Thursday, October 25, 2007

USA - a Nation Devoid of Conscience

From "Thinkbridge" a delightful blog I stumbled upon this morning:

Once upon a time, there was diplomacy. There was this veneer of compassion. There were token words acknowledging human struggles, human rights, universal values. I even fantasized that Condi Rice was a part of that veneer. She was human, someone who understood suffering, oppression, struggle. And in whatever decision, whatever power-drunk moment, whatever oblivious self-congratulation, whatever neoconical delusion, she just turned around. Turned her back. No, it was not evil. Israel must defend itself. No, it's not genocide. Israelis are victims. They are victims of terrorism. We must fight terrorism. Right down to the last Arab woman and child. To hell with terrorists. In the name of 9-11. In the name of the Holocaust. Bomb the airport. Those are not families. They are Islamists harboring terrorists. We will save our own, and then we will begin the slaughter. God bless America.

But what she turned her back on was her conscience. And she is not alone. A lot of people in power here have turned their back the same way. They play the word "evil" like some kind of satanic accordion. We are not evil. They are evil. See no evil. Hear no evil. Terrorism is evil. But killing children has to be "balanced out" by the effete pretty-boy complaints of those long-suffering residents who can't even get a decent night's sleep from the Devil's Katyushas. Let them sleep, so their armies can decimate the civilian population of Lebanon in exchange for two Israeli soldiers. Yes, Condoleeza, the applause is deafening. How brave. How free.

(Knights of Malta involved in every crusade in our lifetimes)
We used to chide the Soviet Union for their "propaganda". Before that, it was the Nazis' "propaganda" that promoted their evil agenda. Every dictator had no news, only propaganda. Every authoritarian regime was dominated by propaganda. We always refer to "state-run media" or state-run propaganda machines. But we were always about news, about information, about the free exchange of ideas, about truth, about telling it like it is. "We report - you decide." We were always for the journalists, the reporters, those brave souls who risk their lives to see what's really going on and telling the world, secreting out precious truths under the noses of tyrants. We were never the purveyors of propaganda. We were never a "regime". We were never the ones to sit back and watch slaughter. We sent our troops to save the world.

So where were we when Israel systematically slaughtered Lebanese civilians and infrastructure? Wasn't it enough that they had just begun to pull themselves out of a long, devastating civil war? Are we seriously blaming "terrorism"? Are we that callous, that stupid, that blockheaded? We can't even recognize a nation of peaceful citizens who love their country and once managed to be the only place where democracy, three religions at war elsewhere, and a mixed but sophisticated population managed to peacefully coexist? We can't even tell the difference between them with their various groups, and a group such as al-Qaeda? We can't even tell the difference between civilians and military? What the hell are we doing?
And today while CNN, MSNBC carried Paulson sabre rattling about invading Iran, I found a few million links that detail Halliburton's sale of nuclear materials to Iran.

Here is a sample of the events Halliburton has been involved in:

March 15, 1995

US President Bill Clinton issues Executive Order 12957 imposing strict oil and trade sanctions on Iran. US companies and their foreign subsidiaries are hence prohibited from entering into any contract “for the financing of the development of petroleum resources located in Iran.” [US President, 3/15/1995; BBC, 3/17/2000; US Department of Energy, 8/2004]
Timeline Tags: US confrontation with Iran

May 6, 1995

US President Bill Clinton issues Executive Order 12959 prohibiting US businesses from engaging in virtually all trade with Iran except for information and informational materials. Corporate criminal penalties for violations of the Iranian Transactions Regulations range up to $500,000, with individual penalties of up to $250,000 and 10 years in jail. [US Department of the Treasury. Office of Foreign Assets Control, 11/1979; US President, 5/6/1995]
Timeline Tags: US confrontation with Iran

May 29, 2003

CNN reports that despite US government prohibitions (see March 15, 1995 and May 6, 1995) banning US citizens and business from doing business with Iran, dozens of US companies are actively conducting business there, including Halliburton, ConocoPhillips and General Electric. The companies are using a complicated array of corporate loop-holes and off-shore accounts to maneuver around US laws. Michael Ledeen, interviewed by CNN, says these companies are aiding terrorism. “The oil companies are a wholly owned subsidiary of the government…the government is the primary sponsor of terrorism,” he says, additionally claiming that “they have separate organizations that are used to funnel oil profits and other profits into the terror network.” [CNN, 2/10/2003; CNN, 5/29/2003]
Entity Tags: Michael Ledeen, Halliburton, Inc.
Timeline Tags: US confrontation with Iran

A country devoid of conscience, integrity, truth or decency, lumbers on in one fabrication of
fraudulent freedom after another. A democracy dead at home, a press core that is a sad, sick imitation of a once vibrant group dedicated to journalism above all else, is instead a group of fearful paid off hacks, who cannot seem to find their souls.

We were all sold a bill of goods for a product that did not exist. We are clearly not living in democracies, but governments owned lock, stock and barrel by some very evil corporations who control our news and fund both sides of every war.


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