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“I have always thought that there is no evil harsher or more ruinous than war. War is the source from which bubbles forth that loathsome, filthy mixture of criminal men: robbers, rapists, pimps, brigands, pirates, thieves, assassins, poisoners, rogues, embezzlers, cattle-rustlers, agitators, traitors, temple-robbers, perjurors, blasphemers, and also prostitutes, whores, and bawds. My voice would give out faster than I could even recount the names of the monsters which are the spawn of war. -- Erasmus, a Dutch Christian humanist (1466-1536)
I’m not one to recite a joke or a funny story. I don’t have the knack. But once upon a time I actually remembered - and then successfully told – a tale that had a moral to it. It was a take-off of the moral in the title above and I recalled it when the Paris terror was announced. The story went something like this, with some embellishments in the story that are more applicable to the times:
Once upon a time there was a tribal king in a backward African nation that was so poor that most people lived in grass houses. Even the well-fed king (who had acquired his throne by ill-gotten, military means) and his fattened wives and concubines lived in a grass house that was larger and fancier than the houses of any of his subjects. It even had a second story. Like most greedy tin-pot military dictators, he liked to wear his glittery military uniform (that had a sash and many multi-colored ribbons on it) and a prominently displayed flag pin whenever he appeared in public.
Also like most power-hungry political and military higher-ups throughout the sad world history of militarism, colonialism, imperialism and fascism, he felt that it was important to acquire more and more wealth and power and show it off to his subjects.
Fighting a seemingly endless war with a rival kingdom, the king eventually acquired technologically superior weaponry and emerged victorious. It had been a bloody war, with many episodes of civilian “collateral damage”, friendly fire deaths, eye-for-an-eye reprisals and the poisoning – from military toxins - of the soil, water and air of both kingdoms. King One’s army finally overran King Two’s army, raped his women, took control of his oil fields and confiscated the impressive throne that King One had always coveted.
After the armistice was signed, King One’s soldiers replaced the old throne with the captured one and had his soldiers carry it into the second story storage room, along with some of the other spoils of war. As the king, his cabinet and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were celebrating their victory, the old throne, along with many other prizes of war, crashed down and killed them all, along with many innocent bystanders.
The moral of the story? People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.
A Christian Interpretation of the Allegory
Proponents of Christian nonviolence will probably interpret this allegory by referring to the many nonviolent ethical teachings from Jesus and his followers in the New Testament, which refuted the “eye for an eye retaliation” teachings in the Hebrew scriptures. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus admonished his followers by repeatedly saying “you have heard that it was said (in the scriptures) …” – “but I say to you…”, followed by such altruistic commands as: do not resist (with violence) the evil-doer; love your enemies; do good to them that persecute you; etc. The commandments and actions of Jesus during his ministry made it clear to his first followers that they were to live nonviolently.
The Golden Rule that Jesus taught also appears in the scriptures of many of the other major religions (“do unto others what you would have them do unto you”), meaning, among other things, that if you don’t want to be shot at or bombed from someone else’s drone or B-52 or fighter jet, you can’t ethically bomb anyone else from your drone or B-52 or fighter jet.
Some Christian will point out the final judgment scene from Matthew 25, that basically says that people (no matter if they are religious, Christian, agnostic or atheist) who had performed works of mercy (consciously or unconsciously) during their lifetimes will be rewarded and those that performed works of war and violence will somehow be punished at the end of time.
Some Christians may point out that Paul of Tarsus said that “whatever a person sows, that he will also reap.” Even the prophet Hosea, in the Hebrew scriptures, points out that they that sow the wind (with violence) will reap the whirlwind”, thus the consequences to the perpetrator will be more intense than that suffered by the initial victims of war. In my own interpretation of that passage explains the huge issues of combat-induced PTSD and the legendary suicidal thinking, suicides, broken marriages, unemployability, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, addictions, murders, and criminality that have caused so much suffering for America’s military veterans and active duty soldiers. That seems to qualify as a valid example of “reaping what you have sowed”.
But what are the consequences for those politicians, generals and assorted war profiteers that send young, adolescent-age soldiers to fight the old man’s wars? That question has to be a topic for a future article.
The Folly of Trying to Achieve Peace Through Violence
This Christian ethical principle of non-violence and non-retaliation runs counter to what the NRA’s pro-violence Christians mean when they assert the absurdity that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun” - as if we are to believe that the stereotypical wife-shooting, angry, humiliated, revenge-seeking, heavy-drinking, sociopathic types are gun-toting good guys.
One truism that the glass house allegory alludes to is that the cycle of violence never ends until both warring sides are totally exhausted, can’t afford to keep fighting or until one side puts down its sword and shield, sincerely expresses a desire to stop the killing and offers to start talking out their differences, with open dialogue, humility, honesty and full transparency. That is the peace plan that peacemakers like Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and a multitude of other peace-loving spiritual leaders have been suggesting for centuries in their efforts to prevent war from ever starting.
Tragically, most American militarists, especially the Chicken Hawk politicians (aggressively pro-war but never “served” on any battlefield) like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rove, Perle and most of the other NeoConservative, pro-war members of the Project for the New American Century that seem so deaf and blind to the wisdom of the teachings of the peacemakers (google “PNAC 911 and gary kohls” for more).
Nations With “Soft Targets” Shouldn’t be Throwing Stones
And so the Pentagons of the world, repeatedly and callously ignoring the wisdom of the philosophers, poets and peacemakers, keep the suffering refugees on the run by repeating the same atrocity-inducing military misadventures that have never brought lasting peace to the world.
Recognizing that the French Air Force has been bombing targets in Syria for the past two months, it is easier to make sense of why those misadventures were so successful in provoking the Paris massacre. Violence begets violence, and now we can expect France to up the ante, thus worsening everything by attracting hosts of traumatized, hopeless, homeless, hungry, jobless, humiliated and very angry, revenge-seeking anti-American, anti-French jihadists who are understandably and increasingly interested in making America and France pay for the deaths and disabilities of the hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim family members and other loved ones who were criminally targeted by weapons of mass destruction, including America’s cowardly drone weaponry.
Revenge-seeking jihadists are coming from the chaos of the 5 newest failed states in the Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria) that were created by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush’s “perpetual war” foreign policies that followed 9/11.
For those readers who are too young to remember (or are otherwise ignorant of) what really happened 14 years ago on 9/11/01, I strongly suggest getting up-to-date on the “Big Lie” propaganda that covered up the false flag operations that took place on that date (google “youtube 9/11 false flag operation” for much more). What happened in Paris has everything to do with 9/11 and its aftermath.
Deluded, hard-core believers in the power of war (on ALL sides of what has led up to the Paris Massacre) have been seduced by the seemingly more practical (albeit anti-gospel) eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a tooth retaliation pathway that never works long-term, even if temporary victories, temporary lulls in the fighting or temporary armed truces give our war-makers, war-profiteers and warriors the illusion of military success.
Who Profits From War?
Examine the real history behind the Reichstag Fire of 1933, Krystallnacht in 1938, Operation Himmler in 1939 (Hitler’s code name for the invasion of Poland that started WWII), the Gulf of Tonkin (the false flag operation that started in earnest the Vietnam War) and 9/11/01 to thoroughly understand what are the motivations behind the war profiteering economic elites. It has been well-said that “all wars are banker’s wars” (google that phrase).
False flag operations have as their motivation the legitimization for declaring war against an innocent targeted enemy. The predictable temporary winners are shameful war profiteering “investors” and defense industry corporations. Since the opening bell on Wall Street and around the world yesterday (11-16-15), defense and aerospace industry stocks have surged (up to 3 – 4% gains in the first day!).
Investing in America’s and the world’s wars and weapons manufacturers is a sure bet whenever wars flare up, especially when nation-state retaliation is likely - especially when blind rage is generated by the media and approved by the vengeful populace.
A classical example of profiting on violence was the huge spike of put options (betting that a company’s share price will go down) that were placed on American Airlines and United Airlines during the days before 9/11/01 (Those highly profitable, sure-fire “investments” were made by investors [whose identities were protected by the SEC] who had obvious foreknowledge of what was going to happen that day). (For details, read http://www.globalresearch.ca/9-11-attacks-criminal-foreknowledge-and-insider-trading-lead-directly-to-the-cia-s-highest-ranks/32323.)
De-Stabilizing the World, the Wars on Terror and Crisis Capitalism
America’s military destabilization of the entire Middle East by the bogus – and criminal - Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld “Endless Wars on Terror” has resulted in the predictable and bankrupting consequences that America’s blind leaders claimed were unpredictable. But many of us in the antiwar movement knew what was likely to happen, so we tried futilely to get an audience with the deaf and blind war-mongers in order to stop the wars before our troops got mired down in a war that would have tragic consequences for them, even if they came out alive. Remember the “War is not the Answer” posters? Almost every one of our blood-thirsty congress critters - of both Democratic and Republican persuasions - refused to listen or respond with any intelligence or integrity.
It’s only a few days post Paris and I’m already tired of the same old, same-old “expert” commentators who “expertly” discuss the implications of the massacre. I’m already tired of the reprise of the old “War in the Gulf” or the “War on Terror” or the “America Under Attack” CNN media hype of the past decades, and now that we have to endure the same old patriotic pro-war drivel from assorted retired generals struggling to live on their $150,000 annual pensions, ex-CIA types, ex-National Security Agency types, etc, who are on every major media outlet, eagerly putting their spin on events in Paris, Syria, Moscow, etc. The conspiratorial promoters of disaster capitalism will be capitalizing on the latest versions of the so-called “war on terror”.
You will notice that only the war-profiteering, establishment side of things will be allowed a voice on the TV. The peacemakers will be black-balled. There will be no truly objective historians allowed in discussions nor will there be any real objective experts allowed to critique the wars.
You can expect a continuation of the 14 years of black-listing of those respected scholars, intellectuals, physicists, architects, engineers, pilots, theologians and the variety of experts who have extensively studied what really happened on 9/11/01, so don’t expect any profound truths to come out about how the mess in the Middle East could have been totally prevented! (Google “911 Truth YouTube” and watch any one of the extended videos to fully understand that claim.)
The 9/11 Truth-denying powers-that-be will likely hunker down and continue to shamefully try to expand their wealth, power and influence. So instead of contrition, admitting their crimes against humanity and asking for absolution, they will likely continue their corrupt behaviors and callous indifference to the suffering of others.
Thus there will likely be an escalation of the on-going and bankrupting perpetual wars with the inevitable worsening of the suffering of the refugees, continued chaos on the ground, and a global war-induced economic instability that will eventually come crashing down – literally or figuratively - on American heads, just like the too-heavy throne that fell through the second story of the grass house.