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#78470 - 06/22/06 09:13 PM Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
I am listening to that right now about how the World is so dangerous now, than any other time in history, and how we need to change things around for better lives for all.

There is indeed cycles of evil that run through society, leeching at the very fabric of worth, in so many individuals.

There is also a cycle of goodness which is richer and more powerful, if we can all stand together in unison.

We need to reclaim what was ours and everybodys dreams to behold, not just those who take anything they can get.

A cycle of prayer is pretty profound, when we take up prayer and really ask for what we need, not in material wealth, but spiritual health, our prayers will be answered.

I say a prayer every day for all here, and all the other kids who are going through what we had to endure, often in total silence.

It is the only tool we ever had when we lived in silence, because everyone can tell God anything they want, and hope it comes true someday.

It is the only tool that anyone has when they feel utter despair, or loss, or maybe even when they are about to die, or lose a loved one.

We need a World where kids can find someone to talk in confidence to, maybe a mentor who they trust.
Maybe, an "I will listen armband for teachers".

That would have to be a teacher who was good at listening to the kids and who was trusted.
It is not failsafe, but at least kids would know they could talk in confidence.

I lost that when I talked to a priest in confession and he took an interest in me.
I lost trust in him completely, and he tried to make out to my parents that the Devil was in me.

A man of God, saying that to an 11yo was not so funny, not in the least bit funny.
All the kids in my family knew he was in the area and he would call at our house.

He always ended with asking for money, and yes, we didnt have much, I had to go pretty much hungry some days when my dad was on strike, and the little boy did not like a priest to ask my dad for money he didnt have.

I used to go to the farm and get eggs, the woman always gave me an extra egg, to make me strong.
When my dad was on strike, and I asked for a half dozen eggs, she ask me if my father was a striker.

I said yes, she asked me how many in my family, and she gave me nine eggs for six of us.
I guess a childs life is like a portrait, but I remember acts of kindness in times of despair so much.

I just guessed at the time that there was more to life than how I lived at the time.
I guess though I was more fortunate, but less fortunate than most of my peers.

I would not change it for anything, because it taught me to not take anything for granted, and live life in my own World, and he never hurt anyone in the World, I hope.

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78471 - 06/23/06 12:55 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
Christ said, many will come in my name, but I did not send them. it is written that He sent his messengers out, and told them not to take a begging purse with them, for all they need would be provided. if a man claiming to be of God asks for money, he is not of God, for God can provide and does not send beggers. the evil done in the name of God sickens me, for too many take it as from God when God had nothing to do with it.

this is an evil generation upon the earth, for it is the final generation. it is written that a third of God's children forsook Him to follow satan. this is that third that dwells here now. they will be the ones tested in what is to come, and this is an evil time to live.

it is written that he would send them a probate mind that thier women would lust after women, and thier men after men, and that they would call it just and right. it is that time.

you are also right that there is good there too, for God has reserved a remnent that are His messengers. these have a destiny, a calling, to plant seeds, to watch and to be delivered up for a testimony before the beast. they are few, but they are there, waiting patiently for the time to come.

if you have ears and eyes to see, and have not been blinded by traditions of men, then hear. there is light whereever God is, and if God is in you, you will have light even in this dark time.

consider this, all the tribulations of your past have driven you and made you the person you are. if you are a man of God, hasn't it driven you to become that?

pray, and pray for the will of God to be done. His will is that this world be of a probate mind, quick to do evil, and unable to comprehend the light. understand this, and live in His will and you can still find goodness and prosperity even in the midst of the evil, for He provides for His own. i pray continually, and trust that God will save all that can be saved, and that His will is right, even when it seems wrong to us in the flesh. For His concern is to save a people from evil, not for the pleasure of a few, but to the good of all.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78472 - 06/23/06 03:50 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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I liked that stuff.
Man has ravaged and pillaged most of the Earths resources without any vision of the hardship that future generations will have to bear.

Quote:
if you have ears and eyes to see, and have not been blinded by traditions of men, then hear. there is light whereever God is, and if God is in you, you will have light even in this dark time.
I guess that is right, those who followed him and his word will indeed be welcomed into his Kingdom,
and the ones who just took what they wanted against Gods will, will be severely punished,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78473 - 06/23/06 05:02 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
the earth has what i needs to get thru the time remaining. the time is short, so the earth seems used up, but it hasnt much longer to hold out. the new world order you hear of, and men crying peace, peace, peace are the beast forming. it will not gel all the way until satan shows up to empower it, but it is ready. the stage is set, and the days are short. all will soon be fulfilled. remember this, that Christ warned all that He would not return until all things written were fulfilled. (2TH2)

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78474 - 06/23/06 05:54 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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I know that we are indeed seeing the earth seeking closure, and yes, the New World Order, is moving forward secretly towards Totalitarianism.

It has its roots within the Knights Templar, google that for a scary story.
They have killed millions, and raped countries of their assets with little reward.

They turn man against his own by providing weapons to kill, tribe against tribe, until countries are cleansed of their own peoples.

They force their own 'moral' thinking on ancient races, and force them to live against their will, or go hungry through sanctions.

These people who worship Satan, belong to the devil, God, does not want them among his flock.
They are parasitic sores on his beautiful earth which he created for the meek.

Imagine if he gave the world back to the meek, and the ones who followed him through all of their lives!

A far from mythical dream,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78475 - 06/23/06 07:29 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
it is written that the world wanders after the beast. not a few, but the world. these are not only satan's, but misguided millions. satan uses four dominions to defeat the earth, education, the economy, governments and religion. the masses had been led astray when Christ walked, do you think it is any different now? this is why He continually asked, havent you read? if you allow worldly men to do your studying and thinking, you havent a prayer. they are emersed in traditions of men rather than the word of God. they believe foolishness such as the rapture, and will defended it tooth and nail. all the while God said that he hates those that teach his children to fly to save thier souls. they make void God's inspired word with garbage like the gospel of Judas, when it was written over a century after Christ. they come up with foolishness like Christ being married, and the fools count themselves wise. men cannot know the word of God on thier own accord. the blindness is put on them by God, and it can only be removed by God. Read, pray and study what is there, and do not allow men to do the thinking, but allow God to show you, and the mystery will be open to you, if it is His will.

when Christ walked, those He chose, He called. he didnt call priestly men, for they were educated of thier own ways, and knew not the ways of God. he called fishermen and common men, for thier minds were not polluted with teachings that rendered them blind. they could be taught. a wise man can be taught. a fool is blinded by his own self-confidence. a wise man is humble and meek, and his mind considers all things. he judges that which is God, and that which is men.

i ask all, havent you read? the key of David is there, but you have to go find it. we are told to seek and we shall find. have you earnestly sought our father lately? most give more effort to some fad diet or project than our Father. What will you answer when Christ asks, havent you read?

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78476 - 06/23/06 08:52 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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God, really does work in mysterious ways.
I do believe that he has intervened on more than one occasion in my life, so I believe there is a higher force.

It is funny, that out of four kids, I am the only one who does not seek material wealth.
All they wonder about is money, and they believe it brings them happiness.

I live a a poor man in a very rich area, and whilst they think they have a good life with all their riches, they are not as rich as the poor blind person, or old people they meet.

I am richer than any of them, as my mind is not cluttered by what is forced down peoples throats through media, and soap operas.
Life is what God gave me, to make the most of.

None of them know their neighbors, they all go to church on Sunday, but give them a prayer book, and sure they read the prayer, but how many of them mean, or even understand what they utter.

When there was no where to turn, I turned to you.
When I screamed and cried you wiped away my tears.
He dragged me from teh depth of despair to only fall back, so he would lift me up again and again.

It is my inner spirituality, that I was given as a child of God that delivers me through life.
You see those men who say they are Christians to gain support for their evil.

They use the Lords name in vain, whilst following the devils rules, they teach the peoples, that they are indeed true Christians, but they will never enter Gods Kingdom.

They spread their Satanic evil in the name of 'God'.
God also has ways of paying them back for their evil gospel that they attribute to his own teachings.

Satans followers have put each and everyone of us in here through Hell on earth.
I actually thought I was satanic for what was done to me, like I could never wash away that stain.

I dont know if I am a better man in life because of my past, but dont guess I could have done much better.

Why should we have to constantly have to worry about our own children, from predators?
These are traits from teh animal Kingdom that are engraved in our minds, often dormant for centuries.

Predators in the animal Kingdom, do it to live, not for their own kicks.
Take any man or woman in authority who abuses a child, and they suddenly become very small.

I am wandering here,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78477 - 06/26/06 12:57 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
i think many of us here have thought that we were evil. i think that is a trick Satan uses on us. put the old guilt trip on them and they wont seek God.

as far as worrying for our children, all we can do is cling to God and protect them the best we can. the thing is, if we do our job as parents, our children may still be molested, once, because this is an evil world. it wouldnt happen more than that, because our relationship would be supportive and nuturing. our children would come and tell right away, because a loving homelife would allow that. on going abuse is as much a parental failure as anything, because that child doesnt feel he or she can come to the parents and tell. something is wrong in that relationship.

i am reminded that Able was just and right, and he was still slain by Cain. men have freewill. you cannot change that, and having faith doesnt remove evil from your life. Paul wrote that we are comforted by our belief, even in the midst or our troubles. in other words those troubles are still there, but we should be able to bear them better with faith.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78478 - 06/26/06 03:39 PM Re: Terror and Hope
Nobbynobs Offline
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Quote:
Originally posted by reality2k4:
I live a a poor man in a very rich area, and whilst they think they have a good life with all their riches, they are not as rich as the poor blind person, or old people they meet.

I am richer than any of them, as my mind is not cluttered by what is forced down peoples throats through media, and soap operas.
Life is what God gave me, to make the most of.
ste
Um, right about here is where I stopped and decided to reply...beautiful post, ste, but watch the pride.

Wealth is no indication of a lack of Godliness, nor does poverty indicate Godliness. I know some very wealthy people who are much farther along in their Mission than I am, and I also know some poor people who are about as far from God as you can get.

I believe you when you say that you are close to God, because I read your posts, but remember to stay humble. Your rewards will come later.

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#78479 - 06/26/06 06:18 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Nobby,

sorry, but I am not proud, I am humble.
I have some pride for the beauty of the world, and the little boy who got me here.

Of course there are many good rich people, but what I was trying to convey, is that they are no richer than me, they stress themselves to the hilt to get more and more money.

All this, when there are starving people all over the world.
George Bush has the cheek to call himself a christian, I dont think God would.

The world is run by greed, and must have objects etc. Satan is a powerful figure, and remember just how much you feared him as a child, and maybe you have the crazy notion like me, that I was on a one way ticket to Hell!

Satan was no more since I was ten yo, I flushed him out completely.
I have met the beast, and would have no part of following him, but others are only too keen to.

My spirituality bears its roots in my innocence as a child, and yes, I can still remember the child who is me today.
And I am certainly not a bible puncher.

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78480 - 06/26/06 06:40 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
be careful, because Satan is not as he has been portrayed. God made him the full patern. he is very handsom. dont expect him coming here with horns and a pitchfork, killing people and working havoc. quite the opposite. he wants to be God to the people. he will come in as the lamb slain, calling for peace, healing and working wonders. our world goes nuts for a rock star, or movie star. they are not mentally prepared for this. when he comes, working wonders, calling lightening down, and healing, how do you think the world will react? when he claims to be Christ coming to rapture them home, how do you think they will act? it is written the whole world wonders after the beast, and it isnt because they think he is the beast, it is because they think he is Christ.

it is written that when Christ really returns, all flesh will instantly be changed. if you are still in the flesh, remember that he warned you he would not return until all things written are fulfilled.

if a person passes before Satan is cast to earth, believing in the rapture doesnt matter too much. you still believe in Christ. you just didnt study enough to find the difference. when it matters is for those that are looking for a rapture, and dont realize the beast comes first. they dont stand a chance, because they will get exactly what they have been duped into looking for.

Satan will be so convincing that even the elect, those that have the seal of God on them would be fooled, and no flesh would be saved, so Christ shortened the days. think of that, someone God called, who actually knew God would be decieved. what chance does someone that is blinded have? be careful saying you would never follow Satan, because many will, and never realize it until it is too late.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78481 - 06/26/06 08:53 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Remember the secrets given to those three children at Fatima by Our Lady.
The last secret has not been divulged by the Vatican, and it is believed to hold the key to when Christ will return.

He will return to only those who kept his seven commandments, and who have repented for their sins by showing him that he is indeed worthy of eternal life.

You will know me when I return, if I remember is correct.
I have no idols on Earth, and certainly would not follow a false idol.

I have spent a lot of my life in the wilderness, and it is a way of life with me.
I give more than I ever ask in return, and have done my share of looking after others.

Satan would never walk me into his lair of darkness, and I know it is easy to change a mans mind, but unless you know me, you would know that I cannot be led by false Gods.

When I sit on my bridge in the middle of the meadows at dusk, I see the birds of prey doing what they have to do to survive.
That gives me a platform to think in peace.

One day we shall find that peace, and not be fettered by our guilt and fears that have dogged us all of our lives.

A lifetime is not a long time, eternal life is, and if I have to come back as another kid, then maybe I will be better for what I went through.

I can only live my life as God asked me to do, and I gave my life to him when I was a boy,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78482 - 06/27/06 01:24 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
each of us answers for ourselves. if you are sure in your salvation these words dont apply to you. it is written that no man knows the hour that Christ returns, but that we may know the season. when you shall see the good and bad figs planted in the promised land, this will be the final generation. that happened in 1948 when the UN established Israel. what you are left with is how long is a generation. since 40 years has already passed, we cannot use that. is it our average lifespan today? say 60 years or so, perhaps. or it might even be the 120 years the number of days God gave man. the only problem i have with the 120 is that the elect are here now. they would all be dead if it went 120 years, so i do not think that is it. the bottom line is it can be at any time now.

the only thing that concerns me about your message is you keep speaking of false idols and of dark places. it is not that way. Satan will play the part of Christ for the world. there will be nothing dark about it, and no false idols, at least that anyone will see as false. the world will be getting its savior, or so it will think. they will be decieved. if your mind is not wrapped around the fact anti-christ comes first, and is in fact Satan, you really dont stand a chance. when the whole world gets ready for the rapture home and follows him, anyone that isnt sealed with the mark of God in thier forehead will follow him. they will think they are doing right, and fully believe this will be Christ. with all the rapture doctrine taught, these really have no chance.

if you pass before this test, and worship Christ, you still have your salvation because you havent worshipped anti-christ. even if a person doesnt have the mystery because they were blinded, they still had faith in Christ and did not betray Him with Satan. these warnings are for those that remain when the beast is cast to earth.

the elect shall be delivered up for a testimony. God's will be done, and i pray some that read these sayings will recall them when they hear, that they might repent and become the first fruits of this age. somewhere in your mind, remember hearing these warnings, and when you see the elect delivered up, and hear the words that even the nay sayers cannot dispute, that they might come back into your mind, and if you have followed the beast, repent, for in that hour there is less than 10 days left. when you see the two witnesses killed on the news, and the world celebrating thier deaths, know Christ will return in three days. if you have worshipped Satan, start repenting hard for the time is near the end.

because the blindness has been placed, few will hear these words with understanding. i only pray that some small seed finds those that can see, or that they may sprout and bring forth fruit in the last days, and call some out of deception. but not my will, rather God's will be done.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78483 - 06/27/06 10:31 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
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After all my years of repenting to something I was never part of, then God will recognise me and everybody who sought him, not through grief but believing a high spirit gives him the hope he needs.

Recognising that he truly was an innocent child of God, and repenting on Earth for all the sinners is something only achievable by mass prayer.

There are things we emit and receive, one was on a cold November night, and a little boy ask me what the bright shining star was.

I said to him, but it is not a star!
So he asked me what it was?
I told him it was a planet that you will only see every thirty years!

Then he asked me how it was shining, like a star, and I explained that too, but imagine all the questions a child can ask in life.

He left a little mark on my life, and maybe his too, that is what life is about, that is the mystery of all time,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78484 - 06/28/06 11:27 AM Re: Terror and Hope
TexasCowboy Offline
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Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 22
Loc: Houston, TX
Phoster,
I'm really getting tired of your proselytizing and preaching. It's offensive. Each of us have our own spiritual path to pursue and part of that enlightenment is not listening to some fundamentalist lay guilt upon us when many of us are already carrying enough excess baggage to fill a 747 cargo jet. No one needs your offensive preachy, condescending jugdements. Some of us may follow Buddhism, Hindu, Shinto, Islam and Judaism who are members of this site. In the name of God please get off your soap box. It's not as if you're the only one with enlightenment around here. It might be that your brand of Christianity is the one you refer to as the coming of the Evil Spirit. Have some sensitivity to those of us around you. Above all, remember what the great 19th Century British Essayist and Theologian C.K. Chesterton said, "It's not that Christianity has been unsuccessful, it's just never been tried." You are living proof of his statement. Lay off the Bible bashing.

_________________________
The strongest hearts are sometimes broken,
As the deepest thoughts arent always soken,
and the greatest wounds we hide inside ourselves where they never show

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#78485 - 06/28/06 05:19 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
then dont read them. every word i have written is from the word of God, and i am a prisoner to my calling to speak what was given me. judging starts with the teachers, i dont wish to answer for teaching falsely.

what i have said are not my words, but the word of God. if anyone feels judged, it is God's word, not mine that does the correcting. everything i have written i can document passage and verse, but i do not expect but a few to hear. for the world rejected Christ for teaching, and i am sure i will be no different.

as for my compassion and sensitivity, it is out of love i speak as i do. it grieves me to see the state of men, and if i could i would save them all, but it is not mine to chose. it is up to each soul to chose thier own destiny. if they will hear, teach, and if they forbear, then let them forbear.

anyone supposidly of God that would call Christianity unsuccessful has no sense in him. it has spread over the world, and where i has been changed and diluted in the name of political correctness, the core remains constant. the only other religion that is even close in numbers is islam, and even it is based on the same God. far from a failure i would think. men such as this Chesterton are the ones Christ railed against, for they are wise in traditions of men, and know nothing of God. the world is teaming with them, and they have led the flock astray. to this end, am i and my brothers sent. to sound the warning, for the time is coming when it matters.

i am sorry you take offense, but i am entitled to my beliefs. this is the spirituality board, and place to speak of such things. if you find my posts offensive, then dont read them. far be it from me to dictate what you believe. God created us for companions, and gave us freewill to chose what we will believe. to ones that have chosen, thier choice is made, but what of those seeking answers? do they deserve to hear?

survivors have a lot of really damaged spirits. many were driven off thier faith completely. they blame God, and do not understand how things are with Him. to them i speak, hoping a few might again find the faith that was taken from them by ungodly abuse.

the good thing about freewill, is you dont have to read my preaching. you dont have to believe anything i do. that is your right, and it is my right to voice my views and opinion. that is what this place is for, or so i thought.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78486 - 06/28/06 05:24 PM Re: Terror and Hope
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Texas,

I see that you are new here, so I hope the other members cut you some slack and refrain from responding to you in a hostile way.

Not to fuel the fire, but this _is_ the religion forum. Phoster has every right to his opinions and I think your comments about him are unfair.

And personally, although I don't always agree with what Phoster believes, I have not seen him condescend to anyone. On the contrary; he has been nothing but respectful, and he states his positions very simply and eloquently, with much less preaching than is normally seen in here. If you don't agree with him, fine, but don't attack him for his beliefs.

If there is are two words that I would use to sum up Malesurvivor, they are tolerance and respect. We tolerate others differences and opinions, and always show them respect, no matter how violently we disagree with them. This is because we are all here for the same reason, and we all know what we have done to survive our abuse. Personal attacks and disrespect are weapons in the arsenal of our abusers, not tools for our recovery.

Peace

Nobby

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#78487 - 06/28/06 05:39 PM Re: Terror and Hope
roadrunner Offline
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Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Texas,

As Nobby points out, this is the spirituality forum. Reality started a useful discussion, and it quickly turned into a dialogue between him and Phoster. That's fine, and I'm glad they are able to communicate their ideas and concerns so clearly to one another. This forum is the place for that sort of thing.

At the same time, I entirely understand you might not find this discussion useful, and from your post I can see you have been upset by it. But we can all read selectively and decide in which forums we will and will not participate.

The site tries to provide a venue for all points of view and a wide range of concerns, so I would just suggest that you avoid forums that trigger you, or else, if one particular member gets on your nerves - and sure, that can happen - then just don't read their posts.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#78488 - 06/28/06 06:04 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
I was hoping this thread would not turn into a clash of spirits, I guess God stepped in.
We all have our beliefs or not, as we choose in life.

Each religion has their own creator attached to their particular people, mine is catholic.
There can by default be, only one creator for all mankind.

Each religion has its good and bad points to it, but spirituality got me through so I carry on my life using my inner warmth of seeing the beauty which was created for all mankind.

We were all born with a unique beauty we call innocence, and whilst we think they took it away, it is still within us to find and nurture, that which makes us,

ste

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Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78489 - 06/28/06 06:04 PM Re: Terror and Hope
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
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Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
this is how some of the worst wars ever started.i thank phoster for having concern for my spritual safety ,but i will never try to convince him he is wrong or even have the rudness to try, one thing i have found in these discussions is if you believe no one tries to change your mind ,if you dont believe everyone tries to change your mind ,and to say things like judgement day is comming and if you dont believe your gonna burn in hell is not teaching its threatning ,its saying if you dont agree with me ,oh dude your gonna pay,please understand that this is not about phosters post in particular ,i have found this from anyone who is a religous person ,even in the church i was told dude you better belive what we tell you or god is gonna make you burn ,if you want to change my mind this is not the way to do it should i accept god into my life because i'm afraid of what might happen if i dont,is that why most people do? i think it is,but shouldnt it be about peace and love not fear and threats?i need someone to explain it to me not just say believe it or else.adam

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its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#78490 - 06/28/06 06:46 PM Re: Terror and Hope
phoster Offline
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Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
in the end, we all answer for ourselves. i will not stand between anyone and God at judgment. everyone has to make up thier own mind. TC, i will defend your right to believe as you will to the end. i may not agree, but it is your choice to make. Shadow, i am sorry so many used that threat. God has said He hates those that pass children through the fire to save thier souls. God is against what has been done to you. forcing anyone to believe with threats or anything of the sort is false belief at best, and that is meaningless. i would hope that you seek God for yourself. God is there, waiting and reaching out, but seeking means to search. it means to work toward finding. men must go looking for God, not waiting for Him to come save them for whatever the last tradgedy is. in fact it is written that if you dont follow him or care for him when times are good, why should he listen and care when you cry out in pain when something goes wrong? you made no time for Him before.

all i teach is to think for yourself. i challenge all to seek. if you seek, you will find what i write to be so, or you will find what God means for you to know.

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compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#78491 - 06/28/06 07:16 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Adam,

how would God send you to hell, you already been there.
Love and friendship, a helping hand, are tools which we all possess.

You may not know it, but God wanted you safe all the time, and he was instrumental in getting you through.

God doesnt starve kids in Africa, he doesnt throw huge bombs on innocents, man does, man is the ultimate farmer on earth, and reaps what he sows.

Those men who do these things seek their own fortune, at the price of satanic acts.
What if they come back as a starving baby, or a child in a war torn country.

I guess they dont have the forward thinking to see that future children have to live with what we as adults leave them, by the wealthy ones, who try as they might, will have to leave their money when they are judged by God.

They hids among the mask of being christian, but that mask is of no use on judgement day,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#78492 - 06/28/06 08:43 PM Re: Terror and Hope
reality2k4 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
This is what inspired me, the musical intro, of such a great classical works.

INTRO : As we prepare this program, it is one week since the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11th. America is still mourning its dead, searching its soul, and unsheathing its sword.
If spring is the season of hope, then it is fitting that in the spring of 1999, in celebration of the Millenium, Sony Classical released an album by New York composer JONATHAN ELIAS titled THE PRAYER CYCLE. As we did in 1999, this week we devote the entirety of HEARTS of SPACE to this extraordinary music. But this week, it will sound different, and it will have a different meaning.

JONATHAN ELIAS is best known for his work as a composer of music for television and feature films. But nothing in his resume would have predicted the scope or the depth of this project, which Elias began in the period immediately before the birth of his first child.

JONATHAN ELIAS
Forgiveness < 0:0->2:51>
Mercy < 02:51->6:35>
Hope < 06:35->13:13>
Strength < 13:13->18:55>
Compassion < 18:55->25:52>
Grace < 25:52->31:47>
Innocence < 31:47->37:45>
Forgiveness < 37:45->45:25>
Benediction < 45:25->53:24>
Faith < 53:24->54:29>
Grace < 54:29->58:20>

Then I read of John Pilger, one of the Worlds greatest journalists;

It is long, but worth the read, to have any knowledge of "mans inhumanity towards man.

In his introduction, John explains how the imperial notion of "colonial assumptions have not changed," and to sustain them the great majority of people everywhere "remain invisible and expendable." He poignantly recounts how while on September 11, 2001 a few thousand people tragically died in New York and Washington, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization reported the daily mortality rate of 36,615 children alone from the effects of extreme poverty. Not a word of it was in the news that day or any other. Nor was there any explanation of why these people were denied the bare essentials to survive in a world able to provide them. These and the ones killed daily in Iraq and elsewhere are what John calls the "unworthy victims" as distinguished from the "worthy ones" in the US on 9/11 and those in London on July 7, 2005 who died in a "terrorist" bombing. The only crimes we recognize are the ones committed by others - those we call "terrorists" or label as enemies, never any by us. Nobel laureate Harold Pinter refers to this as "a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed." We only know what our leaders and complicit corporate media (BBC, NPR and PBS included) choose to tell us, and it's never the truth or full disclosure we're entitled to have. What they suppress is far more important than what they report.

Until the fall of the Soviet Union, the notion of imperialism in the US was that it was a European, not an American tradition. It was untrue, of course, but a proper education in the US, like the one I got, never let on. It hid the true history of my country that from inception practiced a policy of imperial expansion west and south and engaged in plunder and genocide against the original inhabitants living there to make it possible. George Washington was its first practitioner, referring to the new nation as a "rising empire." He helped build it by removing and exterminating its native Indians so expansion could proceed as the Founding Fathers and those who followed them wished. Washington believed the Indian peoples were subhumans (no different from how we view Iraqis today) and compared them to wolves and "beasts of prey" who must be destroyed. And our sacred Declaration of Independence contained the language "merciless Indian savages" which left no room for their independence or any justice either.

The tradition begun at the republic's birth never changed but until the end of the "cold war" was well hidden behind a respectable democratic facade and still mostly is. Any notion of imperialism was never something taught in school at any level, discussed in polite society or acknowledged publicly. But all that changed in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. What never before could be admitted now began to be seen as something respectable and even a matter of national pride. And with the advent of the Bush administration, imperial dominance and expansion began to be portrayed as something positive and contributing to the advance of civilization. How low we've sunk in coming so far.

John explains how fraudulent and dangerous Bush's priorities are based on its policy papers and one conceived a few years before it came to power. It began with a 1997 "messianic conspiracy theory" called The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) written by many of the far right neoconservative ideologues now in power. This document is an imperial plan for US global dominance to extend well into the future and be enforced with unchallengeable military power. It was a blueprint for the current "war on terror" (which John calls a "war of terror') and "preventive war" that began after 9/11 and is now ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan with further conflicts likely ahead. The Pentagon goes even further in its Vision 2020 that lays out a goal that calls for "full spectrum dominance." By this is meant the total, unchallengeable control of all land, sea, air and space and the self-given right to enforce it with the use of nuclear or any other kinds of weapons.

The British government under Tony Blair is part of the same scheme as a complicit junior partner. It sees it in its own interest to be allied with the US and Bush administration and supports its imperial policies. As a result, John explains, it's no surprise Mr. Blair has taken his nation to war more often than any British Prime Minister in modern times. For him and George Bush, international law, norms and any sense of morality are irrelevant and aren't allowed to stand in the way of their unrestricted political violence portrayed as having a democratic face and purpose. Freedom Next Time exposes this hypocrisy to show that "imperialism, in whatever guise, is the antithesis of the 'benevolent and moralistic.' " It examines the history and events in five countries John knows well as a journalist and filmmaker.

Before beginning, John first addresses the present in his introduction. He quotes those who see the seeds of fascism and disturbing similarities in the US (and UK) today to Nazi Germany and Hitler's demonic appeal to his divine mission as that country's savior that he sold to his people in Christian religious terms. He did it in a country that was the pride of Western civilization and a very model of democracy. If it can happen there, it can anywhere and will unless enough committed people work to prevent it. But John stresses he hasn't written a pessimistic book. He cites the alternate seeds of hope, rebirth of democracy, and social equity in Latin America - especially in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela and the poorest of all the continent's nations Evo Morales' Bolivia. He sees these forces as part of a "worldwide movement against poverty, war and misinformation that has arisen in less than a decade, and is more diverse, enterprising, internationalist and tolerant of difference than anything in my lifetime." John concludes his message of hope saying that the "wisest... know that just as the conquest of Iraq is unraveling, so a whole system of domination and impoverishment can unravel, too."

John's book is divided into five chapters for each nation he covers. Four are well-known, but few readers may know about the first one discussed below in the Chagos archipelago or even know where it is.

Chapter One: Stealing A Nation Called Diego Garcia

Diego Garcia is a small 84 square mile British controlled island in the Chagos archipelago in the Indian Ocean(officially known as British Indian Ocean Territory) that lies strategically half way between Asia and Africa. It was once the home of 2,000 "gentle Creole" people who are British citizens, but between 1967 - 1973 they were tricked and expelled by the UK government so their island home could be given to the US for a military base. They were sent into exile to a very inhospitable new home in Mauritius where seven British governments watched their displaced citizens suffer and perish in the shanties they were forced to live in and the desperate poverty they were forced to endure.

This "act of mass kidnapping" was so devious and deceitful, it was carried out in secrecy, and for almost a decade was concealed from the Parliament and US Congress. The Chagossians were treated with contempt as they not only lost their homeland, they were "deemed not to exist." It was the US that made the demands and cut the deal. Washington wanted the entire population expelled and the whole dirty business covered up. Then as today, the British went along with the ugly scheme. The people had no say, and those who refused were lied to and told they had no choice because "their removal was 'legal' under the rules of the colony."

In their new home, life became a living hell. The Chagossians found themselves in a society foreign to their simple way of life, and they were unable to adjust. On Diego Garcia they had their own home, grew their own food, fished and worked on a plantation. In Mauritius they had to find jobs to survive and most couldn't. The result was by the mid-70s most of the exiles were unemployed, impoverished and began to die. The British Foreign Office and High Commission contemptuously ignored their plight saying the Chagossians should take up their problem with the Mauritian government. It hardly mattered that these people were British citizens and entitled to the same rights as all other Brits. All they got in compensation was 1,000 pounds (about $1,800) in exchange for agreeing to renounce their right ever to return to their homeland and do it on a document they couldn't read.

The history of this disgraceful episode was well hidden until the 1990s when a "treasure trove of declassified documents" was found in the National Archives at Kew in London. It proved there was a conspiracy between two governments that Article 7 of the statute of the International Criminal Court referred to as a "deportation or forcible transfer of a population (and) a crime against humanity." It also violated Article 73 of the UN Charter that obliges a colonial government like Britain to obey its "sacred trust" to protect the human rights of its people. Britain shamelessly did none of this and instead dutifully bowed to the wishes of Washington and obeyed its commands as it still does today. The two countries also engaged is a huge cover-up for a decade that went to the highest level of both governments hoping to hide the truth from ever coming out. Those involved included Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Queen Elizabeth and Presidents Johnson and Nixon among others. Everything was hidden including a secret financial kickback Washington made that was also concealed from the US Congress and British Parliament.

But once the truth began to come out, things changed. On November 3, 2000 the British High Court stunned the government by citing the Magna Carta and annulled the original deportation order. It meant the people were entitled to British passports and had the right to go home. But it was a short-lived pyrrhic victory as one year later the Chagossians were back in the High Court seeking compensation for their ordeal. This time they faced a hostile judge who described their case as "unmeritorious" and denied their claim. Then three months later, the Foreign Office minister responsible for the Chagos sent an "order-in-council" to the Queen for her "rubber-stamped" approval which overturned the High Court 2000 victory and banned the islanders from ever returning home. As John was writing, he reported the Chagossians were back in London for a last chance judicial review before the High Court to annul the government's denial of their right of return to their homeland. Even after all these years, these courageous people were and still are fiercely determined to achieve the justice they so rightfully deserve.

It finally came on May 11, 2006 (after John's book was finished), in a damning High Court verdict that condemned as "repugnant" the decision to remove the Chagossians at the US insistence. It overturned the Blair government "order-in-council" discussed above. The Foreign Office must now decide if it will appeal the verdict and may be pressured to do so by the US. But even if all litigation ends favorably for the Chagossians, it's by no means certain they'll ever be allowed to return as long as Diego Garcia remains an important US military base. The Bush administration is contemptuous of the law, may likely ignore it and a new US administration elected in 2008 may do the same. It thus remains to be seen if justice will ever be served in this long-running tragedy. However, it's likely the Chagossians will never stop seeking it.

Chapter Two: The Last Taboo - The Five and A Half Decade Cover-Up of Israel's Oppression of the Palestinians

John chose the title of this chapter from an essay with that title written by the eminent and courageous Palestinian-born writer, scholar and activist Edward Said shortly before his death in September, 2003. Said was a brilliant man and passionate fighter for justice for his people. In his essay he wrote: "The extermination of the Native Americans can be admitted, the morality of Hiroshima attacked, the national flag (of the United States) publicly committed to flames. But the systematic continuity of Israel's 52-year oppression and maltreatment of the Palestinians is virtually unmentionable, a narrative that has no permission to appear."

It appears boldly and courageously in John's chapter as he recounts the unexplained and irrational hatred most Israelis have for Palestinians, a people whose country they stole and have relentlessly oppressed for many decades. He explains what life is like for these defenseless people under a cruel occupying power in the refugee camps or the world's two largest open-air prisons of Gaza and the West Bank. He recounts how ordinary people who only want to live in peace and have normal lives are denied their most basic personal, economic and political freedoms, dignity and any sort of justice. He shows how Israelis with full financial and political backing from the US and the West have terrorized the Palestinian people with impunity, and when the victims dare defend themselves or resist they're called "terrorists."

I, too, have written about Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people in a recent article I called Life in Occupied Palestine. What John documented on the ground from the people who endure this brutal daily onslaught, I summarized in a few paragraphs I'd like to share here. I wrote as follows:

Try to imagine daily life under these conditions:

You live in limbo in a country occupied by an oppressive foreign army and a system of institutionalized and codified racism. You have no recognized nation, no right of citizenship and no power over your daily life. You live in a constant state of fear. The occupier imposes economic strangulation and collective punishment by restricting free movement; enclosing population centers; closing borders; barring most of your people from working inside their border; imposing regular curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences and separation walls and continues to build new settlements in your Occupied Territories (on your land in your country) violating the Geneva Conventions prohibiting an occupier from settling its population on conquered land.

The occupier denies your people their basic human rights including those under the Fourth Geneva Convention which governs the treatment of civilians in war and under occupation. There are 149 articles of this Convention. The occupier's government violates almost all of them and in so doing is committing war crimes according to international law. The UN Human Rights Commission determined it's also committing "crimes against humanity" against your people. This concept comes from the 1945 Nuremberg Charter drafted by the U.S. to try Nazi war criminals. The international notion of a "crime against humanity" was established to define what Hitler did to the Jews. The UNHRC ruled this is what the occupier is doing to your people, and that this act is the historical and legal precursor to the international crime of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The occupier also sends its troops, tanks and heavy armor into neighborhoods at will to maraud and destroy. It strikes at will from the air with sophisticated missle-firing attack helicopters and F-16s and deliberately inflicts eardrum shattering and terrifying sonic booms. And it gives its military the right to freely harass, arrest or kill extra-judicially any of your people - man, woman or child on any pretext with impunity. It bulldozes homes and the people in them if they don't escape in time (usually in middle of the night and without warning or notice) as punishment or for lacking a permit to build on their own land, in their own country or for any other reason. It steals land relentlessly hoping it will have it all one day or at least all the parts it wants. It detains, imprisons and tortures thousands of your people for the real or perceived crime of fighting for their freedom against an oppressive occupier.

To enact vengeance and to provide security for its illegal settlers in the Occupied Territories, it restricts or prevents access to essential and emergency health care, education, employment, the right to move goods and services from producer/suppliers to end users, and even enough food and water. It created a state of economic siege forcing up to nearly two-thirds of your people (according to the UN) below the poverty line of $2.20 a day (and half of those two-thirds on $1.60 or less) and over half the work force to be unemployed (the number varying with the intensity of the Israeli lockdown). It destroys your peoples' crops and orchards including more than 1 million olive trees. It imposes punitive taxes and provides few services or withholds them at will as collective punishment. You have no power to stop any of these abuses or receive any redress in the occupier's courts. How can you as a Muslim in a racist Jewish state.

John explains that Britain was the architect of this historic disaster and injustice. In 1917, it wanted a client state in the Middle East to watch over its economic interests and got one with the Balfour Declaration that promised a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine. The Declaration also made a hollow promise to the Palestinians who'd been living there for centuries that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities." It was not to be. The Jewish state came into being in 1948 and was born in the original sin of mass slaughter and forcible expulsion of the people living there, and nothing was ever the same thereafter. Israel systematically defies all international laws and norms, has the full backing and financial support of the US and the West, and the Palestinians are forced to endure the most outrageous abuses without end and with no help from the outside to stop them.

Most people in the West have little knowledge of any of this because the major media refuse to report it and only portray Israel as a beacon of democracy in a region that has precious little of it. It's a myth, but one that's widely believed. Those who dare expose it or Israeli crimes are called anti-semites or self-hating Jews. They also face extreme denunciation and even ostracism. There's an unwritten binding rule no one dare violate in the US especially: Israel can do no wrong and must be fully supported whatever it does. As a result, the myth of a so-called "peace process" that never was and never will be persists as well as the false hope that the Palestinians will ever have a state of their own beyond the bantustans the Israeli's have in mind for them after they've been fully ethnically cleansed or murdered in the areas the Israelis want for themselves.

John also exposes the fraud of the Oslo Accords and later Camp David meetings hosted by Bill Clinton at which Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered nothing to Yasar Arafat. The public was fraudulently told otherwise and Arafat was unfairly blamed for turning down a proposal no sane and responsible leader could ever accept. We learned about the many massacres from the hundreds of Palestinians killed at Deir Yassin in 1948, the 18,000 slaughtered when Israel illegally invaded Lebanon in 1982 including the Ariel Sharon ordered massacre of up to 3,000 defenseless men, women and children at the Sabra and Shatila camps, to the rape of Jenin in April, 2002 when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invaded this city of 35,000 (including its refugee camp), cut it off from any outside help, destroyed hundreds of buildings (many with people buried alive under the rubble), cut off power and availability of food and water from the outside, prevented outside help from entering the city and murdered an unknown number of Palestinians.

John covers much more including the daily killings of defenseless people, the mass Israeli inflicted unemployment, poverty and deprivation, and the life of unending desperation these people are forced to endure. Yet they do and continue to cling to the hope that one day their stolen land will be returned and their rights fully restored. One of the many untold stories is that many outraged Israeli Jews have the same hope and are courageously defying their government and supporting the Palestinians to achieve it.

Chapter Three: Shining India - The False Facade of A Nation Where Over One Third of the People Live in Desperate Poverty

John explains how India is a nation of stark contrasts, and the country's richest city, Bombay, may show it best. At one extreme is a thriving business community of maritime trade, merchant banks and two stock exchanges. At the other is a city of one million humans per square mile and typified by the "rail roads" district foreigners and outsiders know nothing about. It teems with desperate people living under conditions "barely describable - a packing case for a home with sewage "ebbing and flowing in the monsoon." John asks how can a nation with memories of "great popular struggle" and democracy allow this. The answer is its leaders chose to sell its sovereignty to the neoliberal model of a global economy dominated by giant transnational corporations, especially those in the US.

The rise of the Hindu nationalist (proto fascist) BJP-led government in the 1990s accelerated the process. It removed the barriers in place to protect Indian industry and opened the country to invasion by foreign predatory corporations that took full advantage. The result is a nation that could be a poster child for how an adopted economic model got it all wrong and caused mass human misery. It's seen in an increase in "absolute poverty" to over one third of the population or about 364 million people. John explains that although India's growth rate is high, "this is about capital, not labour, about liberated profits, not people." He also exposes the myth of India being a high-tech juggernaut. While the nation has risen to "pre-eminence" in computer and other technology, the new "technocratic class" is tiny. Also, the so-called consumer boom has benefitted at most about 15% of the population.

Over two thirds of the people live in rural villages and depend on small scale agriculture for their livelihood and survival. These people have been devastated by the nation's embrace of the Western economic model. It's caused a hidden epidemic of suicides among them because they can't compete with agribusiness. Those opting for a less severe solution are forced off their land in a futile attempt to seek refuge among the teeming masses in the cities. The result is growing poverty, deprivation and extreme human misery on a massive scale. Because of its huge population of over one billion, India stands out as a warning of the kind of future people everywhere will face unless a way is found to reverse a failed economic model that enriches the few, devastates the many and is strangling the ability of the planet to continue sustaining the abuse afflicted on it.

Chapter Four: Apartheid Did Not Die - Predatory Capitalism Made It Worse

The hated apartheid may have ended in South Africa about 16 years ago, but the new neoliberal Washington Consensus was even worse. The obsession with race in a white supremacist society was replaced by the dominance and pursuit of wealth allowed only a privileged minority at the expense of the great mostly black majority. The result is that while average household income has risen for about 15% of the population (including some blacks), the overall black majority household income has fallen by about 20% making conditions today far worse than under apartheid.

The new South Africa under its heroic new president Nelson Mandela chose to embrace the Western economic model. He agreed to an "unspoken deal" that allowed the white elite to retain economic control in exchange for black majority rule that would be subservient to the former white government. The current president Thabo Mbeki cut the deal when he led a group of ANC officials in secret meetings in London between 1987 - 1990. They agreed to essentially betray their people and their 40 year struggle for freedom now lost. In came the World Bank and IMF dictating mass privatizations and structural adjustments to cut essential social services in return for financial aid. It's caused an oppressive level of debt, unemployment of about 38%, an HIV infection rate of about 20%, 40% of the schools with no electricity, 25% of the people with no access to clean water and most of those with access unable afford the cost, 60% with inadequate sanitation and 40% with no telephones. The result has been an economic apartheid replacing a legal one with the majority black population worse off today than under the political oppression of the past. It's a disturbing story of what's occurred in all countries that agreed to the Washington Consensus under which they sold their sovereignty to the interests of capital. The difference in South Africa is that the man oppressed blacks thought would win their freedom, in fact, sold them out instead.

John returned to South Africa after a 30 year absence following his expulsion by the apartheid government he abhorred. He interviewed Mandela in retirement and is nearly alone explaining the first ANC president's "ambiguity." He posed tough questions asking how could the ANC that struggled so long for freedom now have embraced "Thatcherism." Why would he allow his long-suffering people to suffer even greater harm under a system where virtually everything, including essential services, is privatized and deregulation allows big business free reign to pursue profit at the expense of the public interest. Mandela responded that "You can put any label on it you like; you can call it Thatcherite but, for this country, privatization is the fundamental policy." A sorrowful answer from a man who knows better. John also confronted Mandela about why he supported and showed deference to oppressive governments in Indonesia, Burma, Algeria, Colombia and Peru and even ordered a bloody invasion of neighboring tiny Lesotho. Again the answer he got was none too impressive and from a man who once was and still is in important ways a giant in the fight for social equity and justice.

Once again John shows how he discovered on his return that the spirit of resistance had survived. He found it among numerous "social movement" and allied organizations that he called the most "sophisticated and dynamic in the world." They've forged links to international human rights and anti-capitalist movements along with independent trade unionists. He said what South Africa has in abundance is a force called "ubuntu" - "a humanism that is never still.....a subtle concept....that says a person's humanity is expressed through empathy and solidarity with others; through community and standing together." It's what Steve Biko called "authentic black communalism." It's in that spirit that John hopes the future of South Africa lies.

Chapter Five: Liberating Afghanistan - the US Inflicted Nightmare on Another Long-Suffering People

John begins describing Afghanistan like it's more a moonscape than a functioning country - Kabul streets with "contours of rubble rather than streets, where people live in collapsed buildings, like earthquake victims waiting for rescue......(with) no light or heat." It's an age-old story for these beleaguered people who've had a long history of conflict and suffering with little relief ever. For almost a century the country was victimized by the "Great Game" of competition between the British empire vying with Tsarist Russia for control of this part of the world. In recent history, it paid dearly again in the 1980s when a US recruited mujahedin guerrilla army battled against a Soviet occupation. It forced the occupiers out but only at the expense of a ravaged country that never recovered throughout the 1990s as a brutal civil conflict followed the Soviet withdrawal. Then came 9/11 and the US inflicted nightmare that continues to this day with no end in sight.

John explains that Afghanistan today is what the CIA called during the Vietnam war "the grand illusion of the American cause." While Kabul has some freedoms denied by the Taliban, the rest of the country has virtually none. In place of the Taliban, who've begun a resurgence, are the brutal regional "warlords" that human rights groups say have "essentially hijacked the country." The nation is a war zone and failed narco-state with regional "warlords" and drug kingpins controlling everything outside the capitol. The country's US selected and nominal president Hamid Karzai (a former CIA asset) is a caricature of a man and willing stooge who's little more than the mayor of Kabul. He has no mandate or support and wouldn't last a day on his own without the heavy protection afforded him round the clock by the US military.

Life was no bed of roses under the Taliban. But despite their ultra-puritanical ways and harsh treatment for the disobedient, at least they kept order and wouldn't tolerate banditry, rape or murder. They also virtually ended opium production. Now all that's changed. The US-British invasion in 2001 ended the ban on opium production, allowed the "warlords" to replant and the result is that 87% of the world trade in this drug is from these fields. In addition, unemployment is soaring at about 45%; there's been little reconstruction; the poverty is overwhelming; there's little electricity, clean water or most other essential services; lawlessness is back; Sharia law has been reinstated; the internal conflict has resumed; and no one is safe either from the country's warring factions or from the hostile occupying force. In addition, the Taliban have reclaimed parts of southern Afghanistan and are gaining supporters among the people fed up with the misery inflicted on them by the US and multinational force invaders. It may just be a matter of time before the violence again explodes into another catastrophic guerrilla war just like in Iraq. Already it seems to be beginning.

So what was the invasion and occupation all about? We now know it was planned before 9/11 and had nothing to do with a Muslim fundamentalist government that treated its people harshly. It had everything to do with an Afghan leadership that wouldn't surrender its authority to US demands and its imperial quest to dominate this strategically important region. It was explained earlier by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski under President Carter in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard. He referred to Eurasia as the "center of world power extending from Germany and Poland in the East through Russia and China to the Pacific and including the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. By dominating this region, the US would assure itself control of a vast supply of energy and other essential resources. Afghanistan was a key part of the plan as it was across this country that the US wanted to build the oil pipelines needed to transship the Caspian basin oil to deep water ports where it could easily be shipped to the parts of the world the US would allow it to go.

At first the US was very content to work with the Taliban when they were in power. As long as it was felt a deal with them was possible, their religious extremism and human rights abuses were of no concern. It was only when agreement couldn't be reached that the decision was taken to remove them. And that brings us to the present. The country is in ruins, the conflict continues without end, and the people are suffering more than ever with no visible hope on the horizon for relief.

John wrote his book to document the history of imperial abuse he witnessed first-hand in five countries. But he also wants it to be a message of the hope he found that may one day lead to the same rebirth of democracy and social equity now growing in parts of Latin America like Venezuela. He finds courageous and dedicated people everywhere, even in Afghanistan where conditions are so bad it's hard finding any. He said that "Through all the humanitarian crises in living memory, no country has been abused and suffered more, and none has been helped less, than Afghanistan." It's still that way and seemingly getting worse. Unless it changes, a time of peace and an end to the violence and suffering of the Afghan people is a long way off at best. And yet hope persists. John finds it everywhere in the hearts of people who'll never give up the struggle for the fair and just world they want and are fighting to get.

If you get this far, then you must really feel a loss,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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