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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Revised and expanded from last year’s “Memorial Day” post.

Since, as Paddy Chayefsky has his main character say in his movie The Americanization of Emily,

” We…perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices” (see this and this), I’ve long thought that what is called Memorial Day would be better recast as Revisionist History Day. The state inculcates an unquestioning faith in its war-making by associating it with patriotism, heroism, and the defense of “our freedoms.” This strategy builds in its own defense against any criticism of the government’s policies. Anyone who questions the morality of a war is automatically suspected of being unpatriotic, unappreciative of the bravery that has “kept us free,” and disrespectful of “our troops,” in a word, un-American.

But in fact the forces aren’t “serving their country” or “keeping us free.” They are doing the bidding of hack politicians, well-connected economic interests, and court intellectuals who are striving to achieve personal ambition, wealth, and historical legacies.

The secular religion we call nationalism, which keeps the wool over most people’s eyes, can be seen clearly in the criticism of Barack Obama for not wearing a flag lapel pin and his wife for saying she’s not been proud of her country until now. What is this thing, “country,” that we’re expected to love and be proud of? It’s never defined. But a big part of it is obviously the state and its war record. This is supposedly something to be proud of — and if you’re not, something is wrong with you.

To counter this common outlook, which people are indoctrinated in from birth, we should do what we can to teach others that the government’s version of its wars is always self-serving and threatening to life, liberty, and decency. A good way to spend part of the day would be to pick a war and read a high-quality revisionist account of it. Here are some books (in no particular order) you might use as a guide:

Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, by Paul Fussell
Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War, by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, by William Appleman Williams
The Civilian and the Military: A History of the American Antimilitarist Tradition, by Arthur Ekirch
The Politics of War: The Story of Two Wars which Altered Forever the Political Life of the American Republic, 1890-1920, by Walter Karp
The Costs of War, edited by John Denson
Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, by Stephen Kinzer
All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, by Stephen Kinzer
Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, by Chalmers Johnson
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, by Chalmers Johnson
War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, by Chris Hedges
A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, by David Fromkin
The Gun and the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East, by David Hirst

A good place to start is this article by Robert Higgs: “How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor” (The Freeman, May 2006).

Many other books and articles could be added to the list. The point is this: if we are to prevent wars in the future, we must self-educate and then, when opportune, teach others.

And spend part Revisionist History Day watching The Americanization of Emily. It’ll be worth your while.
Posted by Sheldon Richman at 10:44 AM


The effort to renew the Founding Fathers’ vision is good for America.

By John Dillin

from the May 16, 2008 edition

Washington – Ron Paul and his 1 million supporters aren’t going away. And that’s probably a good thing for America’s future.

Remember Dr. Paul? He – not John McCain – was the real maverick in this year’s fight for the Republican presidential nomination.

While Senator McCain often sneered at Paul during their debates, many voters cheered Paul and poured $35 million into his campaign.

Paul, a Texas congressman and longtime gynecologist, remains in the hunt for delegates to September’s Republican National Convention. But his focus has now broadened – widening to what The Idaho Observer calls a “national civics lesson.”

To that end, Paul’s legions – often young, educated, and tech-savvy – are expanding their influence into grass-roots GOP politics. They hope to recruit Paul-like candidates for local, state, and federal offices, particularly for Congress. That’s already sparked clashes at local GOP meetings.

Following in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater, Paul has also just published a 167-page book, “The Revolution: A Manifesto.” He spells out his positions on everything from abortion to Iraq to the collapsing dollar. Forty-eight years ago, Goldwater’s classic “Conscience of a Conservative” launched a public groundswell that helped propel Ronald Reagan into the White House.

Paul’s own politics hark back to classical conservatives, such as Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio (1939-53), and to the nation’s Founding Fathers. He favors smaller government with limited powers. To rescue a falling dollar, he’d dissolve the Federal Reserve and urge a reconsideration of the old gold standard. He would close hundreds of foreign bases and would force deep cuts in the Washington bureaucracy by abolishing the income tax.

Opponents denounce his blunt views, calling him unrealistic in an era of global terrorism.

Nor did major media welcome Paul’s ideas. They mostly ignored him or treated him as an 18th-century anachronism.

Nothing separates Paul so clearly from most Republicans as his views on the Iraq war. His reasoning goes straight back to the Constitution, specifically Article I, Section 8, which reserves the power to declare war exclusively to Congress.

No such declaration happened with Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush, or in Iraq in 1991 with President George H.W. Bush, or in Vietnam in the 1960s with President Lyndon Johnson, or in Korea in 1950 with President Harry Truman. Instead of demanding declarations, we’ve settled for congressional “resolutions.”

Truman started this defiance of the Constitution. In the Korean conflict, which official Washington called a “police action,” 36,407 US service men and women were killed. That’s more than all those killed (22,424) in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Spanish-American War.

In his book, Paul writes: “The Framers [of the Constitution] did not want the American president to resemble the British king….” He quotes Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers:

“The President is to be commander-in-chief…. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same as that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces … while that of the British king extends to declaring war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies – all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature [Congress].”

Do these kinglike actions by recent US presidents really matter?

Absolutely. Just look at Iraq. The war is being fought by a shrunken volunteer military – made up of less than 1 percent of the American population. This is convenient for politicians. With no congressional declaration and no draft, most American families don’t feel the real pain of war.

But White House failure to get a declaration handcuffs the president when things go wrong – as now. The American military is clearly too small for simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet even McCain, who says winning in Iraq is vital, shies away from imposing an unpopular draft.

Paul sees this and other problems – runaway taxes, mounting US debt, an “American Empire” mentality that has put US military bases in 130 countries – as symptoms of Washington’s failure to follow the Constitution.

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, says of Paul: “I was very distressed, frankly, with the way he [Paul] was sort of dismissed [by other GOP candidates]…. He was speaking to values that they should respect.” He says: “Ron Paul is talking to people who are thirsting for the real thing. And he’s hitting the same chords that Goldwater hit and that Reagan hit in the early days…. He’s a very healthy phenomenon.”

So far, Paul has about 42 delegates. There is hope that with enough delegates, he will win the right to address the convention.

Big media still ignores him. But his followers are determined to push the government closer to the Founding Fathers’ vision.

It’s a long shot. But so was the American Revolution.

John Dillin is a former managing editor and Washington correspondent for the Monitor.


Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

The following is an excerpt from “Dying to Get High” by Wendy Chapkis and Richard J. Webb (NYU Press, 2008). (c) 2008 NYU Press. Reproduced by permission of the publisher.

For many modern critics, the concept of “medical marijuana” is a contradiction in terms. Medicine is standardized, synthetic, and pure; marijuana involves the unrefined and promiscuous coupling of more than four hundred components rooted in the dirt. Medicine — in its most powerful and privileged forms — rests in the hands of men, while the most potent form of marijuana is found in the female flowering plant. Medicine engages in heroic battles against death. Marijuana claims only to enhance the quality of life.

Medicine presents itself as an objective science safeguarded by the ritual of the double-blind, randomized clinical trial. The therapeutic value of marijuana relies largely on the “soft science” of subjective experience and anecdotal evidence. From the perspective of its critics, then, cannabis is an effeminate interloper in the masculine world of real medicine, a dangerous drug pushed on a credulous public by illegitimate quacks.

But this story is too simple. The line separating regular doctors from snake oil salesmen, good drugs from bad, is as much the product of politics as it is of science. The dominance of politics in determining the value of marijuana as a medicine was first demonstrated in the 1930s when the federal government began to restrict the medical use of marijuana, against the recommendations of the American Medical Association (AMA).

The struggle between politics and science over the use of cannabis as a medicine continues. In the final decade of the twentieth century, the federal government threatened physicians with the loss of their license for recommending marijuana to patients, made criminals of patients who followed their doctor’s advice, and actively blocked scientific research into the therapeutic value of cannabis, while insisting that it was an established scientific fact that marijuana is not a medicine.

During the opening of a 2004 congressional hearing on medical marijuana, this ongoing battle over cannabis was described by committee chair Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) as a critical front in the War on Drugs and consistent with the modernization of medicine:

This hearing will address a controversial topic, the use of marijuana for so-called medicinal purposes. In recent years, a large and well-funded pro-drug movement has succeeded in convincing many Americans that marijuana is a true medicine to be used in treating a wide variety of illnesses …. Marijuana was once used as a folk remedy in many primitive cultures, and even in the 19th century was frequently used by some American doctors, much as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin were once used by doctors. By the 20th century, however, its use by legitimate medical practitioners has dwindled, while its illegitimate use as a recreational drug has risen.

Souder thus sets the stage for a morality tale populated by primitive practitioners and legitimate doctors, dangerous drug fiends and decent drug warriors.

Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly invoked a similar cast of characters in his 2004 discussion of medical marijuana with U.S. Deputy “Drug Czar” Dr. Andrea Barthwell. That year, voters in Oregon were to be presented with a ballot measure to amend their state’s already-existing medical marijuana law. The proposed amendment (which ultimately failed) was intended both to increase the amount of marijuana a patient could have over the course of a year and to redefine which health professionals could legally recommend marijuana for medical use.

O’Reilly scoffed at the idea that licensed health practitioners other than physicians might be authorized to recommend the use of cannabis to their patients: “Even a shaman could grant permission for you to toke in Oregon. I mean, this is, you know, any health practitioner. So you’re a shaman from the Amazon and you set up shop. Come on, I mean, everybody knows this is a ruse. Am I wrong?” Andrea Barthwell confirmed for viewers that O’Reilly’s concerns were quite legitimate: “No, you’re absolutely right, Bill. This is what we’ve been trying to make clear to people when they have these proposals presented to them. This is not about getting medicine to people who are sick and dying. This is about making marijuana legal.”

While both host and guest shared the belief that the Oregon proposal was no more than a thinly disguised attempt to legalize marijuana, O’Reilly asked whether cannabis itself might not be a legitimate medicine if prescribed by a legitimate physician to a patient with a legitimate need: “But there is a legitimate issue here, Doctor. We had Montel Williams [another popular TV talk show host] on a few weeks back. He has MS [multiple sclerosis]. And I believe Montel Williams when he says, ‘Look, medical marijuana helps me, helps me cope with this disease, cope with my suffering. There’s no reason why I should be denied it.’ And I agree with Montel Williams that if this is the case, if a doctor — a doctor — says that he needs it for his MS, he should have it. You don’t disagree with that, do you?” Barthwell’s response was uncompromising: “Well, I do, actually. There is nothing that tells us from the science now that smoked, crude botanical should be a medication. We have a process that has been in place for 100 years in this country that protects the sick and dying from snake oil salesmen. And just because something makes you feel better doesn’t make it medicine.”

In this short exchange, the terms of the debate for dismissing cannabis therapeutics are neatly laid out: medical marijuana is a ruse; cannabis is the modern day equivalent of “snake oil”; “crude botanicals” are not real medicine; licensed alternative health practitioners are not legitimate healers; marijuana is reduced to and synonymous with smoking as a delivery system; and “feeling better” isn’t always therapeutic. Taken together, these claims create a neat division between marijuana and “real medicine,” with medicine narrowly defined as that which is practiced by physicians prescribing pharmaceuticals to patients who will not necessarily feel better as a result.

The rise of “regular” medicine and the battle against botanicals

According to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli research chemist who performed much of the original work in the early 1960s isolating the active ingredients in marijuana: From ancient times to the early 20th Century, cannabis was used for a wide variety of medical purposes including the treatment of pain and swelling, depression, arthritis, impotence, kidney stones, hemorrhaging in childbirth, irregular bowel movements, cold sores, distending stomach, dropsy, headaches, diseases of the respiratory organs, hysteria, neuralgia, sciatica, tetanus, dysentery, fatigue, disorders of the female reproductive system, convulsions, cholera, delirium tremens, vomiting, spasmodic asthma, and a host of other ailments. Most of these therapeutic claims were either based on folklore or were anecdotal, but the use of cannabis as a therapeutic agent in the past provides an insight for future drug development. More recently, some of the historical therapeutic properties of cannabis have been verified with pure natural or synthetic cannabinoids; however, in several fields no modern scientific work exists.

In order to understand why marijuana, a promising medicinal botanical, should now be excluded not only from the modern pharmacopeia but also from much formal scientific study, it is necessary to ask why some drugs, but not all, get labeled “medicine”; why some healers, and not others, are “regular doctors”; why some effects, but only some, are understood as “therapeutic”; and why some risks are acceptable while others are prohibited under penalty of law. The answers cannot be found in a simple appeal to scientific standards. Instead, in order to understand what counts as “legitimate” medicine, it is useful to ask who, beyond the patient, might benefit from such distinctions. In our exploration of the role of organized medicine, state regulatory agencies, the courts, and the pharmaceutical industry in the demonization of marijuana, the intent is not to perform the reverse process, demonizing modern medicine. Over the past century, during which organized medicine consolidated its authority and cannabis was first marginalized and then removed from the pharmacopeia, astonishing medical advances have been made. Unquestionably, the public would be ill served by a return to a time of unregulated medicine practiced by poorly trained doctors with recourse to few effective drugs.

Nonetheless, it is also the case that the healing arts remain an impure science. The most striking difference between marijuana and “real medicine” is not the physical but the social effects the plant has on users and healers alike. Association with marijuana marks those it touches as illegitimate — a distinction with deep historical roots. Prior to the professionalization of medicine, lay healers — often women — made extensive use of medicinal plants. But as modern medicine moved into the ranks of the professions, and into hands of men, botanicals were discredited along with the women who had used them. In their pathbreaking study of the rise of the male medical expert, For Her Own Good, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English note that, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, anxiety over women’s knowledge of medicinal botanicals contributed to the European witch hunts: charges against the accused often included the provision of herbs.

In Colonial America and the early republic, health and healing practices also rested largely in the hands of lay women practicing herbal medicine. Historian Carol Smith-Rosenberg observes that “women as midwives and as family nurses, women wise in the ancient herbal pharmacopoeia, had always cared for their own and neighboring families. A survey of cookbooks and women’s diaries for the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries shows that women collected and exchanged recipes for medicines as routinely as they did for pies and cookies.”

By the nineteenth century, however, as medicine entered the marketplace, male physicians with little formal training claimed for themselves the designation “Regular doctor” while moving all others to the margins of the healing arts. In North America, midwives, bonesetters, and “root and herb” doctors were thus gradually displaced by the self-proclaimed “Regulars,” not through the violence of witch burnings, as happened in Europe, but rather through professionalization. This challenge was, according to Ehrenreich and English, “at bottom, economic. Medicine in the 19th century … [became] a thing to be bought and sold.”

Professionalization required that the Regulars distinguish themselves from midwives and herbalists; they did so through “heroic medicine,” a practice involving dramatic (though not necessarily beneficial) techniques such as bloodletting, blistering, purging, and the use of toxic mercury-based medicines. These interventions were intended to produce “the strongest possible effect on the patient.” Though such therapies were not only dangerous and often ineffective, Ehrenreich and English observe that they gave “regular doctors something activist, masculine, and imminently more salable than the herbal teas and sympathy served up by rural female healers.” In fact, despite the very serious risks of heroic medicine, Smith-Rosenberg notes that the Regulars insisted that it was they who were protecting “the lives of innocent citizens from ill-trained, irresponsible ‘irregulars,’ and hysterical midwives.”

The Regulars prospered during the first two decades of the nineteenth century and succeeded in securing licensing laws in many states restricting the practice of medicine to those in their ranks and limiting membership to men. But growing dissatisfaction with the results of “heroic medicine,” and populist misgivings about monopolies and elites, led to the temporary repeal of such laws during the 1830s. The “Popular Health Movement” of the period challenged the position of Regulars by emphasizing “self-help” (through better hygiene and healthy living) and by embracing the therapeutic approaches of alternative medical sects, including those advocating botanical treatments.

As sociologist Carol Weisman notes, under the banner of science, Sectarians or Irregulars “were attacked by mainstream physicians as ‘quacks,’ although the therapeutics of the regular physicians were not generally more effective than those of the irregulars.” The Regulars reinforced their claim that they, and they alone, were legitimate physicians by founding a national professional organization in 1847 — the American Medical Association — explicitly excluding both women and sectarian practitioners.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, economic competition intensified as both Regulars and their rivals — now known as the “Eclectics” — opened medical schools to train practitioners. The Eclectics, who advocated the use of botanical therapies, also represented a more populist and egalitarian politics — for example, they admitted women to their medical schools. During this same period, in 1854, cannabis joined other herbal remedies in the national pharmacopeias and was freely prescribed for a large number of medical conditions ranging from insomnia to neuropathic pain. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, dozens of research papers were published on the various medicinal uses of marijuana.

This corresponds to a period in which Regulars began to consolidate the power of the newly organized medical profession, in part by absorbing Eclectics into their ranks. As Paul Starr observes in his landmark study, The Social Transformation of American Medicine, Eclectics “succumbed to quiet cooptation; they were only too glad to be welcomed into the fold.” By co-opting much of the opposition, physicians were able to secure new licensing laws restricting the practice of medicine. But Eclectics paid a significant price; with the consolidation of control by conventional medicine, botanical therapies were increasingly marginalized by mainstream medicine.

The allopathic approach of the Regulars was not only dominant but also institutionalized in the early twentieth century when organized medicine completed its process of professionalization by gaining control over medical education, access to hospitals, and the right to prescribe drugs. The dominance of this paradigm was reflected in the growing strength of the American Medical Association. In 1900 the AMA had no more than eight thousand members, but by 1910 membership reached seventy thousand, and by 1920 the majority of physicians in the United States had become members. In fact, by 1931 only about 5 percent of all cases of illness were handled by non-MD practitioners.

This exponential increase in the power and professional authority of regular doctors surprisingly did not rest primarily on the provision of more effective medicines; these were slow to be developed. Instead, doctors were forced to find other ways to assert their newly established social and cultural legitimacy. One strategy was to position themselves as experts in not only the physical but also the moral health of the nation. In the nineteenth century, condemnation of birth control and abortion, for instance, provided physicians with a clear moral platform that allowed them to denounce practices still largely in the hands of “irregulars.” According to Carol Smith-Rosenberg, these efforts to limit women’s reproductive choices became a key arena “in the war between the allopaths and the ‘irregulars’ for patients and for power …. The ‘irregular’ physician and the ‘irregular’ wife, the ‘regulars’ insisted, conspired together against public order and national well-being.” As Carol Weisman observes, this claim of medical and moral expertise “provided regular physicians with an element of social respectability and moral authority, which was enhanced by publicly criticizing the abortion practices of other practitioners and the crass commercialism of purveyors of contraceptives and abortifacients.”

At the end of the nineteenth century, flush with its legislative success against abortion, the AMA turned its attention to another arena that neatly linked morality and public health: the provision of drugs. Physicians enhanced their professional authority by speaking out against the dangers of addictive drugs frequently found in “patent medicines” and available directly to the public. Because the formulae of proprietary medicines were secret, it was impossible for patients to judge the safety of those drugs. The practitioners of organized medicine thus joined forces with muckraking journalists to bring to the public’s attention the possible risks of patent medicines. This important public service had a significant payoff for the profession as well, reinforcing a growing distinction in the public mind between good drugs (dispensed by doctors) and bad drugs (available directly to the public by unlicensed practitioners).
See More:Drugs World News

May 11, 2008

A young man who works in the oil field in the Texas Panhandle and that I personally know, got the following notice with his paycheck this last Friday, 05-09-08. THIS IS NOT A RUMOR! I have held the actual notice in my own hands, seen the actual notice with my own eyes and have retyped it verbatim as follows:


by Karen Kwiatkowski

Our peace-loving organ of the state, a.k.a. the New York Times has come through once again. On the fifth anniversary of our glorious act of generosity towards the Iraqi people, “all the news that’s fit to print” carefully features the finer thoughts of a remarkably sorry set of warmongers and war aficionados.

From the beginning, Iraq seemed in 2002 and early 2003 from inside the Pentagon to be little more than a boutique war. By the third anniversary, it appeared to be deliciously tart entertainment for the Washington elites, subject of oohs and ahhs for the cocktail class. Has it become, just this week, a case for serious intellectual retrospection, and even debate, among the imperialistas?

Astoundingly, the moral magicians who justify our foreign policy are quite pleased with themselves. George W. Bush recently shared his perception the war in Iraq has been “good for the economy.” For the elite policy makers, the finely manicured, smooth browed, and well-nourished political class, what we have here is the greatest action flick in the world, with endless sequels.

We might call it “American Chainsaw Massacre,” or “Hostel: The Country.” Deranged yet powerful psychopath runs amok, killing innocents and not-so-innocents alike, incorporating lots of meaningless destruction and plot twists, with an ambiguous moral lesson that dawns only faintly, and only at the end, after everyone is dead.

This motion picture, this designer occupation, this expensive excursion into the lives of others, is what the war-supporting chattering class debates. Iraq is an artificial war, expending other people’s lives, other countries’ livelihoods, other mother’s children, and blood that doesn’t seem quite real to those in the velveteen theater.

The imperialistas discuss the merits of what they have watched from afar, with an eye to medium, believability, artistic direction and creative misdirection.

This artifice of war, this deception of others and themselves, is certainly useful in evaluating any possible neoconservative legacy. But to understand America and Iraq today, we need look no further than that ancient warrior whose advice has stood the test of time.

In Sun Tzu’s Art of War, we find that “all warfare is based on deception.” Given that the Iraqis, and Afghans for that matter, understand completely what is happening, how and why – to the extent that no American politician may visit either country alone, without advance warning, flak jacket, armored vehicle, military escort and air cover. Strangely enough, the only deception going on relating to the “war in Iraq” is the domestic deception of Americans themselves, by their government and its media.

Under Sun Tzu’s tutelage, we would hide our capabilities and proclivities from the enemy. Instead, the government has banned soldier blogs and cut soldier Youtube access, all to protect innocent Americans back home. Where we would remain mysterious in our interrogation techniques vis-à-vis the world, instead Americans remain the only nationality still confused about what goes on in Guantanamo.

Sun Tzu would have us feign weakness in the face of an enemy that impresses us, in order to confuse and mislead him. Instead, we boast – as recently relieved CENTCOM commander Fallon suggested – that we will crush our insignificant enemy like ants. One wonders towards whom such language is directed. I suspect our logistic, financial, tactical, strategic and moral weakness is apparent to the most casual observer throughout the Middle East and the world. Only the American heartland waits anxiously for the latest pump-me-up story from Washington.

Sun Tzu may not have known everything, or even much at all. But he noticed this:

Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching them great distances entails heavy loss on the people and a drain on the resources of the State…. There will be commotion at home and abroad, and men will drop down exhausted on the highways. … One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present help to his sovereign, no master of victory.

Our own leader and sovereign has declared victory in Iraq, several times, in fact. His chosen successor has called for a century of occupation, and hopes to lead the nation into many more such glorious wars. Bush as a poor performer in the Air National Guard, and McCain as a challenged pilot in Vietnam really isn’t the problem. The problem is that they imagine they are playing the top general – or chief psychopath – in the movie of the week.

This artifice of war, cherished by neoconservatives and the other moral dimwits in Washington and New York, must be turned upside down. Remember – it’s not war! To understand what it is, and it is indeed complex, one must avoid the New York Times and check out Winter Soldier, held in DC this past weekend. Listen to IVAW member and Winter Soldier participant Geoff Millard, interviewed here by Scott Horton before the event, and by me just afterwards.

Sun Tzu wrote of war as an art – but Iraq today isn’t war in a Sun Tzu sense. Sun Tzu understood war as extremely expensive, extremely deadly, and an existential threat for the initiating emperor. Truly, our fun and games in Iraq meet these criteria. But wise strategists view war as a serious national decision – not a weekend blockbuster, measured by tickets sold, budgets exceeded and stars showcased.

Bad reviews and flat ticket sales kill movies, and they can also kill artificial wars like the one now playing in Iraq. There is a bit of resignation in the voices of the war cheerleaders, a small sign of self-awareness. This portends the end of the movie. With a little help from the latest recession, impending imperial collapse, and networks like IVAW, and this website, we may already have everything we need to close the show in Iraq, and bring all the troops home.

March 20, 2008

LRC columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send her mail], a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for, hosted the call-in radio show American Forum, and blogs occasionally for and Liberty and Power. To receive automatic announcements of new articles, click here.

Copyright © 2008 Karen Kwiatkowski

Karen Kwiatkowski Archives

by Laurence M. Vance

Americans love their war heroes. It doesn’t matter where the war was fought, why it was fought, how it was fought, or what the war cost. Every battlefield is holy; every cause is just; every soldier is a potential hero. But what is it that turns an ordinary soldier into a war hero? Since it obviously depends on the criteria employed, is it possible that American war heroes are not heroes at all? Could it be that, rather than being heroes, they are instead dupes?

Democrats who loathe John McCain because he is a Republican and Republicans who consider him to be a lukewarm conservative are united in their belief that, whatever his politics, McCain is a genuine war hero because he spent five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. But one does not have to be a prisoner of war to be considered a war hero. The Department of Defense maintains a website that highlights “the military men and women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the Global War on Terror.” Every soldier who died fighting in the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, otherwise known as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, is also considered to be a war hero.

After McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, he became a naval aviator. During the Vietnam War he rained down death and destruction on the people of Vietnam during twenty-three bombing missions. After being shot down, he was imprisoned instead of receiving the death sentence his bombs delivered to the Vietnamese. So why is he considered a war hero? If he got what he deserved, there would be 58,257 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. instead of 58,256. Pilots like McCain who drop napalm from the safety of their cockpit are lauded as heroes by the government, the media, and Americans ignorant enough or gullible enough to swallow the myth that there can be heroism in the performance of evil. McCain was even well received by the Vietnamese government in 2000 when he traveled to Vietnam in pursuit of a bilateral trade agreement.

Begun in September of 2006, the DOD “Heroes’ Archive” contains the names of 116 U.S. soldiers who performed some heroic deed fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. Of the four soldiers currently featured, two were awarded the Bronze Star, one was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross, and the fourth was awarded the Bronze Star, the NATO Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal, and the Outstanding Service Medal. Now, unlike General Petraeus, at least these soldiers earned their metals during real combat. Yet, the fact remains, as Catholic Eastern Rite priest Charles McCarthy has recently stated, “Murder decorated with a ribbon is still murder.”

Both and are “dedicated to our deceased Heroes that have served in Iraq & Afghanistan.” The list of “deceased Heroes” contains the names of 4,591 U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t know where these sites are getting their information from. The “Casualties in Iraq” page at shows a total of 4,528 deaths. But regardless of the exact number, the point is that every soldier who died fighting in the war on terror is said to be a hero. It doesn’t matter if they were killed by enemy fire, roadside bombs, friendly fire, disease, accident, or carelessness – they are all heroes. But since the war in Iraq is senseless, immoral, and criminal does it really matter how these soldiers died? Again, I refer the reader to Father McCarthy:

Authentic heroism is freely taking a grave risk in order to try to do good.

Evil does not become a scintilla less evil because a person put his or her life in jeopardy to do it and is subsequently designated a hero.

This means that whatever we call U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq, we should not call them heroes.

Some of these “heroes” are mercenaries. The “large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny” that our Founding Fathers protested against in the Declaration of Independence are now fighting for the United States in Iraq. Since 9/11, the United States has granted citizenship to over 32,000 foreign soldiers. All it takes now is one year of service in the military to be granted citizenship.

Many of these “heroes” are killers for hire. For them, the enlistment bonuses, the tuition assistance, the student loan repayment plans, the assignment incentive pay, the career training, the thirty days of vacation each year, the free medical and dental care, and the generous retirement benefits are enough to erase any concerns about the morality of traveling thousands of miles away from U.S. soil to kill people they have never met or seen, and that posed no threat to America or Americans.

Most of these “heroes,” however, are dupes. They think they are fighting for our freedoms when instead they are helping to destroy our freedoms. They think they are retaliating for 9/11 when instead they are paving the way for another terrorist attack. They think they are preventing terrorism when instead they are making terrorists. They think they went to Iraq to fight al-Qaeda when instead al-Qaeda came to Iraq because of them. They think they are protecting Israel when instead they are contributing to increased hatred of Israel. They think that our cause is just when instead it violates every just war principle ever formulated. They think they are fighting injustice when instead they are committing a crime against the Iraqi people. They think they are defending the United States when instead they are helping to destroy it.

One of the saddest cases of a duped hero is that of Marine Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski. He died fighting in Iraq on March 27 of last year while assigned to the Marine Forces Reserve’s Third Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Fourth Marine Division, in Nashville, Tennessee. He had been in the Marine Reserves for twelve years, and was thirty years old when he died.

About a week before he died, Golczynski sent home this e-mail:

I want all of you to be safe. And please don’t feel bad for us. We are warriors. And as warriors have done before us, we joined this organization and are following orders because we believe that what we are doing is right. Many of us have volunteered to do this a second time due to our deep desire to finish the job we started. We fight and sometimes die so that our families don’t have to. Stand beside us. Because we would do it for you. Because it is our unity that has enabled us to prosper as a nation.

At his funeral in Lewisburg, Tennessee, the eight-year-old son he left behind was presented with the flag from his father’s casket. This was captured in a heart-rending photograph that has circulated around the Internet. But Golczynski was not the only one who was duped. Instead of being outraged about his son’s death, his father said that “we owe a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to pay.” And instead of resenting the government that sent the father of her son to fight and die in a senseless foreign war, his wife said that her husband “made the sacrifice for my freedom.”

The terrible truth, of course, is that Sergeant Golczynski, like all of the other soldiers who died in Iraq, died for a lie. He was duped by his commander in chief who said our cause was just. He was duped by the secretary of defense who said the war would be over quickly. He was duped by his commanding officers who said he should obey orders. He was duped by veterans who said he was fighting for our freedoms. He was duped by Republicans who said he needed to follow the president’s leadership. He was duped by politicians who said we should trust them. He was duped by pundits who said we had to fight them “over there” lest we have to fight them “over here.” He was duped by preachers who said we should obey the powers that be. He was duped by Christians who said we must fight against Islamo-fascism. He was duped by Americans who said he was a hero. He was duped by the lying and killing machine known as his own government.

Marcus Golczynski was not alone. Millions of Americans were duped as well. Millions of Americans remain duped. The fact that McCain can talk about being in Iraq for a hundred years and still be greeted by cheering crowds and receive millions of votes says a lot about just how much Americans are duped.

The love affair that Americans have with all things military must be ended. The United States has become a rogue state, a pariah nation, an evil empire – all made possible by the dupes in the U.S. military we call heroes.

April 18, 2008

Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from Pensacola, FL. His latest book is a new and greatly expanded edition of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. Visit his website.


Imperialism is the single-greatest cause of war, and war is the midwife of new imperialist acquisitions.

— Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire [2004]

Read on another blog:

The delegates are bound to McCain only for the first few rounds of voting at the convention. You see, the national convention is, in and of itself, an actual election. Only this time is the only election the really matters in determining who the party’s nominee will be. Some states send “bound” delegates to the convention who must vote for the candidate who garnered the popular vote win. Those delegates must vote for that person whether or not they support him or her. Each state has different rules, but the delegates are not bound forever. If, for example, McCain fails to get 1191 of the delegates to vote for him in the first election round at the convention, some of the delegates (depending on what state you’re from) are “released” and then can vote for whomever they want in round two… some are still bound and are not released until round 2 or three. I believe that after round three, however, that ALL delegates from ALL states are “released” and can vote for the candidate of their choice and it doesn’t even have to be a candidate who is even running!!

  This is exactly how Abraham Lincoln was nominated. He went into the convention with virtually no delegates bound to him. The front runner at the time was a divisive figure (much like McCain is today) and was unable to garner the requisite number of delegate votes in round one. As delegates started to be released after each round, Lincoln garnered more and more votes until finally, after the 5th or 6th round, Lincoln received the requisite number of delegate votes and became the party’s nominee.

  Bottom line… you’re state’s primary election results mean next to nothing in the overall nomination process.

USDA Renews Approval of 46 Non-Organic Ingredients in “Organic” Foods

by David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has renewed its approval for 46 non-organically produced substances to be used in foods and beverages that are labeled “organic.” At the same time, the agency withdrew its approval for a type of food coloring and a food additive.

Under the Organic Foods Production Act, the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board is required to renew approval every five years for any non-organic ingredients that are allowed into organic foods.

The products renewed include five agricultural non-organic products and 41 non-agricultural, non-organic products. The agricultural produced products are corn starch, kelp, pectin, unbleached lecithin and water extracted gums. Some of these are not individual products, but categories; water-extracted gums, for example, include arabic, carob bean, guar and locust bean gums. Kelp may only be used as a thickener or a dietary supplement.

The 41 allowed non-agricultural products include common ingredients such as citric and lactic acid; calcium carbonate; calcium chloride; carnauba wax; bakers, brewers or nutritional yeast; dairy cultures; flavors; sodium carbonate; glycerin; mono- and diglycerides; and xanthan gum.

The USDA withdrew its approval, however, for colors derived from non-synthetic sources and for potassium tartrate derived from tartaric acid.

The organic industry is the fastest-growing agriculture sector in the United States, currently accounting for 3 percent of all food and beverage sales. Retail revenues have risen 20 to 24 percent each year since 1990, from $1 billion to nearly $17 billion in 2006. They are expected to reach nearly $24 billion by 2010.

At the same time, acreage of organic agriculture operations more than doubled from 2001 to 2005, to a current 4.05 million acres. The number of organic operations increased by more than 18 percent in the same period, to a 2005 value of 8.500 crop and livestock operations and 2,900 handling operations.

From The Future of Freedom Daily

by James Bovard, Posted May 5, 2008

Americans are taught to expect their elected leaders to be relatively honest. But it wasn’t always like that. In the mid 1800s, people joked about political candidates who claimed to have been born in a log cabin that they built with their own hands. This jibe was spurred by William Henry Harrison’s false claim of a log-cabin birth in the 1840 presidential campaign.

Americans were less naive about dishonest politicians in the first century after this nation’s founding. But that still did not deter presidents from conjuring up wars. Presidential deceits on foreign policy have filled cemeteries across the land. George W. Bush’s deceits on the road to war with Iraq fit a long pattern of brazen charades.

In 1846, James K. Polk took Americans to war after falsely proclaiming that the Mexican army had crossed the U.S. border and attacked a U.S. army outpost — “shedding the blood of our citizens on our own soil.” Though Polk refused to provide any details of where the attack occurred, the accusation swayed enough members of Congress to declare war against Mexico. Congressman Abraham Lincoln vigorously attacked Polk for his deceits. But Lincoln may have studied Polk’s methods, since they helped him whip up war fever 15 years later.

In 1917, Woodrow Wilson took the nation to war in a speech to Congress that contained one howler after another. He proclaimed that “self-governed nations do not fill their neighbor states with spies” — despite the role of the British secret service and propaganda operations in the prior years to breed war fever in the United States. Wilson hailed Russia as a nation that had always been “democratic at heart” — less than a month after the fall of the tsar and not long before the Bolshevik Revolution. He proclaimed that the government would show its friendship and affection for German-Americans at home — but his administration was soon spearheading loyalty drives that spread terror in many communities across the land.

In 1940, in one of his final speeches of the presidential campaign, Franklin Roosevelt assured voters, “Your president says this country is not going to war.” At the time, he was violating the Neutrality Act by providing massive military assistance to Britain and was searching high and low for a way to take the United States into war against Hitler.

In his 1944 State of the Union address, Roosevelt denounced those Americans with “such suspicious souls — who feared that I have made ‘commitments’ for the future which might pledge this Nation to secret treaties” at the summit of Allied leaders in Tehran the previous month. In early 1945, Roosevelt told Congress that the Yalta Agreement “spells the end of the system of unilateral action and exclusive alliance and spheres of influence.” In reality, he signed off on Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the crushing of any hopes for democracy in Poland.

In August 1945, Harry Truman announced to the world that “the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, in so far as possible, the killing of civilians.” Hiroshima was actually a major city with more than a third of a million people prior to its incineration. But Truman’s lie helped soften the initial impact on the American public of the first use of the atomic bomb. (The U.S. government also vigorously censored photographs of Hiroshima and its maimed survivors.)

Vietnam falsehoods

Presidential and other government lies on foreign policy are often discounted because they are presumed to be motivated by national security. But as Hannah Arendt noted in an essay on the Pentagon Papers, during the Vietnam War,

The policy of lying was hardly ever aimed at the enemy but chiefly if not exclusively destined for domestic consumption, for propaganda at home and especially for the purpose of deceiving Congress.

CIA analysts did excellent work in the early period of the Vietnam conflict. But “in the contest between public statements, always over-optimistic, and the truthful reports of the intelligence community, persistently bleak and ominous, the public statements were likely to win simply because they were public,” Arendt commented. The truth never had a chance when it did not serve Lyndon Johnson’s political calculations.

Vietnam destroyed the credibility of both Lyndon Johnson and the American military. Yet the memory of the pervasive lies of the military establishment did not curb the gullibility of many people for fresh government-created falsehoods a decade or so later. During the 1980s, the U.S. State Department ran a propaganda campaign that placed numerous articles in the U.S. media praising the Nicaraguan Contras and attacking the Sandinista regime. As the Christian Science Monitor noted in 2002, the State Department “fed the Miami Herald a make-believe story that the Soviet Union had given chemical weapons to the Sandinistas. Another tale, which happened to emerge the night of President Ronald Reagan’s reelection victory, held that Soviet MiG fighters were on their way to Nicaragua.” The General Accounting Office investigated and concluded that the State Department operation was illegal, consisting of “prohibited, covert propaganda activities.” There was no backlash against the government when the frauds were disclosed. Instead, it was on to the next scam.

Reagan, Bush, and Clinton

Reagan paved the way for subsequent presidents in immersing anti-terrorist policy in swamps of falsehoods. In October 1983, a month after he authorized U.S. Marine commanders to call in air strikes against Muslims to help the Christian forces in Lebanon’s civil war, a Muslim suicide bomber devastated a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 242 Americans. In a televised speech a few days later, Reagan portrayed the attack as unstoppable, falsely claiming that the truck “crashed through a series of barriers, including a chain-link fence and barbed-wire entanglements. The guards opened fire, but it was too late.” In reality, the guards did not fire because they were prohibited from having loaded weapons — one of many pathetic failures of defense that the Reagan administration sought to sweep under the carpet.

In 1984, after the second successful devastating attack in 18 months against a poorly defended U.S. embassy in Lebanon, Reagan blamed the debacle on his predecessor and falsely asserted that the Carter administration had “to a large extent” gotten “rid of our intelligence agents.” A few days later, while campaigning for reelection, Reagan announced that the second embassy bombing was no longer an issue: “We’ve had an investigation. There was no evidence of any carelessness or anyone not performing their duty.” However, the Reagan administration had not yet begun a formal investigation.

On May 4, 1986, Reagan bragged, “The United States gives terrorists no rewards and no guarantees. We make no concessions; we make no deals.” But the Iranian arms-for-hostage deal that leaked out later that year blew such claims to smithereens. On November 13, 1986, Reagan denied initial reports of the scandal, proclaiming that the “‘no concessions’ [to terrorists] policy remains in force, in spite of the wildly speculative and false stories about arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments. We did not — repeat — did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages nor will we.” But Americans later learned that the United States had sold 2,000 anti-tank weapons to the Iranian government “in return for promises to release the American hostages there. Money from the sale of those weapons went to support the Contras’ war in Nicaragua,” as Mother Jones magazine noted in 1998.

Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990 provided a challenge for the first Bush administration to get Americans mobilized. In September 1990, the Pentagon announced that up to a quarter million Iraqi troops were near the border of Saudi Arabia, threatening to give Saddam Hussein a stranglehold on one of the world’s most important oil sources. The Pentagon based its claim on satellite images that it refused to disclose. One American paper, the St. Petersburg Times, purchased two Soviet satellite “images taken of that same area at the same time that revealed that there were no Iraqi troops ‘near the Saudi border — just empty desert.’” Jean Heller, the journalist who broke the story, commented, “That [Iraqi buildup] was the whole justification for Bush sending troops in there, and it just didn’t exist.” Even a decade after the first Gulf war, the Pentagon refused to disclose the secret photos that justified sending half a million American troops into harm’s way.

Support for the war was also whipped up by the congressional testimony of a Kuwaiti teenager who claimed she had seen Iraqi soldiers removing hundreds of babies from incubators in Kuwaiti hospitals and leaving them on the floor to die. George H.W. Bush often invoked the incubator tale to justify the war, proclaiming that the “ghastly atrocities” were akin to “Hitler revisited.” After the United States commenced bombing Iraq, it transpired that the woman who testified was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador and that her story was a complete fabrication, concocted in part by a U.S. public relations firm. Dead babies were a more effective selling point than one of the initial justifications Bush announced for U.S. intervention — restoring Kuwait’s “rightful leaders to their place” — as if any Americans seriously cared about putting Arab oligarchs back on their throne. (A few months before Saddam’s invasion, Amnesty International condemned the Kuwaiti government for torturing detainees.)

Bill Clinton’s unprovoked war against Serbia was sold to Americans with preposterous tales of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s being freedom fighters, with absurd claims that a civil war in one corner of southeastern Europe threatened to engulf the entire continent in conflict, with wild and unsubstantiated claims of an ongoing genocide, and with a deluge of lies that the U.S. military was not targeting Serb civilians.

Lying and warring appear to be two sides of the same coin. Unfortunately, many Americans continue to be gullible when presidents claim a need to commence killing foreigners. It remains to be seen whether the citizenry is corrigible on this life-and-death issue.

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy [2006] as well as The Bush Betrayal [2004], Lost Rights [1994] and Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil (Palgrave-Macmillan, September 2003) and serves as a policy advisor for The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.

This article originally appeared in the February 2008 edition of Freedom Daily. Subscribe to the print or email version of Freedom Daily.

by Eric Black

How does the United States come to arrogate to itself the right and the need to overthrow the governments of countries that have not attacked ours?

One guy who has a theory on that is Stephen Kinzer, the long-time New York Times foreign correspondent. Kinzer has written book-length treatments of some of those overthrows – most recently and notably, the CIA’s overthrow of the democratic government of Iran in 1953. That book, titled “All the Shah’s Men,” gives Kinzer a window onto the potential next foreign policy crisis.

In his 2006 book, “Overthrow,” Kinzer flew at a higher altitude and surveyed what he considers to be the 16 cases, starting with the overthrow of the native queen of Hawaii in 1893, in which Washington has played the regime change card.

Kinzer gave a recent videotaped interview to Maya Schenwar of that focused a lot on Iran. Kinzer is quite worried about a U.S. attack on Iran. The whole interview is excellent, and not very long. But my favorite exchange was Kinzer’s answer to the question of whether the interventions are as nakedly economic as many lefties believe, or whether he credits the altruistic public motives for many of them, such as spreading democracy. I’ve transcribed his answer below:

“One of the advantages of studying these interventions all together, as I did in my book, ‘Overthrow,’ is that you begin to pick up patterns. You begin to see what ties these different interventions together.  One of the things that ties, not all of them but many of them together, is what I detect as a three-part process of motivation. Why do we do it? Usually, it’s this three-phase explanation.

“The first thing that happens is that the government of Country X, bothers or harasses or taxes or nationalizes or interferes with some big foreign economic interest. And then the owners of that interest complain to Washington.

“That’s the first thing that happens. If the government of that country doesn’t bother some American corporation, then that country doesn’t even get on the radar screen in Washington. So that’s the key, that’s how the process usually begins. However, the U.S. government doesn’t actually overthrow governments to protect the interests of U.S. corporations.

“Inside the foreign policy process — inside the White House if you will — the motivation morphs. It changes. We decide that any government that would bother or tax or harass or restrict or regulate or nationalize an American corporation must be anti-American, anti-capitalist, brutal, repressive, possibly even the tools of our global enemies.

“Therefore we decide that we need to overthrow that government, not because of what it did to those companies, but because the fact that it did those things shows that it poses a political or geostrategic threat to the United States. So that’s the second phase

“Then the Third phase comes when it’s time for American leaders to explain or justify the intervention: ‘We did it to liberate oppressed people. We not only didn’t do it in order to gain something, we sacrificed ourselves in order to help poor suffering people in that country.’

” This is a very potent argument in the United States. On the one hand, we’re very compassionate people. We hate the idea that people are suffering or being tortured or starving in some other country. We really want to do something about it.

“At the same time we’re quite ignorant about the actual situation in those countries.

“When we hear that we’re undertaking a long, difficult, expensive, costly intervention in another country in order to help the people there, that usually sounds OK to us. So we give our seal of approval as a people.

“So that’s the three stages. It starts with the economic thing. Then it morphs into these political, strategic motivations, And In the end, it’s explained as an operation that was only in defense of human freedom, human rights.”


I haven’t read “Overthrow,” although I ordered as I was transcribing. But I figured I had better at least provide the list of the 14 countries that Kinzer considers the “overthrow” cases:

Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Iran, Grenada, Afghanistan and Iraq.

As we enter the 21st century and a new millennium, Satan has devised the delusion that mankind is entering into an important evolutionary phase – a New Age. The push for “global enlightenment” has now extended to the vast reaches of the universe, into what could be deemed as a “space” religion. However, once this nebulous veil is lifted, a definite correlation emerges between the UFO/Alien phenomenon and occultic/satanic activity.

The ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas shared several intriguing characteristics:

  1. They were extremely advanced scientifically and technologically.
  2. Animal and human sacrifices were performed at an alarming rate, preceding their demise.
  3. They believed they had acquired metaphysical knowledge from the “gods”, whom they perceived as coming from the stars and also the subterranean level of the earth.
  4. These cultures disintegrated or became abruptly extinct while at the pinnacle of their existence.

Many of these revered and feared entities were described as looking like winged-reptilians or dragons. Similarly, Satan and his minions were depicted in an identical manner, as seen in artwork throughout the centuries.

A monograph entitled, Reality of the Serpent Race, by Branton, reveals, “In Genesis 3 we read about the ‘Nachash’; Hebrew word for ‘Serpent’. The original Nachash was not actually a snake as most people believe, but an extremely intelligent, cunning creature, possessed with the ability to speak and reason.” Another significant parallel from the Holy Bible is shown in Jeremiah 8:17, “Behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices among you, which will bite you, saith the Lord.” The definition of a cockatrice is a reptilian bird-like creature or winged-serpent. This could very well represent the Phoenix, described in Egyptian mythology.

A theory proposed by Bible scholar I.D.E. Thomas asserts that the race of the “Nephilim” (meaning Giants and/or fallen ones), mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33, closely resemble the alien race of the blond Pleiadian Nordics, reported to be eight to nine feet tall. The Nazis attempted to revive this mystical Aryan race in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Mr. Thomas believes that a hybrid offspring culminated from relations between the Nephilim and the “daughters of man” resulting in increased wickedness upon the earth; and thus evoking God’s wrath in the form of the “Great Flood”.

Interviews taken of ex-Wiccans and Satanists (now Christians) indicate a high level of personal contact with various alien types, especially during coven meetings and holiday rituals. Those coming from the highest echelon of Satanism known as the Illuminati, believe the original people who inhabited the earth descended from Mars via the Moon. They believe the first established civilization was Atlantis. Renowned for their superior intellect, the Atlanteans suffered the same fate as a few of the proceeding cultures already mentioned. The remnant people from Atlantis became the American Indians, according to their interpretation of history.

Dr. Richard Boylan has written extensively about E.T. encounters, and has found five common features of people predominately involved in UFO/alien sightings and abductions:

  1. Individuals possessing a high degree of psychic ability.
  2. Similar phenomenon occuring with other family members (multi or trans-generational).
  3. Children who have been subjected to severe abuse or trauma.
  4. Individuals and/or family members affiliated to government and/or military intelligence agencies or departments.

In conjunction, a strong relationship exists between occultic ritual sites, top secret military installations, and UFO/alien sightings and abductions. There also appears to be a magnetic spiritual vortex (or vacuum) which has drawn an many “New Agers” into these areas (Taos, NM; Sedona,AZ; Boulder, CO, etc.). One prime example is the area near Dulce, NM, where the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has a highly-secured underground complex on the Jicarella Indian Reservation — a region known for Native American shamanism. The facility is said to be used for genetic engineering, including cloning. Several witnesses who were employed there reported seeing different breeds of aliens.

Congruently, the Mojave Desert in California has it’s share of military bases involved in “black projects”, ranging from research and development of “advanced” aircraft to MKULTRA mind control operations (Edwards AFB, Ft. Irwin, and China Lake Naval Weapons Center). Coincidentally, it was the area where Charles Manson and family resided in the late 1960’s. It was also the general location described in the book, Outside the Circle of Time (1980) by Kenneth Grant. A portion of the book states, “John Whiteside Parsons [who specialized in jet propulsion] and L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology [and former Naval Intelligence Officer] were involved in a special project during 1945 and 1946… This special project which was carried out in the California desert, was a part of magical ceremonies [black witchcraft] known as the ‘Babylon Working’, designed by Aleister Crowley, who died in 1947 [year of the alleged Roswell UFO crash and the implementation of the National Security Act]… The purpose of the series of ceremonies performed by Parsons and Hubbard was to unseal an interdimensional gateway, that had been sealed in antiquity thereby allowing other dimensional entities known as the ‘Old Ones’ access to our space/time continuum. The culmination of the ceremonies was reported to have been successful, having resulted in the establishment of ‘extra-terrestrial contact’… Crowley left behind a drawing of his invisible mentors or as he called them, ‘Secret Chiefs’ [spirit guides], entitled LAM. This entity has a very large head on a small body, a pointed chin, and a little slit of a mouth [description compares favorably to the ‘Greys’].”

Another British occultist, Dr. John Dee, court astrologer for Queen Elizabeth I, would regularly summon alien-like entities.

Several abductees, psychics (through out-of-body experiences) and former employees of the Dulce facility reported seeing large vats, full of blood and body parts; essentially, a human stew . Their understanding is particular varieties of aliens, mostly “Greys” bathe in these vats to absorb nutrients through their skin. One of the secretions these aliens crave is adrenaline, which is generated in great quantity when the victim is tortured or traumatized at the moment of death. This glandular hormone is most potent in children.

Striking similarities are found in Egyptian Satanism, as graphically detailed in The Egyptian Book of the Dead. “Behold ye then god this great slaughter, mighty of terror, he washeth in your blood, he batheth in your gore.” It was common practice for them to sacrifice infants and young children for the purpose of obtaining the life or energy force from the victim.

Additional observations by some who have witnessed aliens recall distinct insignias or emblems on their uniforms. To no surprise, alien symbology is identical to that of the Mystery Religions of ancient Babylon. For instance, the winged-sun disk is worn by the “Draconis” or Reptilian race and is prominently displayed throughout the sliding scale of occultism. The double-headed eagle or Phoenix is associated with the Lyrae-Greys; a trademark of the Scottish Rite branch of Freemasonry. A book describing the interaction between non-human beings from other planets and the “enlightened ones” (33rd degree Freemasons) is found in the book, The Hidden Life of Freemasonry. Mario Pazzaglini, Ph.D., published his meticulous research pertaining to alien symbols in a book titled, Symbolic Messages: An Introduction to a Study of “Alien” Writing. He effectively deciphered over 150 samples and concluded that a high percentage of the alien alphabets are similar to magical alphabets of Hermetic and Enochian origins. Mario also surmised that, “Further, messages [from aliens] seem in most people to act as a nucleus for a developing sense of purpose in life, an increased realization that of some kind of ‘assignment’ from beyond humankind, and a heightened spiritual sense. The specific contents of these ideas can be of any religious denomination, or orientation, and sometimes reveals or develops a totally new religion, usually with conglomerate pieces from known religions and other cosmic, planetary, or stellar schemes.”

A case epitomizing this “cosmic consciousness” has been disclosed by Sky Ambrose, an alleged UFO/alien abductee who was interviewed by Art Bell, on his nationally-syndicated radio show, Dreamland, October 16, 1994. She and a friend were supposedly abducted in Colorado after observing a UFO in November 1989. Sky lost about two hours of time which she could not account for and decided to undergo hypnosis. A condensed version of what Ms. Ambrose recalled is as follows:

  1. The aliens looked translucent, with large heads upon thin, frail bodies. Their eyes were large and pronounced, but their was no recollection of noses or mouths.
  2. Sky and her friend were implanted with a small square, tissue-like substance inside their heads (catscan analysis or x-rays have verified these biological devices exist).
  3. Communication with the aliens was achieved telepathically.
  4. They (the aliens) told Sky she was not chosen by them, but she out of her own volition, decided to participate in this journey before her present life (reincarnation). To her understanding, these beings are “caretakers” or “guardians” of the planet, Earth. Their function is to bring forth “revelation” through the spirit of unity, and, the earth is the soul of God; a living entity (paganism).
  5. It was explained to her that the universe is rhythmic and presently at a peak cycle; what appears to be chaos is actually the birthing of a “new order” (ordo ab chaos?). To enter into the next evolutionary level, new bodies will be needed to re-seed the planet. This hybrid body will be a combination of human and alien (remember the Nephilim?).
  6. Her renewed belief system incorporates the expression that negativity brings separation but unity brings love (please read II Corinthians 6:17 & Matthew 10:34).

Some skeptics have taken the position that the UFO/alien phenomenon can be best explained as a form of psychosis or hysteria as conceptualized within Jungian psychology. Others view it as an elaborate government hoax, designed to further confuse the American populace. Such an insight is coherently expounded upon in the book, Space Aliens from the Pentagon, by Bill Lyne, former Air Force Intelligence Officer. I believe all the above explanations can exist simultaneously and need not be exclusive from one another. What better way to manipulate one’s perception of reality by throwing out several different scenarios, thereby making it difficult to ascertain a consistent pattern or trend that would hopefully lead to finding the elusive “truth”. In adding to the perplexity, cattle mutilations have been theorized to be the nefarious work of space creatures for experimental purposes. Others feel it’s a result of cultic rituals. Yet, another explanation is that it’s a smoke-screen perpetrated by government/military psy-ops in order to escalate our already induced paranoia (Is that a black helicopter I hear?).

A few so-called experts in the field of UFOology are excited about the possibility that someday soon, these seemingly benevolent and misunderstood inter-galactic beings will openly reveal themselves to the Earth’s human populace and bring about universal bliss. This grand deception is yet another lie conceived by the one referred to as “that old serpent” (Revelation 12:9).

As history repeats itself, let it be understood that we are living in a time likened as “in the days of Noah” (I Peter 3:20). With “dark skies” prevailing and the overwhelming presence of evil around us, what are we to do? I Corinthians 10:13 explains, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as common to man : but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” There is no physical place to hide from this onslaught of carnality except by taking refuge in our spiritual fortress, God Almighty (Psalm 91:2).

I trust this article provided sufficient information to render an objective conclusion. From my perspective, these extra-terrestrials are nothing less than demons in alien’s clothing. Grievously, many have and will succumb to this seductive aroma of pseudo-enlightenment (Mark 13:33). May we abide in Jesus, lest we partake in the abominations held within the mystery of iniquity (II Thessalonians 2:7-12).


I.D.E. Thomas, The Omega Conspiracy: Satan’s Last Assault on God’s Kingdom, Heathstone Publishing Ltd., 1986
Timothy J. Dailey, The Millennial Deception: Aliens, Angels, and the Anti-Christ, Chosen Books, 1995
Nelson S. Pacheco, Ph.D. and Tommy R. Blann, Unmasking The Enemy: Visions and Deception in the End Times, Bendan Press, 1994
David L. Carrico, The Egyptian-Masonic-Satanic Connection, 1992
Christa Tilton, The Bennewitz Papers, Crux Publications, 1992
Dr. Cathy Burns, Hidden Secrets of the Eastern Star, Sharing, 1992
SCP Journal, Alien Encounters, UFOs and the Realm of Shadows, Spiritual Counterfeit Project, 1992
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(Nanowerk News) Some day – perhaps sooner than we think – we just might be saying “the transhuman race” instead of “the human race.”
As technology marches forward at a dizzying pace, the “human-ness” in human beings is under siege. What will it mean to be human as time goes on?
Transhumanism, or the transition phase from the “human” to the “posthuman,” brings with it a host of scientific, religious, technological and philosophical questions.
Those questions will be discussed in a series of free events this month on the theme of “Transhumanism and the Meanings of Progress,” sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.
The first is a free public lecture by Dan Sarewitz, director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at ASU, at 7:30 p.m., April 21.
His lecture “Can Technology Make Us Better?” will take place in Armstrong Hall’s Great Hall.
On April 22, Sarewitz will join other faculty members in a panel discussion on “The End of Privacy,” at 12:15 p.m. in Bateman Physical Sciences Building A-206. This event is part of the Mathematics and Cognition seminar series.
The third event, planned with students in mind, is “The Ethics of Transhumanism,” at 5 p.m., April 23, in the University Club. This event, which includes dinner, is a Lincoln Center Seminar on Real Life Ethics with Brad Allenby and Sarewitz.
The final event is a two-day workshop on “Transhumanism and the Meanings of Progress,” April 24-25 at the University Club, which is an invitational event. Participants include Sarewitz, Don Ihde, Jean Pierre-Dupuy, Katherine Hayles, Andrew Pickering and Ted Peters.
“Technological change and social change go hand-in-hand,” says Sarewitz, who is concerned with enhancing the social benefits of science and technology. “Technology is as much a part of humanity and the human condition as culture or politics. Understanding the implications of our own ingenuity is an important part of understanding ourselves.
“As new areas of innovation, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and neurotechnology, begin to emerge and proliferate, our ability to govern them for societal benefit demands that we understand the ways in which politics and culture guide – and are guided by – technological change.”
The four events are part of a multiyear grant (2006-2009) from the Metanexus Institute, a global, interdisciplinary “think tank” that sponsors educational activities and networking worldwide to address the challenges of our changing world – to conduct the Templeton Research Lectures.
The theme for the four years is “Facing the Challenges of Transhumanism: Religion, Science and Technology.” This year’s events focus on the acceleration of knowledge and technologies that are rapidly changing the human condition, and exploring new ways for perceiving and analyzing a world that is far more complex than once imagined.
ASU is one of 15 universities worldwide to receive a grant to conduct the Templeton Research Lectures, says Carolyn Forbes, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.
But ASU’s focus is a bit different from that of the other participants, she says.
While the primary aim of the Templeton Research Lectures is to promote dialogue and research between the physical, biological and human sciences, “ASU is unique in using transhumanism as a theme to talk about how the changes taking place in biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science – and a host of other inter-related technologies – may affect the evolution of the human species,” Forbes says.
History professor Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is the guiding force behind ASU’s Templeton Lectures and the other events organized around the theme of transhumanism.
“My interest in transhumanism is part of a larger and deeper commitment to the dialogue of science and religion, which is rooted in the conviction that, historically and conceptually, science and religion are not antagonistic but intertwining cultural forces,” Tirosh-Samuelson says. “The term ‘transhumanism’ signifies a young and still-changing ideology that envisions a new phase for the human species as a result of new scientific discoveries and technological advances, especially in genetic engineering, robotics, informatics and nanotechnology.
“As a humanist concerned about the future of humanity, I believe we must not let these developments take place without engaging them from a variety of perspectives: philosophical, ethical, social, political, legal and religious.”
In 2004, Tirosh-Samuelson and several faculty members at ASU established a faculty seminar they called “Being Human: Science, Religion and Technology” that continues to meet under the auspices of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.
As a result of that seminar, the faculty applied for the Templeton Research Lecture grant.
“It is my hope that, through our engagement, lectures and public events, we will bring transhumanism to the attention of the public at large and inspire people to reflect on the impact of new developments in science and technology that deeply affect the meaning of being human,” Tirosh-Samuelson says.
For more information about the events or the grant, contact the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at (480) 965-7187, or visit the Web site
Source: Arizona State University

There never was a good


war or a bad peace.

— Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Josiah Quincy [September 11, 1773]