'It would be a good idea.' Mahatma Gandhi, when asked about his views on western culture.
Arun Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and the founder of the M K Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence was forced to resign from the institute attached to Rochester University following accusations of being anti-Semitic. He had written on 7 January in the Washington Post,
"Jewish Identity Can't Depend on Violence"
"Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience ' a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends. The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. But, it seems to me the Jews today not only want the Germans to feel guilty but the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews. The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on , the regret turns into anger.
"The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak. Any nation that remains anchored to the past is unable to move ahead and, especially a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs. In Tel Aviv in 2004 I had the opportunity to speak to some Members of Parliament and Peace activists all of whom argued that the Wall and the military build-up was necessary to protect the nation and the people. In other words, I asked, you believe that you can create a snake pit -- with many deadly snakes in it -- and expect to live in the pit secure and alive? What do you mean? They countered. Well, with your superior weapons and armaments and your attitude towards your neighbors would it not be right to say that you are creating a snake pit? How can anyone live peacefully in such an atmosphere? Would it not be better to befriend those who hate you?"
The Post generated hundreds of comments, many of them accusing Arun Gandhi of bigotry despite an apology he posted later. The university president Joel Seligman described the resignation "appropriate" and added;
"I was surprised and deeply disappointed by Arun Gandhi's recent opinion piece in the Washington Post blog, On Faith. I believe that his subsequent apology inadequately explains his stated views, which seem fundamentally inconsistent with the core values of the University of Rochester.
"In particular I vehemently disagree with his singling out of Israel and the Jewish people to blame for the "Culture of Violence" that he believes is eventually going to destroy humanity. This kind of
stereotyping is inconsistent with our core values and would be inappropriate when applied to any race, any religion, any nationality, or either gender."
Clearly the university was under heavy pressure. "I think it's shameful that a peace institute would be headed up by a bigot," said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, an international group that opposes anti-Semitism. "One would hope that the grandson of such an illustrious human being would be more sensitive to Jewish history."
In his resignation letter, Arun Gandhi said that his essay "was couched in language that was hurtful and contrary to the principles of nonviolence. My intention was to generate a healthy discussion on the proliferation of violence. Clearly I did not achieve my goal. Instead, unintentionally, my words have resulted in pain, anger, confusion and embarrassment."
An association of Hindus in USA also castigated Arun Gandhi's essay' So you can see the power of the Jewish Lobby in USA. If Arun Gandhi believed in what he said then like Mahatma Gandhi he should have done Satyagraha ( insisted on truth ) and then resigned.
What Mahatma Gandhi said about Israel in 1938 ' "A crime against humanity"
Commenting on the campaign by imperial powers and Zionist groups to found Israel on Palestinian land, Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his paper Harijan on Nov. 26, 1938:
"My sympathies are all with the Jews. They have been the untouchables of Christianity. The parallel between their treatment by Christians and the treatment of untouchables by Hindus is very close.
"But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?
"Palestine belongs to Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It's wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. It would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred."
Holy wars among Patriarch Abraham's successors and followers
If one studies books on religion and religious leaders by various authors including Karen Armstrong , her books 'the Battle for the God' (which concentrates on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran, with historical and multiple insights into present day problems and clashes) and 'Holy Wars ",among the followers of the three revealed religions ,Judaism, Christianity and Islam , prove that their history is full of many instances of violence .In wars among themselves , against each other and the ' others', religion formed an important motivation unlike other religions and people . Religions like Hinduism , Sikhism and Buddhism mostly resorted to religion, when under attack by the zealots of the Abrahamic religions . Of course in all wars of conquest, homo sapiens' greed for the others' wealth, land, property and women and children to enslave , was and remains the major objective and motivation .
The "culture of violence " or rather the 'cult of violence' is bringing about a strategic transformation in the world, as in the past ,through gory wars and brutal occupation, engineering devastating human suffering and killings , colossal destruction with serious and long lasting environmental degradation and damage . In this current human folly, USA and Israel are the top dogs , the greatest predators , perpetrators of violence and threat to world peace , human life and environment . They describe their illegal invasions and occupation as 'war against terror 'while in fact they are indulging in blatant state terrorism.
Three years ago, Israel's ally like friend Turkey openly and repeatedly decried Tel Aviv's actions in Gaza and elsewhere as state terrorism , irked by Israel's activities among Kurds in north Iraq which would have destabilized the region and provide impetus to violence and terrorism against Iraq's neighbors .Israel and US neo-cons believe in creating 'chaos' ,which they can then exploit with the might of the 'culture of violence' . The state of Israel is but a military-industry complex with very close relationship with the mother complex in USA .Tel Aviv ,ruled mostly by former military men believes in 'Maximalist ' solution under apartheid like conditions in occupied lands ( even Jimmy Carter said so and was heckled by the Israel and Jewish lobby in USA ) and ethnic cleansing .It has no desire yet to make peace with its neighbors and live in security , in spite of firm and guaranteed offers of security and diplomatic relations by Arab nations .It continues to build new settlements or expanding others and is erecting a new 'Berlin Wall' encroaching further into Arab lands.
As for USA , it spends nearly 600 billion US dollars on defence (against whom), when the rest of the world spends around 500 billion put together ; China comes second with 65 billion and Russia third with 50 billion. Seeped in the 'culture of violence ', the ruling establishment in USA is financed and controlled by the military 'industry complex .
Never in history have words like freedom , liberty and democracy been so prostituted as by US leaders . To code name illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003 as 'Operation Iraqi Freedom" brings out the West's historic racist narrative. The invasion and the occupation has so far caused extra death of over a million Iraqis , created millions of widows and orphans , rendered five million Iraqis , refugees in Jordan, Syria and internally , with damage running into trillions of dollars. Iraq's population was 24 Million. The extra deaths are equivalent to over 12 million US citizens dead.
Many have compared this symbiotic relationship to the Israeli tail wagging the US dog. The control of the Israeli lobby is so deep and pervasive that many Jews in USA are worried of its long term damage to Jewish image and interests. Washington was goaded into the Iraqi invasion by US neo-cons, mostly Jews and cheered on by Zionists in Israel ,with Washington now sucked into a messy quagmire .Americans do not like losers or being losers, so they might turn on Jews and Israel for the on-rushing economic recession in US and the decline of Washington's hegemony around the world .
Polls in even in Europe have regularly named Israel and USA as the two major dangers to world peace. In October, 2003 over half of Europeans thought that Israel presented the biggest threat to world peace according to a poll requested by the European Commission. The same survey, brought out that the United States contributed the most to world instability along with Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and North Korea. It upset Washington.
Asked to name the two nations that present the greatest threat to regional peace, 70 percent named Israel , 63 percent the United States, and 11 percent Britain. Only 6 percent named our bete noire Iran.--Patrick J. Buchanan, in " American Conservative, January 16, 2006." British voters see George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than either the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.--Julian Glover. " The Guardian, November 3, 2006.
Two respected Jewish university professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in USA wrote an article two years ago about the influence of the Jewish lobby in Washington. They were roundly castigated for daring to even raise the subject. Many other Jews have added their voice against the evil influence of the Jewish lobby. An important article " Slouching towards Holocaust in Palestine by Israel ' was written by Richard Falk, an American Jew. But Noam Chomsky commenting on M&W article rightly pointed out that US and Israeli interests coincide in the West's policy to control hydrocarbon energy resources in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Independent British journalist Jonathan Cook living in Nazerath , an Arab city in Israel , in his latest book, "Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East," says that "civil war and partition were the intended outcomes of invasion." Planned ethnic separation and conflict serve US interests .From early 1980s, Israeli policy has been to subdue the Palestinians, fragment Arab rivals, and foster ethnic and religious discord to maintain unchallengeable regional dominance. Bush administration neo-cons , mostly Jews ,chose the same strategy. Like Israel, they want to neutralize the region through division and separation. Prior to invading Iraq, Sunni and Shia neighborhoods were indistinguishable, and the country had the highest intermarriage rate in the region.
( When I visited Iraq twice in 1977,its most prosperous period in recent history, the country was throbbing with economic , educational and social development with women an integral part of the process. Except for old women and in conservative areas , there were few black chadors , now so common .I was pleased by the sight of young ladies in hot pants , sipping whisky and other drinks in clubs . Since the invasion and rise of the obscurantist elements, life of women in Iraq has now become hellish.)
" The scheme is "Ottomanisation," and it worked for Ottoman Turkey against a more dominant Islam. Israel sees four advantages to it: (A)-- divided minorities are easier to exploit, and Sunni - Shia conflict can achieve a greater aim - subverting Israel's main threat - secular Arab nationalism united against the Jewish State; (B)-- greater military dominance lets Israel maintain its favored status as a valued Washington ally; (C)-- regional instability may lead to the breakup of Saudi-dominated OPEC, weaken the kingdom's influence in Washington, and diminish its ability to finance Islamic extremists and Palestinian resistance; and (D)-- Israel becomes freer to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Israel and the Occupied Territories.
Washington supported the scheme post-9/11, and the so called "war on terror" was born, a clash of civilizations ensued, and the idea was that "control of oil could be secured on the same terms as Israeli regional hegemony: by spreading instability across the Middle East" and Central Asia through a new type of divide and conquer strategy. For Israel, it weakens regional rivals and dampens Palestinian nationalism and their hopes for "meaningful statehood."
Israel's defeat by Hezbollah in 2006 'A tipping point
An Israeli government report headed by Justice (ret.) Eliyahu Winograd on the causes of the disastrous outcome of its July-August 2006 war on Lebanon with the publicly declared aim of destroying Hezbollah was released last week.
Instead Hezbollah had destroyed the myth of Israeli invincibility proclaimed since the disastrous six day 1967 Arab Israeli war. Later, the myth was bolstered by hundreds of nukes reportedly in Israel's arsenal and an ever ready US veto in UNSC and an obedient US Congress ever ready to crawl.
In its non-stop expansion at the cost of Arab lands in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon since its inception, Israel began nuclear blackmail from the 1973 war when Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal. Tel Aviv threatened using nukes against Cairo , forcing USA to build an air bridge to supply the most sophisticated weapons and full support in UNSC. Israeli nukes hang like Damocles Sword over its neighbors. Yet , no sanctions against Israel, not even a mention in Vienna or New York!
The Winograd Committee report , according to Israeli news paper Haaretz (media in Israel is quite independent unlike USA) says effectively "We are all guilty" It places responsibility with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). After this follows the political echelon - the cabinet and at its head the prime minister and the defense minister, and afterwards every Israeli government since the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, governments headed at the time by Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. (both former military officers).
The committee explains that its goal was to provide an answer "for the public's harsh feeling of fracture and disappointment from the results of the war and its conduct by the political and military echelon" and that it worked from "a desire to make thorough research-- mistakes" and repair "with determination" that which needed repair.
It admits the "fact that Israel initiated it ( the war), had complete air superiority and the strongest army in the Middle East." In spite all this, the war "ended without Israel winning it from a military point of view."-----
"Israel must, therefore, adopt a policy which strives "for peace with its neighbors also at the cost of compromise. But the arrangements need to come from a place of military power and public strength," it recommends.
The Committee's interim report earlier had led to the resignations of Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Chief of Staff Dan Halutz. There is now pressure on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign .But bigger war mongers with support from neo-cons are waiting in the wings. Constant tensions and with government policies based on insecurity and fear , many talented Israelis are now leaving for good.
Hezbollah tactics against IDF;
The 'divine victory 'claimed by Lebanon's Hezbollah Chief Nassrallah over the most well armed Force in the region ,exposed limitations of massive air superiority in particular and Armed forces superiority in general . Israel was fully prepared , knows the terrain and even held mock exercises .In spite of immense damage to civilian infrastructure ,willful killing of innocent civilians and raining of illegal millions of cluster bombs , which still kill children and other civilians ,Israelis are now fearful of Hezbollah. This is likely to lead to another conflict, for which Hezbollah is also preparing.
Like many resistance movements fighting against colonialism and foreign occupation, the evolution of Hezbollah movement from a terrorist group to a legal political party has been a positive development in the region. It combines populist rhetoric, important social service networks for the needy, and a decidedly reactionary and chauvinistic interpretation of Islam in its approach to contemporary social and political issues. In last Lebanese parliamentary elections Hezbollah ended up with fourteen seats outright in the 128-member national assembly, and a slate shared with the more moderate Shiite party Amal gained an additional twenty-three seats. Hezbollah controls one ministry in the 24-member cabinet.
Based in their own villages Hezbollah protects its own people and land in south Lebanon .The underground bunkers constructed in secret since Israeli withdrawal in 2000 , withstood a withering Israeli air campaign and tank-led ground assaults could not establish control over a border strip or sweep it clear of Hezbollah guerrillas -- one of Israel's main declared war aims. In fact IDF attempts to conquer Bint Jubail , where Israelis wanted to make a victory speech , were repeatedly repulsed with stunning loss of the best of IDF commandos .Other attempts to take land from Hezbollah were beaten back too .
Hezbollah's Islamic faith and intense indoctrination reduces their fear of death, giving them an advantage in close-quarters combat. Hezbollah leaders also enhance fighters' willingness to risk death by establishing the Martyr's Institute , that guarantees living stipends and education fees for the families of fighters who die on the front. ( In contrast ,there are complaints about US wounded , maimed and dead .The Israeli reserve troops and their families who suffered in the war have regularly protested against the government's incompetence and indifference.)
Hezbollah's military leadership carefully studied military history, including the Vietnam War, a Lebanese expert said, and set up a training program with help from Iranian intelligence and Revolutionary Guards with years of experience in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. The training was matched with weapons that proved effective against Israeli tanks, including the famed Merkava main battle tank with advanced armor plating. The majority of Israeli combat deaths resulted from missile hits on armored vehicles -- or on buildings where Israeli soldiers set up observation posts or conducted searches. As antitank missiles could also be used to attack helicopters, it limited IDF's use of choppers in rescues and other operations.
To give a taste of their own medicine Hezbollah continued to fire rockets against north Israeli towns and villages, specially its port and holiday resort of Haifa until the ceasefire . In spite of usual lies by western media , Hezbollah started sending rockets and missiles into north Israel only after Israel began its attack on Lebanese cities and villages including on civilians and infrastructure. Nasrallah offered to stop if IDF did like wise.
A dramatic example of the secrecy and careful preparedness for the conflict with Israel was Hezbollah's al-Manar television , which kept broadcasting from hidden studios throughout the fighting, despite repeated Israeli air strikes against relay towers and antennas across the country. It was clear that Hezbollah was not penetrated." I think it's no secret that the Israeli military didn't have the intelligence on this," said Richard Straus, of the Middle East Policy Survey , Washington. "They didn't know what Hezbollah had, how it had built up, what it was capable of."
Another expert Bearden said, "The concept of dismantling or eliminating Hezbollah is fatally flawed from the very start. Hezbollah is an organic part of that 40 percent of the Lebanese population that is Shia." A new power dynamic has emerged. "There's nothing to compare with the Israeli Defense Force in the Mideast," he says, but Hezbollah's persistence through weeks of air strikes has shown the limits of Israel's strength. "They've got a lot of very smart people. These are not a bunch of wild-eyed fanatics." "-- they've always been willing to try to broaden the dialogue quietly. --I can guarantee you that they would have welcomed a quiet dialogue with the United States, and they have repeatedly said they have no great quarrel with the United States," he added.
Bearden continued ,"I think we ( West ) have probably given up any possible role as honest broker, even though there's no one to replace us ... The concept of a tsunami of democracy (in the Middle East) is done for. I think that's ended, particularly when the world realizes that against the first two democratically elected entities ' Hamas and Hezbollah 'we have been providing the weaponry [to Israel ] to take them down."
If a movement has US blessings does it become legitimate and even moral! US led West, Saudi Arabia , other Sheikhdoms in the Gulf and many Muslim nations ( even the Chinese ) together financed ,trained and provided arms ,directly and indirectly via Pakistani military intelligence ISI against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan to fighters , who were called Jihadis and not terrorists. It is another matter that the blowback climaxed in 911 attacks on USA and other attacks against western interests. Left behind to fester in Afghanistan and Pakistan , they are now creating mayhem in Pakistan , Afghanistan , India and elsewhere. And now US and Nato are up against them in Afghanistan. Violent means only breed more violence.
Shia Islam , which evolved and blossomed in Persia, was ruled by Arabs, Turks, Mongols and Tartars for eight-and-half centuries, before the emergence of the Sufi-origin Persian Safavids, who became finally masters of their own land, Iran. During the period of foreign occupation and domination , mostly by Sunni rulers , to preserve their sect and survive, Iranians and Shias have developed an uncanny ability not to bring to their lips what is on their minds, and have institutionalized it as takiyya, ie dissimulation.
While Israel could not penetrate Hezbollah , the latter had made inroads into IDF, sometimes by providing drugs to bored Israeli reservists across the border. In the case of US, Bush did not even know the difference between Shias and Sunnis a month before the invasion .Defence Minister Donald Rumsfeld and others were surprised that there could be resistance , which the Iraqis had put up even in the last century of rampant colonialism against the British , who were resisted by both Sunnis and Shias and had to quit .The imported Hashemite King and his PM were butchered in the streets of Baghdad .For history , US leaders can only recall a long genocidal war against native Americans and brutal maltreatment of black slaves from Africa.
In August 2006 , US and UK obstructed a UNSC ceasefire resolution so that Israel could carry on with its reckless destruction of Lebanon's civilian infrastructure . Condi Rice talked of the emergence of a new Middle East after the war .Certainly there is now a new Middle East , but not what Israel and US had hoped for , but with a defeated and nervous Israel .And earlier with South Iraq under control of Shia movements and forces , trained and financed before 2003 by Iran, USA's avowed enemy in the region .
The defeats of the Western arms in Iraq and its outpost Israel in Lebanon are major turning points in the post Berlin Wall fall era. If Tehran's prot'g' Hezbollah could blunt IDF , imagine what damage Iran would inflict if bombed . This is what is making US military experts and commanders from taking on Iran.
"The well is deep, but it is not infinite," Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently. "We must get Army deployments down to 12 months as soon as possible. People are tired." He described the U.S. military force worn thin by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and unlikely to come home in large numbers anytime soon.
Litany of US lies on Iraq invasion-A hoary western tradition
"This war [in Iraq] is the most important liberal, revolutionary U.S. democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. ... it is one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad." -- Thomas Friedman, much-acclaimed New York Times foreign-affairs analyst, November 2003.
"Propaganda brought us to power; propaganda has since enabled us to remain in power and propaganda will give us the means of conquering the world.... The task of the propagandist is not the scientific education of everyone, but the indication to the masses of the facts, events, necessities etc. whose significance and morality enter into the field of interest." Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf.
In order to justify removal of Iraq's President Saddam Hussein a thousand lies were uttered by top US leadership .These "False Pretenses" in a study by two nonprofit journalism organizations were posted on January 22, 2008 on the web site of the Center for Public Integrity. It's "an exhaustive examination of the record" of President Bush and his seven top officials who "waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat" Iraq posed to galvanize public opinion and go to war "under decidedly false pretenses."
Gobal Research website recounted on 4 February that "At least 532 separate speeches, briefings, interviews, testimonies and more provide the evidence. They show a concerted web of lies became the administration's case for war even though it's clear Iraq had no WMDs or any ties to Al-Queda. Numerous bipartisan investigations drew the same conclusion, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 2004 and 2006, the multinational Iraq Survey Group's "Duelfer Report," and even the dubious 9/11 Commission."
"The study cites 232 false Bush statements alone about WMDs and 28 others about links to Al-Qaeda. Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and others put out the same lies that increased after August 2002 and spiked much higher in the weeks preceding invasion. In all, the study documented 935 false statements, the dominant [corporate] media spread them*, their deception is now revealed, and yet the administration avoided any responsibility for its actions and the media is unapologetic. In addition, there are no congressional investigations, and the war is still mis-portrayed as a liberating one when its clear intent was to erase a nation, divide and rule it, turn it into a free market paradise, use it as a launching platform to dominate the region, and control its oil.'
*BBC gave in its over all coverage of Iraq war a mere 2% time to opposition's anti-war voices and was the worst of the leading broadcasters, including US networks, according to Media Tenor; a Bonn-based non-partisan media research organization. ABC of USA with 7% was the second-worst case of denying access to anti-war voices. In a 4 July, 2003 comment in " the Guardian" titled "Biased Broadcasting Corporation", Justin Lewis, Professor of Journalism at Cardiff University confirmed the above results. US led Western lies and suppression of truth have since continued.
US political system;
"How to get people to vote against their interests and to really think against their interests is very clever. It's the cleverest ruling class that I have ever come across in history. It's been 200 years at it. It's superb." Gore Vidal on US ruling elite.
Cuban leader Ra'l Castro , brother of Fidel Castro joked recently that the United States pits two identical parties against one another. The choice between a Republican and Democrat was like choosing between himself and his brother Fidel.
"We could say in Cuba we have two parties: one led by Fidel and one led by Ra'l, what would be the difference?" he asked. "That's the same thing that happens in the United States ... both are the same. Fidel is a little taller than me, he has a beard and I don't"
In the primaries in Michigan in January, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich ,easily the leading anti-war candidate in the Democratic race, and with only Kucinich and Hillary Clinton running. Clinton got 56% of the vote, the "uncommitted" vote for candidates who had withdrawn but whose names were still on the ballot was 39%, and Kucinich received but 4%. And Clinton, beholden to the Jewish lobby , was the leading pro-war hawk of all the Democratic candidates. The Republican nominee Senator McCain wants the Iraq war to go on until US victory.
Remember ,on 10 October , 2002 the US House by a vote of 296-133, and the Senate on 11 October by a vote of 77-23, authorized 'Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 sought by US President George Bush , known as "Iraq War Resolution" .It was signed into law by the President on 16, October. The "Shock and Awe" military operation began on 18 March, 2003.
Such overwhelming and bipartisan unanimity, but did the Congress do a due diligence study before authorizing the Iraq war!
Three years later on March 15, 2006 , the Congress established a bipartisan Commission, the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group (ISG) , which on 6 December, 2006 in its 142 page Report with 79 non-binding recommendations recommended that "The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria, and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israel's right to exist), and Syria." Of course Olmert retorted that Iraq war had nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.
But the report turned out to be only a red herring to fool the US people , who had trashed the ruling Republican party of President Bush in November ,2006 elections giving the Senate and House majorities to the Democrats . This was only much ado about nothing under a charade of so called political debate.
Decline and Fall of US Power ;
Even India born Fareed Zakaria, Washington loves to exhibit as a good Muslim , who supported US lies of promoting democracy and the invasion, feels that USA is now on the decline .In the Newsweek of 4 Feb.2008 , he wrote ;
"The World Bails US Out" "The United States is in the beginning of a period of relative decline. This is not defeatism, it's math."
"As global stock markets went wild last week, financial commentators resurrected an old metaphor about infectious diseases of the upper respiratory system. "When the United States sneezes, does the world catch a cold?" they asked. It's an intelligent question, the answer to which will largely determine whether the current slowdown turns into a worldwide slump. However it plays out, one thing is sure: the rest of the world will cushion America's slide. And that says a lot about the new global order. ---These trends represent a large, ongoing shift in the global economic order. Power is moving away from the traditional centers of the global economy'the Western nations'to the emerging markets.'
"All this means that the political and economic clout of the West'and centrally of the United States'is waning. You can see this reality in the discussions at Davos, where Indian businessmen, Russian officials, Saudi investment advisers and Chinese academics are moving to center stage. Or consider George W. Bush's trip to the Middle East last week. After making several pleas that Saudi Arabia act to ease oil prices, the president had to accept a hard new truth. He was the supplicant; power lay with the king. (In fact, it was the oil minister who brushed off the president's entreaties.) What a contrast to the 1990s, when the price of oil hovered under $20 a barrel and the Saudi economy was teetering."
"On the American campaign trail, the candidates talk about a world utterly unrelated to the one that is actually being created on the ground. The Republicans promise to wage war against Islamic extremists and modernize the Middle East. The Democrats deplore the ills of globalization and free trade, and urge tougher measures against China. Meanwhile Middle Eastern fund managers and Asian consumers are quietly keeping the U.S. economy afloat."
No wonder electors in USA are really not against continuing the war in Iraq , they are only unhappy that it has not gone as they were told it would .US troops would be received with flowers and democracy would blossom. Noam Chomsky described it as manufactured consent (five corporate entities controlling 90% of US media 'so much for freedom of media ! a major pillar of democracy.)
that hurts and affects the Americans is the death of nearly 4000 US soldiers and over all 70,000 casualties , including injured and maimed .The post casualty step motherly treatment of soldiers is deplorable and sometimes despicable , with upsurge in divorces and suicides among military families .There is little coverage in Western media of brutal killings and destructions in the wake of the Iraq invasion and occupation. It is not even properly discussed in US primaries. Thus unless something drastic happens , the military- industry complex, entrenched so pervasively in USA's political economy , will continue to call the shots.
In a just concluded BBC Global Poll, only 22% of US citizens said economic conditions were getting better in their country, with 78% saying they were getting worse. Citizens in France, Italy and Japan are equally pessimistic, with only 22% of French people and 33% of Japanese saying conditions were getting better. In contrast, there was economic optimism in China, Russia, Canada, Australia, and the UAE, all countries which are benefiting from increased economic growth. Overall, 64% of the global public believes that the economic benefits of growth have been shared unfairly,
According to Le Monde , French expert Jacques Attali foresees a crash on Wall Street, home of the New York stock exchange and ultimate guarantor of the loan pyramid . Another French leader Michel Rocard is convinced that a world crisis is imminent and that the system is about to explode. It concluded that the outcome depends on whether the Asian economies can take over from the US as the driving force. Another sign, perhaps, that the West is in decline and that the centre of the world economy is about to shift from the US to China. The crisis may mark the end of an era.[ of Western domination!]
One of the major conclusions from the end 1980s well researched book ,'Rise and Fall of Big Powers ' by Prof Paul Kennedy was that empires declined and collapsed if total revenues were exceeded by expenditures on defence ,internal budget and on science and human resources development and, if they extended beyond sustainable borders .
Byzantine empire once extended right up to present day Turkish border with Iran (Persian empire's Western limit , which also included Mesopotamia) .Both empires declined and collapsed because of centuries of war fare and high defence expenditure .The Bedouin Arabs from Arabian desert easily conquered large parts of the two declining empires .Ottoman empire's unsustainable extension reached up to the gates of Vienna in late 16th century and then started declining .We know the fate of the British and other European empires after the second world war. Of course there are other reasons too for such declines.
For the decline of the Soviet empire ,apart from reasons like emergence of Orthodox Slav nationalism, a feeling that too much was being drained into USSR's Turkic and Muslim Soviet republics , basically the Communist Russian leadership lost nerve as it felt that it could not match increasing US defense outlay on projects like 'Star wars' etc .A na've leadership under Gorbachev with its policy of 'perestroika ' and 'glasnost' lost the plot , later the situation was made worse by mostly a drugged or drunk Boris Yeltsin ( then much loved in the West and now missed ), with so called reformers from the West and their Russian conspirators destroying the economic, political and social fabric of the nation. Vladimir Putin has largely succeeded in restoring the Russian state and its autonomy and sovereignty. Since a year he has publicly accused Washington of renewing the arms race , by establishing missile defence in Poland and Czech republic ,against possible attack from Iran and north Korea (have a heart!) which Moscow would be forced to counter, ( as would China.)
Other similarities are ; like the Roman ,Byzantine ,Arab and Ottoman aristocracy , in US rich have become richer and poor poorer , with massive tax cuts under Bush for the very rich and little spend on general education or research ( barring defence or defence related) or health. In mid 1980s it was calculated that USA would have required $ 25 billion to train its own engineers to replace infusion from India .That is if it could locate that many bright Americans .By now the figure must have risen to hundreds of billions at current prices . University education in USA remains very expensive.
The 1997-98 crisis of capitalism and the collapse in East and South East Asia was triggered by among other factors, investment in housing sector and over valuing of such assets. This nemesis is now catching up in USA. (It is likely to catch up in India too, always slow witted to learn and react)
In 'The economic disaster that is military Keynesianism-Why the US has really gone broke', historian Chalmers Johnson wrote recently ;
"Global confidence in the US economy has reached zero, as was proved by last month's stock market meltdown. But there is an enormous anomaly in the US economy above and beyond the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the housing bubble and the prospect of recession: 60 years of misallocation of resources, and borrowings, to the establishment and maintenance of a military-industrial complex as the basis of the nation's economic life.-- The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon -- failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.
"As a result, going into 2008, the United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment. Its government no longer even attempts to reduce the ruinous expenses of maintaining huge standing armies, replacing the equipment that seven years of wars have destroyed or worn out, or preparing for a war in outer space against unknown adversaries. Instead, the Bush administration puts off these costs for future generations to pay or repudiate. This fiscal irresponsibility has been disguised through many manipulative financial schemes (causing poorer countries to lend us unprecedented sums of money), but the time of reckoning is fast approaching.
"There are three broad aspects to the US debt crisis. First, in the current fiscal year (2008) we are spending insane amounts of money on "defence" projects that bear no relation to the national security of the US. We are also keeping the income tax burdens on the richest segment of the population at strikingly low levels. Second, we continue to believe that we can compensate for the accelerating erosion of our base and our loss of jobs to foreign countries through massive military expenditures ' "military Keynesianism"-- mistaken belief that public policies focused on frequent wars, huge expenditures on weapons and munitions, and large standing armies can indefinitely sustain a wealthy capitalist economy. The opposite is actually true.'
"Third, in our devotion to militarism (despite our limited resources), we are failing to invest in our social infrastructure and other requirements for the long-term health of the US. These are what economists call opportunity costs, things not done because we spent our money on something else. Our public education system has deteriorated alarmingly. We have failed to provide health care to all our citizens and neglected our responsibilities as the world's number one polluter. Most important, we have lost our competitiveness as a manufacturer for civilian needs, an infinitely more efficient use of scarce resources than arms manufacturing.'
The US empire has now reached the unsustainable limits with UK hanging to its coat tails. Like the Byzantine and Persian adversaries in the past , which became week and collapsed owing to unsustainable expenditure on warfare , after USSR, now, perhaps it is the turn of the United States of America. The implosion would be hastened by its ongoing economic meltdown.
To those who oppose unjust and illegal wars and media manipulation, John Pilger offered these words of Mahatma Gandhi: "First, they ignore," he said. "Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
But unless "The Cult of Violence' ceases , it would unravel mother nature's gamble on homo sapiens , with its domination of the earth very short in zoological time.
Apart from reversing the heedless rush of consumerism to stop the hemorrhaging of mother earth's finite resources and harming the environment , the world must turn away from the unidirectional and nihilistic Western thought 'I think and there fore I am 'and Darwin's theory of evolution that mutations cause species to change at random and the fittest survives and not Lamarck's theory that species change because they make determined effort to change.
Cartesian thought and Darwin theory drove the homo sapiens evolution towards its animal nature . It has played havoc in human history. Survival of the fittest theory brought in colonialism, imperialism and cultural orientalism. West also evolved divisive nationalism, Marxism, ideological totalitarianism , capitalism and globalization. For these causes and ideologies many scores millions of human beings were butchered in the most violent of all , the 20th century, and the carnage continues.
West now believes that there is nothing superior to human rational knowledge. In Greek philosophy, the idea of unwritten laws exists - which 'live always and forever, and no man knows from where they have arisen". Western belief in an external moral universe, to which men owe obedience, has been changed to a rational secular alternative to this moral structure. Isaiah Berlin advice that 'solutions to the central problems existed, that one could discover them, and, with sufficient selfless effort, realize them on earth' has been lost.
K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. E-mail: Gajendrak@hotmail.com.