Tag Archives: Iran

WHO ARE WE, – AND WHAT COULD WE STILL BECOME??


 

“Much of the “amazing” as this may happen between people at times, – is not always expressed in what we see or hear.  But in veiled ways,  it may become a force within our spirit.  Without this,  it would seem life itself would be unthinkable,  or at least less meaningful…”  –  Paul Wolf
WHO  ARE WE,  – AND  WHAT  COULD  WE STILL BECOME??
Is it worth raising this question?..
The question who we really are is not confined to anyone in one culture, –  but includes human beings in all cultures.
With differences in background , culture and or genetic structure,  we are all part of the same species.
Image result for best quote on Children still kill each other on the streets in Chicago
By chance we were either born in South Africa or Russia, – either born  in Syria or the US…  Or any other place….
By chance our parents created a conception at one particular time, –  otherwise we (as we are now) would not have existed. For sure!. And people with a different awareness would have walked around.
Interesting isn’t it?
If for instance my granddad would not have returned from Canada to the Netherlands – because my grandma  was terrible homesick –  my dad would have been born in Canada. The last if the timing of his conception would have been exactly the same…
If not, the genetic DNA structure and the awareness unique of the particular human structure would have been totally different.  And for sure,  “he” would not have met my later mum during the resistance movement in the Netherlands in 1942. 
History for me would have been different, so for my wife and children.
Is everything a matter of chance?
Who are we, and where are we going?
It is interesting you know!
By chance we are living in the place where we are placed, as if the timing of our conception would have been different, many of us would not have existed in the way we are manifesting ourselves now.
And if either our dad or mum would have lived in a different country, circumstances would have been hugely different.
It is mind-boggling when you start to think about this as you realise that lots of things are created as a matter of chance. Which does not take away our responsibilities as they are  provided within our current appearance. But the awareness  helps to receive everything with a certain refinement, dignity or civility. And, more importantly,  express the last as such.  Whatever else you would like to tag this “issue” in the positive!
Does it make sense?
I need to give the last perhaps a different shade:
People from most Christian denominations disagree with me on this one.
However, – its matter of chance where we are born, the genetic structure we have and the circumstances in which are placed at the start of our lifespan on this planet.
Later on, the gift of choice takes over, providing us with the opportunity to make the best of every situation or the worst of both our character and conditions.
Not that we always have the best of each situation, for sure not, – just look around!
It does not take much imagination what this says, both in our lives and that of others, whether it is nearby or far away. We can’t always escape the situation in which we are placed, because at times we have an obligation to meet or a promise to keep.
The last thing we have is “the gift of choice” in those provided circumstances, – our final response.
By chance the start of the first circumstances can be great, by chance the start of those initial circumstances can be terrible. We are not always sure what lies ahead, we are not always sure what the best possible decision is. We grow through it,  at times very helpful but unquestionably this is not always the case: the assumption that we grow through circumstances. Especially if the design of those conditions may for instance take our life. Mind you, if you look at those countries where this is happening day by night…
If we have learnt to fear, we will express this in our circumstances, by choice. We will avoid certain circumstances or contacts.  If we have learnt to love we are able to express this as well, we will embrace certain circumstances and contacts.
Often,  we are thrown in the deep and have to swim across rough waters. We are relying on our inner strength to sustain, on our physical ability to keep up to speed, and on our moral affinity to keep our sense of duty balanced. In all this, – we may hope we belong to the God of our understanding, and that we may sense his grace out of the many options we have to choose in one particular situation. Options we have, day in and day out, – wherever we are, – wherever we may be. And for sure those who are willing to pray genuinely, they better do this honestly and fully.
Mind you, it is not God or Christ who wanted children to be born in  unsustainable circumstances.  It is not “the will of God” that you are choking tomorrow on a potato or that a drunken truck driver hits your daughters car on the wrong end of the road and that she gets killed. Lots of things simply happen by chance, and the fact that nature was “created” is true, – but  lots of the multiplication of nature happens by chance, and in the design itself, –  we are manifesting ourselves. And in this manifestation, there is a beginning and an end, – by far not always as a matter of choice, – though choice we have.
Some Church leaders may wonder where I put God in this picture…. On an aside note on this, –  I can only say that I feel that God, at His choice, interacts with his creation, with foresight. However, the biblical David for instance, was anointed as Israel’s next King after it proved that Soul was a failure. It was not the original intent. Soul made himself a failure by choice, and he could have made his choices differently, – in which case his duty as King then
would have been a sustained one, as was the original aim.
But anyhow, – lets carry on.. Carry on the value of real “connections”, – based on what I  say….
Friendships we need in life. Connections  we need to sustain in life and broaden our own horizons by sharing thoughts we otherwise would not express, perhaps. Good connections in life are the most important gift, apart from having the gift of choice.  One should entertain and commit to this, with full faith and trust,  and include the people who are really dear to us, but also reach out where justice gets compromised, where people get abused, where poverty is reaching that stage it’s simply not acceptable anymore. Not that much we can do on our own, but in the connections we have we can do more then on our own, in the choices for our leaders we can do more than on our own. Because it is all about connecting energies working for the better. 
Being taken up by the stream of meaningful contacts may enlarge what we are and can be, but as I say for others as well.
If we are able to cherish the mix of colours and the mix of race we are able to inhale the oxygen of this planet.
If life has thrown stuff on your plate which was not of your making, and even when there have been times that you wish you could escape from it, the memory of people whom you love dearly and with whom you feel loved as well, – keeps you balanced the pathway you have to follow, as then there will be always some “oxygen” in the air.
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The last question on earth is not what we are but what we became in both love and compassion to those who surround us.  And in this it does not make any difference whether we are a Muslim Christian or Jew. The last question is whether we really did share in sorrow and cheer of those around us. Then we can go in peace back to the God of our understanding, when our transition takes place. The last one which is not terminal, as nothing is terminal,- everything is transitional.
On what appeared on this planet by chance in the form of human beings as part of the wider concept of creation, has been given “the gift of choice” in its manifestation. Again, that is the point, or one of the points.
For a better humanity, this is when we have contributed to a better state of human race, – including contributing towards more tolerance among our fellow human beings. This,  is not a point of any religion anymore, – as most people just refrain from the crux of their own religion..  And the last is what counts, the so long forgotten crux in any religion that it is about helping each other and not killing each other. I say this in the most simple way, but often it is the forgotten way in the sum of human history.
That’s not by chance you know, that’s by choice!
If we stand for those in the shadow at the good end of the moral spectrum, we may perceive our last moment on earth as a new beginning. The last because the question of our belonging extends far more further than what we can see and hear, – in our short lifespan on this planet. That’s  part of a never-ending creation.
Again, that’s the chance given to us, – brought on in our perception perhaps by chance, – as there is really little purpose to see children being born in war stricken areas with a special intent for their suffering. With a special intent that they are born in that particular place with a purpose to die days later, – or being taken into a terror cult, or being taken into other slavery.
The “who am I” question is not a question only to be raised by a person at any stage in his or her life.
This question applies to countries as well in the form of: “Who are WE as a people?”
It is a question with political implications, – whether you accept it or not.  It’s a question not raised by chance, but by choice
Experience kept us suspicious of others preventing us from being open and truthful in our appreciation of others, or countries, – and at times for a very good reason. Mind you!
If the looming of a new humanity would be able to  break through the shimmering of dawn,  to this earth, – any inhabitant of this planet, any country in this world, should not allow to make this new humanity more distant by more revolting mass actions of destruction and conflict. Or conflict and destruction, – both being the two sides of evil.
For sure, this is not a matter of chance but it’s all a matter of choice!
Looking back, – (not that we can doing anything about it), – the parents of Adolf Hitler did chose the timing on conception of this person at the wrong time of the scale, whilst the timing of Mother Theresa was spot on. If it would have happened one day later or one day earlier the DNA structure and the power of the manifestation would have been  completely different.
Isn’t this a weird thought?
For sure, let’s take this with a sense of humour, as definitely there is more to it..
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The difference though was the spectrum of conscious,  which did “exclude” in one case the Jews and many others, – in the other case it did “embrace” everybody!  It was the difference between evil in progress and love in motion.
That people are born by chance we accept, or perhaps not.
But what they do by choice,  is the crux.
There was no purpose in the existence of Hitler, neither is there purpose in many of the dictators on this world.
To escape “sin” may be the greatest guilt if not many of those dictators get stopped, – if so required even by assassination,  if the purpose is elimination of evil and destruction in progress. And the Bible says you are not allowed to kill. ..Well, people may disagree, but I think it is very biblical to stop all evil in progress, as history has seen more than enough of it, –  and we should be over it!
Who are we, –  or,  what could we still become?
When we were a child we spoke like a children,  but when we became  an adult – we should act like adults,  with the future of our children at heart.
What sort of a future?
When challenge strikes us at the wrong moment, we may be weak in progress, – but when challenge strikes whilst we are balanced amidst the encounters we have, – we may act stronger perhaps than ever expected. We all may act the wrong way when we are touched the wrong way, no matter how good we are or may be… But if our children get harmed or killed, – we may strike out in anger and become evil. It is not always possible to resist this temptation if we deal with evil,  but it is better being evil than doing evil. Being evil in our anger is better than doing evil in our outrage. This applies e.g. to Islāmic fractions who stand up against each others throat, –  when sentiments are hurt.
Mind you, by the way, no way that I say that the reigns in Saudi Arabia are good, – disturbing as they are at times………You know what happened,  I guess, a short time ago.  Saudi Arabia  executed 47 prisoners convicted of terrorism charges, – including a prominent Shiite cleric, who rallied protests against the government.
This happened by choice, not by chance!
The people who were killed recently were neither really killers or terrorists, but Iran did kill  people as well, who were neither assassins nor bombers in the past. It shows how often people are at the mercy of unpredictable and intolerant regimes, not allowing any opposition. The last applies to people in North Korea as well.
What applies to people that you hope and expect them to become real adults applies to counties as well.  But how often does it really happen?  How often regulate countries themselves to economic conditions, –  that will take the essentials from the many, to give the comforts to  the few? 
  And then as such in an excess at times astonishing.
Worse even, they kill to keep the status quo, and screw their justice systems to keep it that way, – not rarely with barbaric murder and mutilation wiped under the carpet, if possible.
One can’t judge a country on the contents of its leadership, however sometimes the contents of the leadership resonates willingly or unwillingly  with the people of such country.
Lets take pride in Nawal al-Hawsawi an outspoken, black, and  qualified pilot who married to a white man. The ‘Rosa Parks’ of Saudi Arabia who showed in non-violent action she does not agree what is common law on marriage.
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She asked herself as well: ” Who am I”.   I am living will with a right to love, who can be against me if I do no harm?
She did this by choice, not by chance!
Many of us are restless and longing for the oxygen in life, even in the slightest moment of an encounter, far away or distant nearby.
Hungry for the human connection.
Mind you…and listen carefully….. I give an example,  an important one at this stage, – as it is not by chance but by choice!
I am quite candid in saying this:
The poison and intolerance of one person may destroy relations in and outside the US if Donald Trump would be elected US President in 2016!
The faint shimmer of a new humanity would be more down the drain than ever before in the US, – in such case.
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It is more than surprising that US Churches don’t take a united stance in matters, to avoid this happening. It would seem true religion and politics do not match very well, and far to often churches have been silent bystanders. Like the Roman Catholic Church at the times of Hitler, during the second world war, – they even made a deal.
It is up to the Americans which way they want to go, either the way of increasing friction among race and religion, with a risk of more civil unrest in the US and more disruption in the world… Or, –  more tolerance and understanding whilst eliminating people who can’t refrain from being evil by doing evil, –  in such  excess that it justifies their destruction.
It’s a matter of a free choice in a country, tainted by history, infected by racial tension, to make the right choice in line with common courtesy and respect for other cultures, – and race alike!
Children still kill each other on the streets in Chicago. At times they are shot as well by others..
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If the US is not going to stop this, it is only a matter of time waiting for a massacre greater than the Civil War. Self inflicted, –  by inflated perceptions on what is right or wrong in gun control. The abolishment of slavery is , likewise, but different, –  proper, –  as the abolishment of enslavement to  inflated gun laws, … and the day by day unlawful killings on the streets of almost any big city in the US, – as a result of this, by day and by night.
By choice, not by chance!
The US is anyway not free from the dangers of violence and further polarisation, but choosing the wrong US President is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice..… Donald Trump is simply not qualified to run a country. His only qualification is being a rich business man with neither proven manners or an acceptable standard on a real partnership with a multi-cultural society .. And I am sure, such a bad choice would affect the world.
Definitely, US readers,  – at least some, – will be greatly annoyed what I say here.
For sure,  I have nothing to do with the US than my affinity for this country to have a better future.  And I am surprised about the way people are making their choices, not knowing what is lying ahead, –  quite a few not having the faintest perceptions on the potential dangers.
Therefore people and churches need to speak out in the US.
 People in the US are qualified to judge with common sense, at least if their support structures give the support they really need. It is amazing that the right-wing sector of the Republican party, with all those so-called Christians, are prepared to support Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination
Why is this important now?
Well, it is all part of: ” Who are we or what could we still become?”
We owe it to ourselves to believe in the future. More then enough countries are already messed up and we can’t allow the US to be messed up by Donald Trump,  and with this, the rest of the world as well, – as he has no concept  of real sustained diplomacy to create unrelenting change for the better.
You know, the power of a country can’t be only judged on its military strengths, – but by its leverage in the world to resolve problems in cooperation with the other superpowers and others,  – and to avoid conflict.
It is all part of the question who we really are and where we want to go. A question, each time with different dimensions and opportunities. And in each of those opportunities lies perhaps the best choice which we need to search for, and this is the craving for that thing, that choice, which may slowly resolve the brokenness in ourselves and in the world.
Where we go as a people is not by chance but by choice and only by making the best possible decisions in each new entity of life, – there is a way forward. Not only for us but also for the people who surround us, with whom we are interlinked.  Not only for us as people,  but for communities and countries as well.
Leaders today need to be qualified as the world is too complex, too  perplexing, –  to allow evil doing evil.
If we have the privilege of living in a country where our ancestors by choice created a Democracy, lets stick to the responsibility of this choice, and the privilege as such, –  the advantage of enhancing our freedom and justice systems by choice and as such I would say it would not be wise to take the chance with Donald Trump, – apart from all the other things I said.
The major challenge of leadership is to restore the  balance between what lies at the core of our humanity, –  and the qualities which direct us in both  actions of goodwill and cooperation towards the challenges we face in the future.
Much of the misery nowadays in this world is caused by the fact that people lose their ability to connect with each other. A real mental connection is a tie to the past and a road to the future, a tie to human rights and a bridge to justice. And if we are failing  to fasten the links between Nations based on the core of our humanity, as a people we will get more and more disconnected, – and as such we will be failing the children who will be the future of the next generation.
It is as Nelson Mandela once said: “A  Good  Head  and a  Good Heart are  Always a  Formidable  Combination”.
And this, – he became by choice, – not by chance!
Still we can make a difference,  and say: “Why not?”
HOW?
Really, – by choice:
To honour and to improve life where possible, and to make more gentle the life of this world..

WORDS MATTER, THE WORLD MATTERS‏, HOPE MATTERS – LIKEWISE YOUR WORLD MATTERS; STAY IN FOR THE RIDE!!



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“We spend our years as a tale that is told..” – Psalms

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They tell me that words and differences  often do not  matter, and that actions only do.. They tell me that stories and tales do not matter either, and that only reality does.. Others do say  that words are only words and not always have a meaning…

They forget then that actions follow words (often on differences) , and that the way we approach differences are often the extensions of our attitude and that attitude follows mindset.. A certain mindset on which words do follow…Just repeat this if you wish, … And don’t forget that tales at times carry both hope and inspiration if the last is based on the mindset which makes someone tick the right direction.

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Words carry weight. Words carry sometimes a burden as due to created perceptions of fear. Tales, words and hope do matter… Many of us are brought up with stories and tales. Stories about the family, tales about people. Just name it! Almost everyone has examples, either at school or at home or at work or elsewhere. We live  in a world with role models, film stars, sport heroes, leading men and women and all the others on which we may relate some way or the other. It is what they say, what they send in their energies. And all those people are so different, what they say is different and what they do is different. Likewise what politicians say, based on mindset, context, and their attitude. Name it different if you wish, but what they say has an impact, as for sure it is not rarely followed by action.

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Do you agree?..To be exceptional and to make a difference in our inequality, – words carry gravity. Some more than others..-. In our separateness,  only our distinctive actions as a result of those words make the difference between “captivating people” or boring them, – making splendid the beauty of this world or unimpressive the drawbacks of our actions.  A world full of imperfections, full of major challenges. A world full of efforts, repellent at times as a result of hateful quarrels. All based on words, based either on hope or despair, based either on the perception that the wider context matters or that the bigger picture is  trivial.

The wider context, – the world, and the challenges we face?

One may ask: “Where does this leave us”? – I will get back on that one a bit later..

Speaking on the larger picture at the different level, we noticed this for instance when Turkey shot down a Russian plane in the common fight against ISIS. And the words of the Turkish President were only inflicting more tension between Russia and Turkey… The point was: ..a Russian pilot made a genuine error. The Turkey’s command systems fired a missile to this plane and the words being spoken then worked like “missiles” and increased tensions, – and not the mutual recognition that something went wrong.. Something which could have been prevented perhaps.. And people in Turkey then went on the street full of hate words against Russia… The propaganda of words… And the Turkish Parliament applauded then the Turkish President.. All this in a climate with already existing tensions in Europe with a possible Russian’s desire for further expansion. Also the possibility Russia may use nuclear weapons against ISIS, options which were raised earlier in a different context. So why inflicting tensions with words at this level?

Lets forget about this particular example as there are too many!

But If in this world for instance the leaders of Turkey would bring down a second Russian plane due to genuine pilot error, who makes e.g. the bend in the air just 2 seconds too late, and Russia would retaliate due to a non-apologetic Turkish behaviour, – we get tit for tat and potentially an escalation of events leading to war in Europe, or elsewhere.

What a potential stupidity and power lies in the use of words as well,.. and how senseless the conceivable actions of leaders lacking insight and proper judgment… European leaders in such case being blind-folded by a NATO contract  that one attack to one country is an attack to all countries.  As such, you know, the most controversial action may impose the most untamed reaction. Britain’s nuclear subs already on a level of increased alertness.

Do you know that if e.g. the UK would get destroyed, in part, and the command system of some of those subs are not able to be in contact with the British government anymore, – that there is a large full scale mission to carry out?

History is full of it. Missions based on actions and words. The secret box in one of those subs to be opened carries instructions from the British  PM. Words to be carried out. Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister got pale when he signed again the “last instructions”. Let that ever be prevented, both by actions and for sure by words of reconciliation and coöperation, the last where this is possible and desired within reason.

However, history is full of leaders lacking balance and insight, apart from the few good ones who inspired to believe again in the universal potential we all have as a people and brought it to action. But the balance is very fragile at international stage.

Still the question: “Where does this leave us”? – Just hang on..

It is factual that speeches not always solve problems, but what is true is that we can inspire trust and coöperation.  Even amidst our differences and errors. Even at the level of international politics. And it all falls back on the use of proper words, based on the bigger picture in mind, based on the right mindset and attitude as well. Words either full of prejudice or fairness. Those words, you know, transmit energy of goodwill or hostility, wisdom or ignorance, reconciliation or conflict. And this applies to us as well!

Words do matter and differences do matter as in our difference   lays the opportunity to reach out and find better connections than before, both at home in our household and in the world. In the moment of truth or danger we need to recognise the potential menace, but also recognize and pursue the opportunity for keeping peace. All being part of making real and genuine connections. And this applies to us as well!

We hold those truths to be self evident that all men are created equal – just words?

Does this apply to us?

Are we fearful to make real connections with those who surround us or are we slowly losing our ability to relate to each other as we live in a world more divided against itself. People more disconnected due to the variety of challenges we face in our communities where the blessings of technical progress are often translated in the curse of regression of our fruitful energies. The last including the potential to connect at our most fundamental human levels.

If we inspire hope in our words, wisdom in our actions, compassion and justice in our accomplishments, we may find that words and difference do matter. As in all of this it is mind over matter. In all of this it is consciousness over the elements of events, whether it is at home or at the highest political stage of the world.  Keeping the bigger picture in mind is getting far more important and it requires courage and determination to separate the weed from the chaff, to get straight to the point in crucial matters. Crucial matters within the world surrounding us and within the world of ourselves. And the last applies to us in person!

A world both in ourselves, – reflected in the outside world, – where we have to watch that what we have “in us” is not getting more and more superficial. The last despite technical progress, despite e.g. the accelerations in the communications industry and many others, which may give hindrances of various other nature as well if not properly used..

So for all of us, wherever we may be:

Let wisdom ring from the Rockies of Colorado  to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales..

Let compassion being shown on the borders of the Ukraine and in Russia.

Let mind over matter rain at the stage where important decisions are made.

The last with the reality awareness, the reality on the risk of war where people use their words and differences “to make matters evolving”, –  making matters worse as an excuse to decide matter over mind, to escalate words to the propaganda of war.. We have seen this after 9/11… And once more war has started it is hard to stop again, as events then are only of an escalating nature where the mindset in such case has reached a point of “no return”…

Is hope a dream only?

No, it is a reality we have to put our mind on. We have to dream and say why not. We need to set our goals and say why not. We need to reach out and say why not. We need to show compassion where it might be hard and say why not.. And besides this, we need to be open on what is still possible to explore both the sea and the sky, to bring out the best of our human endeavours, to combat the dangers of our time and say: ” Why not?”

This is what we can do together. Together we can spend our years as tales being told through words of wisdom and compassion, and in this we may lay together the foundation of greater understanding and a better future. We are allowed though to be somewhat pessimistic in our world view as long as the optimistic music in ourselves remains the driving force of both our words and actions.

Does this apply to us??… YES, .. THIS APPLIES TO ALL OF US!

So let it be known in every village and hamlet that despite the agonies of this world there is still hope for a better future, that Muslims and Christians can live together, that Jews and Palestinians are not necessarily eternal enemies and that both Iran and Israel are able to escape from old dogmatic principles. The last based on the assurance that they are no threat to each other and accept each other as partners in common enemies we all face as a people in the future. The impact of climate change. The impact of more dangerous and hard to control terrorism. The importance to manage a world with stronger countries desiring to broaden their level of influence at a cost of others…And all the other things, on which words, mindset and the world does matter, – now and in the future.

It all depends on the words and actions being used, the actions as a result of those words, the words as a result of a certain mindset. I have to repeat this..

Mindset – you know is everything, but it grows on the environment of words, either words of hope or words of suspicion and hatred. It grows in the environment of our families and schools, in the environment of the street at times where youngsters get lost or killed during the gun violence e.g.in the backyards of Chicago. People killed or getting violent as a result of the ICE epidemic within Australia the greater influx in the north and Melbourne perhaps, with crime syndicates and drug dealers often having an easy escape… We easy could go over the world with all both the positive things and the awful and flawed precedence or examples.

But it is not important here…. What is important here?

There is a twinkling in the lifetime of any generation where the spirit of hope on a broader mindset may come through. Where we are capable to ask ourselves what we are able to do. What we are worthy to do to make more gentle the life of this world, and not asking what others can do for us this way..

And this is the spirit, – not of what “I” can do, –  but what “we” can do together, to sustain the responsiveness of free man in a more complicated world, both at home and around us.

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This is a dream and a hope which may last through the storms of generations and will endure.

This is a dream and a hope which will endure our time and all times.

Times where words and differences will always be around but where we may find the means perhaps, through cultural transition,  to set up the realistic awareness  that we are all inhabitants of this only one world, all residents of this only one tiny planet. And that we have to rise up together and challenge collected the dangers for humanity, from east to west, from all corners of the world, – at times against all odds.

That is hope you know… To believe things which are not there as yet, rewarded by seeing what we believed and hoped for. Not empty hope which will be thrown in our hands but hope which is out in the open through the works of our hands, day in and day out.. Not that we will see perhaps what we believe, but that the music of not seeing but still yet believing,… remains the hope in our heart..

For sure, God willing, we can do this, we can make this.  And if organized  we may do that at the same level of imagination, and many of us at the same level of feeling and even more of us on the similar level of unloading the affirmative actions – regardless the barriers and regardless the resistance and regardless even the hatred we may meet on our ways.

People may die but the dream for a better world lives on. Lives on as a tale being told in the years we have to spend… In the years where we are allowed to be receptive to both words of wisdom and justice.

Words and dreams then, which may fall drop by drop upon the heart until we are able to express ourselves through the gentle grace of God, – and as such … becoming the tale that should be told… A tale in which both hope and the world matters.. A tale being part of an eternal flame…. A flame which can’t be extinguished anymore, despite our own despair and pains… A flame which carries on through the generations, as words do matter, … as the world still matters,  ..and as hope always matters for bringing change and to make a difference. And all of this finally, is in our own hands and in the world of our own minds and hearts, where our mindset and attitude finds the words to create realities, – some reversible others irreversible.

Those , able to carry and send out their own story of hope and compassion, – their own icon of understanding as to the needs for their fellow human beings, may warm the earth, – as a new tale being repeatedly told during the years we spend on this planet… A tale asking for ongoing inspiration and action. A tale and an urgent truth: to make more gentle the life of this world.

The belief, the work and the efforts being done  may be not be enough to appreciate or to see clearly. Our destiny will be shaped on the platform of all human activity, by those willing to dedicate their mind and their heart to the task, – whatever this may suit us within our own family,  ..duty.. work .. or outside work activities.

And lets so spend our years on earth as the best possible history  being told! 

Does this apply to us?… Yes, – it does!!

Indeed:    WORDS  MATTER,  THE  WORLD  MATTERS‏,  HOPE MATTERS – and  LIKEWISE   YOUR  WORLD  MATTERS!

Therefore:  … STAY IN FOR THE RIDE!! 

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Thank you so much!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/the-question-as-how-to-serve/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/rest-well-golden-eagle-in-memory-of-nelson-mandela/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/peace/

Challenges of our times and generation

Hundred Years of Anzac : the spirit lives but which way in the future?‏


anzacs

“…….To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems

I would like to raise the opportunity today, in remembrance of “Anzac” and actually to all the Anzacs of the word,  to speak briefly to you about the senseless and growing threat of increasing  global violence… Knowing that those who follow this blog in different countries, may not have heard of “Anzac” as such… I would like to ask to try to take it as highlighted…
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Whilst “Anzac Day” in Australia and New Zealand bring to mind the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in 1915 on the 25th of April, a day where many were killed during both an epic and horror event against the evil of a major enemy,  – Anzac remembrance is in someway overrated in it’s prime focus on the past, .. rather than a more rightly and joined focus on the future where the evil of major wars should be prevented …
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For Australia this particular event, 100 years ago, was a profound loss and disaster.. Apart from this, many Australian soldiers and others died on the battlefield of Gallipoli whilst they have been under the illusion that they would go there for some adventure, very young in age, and often ill-prepared…Often misled, somehow, by the authorities who did recruit them with incorrect information, – propaganda as well…It’s a never-ending story which repeats itself time after time, propaganda and war, – war and propaganda. And the stories are rarely fully correct. Those poor soldiers in those days had really not the faintest idea where they were in for… This massacre was a shame for so many who lost their lives, for their families, – but also perhaps a disgrace for Government authorities who did recruit them the way they did, and the way those young soldiers were prepared. Being in the hands of government authorities  and the military, who may wrongly guide you into defeat disaster and death, – is in essence a cheat against human life and not often highlighted in the public domain, – where governments do fail in wise assessment on the risks they take.
If those who died could speak from their graves today, Anzac would not be about the past but about the future.
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War and conflict, where ever it was, where ever it will be, marks both the souls of those who are involved and the countries which are affected, – either by major destruction or escalating sectarian violence.
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This will be the picture of future war’s… Close to, or, total destruction perhaps, where even the sounds of propaganda get silenced, whether they were right or wrong.
In past war’s soldiers returned to their country of origin with hardly any after care for the trauma’s they sustained. Often with things they don’t want to talk about anymore. But torments still festering as a sickness in their souls, with so many PTSD and other human disorders in those people who sustained the particular horrors in monstrous combat.
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Those who died, died alone, – those who were able to survive came back and often had to live a very isolated and lonely life, in a different world, often misunderstood and undervalued…
Gallipoli – is only one of the many battlefields of the past century. One was worse than the other. Some battlefield’s were totally senseless and ill-selected by those who did decide to go to war, – not rarely for the wrong reasons at a cost of many innocent people.
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The Australian sentiment from ” Anzac” commemoration could be: This never ever again! …Like people who visit the Auschwitz extermination concentration camps – built and operated by the Third Reich during the 2nd World War. Those people, so many years later, may also feel that this should never happen again. However the slaughter of people goes on and on in different identities, and those being responsible not often held accountable.
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The victims however in the future are of all kind, – not only restricted to the poor, but also to the rich. Not only restricted to one religion, but potentially to all religions. Not only restricted to two countries but to many countries…It is not a concern of any one race, it is the concern for the all human race where human dignity suffers on the potential and  mindless onslaught across nations.. Where human dignity suffers, because humanity became inhumane by not avoiding the last choice of murder carnage and perhaps extermination.
When we think about those who died in the past, we need to be mindful of those who may die in the future, as just this should be  the lesson of history, – how to prevent this happening again.
We live in a time where quality and quality improvement is so important, but the last seems to be restricted to some areas of life and manufacturing, – but not to all life and the improvement of life.
People often do live in joint circumstances today where resentment can grow in unexpected ways….
Violence never created, rarely accomplished, – and so it will never do in the future where the voice of reason is not heard or ignored. And so where modern violence is ignited, it will create new violence and possibly massive and unpredicted retaliation. The last with perhaps the same repetitive propaganda to make people go to war. War and violence, violence and war, – both massacres and slaughter  where the law of civilisation does not count anymore.
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We can see glimpses on this from Afghanistan to Yemen, from the deserts in Syria and Iraq where ISIS tries to prevail in not less than barbaric style, – glimpses on the conflicts of African countries, and the tensions between Israel and the Palestinian people. But also the dynamics around Iran and the Ukraine…The list goes on, on and on….
We live in a time where collective obsession may reach epidemic proportions, supported by social media. As we have seen already at an early stage…
Whilst we increasingly and calmly seem to accept  the reports of civilian butchery in far away lands, we tend as well to enjoy the television entertainment of movies with all sorts of violence – without restrictions for our children, who should be able to learn and live by example. But many of those youngsters are already confused by what they see at home,  by what they experience on the street and via television or social media. Some of them in dysfunctional families. Some of them even willing to join ISIS, and travel to Syria to join this mindless evil of all evils, – at this time…
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Countries, now, make it easy for other countries of all shades of sanity, to get whatever weapons of destruction  they desire. Not recognising that unpredictable collective behaviour may affect us all in a chain reaction of violence. Things can easily have a domino effect.. Too many Governments preach peace with their lips and consider wars with intentions. Intentions on which  strategy makers may get locked in political decisions, from which there is no escape anymore.
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The question is what we really learnt from Anzac and all those other Anzacs of the world.  The fact that so many people from Australia, New Zealand and other countries died in one particular lost Gallipoli battle, with particular facts not highlighted, – should at this stage not be the sole sentiment, – but merely the realistic concern for the future, – our future. A future where governments proved to have learnt from the past , a future where we have a greater awareness of what to expect from our governments, where the last being possible. Propaganda is a dangerous thing when used for the wrong reasons to mislead the public….whether it is used in e.g. Russia or the US, or anywhere else…
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The sickness of the human soul is able to consume and breed violence, create repression which produces retaliation. And so the Anzac’s all over the world should not only cherish those who died in – as they may say – “noble conflict”, but cherish life for the living and make a call for joint efforts to slow down the destructive brutality which is breeding everywhere and anywhere. The brutality which affects the poor and the children. The brutality which poisons the relations between men because they are eg either a Jew or Muslim. The violence among Muslim states. But also the potential still,- of escalating violence around the Ukraine. We see the slow destruction of children as well, – not only by trafficking, but also by hunger and lack of the most basic schooling and living eg in houses with neither comfort nor heat…
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They are the future, but what sort of future if care and respect for life are  insufficient? .. A new generation as such can spiral down in savagery and destruction, both at home and across the world.
Prejudice among group dynamics in those children and young adults is the future we have to face, with even more advanced instruments of social media. With even more hatred, more bitterness and more combat missions… And as we see the western world is neither immune nor always right.
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I have no answer for those problems , neither principles to change all this.. There are simply no final answers, but when you teach to hate and to fear your neighbours because they are different in colour or beliefs, – you may lose part of your own identity if you don’t respect the other as yourself.. It starts with our children and all the youngsters.. It’s all about mastering the concept we have to learn to live with each other, however with the law enforcement and protection we all deserve, – based on being equal, regardless race or religion, based on being creative as a species, creative this way, – and not the other way!

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When we learn to respect each other, recognising we share the same short moment of life, recognising that we all deserve a chance to live our lives in purpose … and respect that ways can be different without conflict on battlefields, – there will be less future Anzacs anymore and this should be the message among communities, cities and countries… And if we so look around us as fellow men, – we may be able to dress the wounds among us, and so we may become in our own souls brothers and citizens of this world again, as part of an evolution of conscious… As part of an evolution over decades and centuries… As part of an evolution that actually, – actually we have no other realistic choice with all we have to destroy if mass hysteria gets grip on those who hate.

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Is this easy?… No, for sure not, – it is the biggest challenge we face on this planet….

It is like the Indian diplomat and politician Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit once said:… “The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” ..

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No matter how necessary or justified a war may seem, no matter that wars are as old as  humankind, – a new large and widespread,  and – or – all over war, will take away from us the ability to live and makes all of us the victim. And once most of us are dead, crippled, or burnt, or poisoned, we have seen the end of war.. But at what price?..  It is simply better neither to risk it nor to come too close to it, as there is no common international law that war’s –  if any – should be restricted to any one or two countries alone. And even then it is better to decide on the lesser evil, as even though not always true, – an unjust peace can be better than a just war.

…To strive,.. to seek in peace – as Alfred Tennyson, the British poet once said –  to find, ..and not to yield in foremost peace, – the last one, however, … the only battle worth waging….It’s all a matter of wisdom, understanding and respect, mutual respect, – but also to make a mutual and united stance against evil…No act of peace however, no matter how small, is ever wasted.. And this, – this should be the baseline education for future generations and an understanding for almost all people around the world, young and old, – as humanity has never been created to sustain the potential of future warfare at the scale it can escalate and destroy each other.

Thank you!

Paul 

The wider implications of the Syrian drama


A mural in Iran showing the yellow Hezbollah f...
A mural in Iran showing the yellow Hezbollah flag, and a quote from Ayatollah Khomeini which says: “Israel must be destroyed.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What started some 2 years ago in Syria as a protest movement against a brutal oppressive regime is now an uprising of spiralling war between various fractions, potentially dragging a whole region in a whirlpool of vicious violence.

What started 2 years ago as a struggle for justice being compromised became a sad time for justice.

In Syria this became a lost case of criminal justice.

It’s a sad time as well for peace in the Middle East as  risky are the dynamics for escalating violence with plenty of stakeholders holding different agenda’s, – all in a position to commit or to refrain from the threat of further escalation. Plenty of stakeholders being able to make either the choice or resist the choice to throw oil on a fire of existing violence between a Sunni – dominated opposition and the al – Assad regime supported Alawite’s, – an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
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It’s now a most dangerous and potential explosive situation as the playground of the dynamics are part of the playground of regional powers. Powers not being ready to give up the status quo on influence by terror. Terror by infiltration and supplying missiles to areas where they should not be, as the use of those missiles could put the region on fire.
Moderates have been pushed to the sideline and there is no leadership among the fractions with only sectarian horror to evolve. Massacres against the Sunni communities likely to happen if the Syrian government army is able to capture these areas with families including women and children being executed.
It happens as it already happened.
It would not seem this conflict has anything to do with Islam and actually the dynamics are opposing Islam as a religion as massacres and murder of innocent people by those countries calling themselves Islāmic by faith are repugnant in the view of real Muslims.  Islam only by virtue of its wide extension can be called a world-religion, – but for some groups it never reached  the required spiritual level because it never produced a workable thinking, which includes workable action  on both the world and humanity. The last at a depths required to bring both civilisation and respect for life in the hearts of its people.
There where religion is unable to achieve this, it is failing, – not because of the religion but because of the people who practice their religion. Where we don’t learn from the vanity of our false distinctions, even where it involves religion with the wrong practical implications, our lives may be diminished to the perceptions that our neighbours are aliens .We then may live together in a region but are not bound together as a community. We only then learn to live in fear with a wish to retreat from the people we perceive as our opponents, because they are different, – and our first instinct dictates then to meet disagreement with violence. This is what we see in the Middle East and elsewhere. And we know that there are no final answers but what we learn is not always the right learning if the common impulse is to meet disagreement with force. And if this carried  over to the children in the worst possible scenario’s encountered in the Middle East, the future of those who are to follow is more restricted with even more violence.
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The mindless menace of violence in Syria is likely  overturning its borders and affecting those who live there as minorities. People butchered to death. The victims are young and old, known and unknown, Islamic and non-Islamic, but foremost they are people suffering from senseless acts of sectarian violence. Families disrupted in the pain of daily agony, not knowing who will be next. It’s the kind of violence which tears apart the fabric of life, which tears apart a country and the fabric of communities as part of barbaric  brutality which belongs actually to dark ages centuries ago. Civilian slaughter for the benefit of politics and holding on to power are one of the worst violations of human rights. Governments mastering this domain  will lose their cause and pay the price. The danger of the spiraling violence is that when you teach people to hate others and fear them because they are different in their beliefs, you teach them as well that they are a threat to you, and that  they may take your life or your freedom,  and a such the cycle of violence and hatred continues to do its evil and destructive work. It can only stop when people cease  to do this, when the actions of violence are terminated at such level that violence does not know how to move anymore. It’s then that we may realise that this short life on earth can neither be enriched by hatred nor by revenge.
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Whilst Christians or Jews have neither been perfect through history, wisdom inspired by those of them who thought in depths about humanity and the world was rarely suppressed to support the status quo of the traditional views, – and progress was made through centuries. The last often recognised in retrospect. And still, even for Christians and Jews at times things are  hard going but civilisation became the cornerstone of the majority, – whilst reality shows that civilisation and respect for life is a lost avenue for some traditional Muslims in countries in the Middle East, – sticking to unchanged dogma’s. The last never been challenged on real merit and value for life as it was intended to be.
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An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth are not the means by which we need to live, and on all sides of the religious spectrum we are never told to do so. Those “who live by the sword will be killed by the sword”.
Some groups and possibly countries are on the verge of making things even more bitter than better in current Syria, based on the dividing thought that violence and cruelty serves the purpose of a united  or stable Syria, based possibly on a different concept of government. The killing fields of Cambodia would perhaps not be worse than those in Syria in such case, but the last may get worse if this current conflict would escalate across the borders of Syria.
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Both scenario’s are not acceptable.
Whilst the people in both Cambodia and Vietnam are by nature friendly and forgiving on what has been done in the past, widening conflict in Syria would be neither forgiving nor forgetting as sectarian violence brings the worst out of people,  the last apart from the agenda’s from surrounding nations trying to capitalise on more influence, – especially Iran.
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If the al- Assad regime would fall to the Sunni dominated opposition, – Iran could lose it’s link to Hezbollah in Lebanon and its power on the border with Israel. Not what they want.
Lebanon with it’s Shiite and Alawite majority (Muslim) sects which both do support the current Syrian al – Assad regime dominate the Lebanon’s government.
You see the frictions here.
Then we have Iraq with long standing tribal ties between Iraq’s Sunnis and Syria’s Sunnis, – many of which feeling oppressed by a non – Sunni Government with Iraq feeling the tensions of Syria’s conflict in its own country. Various bomb explosions have been in the news.  Sunni jihad with al Qaeda links likely being already active across both borders to fight the non Sunni government in Syria.
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And then the country of Jordan  being burdened by some 1.5 million Syrian refugees with adversity leading to potential unrest in Jordan.
Turkey as a country as well similarly burdened by refugees flooding the country since the start of the uprise against the al- Assad regime, – Turkey obviously blaming the al-Assad regime for this. Besides this a pair of car bombs killing dozens of people in a Turkish town which had welcomed many Syrian refugees. A Marxist terror group being involved in those car bombs, a terror group with close links to Syrian’s intelligence service.
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Other countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are backing the Syrian rebels  as they feel a Sunni government being installed in Syria would make the Gulf States more stable, as they fear the spread of Iran’s influence in the region.
For Israel finally it is felt to be important that the front group for Iran in Lebanon will be stopped as due to the increasing dangers with Iran’s infiltration via Hezbollah, the last supported by the Syrian regime. The Israeli‘s reluctant to get involved will  however at all cost prevent the transfer of modern missile systems to the al- Assad ally Hezbollah Shiite militia in Lebanon. Those missiles include Iranian made and upgraded Fateh -110 missiles with a range of 300 km. Whilst the Israelis and Hezbollah are not in direct conflict as yet, they may become more active on opposite sides in the Syrian conflict as due to the Iran – Hezbollah link. Israel will respond in no uncertain terms if the missile threat from the north is growing because Tehran is using Damascus to feed Lebanon with offensive weapons. Israel has deployed already two of its iron Dome missile-defence systems in its northern cities to combat potential missile and rocket attacks from which it is believed that Hezbollah has an arsenal of some 50000.
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It’s a fragile balance on which it is assumed Syria has not the recourses to fight on two fronts. It’s for Israel a wait and see predicament as with weakening the Assad regime the potential strengthening of the rebel fraction such as the al-Nusra Front with al Qaeda links in Iraq may open a new spectrum of threats as this jihad group is highly organised. The question for Israel might be whether the Iran-Hezbollah link is more dangerous than the various rebel fractions being out of control as it would seem to be.
All in all “it’s a can of worms” with no end in sight as evil tends to spread rapidly with chaos the unfortunate outcome. Whilst Islam carries in itself greater ethical depth than it’s appearance would lead one to suppose, no great Islam leader has been able to speak out against all this. No Islamic nation has been able to lift the burden of traditional views  dominating the practical political implications of a nation’s direction slowly moving to war, by infiltration and ambition, – like Iran. No Islāmic nation being able to embrace both respect of culture and human rights has been able to make the al- Assad regime accountable for what it did to its own people, as the traditional and oppressive views are both dominated by Iran and Syria.
Both are major culprits of guided violence and oppression in the Middle East.
The sad thing is that apart from 70000 death inside Syria as result of the civil war, the conflict is reaching across the borders with even Russia getting involved. The last supporting the al – Assad regime.  An indication as well which way Russia is prepared to support, and one may assume lack of real consideration.
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The US reluctant to get involved with US Secretary of State John Kerry emphasising the need for an international conference to be attended by both the Syrian government and opposition to prevent total chaos in Syria. However it is questionable whether this works when the al-Assad regime gets the backing of Russia.
At the same time there is a large inflow of weapons from various sides indicating that more people will be killed with no likely military outcome either side in the nearby future. Hezbollah dispatched some 4000 fighters to Syria to help the al-Assad regime. Rocket attacks from rebel forces into Lebanon against this Shiite militia.
Undeniable there is a huge risk of a most bloody sectarian warfare which will both involve Syria Lebanon and Iraq, – reducing the already compromised stability in the region.
With an increasing number of fighters from different countries going over Syria’s border to support one side or the other. Israel is on the alert to prevent Syrian forces to transport advanced missile systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon and if so required will conduct further airstrikes to prevent this happening out of fear that chemical warfare comes into the wrong hands with Israel being an easy target in such case. Syria’s most powerful ally Russia will deliver advances anti-aircraft missiles, indicating somehow to the West to stay out of Syria. The US supports politically the Syrian rebels with non – lethal aid whilst the Obama Administration refrains from providing military aid, – presumably concerned that the situation would then escalate. Meanwhile however intensifying diplomacy efforts to rescue the region from widespread conflict with international security and peace being at risk.
However this will not change the background role of Iran and Russia’s support for the al-Assad regime.
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The divisions however among the opposition, but also among some of the al-Assad links are a stumbling block for effective negotiations anyhow. Whilst Russia with its al-Assad support makes it clear to the West to stay out of the area, they agree with the US on required diplomacy to prevent a worsening situation. It’s not in the international interest that the situation in Syria is escalating into a large regional war with the potential of an international war, – but at the same time both Russia and Iran prefer to keep the status quo with al-Assad being the main power in Syria. The implication of this includes Iran’s role of supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon will not be changing. This means that on the long term Iran wants to keep its spreading influence whilst heating up the Hezbollah and Israeli potential for conflict in Lebanon at a later date.
It’s hard to say what would be the preferred situation as the region is hanging together on unpredictability’s. For the Gulf States apply they want a reduction of Iran’s influence, as they fear the strength of Iran if it would come to a war. Iran will not make any major moves in this conflict as yet as it prefers to intervene at a stage when it could hit or affect Israel as well.
Strictly spoken and in general, Syria would be likely better off with a Sunni government as Iran would lose part of its power in Lebanon, the Gulf States would feel more safe, the power base of Hezbollah would be compromised with no links with the al-Assad regime anymore. However the question remains how much chaos Syria has to endure to make such a transition possible and how many more people will be killed on such a track. Sectarian violence and anarchy may lead to a more dire situation in which al-Qaeda links may get the better of the existing situation with even more senseless massacres and potential genocide amidst the rivalling sections.
The hard question is which sort of stability is desired at this very present moment. Arming the rebels by US legislation may inflict a strategic set back for Iran as due to the disruption of the terror line between Tehran and Hezbollah in Lebanon. However arming both fractions by either Russia  or US may inflict a terror war worse than the war in Somalia with the difference Somalia never had chemical weapons, the last being at risk coming into the wrong hands not bothered by the human suffering this could create.
Whilst there might be reason to intervene in Syria’s government initiated slaughter house, as part of humanitarian action, – the last would not be perceived this way by the many stakeholders with most different and foremost radical perceptions, often based on emotions. The most important thing is preventing a regional war at large scale as this is not a region receptive for reason.
The least of two evils seems to contain the existing evil preventing from spreading all out violence across the borders, but an al-Assad regime cornered with Iran at risk of losing influence may both be well able to accept all avenues to protect it’s powerbase and influence in the Middle East, and for this reason both the region and Israel are at risk for a new level of barbaric violence in the area.
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With this in mind it is the duty of both the super powers being partly involved already, to contain this conflict and bring people to the negotiating table before matters get totally out of control. Failing this the US may reconsider its position as whilst US interests might not be directly at stake, the best possible humanitarian support needs to prevail in this unspeakable drama, – an obligation of moral proportions. Besides this it is up to the US to allow somehow now to be sidelined by both Russia and Iran perhaps, – awaiting conflict later down the track when Hezbollah supported by Iran will reorganise its forces in Lebanon. The last against Israel with both the al-Assad regime and Iran owing Hezbollah support, as Hezbollah supported al-Assad to stay in power,  – if dynamics would evolve this way. At that stage it would be hard for the US not to support Israel.
Finally, there is nothing to glorify in this world if we don’t get our baseline humanity right in the distinctions we make with each other. This may not apply to everybody as value systems are different. In general however at present it is a matter of watching the current dynamics in and around Syria closely as minor moves may have major implications in the positive or significant ramifications in the negative, –  depending on the choices being made. The last besides the human suffering as part of ongoing business in this part of the Middle East.
With a bit more empathy and lifting inflated dogmatic views lots can be gained. But lots can be lost as well.
In the final analysis, it is not the concern about any religion. It is the concern of human beings being tangled up in destructive believe systems leading to bitterness hatred and violence. At the end of the day in all of this we are faced with one of the most self-destructive dynamics here on earth, and where we are as civilisation able to relief this bit by bit we are on the right track, as life in a deeper sense does not expect us to do anything else. There where countries fail to put in the required thought on the value of life for its own citizens and make within this domain the wrong distinctions when it comes to maintaining power, – they are lost in their own advancement, and in the misfortunes of their own children being exposed to the worst examples of adults.
This is what we see over and over.
And therefore I repeat:
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Where we don’t learn from the vanity of our false distinctions, even where it involves religion with the wrong practical implications, our lives may be diminished to the perceptions that our neighbours are aliens .We then may live together in a region but are not bound together as a community. We then only learn to live in fear with a wish to retreat from the people we perceive as our opponents, because they are different, – and our first instinct dictates then to meet disagreement with violence. This is what we see in the Middle East and elsewhere. And we know that there are no final answers but what we learn is not always the right learning if the common impulse is to meet disagreement with force, and if this is what we carry over to the children in the worst scenario’s encountered in the Middle East, – we face a lost generation there, with worse to come.
As Martin Luther King ,Jr once said:  “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.”
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The crux lies in the method!
Thanks!
—-

 

The Realistic Threat Of North Korea: a different approach


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Tonight once again, once again the same old discussion. The discussion being heard so many times but so little effective action being taken.

The discussion about the pending and increasing dilemma’s as how to deal with North Korea. North Korea perceived as an increasing threat, – North Korea being an increasing threat.

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North Korea, with snowy mountains in the north and rugged ranges in the east with swift rivers flowing to the sea. A country ideal for growing rice and other crops, but being harsh in winter. A country with mud coated and thatched cottages being bleak, and black pigs lolled by barns, – and the digging of soils still being carried out by the kind of spade used by land working men.

Men and women, – like us, like everywhere.

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The country where fishermen converge like seabirds in tiny fishing boats to catch a share for thousands of families to sustain the living conditions in an exploited land full of stricken poverty, – and malnutrition of far too many children.

A country once invaded by the Russians and denied free elections in history, with iron curtains dividing both the south and the north.

A country once invading the south with the US and Japan coming to the rescue of the south, – with finally the south and the north controlling each their own zone… Isolated now, close to the borders of China, – not only isolated in terms of trade and other good things with the outside world, – but foremost isolated as well as a country in terms of rational international diplomacy.

North Korea in 2001 still the country remaining communist, closely spied by its Government, cut off from almost all outside contacts and over and over armed.

One new young leader now with a massive war machinery behind him, in a way fragile and not mature as a person, – but coming forth from a family tradition of maximum power and ambition. Encapsulated in various inflated views about the world of North Korea and the real world.

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Encapsulated by historic traditions within the army, a powerful army, – but the last powerful as well where it comes to keep up existing doctrines, which do not work.

Neither do they work for the many people who are poor in North Korea, the families with children and malnutrition being the events of the day, nor do they work for the outside world, – as North Korea is one of those nations enduring great difficulties to face the challenge to become civilised, and responsible, – in the way they deal with matters.

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It is one of those countries who perceive in their isolation threats from the outside world, – perceive their family neighbour from the south as an enemy, – perceive the US as an enemy. And in all this are preparing for conflict, – being both irrational and pointless.

The facts are now that North Korea will conduct its third nuclear test soon, – that North Korea did sent a satellite into space in December and are preparing for both long range missiles eventually having the ability to carry nuclear and/or other weapons.

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Reason does not seem to work as North Korea is perhaps the worst enemy of its own ideology, but reason never reached North Korea as isolation created fear and fear created the potential for major confrontation where nobody as head of any civilised state apart from China did visit North Korea in the eye of its Parliament.

It takes courage to prevent war and create dialogue. History showed on a few occasions that the actions of men are able to this, as once illustrated in the Israelite Parliament with the visit of a seemingly almost forgotten Egyptian President, who stood up for Peace being the last rationale argument to fight for.

Different circumstances though, the last, but the examples are there of men and women, people and Presidents taking action with a bigger interest at heart, proactive in style and determined to win their case, – as a lost case being the case of war goes at a cost of millions who are innocent and did not ask for it.

In the eyes of North Korea both the US and South Korea are earth enemies for reasons never being really clarified in face to face communication. Face to face communication with both modesty and strength, to reach both out and to try to diffuse inflated perceptions. Face to face communication – like eg happened in dialogues between Reagan and Gorbachev at a crucial time of the cold war right in the face of all hard-liners, – all hard liners being surprised of the break through being created at the time.

There is a situation now not being the place for making any threats, – as words lead to provocations and provocations lead to war and war leads to an instinct of willing to combat by every means.

It’s pointless, – pointless as it proved so many times in history!

Lets face it, we are not living any more in time of guns and bullets only, but the guns have been replaced by potential missiles and the bullets have been replaced by plain potential nukes, – either dirty or clean, but in both cases devastating in its implication once used by people who lead wars from behind their computer, – blind for the destruction of human life and culture

The new US Secretary of State John Kerry liked engaging North Korea in the past at the time he was a Massachusetts Senator and this is the only way forward. Kerry, who replaced Hillary Rodham Clinton, joined with South Korea and Japan in calling on the North to end its “provocative behaviour” or face “significant consequences from the international community” in a statement Sunday, – but he did not make endeavours to visit North Korea as yet. Being only joint by Japan and South Korea, statements of this nature have no impact on North Korea at all!

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Media presented threats do not help. “There’s a reluctance in the White House to have a deal with North Korea only to have it repudiated again,” said James Acton, an expert on nuclear non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. However, – some risk is required as the risk of war and not being able to end the process once the last is implemented is a greater risk, and again we are not simply speaking about guns. North Korea will master a delivery system for nuclear weapons, and it will join Russia and China as the only non-U.S. allies with such capabilities, – besides Iran perhaps. Kim Jong Un seems to shrug off pressure from most of the international community, including North Korea’s main ally, China, and go ahead with a third test. Bruce Bechtol, a former Pentagon intelligence analyst, said it is really not up to the United States solely to alter the North’s behaviour. He said Kerry’s instructions from Obama will likely be to work closely with the South Koreans and have them set the tone.

However the US needs to go into a straight dialogue with North Korea and Kerry needs to visit and speak to the Communist Parliament as only a minor shift in perception may change events in history, the last being of greater impact when a delegation of South Korea would visit the North. The reasoning behind this is that North Korea wants to go nuclear as part of its military deterrent in its confrontation with the United States, which it describes as “the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

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Long range missiles are not aimed for South Korea but are on the long term aimed at the US and its citizens and the only way is working on a shift in perception, – a shift of perception delivered perhaps even by the US President in North Korea.

The new US Secretary of State John Kerry would be well able to visit first, and discuss with the North Korean leadership the issues of concern. Such a visit will have a major impact and may help the required shift in perception which enables parties to reconsider existing strategies. Besides this benefit it will create some element of goodwill, – noticed by both Russia and China, as the US goes out of his way to avoid confrontation. However one should be watchful for this oppressive regime

If no change afterwards it will help the US to get both China and Russia on the same page of the international agenda to stop North Korea with its dangerous endeavours, leading simply to an avoidable war, – now.

Leadership by providing a change of perception works stronger than sanctions as sanctions proved to be the cut corner strategy not having an impact on historic based perceptions in this case, – the last neither being changed by media delivered warnings nor by measures being perceived as provocative

North Korea is able to test two devices at the same time, one with plutonium and the other with uranium, both then with more technological information and political damage being provided, – apart from the single fact that they are not far away from testing a thermonuclear device more powerful than any of their earlier devices being used, and again, – again straight on dialogue and working on a shift in perception with coöperation being the aim is a short-term goal of eminent importance, – even if this is against Pentagon advise.

Politically the new regime of Kim Jong-Un is more defiant to U.N. dictates than his predecessors, – just by still pursuing his nation’s nuclear aims. Neither stronger sanctions, nor the likely discontent of both Russia and China with his behaviour, appears to change North Korea’s young leader from its military driven aim and it is clear that only straight on discussions on both dismantling and cooperation might be helpful to change the perception that the US is not not the number one enemy, – as this is an inflated perception not based on any realistic facts, – unless the facts do change by further provocations by North Korea.

This is what the military leadership in North Korea needs to understand or facing the implications if North Korea indeed is going to face a nuclear threat for the region, with growing pressure from both China, Russia and the US.

The UN proved to be of no value to North Korea.

The aim is to get both China, Russia and the US on the same page of the strategic agenda as by not achieving this shift in perception with the North Korean leadership, this nation becomes a vey unpredictable nation at the potential cost of millions of people inside North Korea and outside its borders.

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Hence steps of courage being required at the personal level to change those possible dynamics in history, as history will judge both in retrospect and relentless, on what “we” did to prevent “the North Korean problem” from evolving into a worst case scenario.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

 

 

America’s Role In The Middle East – Justified?


English: youth orchestra of the middle east
English: youth orchestra of the middle east (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We shall live at last as free men on our soil, and die peacefully in our own homes”, – as Theodor Herzl once wrote in his book “The Jewish State“.

He wrote this almost a century ago, long before the concentration camps of Hitler, long before the increasing tensions in the Middle East, – not being aware that what he said now applies for most people living in the Middle East, the young and the old, the sick and the frail….

The tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, the tensions between some Arab nations with both each other but with Israel as well, – proved to be one of the most intractable and ever-lasting conflicts in modern history, not forgetting the history of thousands years ago. A conflict with still powerful impacts outside the boundaries of the Middle East, either on the price of oil or on the growth of global terrorism, – fended by those states getting increasing powerful.

The Middle East is both a dream and a reality, – the Middle East a frame-work for both interesting difference and evolving cultures, – but still a major threat to both international security and peace.

As one said years ago: “We have tears about Johannesburg”. This at the time of major friction in South Africa, with the risk of ripping South Africa apart and social unrest escalating into civil war. It did not happen finally as wisdom did reign by the actions of some.

Today can be said: “We have tears about the Middle East”, as neither Allah nor God, the same, – would approve any of the activities of those who hate, those who kill without reason.

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Yesterday, – about 43% of US voters had the opinion that the United States was too much involved in the Middle East, some 15% did believe the US should offer broader involvement in the Middle East. Perhaps some 31% felt fine about the current level of US involvement in this part of the world. This has been the outcome of a recent Rasmussen Report with a 95% confidence level. In other words, the outcome of the Rasmussen Report was very close to give an correct idea of the American public at a time the role of the US in the Middle East takes a more central role, – as far as the confirmation hearings of the nominee Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel concerned.

Is this surprising?

Some may feel this is part of an ongoing worldwide conflict between the Islāmic world and the West, but such feeling is most questionable if we look at the Islāmic culture and it’s real traditions, – which by far the majority of people of Islāmic background is favoured. Most of the Islāmic people are hardworking people with a common faith and a common believe in family traditions and a common hope for peace on earth. Both for their children and themselves.

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In essence their belief system is close to ours perhaps, where it goes to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, supportive to the striving and tolerant to both the strong and the weak. The tensions in the Middle East are not between regions or religions, it is not about the poor versus rich, but it is about those who hate, – and those who feed their hate with weapons of prejudice and destruction, with infiltration by night and attacking by day, – both at small and larger scale, – both with risk of massive escalation.

The current US Administration is sharing this view and it is about the last risk being mentioned that US involvement may shift to a broader involvement, – perhaps against public opinion, but with the aim to prevent an escalating situation where this is possible on reasonable terms.

Widespread coöperation is still possible, as illustrated eg by the famous Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim‘s with his Youth Orchestra, – joined by young talented Arabs and Israelis. This was a real life show of musical harmony in the Middle East, a show as well that behind the scenes, behind the scenes of hard work, – those young people were able to share what they have in common, to share their humanity and their dreams regardless of what their Governments say. And as so often happens, – it became clear as well how many of those people who created for a brief moment musical harmony in the Middle East, – were influenced of what was spread by the media in their own countries, the prejudice of often their own Governments, affecting the nations of many people. People who don’t want to have anything to do with a new war, – don’t want to live in ongoing fear.

Musical harmony is great, as it bind souls and people in common endeavours, – regardless colour, race, identity or belief. It binds the people good at heart and intention, – being ready to work for harmony with the tool set of various instruments and skills, under the guidance of great and skilled Conductors, – Conductors encouraging people young in heart and spirit, encouraging people who are not blindfolded as yet by the common convictions of prejudice and hatred.

That’s about music and music needs harmony.

Those who persistently fail, either on purpose or lack in effort, – lack in effort to play their own role at such an Orchestra need to be replaced as they destroy the collective effort. The last does not need force, it requires reason, – and most of those participants make place for better ones, even if it takes an argument. But it is better to loose an argument than a friend. At the Orchestra of world politics, at the orchestra of politics in the Middle East, – repetitive exercise to get the best out of our endeavours is required as well. Required the repetitive exercise to increase the need of harmony, with the obligation players being ready to use their tools and instruments to make such harmony, this harmony all around, – despite differences, despite errors, despite tears at times.

 

When it was decided to go to the Moon, when it was decided to go for this goal, – it was not because it was easy but because it was hard. It was not because it was cheap but it was expensive and worthwhile to explore the wonders of nature, and to bring out the best of us in a common endeavour where everybody has it’s own role, – a role to bring those who were nominated and trained, – to visit that part of the universe not being explored as yet.

And yet, the universe of peace and harmony has never been explored that much, – as what music is able to do in harmony, as what we can in our efforts to explore the moon and all the others, – as what we are able to do in science and technology.

It is nearly as what Isaiah not literally once said almost 3000 years ago, – that the “prostitutes” do not only represent Rome, but that they represent all the corrupt powers, the evil powers and authorities of every age and every generation, powers still having their share in evil and massacres, – in immorality and abuse.

The Middle East is possibly the most dramatic scene of potential major violence, the most dramatic scene of emotions neither being controlled nor realistic. Ongoing conflict not being resolved, – as so many players are due to be replaced, as so many Governments are due to work through change in the spirit of hope and challenge to get the best out of our human endeavours.

Israel, some days ago, did sent warplanes into Syria with widespread condemnation of both Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, condemnation from Russia as well. Iran warned last week via Abdollahian that Iran would consider any attack on Syria as an attack on Iran itself.

Whilst world leaders try to seek aid for Syrians being the victims of their brutal regime, Israel’s warplanes did hit a convoy with surface-to-air missiles, likely Russian-made missile parts potentially being used in a possible pending attack on Israel. Those weapons were intended to be provided to Hezbollah in Lebanon, supported by Syria and Iran.

We know the Assad’s regime is failing after nearly two years of fending off the ongoing and justified rebellion, and Hezbollah probably wants to take hold of various weapons before the al-Assad regime gets crushed, – again supported by Syria when everything is lost. The last thing then to do is to divert the attention by supplying even chemical material to equip some of the Hezbollah Scud missiles. It is not surprising that Iran is responding the way it does, turning a blind eye to the violence inflicted by the Syrian authorities on its own people, but supporting Hezbollah inflicted violence, – providing a reason to retaliate if Israel would hit back.

Both White House spokesman Jay Carney and Victoria Nuland from the US State Department refused to comment on the Wednesday airstrike, with Israel not having much to comment either.

It looks like a simple incident but whilst the Syrian authorities are still entertaining their cruel efforts to hold on power with all means they have to kill, regardless age and gender, – the UN needs now to respond as requested by Syria and other nations, whilst Israel only tries and tried to prevent worse scenario’s as potentially being prepared.

Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Israel’s attack was “in line with the West’s policies of undermining the victories of the Syrian Government.”, with the ambassador for Syria in Lebanon saying that Syria reserves the right to a “surprise retaliation” against Israel .

Victories of the Syrian Government?

It shows how the dynamics are. It shows the evil in some existing systems not being overruled by the people younger in generation, avoiding conflict and war. Systems of evil being allowed at the Orchestra of world politics to kill eg it’s own citizens at massive scale, not in the name of Allah, – but in the name of corruption and holding on too brutal power. Syria eg again is a prime example, apart from a few other countries.

This is the reason that the US needs to keep a very close eye on the dangerous dynamics in the Middle East, – as those dynamics changing in a war machine of preparation affect us all once they escalate.

Neither music nor Conductors can change this, but the power of people and real leaders may change this when the efforts are there, – and the wind has been taken away from the sails of those who hate, those who kill regardless gender or age.

What happens here has neither to do with the authenticity of the Islam culture nor with a worldwide conflict between those who represent the West and those who have an Islāmic background. It’s the conflict between barbaric or evil elements and culture, the conflict between evil and civilisation. It’s about the insight that the travel of prejudice, narrow-mindedness and bigotry is fatal

Like the famous Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim’s Youth Orchestra showed the coöperation between young Arabs and Israelis, who found common ground in the way we are as a people, – it’s the next generation of youngsters perhaps who may offer peace and coöperation in the Middle East, after all the evil offending participants have been taken away from the political arena of the Middle East.

Hence wisdom and restraint being required until this happens, but the day will come, – and we are all waiting for this.

It is like Gandhi once wrote: “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.”

The time may come that war is asking us what we were doing all the time before it started, – and this is the reason that US role in the Middle East is vital until a new generation of peace makers takes over. Whilst wisdom is a matter of reflection, long and hard before we act, – it is Israel who failed to withdraw from the West Bank, Hamas and Hezbollah continuing to mount attacks on Israeli’s citizens leading to military responses by Israel. All this serves fuelling the hatred against Israel with the USA being Israel’s major supporter, but the Middle East dynamics support as well the murderous activities of groups like al- Qaeda. It supports as well other evil systems in the Middle East, – and hatred seems to be the irrational engine of all activities of violence.

It seems hatred is the longest lasting pleasure in the Middle East, creative in it’s dynamic’s but creative as well as to the extinction of values and human rights, – hence our support for those youngsters turning away from the “masters” of hate, working on the harmony among people from all different backgrounds, – like some may find in the harmonies of music. Those people are the people who represent somehow the will of both God and Allah, – the same. And during their endeavours of tuning their instruments and playing together, – they will meet each other from heart to heart and work out the reason for which they were created, …regardless the settlements, the military, the defeat, and the tears at times.

Meanwhile the US needs to play its role. Trying to enforce peace in the mindset of people not ready for it is like painting on a wet wall. It does not help. Vision and mission to create an enduring peace and an enduring cooperation requires leadership receptive for the sentiments of all parties, – besides deep trustworthiness. We are not there as yet. We may not do it in this generation and even not perhaps in the next generation.

The main emphasis when people are not ready to talk and get a real understanding from where they are coming from is to try and avoid conflict and balance the powers as good as possible.

Israel is entitled to defend itself against eminent significant threats.

America’s role in the Middle East is an important one with an adequate US Administration now being place, as through reasoning and diplomatic actions with the right mind and skill set, – to give diversity and hopefully “non violence” a place. trustworthiness in any endeavours may give the cement to keep a fragile peace the least, ..and the last is more important than no peace at all. Whilst the US has obviously an important and influential role, – it’s not only the responsibility of the US as there is something like a “global responsibility” as well. A responsibility of nations being prepared, nations being able, – to take this supportive role on board.

Peace in the Middle East is a process of many little positive actions, providing forums where people can meet face to face to dissolve hatred and hardline policies. The US and others perhaps can only be the facilitator, – as when nothing changes in the heart and mindset of people, nothing will change in the world of the Middle East.

Finally, – history shows that the root of most evils is hatred. The art of real leadership when the heat is going up, amidst the dynamics of hatred, – is to try to diffuse the last in the most reasonable acts to prevent this hatred flowing into the most irreversible deeds of evil. Whilst this is not always possible, those acts are justified. Those acts like straight on meetings with enemies or foes need both talent and skill, besides foremost great compassionate and deep rooted courage. The courage not to refrain from encouraging both opponents or foes to renewal and change, – not to refrain from trying to rejuvenate responsible and reasonable thinking. And if possible, not to refrain from trying to prevent hardening existing perceptions, – as perceptions may soften in humble face to face meetings perhaps.

This is what seems to be required in the Middle East,
to prevent the tears of future generations….

The point is, – we either die together or we live together!

We can put up walls, – or build a cathedral!

Sure?

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

 

Some predictions for 2013 after 2012?


DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN07 - John F. Kerry, Se...
DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN07 – John F. Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts (Democrat), USA captured during the session ‘The Future of the Middle East’ at the Annual Meeting 2007 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2007. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

>”Don’t sweat the small stuff when so much else matters.”<

Predictions are not always easy and sometimes impossible. We have one certainty and this is that not nothing is certain. Our agenda for tomorrow based on today or yesterday may well work out, but sometimes it may get disrupted by the unexpected and we have to deal with things as they face us. The day may end differently than we expected, despite a good start perhaps and despite the fact that we assumed everything would by all right.

The same applies to predictions on a New Year, we hope for the best but nothing is certain. Same applies to the weather forecast. We may have good grounds to say it will be a sunny day tomorrow and go to the beach, but we may have to change plans as it proves to be a rainy day with a thunderstorm after eg a very humid day. Let’s be happy that the forecast that the world would end on the 20th of December was nonsense, nobody is able to predict those things.

In other words we may have our intentions but we are not sure whether they come true. Hence what I have to say about 2013 is based on assumptions, based on trends and certain facts perhaps but knowing as well that everything can be changed by the unexpected. In other words and if you like, read what is written below for your pleasure only. It is written by a country Physician, – so be on your guard as Physicians are not supposed to know anything about the future, not to speak about international developments. However what is said is not too difficult and perhaps we all know about it already. Besides this there is no pretension to be complete on those things as completeness on those things as far beyond our abilities.

2012 was for sure not the most dramatic year fortunately. As I said the world did not come to an end and for some this was a bonus, if they were aware of those predictions. Still there have been plenty of issues in 2012 with the seeds of events setting the scene for 2013. This includes eg the launch of a long-range rocket in North Korea, a country with just a new young leader.We had the conflict between Israel and Gaza, or actually as well the non – coöperation from Israel towards a new Palestinian State next door with still clearly significant Hamas impact and the potential of new rocket attacks from East Jerusalem, – if again a conflict situation. Hamas still being supported by Iran, not particularly Israels biggest ally so to say. We all know this. Nothing new. There has been always friction in this area.. Even in the Old Testament there were many reflections on struggle and endless fights. The problem now is that we have different means to start war’s. It’s a bit scary at times. Iran’s nuclear ambitions within this context are only adding oil on fear.

The ongoing civil war in Syria with endless killings and with the remote risk of escalation is an other example, and sadly spoken there is no reference for life at all in Syria (its leaders).. The only thing which is positive after the international community being tight into “non action” is that Russia is getting a bit over Syria with its troubles as well, which may aid international coöperation to end this pointless conflict, – based on a dictator hanging in for power. It’s a terrible example.

There are the current tensions between China and Japan about an absolute insignificant rock in the ocean, which means apparently enough for those countries to send Navy vessels to this direction. And we all hope that no idiot will start to sink a ship in this breeding conflict as little things can have major implications. However feel assured, neither the Chinese nor the Japanese are idiots, they need to show to their own people that they take this issue serious. However one may ask for what reason. One miscalculation or error in judgement may ruin plans. Interestingly Kennedy during the missile Cuba crisis in 1962 was at the end more concerned about his own Generals than about the leader of the Soviet Union at the time. Gives an indication perhaps that playing with fire may give unexpectedly a fire and sometimes a big one.

The continuation of Obama’s Presidency in 2013 may cause him more grey hairs, but his team approach will help to set the tone of international developments where both wisdom action and restraint are more balanced when the election outcome would have been differently. History has not always been that lucky.

Syrian dictator Assad still being in office with all the ongoing massacres will drive him into increasing isolation.Hopefully it is just a matter of time that international approval will help to stop the needless killings and extreme violence in this troubled country.The whole Middle East area is already troubled enough.

Needless to say that the Middle East will be most challenging in 2013, more so than in 2012. This since civilization festered area with religious hatred and conflict for certain will not easily find a harmonious solution for all parties involved. The most practical interim solution will be straight on US – Iran discussions to test Iran’s willingness to coöperate in multi part talks to restrict/reduce the chance of an escalating war without end.The emhasis should be to end all terror related violence as only this will encourage Israel to help the Palestinians into the developments needed with the protection of all people in the Israel/Gaza region.It is just wait and see whether it will go this direction, but it would be wise to include Iran subject to prove of genuine intentions to keep friendly relations with all neighbours in the area, including full safety guarantees for Israel.

It is amazing to see that the Euro crisis has been able to drag on for another year without a final conclusion. In December 2012 Greece is still in the Eurozone and different European countries are struggling with various intensity to stay straight, so to say. Unemployment ratio is increasing likewise the closure or reduction of various businesses. For many the belief in the Euro future is bleak with Germany however insisting that the Euro should survive. Needless to say that a potential fall of the Euro will have lots of implications for the people of Europe, but also for the nations with strong Euro connections.

Leadership changes took place in various countries during 2012 and generally spoken not much change can be expected immediately after those transitions. However, the leadership changes in both North Korea,China, Russia, Japan and other States will set the agenda for changing dynamics in 2013, with the inclusion at least of a stable and trustworthy foreign policy approach of the US under the same President with a good successor of Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. John Kerry is a foreign policy expert and an impressive elder statesman in the US Senate. He will not need much “in-house training” to aid US foreign policy on critical issues in 2013.

The most important issue perhaps of being resolved at present is unfortunately financial . If both the US and Europe are unable to solve their issues with the required political will, it will enhance the weakening of the “western hemisphere” in almost every dimension. Fiscal cliffs or not, the balance between outgoing’s and innings need to be right. The current US deficit and the Federal Reserve printing heaps of money not backed by any “golden standard” or “oil” is asking for trouble down the line with the risk of a massive new recession.Utterly complex matters within the US not fully controlled need to be be managed or controlled by vigorous new legislation. Gun control is important and a public topic at present but the system of financial self-regulation is vital for the US to continue to exist in the way it does and not go down the road as the Roman empire once did. Some countries perhaps would be delighted with a reduction of US power, but the risk of a significant reduction of US power could destabilise the world and President’s Obama’s second term will be vital to face and deal with the issues as they are.The potential foreshadow of social unrest and increasing violence as a result of a possible second recession makes gun control even more significant to protect US citizens against itself. The potential destruction of the US not necessarily may come from the outside but can come from the inside and the years ahead are critical for the US. Inflation and possible recession are going hand in hand if no firm control on the Federal Reserve, but the powers behind this are significant and dealing with this is a risk for the US President. However what needs to be done needs to be done. At the end of the day it is all people’s work translated into energy, rewarded by money, – which is decreasing in value by the private control of creating money by the Federal Reserve. Man made problems can be resolved by men, only if the political will to support the required directions resonates through various legislative branches in both Europe and the US.Without any predictions being possible it is wait and see how the dynamis in this area will evolve in 2013, knowing that any international conflict could ruin the efforts of each country to solve its balance between spending and cutting costs in a way which protects those who have worked hard for their money, but also those who live from their superannuation, those who are disabled and fragile in society, the elderly and the children included. “Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.” as was once said by Nathan Pyle, – however I doubt this for 2013 (in no uncertain terms).. Increasing costs for food and energy against reduced value of our money is harmful wherever we may live on this world, and still the majority of people can’t afford it anymore and live below any reasonable standard of living.

Various countries in the Middle East will face the problem of opposing Islamist groups taking responsibility of taking Government as many Islamists have their own political frictions with the potential of increasing sectarian conflicts in the years laying ahead. Initial peaceful countries could turn quickly into new areas of intense conflict.

The US has renewed interest  in the Asian Pacific for both economical and security reasons after withdrawing from both Iraq and eventually in 2014 from Afghanistan, but the vacuüm created will have both Iran’s and India’s interest to have their perceived deserved share of influence. Also an area of different dynamics with an uncertain outcome at this stage after US withdrawal by the end of 2014.

It is anticipated that US dependence on oil exporting countries is going to reduce in quite sustained ways with significant “US dollar” issues. There is a tendency already of increasing countries less relying on the value of the US dollar with as final result (forgetting about a few other issues) that the US impact on foreign international policy may reduce in value and strength..

President Obama shortly in his second term will have greater influence to balance the critical important relationships between the US and China. The new President Xi from China needs to get agreement and support for a different set of policies in a rebalancing act on the Chines economy and the demands of some 350 million middle class people. The facts behind the conflict between Japan and China in the East Chines sea could be well that the Chinese government can’t afford to look weak. It is clear that the US has been worried about China for some time and it is not hoped that Japan might be forced to act in a very trivial conflict with apart from this the still contentious issues around Taiwan.

As we all know, words from leaders may lead to action and both feeding empty rhetoric and false sentiments besides fear, are unhelpful to balance the required coöperation between Washington and Beijing.Tha call for action goes together for the call for great care on both sides. Again note that it has been an international interest to have President Obama reelected as US “Commander-in-Chief”, even though a number of US citizens feel different about this.

Iran has been faced with various sanctions in 2012 together with increased inflation and unemployment.The desire of Iran to go nuclear and have potential weapons of mass destruction is going at a significant cost for Iran.It’s standing in the region as due to the Arab uprising is not as strong as it was before.It’s ally Syria is fully involved in a civil war and Israels insistence on a preëmptive attack may seem to have diminished somewhat, waiting what a second Obama term will deliver in terms of security for Israel. The question remains whether containment of a nuclear Iran is possible. Israel will still reconsider its options and in terms of US foreign policy it would be wise to test Iran on its willingness to have serious discussions on security matters in the Middle East area, including its place about Israel. If Israels security is without any doubt accepted it is neither in Israel’s interest nor intention to start a preëmptive war with Iran, but also this is a wait and see matter as how dynamics will evolve. Needless to say again that this is an area of both great concern and importance and proactive management from the US Administration is a need to keep the right balance as from other countries this can’t be expected, unfortunately. It’s a critical issue in US foreign policy in the Middle East and it would be hoped that John Kerry will be granted with a new US mission to explore the potential coöperation with Iran to balance US vital security interest in Israel, without a major Middle East war.

Climate change and the implications of Climate change, the protection against terrorism of any kind will remain high on the international agenda, likewise and hopefully increasingly the protection of human rights. The last often an issue of international lip service and a need being recognised but not often materialised where it proves to be required, including the issue of increasing human trafficking. Also in this domain we have to wait and see how international coöperation will work out, but at least a stable world will contribute and a world with increasing conflict will compromise, – any form of human rights! Hence the importance of the 2013 agenda that some countries are going to deal seriously with their own financial affairs as what we can learn from history is that the great depression of the 1930ties was one of the triggers of the second word war.

America’s stronghold as an economic power has been compromised in the past and it is by far nor sure this will be sorted in the future. A sudden recession or an unexpeced and escalating conflict could ruin each potential to overcome its problems if both leaders in Europe and the US are unable to get the required support to control internal economical dynamics not being sufficiently managed in the past. Fruitful international relationships are  of ongoing importance, which will be really the challenge of 2013 with a new generation of leaders in vital countries of potential conflict.

Far more to say about 2013, but let’s leave this to the experts with more insight information about existing background dynamics. What often seems true on the surface is different from the inside, with the knowledge reaching this inside.

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/we-dream-of-things-that-never-were-and-say-why-not/

To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, and create the biggest movement on earth


 
Collage for MENA protests
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal or act to improve the lot of others, or strikes against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”    – Robert F Kennedy,  former US Senator and Presidential candidate in 1968
Like words can move and guide people as part of proper leadership, so is principle centred and strategic non violent action able to remove the power base of oppressive regimes, – those regimes with no respect for human rights. Needless to say the movement of non violent action will endure and the force if well-balanced on all core principles, may outmanoeuvre dictators to make free the people who lost their freedom and dignity under often ruthless powers.
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It works. It proved in India at the times of Gandhi, it proved in Tunisia and Egypt with people at the forefront of action and strengthened with the literature of eg Gene Sharp, the last being a scholar in nonviolent social change and still alive today in East Boston, USA.   Gene Sharp is a graduate from Oxford and has held positions at Harvard University, besides Massachusetts Dartmouth. His books “The Politics of Nonviolent Action” and “Waging Nonviolent Struggle” have inspired many movements across the globe. Iran did accuse him of working for the CIA, which is not true. A reflection however that the non violent movement if well prepared is feared by those countries who have reason to fear, Iran and Syria included. Needless to say that in some Middle East countries real discussions are going as how to break the force of non violent action. However if well-developed, like Robert Kennedy from a distance once indicated, it can “sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression”, as happened eg in South Africa.
Obviously the road of non violence action is not without risk and people engaging in non violent action will be killed regardless their good intentions. Often the struggle is a hard one with loss of friends to be endured, not to speak about the risk of very potential torture. However non-violence by principle and guided with superior talent is the only way, as violence will be responded with greater violence by forces far stronger than yourself and it will give opponents an argument to fight to the bitter end. Non violence includes the choice of specific tactics, often to break the violence of opposing policing and military force.
There have been misconceptions about nonviolent action. Many people used to think that it was not a strong force and that only the violence of war could remove extreme dictators. It is not true. Foreign countries do not need to occupy countries where human rights are abused or where dictator’s have the reigns. It needs to come from the people themselves, at times with support like in Libya. However the last one was not an example of non violent struggle and where violent struggle obtains a victory the likelihood of violence to be sustained has increased, – whatever party did win the struggle. Only if the principles of non violent action are at the centre of the struggle, those groups sustaining and winning the battle this way are more likely to continue to stick to those principles.
If people are disciplined and courageous, they can do it with the proper concepts of non violent action. When people lose the understandable element of fear of an oppressor’s regime, the oppressive regime is facing deep trouble. Maintaining a nonviolent discipline is crucial. If a highly oppressive regime has various troops and effective weapons, it is foolish to try fighting them on their own ground You can’t win from their weapons and if you use the same tactics you will be branded as terrorists. So you must choose something else. Violence is usually not the answer, it creates more often greater disasters.
Highly regarded Us exVietnam war officials initially being sceptic about the concept of “non violent action”, – changed their mind after the war as they were confronted with evidence that it worked,  – more effective than they ever thought!  The power base of people does not involve a foreign occupation of any country if such country lives in gross contradiction of essential human rights, – it does not even involve the requirement of using ugly force. It only requires to empower people with the principles of non violent obstruction and non coöperation in the specific context of their country and such a movement is able the get a victory on principle and start on the same principles a sustainable democracy with proper law enforcement, – the last requiring force of the law on the real offenders and criminals.
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Related imageMilitary-Industrial Complex Conduct Invites Nonviolent Direct Action
Some may say throwing stones are fine as long as you don’t hit people. It is simply not true. The gesture is violent in itself and will be responded with physical and all other violence. In biblical terms the fall of Jericho was neither caused by violence nor stones. The walls representing the barrier were of such nature that violence would not bring it down. Oppression and dictators are based on certain systems of power and undermining those systems to make them fall apart is one of the aims to get rid of oppression. With faith!
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This concept can be developed into a smart and highly effective technology using the human spirit in all it’s positive and creative dimensions for those who suffer an enduring and violent injustice against the basics of human rights. It requires a sound knowledge of the nature and dynamics of the oppressing regime, answering the question as well in which areas they are both strong and weak. Modern communication technology will  aid such movement of positive change.

 
It is not always true that every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves, what is true that every community may get the sort of law enforcement it insists on. To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world (as the Greeks) wrote so long ago, requires a shift in modern thinking where this modern thinking traditionally did include the option of excessive and more brutal force than ever before, against the will and the interest of the people. This type of  shift in thinking and perception is simply progress in the way we see the world and change is the motivator of progress into non violent ways to meet worthy goals and show respect for life.
However this type of change has enemies not to be underestimated. Those enemies are usually the extremists being extreme in their intolerance and in their accusations and it is paramount to provide them no grounded base for their accusations. Hence being in debt familiar with the principles of non violent struggle being the baseline to start a strategic sound and well prepared campaign against the oppressors, whoever the oppressors are and wherever they may be.
It is within this context that the intellectual work of Gene Sharp deserves recognition as within the context of an increasing friction between the interests of the people and the interests of Governments who seek confrontation rather than peace,  whilst the people they represent say:”Never ever again!”, – it provides a blueprint to do what Senator Robert F Kennedy once said in the above quote about “ripples of hope” and “million centres of energy and daring”.
The power of one can make or break the world where it comes to critical decisions about war and peace, and where the power of one directs into the direction of war the power of people’s have a right to say:”Not again, – never again!”, – as all out war on this planet not being able to controlled anymore is not a rational alternative. People  have  a right even to sweep down democratic governments if those governments take it one step too far in the direction of major war, and not keep the peace where  the option is to preserve the peace. Too many wars in the past were pointless, without real gain and with too many losses.
Any future major war may escalate into global disaster and as global citizens we have an obligation to watch our governments on the best possible intentions to protect our human right to live on this planet and cultivate the positive potential of life, – industry, – liberty and cut inequalities among race, cultures and individual opportunities. The last just  to be able to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy!
The use of violence is only the very last option when nuclear powers try to dominate the world with both the use of nuclear force and international blackmail, –  after it proved all efforts of proper international diplomacy guided by the UN failed.
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To sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression against human rights and injustice, against the mightiest walls in favour of an increasing arms race and both nuclear and biochemical threat, –  requires nearly half a billion centres of energy and daring.  As only this current can change the tide in human history!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

US Presidential profiles in violations of Justice. (Part 7 – former President Ronald Reagan)


Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan
Image via Wikipedia

The 40th US President Ronald Wilson Reagan

 
“Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction” – Ronald Reagan.
 
“Government is not the solution to our problems;government is the problem”  – Ronald Reagan.
An interesting man and an interesting US President. Perceived by many as one of the greatest US Presidents over the last decades, and Republicans often proudly refer to him. There is however more to him than the strict public image as cherished by many, but it proves that public image and the reality of some background events are not always the same and sometimes easily forgotten. Or sometimes not even published or known. Needless to say that Reagan was interesting , with an unusual background and an extremely level of high achievement at elderly age. Amazing actually the move he made from the film industry to the business of politics and even getting elected US President. But how?

Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, in 1911 and in a family with an Irish background. He signed up as a film actor by Warner Brothers in 1937 and moved to Hollywood making his début in “Love is in the air”. He participated and starred in about 50 films, including “Bed time for Bonzo” and”The Killers”.

Despite being an admirer of Franklin D. Roosevelt  he became a republican once getting interesting in politics and especially after his second marriage in 1952 with the wealthy actress Nancy Davis.  Joining the Republicans in 1962 he made an impressive television appeal  for the Republican party and Barry M  Goldwater during the Presidential campaign in 1964.

In 1960 Reagan actually already campaigned for Richard Nixon, – she he got the flavour of all this besides some experience.

By 1966 Reagan became elected Governor of California and served in this place for 8 years. He did loose the Republican nomination to Richard Nixon in 1968. In 1980 however he managed to defeat Jimmy Carter within the turbulent economic situation of the US, together with an Iran hostage crisis dragging on without being resolved.  Ironically hours after his inauguration the hostages were released, as part of a pre-election deal with a close relative of Khomeini in both Paris and Madrid with representatives of the Reagan/Bush campaign team, if they were not themselves involved. As will be reflected later on with President G.W.Bush, this was somewhat controversial the least.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG1iCCS7gDo&feature=player_detailpage                                                                                                                                  (Iran-hostage crisis – Discovery channel)

Both Bush and Reagan were most worried that President Carter would be reelected and they offered as non official US representatives a better deal to Khomeini will full recognition of the Islāmic Republic in Iran and a policy on non-interference, in return for prolonging the hostage crisis until after the US Presidential elections. This would defeat President Carter, as it did. Obviously this was strongly undermining the Presidency of Jimmy Carter  at the cost of hostages and at the cost of long-term security interests of the US and at a cost of any morality standards. The last  will be shown as well in the Iran-Contra scandal in which the Mena Airport in Arkansas was used for illegal cocaine trafficking  with full awareness of the Federal Government and the Governor at the time in Arkansas, Bill Clinton. Reportedly both George H.W Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Jeb Bush were involved either by participating and/or various cover up’s. Saline County prosecutor Dan Harmon was convicted of various felonies including drug and racketeering charges in 1997. He was released from prison in 2006 for helping prosecutors in a murder case. The allegations have been disputed, however former President Clinton failed in his duty to show the activities of the Reagan/Bush Administration to Congress.  Bush as Vice-President with close CIA connections was fully aware as it was a large-scale CIA operation.

Reagan’s first year in office did show the greatest changes in priorities since the “New Deal” of Roosevelt.  The economy and recession were significant problems. Reagan managed to cut taxes and carry out economic reforms, apart from building up the US defence systems to “allow the country to negotiate from a position of strength”. The invasion of Grenada in October 1983 did boost US self-confidence. His 6 National Security advisers did include Admiral John Pointdexter and marine Colonel Oliver North. The last 2 interesting advisers will be discussed in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Following an assassination attempt in 1881 and despite much economic problems not being resolved still, President Reagan became reelected in 1984 with a record majority. By 1984 however the economy was on the mend and his program on domestic issues involving tax cut and deficit financing did contribute between 1983 and 1986 to the improvement of the economy. It did not last however as military spending increased. Close to the end of Reagan’s second term in office there was an unprecedented government debt. The Gross federal Debt had increased from $900 billion to $ 2.7 trillion. Ford and  Carter combined did only double Federal debt  and what took almost 31 years to make the first postwar debt tripling, Reagan managed to this in eight years. The question with federal debt is still where the priorities are, whether the budget needs to come at least for quite some part at the benefit of US citizens or whether a disproportionate part is used for both (often proper) military activities, besides many  illegal covert operations, – wasting  lives and resources in often pointless conflicts. The Khomeini/Reagan deal was a short-term solution for Republican election benefit, but a disastrous long-term solution for US interest in Iran considering the size and dangers of the military in the current Islāmic Republic. The US has a history of supporting the wrong countries with the wrong  leaders for short-term benefits as illustrated in the war against terror during the latest G.W. Bush Administration. The spiral of violence, the risk of terror, and the military costing will only increase with such an approach with an equal loss in American lives and others as due to ill-advised selections to go both to conflict and war.

During his second term in office and most positive however, Reagan managed to build up a good working relationship with the Soviet leader  Mikhail Gorbachev and signed an agreement on scrapping the intermediate nuclear forces. The Iran Contra Affair during 1986/1987 became a dark issue involving illegal arms for hostage deals with Iran by his senior staff with his knowledge. It proved that Pointdexter and Oliver North (all part of his National Security Advisers) were involved in secretly facilitating the sale of arms to Iran which became into an arms – for – hostages scheme, where a portion of the profits from the sales were diverted to fund anti-sandinista and anti-communist rebels (the “Contras”), in Nicaragua.  As a result of the controversy his White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan and his National Security Adviser John Poindexter had to resign but it did however not affect Reagan.  However both he and in particular the Vice-President G.W. Bush were fully aware as it was a fully approved CIA operation, with part of it still being related with the “Khomeini” deal to get the US Presidential election for Reagan and defeat Carter. Again, – the Iran-Contra affair was a highly illegal and controversial operation with drugs being imported as part of a huge CIA operation on Mena Airport in Arkansas.   Bill Clinton at the time was Governor in Arkansas, with “the former President Clinton” being fully aware and neither responding to the Arkansas Committee requiring investigations, nor supporting Polk County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Hardegree and Charles Black by any funding of required investigation. An illustration as well how people at the highest political level are neither willing nor permitting essential justice being done for the sake of allowing compromising CIA activities to be concealed, and not damaging their own political ambitions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jiRiGgA9Ljk                                                                                                                                    (Reagan meets Gorbachev)

Reagan once said that his actor talents served him well in the White House and being described as “The great communicator” he proved to use the modern media quite well.  Vice-President Bush with his background to carry out President Fords Executive Order 11905 in the past in his function as CIA director was supposed to improve the image of the CIA under the Ford Administration, but obviously he did not stick to the principles of this Executive Order when he became Vice-President under Reagan. In actual fact this is not that surprising as Vice-President Bush at the time had high level contacts with the “hawks” in the CIA, people who knew him longer and people he knew longer. Some of the contacts were still based on the early 1960ties.

Whilst Reagan did support the Contra’s,  no formal evidence could be found that he approved the diversion of moneys to the Contras. The White House buffers did work well, as is apparently a need for US President’s engaging in illegal activities. Oliver North reflected in his later book that Reagan really knew everything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35KcYgMPiIM&feature=player_detailpage                                                                                                                                (Iran Contra Coverup: 1 of 8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Ug0IL7k3elQ                                                                                                                              (Oliver North  Questioned)

Interestingly some people involved in the Iran-Contra scandal who (nearly) convicted initially were afterwards pardoned, and even became then prominent members within the Administration of eg George W. Bush. Elliot Abrams gained notoriety as due to most controversial decisions on foreign policy issues during the Reagan Administration on Nicaragua and El Salvador. Convicted in 1991 on 2 misdemeanor counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress in connection with the Iran Contra Affair investigation, he was appointed on February 2, 2005, by President George W. Bush to Deputy National Security Adviser for Global Democracy Strategy. In this new position, Abrams became responsible for overseeing the National Security Council’s directorate of Democracy, “Human Rights” (we will discuss the human rights records of the former President G.W.Bush later), and International Organization Affairs and its directorate of Near East and North African Affairs.It is just one example that people owe each other in Government. There is still however secrecy around the Iran Contra scandal. An other example eg is Robert Michael Gates who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W. Bush as Director of Central Intelligence.  Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra Scandal, issued on August 4, 1993, said that Gates “was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/Contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities.  Independent Counsel did not warrant indictment. In 1984, as deputy director of CIA, Gates advocated that the U.S. start a bombing campaign against Nicaragua and that the U.S. would do everything in its power apart from direct military invasion of the country to remove the Sandinista government.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=k-kLt9l2cQg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (Bush, Reagan let drugs flow free to US from Nicaragua – ex dealer)

The contra militants in Honduras were heavily involved in the guerilla war to topple the government of Nicaragua.Their warfare was consistent with widespread human rights abuses, including murder,torture,mutilation,rape, kidnapping destruction and arson. At the time Iran was amidst the Iran-Iraq war. There is evidence of Israeli involvement when the US government approved the sale. Besides this it has been clear in retrospect that CIA covert actions became more favourable within the Reagan Administration with William Casey being the Director of the CIA. Executive Order 1233 in December 1981 gave the CIA exclusive rights to conduct covert action unless the President would choose that a different Agency would be more effective to reach specific goals. Whilst CIA covert operations flourished at various places around the world, with the rice of Gorbachev, Reagan was able to symbolise a new beginning with the Soviets and an arms reduction treaty was signed during the 1988 Moscow summit. Despite hard-liners in the Soviet Union and his own Government (vice-president Bush), the personal bond between Gorbachev and Reagan contributed to the end of the cold war.

The last on the more positive illustrates how important fruitful relations are at international level. Interestingly Reagan’s CIA Director William Casey played initially a large part in Reagan’s foreign policy, based on a book “The Terror Network” where the USSR was perceived as the world’s worst “terrorist activity providing” country. Despite other CIA evidence that this was actually black propaganda by the CIA itself, Reagan went along with Casey’s book after he got it approved by a professor. Again an illustration on the importance to have trustworthy people in the top positions of the CIA as the agenda from the CIA is different from the agenda of the US President and even within the CIA some branches have different intelligence, contradicting at times. For a US President does not apply to pick his choice which suits him best, but to get the best possible CIA Director providing him with unbiassed and correct information as  manipulation of the truth with wrong factual information can create a potential of disasters.

Strictly Casey was the architect of the arms-for- hostages deal. Hours before Casey had to testify before Congress about his knowledge about the Iran-Contra affair he was admitted in hospital “as he could not speak anymore”.

Despite a “charming” Reagan, the US not only increased its involvement in the Middle East by providing arms to both Iran and Iraq in the war against each other, but there was an increasing involvement as well in various conflicts around the world including South America. Whilst Reagan’s policy at home was strongly “anti-drug orientated”, the CIA accomplished a large narcotic smuggling ring within the United States of America with Reagan approving the coöperation between the CIA and the Contra’s. After years of Federal investigations by the Kerry Congressional Committee the CIA finally admitted in 1998 to its involvement in drug trafficking in the US.

Under the Reagan Administration the CIA was allowed to do things in homeland America not seen at a level before. The CIA had even the right to infiltrate in any political organisation in the US itself as well. US citizens who became aware of CIA activities and disclosed them to the Press could be put in jail for 5 years. The fact that the CIA was used within the US against other groups in not new as former President Nixon used CIA connections as well with wide-spread wiretapping and in actions at the Watergate complex against the Democratic Party.

As history will show Republican Governments until the latest of George W. Bush (the son of H.W.Bush) do show certain patterns neither being legal nor desired for the US. After his election in 1980 Reagan overturned an arms embargo imposed on Guatemala by previous US President Jimmy Carter. Reagan permitted Guatemala’s army to buy 3.2 million dollar in military trucks and jeeps in June 1981 and to help this sale he simply removed the vehicles from the list of military equipment which was covered by the human rights embargo. Obviously Reagan approved this, however again in very close consultation with his Vice-President G.H.Bush.

With US support the Guatemalan Government was able to drive its regime of political repression with its army and escalating its slaughter of political dissidents and their assumed supporters to unprecedented levels. Whilst general Efrain Rios  Montt seized power in a coupé d’etat in March 1982, Rios Montt was praised by Reagan as a “man of great personal integrity”. In October 1982 however Rios Montt gave secretly carte blanche to the feared “Archivos” Intelligence Unit to increase “death squad operations”. The Reagan Administration tried to hide the crimes.The US embassy claimed on the 22nd of October 1982 that the Guatemalan government was the victim of a communist orientated “disinformation campaign”.

There are various other dark sides of the Reagan administration despite evidently positive achievements in the relationships with the new Soviet leader eventually.This was vital for the world.

The CIA however got even more control in- and supervision over – covert operations both within the US as elsewhere.

Reagan left the White House after 2 terms in office on a very popular note but his Central America policies apart from his domestic social programs were the least supported. When George H Bush took over as the 41 st US President he faced a record budget and trade deficit.

Both Reagan and Vice-President Bush got into power based an illegal pre-election deal with the Islāmic Republic, based on full recognition and non-interference, undermining the real US President Jimmy Carter to get a solution with the hostage crisis. Bush and Reagan with CIA support (as the right-wing section of the CIA did not agree with the CIA Director nominated by President Carter)  delayed the hostage crisis on purpose with a better deal for the Islāmic Republic of Khomeini and an election outcome in favour for the Republicans. Once in power those particular Republicans achieved some reasonable things. However the underlying corruption, the lawlessness, the double standards and supporting human right abuses seem to be the tragic trend in some of those Administrations, whilst great Republican predecessors did live up to the standards of the US.

They didn’t.

As US President you are the civilian and elected US leader, but once in the White House some US Presidents meet the real challenges of getting agreement with the military leaders and those within the CIA. Reagan had nothing to do with the history George H.  Bush had with the CIA. Reagan had neither the most influential background contacts and powers Bush,sr had and Bush,sr played a most influential role in the Reagan Administration.

However the choices being made in the key persons of both the National Security team, the Director of the CIA and the Chief of the Military staff are vital for the integrity of any Administration as it can make the difference between “the ride of your life” or the ride of your death. Not only the death being meant literally as happened with JFK, but also “the death of your soul” if you are compromised through the most evil things being possible within the domain of power as US President. Those teams within Government to deal with, those people with different agenda’s, besides the politics of Party and the Nation is a huge challenge. Some do grow in such a challenge and become a real leader of people, some however are not more than bad managers in positions they should never have aimed for.

Illegal pre-election deals with other countries for own election benefit may however be considered as a touchstone of the character of this Administration and whether it came from Bush or Reagan does not make any difference. The fact was that it was approved by Reagan, against US interests. Despite the charming Reagan, his ability to make the impression of being trustworthy, – history may note marked reservations on the integrity of his leadership.

The fruitful relationship between him and Gorbachev and “the product” in terms of ending the cold war and “the Berlin wall”, was however a reflection of Reagan’s determination (against advise of his inner circles) to do eventually the right thing, and this was a blessing for the world. Like Gorbachev at the time was a blessing for the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK30k2WTxY0&feature=player_detailpage                                                                                                                      (Ronald Reagan: “Tear Down This Wall”)

Interestingly the Reagan letters leave in retrospect a remarkable insight on Ronald Reagan as a person, different from the US President who approved so many illegal operations.

As we know there are many background powers in Washington, and getting elected US President is one, getting your ideas across is two, but getting a new direction implemented without compromising yourself or your own conscience is a matter of character and courage, besides an intuitive talent to nominate the right persons in the right positions at the right time, apart from the choice of the Vice Presidency. All this either works in favour of the Administration or at the other end of the spectrum may profoundly works against the Administration with the US President being tangled up in various cover ups, the last being succesful depending on the buffers being created in the White House.

Without Bush at the background Reagan would not have survived his first term, which is not necessarily a compliment for G.W.Bush but more a reflection on his knowledge how to use the systems beneficially to keep the Republican for 12 years in the White House.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vLlQxVpeHHs                                                                                                                          (Bush, sr said Reagan helped the new world order)

Next chapter (part 8) will discuss former US President G.H Bush.

Thank you!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

Profiles In US Presidential Violations of Justice – Front page (Part 1 of 11) on July 5, 2011

US Presidential profiles in violations of Justice. (Part 6 – former President Carter, the exception)


English: James Earl
English: James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 39th Us President James Earl (“Jimmy”) Carter

 
Human rights  is  the  soul  of  our  foreign  policy, because  human  rights  is  the  very  soul  of  our  sense of  nationhood.”  – Jimmy  Carter.
The 39th US President was James Earl Carter born on the 1st of October 1924 in Plains,Georgia. After his graduation from the US Naval Academy in 1946 he served the US Navy until 1953. He took over then and expanded the family peanut business in his home town Plains.

His Christian background from an early age was a driving force in his life.  As Governor of Georgia from 1970 – 1974 he favoured equal rights, – not only for African-Americans  but for women as well.

He did win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976  with a narrow victory from the sitting President Gerald Ford. Before his Presidency he proposed to withdraw American troops from South Korea and as a President elect he declined a CIA briefing on Korea.

Once elected President, he promised to carry out a populist form of government allowing the people a greater say in the Administration. He reflected as well on the importance of effective energy and proper health programs, apart from his commitment to both improving human and civil rights.

He emphasised further the importance of restricting the development of further nuclear weapons. His own national security team was opposed to the withdrawal of troops from South Korea as this could trigger an invasion from North Korea. CIA and Pentagon Directors/Chiefs had changed in the meantime and different people were in charge of those Agencies. However those powers obviously continued to play a significant role, but at a different level as his new CIA Director worked from a different perception.

Before discussing former US President Carter further it is worth reflecting that it proves over time when top positions in the Agencies are occupied by people with both skill  knowledge  and integrity  both the level and direction of operations do change. Obviously always with the US security at heart. It proves as well when Presidential Administrations give those agencies and in particular the CIA free play with the wrong people in those top positions, being ready to mislead the President, – that this may have devastating implications if the President is not able  to see what is happening, or when he is not strong enough to replace those persons providing him with the wrong intelligence. Or when the President is simply approving what is happening. The last may happen as long there are enough “buffers”  in the White House who take the blame when something is going wrong, keeping the US President as such out of the picture.

Generally spoken a significant issue is that foreign police matters are at some large extent depending on the type of information the President is getting from his Security Team. The quality and reliability of this team is a vital issue in any Presidential Administration. Where new CIA Directors need to be nominated, Congress should never allow people being Director of the CIA or Chief of Staff if they received a “Presidential pardon” for activities in earlier Government jobs which were against the law.  Presidential pardons for earlier Presidential team members are not rarely provided to those people who created buffers for the US President involving criminal activities for which they took the blame. The last to keep the President who approved it out of the picture. In retrospect most of those people were  pardoned for their illegal activities.

People in the highest CIA positions or members of both Security Team and Presidential cabinets need to have an absolute clear police record and their nomination needs to be subject to prove for established records on both quality and integrity.Those people are vital in Presidential Administrations and vital decisions being made on the wrong intelligence may have catastrophic implications. People who had a Presidential pardon in the past should not get a reëntry in Presidential Administrations later without justification by Congress that this pardon was based on the principles of justice  and not a backflip against the law. As we will see with later US Presidents some of those nominations were vitally wrong and people with a CIA background as Director with a history of activities neither in line with the law nor the US Constitution, besides a history of non transparency to Congress, should neither be US President later in life, nor being involved in Presidential teams. The point is that the cycle of mismanagement at top levels may continue otherwise with plenty of “buffer systems” in place to provide the US President a cover up, either arranged and approved by the US President himself or arranged by his staff and approved by himself.

Again US Congress needs to give further legislation to end the risk of both “White House” quality rules being compromised and the risk of criminal activities at the highest levels of Government being reduced.  With later Presidents it will be shown how dangerous people may become once they are allowed to join the Presidential staff after earlier convictions followed by Presidential pardons. Once you are convicted within the domain of previous activities as part of the Government Administration there has been a reason for this conviction, often providing enough reason to be incriminated again if circumstances do allow as such following a Presidential pardon over controversial issues.

If people may think that this article on President Carter will be an article about mismanagement of either the law or the Constitution they may be disappointed as President Carter within the domain of his national security operations balanced actually very well between those things being allowed or required and those things not being desired or required.

President Carter was however behind an Anglo-CIA conspiracy in Iran installing Khomeini and the Nullahs, based on intelligence information being provided on Khomeini staying in France at the time. Considering the outcome with Khomeini’s regime and the predicaments it caused in Iran and for the US eventually as well, in retrospect this decision may be considered as an error of judgement, however again based on  intelligence information at the time. It proved however that Carter did not provide Khomeini the best possible deal which would serve Khomeini against US interests. This will be discussed later in this article.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UYNyuA5Uois                                                                                                                        (Carter behind Anglo CIA conspiracy  in Iran which installed Khomeini and the Mullahs)

CIA Director in President Carter’s time was his old class mate at the Naval Academy Stansfield Turner. Turner strongly favoured both Imaginary Intelligence and Signal Intelligence, and not Espionage. He ceased 800 operational positions and he testified for US Congress revealing many covert CIA operations’ between late 1950ties and late 1960ties. He became very in popular within the CIA itself.  His reform initiatives did not produce results as they were largely obstructed within the CIA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z2GKV6AaqM&feature=player_detailpage                                                                                                                            (The CIA’s involvement in Iran from the perception of an ex-CIA agent)

Turner was quite outraged when former CIA agent Frank Snepp published a book criticising Government officials on their competence during the fall of Saigon. Interestingly the CIA forced Turner later on to seek preclearance of his highly critical book on President Reagan’s policies. Turner had enough reason to be highly critical on President Bush, but obstructing background powers in the CIA with Bush using his level of influence  were stronger than he anticipated.

One of the main features of Carter’s Presidency was the Panama Canal Treaty and the Camp David Accords in 1978. He took a required peace deal between Israel and Egypt very personally and successfully against all documented odds. Congress however did not approve his Arms Limitation Treaty with the Soviet Union. Both the energy crisis and a high inflation besides the recession in the American economy during his Presidency eroded his popularity, with the strongest fall between 1979 and 1980. The seizure of US embassy hostages by Islāmic fundamentalists in Iran with hardly any progression in the resolution of this predicament was a major problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2S9FlG0L4uE                                                                                                                             (Camp David Accords – A Documentary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkbZVZmeMl4&feature=player_detailpage                                                                                                                             ( Iran hostage crisis)

Being aware after “Watergate” that lies within public institutions as the White House are able to repeat Carter told during his campaigns that he would never lie to the public. Since his 2 terms as a Georgia State Senator he had emphasised the importance of human rights. His popularity did not sustain long and his last year of his Administration was complicated by the Iran hostage crisis, which contributed to his loosing the 1980 reelection campaign to Ronald Reagan. Interestingly minutes after Reagan’s term in office started on the 20th of january 1981, the 444 days-Iran hostage crisis ended with the release of the 52 hostages. With George W Bush being both the incumbent Vice-President and being CIA Director before Turner, the thesis is that Bush being aware of the CIA’s dissatisfaction with both Turner and Carter was able to prolong the hostage crisis at the disadvantage of Jimmy Carter. Under Ronald Reagan as US President William Casey got the position of CIA Director and Casey had the complete opposite approach than Stansfield Turner, as his focus became “Espionage”. The frictions within the CIA with Turner made powerful background dynamics planning a strategy to get Carter not reelected and the Iran hostage crisis proved the bottleneck for Carter. Hence not being reelected anymore and the hostages being released 444 days after it all started, – and all this  just minutes after Reagan’s inauguration. Vice-President Bush gave them a very warm welcome when they landed safely in the US.

Bush worked as CIA Director from 1976-1977 where he helped to “restore the agencies morale” after many disclosures of the CIA’s illegal and unauthorized activities after the Senate’s investigations by the Church Committee and he  still had high-profile contacts within the CIA.

Neither being very flexible as a politician nor being a real leader, President Carter had a principle centred Christian nature with a strong emphasis on human rights. He emerged from the aftermath of Watergate and Vietnam and of all US Presidents being discussed most likely Carter was the person most contributing to the end of the Cold War. As President he endeavoured to modernise US forces and the “Carter doctrine” as proclaimed on the 23rd of January 1980 stated that the US would use military force only to defend its national interests. Again it  is reasonable to suggest that the prolonged hostage crisis worked favourable for both the Pentagon and the CIA to resolve Carter’s Presidency by “nature” rather than as an assassination. He was replaced by Ronald Reagan after his first term in office.

As will be more clear later on the CIA needs sustained efforts and regulations to keep up its standards to support the US with the best possible unbiassed intelligence based on the best possible quality rules to get required information for US national security with optimal use of the best possible technology. Hence leadership being required to bring this stronghold in US society under control to make it work within both the domain of the Constitution and US law, besides the US need to sign the Convention of Geneva and stick to protocol not to torture prisoners in line with international law. Carter tried to change some of the CIA dynamics with his newly appointed Director Turner, but the background stream within the CIA was not in approval and these background powers obstructing change had connections with the previous CIA Director and nominee for the Vice-Presidency of the United States: Herbert Walker Bush. Bush has been both CIA Director and working for the CIA many years before he became a public figure. Besides this Bush, sr had close associations with the Skull and Bone secret organisation, which on its own had close links with the dominating culture of the CIA.

It will be clear that any incumbent US President different in nature and with different directions in mind will always struggle with the existing power base at the CIA insufficient regulated by US Congress. The culture within the CIA  requires to be principal based, neither being able to change  by a US President keen to engage in illegal covert operations, nor to be changed by background powers compromising the intent for which the CIA was designed.

Again both President Truman and Eisenhower did warn for the existing power base of those background powers. John F Kennedy in part of this was killed as he contemplated to expose the illegal activities which he perceived as “profound repugnant”. Kennedy wanted to withdraw from Vietnam whilst the CIA and the Pentagon wanted to stay in Vietnam. Kennedy despised intelligence advise being provided on Cuba, including the incompetence of some Generals and CIA officials.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8y06NSBBRtY                    (Eisenhower warned for the military industrial complex)

Carter wanted to change certain aspects of the CIA and was not reelected anymore.  Herbert Walker Bush, before he became Vice-President, achieved a strategy favourable for Reagan’s victory by delaying the solution in the hostage crisis. Bush had longstanding connections with the darker CIA elements when the assassination on JFK was prepared and executed, with close links to both former President Nixon and Ford as well. Bush,sr as well who  did support Nixon until the bitter end over Watergate.  This Watergate if properly investigated opening  a can of worms over the darkest CIA activities in the past, with criminal ramifications against US citizens. President Carter reflected a clear change from existing paradigms both introduced by LBJ, continued by Nixon and at some extend by Ford. However as it appeared the  Reagan – Bush campaign was that worried that President Carter would reach a deal with Iran resulting in the release of the hostages before the elections and therefore Carter winning a second term in office, that they made their own deal with a close relative of Khomeini during various meetings in both Paris and Madrid. The deal did include to accept fully the Islāmic Republic and non interference in Iran’s internal affairs. In other words whist not being in power they made a better deal with Iran, hence the hostage crisis deliberately delayed. Part of the deal was to engage later in an Iran-Contra arms deal with will be discussed under President Reagan.

US spring would not last long.  In summary both Reagan and Bush whilst not representing the US  engaged in illegal backdoor dealings  with high level representation of Khomeini at the cost of hostages in Iran to win the elections and to get rid of President Carter and CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner.

Once in a blue moon a US President may arrive with a different agenda for the nation, however this US President  still has to balance carefully among existing background powers, still being tolerated by US Congress. Restrictive legislation to bring those powers within the strict domain of both US law and the Constitution, neither permitting nor allowing those Agencies to engage in criminal activities, is a requirement for a better balance of US power systems.

With each new President different people may have the reigns in the CIA and the Pentagon. The way of operating  and an emphasis on intermittent covert operations, neither being regulated by the US President at times as we will see with President Reagan, nor being regulated by Congress, –  is a domain of potential breeding ground for the most monstrous endeavours through which US Presidents can be profoundly misled,  if they are not already compromised to allow being misled by choice.

President Obama has been compared with Carter by Donald Rumsfeld, but this might be more a reflection on Rumsfeld than either former President Carter or current President Obama. We know how Rumsfeld feels about Carter and human rights, as Rumsfeld is the one would go to jail in Switzerland and this would for certain not apply to former President Carter. Carter may not have had the charisma of Kennedy or Clinton, but he was a good man with a profound positive legacy, after his Presidency as well in – various ways.

Former President Carter remained remarkably active on human rights issues after his Presidency of the US. He did receive the Medal of Peace” and in 1999 both he and his wife Rosalynn were awarded with the Presidential medal of freedom.  In 1989 he hosted peace negotiations in Ethiopia and within the context of his role as UN embassador he has been very active taking part in the talks with Rwanda in 1996. Apart from other rewards he received in 1993 the “Matsunaga Medal of Peace”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px7aRIhUkHY&feature=player_detailpage                                                                              (Carter – Reagan debate 1980)

Continued>>>

See chapter 7 (Part 7) on former President Ronald Reagan.

Thank you!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

Profiles In US Presidential Violations of Justice – Front page (Part 1 of 11) on July 5, 2011