Archive for September 2007

What to say…?

September 19, 2007

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.”
    — James Madison

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We are today not far from a disaster…

September 14, 2007

22 August, 1920
A Report on Mesopotamia by T.E. Lawrence


Ex.-Lieut.-Col. T.E. Lawrence,
The Sunday Times, 22 August 1920


[Mr. Lawrence, whose organization and direction of the Hedjaz against the Turks was one of the outstanding romances of the war, has written this article at our request in order that the public may be fully informed of our Mesopotamian commitments.]

The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are to-day not far from a disaster.

The sins of commission are those of the British civil authorities in Mesopotamia (especially of three ‘colonels’) who were given a free hand by London. They are controlled from no Department of State, but from the empty space which divides the Foreign Office from te India Office. They availed themselves of the necessary discretion of war-time to carry over their dangerous independence into times of peace. They contest every suggestion of real self- government sent them from home. A recent proclamation about autonomy circulated with unction from Baghdad was drafted and published out there in a hurry, to forestall a more liberal statement in preparation in London, ‘Self-determination papers’ favourable to England were extorted in Mesopotamia in 1919 by official pressure, by aeroplane demonstrations, by deportations to India.

The Cabinet cannot disclaim all responsibility. They receive little more news than the public: they should have insisted on more, and better. they have sent draft after draft of reinforcements, without enquiry. When conditions became too bad to endure longer, they decided to send out as High commissioner the original author of the present system, with a conciliatory message to the Arabs that his heart and policy have completely changed.*

Yet our published policy has not changed, and does not need changing. It is that there has been a deplorable contrast between our profession and our practice. We said we went to Mesopotamia to defeat Turkey. We said we stayed to deliver the Arabs from the oppression of the Turkish Government, and to make available for the world its resources of corn and oil. We spent nearly a million men and nearly a thousand million of money to these ends. This year we are spending ninety-two thousand men and fifty millions of money on the same objects.

Our government is worse than the old Turkish system. They kept fourteen thousand local conscripts embodied, and killed a yearly average of two hundred Arabs in maintaining peace. We keep ninety thousand men, with aeroplanes, armoured cars, gunboats, and armoured trains. We have killed about ten thousand Arabs in this rising this summer. We cannot hope to maintain such an average: it is a poor country, sparsely peopled; but Abd el Hamid would applaud his masters, if he saw us working. We are told the object of the rising was political, we are not told what the local people want. It may be what the Cabinet has promised them. A Minister in the House of Lords said that we must have so many troops because the local people will not enlist. On Friday the Government announce the death of some local levies defending their British officers, and say that the services of these men have not yet been sufficiently recognized because they are too few (adding the characteristic Baghdad touch that they are men of bad character). There are seven thousand of them, just half the old Turkish force of occupation. Properly officered and distributed, they would relieve half our army there. Cromer controlled Egypt’s six million people with five thousand British troops; Colonel Wilson fails to control Mesopotamia’s three million people with ninety thousand troops.

We have not reached the limit of our military commitments. Four weeks ago the staff in Mesopotamia drew up a memorandum asking for four more divisions. I believe it was forwarded to the War Office, which has now sent three brigades from India. If the North-West Frontier cannot be further denuded, where is the balance to come from? Meanwhile, our unfortunate troops, Indian and British, under hard conditions of climate and supply, are policing an immense area, paying dearly every day in lives for the wilfully wrong policy of the civil administration in Baghdad. General Dyer was relieved of his command in India for a much smaller error, but the responsibility in this case is not on the Army, which has acted only at the request of the civil authorities. The War Office has made every effort to reduce our forces, but the decisions of the Cabinet have been against them.

The Government in Baghdad have been hanging Arabs in that town for political offences, which they call rebellion. The Arabs are not at war with us. Are these illegal executions to provoke the Arabs to reprisals on the three hundred British prisoners they hold? And, if so, is it that their punishment may be more severe, or is it to persuade our other troops to fight to the last?

We say we are in Mesopotamia to develop it for the benefit of the world. all experts say that the labour supply is the ruling factor in its development. How far will the killing of ten thousand villagers and townspeople this summer hinder the production of wheat, cotton, and oil? How long will we permit millions of pounds, thousands of Imperial troops, and tens of thousands of Arabs to be sacrificed on behalf of colonial administration which can benefit nobody but its administrators?

Latest Bin Laden Video Is a Forgery?

September 10, 2007

Is the latest Bin Laden Video a forgery?

Not likely.

From Antiwar.com

“Well, you know, the only people taking ‘marching orders’ from Osama bin Laden, as far as I can tell, are every presidential candidate (Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush) except Mr. Paul. Mr. Paul has it very square about what the motivation of our enemy is, and it’s certainly exactly what he said it is, intervention. …

Really, it is the American political establishment that is marching to al Qaeda’s beat, not Mr. Paul.”Michael Scheuer, former head analyst at the CIA’s bin Laden unit and author of Imperial Hubris, discusses:

  • His view of the legitimacy of the new bin Laden tape and the mention of his book
  • His belief that current U.S. foreign policy is exactly what bin Laden wants and that Rep. Ron Paul M.D. has the best understanding of the enemy’s motivations and how to deal with them
  • The sad fact that bin Laden wins whether America leaves Iraq now or later
  • The “near” and “far” enemy
  • The situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and what he believes should be done there
  • Why he believes that al Qaeda wants to detonate a nuke here
  • His support for the conclusions of Robert A. Pape in his book Dying to Win that suicide bombing is caused by foreign occupation and view of the role religion plays in al Qaeda’s motivation (they believe they’re defending theirs)
  • The role of the mujahedeen in the 1999 Kosovo War
  • The lack of threat posed to America by Syria and Iran and of cooperative links between Iran and al Qaeda
  • The expansion of the war to Africa
  • The impossibility of an “al Qaeda in Iraq” takeover in the event of U.S. withdrawal
  • The degree of the danger that AQI represents in the long term
  • The review by he and his CIA colleagues of the evidence of connections between Iraq and al Qaeda before the Iraq war and their report to George Tenet that there were none
  • His view that the vast majority of post-9/11 domestic terrorism prosecutions have been bogus cases of entrapment
  • Closed borders

Be sure you read the text of Bin Laden’s speech

September 10, 2007

Be sure you read the text of Bin Laden’s speech before you believe what anyone tells you about what he says. Now granted there are about two pages dedicated to trying to convert people to Islam but that is not the main thrust of his speech.

He seems, like many in this world, to be very confused and assumes we operate under a capitalistic system here in the U.S.

Many around the world have mistaken the economy we live under to be a capitalist economy. Bin Laden mentions “capitalism” a few times in his speech and seems to have no idea that America operates under a mixed economic system. Yes, I’m sure this will sound foreign to many of you (my fellow citizens) it is the way our economic system operates.

As Ludwig von Mises (<— If you don’t know much about economics please click this link and begin reading today!) once said, “The market steers the capitalistic economy. It directs each individual’s activities into those channels in which he best serves the wants of his fellow-men. The market alone puts the whole social system of private ownership of the means of production and free enterprise in order and provides it with sense and meaning.”

Bin Laden mentions an author I have mentioned many times on this site, Michael Scheuer. Bin Laden offers advice to read this classical conservative’s book Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror to find out why we are losing this war. Michael Scheuer is a 22-year veteran of the CIA and is also the author of Through Our Enemies Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America. You can download an interview of Professor Scheuer here for more understanding of “the war on terror.”

How can this guy who is supposed to be “hiding out in a cave” know more about the causes of this war than 90% of the citizens who live in “the freest nation in the world.”

If you are a Democrat or Republican there is only one person who undestands what motivates our enemy and is running for the Presidency next year. His name is Ron Earnest Paul. He is the only one who wants to end all of these unnecessary wars, oppresive taxation, and abuses of our civil liberties. Please, do some research on Dr. Paul and you will find he is the only hope for freedom and liberty in these seperate but United States.

Bin Laden knows

September 8, 2007

How does Osama Bin Laden know and 95% of or Congress doesn’t?

How can he understand the situation more clearly the “leader of the free world.”

If you want to understand a large portion of our problem then just read my post For those who do not understand war

From there you can read the following stories and have a bit more of the context in which they were written and how this story is playing out.

New OBL Tape: Iraq, Democratic Control

A Violent, ‘Normal’ Day in Baghdad

An Update From Ron Paul

September 7, 2007

A very important message from Dr. Ron Paul.

================================ 


September 7, 2007   

Has this been a hectic and encouraging time! First we got almost 17% in

the Texas straw poll, an event set-up to represent the establishment,

with very restrictive voting rules. That 17% of the Republican

hierarchy would support our views, after a full day of pro-war propaganda,

is good news.

 

Then we won the more open Maryland Republican straw poll with 28%.

In both cases, as usual, hard-working,

well-organized volunteers made all the difference.  

The Fox debate was a lot of fun as well. It's true that a few of the

network people are not exactly with us on foreign or domestic policy

though one famous guy whispered to me that he is a libertarian),

but the audience-with lots of students from the University of

New Hampshire-was definitely fair and balanced, as their enthusiastic

reaction showed.  

My opponents called for more war, more torture, more secret prisons,

more eavesdropping, more presidential power. Some seemed to identify

the government and the people as if they were one entity. But you and I

know that once the government moves beyond its very limited constitutional

mandate, it is an opponent of the people, a rip-off operation that takes

our money and our freedom and our social peace, and gives us a mess of

statist pottage in return.  

The government failed miserably on 911 to protect us, despite spending

trillions. So the answer was supposed to be the giant, socialist

Department of Homeland Security, protecting you and me from taking our

toothpaste on the airplane. I was ridiculed for saying that the airlines,

which know best how to protect their property, should have been allowed

to arm their pilots. But then, you and I really believe in the Second Amendment.

It is not just a political slogan for us.  

When I discussed the blowback that came from us intervening on the

Arabian peninsula, Chris Wallace asked me if I wanted to follow the

marching orders of al-Qaeda. I responded that I wanted to follow the

marching orders of the Constitution, and not wage undeclared, aggressive

wars that cause us only trouble. This is a mystifying to some, of course,

but not to more and more Americans.  

There was much talk of taxes, and a pledge not to raise rates. But as

usual, I was not allowed to discuss my lifelong pledge to abolish the

income tax. Just holding the line, when the government takes such vast

sums through an illegitimate guilty-until-proven-innocent system, is

hardly enough. We need to slash taxes and spending if we are to have a

future of prosperity for ourselves and our families.  

After the debate, many young people gathered around the stage to

discuss our ideas and ask questions about them

(and to have me sign their badges). My colleagues got no such response,

and after a few moments, "security" ordered

me off the stage. Can't have any such demonstration of interest in liberty.  

But the young are with us, and so are Americans of every stripe. Even

party officials. When one of my opponent said it was OK to lose

elections through supporting the Iraq war, that set party people's

teeth on edge, and rightly so. The Republican party is shrinking

 

We need new people. It's either our ideas or President Hillary,

and more and more people recognize it.  

But the media, and everyone else, will be looking at fundraising totals

at the end of this month. They'll judge us by how we do. And we need

help to wage what we hope will be a full-scale, 50-state campaign.

Please help me head into the next quarter fully armed to do battle for

freedom, peace and prosperity. Make your most generous contribution

https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/. This Revolution is on the move,

but it very much needs your support.  

Sincerely,

Ron

Letting go of Form

September 6, 2007

 

At first, form is needed.

Then doubt and inhibition must be dispelled.

Eventually form is celebrated with joy,

And expression becomes formless.

In all fields of endeavor, one must start out with certain structures, procedures and forms. Even though one admires the seemingly effortless virtuosity of the masters, it will take time before one can reach that level.


Take dance for example. The novice must drill constantly on the basics, isolating each step and movement with meticulous attention. Although the emphasis is on structure may add to the beginner’s inhibition, it must be done. Eventually, the student will learn to let go. The steps will have become part of their natural movements. Then dancing can be celebrated joyously. Our now mature dancer may even dance in a way that seems so spontaneous, so magical, that it will even seem formless—or more correctly the form will emerge with fluidity, beauty, originality, balance and grace.


The same is true for any endeavor. A first the practice and restrictions seem quite constricting. Eventually you reach a stage where learning and understanding simply flow spontaneously. Each and every day is new and fresh and full of insight.


The beauty of the world then shows itself as it is. Doubts begin to fade away and the banality of ordinary life is replaced by the awe and grandeur of your own life.

This is what it is to be formless.

 

Taking form to become formless

As Bruce Lee once said, “Be like water my friend, be like water.”