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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Mental constructs

Partners in crime. Or is it strange bedfellows? To read about Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein, go to this URL: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/index.htmGeorge W. Bush has been on the stump lately, campaigning to regain his lost popularity, to justify his war against Iraq, and to assert his influence on the world stage.

It’s too late.

There are limits to how often you can create the illusion of a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Especially if it’s the same sow's ear over and over again.

There is, of course, another reason that Bush’s campaign will fail. He is a harmful force on the planet, and his gang of criminal hacks is even worse. They make up the plans and propaganda that Bush fronts. At a time when the world’s economies are more fragile than ever, when the environment is approaching the breakdown stage in its ability to support life, when "exotic" diseases threaten human life everywhere, when corporate criminality is both rampant and threatening to social order, when political life has reached a level of corruption that boggles the mind, the last thing any country needs is a criminal buffoon for a leader.

Most comical of Bush’s pronouncements this week was when he said "China needs to provide a level playing field for American businesses seeking access to China's market," in Kyoto, Japan on Wednesday. The idea of the pitch man for a criminal operation demanding "a level playing field" to anyone is beyond silly.

His use of language is even sillier. "China needs…" Telling other people what they "need" of course is arrogant, presuming to tell them what is good for them, but it also presumes a knowledge of their situations, desires, shortcomings, and receptivity to being scolded. Especially by a sociopathic criminal.

Ultimately, the assertion "China needs..." is a statement from one "country" to another. Bush, pretending to represent "The United States of America," tells "China," as represented by its "leadership," what the "U.S." wants "China" to do. The "U.S." consists of the land and people south of "Canada" and north of "Mexico," along with "Alaska," "Hawaii," "Guam," "American Samoa," "Puerto Rico," the "U.S. Virgin Islands," the "Northern Mariana Islands," the "Midway Islands," "Wake Island," "Johnston Atoll," "Baker," "Howland," and "Jarvis Islands," "Kingman Reef," "Navassa Island," and "Palmyra Atoll."

Any "country" is a mental construct, an imposition on the land, dependent on consensus among people that the "country" actually exists. There didn’t used to be a "China," just like there didn’t used to be a "U.S." The first "European" settlement in "North America" was by "Spain" in "St. Augustine," "Florida," in "1565." From that humble start, through settlement, conquest, purchase, and claim, the eventual "United States of America" stretched from coast to coast, and beyond. Now the "U.S." is "the world’s only superpower," declaring through its criminal "leadership" that it has the right and responsibility to preemptively invade any other "country" on the planet.

The futility of Bush’s threats, scolds, and wars around the world can be seen in the fakery that surrounds the "War on terror." Osama bin Laden and his "organization" "Al Qaida," do not represent any "country," region, or ethnic group. They represent themselves, and their vision of Islamic purity and independence. Yet the Bush crime family chose to use their threat to attack two "countries," "Afghanistan" and "Iraq."

These two "countries," "Afghanistan" and "Iraq," are glaring examples of the pretense of "nationhood." "Afghanistan" is a "country" only for purposes of public relations, being little more than a collection of tribal areas and warlord fiefdoms. Its central government rules the "city" of "Kabul," and little else. Its various groups consist of "Pashtun" (42%), "Tajik" (27%), "Hazara" (9%), "Uzbek" (9%), "Aimak" (4%), "Turkmen" (3%), "Baloch" (2%), and "other" (4%). (I wonder what it's like to be "other" in "Afghanistan.")

"Iraq" is an even more fake "country," carved out of the remnants of the former "Ottoman empire" at the end of World War I. According to legend, its boundaries were drawn by Winston Churchill. A forced union of disparate ethnic and religious groups, "Iraq" is 75-80% "Arab," 15-20% "Kurdish," and about 5% "Turkoman," "Assyrian," "Bedouin," "Jewish," and "Chaldean Christian." Of the "Arab" population, approximately 35-40% are "Sunni," and 60-75% are "Shiite."

Carving a "country" out of such varied groups would be a challenge for any "nation builder," but the creation of a united "Iraq" could only be done with an authoritarian government. After a failed monarchy, unending meddling by foreign powers, primarily the "British empire," "Iraq" settled into the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in 1979. It is worthy of mention that this settling was not without the help of the "CIA." Read more here and here.

"U.S" casualties in the "Iraq" war now stand at 2091 killed, and many thousand more injured and traumatized. These brave souls have been killed and maimed for the fiction that the "U.S." was being threatened by "Iraq." The war of course was based on lies and fear-mongering, and motivated by greed, lust for power and appetite for murder. But the fiction goes even farther.

A mental construct such as a "nation" can be used to unite people to cooperate with the slaughter of tens of thousands of people on the other side of the "Earth," based on the engineered paranoia about another fictional "nation." The real trick in waging war is in manufacturing a mental construct of opposing "nations." Once that is accomplished, the rest is relatively easy. Resources cannot be marshaled without creating both the cohesion of an "us," and the threat of a "them."

It is clear to see that if the human species is to survive this era, the fiction of "nationhood," of "us" and "them," will have to be abandoned. We will have also to come up with different standards of human pursuit and interaction. The corrupt and murderous system we now have is neither sustainable nor beneficial to mankind and the ecosystem. The vulnerability of the masses of people on "Earth" to control and domination by small cliques will have to be greatly reduced. Since we have no choice but to live as civilized human beings, the choice is simple. Whether we have the sense to make the choice remains to be seen. This is a great time to be alive.


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