12 April 2005

Toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad will be recorded as one of the great moments in the history of liberty

President Bush equates a US Army psychological warfare operation in 2003 with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Wow, the chutzpah — considering that the Saddam statue toppling was an entirely staged event:

Earlier this year, another Los Angeles Times scoop (6/3/04) revealed that one of the most enduring images of the war-- the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in a Baghdad square on April 9, 2003-- was a U.S. Army psychological warfare operation staged to look like a spontaneous Iraqi action:

"As the Iraqi regime was collapsing on April 9, 2003, Marines converged on Firdos Square in central Baghdad, site of an enormous statue of Saddam Hussein. It was a Marine colonel-- not joyous Iraqi civilians, as was widely assumed from the TV images -- who decided to topple the statue, the Army report said. And it was a quick-thinking Army psychological operations team that made it appear to be a spontaneous Iraqi undertaking."

Here's the text of the LA Times article that confirmed what alternative media sources had already reported.

And the ouster of a tin pot dictator and subsequent descent into violent chaos is believed to be equivalent to the peaceful (mostly) overthrow of communism that gripped a third of the developed world?


A glimpse into the rising Iraqi hatred of the Iraqi occupation.



If "peace" means only a cessation of hostilities, the controversies that provoked conflict will recur. Only the goal of peace with justice would address underlying human rights issues and thus increase the likelihood of peace agreements being permanent.
The struggle to achieve peace with justice refers to creative, non destructive ways of exercising power: whether in personal relationships; in the design of social policies; or in the conduct of international affairs.
"We make war that we may live in peace" Aristotle.
"There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy." George Washington
"It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war." JFK
"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice." MLK,Jr.
Peace without Justice is it really peace?

The freedoms that all Americans enjoy were bought with the blood, sweat and lives of citizens who heard the call, Strong, brave individuals who have placed our collective good over their personal safety.

Wendell Phillips said "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." If that were the only price, it is obvious we defaulted on our payments long ago. It is nice rhetoric, of course, but the price of freedom is higher than that, much higher.

When discussing the nature of a free society, an admittedly hypothetical thing, it sometimes dawns on even the dullest of wits, that in such a society, no one may force anyone else to support them, pay their bills, or to clean up after them if they screw up their lives. That sudden revelation usually comes as a shock eliciting involuntary and demanding questions like, "you mean you would allow a homeless person to starve?"

If there were a little more dawning, such questioners would realize, in a free society there is absolutely nothing preventing them from feeding as many of the homeless and indigent as they like. If they, and no one else, chooses to feed them, however, in a truly free society, no one can be forced to feed them. Most likely, knowing the choice is starve or work, most of those presumed to be in imminent danger of starving would suddenly discover how to work and feed themselves.

There might be some who really cannot work, "through no fault of their own," as it is usually sonorously intoned. If no one chooses to help them, they might starve and die. That is one price of freedom.

For most people, that price is unacceptable. Most people are unwilling to, "take the risk," of living in a free society, where some, who will not or cannot feed, clothe, or otherwise provide for themselves, might not be provided for. If it is necessary to sacrifice freedom for the sake of security, they do not think twice about, "giving up a little freedom."

Freedom is a principle. Freedom means free to act by one's own choice in all aspects of one's life; it means, being responsible for all of one's choices. For any individual, it is "enjoying without limit the benefit of his successes and suffering without mitigation the consequences of his failures." Any violation of that principle, which is only possible by the use or threat of force, makes one a slave to whatever individual or agency wields that force.

What price would you be willing to pay for freedom?

If ignorance is bliss then why do the children cry? If knowledge is power and power corrupts, is ignorance bliss?

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;" The law is written on every man's heart. Each one of us knows right from wrong. It is instilled in us from birth. However, each of us will stray from what is right. Thus knowing what is right because it is written on our hearts, our conscience let's us know when we are about to do wrong, but we do wrong anyway.

Mark Twain once said, "when I was 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

Ignorance is bliss. But knowledge is power."Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." MLK,jr

Minds are like parachutes, they must open to work. Ignorance is when we keep our minds closed, and yet we get mad if we hurt ourselves when we fall. Just because you're not part of the problem, doesn't mean you're part of the solution.

Is ignorance is bliss? If bliss is laziness and not caring, then yes. But ignorance is not happiness, for happiness can not be knowing so little you don't have to care. Knowledge is power, but it is also satisfaction, the satisfaction of knowing what's right and having the power to act upon that.
Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice.

Thomas Jefferson:
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.

Thomas Paine:
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.

Dorothy Thompson:
Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of Faith, Strength, Energy, Will, Sympathy, Justice, Imagination, and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism.

Dorothy Thompson:
Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict -- alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

Dorothy Thompson:
They have not wanted Peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war -- as though the absence of war was the same as peace.

HH the Dalai Lama:
Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.

HH the Dalai Lama:
Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example, starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.

Helen Keller:
I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace.

Omar N. Bradley:
Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.
Iraqis know we own their country. We own their airspace... We dictate the way they live and talk. And that's what's great about America right now.

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