Bulletin N°307



3 June 2007
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Who is not chagrin at the deceit, the hypocrisy, the murderous indifference that passes as normal behavior in our society today? In one of his essays written during the Nazi occupation of France the historian Marc Bloch observed that most of French society continued to behave as normal: plumbers plumbed, electricians laid wire, teachers taught, policemen directed traffic, etc., etc. . . . . Business as usual was the backdrop against which the forces of repression and resistance played out their deadly game. It was a Kafkaesque experience for anyone like Bloch, who refused to "look the other way" and who joined in the French underground resistance early in the 1940s.

Modern social science teaches us today that we cannot study a social system using the methodologies of  mechanical science. We are not looking at an independent object when we try to analyze our society and its history. Social science study is simply not like observing a Bunsen burner under a beaker of water, and measuring the temperature, the time and the material transformations. The things we are looking at in social science are not "closed systems," they are not to be observed from the outside with entirely predictable results. Rather we are part of the system we are trying to understand, and it is part of us. When it changes we change, and visa versa. . . .

The 9 items below include very alarming accounts of current events, all sent to us by reliable sources. We encourage CEIMSA readers to look at each of these items carefully and to judge for yourselves what effect these social changes are having on your lives, and visa versa of course :

Item A. is an appeal from Eugene Bird, President of the Council for the National Interest Foundation which has been working for peace in the Middle East since 1989.

Item B., from Professor Edward Herman, is a shocking report from Israel announcing the public advocacy of genocide by Israeli religious leaders.

Item C. is a Truthout podcast of the Robert Greenwald film, "War profiteers in Iraq".

Item D. is an audio recording of the May 17th speech by Professor Noam Chomsky delivered at the University of Windsor in Canada on the subject of "Media and the use of Force".

Item E. is an article by Dr. Michael Parenti on "Globalization and Democracy".

Item F., from Professor Edward Herman, in an article by Reverend William Alberts on " Faith based imperialism".

Item G. is the a podcast of the May 25th edition of PBS's Bill Moyers Journal, featuring his interview with American writer and peace activist, Maxine Hong Kingston.

Item H., is a podcast from George Kenney with an interview with American dissident astrophysicist, Dr. Halton C. Arp, "a Galileo of the 21st Century"?

Item I. is a Democracy Now! podcast on professional ethics in the American Psychological Association in relation to torture and interrogation and torture techniques applied to prisoners at Guantanamo and at the Abu Ghraib prison, 20 miles west of Baghdad. 

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Universit Stendhal Grenoble 3
http ://dimension.ucsd.edu/CEIMSA-IN-EXILE/

from Council for the National Interest Foundation :
1250 4th Street SW, Suite WG-1 Washington, DC 20024
800.296.6958 202.863.2951 Fax: 202.863.2952


Dear Francis,
To mark the fortieth anniversary of Israel's brutal military occupation next week, the CNI Foundation will be publishing a new full-page ad in the June 10th, Sunday New York Times, opposite the editorial page inside the "Week in Review" section. The ad is timed to coincide with the day of a mass protest rally and march on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, which is expected to be attended by tens of thousands of people.

The Sunday, June 10th, full-page ad will be one of the CNI Foundation's most important advertising efforts since the New York Times first agreed to run one of our ads in 2002. We need your financial support. We are currently drafting the ad around the need for restoring U.S. credibility around the world by seriously engaging our full diplomatic, economic, and political attention to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We will have a cartoon in the ad that shows the top six presidential contenders scrambling to get to an AIPAC podium to express their "undying support" to the state of Israel.

We have just concluded a very successful campaign in the New York Times. Over the last year we published six full-page ads, one every two months, in the Sunday "Week in Review" section. These ads have covered such taboo subjects as the Israel lobby's near stranglehold on U.S. foreign policy, the worrisome rise of Christian Zionism, the need to exit Iraq and prevent possible war with Iran, and, of course, Israel's refusal to end the occupation and make peace with her neighbors.

Our ads provoked the usual smears from apologists for the right wing in Israel, and naturally a lot of vicious hate mail. But they also revealed, through countless heartfelt letters and generous contributions we received, that there is large and growing support among ordinary Americans for an end to the occupation, an end to Israeli apartheid over the Palestinians, and, instead, for serious U.S. efforts at making real peace in the Middle East. You can see a copy of each of our previous full-page ads on our new website by clicking here.

Could you help us cover the cost of this ad, which will mark the fortieth anniversary of the occupation, by making a tax-deductible contribution of $35 to the CNI Foundation today? You can make a secure credit card donation online here or by calling us toll-free at 800-296-6958 and dialing extension 305. If you would like to send a check or money order, you can use the address at the bottom of this email and list "NY Times Ad" in the memo section.

This has been one of the most productive years in our history. By becoming a CNI Foundation donor, you can help us grow and continue our fight against the lobby!


Eugene Bird

from Edward Herman :
Subject: FW: [AcademicsforJustice] Top Israeli Rabbis Advocate Genocide - 2 articles
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2007
The Electronic Intifada

Top Israeli rabbis advocate genocide
by Ali Abunimah


Yesterday I wrote a piece entitled "Israel's House of Horrors"
about the openly murderous statements of Israeli cabinet
ministers. Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, I read a
news article on the website of The Jerusalem Post that
Israel's former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu -- one
of the most senior theocrats in the Jewish State "ruled that
there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the
indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive
military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket
launchings" ("Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza," The
Jerusalem Post, 30 May, 2007).

The Jerusalem Post reported that Mordechai made this ruling in
a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert citing biblical
authority. The letter was published in a weekly journal
distributed in synagogues throughout Israel. The report states
that "According to Jewish war ethics, wrote Eliyahu, an entire
city holds collective responsibility for the immoral behavior
of individuals. In Gaza, the entire populace is responsible
because they do nothing to stop the firing of Kassam rockets."

Eliayahu's son, Shmuel Eliayhu, himself chief rabbi of Safad,
amplified his father's comments, stating: "If they don't stop
after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand." He added,
"And if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000.
If they still don't stop we must kill 100,000, even a million.
Whatever it takes to make them stop."

This kind of genocidal hatred of Palestinians is not unusual
in Israel. What used to be unusual was for it to be spoken so
brazenly and openly. Of course we know what would happen if a
Muslim or Palestinian religious figure made such a statement.
We know the international outcry when Iran's President
Ahmadinejad allegedly made statements calling for the
elimination of Israel. Will all those EU officials who curried
favor by condemning Ahmedinejad take an equally strong and
public stance against Israel's former chief rabbi? Will they
demand that Olmert publicly repudiate the letter he received?

A Muslim making such statements about Jews would certainly be
banished from traveling to the United States, and could end up
in Guantanamo for much less.

Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide adopted in the wake of the Nazi holocaust,
"Direct and public incitement to commit genocide" is a
punishable act. One wonders whether the UN Security Council,
which created an international tribunal to investigate the
killing of one man in Lebanon, will pay any attention to the
indiscriminate state- and theocratically-sanctioned massacres
of Palestinians by Israel.

Will Hillary Clinton, who continues to defame Palestinian
schoolchildren with the lie that they are taught "hatred" in
their schoolbooks, or any of our other pandering candidates,
take a moment out from praising Israel to condemn Eliayahu's
statement? What about Oprah Winfrey, who at the invitation of
Elie Wiesel is to undertake a "solidarity" visit to Israel?

It seems there are no moral restraints left in Israel. It is
right and proper that such a regime be isolated with boycott,
divestment and sanctions until it desists from its racist --
and potentially genocidal -- practices. It is to be celebrated
that an increasing number of individuals and organizations
understand this: yesterday the governing body of the UK's
University and College Union voted overwhelmingly to support a
boycott of Israeli academia. Today UNISON, the UK's largest
public service union announced it will vote on similar motions
at its next congress. As Israel's house of horror grows, so
does the movement to confront it. In that there is great hope.

Ali Abunimah is cofounder of the online publication The
Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal
to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.
Web link


 The Nazi rabbi
by Khalid Amayreh

2 June 2007
Shortly before Israeli occupation soldiers murdered  in cold blood two  Gaza
children , who apparently were searching for scrap metal to sell for a few
cents  in order to help feed their impoverished families, the former Chief
rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Elyahu,  urged the Israeli army and government to
use the Nazi choice against Palestinians.

Elyahu reportedly petitioned the Israeli government to carry out a series of
carpet bombing of Palestinian population centers in Gaza, arguing that  a
ground invasion of the worlds most crowded spot would endanger Israeli

If they dont stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand, said
Shmuel Elyahu, the son of Mordechai Elyahu, quoting his father. And if they
do not stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still dont stop
we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop.

Mordechai, considered one of the most knowledgeable Talmudic sages in
Israel, said it was forbidden to risk the lives of Jews for fear of injuring
and killing Palestinian civilians.

This is not the first time Elyahu issues such  an  outrageous Talmudic
edict. A few years ago, he called on the Israeli occupation army not to
refrain from killing Palestinian children if that meant saving Jewish

Elyahu is associated with Merkaz Harav,  a Talmudic College in West
Jerusalem,  that is largely considered to be the theological and ideological 
nerve center of religious-messianic Zionism.

The College teaches and promotes the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook,
the first Chief Rabbi of  the immigrant  Jewish community in Palestine who
is viewed as the religious and spiritual  godfather and mentor of the
settler movement, known as Gush Emunim (the bloc of faithful.

According to Israeli writer Yair Sheleg Rabbi Kook wrote that the
difference between the Jewish soul and the souls of all non-Jews, no matter
what their rank and level of understanding , is bigger and deeper than the
difference between the human soul and the animal soul. (Moses and the
Prophets never taught this outrageous invention which is totally
incompatible with  the Abrahamic traditions).

This totally racist discourse toward non-Jews represents the mainstream and
modus operandi  at Merkaz Harav where Talmudic sages such as Haim Druckman,
Avraham Shapira, Dov Lior, etc, teach that non-Jews are sub-humans,  and
ought to be enslaved or destroyed.

Western people, constantly brainwashed  with unceasing  Zionist propaganda
and disinformation about Israeli democracy and liberalism might be
prompted to think that such ideas are marginal, eccentric  or even anecdotal 
and that they  are espoused by only a small bunch of Talmudic extremists.

But this is not the case at all.  Today, this  Nazi-like ideology is manual
for action for hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world, especially
in Israel, including the estimated half a million  settlers in the West Bank
and East Jerusalem who openly claim that non-Jews living under Jewish rule
ought to be enslaved, expelled or annihilated.

A few years ago, Haim Yavin, a prominent TV personality in Israel, did a
documentary on Jewish settlers in the West Bank and how they viewed their
Arab neighbors.

The documentary featured a Jewish settler woman who told Yavin that if we
Jews get together, we will make the Palestinians our slavesand Muhammed
will make coffee for both of us.!!!

The more radical settlers  (we are talking abut tens of thousands of people,
such as the followers of Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish terrorist who in 1994
murdered 29 Palestinian civilians while praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque in
downtown Hebron, and the so-called hilltop youths) go one  step further and
believe  that Palestinians belong to one and only place:  The Ovens.

Last year, when some peace-minded Israeli activists visited Hebron and
sought to erase graffiti reading Arabs to the Oven scrawled outside the
settler compound of Abraham Avino,  local settlers ganged up on the
activists, calling them Nazis, Arab lovers, and whores as  pro-settler
policemen and soldiers looked on rather passively. One particularly nasty
settler woman, the wife of a rabbi,  shouted at one female activist, saying
How many Arabs did you sleep with today?

There is no doubt that the nefarious ideas of Jewish supremacy, as taught by
Talmudic circles such as  Mirkaz Harav, is poisoning and even Nazifying the
minds of thousands of Jewish and Israeli youths.

Earlier in May,  a recent Jewish immigrant from France murdered in cold
blood an Arab taxi driver from East Jerusalem after beguiling the
unsuspecting victim to take him to  Netanya.

The murderer, named Julian Sufir,  had  apparently been subjected to heavy
doses of religious indoctrination at  a  synagogue near his home, which
probably preached the message that non-Jews are infra-humans.

When this Sufir was interrogated by policy, he so calmly and nonchalantly 
told them that I just wanted to kill an Arab, any Arab. There is no
difference between killing an Arab and killing an animal. When I killed him,
I felt I was slaughtering a sheep.!! (see my article Hypocrisy with French
Flavor- www.thepeoplevoice.org.

In truth,  one can hardly exaggerate the danger of  these powerful  fascist 
elements in  Israel as a growing number of Jewish youngsters are being
inculcated with the same venomous hatred and fascistic mindset that  once
brainwashed German youths more than sixty years ago. We know the rest of the

This danger is so real and so tangible  especially when one considers the
fact that tens of thousands of Israeli occupation soldiers happen to be
graduates of Talmudic schools, known as Yeshevot.

Needless to say,  most of these schools teach that killing innocent Arab
children is a great mitzvah and makes a Jew closer to God.

This little-known fact, which most westerners are not allowed to know or
even discover,  explains why Jewish soldiers in Gaza and Nablus shoot
Palestinian school children right in the head with no compunction or guilty

Finally,  the peoples of the world, including  man honest and peace-minded
Jews, are invited to  imagine how Israel would look like and how the world
would look like when these Judeo-Nazi forces  assume power in Israel and be
in control of Israels 300 nuclear bombs.

I say when because the Israeli Jewish society is drifting menacingly to
jingoistic religious chauvinism that can be compared with  the drifting
ideological currents among Germans in the mid and late 1930s. Hence, a
takeover of power in Israel by the settler and pro-settler camp is not a
matter of if but rather when it will happen.

This is not a matter  of  concern for  Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims
alone. The whole world  would be facing a real danger.  Germany, too, would
be in  danger since Talmudic sages are  already saying  that Germans would
eventually  be forced to pay dearly for the holocaust.


Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian independent journalist living in the
occupied Palestinian town of Dura near Hebron.
Mona Baker

Personal website: www.monabaker.com
Resources for Translation Studies:

Click here to visit Birzeit's Right to Education Site:

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Visit http://academicsforjustice.org

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from Information Clearing House :
24 May 2007
Subject: Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers


Here is a video telling the story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war. The acclaimed director Robert Greenwald takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq.
"Iraq for Sale" uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so.

Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers
Click to view:

from Information Clearing House :
24 May 2007
Subject: Media and the Use of Force.

In this audio recording Noam Chomsky compares U.S. aggression to Nuremberg standards of Nazi war crimes.

Poisoned Chalice : Media & The Use of Force



from Michael Parenti :
Date: 26 May 2007
Subject: Globalization and Democracy.

Dear Francis,
Attached is a recent article of mine "Globalization and Democracy, Some Basics" that Common Dreams posted.
Common Dreams (along with ZNet) is one of those sites worth supporting.
all the best,

Globalization and Democracy: Some Basics

by Michael Parenti
The  goal of the transnational corporation is to become truly transnational, poised above the sovereign power of any particular nation, while being served by the sovereign powers of all nations. Cyril Siewert, chief financial officer of Colgate Palmolive Company, could have been speaking for all transnationals when he remarked, "The United States doesn't have an automatic call on our [corporation's] resources. There is no mindset that puts this country first."[1]
      With international free trade agreements such as NAFTA, GATT, and FTAA, the giant transnationals have been elevated above the sovereign powers of nation states. These agreements endow anonymous international trade committees with the authority to prevent, overrule, or dilute any laws of any nation deemed to burden the investment and market prerogatives of transnational corporations. These trade committees-of which the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a prime example---set up panels composed of trade specialists" who act as judges over economic issues, placing themselves above the rule and popular control of any nation, thereby insuring the supremacy of international finance capital. This process, called globalization, is treated as an inevitable natural growth development beneficial to all. It is in fact a global coup dtat by the giant business interests of the world.
      Elected by no one and drawn from the corporate world, these panelists meet in secret and often have investment stakes in the very issues they adjudicate, being bound by no conflict-of-interest provisions. Not one of GATT's five hundred pages of rules and restrictions are directed against private corporations; all are against governments. Signatory governments must lower tariffs, end farm subsidies, treat foreign companies the same as domestic ones, honor all corporate patent claims, and obey the rulings of a permanent elite bureaucracy, the WTO. Should a country refuse to change its laws when a WTO panel so dictates, the WTO can impose fines or international trade sanctions, depriving the resistant country of needed markets and materials.[2]
      Acting as the supreme global adjudicator, the WTO has ruled against laws deemed barriers to free trade. It has forced Japan to accept greater pesticide residues in imported food. It has kept Guatemala from outlawing deceptive advertising of baby food. It has eliminated the ban in various countries on asbestos, and on fuel-economy and emission standards for motor vehicles. And it has ruled against  marine-life protection laws and the ban on endangered-species products. The European Unions prohibition on the importation of hormone-ridden U.S. beef had overwhelming popular support throughout Europe, but a three-member WTO panel decided the ban was an illegal restraint on trade. The decision on beef put in jeopardy a host of other food import regulations based on health concerns. The WTO overturned a portion of the U.S. Clean Air Act banning certain additives in gasoline because it interfered with imports from foreign refineries. And the WTO overturned that portion of the U.S. Endangered Species Act forbidding the import of shrimp caught with nets that failed to protect sea turtles.[3]
      Free trade is not fair trade; it benefits strong nations at the expense of weaker ones, and rich interests at the expense of the rest of us. Globalization means turning the clock back on many twentieth-century reforms: no freedom to boycott products, no prohibitions against child labor, no guaranteed living wage or benefits, no public services that might conceivably compete with private services, no health and safety protections that might cut into corporate profits.[4]
      GATT and subsequent free trade agreements allow multinationals to impose monopoly property rights on indigenous and communal agriculture. In this way agribusiness can better penetrate locally self-sufficient communities and monopolize their resources. Ralph Nader gives the example of the neem tree, whose extracts contain natural pesticidal and medicinal properties. Cultivated for centuries in India, the tree attracted the attention of various pharmaceutical companies, who filed monopoly patents, causing mass protests by Indian farmers. As dictated by the WTO, the pharmaceuticals now have exclusive control over the marketing of neem tree products, a ruling that is being reluctantly enforced in India. Tens of thousands of erstwhile independent farmers must now work for the powerful pharmaceuticals on profit-gorging terms set by the companies.
       A trade agreement between India and the United States, the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture (KIA), backed by Monsanto and other transnational corporate giants, allows for the grab of Indias seed sector by Monsanto, its trade sector by Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, and its retail sector by Wal-Mart. (Wal-Mart announced plans to open 500 stores in India, starting in August 2007.) This amounts to a war against Indias independent farmers and small businesses, and a threat to Indias food security. Farmers are organizing to protect themselves against this economic invasion by maintaining traditional seed-banks and setting up systems of communal agrarian support. One farmer says, We do not buy seeds from the market because we suspect they may be contaminated with genetically engineered or terminator seeds.[5]
      In a similar vein, the WTO ruled that the U.S. corporation RiceTec has the patent rights to all the many varieties of basmati rice, grown for centuries by Indias farmers. It also ruled that a Japanese corporation had exclusive rights in the world to grow and produce curry powder. As these instances demonstrate, what is called free trade amounts to international corporate monopoly control. Such developments caused Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad to observe:
       We now have a situation where theft of genetic resources by western biotech TNCs [transnational corporations] enables them to make huge profits by producing patented genetic mutations of these same materials. What depths have we sunk to in the global marketplace when natures gifts to the poor may not be protected but their modifications by the rich become exclusive property?
       If the current behavior of the rich countries is anything to go by, globalization simply means the breaking down of the borders of countries so that those with the capital and the goods will be free to dominate the markets.[6]
      Under  free-trade agreements like General Agreements on Trade and Services (GATS) and Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), all public services are put at risk. A public service can be charged with causing lost market opportunities for business, or creating an unfair subsidy. To offer one instance: the single-payer automobile insurance program proposed by the province of Ontario, Canada, was declared "unfair competition. Ontario could have its public auto insurance only if it paid U.S. insurance companies what they estimated would be their present and future losses in Ontario auto insurance sales, a prohibitive cost for the province. Thus the citizens of Ontario were not allowed to exercise their democratic sovereign right to institute an alternative not-for-profit auto insurance system. In another case, United Parcel Service charged the Canadian Post Office for lost market opportunities,  which means that under free trade accords, the Canadian Post Office would have to compensate UPS for all the business that UPS thinks it would have had if there were no public postal service. The Canadian postal workers union has challenged the case in court, arguing that the agreement violates the Canadian Constitution.
      Under NAFTA, the U.S.-based Ethyl Corporation sued the Canadian government for $250 million in lost business opportunities and interference with trade because Canada banned MMT, an Ethyl-produced gasoline additive considered carcinogenic by Canadian officials. Fearing they would lose the case, Canadian officials caved in, agreeing to lift the ban on MMT, pay Ethyl $10 million compensation, and issue a public statement calling MMT safe, even though they had scientific findings showing otherwise. California also banned the unhealthy additive; this time a Canadian based Ethyl company sued California under NAFTA for placing an unfair burden on free trade.[7]
   International free trade agreements like GATT and NAFTA have hastened the corporate acquisition of local markets, squeezing out smaller businesses and worker collectives. Under NAFTA better-paying U.S. jobs were lost as firms closed shop and contracted out to the cheaper Mexican labor market. At the same time thousands of Mexican small companies were forced out of business. Mexico was flooded with cheap, high-tech, mass produced corn and dairy products from giant U.S. agribusiness firms (themselves heavily subsidized by the U.S. government), driving small Mexican farmers and distributors into bankruptcy, displacing large numbers of poor peasants. The lately arrived U.S. companies in Mexico have offered extremely low-paying jobs, and unsafe work conditions. Generally free trade has brought a dramatic increase in poverty  south of the border.[8]
We North Americans are told that to remain competitive in the new era of globalization, we will have to increase our output while reducing our labor and production costs, in other words, work harder for less. This in fact is happening as the work-week has lengthened by as much as twenty percent (from forty hours to forty-six and even forty-eight hours) and real wages have flattened or declined during the reign of George W. Bush. Less is being spent on social services, and we are enduring more wage concessions, more restructuring, deregulation, and privatization. Only with such adjustments, one hears, can we hope to cope with the impersonal forces of globalization that are sweeping us along.
      In fact, there is nothing impersonal about these forces. Free trade agreements, including new ones that have not yet been submitted to the U.S. Congress have been consciously planned by big business and its government minions over a period of years in pursuit of a deregulated world economy that undermines all democratic checks upon business practices. The people of any one province, state, or nation are now finding it increasingly difficult to get their governments to impose protective regulations or develop new forms of public sector production out of fear of being overruled by some self-appointed international free-trade panel.[9]
      Usually it is large nations demanding that poorer smaller ones relinquish the protections and subsidies they provide for their local producers. But occasionally things may take a different turn. Thus in late 2006 Canada launched a dispute at the World Trade Organization over the use of trade-distorting agricultural subsidies by the United States, specifically the enormous sums dished out by the federal government to U.S. agribusiness corn farmers. The case also challenged the entire multibillion-dollar structure of U.S. agricultural subsidies. It followed the landmark WTO ruling of 2005 which condemned trade-distorting aid to U.S. cotton farmers. A report by Oxfam International revealed that at least thirty-eight developing countries were suffering severely as a result of trade distorting subsidies by both the United States and the European Union. Meanwhile, the U.S. government was maneuvering to insert a special clause into trade negotiations that would place its illegal use of farm subsidies above challenge by WTO member countries and make the subsidies immune from adjudication through the WTO dispute settlement process.[10]
      What is seldom remarked upon is that NAFTA and GATT are in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the preamble of which makes clear that sovereign power rests with the people: We the People of the United States . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution reads, All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States. Article I, Section 7 gives the president (not some trade council) the power to veto a law, subject to being overridden by a two-thirds vote in Congress. And Article III gives adjudication and review powers to a Supreme Court and other federal courts as ordained by Congress. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. There is nothing in the entire Constitution that allows an international trade panel to preside as final arbiter exercising supreme review powers undermining the constitutionally mandated decisions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
      True, Article VII says that the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties shall be the supreme Law of the land, but certainly this was not intended to include treaties that overrode the laws themselves and the sovereign democratic power of the people and their representatives.
      To exclude the Senate from deliberations, NAFTA and GATT were called agreements instead of treaties, a semantic ploy that enabled President Clinton to bypass the two-third treaty ratification vote in the Senate and avoid any treaty amendment process. The World Trade Organization was approved by a lame-duck  session of Congress held after the 1994 elections. No one running in that election uttered a word to voters about putting the U.S. government under a perpetual obligation to insure that national laws do not conflict with international free trade rulings.
      What is being undermined is not only a lot of good laws dealing with environment, public services, labor standards, and consumer protection, but also the very right to legislate such laws. Our democratic sovereignty itself is being surrendered to a secretive plutocratic trade organization that presumes to exercise a power greater than that of the people and their courts and legislatures. What we have is an international coup dtat by big capital over the nations of the world.
      Globalization is a logical extension of imperialism, a victory of empire over republic, international finance capital over local productivity and nation-state democracy (such as it is). In recent times however, given popular protests, several multilateral trade agreements have been stalled or voted down. In 1999, militant protests against free trade took place in forty-one nations from Britain and France to Thailand and India.[11]  In 2000-01, there were demonstrations in Seattle, Washington, Sydney, Prague, Genoa, and various other locales. In 2003-04 we saw the poorer nations catching wise to the free trade scams and refusing to sign away what shreds of sovereignty they still had. Along with the popular resistance, more national leaders are thinking twice before signing on to new trade agreements.
The discussion of globalization by some Marxists (but not all) has focused on the question of whether the new internationalization of capital will undermine national sovereignty and the nation state. They dwell on this question while leaving unmentioned such things as free trade agreements and the WTO. Invariably these observers (for instance Ellen Wood and William Taab in  Monthly Review,  Ian Jasper in Nature, Society and Thought, Erwin Marquit in Political Affairs) conclude that the nation state still plays a key role in capitalist imperialism, that capitalwhile global in its scope--is not international but bound to particular nations, and that globalization is little more than another name for overseas monopoly capital investment.
      They repeatedly remind us that Marx had described globalization, this process of international financial expansion, as early as 1848, when he and Engels in the Communist Manifesto wrote about how capitalism moves into all corners of the world, reshaping all things into its own image.  Therefore, there is no cause for the present uproar.  Globalization, these writers conclude, is not a new development but a longstanding one that Marxist theory uncovered long ago.
       The problem with this position is that it misses the whole central point of the current struggle. It is not only national sovereignty that is at stake, it is democratic sovereignty. Millions, of people all over the world have taken to the streets to protest free trade agreements.  Among them are farmers, workers, students and intellectuals (including many Marxists who see things more clearly than the aforementioned ones), all of whom are keenly aware that something new is afoot and they want no part of it. As used today, the term globalization refers to a new stage of international expropriation, designed not to put an end to the nation-state but to undermine whatever democratic right exists to protect the social wage and restrain the power of transnational corporations.
      The free trade agreements, in effect, make unlawful all statutes and regulations that restrict private capital in any way.  Carried to full realization, this means the end of whatever imperfect democratic protections the populace has been able to muster after generations of struggle in the realm of public policy. Under the free trade agreements any and all public services can be ruled out of existence because they cause lost market opportunities for private capital.  So too public hospitals can be charged with taking away markets from private hospitals; and public water supply systems, public schools, public libraries, public housing and public transportation are guilty of depriving their private counterparts of market opportunities, likewise public health insurance, public mail delivery, and public auto insurance systems.  Laws that try to protect the environment or labor standards or consumer health already have been overthrown for creating barriers to free trade.
      What also is overthrown is the right to have such laws.  This is the most important point of all and the one most frequently overlooked by persons from across the political spectrum.  Under the free trade accords, property rights have been elevated to international supremacy, able to take precedent over all other rights,  including the right to a clean livable environment, the right to affordable public services, and the right to any morsel of economic democracy.  Instead a new right has been accorded absolutist status, the right to corporate private profit. It has been used to stifle the voice of working people and their ability to develop a public sector that serves their interests.  Free speech itself is undermined as when product disparagement is treated as an interference with free trade. And nature itself is being monopolized and privatized by transnational corporations.
      So the fight against free trade is a fight for the right to politico-economic democracy, public services, and a social wage, the right not to be completely at the mercy of big capital. It is a new and drastic phase of the class struggle that some Marxists--so immersed in classical theory and so ill-informed about present-day public policy--seem to have missed. As embodied in the free trade accords, globalization has little to do with trade and is anything but free.  It benefits the rich nations over poor ones, and the rich classes within all nations at the expense of ordinary citizens. It is the new specter that haunts the same old world.
copyright Michael Parenti, 2007
Michael Parentis books include The Culture Struggle (Seven Stories); Democracy for the Few (8th edition). (Wadsworth/Thomson) and The Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press).

[1] Quoted in New York Times, May 21, 1989.
[2] See Lori Wallach and Michelle Sforza, The WTO (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2000); and John R. MacArthur, The Selling of Free Trade: Nafta, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000).
[3] New York Times, April 30, 1996 and May 9, 1997;Washington Post, October 13, 1998.
[4] See the  report by the United Nations Development Program referenced in New York Times, July 13, 1999.
[5]  Project Censored, Real News,  April 2007;  also Arun Shrivastava, Genetically Modified Seeds: Women in India take on Monsanto, Global Research, October 9, 2006.
[6] Quoted in Peoples Weekly World, December 7,  1996.
[7] John R. MacArthur, The Selling of "Free Trade": NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of American Democracy (New York: Hill & Wang, 2000; and Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh, Naftas Unhappy Anniversary, New York Times, February 7, 1995.
[8] John Ross, Tortilla Wars, Progressive, June 1999
[9] For a concise but thorough treatment, see Steven Shrybman, A Citizens Guide
to the World Trade Organization
(Ottawa/Toronto: Canadian Center for Policy
Alternatives and James Lorimer & Co., 1999).
[10] US seeks get-out clause for illegal farm payments Oxfam, June 29, 2006,
[11] San Francisco Chronicle, June 19, 1999.

from Edward Herman :
Subject: Faith based imperialism--bill alberts
Date: Thu, 24 May 2007

Christian Zealotry and the Occupation of Iraq
Faith-Based Imperialism

by Rev. William E. Alberts

The very nature of Christianity is imperialistic. A resurrected Christ reportedly told his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore," he ordered them, "and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey [italics added] everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:18-20). Jesus' assumed resurrection is believed to be proof of his own unique divinity as the only Son of God and savior of the world. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life," he is recorded as asserting. "No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) It is about authority and obedience far more than about individuality and equality. Thus Christianity is embraced by most adherents as "the highest revelation of God." In the words of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church: "We believe the Christian Church is the community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. . . . the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by men divinely called . . . {It} exists for the . . . edification of believers and the redemption of the world" [italics added]. ("Article V The Church," pages 67, 68) Jesus' death on the cross is also central to many Christians imperialistic claim of possessing the global religious truth for all human beings. A favorite authoritative verse is John 3: 16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." [italics added] As the passion of the Christ-makers dictates: Jesus died on the cross "for the sins of the whole world," and whoever believes in his sacrificial act of atonement, as the only pure Son of God, will not perish but inherit eternal life. Thus may an otherwise theologically damned hell-bent humanity escape the eternal punishment of an otherwise loving god.

"The sins of the whole world?" It all started innocently enough, if one believes in the literal truth of the Bible. "In the beginning God created" Adam and Eve and a womb-like Garden of Eden for them. Unfortunately, they committed the "first" or "original" sin: they disobeyed their god by eating from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;" and their "eyes [were] opened" and they became "wise . . . like God, knowing good and evil," which evidently was taboo. So an obedience-demanding, apparently jealous god banished them from the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3) Thus much of hierarchical and "bibliarchical" Christianity would have us believe that Adam and Eve actually existed, or represent mythical truth, and that their disobedience marks or symbolizes "the fall" of the human race: i.e. all human beings thereafter inherited Adam and Eve's disobedient, sinful nature. The only saving grace for all people is prayed often in many Christian churches: "Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of they tender mercy didst give thine only Son

Jesus Christ to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, who made there, by the offering of himself, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world." [italics added] ("The Great Thanksgiving," Holy Communion ritual, The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989, p.28)

"Original sin" of a real or mythical Adam and Eve? Or taking a bite to see the light, and cutting the "umbiblical" cord of patriarchy and moral obliviousness? Disobedience? Or individuation? Religion as power over people? Or as empowerment of people? Mindless? Or mindful of right and wrong?

On any given Sunday in almost any given Christian church one may hear professions of an ingrained imperialistic faith. It may be heard in a call to worship: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth. . . . No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known [italics added] (John 1).

On any given Sunday, faith-based imperialism may take wings in an opening hymn: "From all that dwell below the skies, let the Creator's praise arise; let the Redeemer's name be sung, through every land by every tongue." (Words: Isaac Watts; Music: John Hatton, The United Methodist Hymnal, p. 101)

A similar affirmation of an imperialistic faith, often said in unison in Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches, is the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; . . . rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and he will come to judge the living and the dead" [italics added]. ("Apostles' Creed," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Faith-based imperialism may be reflected in the Scripture lesson read at a given Sunday service: "Therefore God has exalted him and bestowed on him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." [italics added] (Philippians 2:9-11) Then may follow "the Word of God . . . preached by men divinely called" to lead "the community of all true believers." Here again the emphasis is far more on believing than on being. Far more on submission and domination than on liberation and equality.

Faith-based imperialism is oblivious to its own self-contradictions. On any given Sunday one may hear the following prayer "For Peace": "Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace [italics added] as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever, Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 p. 815) Here is unawareness of the "banners" under which people of other faiths may "glory."

At any given Sunday service, the closing hymn may sound an imperialistic note: "We've a story to tell to the nations, that shall turn their hearts to the right, a story of truth and mercy, a story of peace and light . . . For the darkness shall turn to the dawning, and the dawning to noon-day bright; and Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth, the kingdom of love and light." (Words and Music by Ernest Nichol, 1896, The United Methodist Hymnal, p. 569) And following the hymn, this benediction may be said: "Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time now and forever. Amen" [italics added] (Jude 1: 24, 25)

Faith-based imperialism is especially seen in claims regarding which Christians represent "the one true church." Catholicism teaches it alone possesses "the keys to the Kingdom," since disciple Simon Peter, who became the first apostle, is recorded as recognizing Jesus' unique divinity: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," and Jesus rewarded him with, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven . . ." [italics added] (Matthew 16: 16-19)

Citing the above Scripture as its authority, the Catechism of the Catholic Church stakes Catholicism's claim as the one true church: "This is the sole [italics added] Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." (811, p. 232). The Catechism continues, "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church . . . subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in commune with him." (816, p. 234) The Catechism then reinforces its imperialistic authority: "The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.'" [italics added] (Ibid) The Catholic Church's bottom line: "God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men." (848, p.244) Faith-based imperialism, in Germany, in other European countries, and in America, made it easier for Hitler's fascist Nazi ideology to murder some six million Jews in the 1930's and 1940's.

If Catholics find their imperialistic authority in their Church, evangelical and other Christians find it in their Bible. Many evangelical Christian websites declare that salvation is not through any "church but through Jesus Christ alone." Christian Resources Net, for example, states Catholicism's position: "The Second Vatican Council Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. Vertification: pg. 215, #816" But Catholicism is wrong because, "When checking God's Word on this subject, two critical facts leap out: 1. The Bible never remotely indicates that one must go through a church to obtain salvation. 2. Literally hundreds of Scriptures proclaim that salvation is a free gift from God, readily available to anyone, but only through Jesus Christ" [italics added). Christian Resources Net then proceeds to list at least 20 Scriptures, including, "Neither is there salvation in any other (except Jesus): for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4: 10,12" ("Catholic Beliefs vs. the Beliefs of God")

The historic pervasiveness of faith-based imperialism is seen in United Methodism's invitation to church membership: "The Church is of God, and will be preserved to the end of time, for the conduct of worship and the due administration of God's Word and Sacraments, the maintenance of Christian fellowship and discipline, the edification of believers and the conversion of the world. All of every age and station, stand in need of the means of grace which it alone supplies." [italics added] (The United Methodist Book of Worship, 1992, page 106) These words are in keeping with the mission of The United Methodist Church, which "affirms that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and Lord of all." And, "as we make disciples, we respect persons of all religious faiths and we defend religious freedom for all persons. . . . We embrace Jesus' mandates to love God and to love our neighbor and to make disciples of all peoples." [italics added] (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2004, pp.87,88)

United Methodists, and other evangelical Christians, appear to want their "cake of superiority" and eat at the table of equality, too. How can one "respect persons of all religious faiths" and "love our neighbor" if the intent is to convert and "make disciples" of them? Such "respect" and "love" for "persons of all faiths" appear to be code words needed to rationalize the very opposite. Such evangelism reveals a subtle, inherent disrespect for "persons of all [other] religious faiths." It represents another example of the obliviousness of an imperialistic faith to its own self-contradiction.

Evangelical Christianity is imperialistic. It presupposes that one's religious belief is better than another's. That one's faith is superior and another's inferior. That one's religion is true and another's false. Here there is not respect but religiously code-worded disrespect and inequality, with ingrained paternalism and arrogance that assume, "My faith is best for you." Here another's reality is unconsciously interpreted rather than consciously experienced. Here there is the negating of another's identity and inherent worth and right to believe as he or she chooses and to be who she or he is.

Faith-based imperialism encourages obliviousness to the rights and well-being of people of other religions. It is believed to restrict an evangelical Christian's capacity to identify with and perceive the reality of people of differing beliefs. It discourages walking in the shoes of different believers or non-believers. It violates the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31) It sets limits on empathy for and caring about what happens to persons beyond one's own "true believers." Where there is caring, it is often with proselytizing strings attached. It encourages an ethnocentric, "our kind" only interpretation of Jesus' commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39) Faith-based imperialism puts people of other faiths out of mind and out of sight, which obliviousness is subtle and pervasive and has deadly consequences.

Here there are prayers by ministers and priests at various public gatherings that often end with, "In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"-as if only Christians were in attendance. Here there is an unsigned note placed on the altar of the interfaith chapel in a big metropolitan hospital: "A chapel without a cross? Is this what has happened to Christianity in our country? Sad" (underlined three times). Here there is President Bush's United Methodist minister, Rev. Kirbyson Caldwell, ending his Benediction at Bush's January 2001 Inauguration with, "We respectfully submit this humble prayer in the name that's above all other names [italics added], Jesus, the Christ. Let all who agree say amen." Here there is evangelical Christian-professing Bush himself justifying a criminal war against Iraq with, "Freedom is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to every man and woman in the world." ("Acceptance Speech to Republican Convention Delegates," The New York Times, Sept. 3, 2004) A "gift" wrapped in "shock and awe" bombs and brutal occupation. And here Bush's faith-based initiatives also serve to numb Christian consciences and buy support for a criminal war.

Christians, whose faith-based imperialism prevents them from being aware of the Jews and Muslims in their midst, are far more likely to be oblivious to the Jews and Muslims being oppressed around them-or beyond them by their government in their name. Thus can an unchallenged self-professing evangelical Christian President Bush say at a news conference, "I pray daily. I pray for guidance and wisdom and strength. . . . I pray for peace. I pray for peace." (The New York Times, Mar. 7, 2003) And two weeks later unleash 21,000 pound "shock and awe" bombs on the people of Iraq-a war of choice planned by his administration long before the horrific 9/11/2001 attack against America which then served as a pretext for his criminal war.

The faith-based imperialism of many Christians apparently prevents them from perceiving the fear-mongering lies on which this "Jesus changed my heart"-president based his administration's unnecessary war. Belief in a superior faith and country may be preventing them from imagining and feeling the overwhelming death and destruction this falsely-based war is causing.

The facts should be shockingly clear by now. Saddam Hussein did not possess imminent "mushroom-cloud"-threatening weapons of mass destruction nor ties to the terrible 9/11/2001 attack against America. The person practicing a "game of deception" regarding weapons of mass destruction was not Hussein, as President Bush repeatedly charged, but Bush himself. War crimes against humanity, disguised as "Operation Iraqi Freedom," are being committed: hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children dead; the country's life-sustaining infrastructure devastated; some four million civilians forced to become refugees inside and outside their country; a deadly massive civil war raging, triggered by the US-led invasion and occupation; and thus far over 3400 American soldiers killed and tens of thousands wounded in body and mind, along with the terrible waste of our nation's resources.

The faith-based imperialism of Christians is assumed to well serve the Bush administration. A Christian evangelical-professing President Bush can attend an Easter service, where he again "prayed for peace at an Army post that has sent thousands of soldiers to Iraq." ("Prayer for Peace," The Boston Globe, Apr. 9, 2007) A public Easter "prayer for peace" for the ears of his god or for the eyes of Christians? The contradiction between his "prayer for peace" and his insistence that Congress continue to fund his war, with no timetable for withdrawal of troops attached, appears to still fall on many imperialistically conditioned minds and hearts.

The obliviousness of faith-based imperialism to its own self-contradiction was on display in President and Mrs. Bush's visit to Virginia Tech, after the shocking killing of thirty-one students and a professor by another student who then killed himself. A tragic heart-rending massacre in Virginia, leading to memorial scrvices throughout America. People readily identified with the victims and wept with their families, as did Bush and his wife, who hugged and shed tears with families and students. And Bush was quoted as saying, "Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. . . . They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're gone," he continued, "and they leave behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation." ("Bush offers condolences at Virginia Tech," Forbes.com, Apr. 17, 2007) Reported also was "first lady Laura Bush [who] said she met with two families that had lost their only child." She was then quoted, " ' The idea of that for any parent [italics added] is so devastating that it's hard for us to imagine what they are going through,' she told CBS News." (Ibid)

It is evidently "hard" for many Christians with an imperialistic mind-set to "imagine . . . any parent" in Iraq, never mind "what they are going through" in our name.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi mothers and fathers and sons and daughters "leaving behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation."-because of Bush himself and his neo-conservative advisors. All one had to do was read the headlines before and after the horrible killings at Virginia Tech: "Dozens killed in violence across Iraq" ( The Boston Globe, April 11, 2007); "85 people found dead across Iraq," (The Boston Globe, Apr. 18, 2007); "Bombs Rip Through Baghdad in Wave of Attacks, Killing 171," (The New York Times, Apr. 19, 2007); "Suicide car bomb kills 9 US soldiers," (The Boston Globe, Apr. 24, 2007); "Dozens killed in bomb attack in Shiite Shrine," (The New York Times, Apr. 29, 2007). Tragically, faith-based imperialism fails to make the connection between Blacksburg and Baghdad. "Those who lives were taken, did nothing to deserve their fate." "The idea of that for any parent is so devastating that it's hard for us to imagine."

The failure of faith-based imperialism to recognize its own self-contradiction is especially seen in another response of President Bush to the horrible killings at Virginia Tech. When asked what lesson might be drawn from it, he responded, " 'Make sure when you see somebody, know somebody exhibiting abnormal behavior,' do something about it." ("Bush seeks war support in small Ohio town," Los Angeles Times, Apr. 19, 2007).

When you see somebody . . . exhibiting abnormal behavior?" The person "exhibiting" the most dangerous "abnormal behavior" is President Bush himself:

Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of mass deaths and destruction. Facing the evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof-and the smoking gun that would come in the form of a 'mushroom cloud.' ("President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat," Cincinnati Ohio, The White House, Oct. 7, 2002);

I pray daily, I pray for wisdom and guidance and strength. . . . I pray for peace. I pray for peace. (The New York Times, Mar. 7, 2003);

Tomorrow is a moment of truth [italics added] for the world. ("President Bush: March 'Moment of Truth' for World in Iraq," The White House, Mar. 17, 2003);

I pray for peace. I pray for peace.

Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. . . . Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision, and speed, and boldness the world has never seen before. . . . You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces. This nation thanks all of the members of our coalition who joined in a noble cause. ("Test of Bush Speech: President declares end to major combat in Iraq," CBS NEWS, May 1, 2003) "Mission accomplished."

I pray daily . . . for wisdom and guidance and strength. . . . I pray for peace.

There are some that feel like if they attack us that we may decide to leave prematurely. They don't understand what they are talking about if that is the case. Let me finish. There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring 'em on.' ("Bush warns militants who attack U.S. troops in Iraq," by Sean Loughlin, CNN.com/inside politics, July 3, 2003)

I pray daily. . . . I pray for peace. I pray for peace.

I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. . . . I see dangers that exist and its important for us to deal with them. ("Bush sets case as 'war president,'" BBC NEWS, Feb. 8, 2004)

I pray for peace. I pray for peace.

Islamic fascists. Evil doers. All they can think about is evil. Flat evil. Killers. Murderers of women and children. Terrorists. Lenin and Hitler [types]. [A never-ending] global war on terrorism. They want to create a unified totalitarian Islamic state and destroy the free world. A struggle for civilization. The war on terror . . . is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st Century and the calling of our generation.


I pray for peace. I pray for peace.

Four years after this war began, the fight is difficult, but it can be won. . . . It will be won if we have the courage and resolve to see it through. . . . Congress can do its part by passing the war-spending bill without strings [a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq] and without delay. ("Bush Pleads for Patience in Iraq on War's Anniversary," by David Stout, The New York Times, Mar. 19, 2007)

I pray for peace. I pray for peace.

The faith-based imperialism of many Christians is believed to have enabled and accommodated the "I pray for peace" psychopathic insanity of the most dangerous man on the face of the earth. The "I pray for wisdom and guidance and strength" evangelical Christian President who uses "God" and "freedom" and bended knee to murder and maim and displace millions of children of "any parent" in Iraq, who "were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time." The pious President who brings not the biblical "oil of gladness" to Iraq but who seeks to oil America's military-industrial-complex there and to control the oil under its ground. The "war president" whose intent is not to liberate but occupy Iraq and use its land as a military base for his administration's aim to dominate "the darkest corners of our [Muslim] world . . . [with] this untamed fire of freedom." ("Transcript of President Bush's Inaugural Address," (The New York Times, Jan. 21, 2005)

Many Christians have allowed President Bush to get away with mass murder. Their faith-based imperialism is short-sighted and narrow-minded: it apparently cannot see or feel beyond its own kind-unless there are evangelistic strings attached.

Faith-based imperialism is self-deceptive because it is unreflective. An insecure person's overriding need for authority and certainty can lead him or her to give up the inalienable right to think for herself or himself. Here Adam and Eve's eating of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is interpreted as evil rather than as good. Their "sin" was opening their "eyes" and knowing the difference between good and evil. Here obedience is the cardinal virtue and critical thinking for oneself the cardinal sin. Here religion is about authority not authenticity. Here is where a deluded political or religious leader gets much of his and her power. Here one is told which neighbor to love and which to hate. Here the Jesus of history is kept in the shadows of a resurrected Christ. Here salvation is re-interpreted as an individual matter apart from institutionalized political and economic realities that greatly determine who, in the gospel words of Jesus, may actually "have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)

Faith-based imperialism does violence to the reality of oppressed people-Jewish and Muslim-and obscures what Jesus was really about. He was not about dying for the sins of the world so that believers everywhere could inherit eternal life, but about setting at liberty the oppressed Jews in his country from Roman occupation. (Luke 4:18) The great conspiracy of the early Christian Church was turning Jesus' model of liberation from an oppressive state into one of accommodation to the state. Why? It is safer today, as in the past, to believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world than to join in seeking, as he did, to rid the world of political, corporate and military sins that deny other people their birthright of freedom and fulfillment to be who they are. It is safer to worship a

liberator than to follow in his liberation footsteps. Tellingly, the imperialistic command of a resurrected Christ to his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," was a Christological formulation of the early Christian Church created long after Jesus and his disciples lived.

The early Christians apparently stood history on its head in order to put a resurrected Jesus on his feet-and give him legs and wings. They transported him from a political to a theological realm in order to survive, evangelize and flourish in the Roman world. (See Alberts, "Decoding the Coders of Christ," Counterpunch, June 14, 2006)

Religion is doing what the prophets worshiped not worshiping what they did. Jesus was recorded as emphasizing an often overlooked way to eternal life: by behavior, not be belief. When a lawyer tested him by asking, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered that the greatest commandments were the way: love of one's god and one's neighbor as oneself. "Do this [italics added] he said, and you will live." (Luke 10:25-28)

Jesus did not say which neighbor to love. Nor specify the neighbor's race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. Which evidently led the lawyer to test Jesus further by asking, "And who is my neighbor?" And Jesus said any person robbed of life and in need of a Good Samaritan. And there were no proselytizing strings attached. (Ibid, 10:29-37) Jesus is quoted as saying, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matthew 5:9) He warned about "hypocrites [who] love to stand and pray . . . so that they may be seen by others." (Matthew 6:5) "Hypocrites," in our day, who publicly "pray for peace" and really have the power to make peace but use it to make war. "Hypocrites" whose deception is based on their belief that Americans are in awe of authority and stupid.

The Bible says Jesus transcended faith-based imperialism with, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies . . . so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun shine on the evil and the good, and send his rain on the just and on the unjust." And his anti-imperialistic bottom line: "If you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing then others? [italics added] (Matthew 5:43-47)

Many Christians do more than love only those who love them. The Jesus of history has inspired people of faith to cross sectarian, nationalistic, and racial borders and embrace people everywhere as sisters and brothers. Such Christians believe that their god's steeple is the aspirations of all people. His alter the common ground on which everyone walks. And Jesus' cross the oppression from which any individual or group is seeking to liberate himself or herself or itself. They are "peacemakers," and oppose our country's criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq. They sing another hymn: "O young and fearless Prophet of ancient Galilee, thy life is still a summons to serve humanity; to make our thoughts and actions less prone to please the crowd, to stand with humble courage for truth with hearts uncowed." ("O Young and Fearless Prophet," words by S. Ralph Harlow; Music by John B Dykes) Hymnal of The United Methodist Church, 1989, p.444) These Christians have moved beyond faith-based imperialism to faith-based "humanity." And more movement by people of faith is especially needed now.

Just as state and local governments are passing resolutions calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, people of faith should censure them in their own local, regional and general bodies. And The United Methodist Church should be out in front of such a movement as Bush and Cheney are Methodists. People of faith should also urge Congress to impeach them for their war crimes and to really "support the troops" by ending this criminal war now and bringing them home to their loved ones and communities. Religion is about "knowing good and evil" and being "peacemakers."


Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D. is a hospital chaplain, and a diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. Both a Unitarian Universalist and a United Methodist minister, he has written research reports, essays and articles on racism, war, politics and religion. This article is being presented as an address on May 27, 2007 at The Community Church of Boston where Rev. Alberts was minister from 1978 to 1991. He can be reached at william.alberts @bmc.org.

from Truthout :
25 May 2007

Bill Moyers' interview with Maxine Hong Kingston. Below is the Internet address of the May 25th PBS  program from Bill Moyers Journal now available on the Truthout podcast :

from Geroge Kenney :
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007
Subject: Podcast interview with Dr. Halton C. Arp, an astronomer

Dear Francis,
This show is 'something a little different.' I talk with Dr. Halton C. Arp, an American astronomer, formerly an eminent member of our scientific establishment, now in a sort of self-imposed exile at the Max Planck Institut fur Astrophysik in Germany. His sin -- to describe observed conditions in which red-shift clearly is not a function of recessional speed. Where high-energy, high red-shift quasars are, arguably, closely linked to low-energy and low red-shift galaxies. What this means is: no more Big Bang. And lots of other heretical implications for the establishment.

When the establishment tried to shut him up, Dr. Arp wouldn't submit. His resignation from Mt. Palomar was a notable, highly principled act of courage -- regardless whether Dr. Arp eventually is proved right in his views he should be seen to be a hero for standing up for his conscience.

I happen, however, to believe Dr. Arp is right, a Galileo of our times. And I suspect that the implications of his arguments are more disturbing even than the establishment will acknowledge -- calling into question humanity's place in the scheme of things.

Now, I know that some of you pick and choose which shows you'll listen to. Please, do me a favor and listen to this one. I think it's really important and, even if the ideas are mistaken, it's an extremely interesting alternative paradigm to consider.

If you do listen I'm sure you'll like it.

As always, please re-distribute the link if and as you feel it's appropriate.