for Your Courtesy in reading what I,
    a plain concerned American Citizen, has to say.

    Ron Wal

    I retired after having reported
    wrongful activities, my confidential information
    exposed for politically motivated reasoning.

    Corruption starts at the local level.
    Money gained from the illegal markets of
    drugs, gambling, pronography, contracts,
    special interest invested in free enterprise
    affecting the economy. Such travels up
    the line to county, state, federal levels of
    government.

    We then end up as we have now, no
    accountibility, ethics, or real moral values.

    Citizen review boards, panels, Watch groups
    need to be established all the way up the line.

    Written by a non-professional, but with the same concerns as any citizen wondering what has happened gradually over the last 60 years to end up
    at a junction for such FASCISM….

    We need change, not more polarization

    Who is accountable for Rubber Stamping the President’s disastrous policies for America.
    Not only republicans give him the green light.

    Ron Wal

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