By Kevin Barrett (Truth Jihad) for The Saker Blog
Spiritual Empowerment and Defense Readiness: Iran’s “Trump Card” Against US-Israeli Aggression
Do religion, spirituality, and ethics have any strategic significance?
Increasingly, since the time of Machievelli, the Western answer to that question has been “no.” According to the dominant view of Western elites, religious factors are usually a strategic liability rather than an asset. A spiritual soldier, according to this view, is less willing to fight. An ethical commander is less willing to make the hard decisions that lead to victory. And a religious society is likely to be scientifically and technologically backwards, and therefore unequipped with the latest weapons systems and strategies.
This dominant Machievellian view has been influenced by Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. Hobbes famously argued that humans have emerged from a state of nature, the war of all against all, by gradual conquests of ever-larger kingdoms, each of which is tyrannically ruled by a single sovereign. The sovereign tyrant crushes anyone who spreads disorder or challenges his authority, thereby pacifying his realm and facilitating commerce and technological innovation. All human progress, according to Hobbesians, is the product of tyranny. Therefore, tyranny is good! What’s more, by wars of aggression the tyrant enlarges the boundaries of his state, brings more peoples and lands into his realm, and thereby creates even more peace and prosperity. Therefore, wars of aggression are good!
The Machievellian-Hobbesian view, through a Nietzschean transmutation of values, takes what all non-psychopathic humans know is evil—tyranny and aggressive warfare—and redefines it as good. Simultaneously, it takes what all non-psychopathic humans know is good—resistance to tyranny and refusal to submit to, or perpetrate, aggression—and redefines it as evil.
Such a psychopathic philosophy of statecraft and war is clearly inimical to God-given human nature. By what process has our planet’s most technologically, economically, and politically powerful civilization adopted as its guiding principle a psychopathic philosophy that the 99% of humans who are not psychopaths—the vast majority of all populations, including those of psychopath-ruled countries—instinctively reject?
The triumph of psychopathy in Western statecraft is the product of the West’s post-Christian culture. Christianity, more than any other religion, rigorously preaches peace, as exemplified by the prophet Jesus’s (PBUH) injunction to “turn the other cheek,” his refusal to support anti-Roman militancy, and his insistence that “the meek will inherit the earth.” Unfortunately, even after the teachings of Jesus had spread, it became obvious that no then-existing human society could organize itself according to such principles and survive. Mainstream Christianity, largely authored by Paul and institutionalized by the Nicean Council, became the official religion of the warlike Roman Empire by emphasizing Jesus’s statement “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” and telling people to let the psychopathic Caesars rule. This amounted to abdicating religion’s role as the foundation of human society, fostering a schizoid split between “good” religion and “evil” politics. (Why good people would and should allow their societies to be dominated by evil leaders was never adequately explained by Constantinian Christians.)
Western civilization was constructed around this schizoid split between religion, the realm of mere ideals, and a completely different and vastly uglier set of political and social realities. This framework fostered the emergence of Machievelli, who threw religion and its ideals out the window. As Christianity lost its hold over the West, materialist-atheist Machievellianism, barely tempered by wooly-headed and rationally-indefensible humanism, became the order of the day.
Today, psychopathic Machievellians rule the West. Their subjects, who are mainly either wooly-headed humanists or residual Christians, are not psychopaths. They feel an instinctive revulsion toward aggression and tyranny. So the Western rulers are forced to dupe their subjects by disguising aggression as defense, and disguising tyranny as “freedom” or “democracy.”
The history of US wars during the past five decades shows that psychopathic leaders can indeed dupe their subjects, at least for a certain period, into believing that an obvious war of aggression is actually defensive, and that they are fighting for “freedom” and “democracy” rather than tyranny. But such deceptions have an Achilles heel: They quickly wear off as the truth emerges and as the public tires of the unjust war.
The case of the US war on Vietnam exemplifies this process. During the period that US neocolonial aggression against Vietnam was relatively unknown to the public (the 1950s and early 1960s) it was possible to wage the war without encountering major problems with morale and public opinion. Then when it was necessary to escalate the war to the point that it could no longer be hidden from the public, US leaders orchestrated the Gulf of Tonkin deception to create the illusion that the US was under attack and that North Vietnam was the aggressor. This deception, grotesquely obvious as it was, worked for a few years, thanks to the compliant media. But gradually the truth about the US war on Vietnam—that it constituted immoral aggression in service to tyranny—leaked out to the public. Soon the American people in general, and US troops in particular, turned against the war, making it unsustainable over the long term.
The same process happened fifteen years ago with the US wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Those wars, planned many years before they were launched, were pre-legitimized by the false flag operation of September 11th, 2001, whose purpose was to create the impression that the coming wars were defensive responses to an unprovoked attack on America. Once again, as in the case of Vietnam, the ruse worked for a few years. But as the truth about US aggression and tyranny leaked out, the public, and a substantial segment of the military, once again turned against the wars.
The history of the US wars on Vietnam and Iraq underlines two critically important strategic facts. First, the US cannot hope to win a war with air power alone; victory requires a substantial and politically problematic commitment of troops on the ground. Second, any major commitment of US troops can only be made under the pretext that the US is engaging in defense rather than aggression; and even when extraordinary means are used to create this pretext (as in the case of 9/11) the legitimizing effect quickly wears off in the face of determined resistance by the targets of US aggression. The more time goes by, the more the public and elements of the military turn against the war.
US decision makers are, for the most part, aware of the above-described facts. They know that smaller wars, where they can quickly declare victory and go home (as in Grenada and the Iraq war of 1990) are much more likely to be successful than larger and more ambitious wars (Vietnam and the post-9/11 Iraq invasion and occupation). They dread committing major US ground forces to any large scale land war in Asia, knowing that the results are almost certain to be negative, and quite possibly catastrophic. After the Iraq debacle, the idea of a major US occupation of another large Middle Eastern country is, for all practical purposes, politically unthinkable.
The above considerations illustrate an important asymmetry between US and Iranian capabilities in any prospective future conflict. US leaders are in the unenviable position of having to wage all-out psychological warfare against their own population in order to brainwash their people and troops into accepting ongoing hostilities. (Such brainwashing campaigns have become more difficult in the internet era.) They are also faced with the problem that the longer hostilities persist, the more the public and an element of the military is likely to turn against the war effort.
Iran’s leaders face a very different “morale curve” with respect to prospective hostilities with the US. The Iranian people know that any US aggression against their country is in fact aggression; there is no conceivable way that US leaders could trick Iran’s people into believing that a US attack on Iran was somehow “defensive.” Clearly Iran’s leaders will direct a population that, in accordance with God-given (non-psychopathic) human nature, will rally to the defense of their nation. Additionally, the very strong element of religion in Iran will contribute to the spiritual strength of a population ready to make the kind of sacrifices that are necessary in warfare. And finally, the fact that Iran’s majority religion is Islam, which teaches that God not only authorizes but strongly encourages and rewards sacrificing in defensive warfare—a religious outlook institutionalized in the Islamic Republic—bodes well for Iran’s prospects in any war with the USA, and for its ability to deter such a war.
It is worth noting that the Machievellian-Hobbesian preference for a tyrannical and immoral sovereign is being tested by the presidency of Donald Trump. The immorality and tyrannical egotism of Trump have aroused fervent opposition to the man and his policies, both in the USA itself and around the world. It seems doubtful that an unpopular leader like Trump could successfully sustain any major, long-term military campaign against Iran, especially if it involved large numbers of “boots on the ground.” That Trump himself ran for president calling for a drawdown of the US presence in the Middle East, based on his recognition that the Iraq, Libya, and Syria wars have been disasters—a position that contrasted sharply with the more hawkish, interventionist posture of Hillary Clinton—makes it even unlikelier that he could betray and anger his supporters by launching an even more dangerous and difficult war on Iran. Not only would at least half of Trump’s supporters tend to oppose such a move, his extreme detractors, who are legion, would oppose it even more fervently. Any initial war fever, which Trump might hope would distract from his domestic problems, would quickly wear off.
Iran’s leadership, in marked contrast with America’s, is grounded in morals and ethics, not Machievellian-Hobbesian nihilism. Those morals and ethics derive from the religion of Islam, a 1400-year-old tradition that has proven to harmonize well with God-given human nature. Though the various segments of Iran’s population vary in their religious attitudes and behavior, the vast majority accept the basic morality and ethics that convince them, like all non-psychopathic humans, that aggression must be resisted. Thus Iran’s leadership finds itself in relative harmony with its population on the question of national self defense. That means that in any serious conflict with Trump’s USA, Iran will have staying power, while the US will wilt as the fire burns longer and hotter.
- For a detailed exposition of this view, see Ian Morris, War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots (NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014). ↑
- The facts that 9/11 was a false flag, and that the 9/11 wars were primarily designed to promote Israel’s interests rather than America’s, turned a segment of the US military, and even some prominent strategists including Zbigniew Brzezinski, against those wars. See: SFRC Testimony — Zbigniew Brzezinski, February 1, 2007 (http://foreign.senate.gov/testimony/2007/BrzezinskiTestimony070201.pdf); “Dr. Alan Sabrosky: “100% Certain That 9/11 Was a Mossad Operation” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7xTsWsLbV4); Global Warfare: “We’re Going to Take out 7 Countries in 5 Years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran… – Gen. Wesley Clarke” (https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166). ↑
A conventional war against Iran is out of the question, unless the US military and political elite have lost all sense of reality.
Iran is a large country with a a population of some 80 million. It has a powerful conventional military, which uses considerable high tech. The country is also mountainous, giving Iran an advantage in case of aggression. In 1943 the Western Allies fought the Battle of Monte Casino in Italy. It lasted six months, the Allies winning only after the Germans pulled back some of their troops. You cannot easily fight in mountainous
surroundings, as Afghanistan has shown us.
For a conventional attack against Iran, the US would need complete air superiority. It could achieve it, but at a huge cost. During the 1999 NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, NATO lost 137 combat aircraft and 25 helicopters. In Iran the US would lose even more. Even with air superiority being achieved, this would not prevent US combat aircraft being attacked from the ground on a daily basis. Every plane lost would mean the loss of the crew, either killed or captured. The captured crew members would be presented before Iranian TV cameras, hardly good for moral or political gain.
Even if the US did land it’s troops in Iran, they would be met with considerable fire power from the Iranians. The losses would be huge. In fact the US lost more men in Iraq and Afghanistan than it dared admit, as confirmed by numerous sources.
If the US did launch some sort of conventional attack, it would most probably be an attack using cruise missiles, with highly questionable results. The last cruise missile attack against Syria saw the Syrians shoot down 71 cruise missiles and capturing two unexploded ones.
Finally, we would have political repercussions of such an attack. Could Washington sell to the US public an attack against Iran ? How much of the public would accept a new war being fought ? And the repercussions in Europe ? They would be huge, not only because Europe has business dealings with Iran. The chief concern in Europe is that it does not wish to be drawn into any military conflict with Russia, where ludicrous excuses would be used. An attack against Iran would see NATO start to crumble, with Turkey probably being the first to leave.
Will there be some sort of attack against Iran ? As I have written before, the chances are 90 % that the US will probably launch some sort of attack. If it does, then it will indeed mean that the US political establishment has lost all sense of reality, thinking that the rest of the world will accept every aggressive move it makes. It will not.
Latest news is that Iranian citizen Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar, brother of an assistant professor at University of Chicago, was arrested by the FBI, who also arrested another man by the name of Majir Ghorbani.
Both men have been charged with espionage on behalf of Iran, “conducting surveillance of Israeli and Jewish facilities in the US and collecting identifying information about American citizens …”.
We obviously have some psychological preparation of the US population for war against Iran. I am sorry to see that it is going that way.
that surely is preparation of americans for an attack on Iran..which to my way of thinking is tantamount to the end of the world for humans.
also an American attack will likely lead to hostilities between Iran and Israel. in defense of itself I dont see how Iran can refrain from hitting Israel. there is no way that I can see for Iran to take american attack and not hit Israel directly. and that would likely mean the end of Israel the Iranians I believe are already set up to eliminate Israel if it comes to war.
I imagine that Israel is also ready for such an attack and in turn would see to it that Iran is also done, finished..as well as to attack the rest of world in the process.
if Israel is going down I imagine it would seek to take at least all of the west with it..including Russia. what would Russia do in return? what would the Trump do if Israeli nukes began to rain down on the states?
if Israel has 200-400 nukes as reported that is at least 10 each for all the important countries. I am sure all the important nations are already targeted by the Israelis. I have seen reported where the Israelis insist that if they are going down they can and will take the world with them. I am convinced that that is a true report
in a blink we would have these results..not that it would matter to anyone..everyone
It’s scary, but this has happened so many times that we can predict their next moves.
Do you have a source on NATO losing “137 combat aircraft and 25 helicopters.”? Because that seems contrary to my memories of that affair.
I remember NATO getting 1 stealth plane shot down. Of course that’s memorable because the Americans were claiming they were invincible.
I know wikipedia is heavily edited by pro-deep-state people, but in trying to do my own research on this I found their page on the war and it speaks of about 2 airplanes being shot down. A few more were damaged planes that limped home to base.
I do remember some losses in the low-level helicopters during the war.
OK, I don’t like the wikipedia page and it definitely seems slanted in its coverage. But 2 planes and 2 helicopters is a long distance from 137 combat aircraft and 25 helicopters. The wikipedia page supposedly has a quote from the Serbian army that they shot down “51 NATO aircraft”. Generally I’d tend to think reality is in between the two numbers, but its rare that reality is more than double the greatest claims made by the opposing side in the conflict.
I do remember that the air campaign was very ineffective because the Americans stayed at very high altitudes to avoid any losses. Because of that they were easily tricked by camaflage and dummy vehicles, and bombing from that altitude in an era when not yet everything was a ‘smart bomb’ was always a low percentage affair. Its one of the areas where I disagree with the slanted wikiped page in that it downplays the reports of only hitting a few tanks, and then strangely complains that NATO didn’t shift into war-criminal mode of attacking civilian targets until late in the war. The page is slanted in that it thinks attacking ‘economic targets’ such as bridges as a good thing, but then doesn’t link that thought to the attrocity of the civlian passenger train that got blown up along with a bridge.
But, all and all the numbers you give are in sharp variance with what I remember from living through those times. When one plane got shot down, it was big news of the day. I think I’d have noticed if 137 “combat aircraft” and 25 helicopters were shot down.
@Anon and BF. Both of you are right. I too remember only 1 plane reported down through malfunction — the Invisible Stealth. But a Serbian BTL said they had shot down more like B.F’s figures. Unfortunately I forget the Link; try to google for the Serb’s description of U$ fighter aircraft: “flying shitbuckets”.
@ anon August 23 at 12:41 pm
‘135 combat aircraft and 25 helicopters shot down’ is a low figure according to Dr. M. Raphael Johnson. You can almost double that figure for US aircraft alone. That goes for dead and wounded in combat as well in the Iraq war.
From this article:
The Paper Tiger Tries to Roar:
The American Elite’s Obsession for War against Russia
and its Consequences
“During the air offensive, which lasted seven and a half months, the United States and
Britain lost about 300 planes, 50 of them British. The Iraqi air defense units on the ground were
not affected. England, which has normally about 300 combat aircraft, at the beginning of March
2003 she was left with only 110 workable military aircraft. The Iraqi air defenses, so long as it
was centrally commanded, shot down anywhere from 3 to 5 US aircraft a day. This is a minimum
since journalists were not permitted independent work in the field. Russian estimates suggest that
it was more like 10-12 combat aircraft downed daily.”
Wikipedia is a very poor source, unless you want to know how to grow tomatoes maybe…
Very good additional writings on Matthew Raphael’s website here; https://www.rusjournal.org/
The Serbs also shot down one B-2 bomber, called “The Spirit of Missouri”.
As for the Iraqi military, it performed better than the Western media dared to admit. And yes, the US lost quite a number of aircraft in Iraq. According to one analyst, in 2003 the US military never took more than 1/3 of Iraq. The Iraqi Republican Guard never surrendered.
Here is a link regarding the war in the former Yugoslavia and the losses by the US / NATO forces;
In my previous post I referred to the war in Iraq. Sorry, my mistake.
The Serbs officially claim that they shot down 60 NATO planes, so as not to embarrass Brussels. However, they did shoot down 137 combat aircraft and 25 choppers. This was covered by a number of websites, one of them being VENIKS Aviation, a website no longer in existence, but run by a Russian. When it was operational, the website even showed photographs of NATO officers taking over coffins with dead NATO pilots. In Serbia it’s common knowledge that 137 planes and 25 helicopters were shot down. This does not include damaged planes.
After reading your discussion here, I did a search on the NATO losses in Yugoslavia. While there are many sites talking about this, this particular site is rather to the point. The fellow says, and I quote:
If you have not visited this site may I recommend you do so. NATO and Jugoslav losses are itemised. According to official Jugoslav sources NATO has lost 128 aircraft, 14 helicopters, and 60 UAVs. This may include B2-As which are mentioned elsewhere on this site: Spirit of Washington and Spirit of Missouri. …”
more on his site: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000yf4
The other day, for whatever reason I did similar search with regards to both Iraqi wars, and as turned out the “allied losses were rather high”. All thanks to Iraq using Soviet SAMs.
As for Europe, if they won’t go along with the US breaking the Iran nuke deal, and want to continue the agreement, then it is unlikely they’ll support an American-Israeli-Saudi war on Iran.
As for Americans, about 45% of the American public opposes anything that Trump does no matter what it is. That’s the nature of American fake-politics these days. About 45% hate Trump and the Republicans. Another 45% hate Democrats and rant on and on and on about ‘liberals’. Both sides seem locked into such opinions, only read commentators who echo their opinions and are invulnerable to any positive thought about those they consider evil.
In addition to that, since Trump was the outsider in the last election, he ran on the traditional outsider message of being against war. Trump campaigned on the Iraq War being a mistake. Of regime change wars being a mistake and costing America. On better relations with Russia, and cutting back on spending a forture defending a rich Europe.
Ok, so by now we know Trump was a con-man just saying what the audience wanted to hear. But the key part of that is that the audience wanted to hear that. Just like back in 2008 Obama said what the audience wanted to hear in that the Iraq War was wrong and he’d opposed it and that he at least inferred he was the anti-war choice compared to Hillary and McCain. The key part is that this is what the audience wanted to hear.
Thus, at best Trump loses 40% of the population because they simply hate anything Trump does and will oppose anything Trump does. Then, a significant fractioon of Trump’s very slim winning margin were voting for Trump because Trump was saying that Americas policy of fighting wars around the world was a mistake.
Add those two together, and it becomes obvious that Trump will face an immediate opposition to any war in Iran. The only strange thing is that the Democrat politicians will mostly support it, at least at first. But their base of voters will drag them away from that position, in the same way that the anti-war feelings of voters pushed the liars of the Democratic Party away from their initial strong support of Dubya’s wars into being almost a sort of anti-war party by 2008. Meanwhile, another group of voters will defect from being Trump voters as Trump starts yet another regime change war just like Dubya and Obama.
Trump will not have unified support for such a war. The media and DC politicians will support the war. Notice that threatening war with Iran is the one thing that most Democrats don’t attack Trump about. But their base and pollsters will push them out of that position.
The only good news for Trump is that the one thing that Presidents don’t get impeached over is starting illegal and unconstitutional wars.
Note, that none of the above considers the soaring price of oil that would result, and the following crash of the American economy. That is of course more likely to shift American’s opinions about the war than any sorrow at the murder of thousands of innocents and people who’s only crime is that they believe something else from the American war-class and are willing to stand by and fight for their own beliefs.
if Trump does’nt attack then the Nethanyahoo jews who are supporting him domesticly will turn on him & he will end up “impeached”.if he attacks Rothshield jews will find some constitutional over reach & he will be destituted.the guy is doomed.good luck América!
As with Iran, so it is with Syria: an altogether higher order of spirituality among the Leadership. With an added factor pointed out to me by a reader in Syrian Perspective: the “Western” peoples who are controlled by the regimes which are controlled by Anglo Zio Capitalists are fighting “Luxury Wars” merely for the profit and / or prestige of their AZC owners. But the people of Iran and Syria are fighting for their country. And against the AZC’s mercenary Wahabeast army, they are fighting for their very existence.
Though knowing nearly nothing about Islam, I was impressed by the ethical standard of the Syrian President’s religious views (Sufi? Shia?) in a Press Release to the UK Independent around 2014. So I was not surprised to find the following on the web a few days ago:
All Class: Syrian First Lady, while fighting her own cancer, Visits Children’s Cancer Hospital – Link to Fort Russ
Excerpt: “She’s in the trenches, not in an ivory tower. She’s with the poor and the sick, not the neoliberal, neo-capitalist muckety-mucks. She’s in Syria, with Syria, for Syria, of Syria and by Syria. Not the West. Not the Gulf. She’s a revolutionary, not a princess.”
Also, I read today that NATZO hired nearly 300,000 mercenary Islamic fanatics to invade Syria; that’s more troops than Napoleon took to invade Russia. The Syrian army had only half as many men, yet they won. Russia is smaller than NATZO, yet they held of NATZO air power while the Syrian army and Hezb’Allah cleaned up the mercs. As for Hezb, Lebanon is one of the smallest Arab countries, yet Hezb beat mighty Israel with all its military and financial backing from F UK U$A; and as everyone knows, Hezb is a religious organization concerned with spiritual and social welfare.
There was a time when Zionism, too, was a spiritual force concerned with social welfare, “a Light unto the Nations”; but today Israel is a ‘”Western” nation, and their god is Mammon.
“Love of money is the root of many problems”.
Here is a parallel from the Mahabharat story.
From wiki- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurukshetra_War
Krishna and Arjun on the chariot, 18th-19th century painting
Duryodhana and Arjuna go to Krishna at Dwarka to ask for his help and that of his army. Duryodhana arrived first and found Krishna asleep. Being arrogant and viewing himself as equal to Krishna, Duryodhana chose a seat at Krishna’s head and waited for him to rouse. Arjuna arrived later and being a humble devotee of Krishna, chose to sit and wait at Krishna’s feet. When Krishna woke up, he saw Arjuna first and gave him the first right to make his request. Krishna told Arjuna and Duryodhana that he would give the Narayani Sena to one side and himself as a non-combatant to the other. Since Arjuna was given the first opportunity to choose, Duryodhana was worried that Arjuna would choose the mighty army of Krishna. When given the choice of either Krishna’s army or Krishna himself on their side, Arjuna on behalf of the Pandavas chose Krishna, unarmed on his own, relieving Duryodhana, who thought Arjuna to be the greatest fool. Later Arjuna requested Krishna to be his charioteer and Krishna, being an intimate friend of Arjuna, agreed wholeheartedly and hence received the name Parthasarthy, or ‘charioteer of the son of Pritha’. Both Duryodhana and Arjuna returned satisfied.
So, yes, physical power is not as important as moral power.
Spiritual inferiority of “The West”. Copy&Paste from SyrPer:
The people of the West are apathetic to the distant disconnected oligarchy’s repeated attempts to whip up a new next round of enthusiasm for the re-enslavement of the rest of humanity.
Except for America where some proles still remain enthusiastic supporters of their own impovisherment… feeling themselves, in the immortal words of the great American writer Steinbeck, as being “temporarily embarrassed millionaires”.
“Apathy is all the rage in the West”.
Sorry, but one thing that the US military is definitely not in this era of modern Crusades is “post-christian”.
Its not all the military, but its a substantial portion. The speaker in this video estimates 30%. And the fanatical Christians have emphasized recruitment and placement into leadership positions. US military leaders have repeatedly referred to the current wars as wars against Islam with themselves cast as the role of holy Christian warriors stamping out and killing the infidel. President Dubya at first referred to the launching of the Terror Wars as a “crusade” before his PR people grabbed him and told him that the statement undercut all of their expensive propaganda about fighting against those who want a Jihad. But it has always been clear what the obviously Christian leaders of the United States desire and what the fanatical Christians in the US military want to do.
Obama gutted and savaged the born again military at the academies and in the ranks. They now have the Rainbow People deeply embedded in the officer corp of all branches. Gays, Lesbians, Trannies, and all varieties in between lead the US military.
“Do religion, spirituality, and ethics have any strategic significance?
Increasingly, since the time of Machievelli, the Western answer to that question has been…” Yes.
=> The cynical, manipulative use of spirituality, religion and ethics, as in social engineering has increased since then, it looks like to me.
Manipulation of congregations (and through out society) for military support, national agendas, Israel, etc…
Here are some thoughts about ‘Christianity’ in the good ole U.S. of A. complete with pictures of Dubya and Obama praying in the oval office. You might need to have a brown paper bag handy. As the blogger says ‘you couldn’t make this stuff up’… as Bill Blum once said: ‘hypocrisy of this magnitude is meant to be respected’
This amounted to abdicating religion’s role as the foundation of human society, fostering a schizoid split between “good” religion and “evil” politics. (Why good people would and should allow their societies to be dominated by evil leaders was never adequately explained by Constantinian Christians.)
This writer could have presented his view well enough without pausing to insert his little attack against Christ my God and His Church and teachings as if this is responsible for the rise of the psychopaths of the west. He can be forgiven for his ignorance because he too is infected by the rationality of the west and appears to have no understanding of matters of faith.
Christ has the power to end all tyranny but as he said, My kingdom is not of this world. His followers have gladly suffered horrible treatment, if it be God’s will, knowing that all things here are temporary. We are just passing through, struggling to change ourselves to be more like the image of God we were meant to be. If all people were on the same course as this, there would not be all this war. Having said this, we are not against the self-defense of a nation.
It is very clear to me but appears not to be clear to many, that the leaders of the west are indeed psychopaths, and this doesn’t bode well for peace until the coming of Christ. Voting doesn’t change a thing.
Dimitry Orlov actually takes that empire is good because commerce position.
Dimitri seems to have forgotten his earlier observation. ” By the mid-1990s I started to see Soviet/American Superpowerdom as a sort of disease that strives for world dominance but in effect eviscerates its host country, eventually leaving behind an empty shell: an impoverished population, an economy in ruins, a legacy of social problems, and a tremendous burden of debt.”
Tanks for the en Light ment. Concernant the word of Jésus on ” render unto God was is to God and to Ceaxer what is to Ceaser”, our interprétation is that Jésus was speaking of the Kingdom of God not our Worldl’y ugly World! And in ou World we must show the examiné of those values. Relative to what you raise the question of having the right to défend ouselveS is perfectly recognised, just refer to St-Augustin
I support Iran, but many Iranians are still very much against their government, so I’m not sure how many would actually stand up against American aggression. Some are actually welcoming any and all American efforts to undermine Iran, hoping it would lead to the Islamic republic’s collapse.
Even people who are against the government would stand against foreign aggression against the country, especially if it’s American aggression.
Kevin Barrett’s take on how the US Junta got the people to go along with Vietnam tallies with my own… partly.
Some context is useful: Lyndon Johnson ran against Barry Goldwater in 1964. Johnson was (all groan) the “peace” candidate against Barry the Warmonger. Johnson even said, early on, that “American boys wouldn’t be shooting at Asian boys in Vietnam.” After being sworn in as president for the first time, having only finished the rest of the executed JFK’s term till the 64 elections, Johnson “Americanized” the Vietnam War in March 1965, less than two months into his actual elected presidency.
Americans with their brains turned on were furious immediately. Eisenhower had instituted a very unobtrusive peacetime draft, with lots of deferments for various things, even for being married or a student. In less than two years Johnson was changing the rules for the draft, contracts for defense industries, and all for a war he said we’d only prop up briefly and indirectly after Tonkin.
It’s been said “the Vietnam war was fought to get Americans used to being at war all the time.” Not exactly. It was instituted to get used to the rules changing month to month. Industrial workers and farmers were the backbone of the nation and the salt of the Earth… till it was cheaper to buy foreign steel and ship in peasants from Third World countries. And so on.
Marx and Hitler both knew war is the best way to institute a permanent, unending revolution. So did Lyndon Johnson and like it or not, he’s the founder of the current American War State.
Iran and Syria, North Korea and even Russia have to take into account the fact they just don’t matter. They are props in the game. And as pointed out by many on this site and elsewhere, the game’s running out of time. Even an Israeli leader has pointed out when America ceases to be useful, it will be discarded.
Parts of the formerly United States look like they’ve been tossed out into the garbage already.
Erm – Machi-A-velli…
“The triumph of psychopathy in Western statecraft is the product of the West’s post-Christian culture.”
So what of the Crusades?And the expansion of Christianity under the expansion of imperial/colonial powers of Europe?Western aggression has quite the long history, neither the presence nor the absence of Christianity has done much to change that.If the West is Christian they’ll commit their aggression in the name of God, if not they’ll do the same under some secular excuse(civilizing the world,order,security,peace,liberty,human rights,democracy,etc.) instead.
Also I’d argue, Christianity or more specifically monotheism(belief of a one God and the singular authority of the one God) is fully compatible with the Machievellian-Hobbesian Western model that the author writes of.Both answer to(or at least speaks on behalf of) a single/central authority that stands above everything else.Incidentally they’re both compatible with the American supported uni-polar world model.
@anon123. That indeed is the question: what is this Spiritual Strength we talk about? Socrates would have recognized Courage, Honesty and Temperance. The Buddha and the Messiah would have added Compassion and a Sense of Humour. All of these Ancient sages would have added Belief in an After-Life or in An Absolute Spiritual Reality. The modern Philosophes and Naturalists (Rousseau, Kant, Goethe, Darwin, Kropotkin) would have said, Respect for Nature and Love of Creation even if there is no After-Life and no Absolute for mortal beings.
When I see any of these qualities in the adherents of any creed or of none, I warm to them; and am not surprised to see them triumph against the odds from time to time.
But, “Not all who say, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom”.
You raise an important point, actually at the heart of the difference between Western and Eastern thought, Monotheism and non monotheism in its various forms, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism and for that matter Quantum theory.
The difference being that at the heart of the Western mindset is the idea of a single self existent entity. Whereas, non Western thought sees things in terms of multiple ever mutually interacting cause/effect/cause/effect continuum.
If there is no Center and no First Cause, that changes the whole way that humans are wired, like two different operating systems which interact like Apple vs Microsoft or Ubuntu. But based on totally different assumptions.
To this observer, the problem of monotheistic belief systems is that they subsume their particular conception of a deity and then so to speak copyright it, so that you are not ‘worthy’ unless you buy in to that belief system. This makes them very vulnerable to authoritarian thinking. Once power is assumed based on a particular belief, people locked into that environment become totally invested in it, and any alternative idea is extremely threatening to their sense of self, which identifies with the ‘operative directive’.
This is not to excuse other belief systems which are vulnerable as well. Religious authority, as with all vested authority, becomes corrupted, demanding fealty in exchange for deliverance. That is why people who seek true freedom often march to a different drummer, drop out, or simply go into internal spiritual exile. It’s why yogis go off into the mountains or meditate in caves or go into the desert for total solitude.
Cogito, I am sorry, but I have a problem with your comment. Barret being Muslim is to his detriment, because?
He can support Iran just because he thinks it’s just, and not because he is Muslim. Many years ago I used to frequent VT, and I enjoyed Barret’s articles. With time the whole setup at VT changed and I stopped checking it out. The proverbial security of the site as is the case. Internet is a battleground for our minds, and various agencies are doing their damnest to block and disrupt the information flow. Having said that, I believe that Barret is a good writer. Just in case you wonder, I am an Orthodox Christian, and I do believe that Barret’s writings do not push Islam in our faces. BTW, I would never consider dropping my religion for any other, but I also believe that there is no reason for not respecting each other.
[Your comment has been referred to The Saker for his attention so please stop reposting it over’n over. The Saker will decide in good time and put it up or not as he sees fit.
Actually the proof is in archives to allow the USSR and the German empire battle it out to become ultimately weakened. Thus enhancing a near bankrupt UK s position….
William F Engdahl s book A Century of War touches on these issue s. Churchill s devious plan.
It should be noted that US soldiers in Vietnam were drafted. Thus the burden of the war fell on the well to do sons and the poor alike. The educated (university and college) and high school alike. This the reason that the US soldiers opposed the war so strongly.
In contrast the soldiers of the US in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria are volunteer. They come from poor families mostly poorly educated. Thus the burden of the war falls on those least able to respond ethically as they lack the means to respond politically.
We need the draft (though I oppose war) so that rich and poor, well educated and marginally educated will all be in service. We need a media like in Vietnam which shows the bodies of US soldiers and the Vietnam civilians slaughtered. Without a real connection to the death and destruction of human life (rich educated US kids) there will be little incentive to oppose wars.
Very few of the rich were drafted for the Vietnam War. Notice how Al Gore was a photographer. John Kerry was an officer. George W’s daddy got him in the National Guard and he didn’t he even keep showing up for that. We’re not even talking about the chicken hawks like Rumsfeld and Cheney. Oliver Stone dropped out of Harvard and enlisted becoming an average grunt in Vietnam. I went to see a psychiatrist and didn’t apply for my college deferment. I succeeded in getting a 4 F – mentally unfit for killing humans. It is true that most volunteers in today’s army come from poor families in poor areas (that is not a bug but a feature) but they are not dumb. For their circumstances they are above average. They don’t want to settle for a job at a 7/11 or clerking at a motel by the interstate. For some it’s the only way to go to college without going into debt slavery. Better not to have an Empire and just have a small military than a military draft. The US has only been invaded by immigrants looking for jobs or unused farm land for about 200 years. A universal national service of 2 years for everybody might be an ok thing. But you know those of privilege will come out better somehow.