Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vanunu: ‘Shame on you, democracy’

Vanunu: ‘Shame on you, democracy’
By Jerry Mazza

May 25, 2010,

After serving 18 years in solitary for leaking secrets about Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant in the Negev to the London Times in 1986, nuclear technician Mordecai Vanunu is now about to serve another three months for violating the terms of his “parole,” apparently under an endless house arrest.

“Shame on you, democracy” was his response not just to Israel but obviously the US that has sat by from day one and let this selfless hero be imprisoned by the Zionist powers.

In a Haaretz article, Vanunu was quoted outside the Jerusalem District court, saying "I survived 18 years - I could survive another six . . . Are you trying to discipline me? You cannot take my freedom of expression away. . . . Freedom is freedom. You won't get from me in three months what you didn't get in 18 years."

He warned that the Shin Bet secret service “controls the prisons” and that once more they will use psychological torture on him as they did last time he was incarcerated.

“Shame on you, Israel,” Vanunu exclaimed. “The stupid Shin Bet and Mossad spies are putting me back in prison after 24 years of speaking nothing but the truth. Shame on you. Shame on democracy, the Knesset, synagogues and the world media. Shame on you all the Arabs that are allowing me to be put back in prison. Shame on you, Senate, congress, and the chairman of the international Atomic Energy Agency for not protecting my freedom. Shame on you all the world’s religions, the stupid spies, the Jews, Christians and the Muslims.”

As an orthodox Jew who became a Christian after release from his first jail-term, one can understand his disaffection with the three faiths with which he has familiarity. He went on to say, “Everyone knows that Israel has nuclear warheads,” (between 200 and 300) “but no one is talking about it . . . The world doesn’t want nuclear weapons -- not in Israel, not in the Middle East and not anywhere in the world.”

Yet Israel and the world persist in escalation, not to mention the use of depleted uranium, which is made from the nuclear isotope U238, is radioactive, devastating to the human immune system, including the reproductive system, and is used ubiquitously in armaments since Gulf War 1. See my article Depleted uranium is destroying life.

It contains a link to another article from Haaretz, dated March 21, Study: Quality of Israeli sperm down 40% in past decade. This is in addition to the large number of birth defects of children in the Middle East region, from Palestine to Iraq, and damage done to American, Iraqi, and Israeli soldiers in the Gulf Wars. Yet the world plunges ahead blindly as if the death and mutilation facts to all sides of the various conflicts were fairy tales.

Moreover, a panel of Israel High Court Judges returned the 56-year old, Moroccan-born Israeli to jail on the thin charge of “not fulfilling a community-service order, punishment for breaching his parole terms by contacting foreigners without authorization.” Yet, here is a man giving his lifetime to serve and protect Israel and the world against nuclear proliferation and by contacting, most probably, journalists to communicate what must be the world’s “best-known secret,” i.e., Israel’s nuclear arsenal, under judicial and political wraps.

The ex-nuclear technician Vanunu, who worked extensively at Dimona, the plant and reactor built by Israel with assistance from the French in the late 1950s, and with the knowledge of American President Lyndon Johnson, from the mid 1960s on, has to now return to community duties in Arab-majority East Jerusalem, after risking attack by angry Israelis, many who regard him as a traitor in the city’s Jewish-populated west. This is beyond irony. This is a disgrace, as pernicious as the veiled Israeli nuclear program was and is today, particularly as Prime Minister Netanyahu hypocritically preaches about Iran’s nuclear energy projects and threatens to bomb it for them. Where do we draw the line between sanity and insanity here?

Furthermore, as the New York Times reports, No Worries, Israel Insists, Defense Drill Is Just a Drill. “As Israel embarked on a large-scale civil defense exercise on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to reassure Israelis and some jittery Arab neighbors that the nationwide drill was not meant to signal a deterioration in security or an imminent war.

“’This is a routine exercise that has been scheduled for some time,’ Mr. Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. ‘I would like to make it clear that it is not the result of any exceptional security development. On the contrary, Israel aspires towards calm, stability and peace.’”

Of course the story is slanted so that at its end it appears that it was an “extremist” (read Muslim) faction that burned down a UN summer camp (described in the story) used by some 250,000 Gaza children. Why could it not have been a Mossad act? Well, purportedly, “Hamas camps have strict, bearded men, sometimes waving sticks, teaching children the basic tenets of Islam.” And what are they exactly? At the more popular UN camps, kids’ activities include painting, singing and swimming. Uh huh. And welcoming ethnic cleansing.

The Times continues, “The five-day exercise, designed to test the readiness of citizens, the emergency services and the local authorities in the case of war, is taking place for the fourth consecutive year. It comes amid growing concern in Israel about the rocket and missile capabilities of militant groups on its borders, and the potential threat of a nuclear Iran.”

And so on, all about the potential threat of a nuclear Iran, not the known fact of Israel’s nuclear weapons since 1986 and their effect on surrounding nations, or the UN rejection of Judge Richard Goldstone’s report condemning Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza, calling them excessive, deadly and extreme.

And here is another fact you should know, i.e., the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear facility under construction in 1981. It was bombed to the ground under the orders of Prime Minister Menachim Begin, using US F-15s and F-16s. Fortunately, the plant was not completed, nor did it contain any nuclear material. But no other country in the world has ever bombed a nuclear facility in any state of construction. Yet Begin was exultant in his world-threatening triumph.

So, who really should be going to prison here? Shame on those who look the other way out of a misguided loyalty to Israel. Shame on those who do not speak out on behalf of Mordechai Vanunu, one of the bravest men on the planet!

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

L’épiscopat français et la franc-maçonnerie -

L’épiscopat français et la franc-maçonnerie -

13 mai 2010

Communiqué du District de France

Abbé Régis de Cacqueray, Supérieur du District de France
Suresnes, le 13 mai 2010 en la fête de l'Ascension de Notre Seigneur

L’épiscopat français et la franc-maçonnerie

« Il existe dans le monde un certain nombre de sectes qui, bien qu’elles diffèrent par le nom, les rites, la forme, l’origine, se ressemblent et sont unies entre elles par l’analogie du but et des principes essentiels. Employant à la fois l’audace et la ruse, elles ont envahi tous les rangs de la hiérarchie sociale et commencent à prendre au sein des états modernes une puissance qui équivaut presque à la souveraineté. De cette rapide et formidable extension, sont précisément résultées pour l’Eglise, pour l‘autorité des Princes, pour le salut public, les maux que nos prédécesseurs avaient depuis longtemps prévus. » Léon XIII dans Humanum Genus du 20 avril 1884

- Le Carnet du Jour du Figaro du samedi 8 mai 2010 fait part de l’invitation de la Grande Loge Nationale de France à assister à une conférence de Monseigneur Jean-Charles Descubes, archevêque de Rouen aux côtés d’un pasteur, Agnès von Kirchbach, d’un théologien, Ghaleb Bencheikh, d’un grand rabbin, Haïm Korsia sur le thème : « Franc-maçonnerie régulière et monothéisme au XXIe siècle ». La conférence a eu lieu le lundi 10 mai, au grand temple de la Grande Loge Nationale Française, 12, rue Christine de Pisan, Paris (XVIIe).

- Le même jour, à Lyon, le club « Dialogue et Démocratie française » qui rassemble des franc-maçons, hommes et femmes de toutes obédiences, réunissait le Cardinal Barbarin, le Grand Rabbin Richard Wertenschlag, le président du Conseil régional du culte musulman, Azzedine Gacci, et le président de l’Eglise réformée de Lyon, Joël Rochat, pour un dîner-débat sur le thème : « Laïcité, religion, spiritualité ».

La prise de parole de ces deux archevêques français à de telles réunions et à de telles conférences organisées par la franc-maçonnerie constitue un scandale d’une extrême gravité, qui donne une illustration supplémentaire de la trahison de la Foi par un évêque et par un cardinal, tous les deux en poste.

Bien que l’acceptation de ces invitations ne signifie pas l’appartenance à la franc-maçonnerie de ces deux prélats, elle est cependant inadmissible parce qu’elle accrédite l’idée que la franc-maçonnerie est une société honorable et fréquentable. Faut-il rappeler à ces évêques que, sans qu’il y ait à faire de distinctions entre ses obédiences, la franc-maçonnerie a été stigmatisée par tous les papes comme une secte d’une perversion toute particulière, dont l’objectif vrai est la destruction de l’Eglise Catholique ?

Les thèmes de cette conférence et de ce dîner-débat, le principe de l’invitation au coude à coude de ces représentants des différentes « religions » appelés à parler sur pied d’égalité, le tout sous l’œil bienveillant des obédiences maçonniques sont des indices suffisants pour manifester que ce ne sont pas des témoignages de catholicisme que ces évêques sont allés porter mais des paroles mensongères et complices, ennemies de la Foi Catholique !

Nous espérons que ces fautes publiques contre la Foi, véritables scandales pour les catholiques, seront sanctionnées comme elles méritent de l’être. Nous devons prier notre Rosaire pour réparer cet outrage contre la Foi et endiguer le naufrage de notre sainte religion dans les âmes.

Abbé Régis de Cacqueray ,
Supérieur du District de France.
Suresnes, le 13 mai 2010 en la fête de l'Ascension de Notre Seigneur

Déclaration du cardinal Ratzinger contre la franc-maçonnerie le 26 novembre 1983

"Certains se sont demandés si la pensée de l'Eglise sur la franc-maçonnerie avait changé parce qu'il n'en est pas fait mention expresse dans le nouveau Code de Droit Canon comme c'était le cas dans l'ancien Code.

La Sacrée Congrégation est en mesure de répondre que cet état de fait est dû à un critère utilisé pour la rédaction et qui a été observé également pour d'autres associations, passées de la même façon sous silence, dans la mesure où elles étaient comprises dans des catégories plus larges.

Le jugement négatif de l'Eglise sur la franc-maçonnerie demeure donc inchangé parce que ses principes ont toujours été considérés comme incompatibles avec la doctrine de l'Eglise ; c'est pourquoi il reste interdit par l'Eglise de s'y inscrire. Les catholiques qui font partie de la franc-maçonnerie sont en état de péché grave et ne peuvent s'approcher de la Sainte Communion.

Les autorités ecclésiastiques locales n'ont pas la faculté d'émettre sur la nature des associations de la franc-maçonnerie un jugement qui entraînerait une dérogation à ce qui est mentionné ci-dessus, conformément à l'esprit de la Déclaration du 17 février 1981 de cette même Sacrée Congrégation.

Le Souverain Pontife Jean-Paul II, au cours de l'audience accordée au sous-signé le Cardinal Préfet, a approuvé la présente déclaration adoptée au cours de la réunion ordinaire de cette Sacrée Congrégation et en a ordonné la publication.

Donné à Rome, au Siège de la Sacrée Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi, le 26 novembre 1983.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Préfet
Fr. Jérôme Hamer, o.p., Archevêque titulaire de Lorium, Secrétaire."

Freemasonry seems to amalgamate Ancient Egyptian religion, Judaism, Xtianity and Islam with Western alchemical traditions. The number-word games dissolve the barriers historically in place among them while for others the divisions prove useful for rule.
The Royal Society may be the open aspect of such an organisation, as has been hinted at by such historians as Frances Yates.
Yates also makes mention of Anglo-Jewry and its relationship with Puritanism:

"It was in 1655 that Manasseh came to England, invited by Cromwell to explore the possibility of a settlement of the Jews in England.
At the Restoration it was expected that the reception of the Jews would be abandoned, like other Puritan interests and policies, but this did not happen….Thus Anglo-Jewry in its modern form began in the reign of Charles II , like the Royal Society.
The probable interactions between the English Puritan movement, culminating in the Civil War and the Protectorate, and the contemporary Amsterdam Jewish community , with its intense religious and cultural life, and its earnest Lurianic Cabalism in expectation of the Messiah, is a phase of religious history that has not been examined. Both Jews and Puritans lived in excited expectation of a coming divine event. The Puritans expected the Second Coming and the Christian millennium. It has recently been argued that Puritan cultivation of science had as a motive the bringing-in millennium working to make the world worthy of it, which would hasten its advent. Jewish Lurianic Cabalists worked with intensive meditation and prayer towards making possible the advent of the Messiah. The two movements may have interacted upon one another in more ways than we know.

And the Messiah came……Sabbatai Sevi…in 1665 he revealed himself as the Messiah….a mass movement of enthusiasm was set in motion…..For the movement took a disastrous turn….when in 1666 Sabbatai Sevi apostised to Islam…. Neither the Millennium nor the Messiah had come, but the great tide of spiritual effort left something on the shores of time when it receded. In 1660 the Royal Society was founded, tangible evidence of the arrival of science."

2 messiahs, 1 initiates a force that will become Xtianity , while the other converts to Islam. If a 3rd emerges he'll be just in time for the newly legalized religion , Druidry.

The Puritans had gained a foothold in the 'New World' where they could set up an ideal Christian Qabalist state. Zionism would be acceptable to both Puritans and Jews.

The Amsterdam Jews supported William of Orange , and Puritan antipathy towards Roman Catholicism, led to James II being deposed in 1688 in the 'Glorious Revolution' , which could also be called 'The Orange Revolution'.
Oddly William was the grandson of Charles I who was executed by the Puritans.
Charles' sister Elizabeth [ briefly Queen of Bohemia] was Protestant and married a Calvinist. After they fled Prague in 1621, after the Battle of Bila Hora they held court in the Netherlands. It was the lack of help that her father James I gave her that simmered in the Puritans leading eventually to the English Civil War and the end of Spanish Catholic influence in England.

I reckon a few Jews went to Scotland in 1290 and teamed up with the Templars and invented Freemasonry

Manasseh and the Amsterdam Jews were from Spain where Jews had lived until , ironically, the Moslems were defeated in 1492 , and they lost their protection.Something the Zionists are apt to ignore these days in their nihilistic drive towards Imperium.

A wee connexion twixt William of Orange and William Arthur Goldsmith Windsor [ formerly of Sachs - Coburg] who traces his lineage back to the House of David and the Tribe of Judah.

The Royal House apparently defends the 'Faith' , though which one would be telling....

In 1290 , instead of the boat, I reckon a few Jews went to Scotland and met up with Templars, set up the Masons and plotted how to get bcak what they felt was theirs.

Finally it all came together with Jacobus Stewart [ distant grandfather of Jon Stewart?] who created the Union. This continues with William of Orange and the Glorious [Orange] Revolution.

Now we're up to speed with William Arthur Goldsmith Windsor [ formerly SACHS -a Coburg] , of the Royal House of David and the Tribe of Judah.

Defender of the 'Faith' , but which one

Also the Northern Ireland flag has the Hex upon it.

The Jews of Amsterdam fled Spain after the Moslems were defeated. Under Moslem rule the jews were'nt persecuted which just goes to show how spiteful the Zionist attitude to Islam is, and the 'denial' of Jewish-Moslem friendship.....

“I reckon a few Jews went to Scotland and met up with Templars, set up the Masons and plotted how to get bcak what they felt was theirs.” [???]

Everyone’s an authority on Templarism, go figure, such a secret society, pity they have no fucking secrets!

The English Templars that went north because they had a contract with Bonnie P C were tantamount to victory at the River of Bannockburn, they were also the reason why the big yins got flogged at Culloden: The Templars were not paid what was agreed and they left the field; as well they should, would you work for no pay?

So much has been written about the Knights Templar, the books, the movies, all the ‘shrouded’ history of the Holy Grail, the disappearance of an Order that so many admired and feared. Many get surprised when I tell them, the Order is alive and well, maybe its purpose changed only to accommodate a new era.

The church condemned the Knights Templar all over Europe with the exception of Portugal. King Dinis, (Denis), of Portugal negotiated with the Pope John XXII after the institution name was changed in 1318 to the Order of Christ, the pope approved the institution in March 14 1319 by Papal bull. The stronghold of the Templars in Portugal is the Convent of Christ with its castle in the city of Tomar, Portugal. With that change, no Templar in Portugal was condemned or prosecuted, and the Order lived well and long under the protection of the Portuguese kings. The cross of the Knights Templar; the 'Crux Pattee' is also alive and well to the present day.

When the organization was renamed the Order of Christ by king Dinis of Portugal, the cross was not changed. You can see it on the Portuguese Navy training barque NRP Sagres III. The Crux Pattee has astronomical significance,..oooh boogie boogie: I know a seeeecret! Naa naa na na naaa!

There has been in recent years a resurgence of Templarism through a discrete connection between hereditary Knights Templar. This resurgence is now public and the Order is expanding exponentially: I believe that “Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo – Temple Knight

They will be at the forefront of any rebellion against the satanic synagogue I can promissory you

Three facts: Templars have never been nor have ever been associated with b'nai br'ith - masons..... Or Yids,.....???? or plots to overthrow anyone!

Apart from Lucifer and his minions....!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Islam's Nowhere Men

Replace “Shariah” with “Communism” (and Saudi Arabia and Iran with China and Russia), and you have something that sounds like it was written 60 years ago. It shows that these people live in a dark, lonely little world where anyone who is not ‘America’ must be a member of the big bad Evil. It also show they are too stupid to know the difference between Shariah and Communism (or between Saudi Arabia and Iran)....
Or, Ajami and his NEOCON stupid ilk aren’t that stupid, but they think their audience is....?

Islam's Nowhere Men

Millions like Faisal Shahzad are unsettled by a modern world they can neither master nor reject....?

'A Muslim has no nationality except his belief," the intellectual godfather of the Islamists, Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, wrote decades ago. Qutb's "children" are everywhere now; they carry the nationalities of foreign lands and plot against them. The Pakistani born Faisal Shahzad is a devotee of Sayyid Qutb's doctrine, and Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was another.

Qutb was executed by the secular dictatorship of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1966. But his thoughts and legacy endure. Globalization, the shaking up of continents, the ease of travel, and the doors for immigration flung wide open by Western liberal societies have given Qutb's worldview greater power and relevance. What can we make of a young man like Shahzad working for Elizabeth Arden, receiving that all-American degree, the MBA, jogging in the evening in Bridgeport, then plotting mass mayhem in Times Square?

The Islamists are now within the gates. They fled the fires and the failures of the Islamic world but brought the ruin with them. They mock national borders and identities. A parliamentary report issued by Britain's House of Commons on the London Underground bombings of July 7, 2005 lays bare this menace and the challenge it poses to a system of open borders and modern citizenship.

The four men who pulled off those brutal attacks, the report noted, "were apparently well integrated into British society." Three of them were second generation Britons born in West Yorkshire. The oldest, a 30-year-old father of a 14-month-old infant, "appeared to others as a role model to young people." One of the four, 22 years of age, was a boy of some privilege; he owned a red Mercedes given to him by his father and was given to fashionable hairstyles and designer clothing. This young man played cricket on the eve of the bombings. The next day, the day of the terror, a surveillance camera filmed him in a store. "He buys snacks, quibbles with the cashier over his change, looks directly at the CCTV camera, and leaves." Two of the four, rather like Faisal Shahzad, had spent time in Pakistan before they pulled off their deed.

A year after the London terror, hitherto tranquil Canada had its own encounter with the new Islamism. A ring of radical Islamists were charged with plotting to attack targets in southern Ontario with fertilizer bombs. A school-bus driver was one of the leaders of these would-be jihadists. A report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service unintentionally echoed the British House of Commons findings. "These individuals are part of Western society, and their 'Canadianness' makes detection more difficult. Increasingly, we are learning of more and more extremists that are homegrown. The implications of this shift are profound."

And indeed they are, but how can "Canadianness" withstand the call of the faith and the obligation of jihad? I think of one Egyptian Islamist in London, a man by the name of Yasser Sirri, who gave the matter away some six years ago: "The whole Arab world was dangerous for me. I went to London," he observed.

In Egypt, three sentences had been rendered against him: one condemned him to 25 years of hard labor, the second to 15 years, and the third to death for plotting to assassinate a prime minister. Sirri had fled Egypt to Yemen, then to the Sudan. But it was better and easier in bilad al-kufar, the lands of unbelief. There is wealth in the West and there are the liberties afforded by an open society.

In an earlier age—I speak here autobiographically, and not of some vanished world long ago but of the 1960s when I made my way to the United States—the world was altogether different. Mass migration from the Islamic world had not begun. The immigrants who turned up in Western lands were few, and they were keen to put the old lands, and their feuds and attachments, behind them. Islam was then a religion of Afro-Asia; it had not yet put down roots in Western Europe and the New World. Air travel was costly and infrequent.

The new lands, too, made their own claims, and the dominant ideology was one of assimilation. The national borders were real, and reflected deep civilizational differences. It was easy to tell where "the East" ended and Western lands began. Postmodernist ideas had not made their appearance. Western guilt had not become an article of faith in the West itself.

Nowadays the Islamic faith is portable. It is carried by itinerant preachers and imams who transmit its teachings to all corners of the world, and from the safety and plenty of the West they often agitate against the very economic and moral order that sustains them. Satellite television plays its part in this new agitation, and the Islam of the tele-preachers is invariably one of damnation and fire. From tranquil, banal places (Dubai and Qatar), satellite television offers an incendiary version of the faith to younger immigrants unsettled by a modern civilization they can neither master nor reject.

And home, the Old Country, is never far. Pakistani authorities say Faisal Shahzad made 13 visits to Pakistan in the last seven years. This would have been unthinkable three or four decades earlier. Shahzad lived on the seam between the Old Country and the New. The path of citizenship he took gave him the precious gift of an American passport but made no demands on him.

From Pakistan comes a profile of Shahzad's father, a man of high military rank, and of property and standing: He was "a man of modern thinking and of the modern age," it was said of him in his ancestral village of Mohib Banda in recent days. That arc from a secular father to a radicalized son is, in many ways, the arc of Pakistan since its birth as a nation-state six decades ago. The secular parents and the radicalized children is also a tale of Islam, that broken pact with modernity, the mothers who fought to shed the veil and the daughters who now wish to wear the burqa in Paris and Milan.

In its beginnings, the Pakistan of Faisal Shahzad's parents was animated by the modern ideals of its founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In that vision, Pakistan was to be a state for the Muslims of the subcontinent, but not an Islamic state in the way it ordered its political and cultural life. The bureaucratic and military elites who dominated the state, and defined its culture, were a worldly breed. The British Raj had been their formative culture.

But the world of Pakistan was recast in the 1980s under a zealous and stern military leader, Zia ul-Haq. Zia offered Pakistan Islamization and despotism. He had ridden the jihad in Afghanistan next door to supreme power; he brought the mullahs into the political world, and they, in turn, brought the militants with them.


This was the Pakistan in which young Faisal Shahzad was formed; the world of his parents was irretrievable. The maxim that Pakistan is governed by a trinity—Allah, army, America—gives away this confusion: The young man who would do his best to secure an American education before succumbing to the call of the jihad is a man in the grip of a deep schizophrenia. The overcrowded cities of Islam—from Karachi and Casablanca to Cairo—and those cities in Europe and North America where the Islamic diaspora is now present in force have untold multitudes of men like Faisal Shahzad.

This is a long twilight war, the struggle against radical Islamism. We can't wish it away. No strategy of winning "hearts and minds," no great outreach, will bring this struggle to an end. America can't conciliate these furies. These men of nowhere—Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Malik Hasan, the American-born renegade cleric Anwar Awlaki now holed up in Yemen and their likes—are a deadly breed of combatants in this new kind of war. Modernity both attracts and unsettles them. America is at once the object of their dreams and the scapegoat onto which they project their deepest malignancies.

Mr. Ajami, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, is the author of "The Foreigner's Gift" (Free Press, 2007).

TO Mr. Fouad AJAMI the Illuminati counselor....
Please kindly post reference from St. Paul stating anything that remotely supports your statement that Paul would guide one to use physical violence in the name of Christ.....

Paul says in 1st Corinthians 10:2-5

"But I beseech [you], that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

Christianity is a warrior religion, but it is the antithesis to Islam. This war is in the realm of the spirit and our enemy is not a fellow man but the devil who works through men. This warfare is very well demonstrated in the conversion experience of former Muslims who have become Christians. I have read several accounts of radical Islam followers who when confronted with the person of Jesus Christ have become passionate followers of Christ turning from their past violence. How is the passion expressed? Through profound obedience to Christ which is loving their enemies in the face of terrible persecution.

Spiritual warfare is in the spirit. It is the battle for the truth against the enemy, Satan, who is the greatest deceiver. True Christians understand to fight this battle is to love our enemies and to stand for the truth of Christ in a world that hates God. This fight is done on our knees before God and holding out God's word to men who need to hear from God. Christ won the ultimate victory on the cross. He prayed for God to forgive those who crucified him even while he was mocked by them. Christ calls Christian today to carry their own cross. Often this means taking that false accusation of being evil which is actually in judgment of God himself, but in some countries like Pakistan it may mean dying for Christ.

The substance of this article has profound implications for the future of this country.....and the whole world...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy of Liberal Democracy

By Walden Bello

I have been asked to speak on the crisis of American hegemony. In my book, Dilemmas of Domination, I identify three dimensions of this crisis. The first is the crisis of overextension, or the growing gap between imperial reach and imperial grasp, the most striking example of which is the US's being drawn into a quagmire in Iraq. This has led to an erosion of its strategic position globally and made the threat of the employment of US military force to discipline recalcitrant governments and forces throughout the world less credible than it was three years ago. Hugo Chavez' scintillating defiance of American power would not be possible without the Iraqi resistance's successfully pinning down US interventionist forces in a war without end. The second is the crisis of overproduction, overaccumulation, or overcapacity. This refers to the growing gap between the tremendous productive capacity of the global capitalist system and the limited global demand for the commodities produced by this system. The result has been, over time, drastically lowered growth rates in the central economies, stagnation, and a crisis of profitability. Efforts by global capital to regain profitability by more intensively exploiting labor in the North or moving out to take advantage of significantly lower wages elsewhere have merely exacerbated the crisis. On the one hand, neoliberal policies in the North and structural adjustment programs in the South have gutted global demand. On the other hand, the export of capital has created massive new industrial capacity in China and selected other countries. New productive capacity and stagnant if not declining global demand is the recipe for the exacerbation of the crisis of profitability.

One indicator of the deepening crisis of profitability is that competition has replaced cooperation as the dominant aspect of the relationship among global capitalist elites. >From the project of globalization that more or less united the global capitalist class during the Clinton era, we have entered, in the Bush period, into a period of intense national or regional capitalist competition. In so far as the Bush administration adheres to the globalist capitalist project, it is that of managed globalization, one that ensures that US corporate interests do not get hurt but become the main beneficiaries of the process. Protection for US corporate interests and free trade for the rest of the world- this is the operational dictum of Washington, one that is now on display in the US's adamant refusal to abide by the NAFTA ruling on Canadian softwood imports. Given this nationalist-protectionist posture on the part of Washington, it is not surprising that the WTO talks leading to the Sixth Ministerial in Hong Kong are in danger of collapse. The third dimension of the crisis that I identify is the crisis of legitimacy of US hegemony. This, I think, is as serious as the other two crises, since, as an admirer of Gramsci, I do think that legitimacy, more than force or the market, is the lynchpin of a system of social relations. One dimension of this crisis of legitimacy is the crisis of the multilateral system of global economic governance owing to the US' no longer wanting to act as a primus inter pares, or first among equals, in the WTO, World Bank, and the IMF, and its wishing to unilaterally pursue its interests through these mechanisms, thus seriously impairing their credibility, legitimacy, and functioning as global institutions. Another dimension of this crisis of legitimacy is the crisis of Lockean democracy, that model of democratic rule that the US has promoted as the system of self-rule both in the North and in the South. I would like to focus the rest of my talk on this dimension of the crisis of hegemony.

Lockean democracy is in crisis throughout the whole world today. This is ironic, given the fact that just over a decade ago, liberal democracy American-style was supposed to sweep everything before it. How different from the Fukuyaman end-of-history mood is the sense of crisis today, one that the thinker Richard Rorty captures quite well in his comment: "In the worst case scenario, historians will someday have to explain why the golden age of Western democracy, like the age of the Antonines, lasted only about two hundred years."(1)

I must confess that I know little about Canada, but I do follow some of the debate on the national security regime to realize that the paranoidal tightening of national security practices in the name of combating terrorism-including complicity in the rendition of one's citizens to another country, where they are likely to undergo torture, as in the Arar case--poses a serious threat to the term "liberal" in liberal democracy.

I know more about your lovely neighbor, the United States. There, the "democracy" in liberal democracy has long been put into question by the massive hijacking of elections by corporate financing that has corrupted both the Republican and Democratic parties and the systematic disenfranchisement of poor people symbolized by the Florida elections of 2000 and the Ohio elections of 2004.

There, corporate rule has reached its apogee with George W. Bush doing the bidding of US industry in torpedoing the Kyoto Protocol, awarding his vice president's corporate allies such as Halliburton with no-bid contracts, going to war for his oil cronies, and creating a free-market paradise for US corporations in Iraq.

There, the military establishment has become so unaccountable to its nominal civilian superiors that one cannot but agree with William Pfaff when he writes, "The United States is not yet eighteenth century Prussia, when the military owned the state, [but] the threat is more serious than most Americans realize."(2)

There, the "liberal" in liberal democracy has been subverted by a Patriot Act that eliminates many of the few barriers that had remained between the individual and total monitoring and control by Big Brother. The Patriot Act is best described by Harvard Professor Elaine Scarry as "a gigantic license to search and seize that violates the Fourth Amendment."(3)

What is clear is that what prides itself as the first modern democracy has ceased to be a model for the rest of the world. What I would like to dwell on a bit is the state of democracy in the developing world. Just a decade ago, we were supposed to be in the midst of Samuel Huntington's so called "third wave" of democratization, as country after country in Latin America, Asia, and Africa threw off ruling dictatorships and adopted variants of the Anglo-American democratic model. Today the recurrent question is: are we undergoing a reversal of that wave? Let me take as an example of the changing fortunes of democracy the situation in my country, the Philippines.

Whatever Happened to People Power?

"People power" used to be synonymous with the Philippines. In February 1986 Filipinos captured the imagination of the world when they rushed out to the streets to support a military rising and ousted the strongman Ferdinand Marcos. Fifteen years later, in January 2001, they again surged to the streets to bring down President Joseph Estrada, who was widely believed to be the recipient of hundreds of millions of pesos from illegal gambling activities. Today, however, they are largely absent while another president stands accused, this time of stealing elections.

Intercepted telephone conversations between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and an electoral commissioner during the elections of May 2004 showed her attempting to influence the outcome of the polls. Unable to deny it was her voice in the taped intercepts, Arroyo publicly apologized for a "lapse in judgment." Instead of defusing the situation, the admission triggered widespread calls for her to resign.

In early September 2005, nearly three months after the scandal broke, Arroyo blocked a bid to impeach her, clinging to power despite a recent poll giving her the lowest overall performance rating among the country's five most recent presidents. Those numbers were not, however, translated into numbers in the streets. The biggest rally anti-Arroyo forces could muster numbered, at most, 40,000. In contrast, hundreds of thousands had clogged the main highway running through Manila, popularly known as "EDSA," for days on end in 1986 and 2001.

What happened, asked Manila's veteran street activists. Why were the people no longer protesting a clear-cut case of electoral fraud by a president who was already vastly unpopular owing to ineptitude, uninspiring leadership and widely believed allegations of corruption even before the telephone intercepts surfaced?

The truth is that while people dislike Arroyo, they are also deeply disillusioned with the political system, which has come to be known as the "EDSA State." Conversations with middle- and lower-class citizens inevitably produce the same answer to why they're not out demonstrating: "Well, whoever replaces her will probably be as bad, if not worse." Intrigued at the discovery that only a handful of students in my undergraduate class in political sociology at the University of the Philippines, the traditional hotbed of activism, had attended the rallies, I posed to them the question, "Is this democracy worth saving?" Two thirds said no.

Rather than taking to the streets, people are fleeing in large numbers to Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Some 10 percent of the Filipino labor force now works overseas, and one out of every four Filipinos wants to emigrate. It is estimated that at least 30 percent of Filipino households now subsist on remittances sent by 8 million expatriates.

The widespread cynicism about democracy is understandable, especially when Filipinos compare their lot with the Chinese or the Vietnamese. Some point out bitterly that while authoritarian Vietnam reduced the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty from 51 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2003, the Philippines could only bring it down from 20 percent to 14 percent in the same period. They decry the fact that at 0.46, the Philippines' gini coefficient, the most reliable measure of inequality, is the worst in Southeast Asia.

These statistics come alive with a tour of metro Manila's vast shantytowns, where conditions of urban squalor are unparalleled in the region. During a recent visit to the sprawling Tatalon slum in Quezon City, a constant refrain from people I interviewed was that all recent administrations were the same in one respect: They had done absolutely nothing for poor people, though a few conceded that "Erap [former President Estrada] had a heart."

Elite Capture of Democratic Processes

I think that one key reason for the crisis of democracy in the developing world is that electoral democracies of the kind favored by the West have been extraordinarily vulnerable to being hijacked by elites. The system of democracy reestablished in the Philippines after the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986 illustrates the problem. It is one that encourages maximum factional competition among the elite while allowing them to close ranks against any change in the social and economic structure.

The Philippine system is democratic in the narrow sense of making elections the arbiter of political succession. In the principle of "one man/woman, one vote, there is formal equality. Yet this formal equality cannot but be subverted by its being embedded in a social and economic system marked by great disparities of wealth and income.

Like the American political system on which it is modeled, the genius of the Philippine democratic system, from the perspective of the elite, is the way it harnesses elections to socially conservative ends.(4) Running for office at any level of government is prohibitively expensive, so that only the wealthy or those backed by wealth can usually stand for elections. Thus the masses do choose their representatives but from a limited pool of people of means that may belong to different factions-those "in" and those "out" of power-but are not different in terms of their political programs. The beauty of the system in the eyes of the elite is that by periodically engaging the people in an exercise to choose among different members of the elite, elections make voters active participants in legitimizing the social and economic status quo. Thus has emerged the great Philippine paradox: an extremely lively play of electoral politics unfolding above a class structure that is one of the most immobile in Asia.

Allowing for institutional and cultural variations, one can say that the dynamics of democratic politics in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, and Thailand are similar to those in the Philippines. Elite democracy is one word that some have used to describe this system. Polyarchy is another. However, elite capture of democratic processes is, in my view, only one factor that subverted the performance of the new democracies that emerged in the 1980s. Another development was equally critical: their economic promise was undermined by the demands of external actors.

The External Subversion of Democracy

Let us revisit that historic conjuncture of the early 1980s. The military dictatorships were collapsing not only because of internal resistance but also because key external actors such as the United States, European Union, the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) withdrew their support from them. Now, one of the major reasons for this about face was that the dictatorships had lost the credibility, legitimacy, and minimum support to impose the economic reform programs, better known as "structural adjustment," that these influential forces demanded. Promoted as necessary for economic efficiency, these programs were designed to more widely open these economies to foreign capital and foreign trade and to enable countries to pay off their enormous foreign debts.

For instance, in Brazil and Argentina, tight monetary policies and tight fiscal policies drew opposition not only from labor and other civil society groupings in the early eighties but also from business groups. Business interests once benefited from labor- repressive policies imposed by these military dictatorships. Now, however, business circles began to distance themselves from repressive governments when neoliberal policies failed to produce the promised economic growth. As Stephen Haggard and Robert Kaufmann observed:

With economic problems mounting, business elites began to reevaluate the costs and benefits of the technocratic decision-making style that characterized authoritarian rule. Business groups had complained periodically about their lack of access to the remote technocrats who conducted macroeconomic policy, but such concerns had been offset by particularistic benefits and the fact that governments were willing to repress popular sector challenges. The private sector's gradual disaffection did not reflect a democratic epiphany, but a pragmatic response to changing circumstances. With authoritarian governments increasingly unable to deliver their side of the bargain, "voice" began to appear increasingly important to business groups, even if it meant reopening the arena to the previously excluded popular sectors.(5)

The democratic governments which displaced authoritarian regimes soon confronted their own dilemma. On the one hand, redistributive policies were blocked by elites that had joined the anti-dictatorship coalition, a development that we have already discussed. At the same time, expansionary fiscal policies were discouraged by the World Bank and the IMF. It soon became clear that what the multilateral agencies wanted them to do was to use their democratic legitimacy to impose structural adjustment programs. In Argentina, for instance, the international financial institutions pressured the new government of Raul Alfonsin to abandon neo- Keynesian policies, implement tax reforms, liberalize trade, and privatize public enterprises. When the regime quailed, the World Bank "concluded that the government had not made sufficient progress toward its reform goals and suspended disbursements on a structural adjustment loan."(6)

Electoral democracy became the prime mechanism for the imposition of stabilization or structural adjustment programs in Jamaica, Haiti. the Philippines, Peru, and Pakistan. In Jamaica, the progressive Manley government suffered a devastating loss of legitimacy when it caved in to pressure to impose an IMF stabilization program blessed by Washington. The program eroded living standards. It led to Manley's crushing defeat in the 1980 elections by a successor who proceeded to continue the same policies at the behest of the IMF. In Peru, the government of Alberto Fujimori was elected on a populist, anti-IMF platform, but proceeded to impose a neoliberal "shock" programs that included steep price increases in the rates charged by state enterprises as well as radical trade liberalization.(7) These measures provoked a deep recession, leading to popular discontent that in turn provoked Fujimori to suspend the constitution, close Congress, and rule as a strongman with little respect for constitutional restraints.

In the Philippines, the US and the multilateral agencies abandoned Marcos. Not only was his political position untenable owing to massive popular resistance, but his government's lack of legitimacy had made it an ineffective instrument for repaying the massive $28 billion foreign debt and for implementing IMF stabilization policies. An economic crisis accompanied the end of the old regime, but that did not stop the World Bank and the IMF from demanding that the fledgling democratic government of President Corazon Aquino make debt repayment its top national economic priority. People were shocked, and some of Aquino's economic advisers protested, but the government submitted, issuing a decree that affirmed the "automatic appropriation" of the full amount needed to service the foreign debt from the budget of the national government. With some 40 to 50 per cent of the budget going to service the debt, this practically precluded national development, since all that was left went to salaries and operational expenses, with little left over for capital expenditures. In some years, 10 per cent of the country's GDP was spent servicing its foreign debt. Thus, it is hardly surprising then that the Philippines registered average growth of below 1.5 per cent per annum between 1983 and 1993.

It is ironic that today former President Aquino marches against President Arroyo when she herself was responsible for many economic policies, notably the model debtor policy, that Arroyo inherited. As in Peru, Argentina, and the Philippines, the return of democracy to Brazil was accompanied by scarcely veiled warnings from the IMF and the US that the first order of business for the new regime was to accomplish what the exiting military regime had failed to do, that is, to impose stabilization programs raising interest rates, cutting back government expenditures, devaluing the currency, and liberalizing trade. From the mid -eighties to the 2002, a series of governments eroded the credibility of democracy by undertaking unsuccessful efforts to impose on a recalcitrant population the economic stabilization desired by Washington and the IMF.(8)

The latest victim is the government of "Lula" or Luis Inacio da Silva of the Brazilian Workers' Party, one of the most committed anti-neoliberal parties on the continent. Before he even won the presidential elections in the fall of 2002, Lula did the unprecedented in Latin America: he promised the IMF that he would honor the high- interest, expenditure-restrictive conditions of a stabilization loan negotiated with the outgoing President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Lula acted under duress. The Fund made it clear it would not release the remaining $24 billion of the stabilization loan unless he behaved.

Lula was true to his word. Consequently, in 2003 Brazilian GDP contracted by 0.2 per cent in Lula's first year; unemployment surged to a record 13 per cent. This bitter medicine for the Brazilian people was, however, a tonic for foreign investors.. In the first eight months of the year, even though the economy remained depressed, Brazilian stocks soared by over 58 per cent, prompting Business Week to advise speculative investors: "Don't leave this party yet."(9) As for Lula, he faced mounting criticism from within his own Workers' Party and governing coalition as well as from ordinary voters; only 28 per cent of the population voicing support for his government. (10) In other words, even before the current crisis stemming from corruption among Lula's closest advisers, the government was already in trouble owing to its adoption of contractionary policies.

Reversal of the third wave of democratization now looms as a threat throughout Latin America, where a poll conducted by the United Nations Development Program in 2004 that showed that 54.7 per cent of Latin Americans polled said they would support authoritarian regimes over democracy if the shift would resolve their economic woes. (11)

In South Asia reversal of the third wave is already a reality. When Gen. Pervez Musharraf seized power in Pakistan in October 1999, and sent the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharaf packing, he ended 11 years of unstable democracy. So worrisome to many orthodox students of democracy was Pakistan's democratic breakdown that analyst Larry Diamond wrote: "Pakistan [may] not be the the last high-profile country to suffer a breakdown of democracy. Indeed, if there is a 'third reverse wave,' its origin may well be dated to 12 October 1999....(12)

Post-mortems of Pakistan's parliamentary democracy tend to focus on corruption, collapse of the rule of law, ethnic and religious polarization, and economic failure. Other explanations center on an unaccountable military that had enjoyed special relations with the Pentagon owing to its key role in driving the Russians out of Afghanistan. Certainly, all this played a part. But also crucial was the role played by the IMF and World Bank, which pushed the democratic regimes of both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to impose stabilization and structural adjustment programs that contributed significantly to the rise of poverty and inequality as well as fall in the growth rate. (13) Noted one eminent Pakistani economist: "The almost obsessive concern with short-term macroeconomic stabilization has with it the danger...that some of our basic social programs might be affected, and this would have inter-generational consequences on development in Pakistan." (14) Since democracy became associated with a rise in poverty and economic stagnation, it is not surprising that the coup was viewed with relief by most Pakistanis, from both the middle classes and the working masses.

The Challenge

In a recent essay, the philosopher Richard Rorty sketches a bleak dystopian portrait of where Western democracy is headed: "At the end of this process of erosion, democracy would have been replaced by something quite different. This would probably be neither military dictatorship nor Orwellian totalitarianism, but rather a relatively benevolent despotism, imposed by what would gradually become a hereditary nomenklatura."

"That sort of power structure survived the end of the Soviet Union and is now resolidifying under Putin and his fellow KGB alumni. The same structure seems to be taking shape in China and in Southeast Asia. In countries run in this way, public opinion does not greatly matter. Elections may still be held, but opposition parties are now allowed to pose any serious threat to the powers that be. Careers are less open to talent, and more dependent on connections with powerful persons. Since the courts and police review boards are relatively powerless, it is often necessary for shopkeepers to pay protection money to the police, or to criminals tolerated by the police, in order to stay in business. It is dangerous for citizens to complain about corruption about the abuse of power by public officials. High culture is restricted to areas that are irrelevant to politics...No more uncensored media. No more student demonstrations. Not much in the way of civil society. In short, a return to the Ancien Regime, with the national security establishment of each country playing the role of court in Versailles." (15)

This dark vision may not yet be applicable to western democracies, though some of my friends claim it is a perfect portrayal of Washington under the Bush regime. It is, however, a credible end point if the forces that are eviscerating democracy are not subdued. This is not an unfamiliar vision. At the turn of the 20th century, Max Weber referred to the "iron cage" of bureaucratization and Robert Michels called attention to the "iron law of oligarchy." Today, the "iron cage" is being forged by a number of forces: bureaucratic centralization that has run out of control, the drive of a national security establishment playing on terrorist fears, corporate concentration and control of production and markets. In the case of the third world, one must add to this brew the draconian policies of powerful multilateral institutions and the systematic subversion of democratic mechanisms by local elites to gain a comprehensive picture of the threats that are strangling democracy globally.

To respond to these threats we very badly need first of all a reconceptualization or fundamental revisioning of democracy at various levels. Too long have we identified democracy with elections, so that once we had trooped to the polls and elected the people and party of our choice, we considered our democratic responsibilities fulfilled. Today, more than ever, today, Rousseau's warning about representative systems being corrupted so that they generate the corporate will of the representatives rather than the general will of the represented remains very relevant. Today more than ever, Michels' warning about elections becoming less a question of the people freely choosing their representatives than their so-called representatives using elections to maintain themselves in office rings true. Moving on boldly to innovate more direct and participatory methods of democratic governance is one of the key challenges facing all of us, and here the anti-globalization movement with its emphasis of direct democratic methods of decisionmaking can be of great assistance to us.

Then there is the challenge of how to restore equality as one of the key dimensions of democracy. We can no longer pretend that a functioning democracy can be sustained when there is a formal equality of citizens but there are very real and large inequalities of wealth among them. We have seen both in the United States and in the developing world the systematic perversion of democracy at every turn by money and wealth. Campaign finance reform is only a first step in reversing this trend. In my view, strengthening democracy is inseparable from achieving a more equitable distribution of assets and income--meaning reversing the spontaneous drive of the market to create and perpetuate inequalities. The disembedding of the market from society, to borrow an image from the great Hungarian scholar Karl Polanyi, in the name of efficiency and prosperity has been the greatest creator of inequality, the greatest subverter of democratic legitimacy in the last quarter of a century. We have relearned the hard way what we have been taught by the classic theorists of democracy-that you cannot divorce equality from democracy. We have learned the hard way that, contrary to Milton Friedman's classic dictum, market freedom translates to more freedom for corporations and more unfreedom for citizens. We must understand that the modus vivendi between democracy and capitalism called Lockean democracy has long been dysfunctional, and that to survive, contemporary democracy must break out of the rigid Lockean shell that now imprisons it.

We must, above all, face the fact that capitalism and democratic deepening are no longer compatible, and that the challenge lies in the nature and degree of the restraints that we put on the market while we restructure the system of production and consumption around the satisfaction of the needs of people and the community rather than profitability. Call this participatory economics, social democracy, people's economics, or socialism-what is essential is that the market be drastically re-embedded in society, subject to the primordial human values of community, justice, equality, and solidarity.

Then, finally, there is the challenge of reining in the big bureaucracies which have come to view themselves as above democratic politics. There are the corporate elites that say that achieving efficiency in production and distribution can only be achieved through hierarchical control--that democracy has to do strictly with political representation but stops at the realm of production; the technocratic elites that say that management of the modern state and economy is too complex for ordinary citizens and must be left to the experts; the national security elites that say that the exigencies of providing national security and carrying out contemporary warfare involving split- second decisions necessitate a limitation of the classical freedoms of an earlier era and insulation of the national security establishment from what they disdainfully regard as the "vagaries" of civilian democratic politics. What is insidious about the behavior of these elites is that even as they quietly maintain that a technocratic centralization is the imperative of modern societies and that democratic practice must adjust this fact of life, they opportunistically use the slogan of limiting and reducing government to hide their technocratic agenda. I am of course speaking about the most influential sectors of the Republican Party of the US, who cleverly use the Christian Right and the Cato Institute small government types as canon fodder to advance their program of conservative centralization.

Let me end by saying that with democracy facing a crisis globally, we cannot approach the problem as if it were simply one of tinkering with processes that are essentially sound and simply need sorting out. We are being faced with the classical questions of democratic theory, the fundamental questions, to which we must frame ideas and institutional solutions appropriate for the times. We must grasp and face with courage the full dimensions of the threat posed to democracy, for it is our ability to confront them that will provide the answer to the question of whether the global democratic revolution will deepen or it will become a thing of the past, leaving future historians, as Rorty puts it, with the puzzle why the golden age of democracy, like the age of the Antonines, lasted only about two hundred years.