|Isn't It Time We Just Said No To War?
by Holly Avila
It's a rich man's sport, this game called war
played with the lives and the blood of the poor.
They'll preach democracy, and setting people free
when power and control is all it's ever for.
Just say no!
They can't play the game without us, and they don't give a damn about us.
Don't be their pawn anymore.
Just say no to war!
Problem, reaction, solution is how they set the stage,
creating an enemy who's fit for our rage.
They'll declare with pride God was on their side.
It's the world's oldest book, and this is just another page.
Just say no!
They can't play the game without us, and they don't give a damn about us.
Don't be their pawn anymore.
Just say no to war.
war is no solution, just a profitable institution
there is no absolution for cold blooded execution
Just say no!
Blood flows like water while fools rush to the slaughter.
Don't be a rich man's whore, just say no to war!
We ain't a marchin anymore, just say no to war!
(Holly is a gifted poet and musician. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Isn't It Time We Just Said "No" To War?
by Judy Andreas
Today is March 20th. It is the third anniversary of a war based on lies. It is the third anniversary of a war that continues to devastate the lives of thousands. It is the third anniversary of the war in Iraq.
Events of protest have been occurring all over the world. On Saturday, I stood perched on a street corner in Nanuet along with my fellow Rocklanders. We have been protesting every Saturday for nearly three years.
Prior to our protest, I received a flier that read:
1. 2,315 U.S. troops have died
2. More than 17,000 U.S. troops were severely injured
3. More than 100,000 Iraqi people have been killed
4. Tens of thousands of Iraqi people have been detained and tortured by us
5. Our own civil liberties have been eroded under the guise of protecting us
6. Operational costs of the war so far: $250 billion
7. Rocklanders have paid for the war $5,000 per household
We have turned Iraq into a living hell!
And so, each Saturday, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., we demonstrate against this unholy war. And, as the months turn into years, an ever increasing amount of car horns honk in accord with us. And yet, sadly enough, barbs are still hurled in our direction. These angry mouths belong to people who believe that we are traitors. These are the people who think that the war is justified. These are the people who have bought the official story that Arabs flew planes into the WTC. These are the people we need to address.
Although I believe that it is important to stand up and be counted, without the truth of 911, our story is incomplete. Without the truth about 911 this war may stop but other wars most certainly will begin. The troops may leave Iraq en route to another country but the country will not be America. Without the truth of 911, the American people will not wake up to the reality of the cruel hoax that is being perpetrated against the world.
How much longer do we have? How many more corpses are going to be strewn in the name of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" ? How many more countries are we going to invade in order to bring them "democracy"? How many more civil rights will we relinquish?
When I left Social Services, in December of 2004, I was a bit of an oddity. Having always adorned the attire of the "square peg" I was used to conspiracy jokes. My coworkers thought I was a lovable nut.
"Next you'll be saying Oswald did not kill Kennedy" Bill was serious.
Ultimately I grew weary of watching my coworkers gobble the daily news and contentedly belch on the latest lie.
I will never forget the day when a client and I had sat in the Housing Unit. Everyone was gathered around a newspaper, commenting at a picture of a mural that supposed terrorists had drawn on a cave wall. The mural depicted planes flying into tall buildings. Didn't gullibility have a limit? Perhaps it was not a far stretch from the pristine passport lying (lie-ing) in the WTC rubble. What will be next.....terror rap featuring Biggy Osama found in the crater at Shanksville?
Although I occasionally grow discouraged, I have, in the years following the WTC disaster, not relinquished my mission. Unlike Mr. Bush's, it is far from accomplished. The Internet may be a convenient place to preach the truth, but I am aware that it is the congregating place of the choir. My most gratifying accomplishments have occurred beyond the comfort of like minded people.
Saturday, at the vigil, I met an ex coworker with whom I have had some email exchanges.
"Judy, thank you so much for sending me Loose Change, it is the talk of building C". Charlotte, an ex coworker, was thanking me for sending her the link to Dylan Avery's remarkable video; a video that exposes the lies of the official story of what occurred on September 11, 2001. Charlotte had been so deeply affected by the video that she had sent it to other coworkers. A chain reaction had occurred and, before long, the building was filled with people who were understanding that 911 had been an inside job. If this was occurring in a small county in upstate New York, could be occurring all over the world?
The 100th Monkey
A story about social change.
by Ken Keyes Jr.
The Japanese monkey, Macaca Fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years.
In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkey liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.
An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.
This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.
Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes -- the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.
THEN IT HAPPENED!
By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!
But notice: A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea...Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.
Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.
Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.
But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!
From the book "The Hundredth Monkey" by Ken Keyes, Jr. http://www.wowzone.com/monkey.htm
Back-Stabbing and Name-Calling Weaken the Alternative Media (March 1, 2006)
The alternative press has all but legally changed its name to the alternative mess. "Back stabbing" and "name calling" seem to be the latest pastimes of the disgruntled and the disenfranchised.
Say what you will about the mainstream media: they may be liars but they are not fools. Does Bill O'Reilly talk about Rush Limbaugh's pill popping ? Does Sean Hannity discuss Bill O'Reilly's creative use of the telephone? Of course not. They are not being phony, they are being wise.
The alternative media, on the other hand, needs nobody to weaken our credibility: we are doing it to ourselves. How much energy is spent "name calling" and "back biting?" How are we going to enlist the help of millions of our brothers and sisters when we appear so childish and mean spirited to those we are seeking to attract?
Recently, I read a wonderful paragraph by Rick Stanley, a card carrying member of the alternative news media. Stanley believes that there is no point in “attacking” certain individuals for their “mistakes” and “human failings”. He states that such actions damage the entire “Patriot” movement. Rick believes that we should stop pointing out what he characterizes as the “sins” and “mistakes” of others. He rightly professes " we are all sinners. "
AMEN Brother Stanley. What a simple yet powerful message. We all have skeletons in the closet. Demeaning one another is not an effective strategy for taking down the cabal that is destroying our planet; the cabal that is about to enslave us.
The latest contestant in the dart throwing contest is a distinguished doctor. I have heard her talk about her triumph over cancer and have known people who have invested in her treatment plan. I have listened to her on Coast to Coast as well as the Gary Null show. However, it was Jeff Rense who gave her a monthly spot. And now, after years of promoting this doctor's videos and defending her against her staunch critics, Jeff finds himself the target of her accusations. One of her gripes is that Jeff mixes occult topics with her "preferred" New World Order expose.
Perhaps I suffer from poor vision, but I see no harm being done. I see no harm in providing readers with a vast array of possibilities. I see no harm in discussing UFO's. Quite the contrary. Since I have not researched the entire galaxy, I am open to the possibility that there may be intelligent life in the universe. It certainly does not appear to be residing on Planet Earth.
Although I have never spoken to Barry Chamish, I doubt whether he sees eye to eye with Ernst Zundel. And yet, they are both featured on Jeff Rense's site. There appears to be ample room for different points of view. There appears to be ample room for Christians, Atheists and New Agers too.
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
One of Jeff's most powerful attributes is that he allows his readers to arrive at their own conclusions, rather than to tyrannize them into a preferred point of view.
I like George Noory very much and am pleased that he has found a way to explore such crucial topics as 911. Two of his staunchest critics have routinely mocked George for his exploration of the metaphysical. They have complained that Alex Jones was George's favorite son. And yet, when given a chance to address a large Coast to Coast audience last week, the formerly critical duo had a cyber orgasm that could be heard Coast to Coast. How soon we forget. When opportunity knocked at the proverbial door, the critics blithely entered along with the "shadow people" and "time travelers."
Another voice of viciousness is the incredible shrinking show from France called "I Am The Witless". Day after day, the audience is subjected to "Tall Tales From the Crypto Jew" as this host frenetically hurls accusations most likely born of jealousy rather than research.
When is this going to cease? When are we going to stop feeding upon one another? When are we going to realize that "DIVIDED WE FALL" is a great deal more than a cliche.
We are up against a formidable and extremely diabolical enemy. How are we going to make our voices heard? One thing is certain. It will not be by fighting amongst ourselves.
If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang. ~Charley Reese
The Ordeal Of James Yee (March 1, 2006)
"One of the ill effects of cruelty is that it makes the bystanders cruel"
Thomas Fowell Buxton
Last week, a huge group of concerned people gathered in the Ridgewood, New Jersey library to hear a talk by James Yee, a Muslim chaplain in the U.S. Army who had been arrested and investigated on suspicion of espionage and possible treason.
Mr. Yee was not new to New Jersey, for it was the state of his birth. A third generation Chinese American who was raised in a Lutheran family, Yee graduated from the prestigious West Point Military Academy in 1990. His father and brother also served in the U.S. military.
"Shortly after I graduated from West Point, I found myself in an interfaith dialogue," Yee told the audience. In this dialogue, James Yee was challenged to compare Christianity with Islam. It was then that he became aware of how little he knew about the Islamic religion.
"The challenge was given to me and I realized that I could not judge something I knew nothing about." Yee decided to learn about Islam.
"It's a simple doctrine of believing in one God. Throughout history there have been a number of prophets chosen by God to teach that message."
James was attracted to the religion and eventually went to Damascus Syria to study. It was there that he met his wife.
After the September 11th tragedy, Yee became a frequent government spokesman. He helped to educate the soldiers about Islam and to build greater religious tolerance in the military.
In November of 2002, James Yee was selected to serve as the Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, where, at that time, 700 detainees were being held by the government for suspected terrorist activities. The detainees had not been charged with anything nor had they been convicted of anything. And yet, they were there in ongoing detention. Yee was given unrestricted access to the detainees.
"We see these men in orange jumpsuit as objects," James said. "But they are real. They are brothers. They are fathers. They are human beings. And yet, they are presumed guilty and are being held secretly."
Yee felt optimistic that he could make a difference. He listened to the prisoners' stories. He assessed their concerns. He listened to their complaints.
"The prisoners told me what they were experiencing during their interrogations. They told me what life was like in the blocks when I was not around."
Yee soon learned that the prisoners were being grossly mistreated. Can anyone say the word "torture" ? The tensions were leading to prison riots, hunger strikes and suicide attempts. The Holy Koran was being desecrated. James heard stories about how the prisoners were put in the center of a satanic circle which was painted on the floor. They were told "Satan is your God now".
James Yee instituted a policy that would correct the religious abuses.
"One of the most emotional things that I saw there was how the conditions deteriorated within the time frame that I was there. I recall seeing two detainees permanently residing in the hospital, who had become so depressed that they could no longer eat and had to be force fed. A tube was inserted through the nose into the stomach. It was a very painful experience. The prisoners had to be shackled down with handcuffs to both sides of the bed. As the tub was inserted, you could hear the detainees scream out in pain."
In September 2003, the landscape of Yee's life changed abruptly. He was on his way home to meet his wife and daughter for a two week leave. He never arrived. For on that trip, he was secretly arrested, accused of spying and of being an operative in a ring that aimed to pass secrets to al-Qaeda. He was shackled in chains and thrown in the back of a truck with an armed guard. Goggles were put on his eyes and industrial earmuffs were placed on his ears.
James Yee was locked away in a navy prison where he spent 76 days in solitary confinement. The military leaked information about the case to the press and the media went on a feeding frenzy. Chaplain Yee was vilified on the airwaves and on the Internet He was called a traitor to his country and was accused of being a mole inside of the Army.
"I feared for my life," Yee stated. "It was a gross miscarriage of justice"
After months of investigation, the military's case began to unravel. First the charges against Yee were reduced and eventually all criminal charges were dropped by the U.S. Government on March 19, 2004. Yee was cleared and given an honorable discharge from the army.
James Yee was physically free, but can he ever free himself from the emotional scars of his experience?
This ordeal has cost the young man 1/4 of a million dollars in legal expenses. Today he is deeply in debt. His new book For God And Country": Faith and Patriotism Under Fire, recounts his nightmare ordeal.
Alfred W. McCoy is the author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror and a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In his book, McCoy talks about how psychological torture has far more lasting damage than physical torture. He states that in 2002, Jeffrey Miller, as Chief at Guantanamo, turned Guantanamo into a torture lab. Miller used cultural sensitivity, sensory disorientation and self inflicted pain.
Why has the public response been mute when these issues go to the very core of America's national identity? Perhaps the Administration's unapologetic advocacy of torture has echoed subtly with the trauma of September 11, 2001.
"With the horrific reality of the Twin Towers attack still resonating and endless nuclear -bomb-in-Times-Square / ticking-bomb interrogation scenarios ricocheting around the media, torture seems to have gained an eerie emotional traction. Polls taken over the last three years have confirmed this. With a complex reality reduced to a few terribly simple, fantasy-ridden scenarios, torture in defense of the "homeland" had gained surprisingly wide acceptance, while the torture debate has been reframed-to the administration's great advantage-as a choice between public safety and the lives of millions or private morality and bleeding-heart qualms over a few slaps up the side of the head. In this way, old fashioned morality has been made to seem short of immoral." http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=57336
Copyright Judy Andreas 2006