Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day, 11 November 2010

Maple leaves and Poppies
Remembrance Day
By William Bedford
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poppies still bloom in Flanders Fields
though the guns no longer roar,
children romp where carnage reigned
in the war-torn days of yore.

To honour those who perished there,
far from their northern home,
row-on-row of maple leaves
were fondly carved in stone.

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh
day of the eleventh month
Canada remembers them.
A Meditation on Remembrance Day
Cenotaphs, Poppies, Last Post
By John Thompson
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Not many people realize it, but the observations some of us maintain every November 11th have a powerful resonance with some of the deepest questions humanity wrestles with. Our annual ritual involves a highly symbolic set of gestures and customs – some of which are thousands of years old.
At its essence, the simple Remembrance Day ceremony is a highly charged event. Knowing this should make it even more important.
It is a central part of the Human condition to wonder about what comes next when we finish the brief span of our lives. Does some part of us linger? Can we still connect with what we loved best? Will we remember? We don’t know the answers to this one great mystery – but in life we harbour our hopes, suspicions and ideas about what awaits after death.
Almost all human beings believe (at some level) that something of us remains, and we see the graves and tombs of those who have gone before us as a way of remembering and staying in touch with some element of our dead. It is also almost equally universal for humans to believe that lives ended violently are less likely to settle into whatever comes next as peacefully as those who lived a whole span.
For those who deliberately offered themselves to violence or sudden death, particularly to protect others, our need to assure ourselves (and the dead) seems even stronger. Homer, almost 3,000 years ago, praised those who put their bodies between their homes and families “and the war’s desolation”.
It was the Greeks who also gave us the idea of the cenotaph (literally, ‘empty tomb’), so that those who fell far from home or at sea could have a symbolic resting place at home where friends and families could honour them. Over 2,400 years ago Pericles, in his famous Funeral Oration to the Athenians , argued that a cenotaph is a more honourable grave than most others – they contain a purity of spirit and no physical corruption of the remains.
Stunned by the toll of the First World War, many Canadian cities erected cenotaphs in the years after the war. Erroneously called ‘War Memorials’, these are the empty tombs for the 109,700 Canadian war dead garnered since the Boer War. It is where we go to honour these dead and hope – at some subconscious level – that they realize it.
The ceremony of Remembrance as practiced in Canada and throughout the old British Empire is a symbolic set of rituals assembled together – seemingly almost unconsciously—in the aftermath of the First World War. These are the sounding of the “Last Post”, the minute of silence, and the sounding of “Reveille”. Following these, wreathes are laid.
The “Last Post” is a British Army bugle call going back well into the 18th Century, with Dutch roots before that. It is the traditional last bugle call of the day, largely signalling to all soldiers in ear-shot that the routines of the day are finished. Sentries are out, and everybody else should be in bed. However, like all bugle calls, it has a slightly different meaning on a battlefield.
Imagine some battlefield in the era of gunpowder and muskets as dusk is closing in. There is a gunpowder haze floating over fields coated with the dead, dying and wounded. In this circumstance, the “Last Post” is a rallying call for the wounded and those who have got separated – ‘The day is done, the fighting is over. Here is rest, here is safety, here are your comrades, come here.’
Do we imagine, besides the lame and lost, that those who were untimely ripped from life would ignore this call too? Do we dare to think they couldn’t? The question is seldom voiced and we cannot answer it anyway. But we sound the ‘Last Post’ at our cenotaphs to symbolically end a day, but perhaps also to call in the missing to the empty tombs we built for them.
The giant cenotaph at the Menin Gate in Ypres was built for 90,000 soldiers from the British Commonwealth who lie without known graves after the four years of fighting around the city in the First World War. At 8:00 PM every day of the year, three Belgian firemen from Ypres blow the ‘Last Post’ at the Menin Gate on silver trumpets. It is a duty they take religiously. Families from Australia, Britain, Canada and elsewhere have been coming to the Menin Gate for 85 years to lay flowers and remember their fallen.
‘Reveille’ is the other bookend to minute of silence. It was the first bugle call of the day for some centuries in the British Army and the message is basically ‘Everyone get up!’ It has a lesser meaning but one that is still significant in Christian imagery. There will be that last morning someday in which all the living and the dead will arise together in that final resurrection, when all will be made whole.
The minute between ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ is the most charged of all and the oldest element of the ceremony.
Even in Prehistoric times, human notions of magic have held that to own a part of somebody might give you the means of controlling them even in death. Carrying off a trophy from fallen enemies was deemed by many cultures to be a way of controlling their spirits. Another widespread belief was that to mutilate a fallen enemy even further would spoil his chances of enjoying the afterlife. More practically, scavenging animals have always feasted on the dead and looters have often despoiled them of anything valuable.
In consequence, whenever possible, you guarded your dead after a battle until you could properly dispose of them with your culture’s usual rituals. This was done to protect from mutilation, trophy-seeking and from being dragged off by scavengers. Also, more practically in the long centuries before we got a grip on internal medicine, one stood watch over the dead to ensure they weren’t just unconscious or in a coma.
Symbolically, the minute of silence is not just a pause for reflection. Sandwiched between the last and first bugle calls of the day, it is a ritualized night vigil for the dead to guard them from insult and further harm. By standing watch, we not only remember them but we pledge ourselves to protect them from dishonour.
Thus here is the ceremony in brief: We call to the spirits of our slain to a tomb built for them and announce that is nightfall. We stand vigil to guard and remember them, we end the “night” with the implicit hope that we shall meet together again.
The history of the Poppy is pretty well known, especially to Canadians. As for the wreath-laying ceremony, human beings have been marking graves with flowers for tens of thousands of years. Moreover, to the Greeks and Romans (and so far as we know, other ancient European peoples), wreaths were offered as prizes to champions and heroes. Leaving a wreath at a cenotaph is another unconscious declaration that it is a home for the dead who offered up their lives for our safety and well-being.
Wearing a poppy and maintaining a minute of silence on November 11th is a highly charged ritual full of significance. It is more than maintaining a memory and rending honours; it is a pledge and a shared hope in life after death.
What does Thursday, November 11th, “Veterans Day” mean to you?
Armistice Day, Veterans Day
By Calvin E. Johnson Jr.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
To me, Veterans Day is a special time to remember our Servicemen and women “living and dead” who for 234 years stood up in defense of this great nation. The Liberty Bell continues to ring because of people like: George Washington, Robert E. Lee, George S. Patton and the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II who supported the Constitution.
On Veterans Day let’s not forget that it was American Patriot Patrick Henry who said:

“It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by the religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Let us remember that George Washington led his troops in prayer before they crossed the Delaware River on a cold-snowy night to surprise the British and Hessian Troops on December 26, 1776.
Our children should know of Andrew Jackson and a ragtag army who defeated the British in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans. A young officer named Wade Hampton of South Carolina rode 750 miles in ten days to Columbia, South Carolina, and then to Washington, D.C. to tell President Madison and the country of the great victory.
We shall never forget that in March, 1836, a small group of men at the Alamo stood between Santa Anna’s 5,000 man army and the unprepared small army of Sam Houston. In the lonely monastery of the Alamo were Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and less than two hundred men under Colonel William Travis. Just days before Santa Anna’s final assault, these men came into the Alamo, knowing they might die.
On their last night on earth the men of the Alamo prayed that their battle would, somehow, lead to victory even though they might not see it. A short time later at San Jacinto Houston defeated Santa Anna with the battle cry of “Remember the Alamo!”
Lest we forget the men of the Confederacy and Union who fought four long-bloody years during the War Between the States, 1861- 1865. There have been many names but the United States Congress would officially name it “The War Between the States.” Since the Spanish American War the Confederate Battle flag has been the blood brother of the Stars and Stripes as Southerners have taken their place at the front in all our nation’s wars.
May we continue to remember that in February 1898, the American Battleship Maine blew up in Havana
Harbor with nearly 300 dead. The Spanish-American War brought Teddy Roosevelt’s “Roughriders” to Cuba to charge up San Juan Hill to victory. Old Joe Wheeler, a former Confederate Cavalry General, was there with him. Wheeler got excited and forgot which war he was in. He shouted, “There they are, go get those Yankees!”
In Greensboro, North Carolina a six year old girl named Mary Frances Barker awoke to the shouts of a boy far down the street. It was 5:00 A.M. November 12, 1918. It was the paper boy shouting, “The war is over, the war is over!” World War I had finally come to an end on the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month (November) of 1918.
The United States Congress proclaimed “Armistice Day” a year later on November 11, 1919.
On Sunday, December 7, 1941, the first word of the attack on Pearl Harbor came by radio. Newspapers
did run “extras” that Sunday with little information and a lot of fear. That Sunday would become “a day of infamy.” On Monday December 8th President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during a special session of Congress, spoke of the attack and asked Congress to declare war on Japan. His speech was broadcast on the radio.
F.D.R.‘s closing words were: “With the abounded determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God!”
Since that time there was Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq. We can not forget that we were attacked again on September 11, 2001.
Since World War II, we have seen prayer taken out of our schools and “Under God” under attack on the pledge of allegiance. Are we still a nation of God as we once were?
Armistice Day became “Veteran’s Day” in 1954. Let’s all remember men like: Ira Hayes, Mike Strank, Franklin Sousley, Rene Gagnon, John Bradley and Harlon Blockwho placed the United States flag on top of Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Three of these men were later killed at Iwo Jima and the other three helped promote the sale of war bonds.
God Bless our Veterans!
I Saw America Today
Today, I saw America and I’m proud to be an American. God bless America
By Rod Smith
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I was among more than 200 people gathered on the tarmac at the Meridian Air Navel Station to welcome Sgt. Eric C. Newman, 30, of Waynesboro, Miss. home from Afghanistan.
He did not exit to cheers and hugs but was greeted by respectful silence. Military men and women, bikers, policemen, firemen, all in formation riveted their attention as Sgt. Newman disembarked from the plane carrying him.
He exited in a flag draped coffin, killed in action in Afghanistan .
The family stood near the hearse and as Sgt. Newman’s casket approached he was greeted by his new wife and his mother as they draped their arms around the casket where their beloved husband and son lay. There would be no married life for the newly married couple and another mother had given her son in the name of freedom.
I saw America today.
The procession formed with a police escort in front leading the hearse carrying Sgt. Newman which was followed by his family, more than 100 bikers, including the Patriot Guard Riders, scores of police officers, firemen, and friends. I rode near the front and I never could see the end of the procession as we rolled over the hills from Meridian to Waynesboro .
I saw America today.
On the 60 mile journey truckers, the big rigs, pulled to the side of the road, exited their trucks and put hand over heart in honor of Sgt. Newman and the American flag. Down the road from one big shiny rig was a humble logging truck, driver standing on the ground, hand over heart.
For sixty miles a mixture of people stood by the side of the road, flag in hand as we rolled past. At every junction where a side road entered there were people. At the overpasses there was always a fire truck displaying a large American flag. Every fire department along the way had their fire truck standing by to honor this young American who gave his life for us.
There was a young Boy Scout, in uniform, proudly saluting Sgt. Newman and the American flags that passed him.
A man in bib overalls stood by a ragged old pickup truck giving honor. Just down the road was a man dressed in suit and tie by his expensive SUV.
Something in the bright blue sky above caught my eye. It was two jet fighter planes flying over the procession, the thoughtful action of fellow soldiers.
I could see a woman kneeling, holding something out in her hands. At first I thought it must be a camera but as I passed I could clearly see it was a folded American flag. Just like the one that was given to my mother when my father died. Yes, it was her way of saying, “I lost a loved one as well.”
I saw America today.
As we left the main road and entered Waynesboro two fire trucks were parked in such a way as to form an arch with a giant American flag suspended between the two.
The streets were lined solid with people. No cars were moving. I observed someone in a wheel chair on the side of the road. When we drew closer I saw several in wheel chairs, some on crutches. They were old, and fragile. They were residents of a nursing home. On down the road there was another group from yet another nursing home, all waving tiny American flags.
As we wound our way through town hundreds of people lined the sides of the streets. We passed an elementary school. The children lined the fence three deep, most with flags, some with red, white, and blue balloons which were later released.
Next we passed the high school. Again the students respectfully lined the streets adjacent to the school. All were standing respectfully in honor of Sgt. Newman.
And did I mention the yellow ribbons? They were on trees, mailboxes, fences, and anywhere people could place them.
I saw America today.
When we had finished the escort all the bikers were asked to meet at the First Baptist Church of Waynesboro. There they gathered us up and escorted us to the Western Sizzlin’ where the people of the town treated us to lunch for doing something of which we were proud to be a part.
Today, I saw America and I’m proud to be an American. God bless America.
Rod Smith, Patriot Guard Rider
October 24, 2010,
Laurel, Mississippi
Remembrance Day: Reversing the Tide of War. Say No to Nuclear War
By Michel Chossudovsky
URL of this article:
Global Research, November 11, 2010
Throughout the history of mankind there have been murderers and tyrants; and while it may seem momentarily that they have the upper hand, they have always fallen." (Mahatma Gandhi)
The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok." (William Rockler, Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor)
Except for fools and madmen, everyone knows that nuclear war would be an unprecedented human catastrophe. ... In a 2-megaton explosion over a fairly large city, buildings would be vaporized, people reduced to atoms and shadows, outlying structures blown down like matchsticks and raging fires ignited. And if the bomb were exploded on the ground, an enormous crater, like those that can be seen through a telescope on the surface of the Moon, would be all that remained where midtown once had been. (Carl Sagan, Nuclear Winter, 1983)
Today there is an imminent risk of war with the use of that kind of weapon and I don’t harbor the least doubt that an attack by the United States and Israel against the Islamic Republic of Iran would inevitably evolve towards a global nuclear conflict. In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity. Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear! (Fidel Castro, October 15, 2010)
I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. (Albert Einstein)
Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads. War preparations to attack Iran are in "an advanced state of readiness". Hi tech weapons systems including nuclear warheads are fully deployed.
This military adventure has been on the Pentagon's drawing board since the mid-1990s. First Iraq, then Iran according to a declassified 1995 US Central Command document.
Escalation is part of the military agenda. While Iran, is the next target together with Syria and Lebanon, this strategic military deployment also threatens North Korea, China and Russia.
When a US sponsored nuclear war becomes an "instrument of peace", condoned and accepted by the World's institutions and the highest authority including the United Nations, there is no turning back: human society has indelibly been precipitated headlong onto the path of self-destruction.
What are the countervailing forces which might prevent this war from occurring? There are numerous ongoing forces at work within the US State apparatus, the US Congress, the Pentagon and NATO.
The main factor which could prevent this war from occurring comes from the base of society, requiring forceful antiwar action by hundreds of millions of people across the land, nationally and internationally.
People must mobilize not only against this diabolical military agenda, the authority of the State and its officials must also be challenged.
This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens regarding the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.
The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network which challenges the structures of power and authority.
Michel Chossudovsky, Rembrance Day, November 11, 2010
What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people's movement which criminalizes war.
Antiwar protest does not question the legitimacy of those to whom the protest is addressed.
Protest is accepted under Western style "democracy", precisely because it accepts the established political order, while exerting pressure on political leaders to shift their policy stance.
Protest serves the interests of the war criminals in high office, to whom the demands are directed.
Ultimately what is at stake is the legitimacy of the political and military actors and the economic power structures, which control the formulation and direction of US foreign policy.
What is needed is to consistently challenge the legitimacy of the main political and military actors, reveal the true face of the American Empire and the underlying criminalisation of foreign policy. Ultimately what is required is to question the Obama Administration's "right to rule".
Even if a majority of the population is against the war, this in itself will not prevent the war from occurring.
The propaganda campaign’s objective is to sustain the lies which support the legitimacy of the main political and military actors
While the Obama administration implements a "war on terrorism", the evidence (including mountains of official documents) amply confirms that successive U.S. administrations have supported, abetted and harbored international terrorism.
This fact, in itself, must be suppressed because if it ever trickles down to the broader public, the legitimacy of the so-called "war on terrorism" collapses "like a deck of cards." And in the process, the legitimacy of the main actors behind this system would be threatened.
How does one effectively break the war and police state agendas?
Essentially by refuting the "war on terrorism" and America's holy crusade against Islamic fundamentalism which constitute the very foundations of America's national security doctrine.
In other words, the mobilization of antiwar sentiment in itself will not reverse the tide of war.
A necessary condition for bringing down the rulers is to weaken and eventually dismantle their propaganda campaign.
How best to achieve this objective? By fully uncovering the lies behind the "war on terrorism" and revealing the complicity of the US administration in the events of 9/11.
This is a big hoax, it’s the biggest lie in US history. The war pretext does not stick and the rulers should be removed.
Moreover, it is important to show that "Enemy Number One" (Osama bin Laden) is fabricated.
The terrorist attacks are indeed real, but who is behind them? The covert operations in support of terrorist organisations, including the history of Al Qaeda’s links to the CIA since the Soviet Afghan war, must be fully revealed. These covert operations relate directly to the wave of terrorist attacks which have occurred since September 11, most of which are said to have been ordered by Al Qaeda.
To reverse the tide, the spreading of information at all levels, which counteracts the propaganda campaign is required.
The truth undermines and overshadows the lie.
Once the "real truth" becomes fully understood, the legitimacy of the rulers will be undermined.
When the lies – including those concerning September 11 – are fully revealed and understood by everybody, the legitimacy of the US NATO Israel military agenda will be broken.
While this will not necessarily result in a fundamental and significant "regime change" in the US, a new "anti-war consensus" will have emerged, which may eventually pave the way for a broader struggle against the New World Order and the American Empire's quest for global domination.
A war agenda is not disarmed through antiwar sentiment or through protest. Protest accepts the legitimacy of the leaders to whom the protests are being addressed.
One does not reverse the tide by asking President Barack Obama: "please abide by the Geneva Convention" and the Nuremberg Charter. Ultimately, a consistent antiwar agenda requires unseating the war criminals in high office as a first step towards disarming the institutions and corporate structures of the New World Order.
To break the Inquisition, we must also break its propaganda, its fear and intimidation campaign, which galvanizes public opinion into accepting the "war on terrorism".
The Existing Anti-War movement
The existing antiwar movement has since 2003 been substantially weakened and divided. It does not at
present have the required organizational capabilities to wage this campaign.
The antiwar movement is misinformed on the nature of the US military agenda. Several non-governmental organizations have placed the blame on Iran, for not complying with the "reasonable demands" of the "international community". These same organizations, which are committed to World Peace tend to downplay the implications of the proposed US bombing of Iran.
An important segment of the antiwar movement, including prominent "progressive" intellectuals, are tacitly supportive of the "war on terrorism". Al Qaeda is considered a threat. "We are against the war but we support the campaign against terrorism".
The 9/11 Truth Movement which challenges US military doctrine and the pretext for waging war is categorized by segments of the anti-war movement as "Conspiracy Theorists".
While we should build upon existing antiwar structures, a meaningful mass movement would require entirely different premises and strategies.
Manufacturing dissent
The antiwar collectives in the US, Canada and Western Europe are composed of numerous trade unions, NGOs, community groups, etc, many of which are dependent on foundation and/or government funding.
The programs of these NGOs and people's movements rely heavily on both public as well as private funding agencies including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others. While the anti-globalization and antiwar movements are opposed to Wall Street, the Big Five Defense Contractors (ie. weapons producers) and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al., the foundations and charities of Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist anti-war networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.
These mechanisms of "manufacturing dissent" require a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle cooptation of individuals within progressive organizations, including anti-war coalitions.
Whereas the mainstream media "manufactures consent", the complex network of NGOs (including segments of the alternative media) are used by the corporate elites to mould and manipulate the protest movement. In the US, the main antiwar coalitions including United For Peace and Justice and MoveOn are funded by the corporate establishment.
Similarly, part of the "Left Leaning" alternative media, which has accepted the official 9/11 narrative, tends to pay lip service to the US led war. (See Michel Chossudovsky, "Manufacturing Dissent": the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, Global Research, September 2010)
At this juncture, "progressives" funded by major foundations are an obstacle to the formation of an articulate grassroots antiwar movement.
A consistent antiwar movement must also confront various forms of cooption within its ranks, the fact that a significant sector of progressive opinion tacitly supports US foreign policy including "humanitarian interventions" under UN/NATO auspices.
An antiwar movement funded by major corporate foundations is the cause rather than the solution. A coherent antiwar movement cannot be funded by warmongers.
Jus ad Bellum: 9/11 and the Invasion of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan
Both the wars of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan were upheld by several "Progressives" as "Just Wars". In the case of Afghanistan, the "self-defense" argument was accepted at face value as a legitimate response to the 9/11 attacks, without examining the fact that the US administration had not only supported the "Islamic terror network", it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1995-96.
In 2001, when Afghanistan was bombed and later invaded, several "Progressives" upheld the Administration's "just cause" military doctrine.
In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement against the illegal invasion of Afghanistan was isolated. The trade unions, civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, which allegedly was harboring Al Qaeda. Several prominent "left leaning" intellectuals upheld the "war on terrorism" agenda.
Media disinformation prevailed. People were misled as to the nature and objectives underlying the invasion of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were identified as the prime suspects of the 9/11 attacks, without a shred of evidence and without addressing the historical relationship between Al Qaeda and the US intelligence apparatus. In this regard, understanding 9/11 is crucial in formulating a consistent antiwar position.
9/11 is the pillar of US war propaganda, it sustains the illusion of an outside enemy, it justifies pre-emptive military intervention.
A meaningful anti-war movement requires breaking the 'war on terrorism" and upholding 9/11 Truth.
To reverse the tide of war and globalization requires a massive campaign of networking and outreach to inform people across the land, nationally and internationally, in neighborhoods, workplaces, parishes, schools, universities, municipalities, on the dangers of a US sponsored war, which contemplates the use of nuclear weapons. The message should be loud and clear: Iran is not the threat. Even without the use of nukes, the proposed aerial bombardments could result in escalation, ultimately leading us into a broader war in the Middle East.
Debate and discussion must also take place within the Military and Intelligence community, particularly with regard to the use of tactical nuclear weapons, within the corridors of the US Congress, in municipalities and at all levels of government. Ultimately, the legitimacy of the political and military actors in high office must be challenged.
The corporate media also bears a heavy responsibility for the cover-up of US sponsored war crimes. It must also be forcefully challenged for its biased coverage of the Middle East war.
For the past year, Washington has been waging a "diplomatic arm twisting" exercise with a view to enlisting countries into supporting of its military agenda. It is essential that at the diplomatic level, countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America take a firm stance against the US military agenda.
Both Hillary Clinton and her predecessor at the State Department Condoleezza Rice have trekked across the Middle East, "expressing concern over Iran's nuclear program", seeking the unequivocal endorsement of the governments of the region against Tehran. Meanwhile both the Bush and Obama administrations have allocated funds in support of Iranian dissident groups both within Iran and the US.
Fake Anti-war Activism: Heralding Iran as a Nuclear Threat
Many people in the antiwar movement, while condemning the US administration, also condemn the government of President Ahmadinejad for its bellicose stance with regard to Israel. The Jus ad Bellum reasoning used as a pretext to bomb Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds is now being applied to Iran.
President Ahmadinejad allegedly wants Israel to be "wiped off the Map" as first reported by the New York Times in October 2005:
"Iran's conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesday that Israel must be "wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported.
Ahmadinejad was speaking to an audience of about 4,000 students at a program called "The World Without Zionism," .... His tone was reminiscent of that of the early days of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies since then, and anti-Israel slogans have been common at rallies."(See Nazila Fathi, Wipe Israel 'off the map' Iranian says - The New York Times, 27 October 2005)
The alleged "Wiped Off the Map" statement by Iran's president was never made. The rumor was fabricated by the American media with a view to discrediting Iran's head of state and providing a justification for waging an all out war on Iran:
On October 25th, 2005 .... the newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, titled "The World Without Zionism"....
Before we get to the infamous remark, it's important to note that the "quote" in question was itself a quote— they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.
The Actual Quote:
So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:
"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."
That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).
So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel".
The Proof:
The full quote translated directly to English:
"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".
Word by word translation:
Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).
Here is the full transcript of the speech in farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad's web site:"
(See the detailed article by Arash Norouzi, Israel: "Wiped off The Map". The Rumor of the Century, Fabricated by the US Media to Justify An All out War on Iran , Global Research February 20, 2007)
What President Ahmadinjad was essentially calling for in his statement was "regime change" in Tel Aviv. (Compare Ahmadinejad's bland statement on regime change in Israel with that of former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who called for "Ending states that sponsor terrorism”.
This alleged "Wiped off the Map" statement has served not only to justify a pre-emptive attack against Iran but also to subdue and tame the antiwar movement.
While the danger of an all out war on Iran is a matter of concern, it is by no means a priority for the US, Canadian and European antiwar movements. In the US, there are very few antiwar events focussing on US-Israeli threats directed against Iran (See Main US antiwar collective: United for Peace & Justice : Index, United for Peace & Justice : Events).
On the other hand, there is an ongoing campaign led by United Against Nuclear Iran" (UANI), calling on President Obama and the US Congress to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. (See UANI home page). The UANI collective, founded by Obama appointees Richard Holbrooke and Gary Samore, claims to be integrated by "human rights and humanitarian groups, the labor movement, political advocacy and grassroots organizations" (Coalition
UANI’s advisory board consists of a number of U.S. government insiders and big shots who have close ties with the U.S. statesmen including R. James Woolsey, the former head of CIA,... By publishing propagandistic reports and articles on the purported hazard of Iran’s nuclear activities, UANI also functions as a mouthpiece which is exclusively dedicated to fear-mongering and spreading falsehood about Iran. (See Spreading falsehoods about Iran: “United Against Nuclear Iran”: America’s war propaganda mouthpiece" Orwell's Dreams, September 20, 2010)
Notwithstanding Arash Norouzi's disproval, many in the antiwar movement, while condemning the US, continue to believe that Iran constitutes a threat and that the solution is "regime change". The funding of NGOs (which are constituent members of major antiwar collectives) by tax exempt charities and corporate foundations, has also contributed to weakening antiwar activism in relation to Iran. Iran is viewed by many within the antiwar movement as a potential aggressor. Its non-existent nuclear weapons are considered, a threat to global security.
The Road Ahead
What is required is the development of a broad based grassroots network which seeks to disable patterns of authority and decision making pertaining to war.
This network would be established at all levels in society, towns and villages, work places, parishes. Trade unions, farmers organizations, professional associations, business associations, student unions, veterans associations, church groups would be called upon to integrate the antiwar organizational structure. Of crucial importance, this movement should extend into the Armed Forces as a means to breaking the legitimacy of war among service men and women.
The first task would be to disable war propaganda through an effective campaign against media disinformation. The corporate media would be directly challenged, leading to boycotts of major news outlets, which are responsible for channelling disinformation into the news chain. This endeavor would require a parallel process at the grass roots level, of sensitizing and educating fellow citizens on the nature of the war and the global crisis, as well as effectively "spreading the word" through advanced networking, through alternative media outlets on the internet, etc.
The creation of such a movement, which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of the structures of political authority, is no easy task. It would require a degree of solidarity, unity and commitment unparalleled in World history. It would require breaking down political and ideological barriers within society and acting with a single voice. It would also require eventually unseating the war criminals, and indicting them for war crimes.
Abandon the Battlefield: Refuse to Fight
The military oath taken at the time of induction demands unbending support and allegiance to the US Constitution, while also demanding that US troops obey orders from their President and Commander in Chief:
"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"
The President and Commander in Chief has blatantly violated all tenets of domestic and international law. So that making an oath to "obey orders from the President" is tantamount to violating rather than defending the US Constitution.
"The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ." (Lawrence Mosqueda, An Advisory to US Troops A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders,, See also Michel Chossudovsky, "We the People Refuse to Fight": Abandon the Battlefield!<> March 18, 2006 )
The Commander in Chief is a war criminal. According to Principle 6 of the Nuremberg Charter:
"The fact that a person [e.g. Coalition troops] acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."
Let us make that "moral choice" possible, to enlisted American, British, Canadian and Coalition servicemen and women.
Disobey unlawful orders! Abandon the battlefield! ... Refuse to fight in a war which blatantly violates international law and the US Constitution!
But this is not a choice which enlisted men and women can make individually.
It is a collective and societal choice, which requires an organizational structure.
Across the land in the US, Britain, Canada and in all coalition countries, the anti-war movement must assist enlisted men and women to make that moral choice possible, to abandon the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This will not be an easy task. Committees at local levels must be set up across the United States, Canada, Britain, Italy, Japan and other countries, which have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We call upon veterans' associations and local communities to support this process.
This movement needs to dismantle the disinformation campaign. It must effectively reverse the indoctrination of coalition troops, who are led to believe that they are fighting "a just war": "a war against terrorists".
The legitimacy of the US military authority must be broken.
What has to be achieved:
Reveal the criminal nature of this military project,
Break once and for all the lies and falsehoods which sustain the "political consensus" in favor of a pre-emptive nuclear war.
Undermine war propaganda, reveal the media lies, reverse the tide of disinformation, wage a consistent campaign against the corporate media
Break the legitimacy of the war-mongers in high office.
Dismantle the US sponsored military adventure and its corporate sponsors.
Bring Home the Troops
Repeal the illusion that the State is committed to protecting its citizens.
Expose the "fake crises" such as the global flu pandemic as a means to distract public opinion from the dangers of a global war.
Uphold 9/11 Truth. Reveal the falsehoods behind 9/11 which are used to justify the Middle East Central Asian war under the banner of the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT)
Expose how a profit driven war serves the vested interests of the banks, the defense contractors, the oil giants, the media giants and the biotech conglomerates
Challenge the corporate media which deliberately obfuscates the causes and consequences of this war,
Reveal and take cognizance of the unspoken and tragic outcome of a war waged with nuclear weapons.
Call for the Dismantling of NATO
Implement the prosecution of war criminals in high office
Close down the weapons assembly plants and implement the foreclosure of major weapons producers
Close down all US military bases in the US and around the World
Develop an antiwar movement within the Armed Forces and establish bridges between the Armed Forces and the civilian antiwar movement
Forcefully pressure governments of both NATO and non-NATO countries to withdraw from the US led global military agenda.
Develop a consistent antiwar movement in Israel. Inform the citizens of Israel of the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israeli attack on Iran.
Confront Target the pro-war lobby groups including the pro-Israeli groups in the US
Dismantle the homeland security state, call for the repeal of the PATRIOT legislation
Call for the removal of the military from civilian law enforcement. Call for the enforcement of the Posse Comitatus Act
Call for the demilitarization of outer space and the repeal of Star Wars
People across the land, nationally and internationally, must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda, the authority of the State and its officials must be forcefully challenged.
This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens on the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.
What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network which challenges the structures of power and authority, the nature of the economic system, the vast amounts of money used to fund the war, the shear size of the so-called defense industry.
What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people's movement which criminalizes war.
What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence, expose the media lies and distortions, confront the criminal nature of the US Administration and of those governments which support it, its war agenda as well as its so-called "Homeland Security agenda" which has already defined the contours of a police State.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a military adventure, "a long war", which threatens the future of humanity.
It is essential to bring the US war project to the forefront of political debate, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Political and military leaders who are opposed to the war must take a firm stance, from within their respective institutions. Citizens must take a stance individually and collectively against war.
We call upon people across the land, in North America, Western Europe, Israel, The Arab World, Turkey and around the world to rise up against this military project, against their governments which are supportive of military action against Iran, against the media which serves to camouflage the devastating implications of a war against Iran.
The military agenda supports a profit driven destructive global economic system which impoverishes large sectors of the world population.
This war is sheer madness.
World War III is terminal. Albert Einstein understood the perils of nuclear war and the extinction of life on earth, which has already started with the radioactive contamination resulting from depleted uranium. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
The media, the intellectuals, the scientists and the politicians, in chorus, obfuscate the untold truth, namely that war using nuclear warheads destroys humanity, and that this complex process of gradual destruction has already commenced.
When the lie becomes the truth there is no turning backwards.
When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor, Justice and the entire international legal system are turned upside down: pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. Opposing the war becomes a criminal act.
The Lie must be exposed for what it is and what it does.
It sanctions the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children.
It destroys families and people. It destroys the commitment of people towards their fellow human beings.
It prevents people from expressing their solidarity for those who suffer. It upholds war and the police state as the sole avenue.
It destroys both nationalism and internationalism.
Breaking the lie means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force.
This profit driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.
Let us reverse the tide.
Challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.
Break the American inquisition.
Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.
Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.
Bring home the troops.
Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.