“But the nations became wrathful and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged and to reward your slaves, the prophets, and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” – Revelation 11:18
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Joseph Thomas follows:
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The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for center stage in American politics with fears of “Russian hackers” disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very real cyberterrorism globally.
Worst of all, it does so under the guise of “activism.”…
Cyberterrorism is described on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) website as: …the use of computer network tools to shut down critical national infrastructures (e.g., energy, transportation, government operations) or to coerce or intimidate a government or civilian population.
Attacking government websites millions of people across Thailand depend on for information and services while pilfering the personal information of thousands of ordinary citizens clearly fits the definition of not only cyberterrorism because of the political motivations involved, but also malicious criminality in general.
Unlike alleged Russian hacks which divulged emails detailing impropriety among American politicians, the information pilfered by US-backed hackers in Thailand included the personal information of millions of ordinary citizens using government services as part of their daily lives…
Like many other episodes of extraterritorial political interference up to and including military intervention, America’s meddling in Thailand is done on behalf of corporate interests seeking to expand their respective and collective hegemony both regionally in Asia vis-a-vis Beijing, and globally. This interference is done under the cover of rights advocacy, both by the think tanks and foundations funding it and those in Thailand receiving foreign cash.
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Les Blough responded to the above linked-to article and then I responded to the article and Les’s comment in a single response to Les’s comment. I’ll give a short quote of Les’s comment, following which I’ll give my online response.
This sounds very much like what we are experiencing in Venezuela. The platform of CAN-TV and Movilnet, both government owned and managed services, are often sabotaged leaving us without service or “in the slow lane.” This is relatively recent as both have always been known in Venezuela as the best digital internet and television services in the country. These denials of service are often co-incidental with opposition rioting and street violence or timed to elections and as in Thailand, they are always blamed by the opposition media and social networks on inefficiency in the government despite their excellent performance in the past.
That is terrifying! It’s just the strong – calling itself godly and democratic and a champion of freedom and so forth – preying on the weaker.
The article and your response reveal targetted communications. That’s on top of the general attack on communication, among the people, that is being led by politicians and CEOs like Eric Schmidt.
The surveillance avalanche has fairly entered into it’s run-out stretch I think. Julian Assange (and others without faith) state that there’s no reversing it. It’s here to stay. (It’s here to stay, until this system of things is destroyed.) But that isn’t good enough for the perverts in power, who Jesus Christ said long ago like to be called “Benefactors.” Now, you can’t open your mouth unless it’s to say “Praise be!” to the powerful.
I think I’m under attack when my cloud service deletes one of my files or when an url shortening company refuses to shorten one of my urls. Compared to what ordinary Venezuelans and their political reps are going through, as in Thailand, it’s nothing. But then again, I’m shielded, ironically, by my fascist government. Canada doesn’t need a regime change and so regular Canadians are hassled less. (My blog post dealing with the 1%’s attack on communications is titled “A Loud Whoompfing Sound” – http://tinyurl.com/y727ohbr)
I like Jimmy Dore, but not his foul language. Regardless, This is a good video:
Chomsky again, on Russian hacking allegations:
Bible and other lessons
As recorded in chapter 22 of the Bible book of Luke (in the Christian Greek Scriptures aka the New Testament), Luke has this to say about Jesus’s view of this dark world’s rulers: “However, There also arose a heated dispute among them over which one of them was considered to be the greatest. But he said to them: “The kings of the heavens lord it over them, and those having authority over them are called Benefactors. You though are not to be that way.”
With the global pacification program in full swing, and the full measure of perversity of our Benefactors in power expressing itself regularly now all over the globe, including in the form of an embrace of those who have done such a good job of being evil and twisted, namely Hitler’s Nazis, we certainly see why the chief representative of the God of love and order would tell people to not be like them. The global pacification program that our “Benefactors” in power oversee is sometimes called, by them, Critical Infrastructure Protection. It’s sold to the abused public as something that’s both for purposes of national security and by extension for their (the public) security, when in fact it’s solely about protecting the global 1% and its tools from the responses or potential responses of the abused people. Securocratic warfare will never be debatable or challengable because elites have zero intention of doing scammy business in any way other than as usual. They’ve made that clear, in words and deeds, including inaction.
“…Kathy Jo Wetter and Sylvia Ribeiro of ETC group examine the corporate and military interests that promote geo-engineering of the climate to reduce temperatures and prevent their damaging impacts. The fact that these proposals are gathering momentum is a reflection of both the support of Big Oil and the influence of those in power who believe that bizarre experiments with sunshades in space is a more sensible course of action than confrontation of the fossil-fuel industry.” – page 13 of “The Secure And The Dispossessed – How The Military And Corporations Are Shaping A Climate-Changed World” edited by Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes w foreward by Susan George
From Christian Parenti’s entry in “The Secure And The Dispossessed” titled “The Catastrophic Convergence: Militarism, Neoliberalism And Climate Change,” the following:
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Societies, like people, deal with new challenges in ways that are conditioned by the traumas of their past. Thus damaged societies, like damaged people, often respond to new crises in ways that are irrational… In the case of climate change, the past traumas that set the stage for bad adaptation – a destructive social response – are Cold War-era militarism and the economic pathologies of neoliberal capitalism…
As a doctrine, counter-insurgency is the theory of internal warfare; it is the strategy of suppressing rebellions and revolution. Counter-insurgency mimics revolution: Its object is civilian society as a whole, and the social fabric of everyday life…
The anticipation of increased conflict in a world remade by climate change has led the militaries of the Global North toward an embrace of militarised adaptation…
The US’s overdeveloped military capacity – its military-industrial complex – has created powerful interests that are dependent on war and therefore promote it. Today, the old military-industrial complex – companies such as General Electric, Lockheed and Raytheon… are joined by a swarm of smaller security firms… Blackwater, DynCorp and Global come to mind, but private prison companies… are also involved. This new security-industrial complex offer an array of services…
As a politics of climate change begins to develop, this matrix of parasitic interests has begun to shape adaptation to the militarised management of civilization’s violent disintegration. Returning to the brutal legacy of the Cold War, they have also revived US commitment to strategies of counterinsurgency.”
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The enemy, in the eyes of the US-led Corporatocracy, is the internal enemy, namely the people, everywhere. Counterinsurgency targets not armies in any sense. Counterinsurgency (aka state terrorism, aka critical infrastructure protection) targets regular people. And today, those regular people are abused and desperate.
From pages 93 & 98 of Nafeez Mossadeq, Ben Hayes and Nick Buxtons’ entry in “The Secure And The Dispossessed,” we get the following:
…Rather than simply assuming that climate change means that the writing is on the wall for capitalism, or that the ongoing global depression makes ‘post-capitalism’ inevitable, we should be concerned with the way in which the elites are responding to the rise of complex emergencies…
‘Crisis management’ is shorthand for the way in which states deal with major events that cause or threaten to cause significant harm to the public. It is also used by businesses and other organisations to plan for events…
What has changed is the complexity of what planners call the ‘crisis cycle’… preparation, management and evalutation. Today, inspired first by the ‘homeland security’ strategies devised in the wake of 9/11… this crisis cycle has widened significantly. At the same time, the powers adopted in the name of emergency preparedness and management have become more coercive, with a much greater role envisaged for the military and private-security actors…
According to a 2015 market research report, the global market for security technologies that support Critical Infrastructure Protection is expected to grow from $72.3 billion in 2014 to $114.8 billion in 2019… But it is not just that CIP policies are providing new opportunities… it is the type of security that this market growth is delivering, and the place that are being ‘securitised’. Much of the physical controls and surveillance techology developed for the border… is now being deployed to protect public and private infrastructure… the rapid deployment of these technologies can have a profound impact on civil liberties – particularly those of ‘suspect communites’.
“Along with police unions, private sector actors, and others, each of the organizations described here contribute to international networks and help to circulate and diffuse ideas of “best practices” within the global policing field. They do this through organizing conferences or conventions, producing publications, consulting with government, and training other officers and agencies. These activities are funded by membership fees, but, significantly, also by security and defense corporations.” – from page 116 of Leslie J. Wood’s “Crisis And Control – The Militarization Of Protest Policing”
From Jeff Halper’s “War Against The People,” we get the following:
The Occupation represents a resource for Israel in two senses: economically, it provides a testing ground for the development of weapons, security systems, models of population control and tactics without which Israel would be unable to compete in the international arms and security markets, but no less important, being a major military power serving other militaries and security services the world over lends Israel an international status among the global hegemons it would not have otherwise. Israel is a small country scrambling to carve out a niche in the transnational military-industrial complex. Where would it be without the Occupation and the regional conflict in generates?…
…Because securitization represents the enforcement arm of transnational capitalism, ensuring the smooth flow of capital and resources while addressing “challenges” to its hegemony, I begin by placing the pacification industry in its global context, that of the capitalist world-system. Within that framework I examine how “hegemony,” a fluid, seemingly benign and unobtrusive form of domination, aspires to securitization and pacification. In order to “nail down” this slippery yet vital force at different levels of the world-system – the ruling “core,” a semi-periphery of relatively strong states and the peripheries – I identify several fundamental “hegemonic tasks,” each calling for a different constellation of military, security and police structures, together with appropriate weapons and systems of control. Since my analysis revolves around pacification, I focus in particular on “securocratic wars.”
Jeff Halper’s book is a real eye-opener, in a good sense, marred however by his getting the Rwandan genocide wrong, as most do.
“The vulnerability of the Global South to climate change cannot be fully understood without noting that this region was also the frontline of the Cold War’s hot proxy battles and the laboratory for neoliberal, violent restructuring. The main pre-existing crisis of the catastrophic convergence is the legacy of Cold War militarism. In the Global South, the Cold War was hot. Revolution and counter-insurgency were its methods. Conventional warfare in which the military and infrastructure are targeted is, despite all its horrors, often associated with increased social solidarity, as witnessed in Britain during the Second World War, where Nazi bombardment was met with evacuation, rationing, conscription and an unprecedented levelling of class differences. Asymmetrical socio-military conflicts, such as those waged across the Global South at the height of the Cold War were quite different, eroding and destroying the social fabric. – Christian Parenti, “The Secure And The Dispossessed”
As long as we understand that the Cold War was less about a battle between the good capitalists and the evil Communists and more about violence, and the threat of violence, employed by capitalists and their political partners that they viewed as something that could protect and entrench their exploitative capitalist system, we will find our way and Christian Parenti’s reportage can help us. American leaders always viewed South and Central America as belonging to them. It was to be a source of raw materials, shut off to others (Monroe Doctrine).
“On Moscow’s side, the Cold War is illustrated by tanks in East Berlin, Budapest and Prague, and other coercive measures in the regions liberated by the Red Army from the Nazis, then held in thrall to the Kremlin; and the invasion of Afghanistan, the one case of Soviet military intervention well outside the historic invasion route from the West. Domestically, the Cold War served to entrench the power of the military-bureaucratic elite whose rule derives from the Bolshevik coup of October 1917.
“For the United States, the Cold War has been a history of worldwide subversion, aggression and state terrorism, with examples too numerous to mention. The domestic counterpart has been the entrenchment of Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” – in essence, a welfare state for the rich with a national security ideology for population control (to borrow some counterinsurgency jargon), following the prescriptions of NSC 68. The major institutional mechanism is a system of state-corporate industrial management to sustain high-technology industry, relying on the taxpayer to fund research and development and provide a guaranteed market for waste production, with the private sector taking over where there are profits to be made. This crucial gift to the corporate manager has been the domestic function of the Pentagon system (including NASA and the Department of Energy, which controls nuclear weapons production); benefits extend to the computer industry, electronics generally, and other sectors of the advanced industrial economy… that is proudly called Free Enterprise.” – pages 20 & 21 of “Deterring Democracy” by Noam Chomsky
Do you, my friends, feel secure? Do you feel like our Benefactors in power are actually our Benefactors? Or do they in some way, or ways, signal to us that perhaps they are not?
“4 neo-Nazi group members in British army arrested on terror charges” by The Associated Press via CBC
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Four serving members of the army were arrested under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of being members of a banned far-right group, British defence officials and police said Tuesday.
The West Midlands Counterterrorism Unit said officers had arrested four people in central England alleged to be members of the neo-Nazi group National Action.
The group is banned in the U.K., and an official list of banned groups describes it as “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic.”…
Britain’s Ministry of Defence confirmed that the four men are serving members of the army.
Here’s what you have to understand, if you don’t already. It is that what major media, and government spokespersons, will say about this is one thing. What this particular transgression by a handful of Britain’s soldiers actually means is another. (It doesn’t mean a few bad apples. It means widespread mental and spiritual ruin. And authorities, everywhere, bear much responsibility for that.) In my previous blog post, I referred to Robert Parry’s article, titled “A Ukraine Link To North Korea’s Missiles,” in which he makes the point that major media reportage on Charlottesville is hypocritical. Spokespersons are perfectly willing to denounce the far Right in Charlottesville, where one murdered an anti-fascist protester, but when it comes to places like Ukraine (where the US government installed a neo-Nazi regime), where fascists are killing Russian-speaking people all over the country (including in Crimea before it voted to join Russia), they are silent. That is because major, corporate owned media, in all developed “democracies,” align with US foreign policy – or else. Well, with this Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) report, and other reports like it, you see exactly the same thing (except that the CBC isn’t privately owned, but it was compromised long ago and functions as a government/corporate propaganda channel where political news is concerned). The Trudeau government is completely down with what the U.S. did in Ukraine. It morally and materially supports the neo-Nazis (‘Nazis’ for short) in Ukraine. And major media everywhere, including national broadcasters (state-owned, in other words, but we avoid that term unless we are doing anti-Russia propaganda), will be found saying nothing about that, and other issues, that does not align with U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. runs the world.
“Five army men held over alleged membership of banned UK neo-Nazi group” by Jamie Grierson (The Guardian)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
National Action, an antisemitic, white supremacist group, was banned as a terrorist organisation in December by the home secretary. Amber Rudd said the group had no place in British society.
“Ill-informed first words on Ukraine by Canada’s new prime minister” by Editors of New Cold War: Ukraine And Beyond
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
CBC cites Trudeau speaking of his exchange with Putin: “I pointed out that although Canada has shifted its approach on a broad range of multilateral and international issues, we remain committed to the fact that Russia’s interference in Ukraine must cease; that we stand with the Ukrainian people and expect the president to engage fully in the Minsk peace process.”
The reference to the Minsk ceasefire agreement of Feb 12, 2015 (‘Minsk-2’) is ill-informed or malevolent. Russia was a key international sponsor and negotiator of the agreement, along with Germany and France. Canada and the United States were nowhere to be seen or heard from…
Clause ten of Minsk-2 reads, “Pullout of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, and also mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under OSCE supervision. Disarmament of all illegal groups.” Yet Canada, the U.S. and Britain dispatched soldiers to Ukraine in the months following February 12, under the guise of launching “training missions” of the Ukrainian army. And as for the disarming of “illegal groups” (referring to the extremist paramilitary battalions fighting alongside the Ukrainian army), Kyiv has solved that little problem by incorporating the battalions into its National Guard. This effectively worsens the situation by legitimizing the battalions and giving them more formal access to training and weaponry, including from the aforementioned NATO countries.
The same Benefactors in power in the UK, who call peace-makers terrorists, have been spreading terror and funding terrorists in many places, including Syria and MENA. (Hopefully Syria has turned a corner. But uncle Sam doesn’t peacefully let people go their own way in a spirit of democracy, so we’ll see. Look at Venezuela.) It’s fine with the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine as well. But Amber Rudd, et al, vigorously oppose any, such as Jeremy Corbyn, who oppose (partially or fully) Britain’s U.S.-aligned foreign policy, which is all about regime change for those who resist the global dictatorship of the United States. “Britain can expect more terrorist atrocities if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has claimed.” (I am not a believer in Jeremy Corby. But I certainly think he’s far and away a better person and politician than those like hypocrite Amber Rudd who essentially calls him a terrorist.)
From the YouTube channel of ODN (On Demand News), the following:
“Ignoring the Human Disaster in Yemen” by Alon Ben-Meir
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
It is hard to imagine that along with the catastrophe that has been inflicted on Syria for the past six years, another calamity is unfolding in Yemen of damning proportions while the whole world looks on with indifference.
What is happening in Yemen is not merely a violent conflict between combating forces for power, but the willful subjugation of millions of innocent civilians to starvation, disease and ruin that transcends the human capacity to descend even below the lowest pit of darkness, from which there is no exit.
Seven million people face starvation, and 19 out of 28 million of Yemen’s population are in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Both the Saudis and the Houthis are restricting food and medicine supplies from reaching starving children; many of them are cholera-ridden, on the verge of joining the thousands who have already died from starvation and disease…
The U.S. along with the United Kingdom have for many years been selling offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia, which are now used to attack Houthi-held areas. The UAE, Kuwait, and Jordan received licenses to sell and service American-made military helicopters for Saudi Arabia, which sends a clear message to this unholy coalition that they can kill with impunity.
U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd shamelessly said [selling arms is] “good for our industry” — not an acceptable reason to sell offensive weapons that kill people indiscriminately. Nevertheless, the U.S. does have national security and economic interests in the Arabian Peninsula: particularly, it seeks to ensure free passage in the Bab al-Mandeb, through which 4.7 million barrels of oil pass each day; and the support of a government in Sana’a that would cooperate with US counter-terrorism battles. That said, the U.S.’ direct involvement in the conflict makes it complicit in the coalition’s violation of the laws of war, and top U.S. officials could be subjected to legal liability.
Sadly, the Trump administration has forfeited its moral responsibility by not insisting that Saudi Arabia, over which it exercises tremendous influence, open the ports to ensure that enough food and aid enters the country, without which millions will starve to death.
The bolding in the above excerpt is mine.
“Saudi Arabia uses Scotland-made smart bombs in Yemen dropped by UK-trained air force” – from Press TV via The New Cold War
Howard Zinn demonstrates how duplicitous authorities can be when it comes to incidents like the above British soldiers who are also in National Action. As usual, the state and its media allies will always spin incidents like this as being a case of rotten apples. That’s what they said about the low level soldiers involved in (established) torture at Abu Ghraib. Remember Richard Nixon and Watergate? Nixon lied through his teeth to the end. The above soldiers were entirely honest about their values – at least when mingling with their Nazi friends – which you could ‘read’ on their National Action uniforms. But in both cases, the authorities covered up the deeper problems underlying the transgressions.
From pages 547 & 548 of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History Of The United States, 1492-2001,” the following:
No respectable American newspaper said what was said by Claude Julien, editor of Le Monde Diplomatique in September 1974. “The elmination of Mr. Richard Nixon leaves intact all the mechanisms and all the false values which permitted the Watergate scandal.” Julien noted that Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, would remain at his post – in other words, that Nixon’s foreign policy would continue. “That is to say,” Julien wrote, “that Washington will continue to support General Pinochet in Chile, General Geisel in Brazil, General Stroessner in Paraguay, etc….”…
The word was out: get rid of Nixon, but keep the system. Theodore Sorensen, who had been adviser to President Kennedy, wrote at the time of Watergate: “The underlying causes of the gross misconduct in our law-enforcement system now being revealed are largely personal, not institutional. Some structural changes are needed. All the rotten apples should be thrown out. But save the barrel.”
Indeed, the barrel was saved. Nixon’s foreign policy remained. The government’s connections to corporate interests remained. [Gerald] Ford’s closest friends in Washington were corporeate lobbyists. Alexander Haig, who had been one of Nixon’s closest advisers, who had helped in “processing” the tapes before turning them over to the public, and who gave the public misinformation about the tapes, was appointed by President Ford to be head of the armed forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. One of Ford’s first acts was to pardon Nixon, thus saving him from possible criminal proceedings and allowing him to retire with a huge pension in California.
The Establishment had cleansed itself of members of the club who had broken the rules – but it took pains not to treat them too harshly. Those few who received jail sentences got short terms, were sent to the most easygoing federal institutions available, and were given special privileges…
That Nixon would go, but that the power of the President to do anything he wanted in the name of “national security” would stay – this was underscored by a Supreme Court decision in July 1974. The Court said that Nixon had to turn over his White House tapes to the special Watergate prosecutor. But at the same time it affirmed “the confidentiality of Presidential communications,” which it could not uphold in Nixon’s case, but which remained as a general principle when the President made a “claim of need to protect military, diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets.”
The televised Senate Committee hearings on Watergate stopped suddenly before the subject of corporate connections was reached. It was typical of the selective coverage of important events by the television industry: bizarre shenanigans like the Watergate burglary were given full treatment, while instances of ongoing pratice – the My Lai massacre, the secret bombing of Cambodia, the work of the FBI and CIA – were given the most fleeting attention. Dirty tricks against the Socialist Workers party, the Black Panthers, other radical groups, had to be searched for in a few newspapers. The whole nation heard the details of the quick break-in at the Watergate apartment; there was never a similar television hearing on the long-term break-in in Vietnam.
Sources for the images above include:
From chapter 5 of Alfred W. McCoy’s “A Question Of Torture – CIA Interrogation, From The Cold War To The War On Terror,” the following:
The landmark political struggle sparked by the broadcast of photos from Abu Ghraib prison moved through two distinct phases marked by high political drama. During the first phase, from June to November 2004, the White House slowly ground down critics with its formidable powers of persuasion, moving the country, by degrees, toward a blanket “impunity” for all implicated in the torture scandal. Indeed, two months after the release of the Abu Ghraib images, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 35 percent of Americans felt that torture was acceptable in some circumstances. But in the second, more intense phase that followed the November presidential elections, an ad hoc civil-society coalition of courts, press, civil libertarians, and the Senate redoubled its efforts, scoring some surprising successes in slowing the county’s inexorable slide into impunity…
…While nations emerging from dictatorship can purge and punish perpetrators as part of a sweeping change of regime, democracies, by their nature, usually decorate the illegality of torture with a nominal legality from the start and have the continuity of governance that protects loyal perpetrators inside the national-security apparatus. In the months following the release of the prison photos, the United States moved quickly through the same stages, as defined by John Conroy, that the United Kingdom traversed after revelations of its torture in Northern Ireland during the early 1970s – first, minimizing the abuse with euphemisms such as “interrogation in depth”; next, justifying it on the grounds that it was necessary or effective; and, finally, burying the issue by blaming “a few bad apples.”…
Despite photos proving torture and documents identifying those responsible, the White House has denied culpability while protecting, even promoting, almost all the architects of its policy…
Even those who were not rewarded remained unrepentant. To cite the most prominent example, John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped draft the interrogation memos, is back at the law school of the University of California Berkeley, where he waved away critics of the White House torture policy. “Why is it so hard for people to understand that there is a category of behavior not covered by the legal system?” Professor Yoo asked. “Historically, there were people so bad that they were not given protection of the laws.” In his view, the Geneva Conventions’ “simple binary classification of civilian or soldier isn’t accurate.” Arguing that Bush’s reelection had ended the discussion, he concluded: “The debate is over. The issue is dying out. The public has had its referendum.”
Indeed, as Yoo indicated, during the 2004 presidential elections, the Democratic candidate, the media, and the American public ignored the torture scandal.
The bolding in the above quote is mine.
Whipped into an ideological fervor, the CIA’s political cadres were then sent into villages to spread democratic values and undermine the infrastructure.
“It’s a GVN [Government of Vietnam] presence that’s really comprised of your own people that have, by God, gone off and been washed in the blood of the lamb. They’ve been trained and they’ve seen the light,” [Tom] Donohue palavered. “They spoke the local dialect, and they’re there to defend and focus people on their own defense, to try to enlist the people into doing something positive. If the government can’t protect you, it ain’t no government.”
Of course, the GVN was not a government but a military dictatorship which was opposed to independence in the countryside. – pages 68 & 69 of “The Phoenix Program” by Douglas Valentine
I’ll tell you what’s easy for me to understand, Mr. Yoo: Leaders like you are reprehensible. As Jesus Christ said, “If the light that is in you is really darkness, then how great that darkness is.” (Matthew 6:23b) You are not uneducated or mentally handicapped, Mr. Yoo. And you set an example for others (like the young British soldiers, in the above CBC report, daring to honestly show the world their new warped values), who you want to view you as a Benefactor. You re-sell something I call ‘mysterious lawlessness’. You and your fellow Benefactors have been very successful in the mental and spiritual ruination of your fellow citizens, and others. As Alfred McCoy notes, Many Americans are down with torture. Those without a moral foundation observe what people like you do and say and they conclude “Those people are smart and yet they willingly and knowingly do evil things,” and they are mystified. Those with a functioning moral compass that they pay heed to are not mystified. But the mystified observers of your evil behavior conclude that “Bad must sometimes be good.” Jesus Christ prophesied about (Christian) evildoers that they would one day say to him “Lord, Lord, Did we not… perform many powerful works in your name?” and then I will declare to them: “I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22)
I have no idea whether John Yoo is a Christian, but he’s definitely a worker of lawlessness and one needn’t be a Christian in order to be evil. Indeed, John Yoo is an American citizen and in league with the U.S. ruling class. And in the Christian Bible, the United States is singled out and identified as a False Prophet. Do American politicians, many whom claim to be Christian, think that God has commissioned them to preach the Gospel of torture that will make America safe and prosperous? Is torture, and the rest of that basket of state repression tools, part of God’s plan of salvation for Americans and humankind?
“Yes, Christians Can Support Torture” by D.C. McAllister
The false prophet (of Revelation chapter 13) is also depicted as a beast – part of the seven-headed wild beast of Revelation chapter 12 – that ascends out of the ‘earth’, having two horns like a lamb and a mouth like a dragon. (It ascend out of the ‘earth’ rather than the ‘sea’ because in later times, when the United States comes into being, the world’s national boundaries have become relatively firmer.) The US perversely pretends to be inoffensive and mild, like a lamb, and like the lamb of God, while in reality it goes about giving orders, mafia-style, to the rest of the world that those who receive them can’t refuse. And those orders have nothing to do with the benefit of others. They have everything to do with the benefit of the global 1%, but especially the American 1%. And that benefit is at the expense of the people. Neoliberal capitalism is forced on everyone, but at its center is inequality, which is fine by unprincipled exploiters. As self-modified persons – We are all free to self-modify, but not without consequences – whose values and desires come to be warped, they now view robbing others via the austerity of neoliberal capitalism, or bombs that deprive people of their physical lives (something good for business in UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s words), thrilling and proof that they, not God, are God. But they are not 100% convinced of that and they keep calling God to “Bring it if you’re there!” They can’t help themselves. And they will PAY for their crimes, for their sick embrace of the paradigm of ‘riches for the strongest’. They claim to be all about law & order. But God ‘is’ all about law & order.
“But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time came for the dead to be judged and to reward your slaves, the prophets, and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” – Revelation 11:18
“And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. And the wild beast was caught, and along with it, the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” – Revelation 19:19-21
I will offer a few words of explanation about a few of the words and phrases found on those Bible passages I quoted (for example: “ruin” and “while still alive” and “the long sword out of the one seated on the horse.”)
First, the “ruin.” It refers primarily to spiritual and mental ruin. Indeed, Jesus told his followers that “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” – Matthew 24:37-39. The problem in those early times wasn’t the marrying, eating and drinking, which are all normal activities. They problem was that those living “took no note” of God. They took no note of his standards and his prophets. In other words, they had allowed themselves to become mentally and spiritually ruined. God didn’t simply choose Noah and slaughter everyone else, as Naomi Klein sneers in her book “This Changes Everything.” Noah also (freely) chose God, while others (freely) didn’t. (And, for a fact, physical death isn’t necessarily complete death. If there were innocents drowned in the Flood that their unblessed, by choice, community didn’t prepare for, they will experience a resurrection and be given their chance to live or die.) How is all of that possible you say? How could only Noah and his family out of all the world be good enough to get the necessary guidance to survive a flood that was coming (regardless, as part of Jehovah’s project earth)? Remember, the ‘world’ of that time was much smaller than our world of today. That might not be the whole explanation, but I think it’s part of it.
Taking no note, as did the Flood victims of Noah’s day, meant not just living and doing normal things only. We know that from the Genesis account itself:
“Now when men started to grow in number on the surface of the ground and daughters were born to them, the sons of the true God began to notice that the daughters of men were beautiful. So they began taking as wives all whom they chose…The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and afterward. During that time the sons of the true God continued to have relations with the daughters of men, and these bore sons to them. They were the mighty ones of old times, the men of fame.
“Consequently, Jehovah saw that man’s wickedness was great on the earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only bad all the time… This is the history of Noah. He proved himself faultless among his contemporaries… But the earth had become ruined in the sight of the true God, and the earth was filled with violence. Yes, God looked upon the earth, and it was ruined. All flesh had ruined its way on earth.” (Genesis chapter 6)
The phrase “sons of the true God” refers to angels. In this case, Those were angels who went their own way, abandoning God and his standards. After materializing human male bodies, they had relations with human females, which led to powerful offspring called Nephilim. Were they all male? We aren’t told. But we are told that the human community into which they entered went off the rails afterward. And the Bible notes that they were “mighty.” That tracks. And it was not likely that they were mighty solely in a physical sense. Being offspring of powerful angels, the Nephilim likely were mighty intellectually as well. And they evidently proceeded, like mighty (religious, political and other) leaders in our day, to pass on the gift of ‘mysterious lawlessness’ (sin and survive) to those around them. They spiritually and mentally ruined their human community, or communities, bringing God’s disapproval, with serious consequences. (As for Nephilim specifically, Were any innocent? God’s inspired Word omits mention of them for reasons only known to God. Perhaps there were no innocent Nephilim. But rules are rules. If there were and they died in the Flood, they will be resurrected and given the choice to serve God or die. None of us can do anything about who are parents were.)
From mentally and spiritually ruined people in authority today come the kinds of decisions that have given the world pollution, wars and destruction for profit, global warming, chemicals killing off the bees and making people sick, and more. The literal earth is being ruined and human beings are racked with all kinds of diseases and imperfections when they weren’t meant to even grow old and die. But the ruin that comes first and which that physical ruin depends on, is the spiritual and mental ruin.
“While still alive,” the wild beast of Revelation – which I call the wild beast of Corporatocracy, for that is what it is today – is destroyed. In other words, Just as Revelation points out how the world’s inhabitants are plagued by their knowledge, their self-awareness (in people’s private, silent moments) of their wrong choices (that God can’t approve of), out of which ruined mental state they utter blasphemies against God – What I label calling to God to “Bring it!” – so too will we see no change in most people’s behavior as they go off into destruction. (An angel told the apostle John to let those who are practicing righteousness continue to do so and let those practicing unrighteousness continue to do so.) People just won’t repent. Until the last moment they will be what they are, namely self-modified believers in inequality, deceit and violence (which some, who go by the label of ‘neoconservative’, openly champion). And so, while they are still calling to God to bring it, while ‘they’ are still alive, they will be destroyed, as Daniel points out, “not by hand,” which is to say not by human hand (Daniel 8:25). The false prophet, aka the United States, is the last head of the seven-headed wild beast of Revelation. There are no more. And that gives us a ballpark idea of ‘when’ Armageddon will come.
Interestingly, In a parable that Jesus gives about a rich man and a beggar, he makes a point that applies here. The beggar used to sit on the floor where the rich man feasted, hoping to get some fallen crumbs. They both eventually die and find themselves in a place where the rich man is in a condition of torment and needs water, but the beggar is now comfortable. The poor man is separated from the rich, uncomfortable man, by a chasm, and has Abraham, a man of God, at his side. This parable is meant to symbolize judgment (not indicate that there’s a hell). The rich man asks Abraham to let Lazarus, the beggar, to come to his aid with water, but Abraham tells him plainly that that isn’t possible. When the rich man begs Abraham to let Lazarus go to his brothers who are still living to warn them to behave, so that they don’t end up where he is, Abraham tells him that they have Moses and the prophets (the scriptures that had been written so far) and they can consult them and avoid adverse judgment if they so wish. The rich man believes that if someone from the dead, in this case Lazarus the beggar, goes to his brothers, then such a miracle would lead to them becoming good people. But Abraham sets the man straight: “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:19-31) In reality, the rich man doesn’t rationally discuss any of this with anyone. He makes his choices, embraces ‘riches for the strongest’ and is wrathful. We can also view the parable as reflecting thoughts that God-rejecters have in private and in silence.
People like that rich man, who is like our Benefactors in power today, are like the disloyal people of Nimrod’s day who built a tower in defiance of God. They are the same as those mentioned in Revelation chapter 13, who gaze upon the wild beast with admiration and exclaim “Who is like the wild beast and who can do battle with it?” Are they calling to God to “Bring it!” They clearly are.
As for the “long sword” that issues out of the mouth of the risen, glorified Jesus, that symbolizes authority. Details aren’t provided. What is clear is that he authorizes the destruction of the last remaining anti-God people on earth at the conclusion of Armageddon.