Valenzuela's Veritas

In ominous times truth always finds a way out from darkness into light. Always. Through truth knowledge grows into the power and strength to question the actions of governance. In times that try men's souls it is those who seek enlightenment who are truly free. Given the choice of possessing ignorance or knowledge, even when ignorance would lead to an easier life, I would choose knowledge,thus escaping the life of sheeple, escaping the bondage of not knowing, not caring and not understanding.


Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic, commentator, Internet essayist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by His essays appear regularly at various alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at He encourages readers to surf the collection of over 100 essays he has written which can be found visiting his archives and by searching the Internet. He welcomes comments at

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Killing Fields: Ghosts of the Walking Dead


Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

--60 Minutes (5/12/96)

Oil, Simply Oil

The story of Iraq and its people since 1991 is one of immense tragedy, of a fate cruel and evil that has befallen innocent human beings whose only crime has been living inside what was once the ancient land of Mesopotamia. It is ironic that the land that first gave rise to human civilization has been made to suffer tremendous hardship in the last fifteen years, severely decimated and destroyed, its wounds hemorrhaging from incessant human cruelty. The heart of the Fertile Crescent has become a barren wasteland, its waters, the Tigris and Euphrates, those veins of sustenance for our ancient forefathers, transformed into rivers of waste and pollution and decaying death, their fertility now mutated into toxicity.

Its cities and peoples, descendants of a civilization thousands of years old, rich in both culture and history, have been made to suffer the severe consequences of sitting atop modern humanity’s most coveted natural resource, a black gold sought by nations and corporations of the rich and powerful north, a devil’s excrement that fuels economies and human greed, feeding apathy and wickedness, corruption and colonialism, and, as always, expanding comfort and excessiveness in the lands of the pillagers. To those nations whose unlucky possession of oil has brought nothing but exploitation and misery, like Iraq, the black gold fever created has yielded a curse upon both peoples and lands, for in their strategic location exists the energy needed to feed today’s wealthiest and most powerful nations.

These countries will stop at nothing in order to possess, and control, the drops and gallons and barrels and pipelines and valves and oil wells saturated with ever dwindling supplies of oil, becoming blind to the corrosive effects their exploitation has on both native people and land, in the process ripping apart ground, polluting environment, poisoning air, intoxicating water, corrupting leadership and condemning the citizenry to the sins of human nature possessed by greed, addicted to money and infatuated by power.

The destiny of modern Iraq was sealed millions of years ago, when fossil fuels underwent their natural evolution, over epochs becoming the black blood hiding underneath sand dunes and desert landscapes. Due to the changing patterns of an ever evolving planet, a land once lush in forest, jungle and one can imagine bountiful vegetation became, over eons of change, the vastly different landscape we are familiar with today. Black gold replaced green Eden, to remain hidden for millions of years until that day when man developed the technologies in need of fuel. This bone marrow, dormant and undisturbed, lay below ground, remaining unknown to primitive man for its use and capabilities had yet to be understood.

This resource, useless to peoples ancient and primitive, was to find access to the surface in the late 19th century. It would be the beginning of the end for nations such as Iraq, their fate now in the hands of nations addicted to colonization and imperialism, for in oil the Western powers saw hegemony, control and advantage. Thus, from the nadir of Earth the devil’s excrement rose, becoming, over a century later, a most troubling demon possessing humanity and destroying, in the span of a little more than a century, the planet's environment.

At the time ignorance made the effects of fossil fuel use unknown. Meanwhile, the northern thirst for oil, insatiable thanks to industrialization and expansion of economies, began to imprison, exploit and colonize the lands and peoples of the Middle East, enriching a few tribal leaders, making kings of goat herders and creating tyrants of former shepherds. The market colonization of Arab and Muslim lands had begun, like a gold rush birthing a fever that has yet to stop.

In the process, lands that should never have been joined in unison were stitched together by Western powers ignorant to the region’s history, culture and idiosyncrasies. Rivals and hated enemies suddenly found themselves living in the same country, surrounded by Western imposed invisible borders, forced to subsist and govern together. The traditional lands of entire peoples were without understanding divided apart or granted to other entities, thereby planting the seeds for future conflict. Ethnicities found themselves split apart by imaginary lines, with large segments of their populations living in different nations, their congruity eviscerated, their connections to each other severed.

Unwanted European minorities, for centuries oppressed and subjugated, hated and ostracized in their native lands, at times ethnically cleansed and nearly exterminated, were conveniently gotten rid off from European nations and sent to the land of the Palestinians, free to colonize a region for millennia owned and lived in by Palestinian indigenous peoples. Given the right to oppress and ethnically cleanse native Arabs by England, who possessed the lands of Palestine, the European ethnic minority, claiming the land as their Biblical right, systematically began a campaign of terror against the natives, cleansing hundreds of thousands, murdering many and taking the lands, and wealth, of the Palestinian people, creating their own colony while occupying other people’s rightful land.

Thus, to atone for the sins of Europeans Israel was allowed to be born at the expense of the indigenous population, thereby condemning the Palestinian people to pay perpetual sacrifices and compensation to a people persecuted by Europeans, not Arabs. In the dispossession of natives Israel was created, born in sin and human malice, a gift from England and Europe to make up for their past evils, becoming a short sighted endowment but a ticking time bomb in the much more important long term. Today Palestine is a land of colonizers, settlers, occupiers and institutionalized apartheid, an area in turmoil and perpetual hatred, with Palestinians robbed of their lands, homes, farms and wells, imprisoned in walled and fenced-in ghettos and Bantustans, displaced and sent to rot in refugee camps and territorial hellholes.

Palestine has become a land of engendered revulsion, a place where two peoples are forced to live side by side under a history saturated with violence, oppression, plunder and a hunger for vengeance. It is a tinderbox threatening not just to the greater Middle East, but to the world at large. The manipulations by the British during the first half of the 20th century at trying to engineer a new nation governed by foreigners with only ancient continuity with the land, through the subjugation of the native population, was a clear example of forethought being but an afterthought, and today the world entire must bear the consequences of this foray into colonizing stolen land.

The lands of the Middle East were carved up by the great Western powers, intent on exploiting every inch of land and drop of oil. They became colonizers, devastating economies, damaging cultures, impoverishing lives and pillaging wealth, both natural and economic. In time despots were appointed, supported and given comfort, named kings, princes, dictators and so-called presidents by leaders of northern lands unfamiliar with the ways of the Middle East, becoming, more than anything else, the tyrants, puppets and, most importantly, the strongmen of the West, able to maintain their power by suppressing and controlling their own people, depending on the morsels and crumbs given by the West for continued hegemony.

While they reaped the enormous wealth spawned by oil, allowing European companies complete pillage of black gold, the strongmen impoverished their subjects, ruling them with an iron fist, providing for their exploitation and raped destinies, with millions becoming severely under educated and, as a result, fervently religious, made susceptible to the fundamentalist teachings of mullahs and extremists. Tyrants and kings ruled unopposed, confident that Europe and later America would support their every move and decision.

Democracy and freedom in the Middle East became invisible and non-existent principles, far away realities seen only through the filtered media controlled by the state, promises made real only to the populations of the same Western nations that supported despots and incompetent rulers where oil flowed. Elections are either non-existent or rigged charades designed to convince few. The rights of women have always been relegated to that of property, with men allowed to dictate the destiny of females. Liberty and human rights were and have never been allowed to cement themselves. On the contrary, suppression and torture have metastasized themselves into Arabic countries, with full support and encouragement of the West, to the great detriment of millions of people.

The only interest the West, and particularly America, has with the Middle East is ownership and control of oil. For over a century Western meddling in the region has concentrated on the availability of black gold. It has been to the great detriment of nations such as Iraq that its underground is saturated with the resource the West cannot live without. Thanks to oil the people of Iraq, composed of three distinct ethnicities, mistrustful and historically spiteful of each other, have been thrown into a land whose Western imposed borders are a relatively new phenomenon. Iraqis, along with all other Middle East peoples, have been forced to endure Western – and American – sponsored dictators for decades, with oil interests trumping those for freedom, democracy and human rights. It is the story of those condemned by the devil’s excrement.

Saddam as Both Friend and Foe

Saddam Hussein was for decades an American supported and financed dictator put in power to become the tyrannical glue that held Iraq together, for years doing as he was told, becoming Washington’s thug in power, free to do as he wished regarding the internal manifestations of Iraq, financed militarily and economically as long as he kept the oil spigots running and as long as he kept the price of a barrel of crude within the price range limitations of his handlers in Washington.

For decades he persecuted and oppressed both the Kurds and Shia, with a wink and a nod from the US government, enriching himself as he feasted on the spoils of Iraqi oil and American military and economic generosity. It was good to be the prostitute of the empire. When asked by Washington to destabilize Iran through war after the American sponsored tyrant and dictator – or shah – was deposed and the American Embassy – CIA station – held hostage thanks to the Iranian Revolution, Saddam embarked on a decade long battle against his eastern neighbor, using the vast arsenal of American manufactured weapons to punish Iran for its temerity in dethroning the empire’s despot that had for years been oppressing Iranian citizens, exploiting the nation’s wealth and pillaging its oil, all in the interests of the United States. Saddam, in gleeful cheer, was to unleash hell upon those who had dismantled one of the largest CIA operations in the Middle East, a network center masquerading as an embassy where all orders to the shah originated from and where many Iranian internal problems arose out of.

As the war raged on the madness of Saddam became apparent, and, in a calculated and predictable move he, using chemical weapons technology supplied him by America’s government and corporate world, sent into the air WMD aimed at Iranian forces, killing untold thousands with weapons banned by international law, though with the full consent of American officials. It was these same WMD that would later be used by Saddam against the Kurds of northern Iraq, again killing untold hundreds or thousands in the dictator’s bid to oppress a rebellious minority.

Saddam was a wicked tyrant, yet he was our wicked tyrant, and so not a word was uttered about his war crimes and crimes against humanity, and especially muted to our ears and made blind to our eyes was his use of American WMD technology against both Iranians and Kurds. He was our evildoer, just like so many before and after him, from all corners of the globe, from Marcos to Suharto to Pinochet to Batista to Mobutu, all dictators whose hands were made bloody by the support and encouragement America’s government engendered. Saddam maintained power in large part thanks to American generosity and financing, much the same as dozens of US supported dictators have for decades. It was only when he was no longer needed to further the interests of America that he became expendable. It was when his character exceeded his allotted power, when his ego thought itself capable of more than he could handle that he went from ally shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld to dictator and tyrant used to manipulate the fears of bed-wetting Americans.

Once expendable, Saddam became, like all once-favored despots and freedom fighters whose usefulness has expired, a bogeyman used to captivate the minds of American citizens. Almost overnight Saddam became the reincarnation of Hitler, a dictator that prevented “freedom and democracy” from his people, a madman that had attacked his neighbor Kuwait, even though his neighbor was siphoning oil away from Iraqi fields and even though Kuwait had once been claimed by the peoples and lands of modern day Iraq, taken away from them by British interests at the turn of the 20th century and made a sovereign nation ruled by British supported monarchs. The machines of propaganda had been turned on and miraculously, Saddam’s use of WMD was shouted for the world to hear, images of rotting Kurdish corpses used to turn friend into foe, his mustache spawning fear and insecurity in the minds of America’s citizens. The merciless engine of propaganda had been turned on.

Saddam’s mistake in invading Kuwait would doom Iraqi citizens for the next fifteen years, unleashing the human wickedness inherent in a war culture lacking the empathy and understanding of both history and culture. America’s weaponized instruments of death and army of conditioned automatons devastated Iraq and its population during the Gulf War, bombing cities, decimating infrastructure and destroying the ministries of governance. The aerial campaign, which in essence was the muscle of the war, dropped hundreds of tons of missiles upon unsuspecting targets, their potent payload killing untold numbers of innocent civilians.

Cluster bombs, banned by the international community, were indiscriminately dropped from the sky above. Tomahawk missiles rained down upon homes and shelters and hospitals. The terrorism of the rich was unleashed on millions of Iraqi civilians. It can be surmised that tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians died at the hands of American terrorism, yet the real number will never be known because America does not do body counts, caring not an ounce for humans that are not American. From babies to pregnant women to mothers to boys and girls to peasant fathers to grandmothers and grandfathers, the toll of death was undoubtedly massive, for the aerial reign of terror was incessant, at all hours of the day and night.

It was in this war where the concept of smart bombs was introduced and experimented in, resulting in massive error in targeting and countless “collateral damage.” Here in America, however, the spin masters at the Pentagon only showed us the minority of video that resulted in direct hits, becoming part of the propaganda that conditions and makes silent the masses. Led to believe that our toys were performing perfectly, we were never made aware of the utter devastation upon Iraq and its people. The misery and hatred and death and maiming engendered by our terrorism was conveniently whitewashed, made to disappear in a war with images only of “smart bombs” destroying their target.

In the end, Saddam was left in power, much to the detriment of millions, and much to the poor health of hundreds if not thousands of Kurds and Shia rebels who had been given assurances from America that they would be supported in their attempt to oust a clearly weakened Saddam. They, of course, were betrayed by George Bush, Sr., which resulted in the subsequent slaughter of most rebels by Saddam’s forces. In his infinite wisdom, Bush the Wiser decided against sending his forces to invade and occupy Baghdad, knowing full well the consequences of such an idiotic move. Instead, he maintained an aerial bombing campaign that would last until the start of the next Gulf War.

More cruel and evil than the actual bombing or the Gulf War was the economic genocide imposed on the Iraqi people under the guise of sanctions. During the 1990’s, under the rubric of WMD disarmament and failure to obey United Nations resolutions, Iraq was stripped of its ability to purchase and import vital medicines and nutrient rich food. For over ten years these sanctions debilitated Iraq’s once shining health system and social services, creating an anemic organization unable to provide adequate healthcare to its citizens along with the necessary foodstuffs needed for survival.

Thanks to these sanctions, sponsored, supported and policed by America, anywhere from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 Iraqi civilians died, 500,000 of them children below the age of five. Dying of malnourishment, disease, illness, hunger and lack of medicine, where ordinarily under normal conditions few would die, Iraqis were made to bear the spear of American imposed genocide. Quite simply, that is what the sanctions should be called in the books of history, for in few instances do we call the death of over one-million innocent civilians, half of them young children, merely sanctions. Make no mistake about it, America stands guilty of genocide and mass murder, as well as in callously perpetuating a suffering never before seen in the lands of Mesopotamia.

The economic sanctions imposed devastated an entire generation of children, resulting in the death of half a million under age five as well as stunting the growth, and the development of the brain in millions more thanks to the unavailability of food and medicine. Collective punishment of an entire population was introduced to 25 million Iraqis, most of whom had to survive on rations and through smuggled medicines, all made to suffer for a WMD program that had been abandoned and dismantled, as well as for a war culture that refused to feel the empathy for human suffering and the full consequences to its actions. The human calamity that ensued is a crime against humanity, holding hostage millions who lay on the brink of death, absorbing immeasurable damage to body and mind, unable to escape the mass murder taking place around them. Economic genocide is genocide nonetheless, and America should be ashamed for what it helped perpetuate. Yet according to Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, “the price [was] worth it.”

During the next decade of sanctions, hospitals and schools fell into disrepair, sewers ran open and onto streets, the Tigris and Euphrates filled with human waste and garbage, electricity and food were in short supply and the entire population took a nose dive backwards in time. Meanwhile, the aerial terrorism that only wealthy nations can maintain never let up, resulting in perpetual terror and fear, not to mention incredible levels of stress and anxiety, and in the random bombing of homes and buildings and places of governance. For over a decade the people and nation of Iraq was not allowed to escape the human hell brought to its borders. The powers that were had decided to make Iraq an example, ruining the lives of its people, murdering 1.5 million people, letting an entire nation rot in the refuse of human decrepitude and to severely regress backwards in time a nation that had previously been among the emerging modern and secular nations of the Middle East.

With the start of the Iraq/Bush War in 2003, what seemed bad was about to get much, much worse, as the entire military apparatus of the world’s foremost war culture was brought inside the once ancient lands of Mesopotamia. Thousands of tons of munitions, artillery and missiles have exploded inside Iraq, devastating, once again, homes, cities, streets, buildings, hospitals and ministries. Though liberated from the reign of Saddam, Iraq still finds itself lacking adequate electricity, gasoline, medicines and other vital supplies. The reconstruction promised by America has never and will never be delivered, as billions of dollars budgeted for rebuilding a nation in ruins have disappeared, pillaged by war profiteers and corrupt politicians from both sides of the ocean.

Anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 innocent civilians have died as a result of America’s occupation of Iraq, all dead because of lies, deceit, greed and love of the Almighty dollar, all dead thanks to incompetence, imbecility and ignorance, all dead thanks to America's silence, indifference, complicity and our addiction to comfort. The occupation has resulted in a classic guerilla warfare resistance by Iraqis fighting for the freedom of their nation and the expelling of occupying forces. This has resulted in tremendous suffering, deep insecurities and fears and an escalating cycle of violence, both against civilians and American forces, that threatens to leave Iraq in a perpetual state of violence and chaos. The initial stages of civil war are apparent, and the real threat of Balkanization, where Iraq splits up into three separate mini-states, cannot be ruled out.

The Killing Fields

Meanwhile, all around Iraq and its cities a clandestine yet deadly killer lurks, invisible and unseen, devastating in its capacity to destroy human DNA, a silent death sentence that has and will befall hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of unsuspecting human beings, both Iraqi and American. This killer festers in the air, water, food supply, vegetation and ground, infiltrating the porous bodies of human beings, cementing itself for life. It lingers on streets and rivers and buildings and homes, carried by wind and rain and through the daily weather patterns of Mesopotamia.

Slowly a land once fertile, an oasis between ancient rivers, the cradle of civilization is being contaminated by the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, poisoned, since 1991, by radiation equivalent to between 250,000 and 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. Thanks to the thousands of tons of ordnance, munitions, missiles and bombs dropped during the Gulf War, and the tens of thousands of tons of ordnance, missiles and bombs dropped by America during the Iraq/Bush War, all saturated with depleted uranium (DU), the nation of Iraq is being destroyed from within by an invisible demon sent from the home of the brave and the land of the free. Many of its citizens are dead Iraqis walking, becoming ghosts of walking dead, unaware of the poison inside their bodies and the death that most certainly awaits them.

Depleted uranium is a silent mass murderer, a clandestine nuclear bomb whose mushroom cloud is never seen exploding, yet the radiation and heavy metals excreted from the weapons it envelopes when they strike their target, the heat evaporating uranium particulates into the air, become airborne contagions that latch onto our carbon and organic bodies. It attacks our organs and our bones, our nerves and blood, mutating our DNA genetic sequence, destroying our immune systems, penetrating our reproductive systems and causing various terminal cancers. It is the ultimate weapon of genocidal intentions, a perfect weapon if one wishes to slowly make putrid the human body, embedding itself into our DNA, guaranteeing that it passes onto the next generation of human being, usually resulting in macabre and grisly consequences.

Today in Iraq, thanks to the Gulf War, cancers have skyrocketed beyond the pale of comparison, leaving doctors dumbfounded how so many clusters of Iraqis with various cancers can exist when so few existed before. Today the natural rate of deterioration of the body once DU enters it is over, resulting in an exponential and ominous increase in fatalities, most by cancer, disease and immune system chaos. Depleted uranium used fifteen years ago is now being felt where American ordnance was dropped from the sky above, as lands, food supply, water and air once contaminated, inhaled and ingested release the WMD lingering in their midst.

Child deformities, stillbirths, mutated fetuses, miscarriages and birth defects have been springing up for quite some time now, as the DU embedded in the sperm and eggs of parents transfers over to the embryo. The mutations taking place, along with the deformities now apparent yet hardly ever seen in human society, are gross distortions of human normalcy, creating beings the likes of which have never been seen before. The photos of what DU can do to newborn babies and fetuses are available on the Internet. Entire regions, towns and neighborhoods are experiencing clusters of these mutations in their newly born babies, with doctors unable to explain the sudden rise in defects and deformities that did not exist previously.

What we are seeing is the beginning of decades of death in Iraq from the aftereffects of DU, an epidemic of radiation poisoning caused by American WMD. An entire population has been exposed to nuclear radiation by America and its government – which has been aware of the effects of DU for some time – and soon the world will be witness to the death of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Iraqi citizens. The world has entered a black hole into a genocide that will possibly last for centuries. We will see the Iraqi nation’s cancer rate skyrocket to levels we though impossible, affecting large segments of the populace, as well as the subsequent deaths of terminally ill patients, most of them children whose bodies have embedded inside them the deadly remnants of their parents’ depleted uranium. We will witness, as we already can through the grisly photos of DU mutations in babies, the horrific rise in child birth defects and deformities and miscarriages and stillbirths that are already causing thousands of potential Iraqi parents to strongly consider ever giving birth for fear of producing in their child a gross distortion of a human baby.

The devastating increase in malignancies and cancers, now a great worry, will in the next few decades grow exponentially, laying waste to a large segment of the Iraqi population. In essence, they have been given a death sentence by George W. Bush, who, when future historians see the complete damage DU has caused, will be compared to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao in terms of numbers of murders committed, easily surpassing the 1.5 million dead Iraqis as a result of America’s economic genocide of the 1990’s.

Millions of Iraqis, forced through the consequence of their lives to live inside the smoldering radiation that is Iraq, unable to leave a land now poisoned and made toxic through America’s weapons of death and destruction, will have to face a future of uncertainty and trepidation, slowly becoming aware, if they are not already, that inside them lives a WMD that can not only kill them, but their sexual partner as well along with severely deforming any child they might decide to bring into this world. Inside a bubble of death they will live, forever to breathe the particulates of a pestilence first imported in 1991, unable to escape its damaging grip on organic human bodies.

Iraq has been transformed into a vast killing field, a wasteland overrun by the remnants of America’s silent WMD, a cheap and money saving weapon devastating to the human body, capable of killing perhaps millions of innocent human beings, capable of altering entire genetic sequences resulting in the severe birth defects, stillbirths, miscarriages and deformities now appearing almost daily in Iraq. The Cradle of Civilization has transmuted into the Iraqi Killing Fields, a place where only death and disease now prosper, where millions of walking dead stir up the dust of the same killer elements that will invariably leave them without life.

How many will eventually die in the next ten, twenty, thirty, fifty years? How many Iraqis have been sentenced to death, becoming dead men and women walking, not knowing when or if the silent WMD will strike them ill or dead, not knowing if they will produce a grossly deformed human child whose few days living will be remembered for the devastation of its genetic blueprint? Are the walking dead living cadavers waiting only for time to take its course and destiny to fulfill its mission? Will entire generations of Iraqi children be prevented from living thanks to their premature death and gross deformities, never having a chance at life thanks to embedded WMD in their parents’ bodies? Are we seeing the last remaining lines of Iraqi’s distinctive ethnicity, with those now living becoming the last vestiges of what was once considered an Iraqi?

It is not necessary to construct gas chambers, incinerators, gulags or concentration camps to exterminate millions of human beings. We are seeing this reality today in Iraq, in multiple forms, in degenerate warfare, in countless acts of war crimes and crimes against humanity being perpetrated by American forces. In the end, millions have and will die at the hands of America and George W. Bush, some quicker than others, some in silent placidness and some in terrible agony, some by bullets and bombs, some by water-borne disease and malnourishment, some by radiation-filled cancers, mutated deformities and destroyed immune systems. The seeds of the Iraq Holocaust have been firmly planted in the now barren lands of the Fertile Crescent.

The Killing Fields of Iraq have risen like a phoenix torched by the radiation of depleted uranium, its invisible mist traversing barren desert and congested cities looking for organic bodies to invade. Its poison will last 4.5 billion years, lingering in the environs of Mesopotamia and beyond, traveling by wind and weather and water, exporting Iraq’s misery to other lands and peoples. In silence and clandestine suffering disease and cancer and deformities will permeate Iraqi society, hovering like a never ending cloud cover inside Iraq, millions made to suffer the consequences of American made depleted uranium and George W. Bush imported misery.

The Killing Fields will in the next few decades take the life of tens of thousands, certainly, millions, perhaps. Yet it will not only be Iraqis made to suffer the consequences of America’s invisible yet devastating nuclear war upon Iraq. Already, 11,000 American soldiers, veterans of the first Gulf War, have died thanks to Gulf War Syndrome, cancer and disease. Over 350,000 veterans, out of 700,000 who served, have asked for serious disability, most of these veterans being in their late twenties and early thirties, in the prime of their lives, cleared as healthy before the war in military conducted medical physicals. Depleted Uranium is the most likely culprit, as many more get diagnosed with terminal diseases and illnesses every year. Many veterans of Gulf War One and now the Iraq/Bush War have themselves been giving birth to deformed and defective children, much like their Iraqi counterparts.

Depleted Uranium, it seems, does not discriminate nor does it need a passport to infect human beings. It has been imported into America by our returning soldiers, a great percentage of which most likely have remnants of depleted uranium buried deep inside them. How many American veterans of Gulf War One and the Iraq/Bush War will in the next few decades succumb to cancer or destroyed immune systems? How many of their children will be born like those in Iraq, unable to live more than a few days or months because their bodies are infested with DU, their appearance no longer presenting the appearance of a human child?

It is estimated that 40,000 to 80,000 more veterans will die in the next twenty to thirty years as the effects of DU run their course. How many more will produce offspring with genetic birth defects, gross mutations of fetuses, miscarriages and stillborns? So much for Bush’s hypocritical culture of life. How many of our soldiers and veterans are dead men and women walking, waiting out a cruel game of DU lottery, hoping their bodies were spared the poison now rampant in Iraq? How many will have their lives altered, never to regain normalcy, never able to bear children, always to wonder if they will be next to fall.

The Killing Fields of Iraq do not discriminate and they do not stop at the border. They do not bother with uniform colors or the crossing of oceans. They are the deadly consequence of criminality and indifference, of greed and emphasis on the bottom line. Sadly, the nuclear silence now deafening in Iraq will alter the course of Iraqi history, not to mention the lives of thousands of Americans veterans who, after a year or perhaps five of living normal lives, will begin feeling the damage DU is doing to their body.

The Depleted Uranium Holocaust is but the next stage in America’s indifference to the Arab world, an indifference that has lasted decades, with the US concerned only for the Middle East’s vast yet dwindling oil wealth, not its human capital nor its interest in freedom, democracy or human rights. In a twisted form of karma, DU has returned the favor to thousands of American soldiers, returning its deadly poison back to the same nation that created it, penetrating the porous skin and bodies of soldiers once occupying Iraq, now a land devastated with the invisible radiation of American DU ordnance. It has attached itself to our soldiers, in time to haunt their health and their families, possibly becoming manifest in the deformities of American babies.

Only the future knows who and how many Iraqis and Americans will be forced to confront premature death. Many will never know what happened to them. Many will come to the realization that the great military industrial complex, putting profit over people, as it usually does, and America’s upper echelons of governance, straight from the Pentagon and Oval Office, knowing full well the dangers of DU, nonetheless decided to commandeer the future lives of millions, deciding the lives of Iraqi civilians and American soldiers were not worth the millions of dollars saved by using cheaper DU.

The great sadness is that the Iraq Killing Fields, with its ghosts of walking dead, will remain unknown to the vast percentage of humanity, for this scandal will never be allowed to see the light of day, neither by America’s government or the corporate world that owns both it and the media. Greater in scope than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the potential number of deaths greater than some evildoers of times past, Iraq’s Killing Fields will continue killing and deforming, mutating DNA and inflicting untold levels of misery, simply because of its clandestine approach to death, its silent and whispered calls to disease. Its secrecy and cover-up will only be surpassed by its criminality and by the complete callousness of government officials to the plight they helped birth.

There will be no blood and no violence, no bombs or bullets, though abundant suffering. The calamity will not bleed, so it will not lead. It will be boring to the average American, becoming an unspoken genocide free of the violence we are so addicted to and enamored with. The front lines of this battle will be inside hospitals and in the homes of the afflicted, left to confront a destiny not of their own choosing, unable to understand how an invisible weapon of mass destruction could be allowed to be used on civilians and on cities, on humans and on soldiers on both sides. Many will die in disbelief, their lives wasted, slowly rotting from the inside out, seeing their babies deformed, born stillborn or mutated, their last remaining years spent living as ghosts of walking dead, becoming prisoners only of time and of anger.

Iraq’s Killing Fields are as real as the sun, as dangerous as a nuclear weapon, as devastating as any plague. The devastation taking place inside it is anathema to humanity, a war crime and crime against humanity, a malfeasant manifestation by Machiavellian miscreants. If the world entire were made aware of its seriousness, of its criminality and of the callousness of American leaders the backlash would be a giant tsunami of anger. Alas, the quietness of the crime will be elevated, and silence will be the only noise emanating from the plains of the Killing Fields.

Meanwhile, the Killing Fields of Iraq continue to radiate their toxic and deadly poisons, contaminating more Iraqis and Americans with each passing day, like a parasite forever attaching radiation and heavy metals inside human hosts. Only in 4.5 billion years will DU disappear, by then humanity will have ceased to exist. Iraqis’ Ghosts of Walking Dead await humanity’s attention, wanting nothing more than to receive assistance in combating a silent yet devastating killer that is forever altering the Iraqi landscape.

Mired by decades of war with Iran and later the United States, 1.5 million of its citizens, including 500,000 children dead due to economic genocide, 100,000 to 200,000 dead due to American invasion and occupation, and now afflicted by an enemy they can neither see nor touch, the Ghosts of Walking Dead await our response to their hushed and clandestine call for help. In their whispered plea can we see a perpetual future of cancer, death, disease, mutation, deformity and entire generations now endangered and at serious risk of devastation. In their whispered plea can we also see what might happen to tens of thousands of our own men and women, themselves hosts carrying the demons of the Iraqi Killing Fields back home.

The Killing Fields can be felt, their warm winds echoing the cries for help, their plains saturated with the clouds of poison, and of outrage, seeking our full attention in understanding a silent and clandestine genocide taking place where fertility once permeated and where the cradle of civilization once nurtured us before sending us all on our way to all corners of the planet and to most uncertain destinies.

Is the price of what America has done in our name worth our silence and indifference?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Poisoning of the Well


Of Paradoxes and Manna from Heaven

The rise of Christian fundamentalism in the United States is a profound paradox, a reality that in the natural evolution of human endeavor should not exist, an anathema to the inevitable progression of humanity and civilization, a manifestation that is at odds with what we would expect to exist in the wealthiest, most open and some would say the most learned nation the world has ever seen. Yet, not only does this variant of extremist religion exist in the land of plenty, it thrives, becoming a growing threat to the continued vitality of the nation.

Indeed, a movement already clandestinely growing and attracting more souls before 9/11 was given a gift from the heavens, quite literally, on that fateful day, creating images and emotions that transformed the way millions of Americans saw the world. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, terror fell from the sky like the vengeance-filled thunderbolts of Zeus, spawning a fear and insecurity never before seen inside a nation that had never been attacked on its continental soil. The world was transformed, along with the psyches of millions of people whose beliefs ratified in their minds that the destruction of the World Trade Center was a religious manifestation conjured up by God himself. Paranoid, afraid, uncertain and insecure, thinking themselves living in a troubled world on the verge of its last throes, millions traumatized by the events of 9/11 turned to fundamentalist religion for the salvation reserved for the end of days, answers to most troubling questions and the false comfort that religion offers in times of cataclysm and need.

The profound psychological shift in the minds of tens of millions in the aftermath of 9/11 cannot be underestimated, and must be seen as a monumental trigger that has unleashed the myriad of problems now afflicting America. The trauma, stress, fear and hatred engendered transformed America and its people in ways that have yet to be fully understood. Images never before seen by a mass population, from every conceivable angle, played and replayed over and over again thanks to the power of television caused a massive paradigm shift the likes of which has never been seen or studied. The gravitational pull towards fundamentalist Christian religion by millions of people is one such reality of the aftereffects of 9/11, as humans tend to seek comfort and answers through religion when the world seems most dangerous and troubled. It is religion, through its myths and fantasies, its gods and parables, that can accommodate the fragile minds inherent in the human condition, offering short-term comfort and security through faith in the invisible and belief in the unknown.

At a time when millions needed to find solace and answers to the evil witnessed on 9/11 Christian extremism opened its doors. When the world was spinning out of control, bursting America’s bubble of security, fundamentalist Christianity took full advantage, absorbing those wanting to understand why God had allowed such wickedness upon our shores. Psychologically fragile, weak-minded and made vulnerable by the events of 9/11, millions quickly believed the lies of false prophets and corrupt high priests, the excuses made by fear engendering televangelists, the reasoning as stated by greed mongering evangelists. God allowed 9/11 to happen, millions were told, because America had become a debauched society, threatened by homosexuality, allowing the mass murder of pin-size zygotes and abandoning the ways of the Bible. America had been allowed to fall away from its Christian ways, and so the always psychotic God had, once again, wrought violence, death and destruction upon the lands of those breaking covenants with the Almighty.

The reality of why 9/11 happened was never told those seeking answers; the truth behind the attacks was destroyed in favor of lies of convenience and opportunity, where high priests saw benefit in tragedy, like good snake-oil salesmen ready to take advantage of opportunity, seeing a chance to expand religious belief and personal power in a society turning more secular and progressive every year. Millions were told what they wanted to hear, not what would help shake their foundations. Of course the fictions of false prophets and the reality of truth have always been mutually exclusive, with truth an enemy of those seeking the control of thought.

It is these charlatans that thrive off of the misfortunes, stresses and tragedies of others, waiting, like sharks in open water, for the right moment to strike, knowing exactly when the human mind is at its most vulnerable, weak enough to succumb to the whispered shrieks of false comfort and fictitious security, its trauma making willing servants of millions to institutionalized control. To the false prophets and high priests, 9/11 became the catalyst needed to push the agenda and interests of the extreme Christian right, presenting this group with the wallets, energy and political power of millions of fragile psyches and frightened converts. As a result, the influence of fundamentalist Christianity has only risen exponentially since 9/11, creating a deep rift throughout the nation.

What should have been eroded over time through civilization’s natural evolution and progression, with the healthy and continued accumulation of America’s wealth, progress, education and an increased standard of living has instead remained strong, in fact gaining numbers and momentum, threatening to help erase centuries of progress and struggle. The prosperity afforded America since its inception, together with its rising secularism, along with the separation of church and state enforced since the nation’s founding, should have been enough to sentence fundamentalist theology to the fringes of society. Instead, the opposite seems to be happening. This is the reality of 21st century America, a land modern and progressive yet fighting itself over a return to Middle Ages thought and understanding, with millions of citizens preferring the unenlightenment of Dark Ages rather than the liberation of modern thinking.

Endowed with the greatest level of comfort humankind has ever witnessed, possessing a standard of living never seen in the human condition, addicted to the gluttony of materialism, its citizens living in one of the freest societies ever experienced by any people, able to bask in the riches of the world’s best technologies, education, infrastructure and society in general, America and its citizens, logic would tell us, should be headed in the direction of secularism and knowledge, reaching human enlightenment by escaping the shackles of religion and the indigence of ignorance.

Instead, America finds itself unable to exorcise itself from religious fundamentalism, with millions of its citizens refusing to enter the realm of modernity, and reality, preferring instead to remain captive believers in the myths and fables of primitive peoples living thousands of years ago. To tens of millions of Americans, Christian fundamentalism, with the Bible seen as the literal interpretation of humanity, of the planet’s creation, and of how civilization is to be managed, remains their idea of truth and of reality, even in the face of incontrovertible scientific truth proving otherwise and even with the accumulated knowledge of an ever-progressing society.

In Human Misery Religion Finds a Nest

American Christian fundamentalism, it seems, refuses to bend to the rules of human progress, becoming the exception, not the rule, of what happens to people’s religious beliefs the more education they receive and the better off they become. The more comfortable a life is made the less religious a person tends to become. The more secure a person feels the less religious he will be, and the less miserable her life is the less she will lean on religion for meaning to a life seen harsh and cruel.

The more education one receives, free of the education masking religious brainwashing from birth, has a direct correlation on the level of religious faith one has. Knowledge is power, after all, and education is liberation of free thought, a chance to see the world as it is, not as we are told it should be. There is reason why those seeking control and power consider true education and knowledge the enemy, for free thought, both analytical and logical, with reasoning and open mindedness, invariably leads to questioning of authority, to dissent, protest and debate of myths, beliefs and propaganda, and to thinking outside the box that has for millennia shackled the human mind, rendering us unable to see truth, reality and the possibilities of our own free thoughts and capabilities.

In capturing minds at the earliest possible age, when innocence is tender and naiveté bountiful, those seeking the control of souls, minds and energies know that they are more likely to have loyal slaves for an entire life, for the earlier the brainwashing commences the harder it is for the human mind to later escape its parasitic beliefs. The conditioning must begin early on, therefore, before the mind reaches the age of reason, before free thought can light dark tunnels and black holes, before the myths and fables and gods of religion can be seen for the fantasy they are.

In lives full of suffering, indigence, bitterness, disease, malnutrition and lost ability, where destinies are predetermined and inescapable, where education is nonexistent and anemic, where families are large and immobile, where faith in humanity has been replaced by the dying faith in metaphysical hope, such as those of 3 billion humans living on two dollars a day, or five billion people living on less than ten dollars a day, many living at the margins of human habitation, religion, whether fundamentalist or otherwise, finds its most suitable hosts, jumping, like a virus, from soul to soul, gorging on false faith and in the hope that a better life awaits, if not in the today then certainly in the tomorrow, if not on Earth then in the promised afterlife.

In the minds of those billions not lucky enough to escape perpetual castes of servility, forced to live lives squandered and wasted, becoming the numbers and statistics of the failed human pyramid of hierarchy, unable to ever escape a destiny not of their own making, religion becomes the only mechanism to cope, to find solace in a life rotting away in the shantytowns and shacks in which so much of mankind survives in. It is a modes of escape from the harshness of modern day living. Surviving day to day, meal to meal, rich in honor and integrity but not in material possessions, unable to offer a future to their children, powerless to escape the lives they have been chained to since birth, their innocence destroyed at an early age, their education halted even earlier, billions are forced to believe in and place blind faith in the invisible and unseen, for the visible and seen have failed to bear fruit, becoming utter disappointments to billions of people.

Exploited by and subjugated to the wickedness of their fellow man, abandoned to the fortune of misery, billions find in religion answers to questions about why their life has been so full of injustice and inequality, why they have been made to suffer endlessly, while a tiny minority thrives in the splendors of wealth and luxury, basking in opportunity and fortuitous birth. God has a plan for them, they are told; theirs is the kingdom of God, but only if they follow God’s legions of high priests, and only if they allow religious institutions to have dominion and control over their daily lives. They are not to seek happiness on Earth, for it certainly awaits them in heaven; they must simply place blind faith in an entity that has never been proved to exist.

They are taught that in suffering and poverty they will find the keys to salvation, unaware that only through education and opportunity will they find escape and futures. They are told to succumb to exploiters and subjugators, to market colonialism and the tentacles of neoliberalism. They are told to multiply as much as possible, with birth control being forbidden, not understanding that the more children they have the less resources they and their children will possess, thereby condemning the entire family to perpetual indigence and socio-economic immobility. More children means less education, which invariably means less of an ability to question authority or become threats to the system, and more of a probability to become the slaves of the high priests. Women are told to stay home and become factories of procreation, becoming subservient slaves to their husband masters, for women are told they were created out of a single male rib, not even worthy of a leg or arm. Yet only in female emancipation from paternalistic cultures will both women and their families find betterment, freedom and an opportunity to escape perpetual caste societies.

Billions are told that the Christian god has a plan for them after their life on Earth, that one must remain a faithful servant of religion and of institutionalized dogma, thus of human institutions, allowing themselves to be controlled by the high priests and elite who make of religion the opiate of the masses. Billions are told that education is not of importance, that it can be abandoned after a few measly years. When it is provided, it becomes another way to indoctrinate heathens to religion, brainwashing and conditioning the still developing human brain to the control mechanisms of theology. Real education is liberation, and those that control know this, which is why they abhor it; knowledge is their kryptonite, the antibiotic to their epidemic. Is it any wonder why the nations with the lowest per capita investments in education also have some of the highest percentages of their population who are deeply religious?

Around the world, religious fundamentalist belief thrives in anemic, poor, angry, exploited and undereducated peoples, those residing inside nations commonly described as “third world,” abandoned by incompetent governments and adopted by neo-liberal chicanery, billions lacking the liberation that comes with knowledge, the free thought that arises through education and the standards of living associated with prosperity. They are the ones born not in the apex of human civilization, such as those northern nations rich and developed, but in those resembling the armpit of humanity, those raped of resources, capital and slave labor by the peoples of the north.

Religious fundamentalism is most easily engendered in the soup of poverty, hopelessness, ignorance and bitterness, where humans, their faith in humanity eviscerated by the suffering that is their lives, living in the trenches of what modern day living affords billions of souls, are made to believe in the unseen greatness of invisible gods. It is blind faith in the unseen that gives them hope to press onward even as their high priests only work to subjugate them deeper into misery. Is it any wonder why religion is most strong in the nations of the south, whose peoples live in endemic poverty and perpetual misery, unable to receive substantial education nor opportunity, and almost extinct in wealthy and secular Europe, where only grey hair can be seen in decaying churches?

Created in Our Own Image

From birth hundreds of millions of humans are conditioned to believe in the despotic god of the Bible, a sadistic, vengeance-filled, incompetent leader with deep psychological and anger management issues, a violent, destructive and blood-thirsty entity playing with the psyches of the same creations molded out its image. This god, it seems, has a fascination with human war, with murder and criminality and masochistic lives, granted that humans killing humans, oftentimes for pleasure, are an inherent part of the human condition. This god relishes poverty and suffering of billions, given the present state of humankind, allowing squalor in most nations and bestowing riches upon few. It is allowing us to destroy ourselves, and the Eden it supposedly created, forever remaining a clandestine, missing and unfound entity for thousands of years.

Indeed, it seems that it prefers the rich few over the poor many, the powerful over the weak, the sinful over the honorable, those that exploit over those that are exploited, choosing injustice over justice, inequality over equality, death over survival and ignorance over knowledge. This so-called god allows the miserable death and suffering of millions every year to HIV/AIDS, particularly black humans from Sub-Sahara Africa, creating entire generations of orphaned children. It allowed for the slaughter and suffering of its chosen people during World War II, the Inquisition and other such persecutions over time. It grants sustenance to murder and mayhem in Rwanda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where millions of human beings have died, slaughtered to feed the ravenous need that is our embedded appetite for human violence and war. The god of man allows for wars of religion, wars in its name, where humans fight humans based on whose religious beliefs are right and superior. It is these wars, so full of hatred and bloodletting, carrying the icons of the god of man, committed in the name of the Almighty, that have killed more humans than any other human made or naturally spawned cataclysm in the history of human existence.

This so-called god allows for the extinction of his creations and the destruction of his paradise by the same organism molded in its own image. If such a god existed, it would be called an utter failure, for the state of human affairs, since our Diaspora out of Africa, has been war, violence, destruction, suffering, exploitation and decimation of the planet and its creatures. Such a god would be impeached by its own creations, replaced with more competent gods, for it has done nothing to alleviate the perpetually decaying state of human affairs since it came into existence a few thousands years ago. Human leaders are dethroned for less serious incompetence. One need only read the Old Testament to bear witness to failure and wrath, incompetence and psychotic behavior, animalistic emotions and human passion.

Yet the god of man is a failure because it is a god concocted in man’s own image, not the other way around. It is molded in our self-image, which explains just how fallible our god really is. It espouses our animalistic behaviors and emotions because it is a creation of our most imaginative minds, fantasies of metaphysical prowess that cannot escape our own frail and fragile human psychology. The god of the Bible is a god captured by mammalian behaviors and emotions, unable to escape the human condition, no matter how hard its creators tried to concoct a being superior to us. Thus, the god of man is susceptible to the same emotions and passions as ourselves simply because it is of our own making, molded to hate as well as love, to be indifferent as well as caring, becoming enraged, seeking vengeance, destroying cities and murdering humans as it sees fit, becoming a creation unable to escape the human realm of understanding, a concoction existing and acting within the ignorance and unenlightenment of its primitive creators. It was molded as a way for us to find our place in the unknown world of yesteryear, helping to make us more secure that our fears of the unknown had purpose and that we were not alone in a world full of mystery and fright.

The god of the Bible is a mirror image of humanity itself, the best and worst of the human condition, a direct introspection of humankind. It is us and we are it.

Having gods, created by a tribe’s elder men – at a time when women had no voice—made to resemble the all-powerful male paternalistic figure, enabled followers to place reason behind that which was not understood. At a time when little was known or understood, gods were created to help man understand the complexities of nature and the vastness of the sky and earth. Through gods we became differentiated from the animal world, escaping a reality too humbling for the human ego to absorb. Through religion, gods, myth and fable a world too complex and large to fathom became easier to grasp, placing us, as usual, as the center of the known universe, the splendorous and wonderful creations of the gods, perfect entities placed in charge of Earth, masters of nature and all its creations. Man’s religion is as much our ego as our creativity.

The rise of religion, and of gods, allowed humans to believe and strive for an afterlife, for the insecure and fragile human mind cannot be made to contemplate in the reality of nothingness after death. The idea of death, and that life ends after one’s last breath, is a thoroughly taboo idea to us because of the amazing human fear of seizing to exist, of never again living, of not continuing life, of becoming the food for maggots and the fertilizer for plants, of finding darkness and not light. Through an afterlife humans could continue living, even after death, joining their god in his realm, a better place than Earth, a heaven where we can continue our life, even if only in spirit form. The idea of gods, and of a heaven, allows us to continue believing in the afterlife of human existence, making our frail and primitive minds secure that even after death we continue living. A god with a kingdom of heaven awaits us, after all.

Our egos not wanting to contemplate the reality of our evolution from the reptilian to the animal to the human worlds, nor our close relation with our primate cousins, along with the substantial behaviors, psychologies, social structures, needs, wants, passions and instincts we share with the animal world, we choose instead to believe in a primitive myth of created molded clay, borrowed rib and six day constructions of planets, a fantasy of escapism and denial, a story made up by the archaic creativity of primitive men gathering around a warm fire, knowledgeable only to the limits of their time and space, contemplating their place in the natural world, awe struck by the countless stars in the night sky and the sheer darkness enveloping them, trying to find meaning to life and purpose to existence, molding fantasies to the understandings and knowledge then known to them.

Theirs was a legend molded to the time, beliefs and place of its authors, never meant for a world of knowledge, certainties and proven analysis, where science extinguishes faith on a daily basis. Out of all creation stories, and there are hundreds known and undoubtedly thousands forever lost, all wonderful examples of the diversity of human creativity and thought, the western world adopted the one in Genesis, a metaphysical myth that helped primitive humans of thousands of years ago understand the world around them, meant for the ignorance of prehistory, not the wisdom of modernity. In its story lies not literal truth but myth and fable, tales of times long gone when the world was less known and more innocent, its complexities given meaning not by the accumulated knowledge of a thousand generations but by the experience of primitive tribes and clans whose stories were passed down orally under cover of darkness while warming to the radiance of warm fires.

Make no mistake about it, religion is a defense mechanism of the frail human ego, unable and unwilling to conceptualize the idea of who and what we truly are. It is our ego that refuses to accept the reality that we evolved, much the same way every mammal and organism on Earth has evolved, making us no different than the creatures we claim dominion over. It is our ego that wishes to ignore the possibility that there is no life after death, for human beings cannot accept death, finality and nothingness, a return to the circle of life from which all things derive. Death and finality are very difficult concepts for us to grasp, and accepting them would mean that our lives are made that much more insignificant than they already are.

Religion offers us meaning to our lives, a purpose that we are part of a much grandeur structure. It caresses our ego into the belief that we are cherished beings, special creatures molded by God himself, chosen to rule over Earth. The fear of being alone is conveniently made to disappear with the introduction of the metaphysical, for if a realm of gods and souls exists then we have purpose and are therefore not alone in the universe. Human religion allows us to comprehend, in human terms, and as far as we are capable of understanding with our primitive brains, the vast complexities of the natural world, of a universe that is larger than we can ever imagine, and it helps us better understand, by inventing fantasy and fable to explain human nature, why we are the way we are, yet failing, as always, thanks to our inflated egos, to confront the reality and truth of what the human condition truly is.

Unknown to tribal elders then but now understood by modernity is the truth of evolution, of natural selection and of the incredible mutations that have created the abundance of life on Earth as we see it today. Known now are the chemical reactions and the enzyme combinations and protein concoctions that led to the creation of homo sapiens, taking us onto a separate branch from our chimpanzee cousins, and the continued mutations, based on genetics and environment, that has led to the diversity of humanity that we see today, including those responsible for eye, skin and hair color as well as those affecting skull shape and body height.

Known to us now is our rise from East African jungles, our branching out to all corners of the planet, the 98 percent genetic similarities with our chimpanzee brethren and the evolution of our species from scavenger to cave dweller to dominator of agriculture to builder of enormous cities. The powerful truths of Darwin and Galileo and Copernicus can no longer be silenced or threatened with burning or excommunication. Books of knowledge and of enlightenment no longer face threats of bonfires. Humans seeking alternative religions or no religion at all no longer face being burned at the stake or eternal banishment. We live in the 21st century, not the Dark Ages, a product of centuries of progress and accumulated knowledge, a time when myth and fable no longer dominate and control, a time when fear of the unknown is evaporating like a thin fog, now replaced by knowledge, science and free thought.

The remnants of the Middle Ages, collections of times past and thankfully gone, are now left to gather dust in museums and libraries, hopefully never again to find refuge in human society. Gone are primitive torture devices, Church dominated literature and art, and medieval thought processes, where fear of the unknown was exploited in the accumulation of souls. Gone are indulgences, direct tickets to heaven sold by the Church for money, with their automatic forgiveness of sins granted those wealthy enough to have their bad deeds expunged. Gone are the fears engendered by the Roman Catholic Church that captured the minds, and souls, of millions; gone is its control over the masses and of society in its entirety that made conservative and regressive thought the hallmark of the Dark Ages.

Never-Ending Hypocrisy

American Christian fundamentalism has degenerated to an entity wishing a return to the Dark Ages, when religion actually controlled government, society and the minds of the masses. It is a movement dependent on the fears and ingrained hatreds of its followers, exploiting emotions and ignorance to further its ultra-conservative goals. Its leaders are false prophets and corrupt high priests preaching the teachings of Jesus but following the examples of Lucifer. They depend on the growing numbers of under educated citizens from which to replenish their ranks, becoming highly successful manipulators of fragile psychologies, using the insecurities and hatreds and hereditary prejudices of their followers to mold ordinary citizens into extremist followers of lies, distortions and manipulations.

Christian fundamentalism preaches about right to life and living in a culture of life but supports the wholesale death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Muslims and Arabs, preferring saving pin-size zygotes rather than actual human beings whose only crimes are living in Iraq and being Iraqi. Salivating at the thought of dead Muslims, these extremists support war crimes and crimes against humanity, turning a blind eye to torture and bombings and illegal kidnappings and rapes and murder, sanctifying the criminality of incompetent American leadership. They are ardent supporters of the debacle called the Iraq War, remaining mute to its atrocities even while having the audacity to preach the teachings of Jesus Christ, the most anti-war political activist to ever exist. It has often been said that these people are the biggest hypocrites on the face of the Earth.

Fundamentalists would have no problem eviscerating a women’s right to free choice and having complete control over her body, preferring the rights and freedoms of cell size structures over those of adult human beings. It seems making women once again subservient to paternalistic structures, where they can be readily controlled and subjugated, due to the threats presented on insecure males by the wiser half of humanity, is again on the agenda. Never satisfied with the emancipation of women, fundamentalists seek male control over their bodies and lives, wishing a return to days when women were dependent to and slaves of men, acting out their roles as baby factories and housewives, just as the Bible and their god command.

They have declared war upon homosexuals, thinking these people deranged deviants from Hell, acting in direct response to the literal interpretation of the thousands year old Bible (though conveniently forgetting the other many literal rules and interpretations that would undoubtedly condemn them as well), doing everything in their power to eliminate any rights gays might have. A tremendous fear of gay marriage do they possess, even though in most likelihood these activities will never affect their daily lives. Again, preaching the tolerance and acceptance of Jesus, they hypocritically hate and prejudge those different than themselves, becoming the most intolerant and bigoted people in the nation. Their ignorance is only superceded by their idiocy; their hypocrisy knows no bounds. Blind Christian fundamentalists remain to their hypocrisy and to the complete opposite actions they perform relative to the teachings of their Lord Jesus Christ.

Christian fundamentalists want to destroy the separation of church and state, allowing the reintroduction of the Dark Ages into modern times. They seek to destroy knowledge and education by introducing children to myth and fantasy wrapped around pseudo-science, renaming creationism “intelligent design,” a concept of religion at complete odds with reality and truth. They seek to condition children that the planet is only 6,500 years old, that man lived alongside dinosaurs, and that 6.5 billion humans are direct descendants from Adam and Eve, two creations popped out by God in their complete and evolved human form, failing to take into account the dynamics of evolution or the abundant evidence of our slow and gradual progression from mammal to ape to human.

Fundamentalists wish that four billion years of Earth’s history be erased from memory, replaced with a six-day creation story that has no basis in reality. They conveniently fail to report the entire findings of paleontologists and archeologists. They wish to teach children that woman was born from a single male rib, out of an entire body (what does that say about the superiority of man over woman, or the supposed inferiority of woman to men?), and that it was woman, in her deeply flawed and corrupted ways, that was the cause of eternal banishment from Eden (what does that say about the Church leaders’ trust in women’s psychology?)

Extremists wish to become the American Taliban, banning progress and all its freedom-engendering virtues. They are the book burners and music banners, the censors of enlightened programming and movies and the persecutors of knowledge. They wish to rob children of real enlightened education, wishing to teach the myths of primitive peoples upon modern minds. They wish to fight science, just like their predecessors have since time immemorial, because in science and knowledge they see a threat to their continued control of millions, for its findings continue to destroy their cherished myths and fables and tales of primitive thought. In science and knowledge they see the enemy that will birth their extinction. It is science that has exposed the illusions and fantasies of control, the impotent attempts at grasping at straws, at retaining power over human beings.

Their kind has tried to silence progress ever since science and knowledge began to question dogma. They fear it, loathe it and hate it, their fright apparent in the stench running out their pores, in the desperate attempts at suppressing human progress, in their attempts to stop enlightenment. With each myth or belief or act of faith eviscerated by our accumulated knowledge their power over us erodes further, their voices trembling and lies growing, their vague attempts at retaining their fantasies growing ever more desperate. In their literal interpretation of the Bible they fail to understand progress or the reality of the human condition, preferring to live in ignorance and unenlightened belief, choosing the faith of the never seen over the reality of the always present.

Wherever they live their hypocrisy is readily apparent, as always preaching Jesus while living Satan, hiding behind the cross while seeking Hell for others, becoming bigots and engines of hatred while hiding inside monolithic Houses of God, cheering tax cuts for the wealthy while wanting to destroy social services, wanting to erect walls to keep the poor, weak and hungry from seeking a better life. They support war while preaching peace, purposefully making themselves ignorant to death and mass murder committed in their name, all the while carrying the cross and Bible in their hands. They praise the Almighty yet raise their hands higher to the Almighty Dollar. They say they want a culture of life yet support the death penalty, but cannot allow the right of individual’s afflicting with terminal pain and suffering to die with dignity. Intolerant of other religions and other belief structures, of diverse peoples and those different than themselves, extremists can accept only their way of life, becoming the opposite of what their founder told us to do.

The threat posed by Fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or in America, is as strong as ever, yet progressive thought will not be defeated. The natural progression of human civilization is away from ignorance and fear of the unknown and towards knowledge of the world around us. History abounds with this reality. Modern times attest to this truth, for if it were not so we would still be trapped in the Middle Ages. Religion was created because we failed to understand this world of ours, and in this inability to understand where we lived and who we were a fear of the unknown arose. We needed answers and comfort, we needed to make secure our frail egos, and so religion served a valuable purpose to those people primitive and ancient. The modern world has allowed us to better understand our world as well as ourselves, and in time new ways of thinking will emerge, new spiritualities will be born, based not on the writings of tribal people living thousands of years ago but based on the time, space and knowledge of modern times.

It is only a matter of time, yet the backwards movements of humanity, exemplified best by the American Christian fundamentalists, cannot be allowed to become an insurmountable barrier to the inevitable evolution of human thought. The days of Dark Ages and of control through fear of the unknown are coming to an end, yet steadfast progress must remain, unafraid to confront the truths exposed almost daily, unafraid to battle the regressive and repressive groups among us, and unafraid to push forward the limits of human knowledge. It is better to live in truth than in fantasy, in free thought over that which is controlled, in reality over fiction. Faith in the seen and understood will always go further than faith in the never seen and unknown.

It is time to evolve religion before religion regresses us backwards yet again, as it has attempted to do for millennia, returning us to the days when tribal men sat around, afraid of darkness and the vast expanse of the universe, forcing themselves to conjure up stories to explain away their fears of the unknown, their women subservient to them, their children brainwashed from birth, their high priests and false prophets in complete control over the lives of the masses.

For 2,000 years the poisoning of the human well has taken place, becoming the strong friction and inertia slowing human progress and understanding and knowledge and spirituality down, betraying our true selves, forcing us to live in lies and fantasy, becoming the weight attached to our legs, the shackles maintaining us prisoners in the dungeons of backwardness, capturing and hypnotizing our minds, forcing us to see charades and mirages, hiding truth and reality, slowing us down just enough to hinder our immense ability and talents, robbing us of the enlightenment we are due and the renaissance that must inevitably come.

The time to cleanse the polluted waters of the well is upon us, helping build a fertile oasis from which humanity can prosper and be reborn.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Of The Evil Empire


Imperialist Devastation of Peoples and the Evils Done in our Names

Let us for a few moments put aside our lavish lifestyles of fortuitous endowment and providence that have made us blind to the realities of billions of our fellow humans. Let us ignore our plasma televisions, our DVDs, our two-story cookie cutter homes and gas-guzzling SUVs. Let us promise to not open our overstocked pantries and refrigerators, or to go out and eat at one of many corporate controlled franchise restaurants offering vast assortments of gargantuan meals. We should ignore the opulence of our society that dwells permanently in our minds that makes us forget the severe indigence and suffering that transpires beyond our shores and borders.

In short, we should come out of our luxurious bubble that has shielded us from the evils inflicted on billions of humans that have not been as privy to a life of safety and security. Let us traverse the road of reality, sojourning through history and through mirages of hidden truths. Let us dive into the making of the Evil Empire so that we may see what our government has and continues to do in our name. The road ahead will not be easy to swallow or comprehend, yet we must open our minds to the possibility that what has happened is real and what is occurring is not fiction. Only then will we understand why our hands are smeared in the blood of tens of millions of human cadavers and countless more whose lives and futures have been devastated at the hands of the United States of America. Only by knowing who and what we are can we correct ourselves.

Our society is ingrained with an appetite for violence. It is apparent in the over 11,000 murders by firearm per year. It is apparent in Hollywood’s gratuitous assembly-line of blood and gore, violence, devastation and death. It is visible in the ever-growing number of video games sold to our children depicting egregious violence, killings and bloodletting. Our society celebrates violence, be it through football, hockey or boxing, television, cartoons and music. Even Disney cartoon movies have as a main theme battles of good versus evil and the plethora of violence, destruction and death associated with them. The US military industrial complex supplies the world with 50 percent of all weapons for sale on the market.

Yet without public demand for violence none of the above would exist. It is the citizenry – with complicit help from government and corporate media – that drives the engine that conditions us toward accepting and participating in our violent society.

Violence in America is today a manifestation of our society and history, of a never ending thirst for blood, conquest, oppression and death that sprung from the first moment of Puritan arrival. Before and after the Revolutionary war Americans participated in one of the greatest acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing the world has ever witnessed. Millions upon millions of native Indians were slaughtered, raped and cleansed from the lands of North America. Manifest destiny ransacked from Atlantic to Pacific like a devastating hurricane, destroying everything native people thought precious and sacred. Wars against native populations extinguishing the energies of men, women, children and elderly alike. The American thirst for violence had been born. The addiction for blood would become insatiable and never ending.

Native peoples’ lands were taken from them; lies, manipulations and betrayals erased their tribes from the homes they once knew and cherished. Replanted into hellholes called reservations, Indians were left to rot away their existence, given only the evil of Firewater to wash away their inner demons and scars in a land both alien and inhospitable. Hidden from the voracious Anglo onslaught, Indians of talent and ability were left to dwell on a future lost through the disappearance of opportunity. Disease, depression, lack of education and incessant poverty soon followed. Demons of a life wasted and opportunity lost consumed those who escaped the barrel of a gun and the virus of the white man.

Entire ethnicities, tribes, languages and cultures were eviscerated from the face of the Earth by those whose importance of property and ownership superceded the respect for human life. Beautiful peoples took with them to the grave lives living free, roaming pristine and untouched forests, deserts and prairies, being one with nature, respecting everything that breathed and a spirituality that has much to offer our capitalistic civilization. Advanced civilizations in wisdom and spirituality, yet seen as savages to the “more sophisticated” European people, native peoples’ way of life was vanished, never to fully flourish again. Millions ethnically cleansed, millions whose lives were made barren, all making way for the destructive bulldozer ravaging land and man. The Evil Empire had sprung to life, a trail of victims visible everywhere the giant walked.

Not satisfied with the killing of millions of native peoples, the citizens of America next decided to unleash hell onto each other. As a result the American Civil War of the latter part of the 19th century killed more than 600,000 people, leaving the United States mourning for brothers and sons, fathers and grandfathers. Graveyards littered the landscape; battlefields were transformed into fields of death and devastation. Divided a prospering nation stood, soaked in blood and agony, splitting apart families, creating widows and orphans. In the end, hundreds of thousands lay dead, many more maimed and wounded, all to quench the voracious appetite for violence, death and destruction.

The Evil Empire’s cannibalism was only the beginning of a much greater disease.

Lands and People of Asia

As the Empire grew stronger so too did its addiction for expansion. War with Spain commencing in 1898 brought forth new lands, colonies and treasure. Yet it also brought forth death and destruction. American violence had not dissipated; it had only evolved, with new forms of warfare and destruction arising with the passage of time. Tens of thousands died on both sides. In the end, the United States had conquered both man and land, thereby increasing its power and prestige. The Empire was growing, prospering and learning that force was the means by which to achieve its ends. Force was weapons, intimidation, violence and war. It was victory and imperialism. It was the means to becoming the most powerful nation on the planet. The Evil Empire had grown up, as the Philippines would soon learn.

In 1899 Filipino forces seeking independence from Spain confronted in armed struggle American forces intent on maintaining the colonization of the nation. A ruthless war of attrition between the two forces began. For the next three years tens of thousands of native resistance fighters died at the hands of the much more technologically sophisticated and economically powerful American military. Numerous war crimes were committed by American soldiers. Destruction and looting of property, shooting of captives, rapes of women, torture of prisoners and civilians, devastation of the environment and the forced social engineering of the people were thrust upon the nation in an orgy of occupier lawlessness.

In addition, over 200,000 civilians perished due to the brutal scorched earth policy implemented by the US military that destroyed agriculture, fertile land and villages. In addition, many thousands died from cholera arising out of economic devastation of infrastructure. The harsh subjugation of the Filipino people was a form of collective punishment that America used as a weapon of war in order to pacify the independently minded population. The American intervention in the Philippines indiscriminately erased from the face of the Earth hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. This is called genocide, and the Evil Empire got exceedingly good at it.

The reality of what happened over 100 years ago is comfortably hidden away from us today. The American war in the Philippines is today but an asterisk in our history books, yet the gravity of the malevolence cannot be forgotten. It certainly is not included in the educational material of our children, or in those of our own childhood, however. Why is this? What the US government does in our name cannot be made known lest the population rage in anger at the wickedness that America exports abroad. Genocide, collective punishment, scorched earth policy and ethnic cleansing leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings is not something to be proud of. Not when Stalin, Hitler and the Nazis did the exact same thing.

In the Philippines the Evil Empire was only getting warmed up. For the next 100 years it controlled all aspects of the Philippine government. The US installed minions and puppets that kept the populace in dire poverty, robbing the nation blind and fostering an era of inept and corrupt leaders handpicked by America. Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled as dictator of the beleaguered nation from 1965 until his ouster in 1986, is the best example of American complicity in the utter devastation of both the people and economy of the Philippines.

Marcos ruled with extreme harshness, subverting democracy, robbing the nation blind (some estimates have him stealing anywhere from $3 to $30 billion dollars) and killing thousands of dissenters and opposition members who dared speak out against the injustices and inequalities. He brought onto the nation’s masses untold suffering, indigence and slave labor, wages and conditions. Hundreds of thousands have died form malnourishment, disease, poverty and exploitation. The nation’s debt amassed under Marcos is today responsible for the dire circumstances of the population, and is a reason for the growth of Muslim and Marxist revolutionary groups prospering and threatening the government.

The beneficiary of the evil spawned by Marcos you may ask? The Evil Empire, which established military bases that helped expand the Empire geopolitically, collected hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, exploited slave labor for the manufacture of cheap products sold back in the US and controlled a subjugated populace through neo-liberal economic policies that privatized and made available to American corporations national industries and utilities. The Evil Empire and the Corporate Leviathan are one and the same, after all, their interests not mutually exclusive.

The Evil Empire’s claws of incessant violence soon expanded to other nations of Southeast Asia. When its addiction for destruction was not satisfied with the firebombing of Tokyo that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, it turned to that most evil of human creations: the atomic bomb. After becoming the only nation to ever use atomic weapons on innocent populated areas, killing hundreds of thousands and unleashing utter devastation on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America soon launched its appetite for blood in the Korean Peninsula after it entered the war, creating vast killing fields of both soldiers and civilians. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers on all sides perished along with upwards of three million Koreans (North and South) who were caught in the crossfire of ideologies and human wickedness.

Following the Korean War America soon found itself immersed in yet another war, this time in Vietnam. Decades of war led to the death of 58,000 American soldiers, over 100,000 South Vietnamese soldiers and close to one million North Vietnamese soldiers. Estimates place the number of civilian deaths at anywhere from 400,000 to two million. If the illegal American bombing of Cambodia and Laos orchestrated by Henry Kissinger is considered, in which civilian targets were selected and bombed, upwards of two million more Southeast Asians can be added to the Evil Empire’s macabre statistics. Furthermore, many more died as a result of the total devastation of land and infrastructure the bombings and war created, including the continued death and disease of land and man due to the lingering effects of Agent Orange and through the enormous amount of unexploded bombs and ordinance still littering the ground.

Indonesia is another nation that, through the American imposed and supported dictator Mohamed Suharto, suffered tremendously thanks to the meddling by the Evil Empire. Under Suharto’s watch, anywhere from 500,000 to two million people were killed in a 1965 alleged coup attempt, most of them dissenters, leftists, communists or opposition members. In 1975, with American blessings and weaponry, Suharto invaded East Timor in order to stop an insurrection by the native people, killing 250,000 people out of a population of 650,000. During Suharto’s stay in power he detained and executed hundreds of thousands of Indonesian opposition members. His reign ended in 1998. During this time corruption was endemic, as was the subversion of democracy, freedoms and rights. In 1999 it was found that the Suharto family fortune totaled $15 billion, most of it coming from those government funds created thanks to international loans and the labor of the masses.

Lands and People of Latin America

The Evil Empire’s omnipotent reach has had devastating effects in Latin America as well. The US government has interfered with the internal governance of several Central and South American nations in its quest to maintain its form of democracy and capitalism. The US has meddled in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Brazil, not to mention Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. The Evil Empire has imposed coups and US friendly dictatorships and leaders in many of the above mentioned nations. In Central America it supplied death squads with military support and logistics. In Chile, Argentina and Brazil, dictators, with the consent of their American masters, initiated a war against leftist dissenters and opponents, leading to the disappearance of thousands of men and women. In Panama, Manuel Noriega, a former CIA puppet, betrayed his American masters and hell was unleashed on Panama City by the US military. Anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 civilians died as the Evil Empire pursued the capture of one man.

Today, the Evil Empire is once more interfering in the destabilization of Latin American nations. Haiti is but the latest but by no means the last country to be burned by the searing claws of America’s might. President Aristide, a champion of the poor and a seeker of equality and justice, stepped on US shoes with his defiance of neo-liberal threats imposed on him by Haiti’s elite and the Bush administration. In essence, he sealed his own fate, and the clandestine coup sponsored by the US removed Aristide from office. As a result, Haiti, which has been the slave shop for US corporations for decades, will remain poor and exploited, a cesspool of poverty and hopelessness for its citizens.

Colombia has, thanks to the US, become a militarized zone where hundreds of people are killed on a yearly basis. Civil war has ensnarled the nation, instability runs amok and the livelihood of rural peasants has been destroyed by the coca eradication program enacted the America that has ruined arable land. With the potential of large oil reserves present under the nation’s lands and the already discovered exploitable natural resources prevalent throughout the countryside, Colombia has become a target for US interests. Oil and energy companies, along with their growing infrastructure, are already protected by the US military as they continue their exploitation of the nation.

Meanwhile, the Evil Empire already has its sites set on destabilizing Venezuela and a harsh critic of the US, Hugo Chavez. Forces now at work, supported and maintained by the US, are slowly setting in motion mechanisms that, it is hoped, will unseat Chavez from office, whether by force or other means, thereby installing a friendly US pro-neo-liberal puppet that will allow for the pilfering of Venezuelan oil by the Evil Empire. A coup, assassination and or invasion are not out of the realm of possibilities, especially when the Devil's excrement is involved.

What the Evil Empire has done to Latin America and its hundreds of millions of people is the imposition – by its proctors in high office and its bullying threats involving capital – of market colonialism that has had the effect of imprisoning and enslaving the masses. Neo-liberal ideology has indebted most “third-world” nations, not simply those of Latin America, and it has furthered indigence, lack of education, the corrosive caste system upon which millions are born into, inequality, injustice, hunger, disease, suffering, loss of opportunity and death.

Latin American nations have been made worse off since the inception of neo-liberal economic models forcefully imposed by the Evil Empire. As a result, labor has been made cheaper for US corporations, translating into cheaper goods for its citizens. Through the back-breaking slave labor, conditions and wages Latin Americans are exploited so that we in the rich north can consume to our hearts content. Yet millions upon millions live in squalor, surviving day to day, usually earning less than two dollars a day, living in feeble conditions and without the chance of ever improving their lives due to the non-existence of opportunity.

The Evil Empire’s domination of Latin America (for more detail please see my January 12th article, Not in Our Backyard) has resulted in the mass migration towards our borders. When mechanisms such as NAFTA and neo-liberal tools are put in place in countries such as Mexico, only the elite benefit and profit. Everyone else is made worse off; jobs are meager, scarce and dehumanizing. US subsidies to agriculture have devastated rural farmers and workers in Latin America. When these people leave for the cities they find that employment is non-existent and life unbearable. The push to migrate north, where natives no longer perform the jobs of hard labor, is tremendous.

Thus, today we see millions of undocumented workers living in the US. It is the Evil Empire’s imposed economic models and trade mechanisms that have created the eruption of Latin slave labor in our nation. Is it any coincidence that the mass migration north began after NAFTA was imposed on the region? The only entities that have benefited from NAFTA, both in the US and Mexico, are the corporations and the few ruling elite. Everyone else has been thrust into the realm of exploitation and failure.

The near enslavement of Latin America for the benefit of the Evil Empire has devastated millions of lives, talent and ability. It has created colonized economies, based on US crony capitalism that has exploited both man and land. Public companies and utilities have been privatized and subjugated to fit the Leviathan’s goals. The rich have become richer while the poor poorer, and this has led to the greatest disparity in wealth the region has ever seen.

The Evil Empire has created a region that has for the last fifty years been subservient to the US. Its many puppets and proctors have helped devastate lives and subjugate the masses. Democracy has historically been an illusion. Fraud, coups, assassinations, destabilization, dictatorships and a state of perpetual wretchedness have been used by the Evil Empire as tools to control Latin America. When the will of the people triumphs, such as in Chile with Allende, Venezuela with Chavez or Haiti with Aristide, the Evil Empire imposes its will in order to decimate democracy and maintain a system that benefits the US, its corporations and the elite.

Social democracy and economic models that benefit the masses are not allowed to flourish lest they become a threat to the US. Systems of governance that benefit the people are never allowed to prosper, lest the “pestilence” gain momentum and traverse like a virus beyond borders, giving millions of destitute people hope. Only US style crony capitalism that makes serfs and slaves of the masses for the greater benefit of the Leviathan and the elite oligarchs can exist. Only US style debauched democracy can stand, where the will of the people is silenced and their incredible ability quashed.

The Evil Empire has in the last fifty years devastated hundreds of millions of lives and we are all complicit, thanks to the work of our government, in the ruination of lives and exploitation of human energies.

Lands and People of the Middle East

With wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Evil Empire has killed tens of thousands of Arabs in the last two years. The remnants of cluster bombs and depleted uranium used by the American war machine have and will continue to kill and maim thousands more in the coming decades.

US sponsored sanctions on Iraq, in essence nothing more than a cruel form of economic genocide that was imposed in the aftermath of Gulf War I, unleashed its inherent evils for the next decade, resulting in the death of up to a million men, women and children who were denied basic necessities needed for survival. This form of crime against humanity enforced by the Evil Empire was in essence a quasi-concentration camp in which a million humans perished due to the American government’s collective punishment on an entire population.

Iraq, needless to say, has suffered tremendously both by the one-time American lackey whose tyrannical dictatorship led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and by US wars and sanctions. The Evil Empire has made the Cradle of Civilization a walking wasteland of death, suffering and destruction, a barren desert whose fertility has been eroded.

For years the people of Iran were forced to endure the horrors and despotism of the shah, an American proctor and puppet that subjected his people to tyranny, oppression and exploitation. Democracy was subverted, many innocent civilians were killed or disappeared and the nation fell into decay while the shah and his cronies basked in the splendor of oil’s rewards. When the masses finally revolted, the American embassy was attacked and destroyed, a clear symbol of who the people thought was responsible for their misery. The Great Satan was purged from the lands of Persia and to this day has not returned.

Today, Saudi Arabia is controlled by a US-protected monarchy loyal to its masters. Meanwhile, the people linger in growing poverty and desperation. Democracy is non-existent, as are freedoms and liberties. As a result, many living below human dignity are turning toward resistance and resentment that is manifesting itself in a growing hatred of both the Saud monarchy and American “Crusaders” despoiling sacred Muslim lands.

In Turkey, the Kurdish minority has for years been ethnically cleansed by the Turkish government. Hundreds of thousands of people have died and many more maimed and injured thanks to the vast, modern and sophisticated array of weapons and military hardware provided by the Evil Empire, who has turned a blind eye to the genocide and repression that has brought misery and suffering to the Kurds of Turkey. The Empire’s failure to act in the face of such crimes against humanity and its approval of arms sales to the Turkish military makes it complicit in the systemic annihilation and plight of the Kurdish people.

Through one-sided political support for the crimes against humanity being perpetrated by Israel against the occupied and oppressed Palestinian people, the Evil Empire’s hands are smeared in the blood of a people robbed of their land, raped of their livelihood and dehumanized of their existence. It is American Apache helicopters, Abrams tanks, Caterpillar bulldozers, fast missiles, smart bombs, weapons and bullets that are decimating an entire population, making prisoners of millions who now live in Bantustans and ghettos.

This, along with billions of dollars in financial and military aid to the Israeli government has morphed the crimes of the IDF with the interests of the Evil Empire, forming a Molotov cocktail of destruction, dehumanization and death. The apartheid wall being built today that is usurping Palestinian land, crops, water, homes and lives is in large part possible thanks to American taxpayer money. The Evil Empire’s role in Israel’s treatment of the native Palestinian people is apparent in the geopolitical protection afforded the country by the US and its role in vetoing UN condemnations of Israeli behavior and by its tacit support for Israeli actions in the occupied territories.

The Evil Empire is once more involved in the devastation of millions of people who have been robbed of their lands and lives, live in utter decay and dehumanization, suffer severe forms of collective punishment and are being ethnically cleansed in a most meticulous and abhorrent way. Palestinians are today living in a state of apartheid, in ghettos resembling large concentration camps, under the watchful eyes of a trigger-happy occupying force, struggling to survive on the measly crumbs Israel throws their way and with the knowledge that their endemic and ruinous plight is endorsed by the greatest “purveyor of democracy” and “defender of human rights” the world has ever seen.

In Central Asia, the Evil Empire is systematically forging alliances with a new group of tyrannical dictators that have subjugated their people to despotism. In these nations, democracy is dwindling, freedoms are hardly existent and the decay of liberties is being exacerbated. Torture, death, misery and poverty are hallmarks of the new group of dictators now entrenched in the pockets of the US government. It seems that when vast oil wealth is involved the US altruistic fight for democracy is a principle that is easily disposed of and forgotten. The struggle for human rights and dignity the US so boldly declares as a priority is erased and ignored.

The Evils Done in our Name

The devastation of peoples throughout the planet directly or indirectly sponsored by the Evil Empire, who through no fault of their own are denied rights, freedoms and democracy, are subjected to gross human rights violations and persecutions and face death or disappearance is a crime against humanity. It is state sponsored terrorism and genocide. Market colonialism has decimated both countries and the lives of their inhabitants. Economic genocide has wrought suffering and increased indigence, robbing millions of education, healthcare, opportunity and livable wages. The world’s people have in many instances been enslaved to cater to the interests of the Evil Empire and its minions.

The evils done in our name have created worldwide animosity and hatred. They have given rise to desperation and humiliation that is today manifested by the growing number of humans fighting the system that has been imposed onto them. From Al-Qaeda to Iraqi freedom fighters to the Venezuelan poor to enlightened Europeans to the growing number of sprouting “terror” groups franchising around the world, the people of the world are growing frustrated at the Evil Empire’s devastation of peoples in order to suit its interests, both corporate and governmental.

Billions are searing in anger at the US government and by indirect complicity at its citizens as well. We are no longer welcome neighbors in the community of nations. To be American is to be scorned and castigated, to be unwelcome in the lands of the exploited and subjugated. The evils done in our name are beginning to have karmic repercussions throughout the globe, and the danger now present will affect us all who have been made blind to the crimes against humanity and the planet being committed by the Evil Empire.

In the last 200 years the United States has killed, directly or indirectly, tens of millions of human beings, surpassing the horrors of evildoers past and present. It has created untold levels of suffering and depravity, sending untold millions to the sewers of poverty and dehumanization. These truths are not easy to swallow, or to accept, yet they are as real as the air we breathe. It is time we accept the evils done in our name.

George W. Bush is but the latest in a long line of presidents who have continued the cycle of violence our nation has such a propensity towards. America, it seems, gravitates naturally towards violence and destruction, perhaps due to the fact that besides 9/11, we have never seen the true horrors of what man is capable of unleashing onto his fellow man. The reality that afflicts billions is to us a distant haze of blurriness. We have not been made privy to the suffering and misery, the death, disease and maiming of a land in war, an environment in flames and a people in battle. Our luck has been the world’s misfortune.

Our society has been made blind to endemic and ceaseless worldwide suffering at the hands of our government. Through years of conditioning we now fail to blink at the carnage our military engenders around the world. From the cradle to the grave we are subjected to incessant violence, whether real or fictional, that makes us immune to the torment prevalent in the rest of the world. Through careful manipulation we are made to believe that war is peace, destruction is prosperity and murder is life.

The world burns while we live lives of consumption and production, happy worker bees stuck in hour long commutes working most of our productive lives. We live in peace and harmony at home, distracted from reality by our television screens and movie theatres, by our lavish lifestyles and wasteful society. In the land of the individual the communality of peoples is an alien principle. Content, conformist and passive thanks to our nation of plenty, we care not for peoples outside our borders. We have everything we need, after all, and a plethora of distractions in our daily lives prevents us from even considering that a larger world exists beyond our shores.

The impenetrable bubble we live in protects us from empathizing with billions whose lives have been made worse since the birth of the Evil Empire. We have been made ignorant to that which has been unleashed onto the world and that owes its existence to our continued lifestyle and complicity by acquiescence and failure to act. The Evil Empire runs rampant through the planet, devouring all in its path, enslaving millions and conquering and despoiling lands.

Meanwhile, inside the belly of the beast we sit, basking in extravagance and splendor, complacent in life and circumstance, unwilling to open our eyes and minds to the evils done in our name.

Originally published 10 March 2004