Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘pre-emptive wars

Who is still Fighting for the Man?

Food aplenty for the few:

They are addicted to junk food.

Leftovers for the leftover of humanity;

Delicious: hungry

 

Fighting for the signs, given and wanted traits,

Thriving for characters of the beyond;

Fighting for the provocation of the ambient collective;

The objective environment and the living one;

The social, psychological, and family entities;

Fighting for the Man.

 

Toys aplenty for the few;

They are addicted to one-on-one machines.

Leftovers for the leftover of humanity;

 

A piece of paper and threads gets kites flying high; smiles even higher;

A couple of sticks get a team running and laughing;

An old makeshift ball got kids gamboling and shrieking with joy.

 

Fighting for the society of objects, consumer goods;

The historical environment, of body and soul;

The cosmic belonging, the instinctive thrust;

The defense of the ego and the taste to live;

The denying and utilization of the other;

Fighting for the Man.

 

Vaccines and antibiotics for the few;

Open heart surgery for the few;

They got to be ninety and end up in nursing homes.

 

Alone: the refuse of humanity.

Leftovers for the leftover of humanity;

Barely first generation antibiotics dispatched to them;

They don’t get to live long,

They were Not meant to live long.

 

Their young memory didn’t erase the fresh good time.

They die within their community and among parents.

 

Fighting for the nutritional instinct, sexuality,

The race, age, gender, and life;

Variations in metabolism, language of the forms,

The sick body and the domesticated body;

The presence and ascendancy of the other.

 

Fighting for the Man.

Spaces and green horizons for the few;

They are addicted to tiny cubicles in overcrowded megalopolis.

Leftovers for the leftover of humanity;

Wind, dust, eroded land, dry earth,

A shade under an old resilient tree out in the nowhere;

A trickle of water of a drying source;

Crying babies, skeletal babies, over-stretched stomachs;

And white carcasses dotting the parched landscape.

 

Fighting for the emotive duality, the emotive matrix,

The emotive root of characters;

Getting a grip on the conscious, rhythm, perseverance;

Space and living duration;

The I, here, and now; in extension, in tension, and in intention;

Generosity and avarice.

 

Fighting for the Man.

Homes, gardens, and highways for the few;

They are addicted to driving and drinking.

Leftovers for the leftover of humanity;

Trekking for hundreds of miles for a handful of food;

Bare foot, crackling skin, sore dried up eyes;

To reach one of those Blue Tents

Erected and tended by romantic hearts.

 

Fighting for accepting reality;

Refusing reality, imaginary refusal;

The real, irrational and the surreal;

 

Carnal intelligence, dramatic intelligence,

Dialogue, rational arguments, democracy, discrimination,

The master action, the power of deciding,

The struggling with obstacles,

The greatness and misery of the will;

 

Fighting for the Man.

A car accident, a mugging,

A child left unattended, locked in a car,

A dog, a cat, an iguana for the few.

One million widowed, two millions disappeared,

Three millions refugees,

Four millions disabled in pre-emptive wars,

To depose a dictator here, a tough-minded leader there.

 

Five millions orphans, dislocated institutions and social fabrics;

Fifty thousands incarcerated:

Potential terrorists, with no hope for legal due processes,

For the leftover of humanity.

 

Fighting for the moral character, the moral act,

The religious expression of moral limitation;

Comprehending the Man is a science;

Far more complex and exhilarating of sciences

Than inanimate physical sciences.

 

You don’t need to be neutral in human behavioral sciences,

Just be plainly unbiased.

You don’t need to be odorless and insipid in social sciences;

I have got to be fighting for the Man!

 

Did you breathe the Dawn?

What’s in the dawn?

Birds must be chirping.

Cool breeze must be biting.

Wet thyme must be tingling.

And I am smiling.

 

What’s in the dawn?

Is it raining?

Is it thundering?

Is it freezing?

I am sending a prayer

To the sick, the ill, the suffering from cold and hunger;

To the many at the end of their rope

Curtain drawn

 

What’s in the dawn?

I am breathing fresh life.

In a couple of hours nature dies:

The drama of the day begins

I can’t get used to that drama.

I want my dawn

Any day of the year.

Note: During this Covid-19 pandemics confinement I had to change many of my daily routine tasks and schedule. I started waking up early and take a one-hour morning walk at 5:30 am. I discovered that the chirping of birds can deafen me. It was like walking through a long tunnel, the singing of birds coming from every inch of the tunnel.

The were many periods in Lebanon that we could no longer hear birds, due to civil war, the frequent pre-emptive wars of Israel on Lebanon, or the extensive hunting of the Lebanese (just for fun).

I am glad that Corona showed me new discoveries and opportunity to change my life-style.

Tidbits #30

Le temps du Purgatoire est une longue préparation à la souveraineté humaine contre la nature et les animaux?

The most stupid of all wars is WWI. European countries infrastructure were linked with one another, and you could hop on the Orient Express and reach Istanbul from any city. The infrastructural union was established, but racist and chauvinistic behavior were rooted in those colonial powers

I can claim that I walked/drove almost every street in these cities: Beirut, San Francisco, Houston, Washington DC, Montgomery County.

California is letting some prison inmates out early and release of 3,500 people who are serving sentences for nonviolent crime and were already due to be released in the next 60 days.

My conjecture is that after the resignation of Nixon, the USA has gradually shifted into a Dictatorship of the Executive institutions. The Supreme Court, the Senate and Congress have turned “shadow powers” just to blind the Silent Majority that USA is a “democratic system with 3 independent powers check” 

Wars, pre-emptive wars: Uncanny direct connections to defaulting States on Sovereign public debts with weak military nations

Qu’un sang impur abreuve nos sillons“? c’est la meme chanson de tous les hymnes coloniaux.

Asymptomatic cases? As lockdown are lifted, officials in China are releasing the concerns that people going back to their routines and Not knowing they carry the coronavirus. The number was previously classified.

A statistical model by the University of Washington shows that the highest number of daily deaths could happen on April 16?

In 2014, the USA created the Biological Technological Office. This agency announced that biology joins basic sciences to produce an “augmented soldier” since robots by themselves are Not capable to win in the battle fields. Apparently, USA created Covid-19 to win a worldwide battle?

Covid-19 has shut down parts of the hyper-consolidated US meat industry. Employees are getting sick, and with just a handful of facilities churning out an outsized amount of the meat supply, disruption at a single plant can have a big ripple effect.

Facts on Covid-19: the highest rates of victims are in dense cities, dense prisons and Blacks in USA. Only standard masks and social distancing can reduce contaminations. Degraded air quality is the major cause for reduced pulmonary immune system.

Funny. New bioweapons? A Florida man faces federal bioweapons charges after allegedly spitting at a cop. 

Remdesivir? Not having FDA approval. The US military has secured a possible coronavirus drug. Gilead Sciences will provide personnel with remdesivir at no cost. Though the antiviral drug is considered one of the most promising Covid-19 treatments, it doesn’t have FDA approval.

33%: Share of people who survived a stay in an ICU on a respirator (Not ventilator) who later showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in a Johns Hopkins study of acute lung injuries

Imagined Masculinity”? A book review of Mai Ghoussoub and Emma Sinclair-Webb, published in 2007.

Note: Re-edit of an article posted in 2008 ““Imagined Masculinity”

Chapter One:

The kids, Moris Farhi and his friend Selim, used to accompany their Armenian servant Sofia to a Turkish bath called “Paradise”.

The manageress Teyze hanim (Lady Aunt) allowed the two kids to bath with the females because their testicles did not yet drop off.

The kids heard this chit chatting and started to continuously checking their testicles and wondering when they might drop off; they roamed the streets looking for any pairs of testicles in case theirs might drop off and attach the found ones.

The kids heard a lot of myths told by Gypsy kids about female genitals and breasts and would surreptitiously investigate the category of women in the “hammam” through seemingly closed eyes.

The kids would try to discriminate the temperament and emotional sexual performance of women according to the size of the aureole of the breast, the shape and elasticity of the labia and the size of the clitoris, sesame, or lentil, or chickpeas and whether the pubic hair is shaved daily (a status of riches) or occasionally.

Chapter 2: Hassan Daoud on moustaches.

It appears that in older times, village leaders instituted various styles of moustaches depending on ranks and nobility; whomever wore moustaches not adequate to his rank was forced to shave them. Thus, when a person used to leave a single hair from his moustaches as a guarantee for a loan, the lender would know the capacity of this fellow to repay his loan.

The Lebanese army used to, or still is, allocate a monthly stipend for soldiers with appropriate moustaches as large as for any additional child he had.  I can generate two plausible hypotheses for this practice in our army:

First hypothesis: Emir Majid Erslan was the defense minister most of his life since our independence and he wore these fine but ridiculous moustaches that circled upward and would swear on his moustaches; I guess he might have induced the army to encourage the officers and soldiers to carry these moustaches so that he would not be laughed at or mocked by the new generation of Lebanese.

The second hypothesis is that our army is a carbon copy of the French colonial army in structure. laws and behavior; I guess the republican French army held to the standards of the elite Napoleonic “grognards”, who were selected among the most hairy and awe-inspiring virility of their large moustaches, among other factors.

Now, why moustaches are no longer a la mode? Pick and choose one or several of these reason:

First, women don’t like moustaches because they rub roughly their skins, they send the implicit message that the man is not interested enough to beautify his looks to please them and insist on the virility value of moustaches, or because the upper lip would cease to look like the man version of pudendum when shaved;

Second reason: after our many defeats with Israel frequent pre-emptive wars we are no longer fond of imitating our valorous grandfathers. Well, may be after the Hezbollah victory we might experience a resurgence of the moustaches, hopefully left unkept and wild; or

Third reason: Nose mucus sometimes stick to moustaches along with food and other sticky materials and finger-pointing to these humiliating debris can destroy the resemblance of virility; or because the Mullahs, and religious men are no longer appetizing for the modern generations and they need to remove that visible aberration. Or because the modern sharp and safe razors, manual or electric, provided the adequate leverage for fashion alternatives.

Chapter on circumcision: The Tunisian Abdelwahab Bouhdiba wrote a chapter on circumcision.

Nothing in the Koran, what the Prophet Muhammad admonished, states anything related to the need to get circumcised or “khitan“; it is Muslims and not Islam that imposed circumcision to the conquered people who opted to join Islam.

Even in the 3,000 pages of the “Fatawa Hindiyya” or the 2,000 pages of “Ihya” of Al-Ghazali the act of circumcision was never accorded a compulsory duty, barely a “sunna” act or strongly recommended.

Al-Ghazali recommended that circumcision of boys must not be done a week after he was born as the Jew did but after the boy’s grew steady hair. The excision of girls was basically irrelevant and this act was demoted to at best a “makruma” or a pious act.

Clearly, circumcision is a tribal sign, a tattoo, for inclusion in the Muslim communities; like it is within the Jewish communities, although the Jew attached this act to the Torah in an attempt to create a tight tribal relationship.

In any case, circumcision has become the number one obligation among the Muslims and festivities of violence accompany these events.

The ceremony is an almost carbon copy to the ceremony of wedding and which could be interpreted as the preparation of the boy to matrimony, a few years earlier before the girl loses her virginity when the boy is married off.

The circumcision of a boy occurs when he is between 8 and 12 years old and the ceremony is accompanied by very loud noises to cover the crying and shouting of the victim.

The advantage of circumcision is to direct the boys away from lechery, and because the foreskin makes of the penis very sensitive and the wife would enjoy a longer copulation time when penis Not that sensitive which she usually needs and wants. Actually, getting a hard on becomes mostly an act of good imagination and a willingness to please the mate.

The author Abdu Khal wrote a section about his circumcision ceremony (brit milah in Hebrew or the cutting according to the covenant) in the early forties in South Saudi Arabia close to the borders with Yemen. Abdu was to go on pilgrimage to Mecca with his grandmother because his dad has died and he was the only male in the family; thus, he was to be circumcised first.

Abdu was to dance all the way to the open place of the “makhatina” podium for the cutting of his foreskin (orla in Hebrew), accompanied by the “zaghareeds” of the women and loud noises, then he was to stand erect, akimbo, hands on his hips and looking far in the distance; he was not to blink or swoon or flinch “takhabbab” otherwise he will bring shame to the whole family as long as he lives.

Abdu proved to be a man and asked the circumciser to cut another slice in honor of his uncle and then another slice in honor of his mother.

His mother carried him away promptly in fear that he would mutilate himself for the whole tribe.  Abdu suffered three gruesome months from infections to the wounds which festered and spread to his testicles and could have died.

The act of circumcision of the male boys (zhakar for male in both Arabic and Hebrew) seems to be a common ritual in nomadic tribes starting for hygiene reason and then taking on several structural and religious dimensions and interpretations like the prerequisite step toward learning.

The ancient Jews used to perform circumcision late and in mass ceremonies before they decided to have it the 8-day for the newly born for infection reason by observation

My personal hypothesis is that during the captivity in Babylon or other dire circumstances that prohibited mass celebrations this act was transformed and made more confined in secrecy early on.

Thus, a more public ceremony consisted on the cutting of the hair at the age of 3 when the boys are taught the Torah and the religious doctrines.

Since a woman should be kept close to her natural state and uncut, thus impure, then the boys should have something cut off, like pruning or grafting trees, so that they grow better, more knowledgeable and productive.

It appears that productivity is purely in terms of procreation since the male spend their life studying the religious doctrines and most of the work is done by the women, even earning the daily bread.

The haircutting ritual of Jewish boys at the age of three “halaka” as pronounced in Arabic was adopted from the Muslim rituals when families visited holy shrines; the Palestinian Jews (musta3rbim) spread this ritual which was primarily a Sephardic or Middle Eastern custom and the Kabala adopted it in the sixteenth century until it became widespread among the Jews in Israel.

Miron is a town near Safed where the shrine of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai is the target of the pilgrimage; the ear-locks are left intact and the rest of the head is shaved; time for the boys to start going to religious pre-schools “heyder”, wear the four-cornered undergarment, recite the Jewish statement of faith (Shema Yisrael) and accompany his father to the synagogue.

Theoretically, the boy who looked like a girl with curly hair now looks like his father “tsurat yehoudi“; the boy is now completely attached to his father, separated from the female sex, and oriented to acquiring the religious wisdom and knowledge.

It appears that during the early crusades in Medieval Europe the Jews were under pressure to convert to Christianity; the early indoctrination to Torah of the Jewish children was a counter response to inoculate the Jews from later pressures.

Note: More on other chapters in subsequent articles

 

 

Who were sacrificed in ancient mass ceremonies?

Epidemics, Pandemics, calamities... Every century has its lot of mass deaths and massacre. In ancient periods, as easy and quick transportation was Not accessible to the masses, epidemics were mostly local.

Even wars were Not that widespread because armies were Not that large (forget what faked history recount of thousands).

Colonial massacres and decimation of autochtone people around the world.

Genocide on scales Never contemplated on ethnic basis, religious, basis, expansionist policies. American Indians in the North and South of the continent, Armenians, Jews, minorities, Christians (Catholics and Orthodox), Muslims in India and Myanmar, Congo, ISIS, Qaeda, Al Nusra, Israel apartheid policies on Palestinians, civil wars….

WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq… Not mention the hundreds of smaller pre-emptive wars by the colonial powers (particularly USA).

And yet, it is the viruses and bacterias that devastated empires far more than stupid wars.

An epidemic every 100 years?

– 1320, the black plague.
– 1520, smallpox.
– 1620, a strange disease.
– 1720, the plague of Marseille.
– 1820, cholera.
– 1920, Spanish flu.
– 2020, the coronavirus.

Not counting Ebola, HIV, Sars, aviary viruses, pig viruses, bovine epidemics…simply because these epidemics were mostly located in Africa

It should never cross your mind that human sacrifice of babies and kids targeted healthy members of the community: They could Not afford it for survival

It is the deformed and handicapped babies and kids that were sacrificed in mass ceremony in order to alleviate parents gilt and tame the intransigence of mothers in front of the pressure of the community.

I dare believe that after the sacrifice, monster orgies were organized intended to grieving mothers.

Mothers had the opportunity to have another go for children, before they sink into a long period of lethargy and apathy.

The pressure of community is palpable in societies were mobility is minimal

Tidbits #4

“The power of private-sector banks (or financial institutions) lending to determine the pace of money creation, and therefore economic growth.”⠀Mariana Mazzucato

Mental health in crisis situations shouldn’t be an afterthought. People affected by war and conflict may be resilient, but they still need support.⠀

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon

Front Line Defenders (FLD) found 300 human rights activists were killed  in 2019 and that 40% of those killed worked on issues of land rights, indigenous people’s rights and environmental issues.

“Soldier flies” swirling around a breeding chamber at a London-based start-up that’s producing insect protein powder as a substitute for meat and for other products.

Geothermal power plants (In Island volcanos) use heat from deep inside the Earth to generate steam, which spins turbines for electricity production. Once the steam cools off, the remaining water is pumped back into the Earth to begin the process again.

“Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fueling the flames.” @GretaThunberg on climate change

What can you expect with frequent pre-emptive wars around the globe? USA with the denser numbers of psychopaths in the world

The arc of “universal moral” bends toward Justice

The index of innovative economy analyzes dozens of criteria using 7 metrics, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies. Germany is first followed by South Korea. USA #9

UK University student fees tripled since 2010. UK Labour MP Zarah Sultana, 26 said “Can universities minister Chris Skidmore look me in the eye and tell me that it is fair that working class kids who want an education are forced to take on this colossal debt, while his government is led by a man who went from the playing fields of Eton to a free education at Oxford?”. Sultana was 17 when the law changed, meaning she is now in around £50,000 worth of debt, with £2,022 interest added in the last year alone.

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker

Beach and riverbed sand miners in Vietnam can earn between $700 and $1,000 for every boatload of sand they scoop up. They often work in the evening, and without permits. ⁠(This is the only kinds of sand fit for construction)

White Helmet mercenaries harvested 15,000 organs from Syrians since their involvement in spreading fake news and videos.

Very funny. The UN awaits a response from Myanmar, following its ruling on Rohingya Muslims. The International Court of Justice today ordered the government to carry out emergency measures to protect Rohingya, and said there is evidence of breaches of the genocide convention.

There were No Palestinian military groups or Lebanese opposition armed parties:

Yet, Israel carried frequent pre-emptive wars on Lebanon

On December 28, 1968, Israel commando blew up all Lebanon civil planes (13 of them) on the ground that a Palestinian has boarded one of them to carry out an attack in Athens.

There were No Palestinian military groups or Lebanese opposition armed parties for Israel to blame Lebanon or retaliate militarily.

Lebanon late President Charles Helou and the Lebanese army, stationed by the airport, didn’t intervene. The sole sargent, Ahmad She7adi,  who fired a shot, was brought to military court for disobeying order.

With the advent of Hezbollah, things have changed drastically and Israel is on the defensive and prefers to hide in shelters and behind Walls.

بلال جابر posted on Fb the article محمد نعمة فقيه 

في مثل هذا اليوم، 28 كانون الأول 1968، مجموعة كوماندوس أرسلها العدو الصهيوني إلى مطار بيروت، احتلت المطار وأقدمت على تدمير كل الطائرات المدنية التي تملكها شركة طيران الشرق الأوسط (الميدل إيست) الجاثمة على مدارج المطار وعددها 13 طائرة فتحوّلت خلال أقل من نصف ساعة إلى رماد ودخان بحجّة أن شخصاً فلسطينيّاً سافر على إحدى طائرات الشركة لينفّذ عملية فدائيّة في مطار أثينا.

العمليّة تمّت دون أي مقاومة على الإطلاق من القوى العسكريّة اللبنانيّة، علماً بأن القاعدة الجويّة العسكريّة اللبنانية موجودة بمكان ملاصق للمطار المدني، وكان رئيس الجمهورية اللبنانية آنذاك شارل حلو يراقب العمليّة برفقة قائد الجيش عن شرفة قصر بعبدا المشرفة على المطار، وحرصوا على تأكيد الأوامر العسكريّة بمنع العسكريين من القيام بواجب الدفاع عن الوطن.

الرقيب أحمد شحادة الذي بادر إلى إطلاق النار على قوة الكوماندوس من منطلق انتمائه الوطني وواجبه العسكري، تمّ استدعاءه على الفور من القضاء العسكري اللبناني لأنّه خالف الأوامر!

يومها لم يكن في لبنان لا مقاومة فلسطينية ولا مقاومة لبنانية، ليتحجج العدو الإسرائيلي بها لممارسة عدوانيته على لبنان…

يومها كان لبنان مستباحاً للعدو بكل معنى الكلمة حيث كان يرتكب المجازر بحق المواطنين دون أي رادع، ويختلق المسؤولون اللبنانيون الشعارات لتبرير تخاذلهم: قوة لبنان في ضعفه،

وهو الشعار الشهير الذي أطلقه في تلك الفترة رئيس حزب الكتائب اللبنانية بيار الجميّل. أي والد بشير الجميّل الذي استدعى جيش الاحتلال إلى لبنان ليجتاحه عام 1982 وينصّبه رئيساً للجمهوريّة، ووالد أمين الجميّل الذي وقّع مع العدو الصهيوني اتفاقية الذل في 17 أيّار التي أسقطتها دماء الشهداء، وهو جدّ سامي الجميّل صاحب النظريّة الشهيرة لسحب سلاح المقاومة واستبدالها ببضعة نواظير…

وليعود لبنان مستباحاً للعدو فيدمّر ويقتل ويهجّر مئات آلاف المواطنين من بيوتهم وحقولهم ساعة يشاء.

المجد، كل المجد، لكل الشهداء الذين روت دماؤهم أرض الوطن لطرد العدو، وتباركت الأيدي والأسلحة التي تقف بالمرصاد لكل عدوانيّة العدو وعجرفته، والخزي والعار لكل هؤلاء الذين يفكرون، مجرّد التفكير، بنزع سلاح المقاومة وإعادة لبنان ساحة تدريب لقوات العدو يمارس فيها عنصريّته وعدوانيته النّازيّة.

محمد نعمة فقيه
28 / 12 / 2019
الصورة المرفقة لحطام إحدى الطائرات في مطار بيروت من جراء العدوان الصهيوني عليه في 28 كانون الأول 1968
Mohamad Fakih

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Democracy in America?  By Alexis de Tocqueville

A French social scientist observations in the 18th century of USA political system

Note: Re-editing the post of 2016

Alexis de Tocqueville may be considered the first modern social scientist using the mechanisms he developed to explain political, economical and social phenomena in various political systems.

“Every morning, I find that somebody has just discovered some general and eternal law that I never heard of. General ideas that pack a lot into a small volume”.

“The exaggerated social system based on general causes is a source of consolation for mediocre historians ( and current reporters). It invariably provides them with a few grand explanations, useful for quickly extricate themselves from any difficulties they encounter in their work. And it favors weak and lazy minds to garner a reputation of profundity”.

How fitting for current times. (Need to cater for micro-social facts and observation)

“In the rare centuries of doubt (where rational trends dominate), people cling stubbornly to their belief systems. People are Not ready to die for their opinions, but they do Not change them. And you find both fewer martyrs and fewer apostates”

The problem in this period of doubt, certain categories of communities are transforming issues into a century of horror stories of faith.

Beware of the tyranny of the majority in “democratic republics”:

“The Master no longer says: You will think as I do or die. He says: You are free Not to think as I do. You may keep your life, properties, retain your civic privileges… but the majority in your community will ostracize you and refuse to esteem you, or to demand your vote. Those who believe in your innocence will steer away from you lest they are shunned in turn”

Isn’t what happens to Whistler blowers? At the doors of Abortion clinics, or gay marriages…? In France they even deny him the citizenship.

Alexis borrowed in Montaigne and Pascal views on ignorance:  “It may be plausibly asserted that there is an infant-school ignorance which precedes knowledge and another doctoral ignorance which comes after it” (Montaigne).

This is the state of education affairs in the Arabic speaking Islamic countries: Koranic schools and doctors in fikh (religious sect laws) and other religious degrees… Ignorance lies at the ends of knowledge

“When an opinion takes hold in a “democratic” nation and establishes itself in a majority of minds, it becomes self-sustaining and can perpetuate itself without effort: Nobody will attack it. No one combat the doomed belief openly. This hollow ghost of public opinion is enough to chill the blood of would-be innovators (in political sphere) and reduces them to respectful silence”

“The American life-style is to take short-cuts by adopting general, all-purpose ideas: They are bombarded with so many individualistic responsibilities that they lack the necessary leisure time to indulge in reflective time-consuming periods”

An observation that was valid 2 centuries ago and worsening. Worse, spreading like wild fire all over the world and in Asia.

“The Americans seldom admit that they give in to selfless altruistic endeavors: They are pleased to explain all their actions in terms of self-interest properly understood. They will obligingly demonstrate how enlightened their behaviors regularly lead them to help out one another and makes them ready and willing to sacrifice a portion of their time and wealth for the good of the State”.

“The norms make a difference and they cannot be switched at will: either your norms are of the “honor kinds” or of the “material interest”

Prisoner’s Dilemma” of two persons involved in the same crime:

1. If you inform on the other, and the other refuses to inform on you, you are set free

2. If both inform on one another, both get 5-year prison term

3. If both refuse to inform, both get a year prison term.

Thus, make sure you do your due diligence and do Not inform?

The rationale of this Dilemma is used to explain:

1.The weakness of public institutions: people want strong institutions but refuse to pay the necessary taxes

2. The case of lobbying interest. Ironically, the more the number of lobbies, the more the central power imperceptibly expand, which the lobbies don’t want

3. The more frequent the number of private bankruptcies (risk takers) the more the State/casino win. Thus, the lack of stigma in bankruptcy.

“Politicians have this capacity to manage the creation of ephemeral convictions in accordance with the feelings and interests of the moments: They can, with a tolerable good conscience, do things that are far from honest”

Individualism is a recent expression, a reflective and tranquil sentiment achieved by creating a small community (modern tribe) for his use. he gladly leaves the larger society to take care of itself”

Americans want the Union, but reduced to a shadow: they want it strong in few cases and weak in most cases, particularly in period of peace”

Is that why the US government launch frequent pre-emptive wars outside its boundaries?

“The aristocratic families would willingly preserve the democratic habits of the (political system) if only they could reject its social state and laws”

Actually, the elite classes always succeed in circumventing the few laws that theoretically could have been applied to them.

Every morning, I find that somebody has just discovered some general and eternal law that I never heard of. General ideas that pack a lot into a small volume.

Note 1: I read Democracy in America and the Ancient Regime (France before the revolution) in their originals many years ago.  It is striking that the Revolution in France didn’t have to change anything in the administrative structure of the ancient regime.

Note 2: And the “professionals” who are researching details and facts on the ground are rare because Not paid to do these dirty fundamental jobs. What irks me most is that scientific papers fail to extend additional hypotheses and conjectures to what they have researched ,in order for the rest of us to follow up and demonstrate them

Note 3: Traditions of classes, professions, family and social structure, and religious beliefs… have been initially drawn from observations of human nature and establishing general notions, before the politicians (men of actions) in each sphere of influence in life organized them to self-serve the interests of the elites.

If we seek reforms by bringing up human nature then we are following the wrong direction.

What is needed is to develop a belief system based on that “all born people have the rights to enjoy equal opportunities to learning, getting training, health and due processes with a fair justice system”.

This new belief system or petition principle is feasible because in transparent democratic processes people rely on the majority opinion to extend any rational excuses for their attitudes.

Equal practical opportunities circumvent the wrong implication that opinions are reached independently of their surrounding. The effects of community sanctions to deviation attitudes from the belief system can then formalize the equal opportunities rights to everyone.

USA has spent $5.9 trillion on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001, a new study says

The report also finds that more than 480,000 people have died from the wars and more than 244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of fighting. Additionally, another 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.

WASHINGTON  The U.S. wars and military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan have cost American taxpayers $5.9 trillion since they began in 2001, according to a new study.

That total is almost $2 trillion more than all federal government spending during the recently completed 2017-18 fiscal year.

The $5.9 trillion figure reflects the cost across the U.S. federal government since the price of war is not borne by the Defense Department alone, according to Neta Crawford, the study’s author.

In addition to the money spent by the Pentagon, Crawford says the report captures the “war-related spending by the Department of State, past and obligated spending for war veterans’ care, interest on the debt incurred to pay for the wars, and the prevention of and response to terrorism by the Department of Homeland Security.” (Most of the debt financed by China)

It breaks down like this, according to Crawford and the report:

  • Total U.S. war-related spending through fiscal year 2019 is $4.9 trillion.
  • The other $1 trillion reflects estimates for the cost of health care for post-9/11 veterans.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs will be responsible for serving more than 4.3 million veterans by 2039.

What’s more, longer wars will also increase the number of service members who will ultimately claim veterans benefits and disability payments.

The U.S. government spent $4.1 trillion during fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30, according to the Treasury Department.

The Defense Department accounted for 14.7% of that, and the Department of Veterans Affairs accounted for 4.4 percent.

 

On modern warfare weapons: Actual testing on many pre-emptive wars around the world

Back in 1997, Barbara Ehrenreich went after the human  attraction to violence in her book Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War.

In it, among other brilliant insights, she traced the beginnings of our  modern blood rites not to Man, the Aggressor, but to human beings, the  prey (in a dangerous early world of predators).

In an updated,  adapted version of an afterword she did for the British edition of that book, she turns from the origins of war to its end point, suggesting in her usual provocative way that drones and other warrior robotics may, in  the end, do us one strange favor: they may finally bring home to us that war is Not a human possession, that it is not what we are and must  be.

(To catch Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which  Ehrenreich discusses the nature of war and how to fight against it,  click here, or download it to your iPod here.) Tom

War Without Humans Modern Blood Rites Revisited By Barbara Ehrenreich

For a book about the all-too-human “passions of war,” my 1997 work Blood Rites ended on a strangely inhuman note: I suggested that, whatever  distinctly human qualities war calls upon — honor, courage, solidarity,  cruelty, and so forth — it might be useful to stop thinking of war in  exclusively human terms.

After all, certain species of ants wage war  and computers can simulate “wars” that play themselves out on-screen  without any human involvement.

More generally, we should define war as a self-replicating  pattern of activity that may or may not require human participation.

In  the human case, we know it is capable of spreading geographically and  evolving rapidly over time — qualities that, as I suggested somewhat fancifully, make war a metaphorical successor to the predatory animals  that shaped humans into fighters in the first place.

A decade and a half later, these musings do not seem quite so airy  and abstract anymore. The trend, at the close of the twentieth century,  still seemed to be one of ever more massive human involvement in war —  from armies containing tens of thousands in the sixteenth century, to  hundreds of thousands in the nineteenth, and eventually millions in the  twentieth century world wars.

It was the ascending scale of war that originally called forth the existence of the nation-state as an administrative unit capable of maintaining mass armies and the infrastructure — for taxation, weapons manufacture, transport, etc. — that they require.

War has been, and we still expect it to be, the most massive collective project human beings undertake. But it has been evolving quickly in a very different direction, one in which human beings have a much smaller role to play.

One factor driving this change has been the emergence of a new kind of enemy, so-called “non-state actors,” meaning popular insurgencies and loose transnational networks of fighters, none of which are likely to field large numbers of troops or maintain expensive arsenals of their own.

In the face of these new enemies, typified by al-Qaeda, the mass armies of nation-states are highly ineffective, cumbersome to deploy, difficult to maneuver, and from a domestic point of view, overly dependent on a citizenry that is both willing and able to fight, or at least to have their children fight for them.

Yet just as U.S. military cadets continue, in defiance of military reality, to sport swords on their dress uniforms, our leaders, both military and political, tend to cling to an idea of war as a vast, labor-intensive effort on the order of World War II.

Only slowly, and with a reluctance bordering on the phobic, have the leaders of major states begun to grasp the fact that this approach to warfare may soon be obsolete.

Consider the most recent U.S. war with Iraq.

According to then-president George W. Bush, the casus belli was the 9/11 terror attacks.  The causal link between that event and our chosen enemy, Iraq, was, however, imperceptible to all but the most dedicated inside-the-Beltway intellectuals.

Nineteen men had hijacked airplanes and flown them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center — 15 of them Saudi Arabians, none of them Iraqis — and we went to war against… Iraq?

Military history offers no ready precedents for such wildly misaimed retaliation. The closest analogies come from anthropology, which provides plenty of cases of small-scale societies in which the death of any member, for any reason, needs to be “avenged” by an attack on a more or less randomly chosen other tribe or hamlet.

Why Iraq?

Neoconservative imperial ambitions have been invoked in explanation, as well as the American thirst for oil, or even an Oedipal contest between George W. Bush and his father.

There is no doubt some truth to all of these explanations, but the targeting of Iraq also represented a desperate and irrational response to what was, for Washington, an utterly confounding military situation.

We faced a state-less enemy — geographically diffuse, lacking uniforms and flags, invulnerable to invading infantries and saturation bombing, and apparently capable of regenerating itself at minimal expense.

From the perspective of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his White House cronies, this would not do. (Meaning from Israel point of view or the “christian” Evangelical Zionists)

Since the U.S. was accustomed to fighting other nation-states — geopolitical entities containing such identifiable targets as capital cities, airports, military bases, and munitions plants — we would have to find a nation-state to fight, or as Rumsfeld put it, a “target-rich environment.

Iraq, pumped up by alleged stockpiles of “weapons of mass destruction,” became the designated surrogate for an enemy that refused to play our game.

The effects of this atavistic war are still being tallied: in Iraq, we would have to include civilian deaths estimated at possibly hundreds of thousands, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and devastating outbreaks of sectarian violence of a kind that, as we should have learned from the dissolution of Yugoslavia, can readily follow the death or removal of a nationalist dictator.

But the effects of war on the U.S. and its allies may end up being almost as tragic.

Instead of punishing the terrorists who had attacked the U.S., the war seems to have succeeded in recruiting more such irregular fighters, young men (and sometimes women) willing to die and ready to commit further acts of terror or revenge.

By insisting on fighting a more or less randomly selected nation-state, the U.S. may only have multiplied the non-state threats it faces.

Unwieldy Armies

Whatever they may think of what the U.S. and its allies did in Iraq, many national leaders are beginning to acknowledge that conventional militaries are becoming, in a strictly military sense, almost ludicrously anachronistic. Not only are they unsuited to crushing counterinsurgencies and small bands of terrorists or irregular fighters, but mass armies are simply too cumbersome to deploy on short notice.

In military lingo, they are weighed down by their “tooth to tail” ratio — a measure of the number of actual fighters in comparison to the support personnel and equipment the fighters require. Both hawks and liberal interventionists may hanker to airlift tens of thousands of soldiers to distant places virtually overnight, but those soldiers will need to be preceded or accompanied by tents, canteens, trucks, medical equipment, and so forth.

“Flyover” rights will have to be granted by neighboring countries; air strips and eventually bases will have to be constructed; supply lines will have be created and defended — all of which can take months to accomplish.

The sluggishness of the mass, labor-intensive military has become a constant source of frustration to civilian leaders. Irritated by the Pentagon’s hesitation to put “boots on the ground” in Bosnia, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright famously demanded of Secretary of Defense Colin Powell, “What good is this marvelous military force if we can never use it?”

In 2009, the Obama administration unthinkingly proposed a troop surge in Afghanistan, followed by a withdrawal within a year and a half that would have required some of the troops to start packing up almost as soon as they arrived. It took the U.S. military a full month to organize the transport of 20,000 soldiers to Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake — and they were only traveling 700 miles to engage in a humanitarian relief mission, not a war.

Another thing hobbling mass militaries is the increasing unwillingness of nations, especially the more democratic ones, to risk large numbers of casualties. It is no longer acceptable to drive men into battle at gunpoint or to demand that they fend for themselves on foreign soil.

Once thousands of soldiers have been plunked down in a “theater,” they must be defended from potentially hostile locals, a project that can easily come to supersede the original mission.

We may not be able clearly to articulate what American troops were supposed to accomplish in Iraq or Afghanistan, but without question one part of their job has been “force protection.” In what could be considered the inverse of “mission creep,” instead of expanding, the mission now has a tendency to contract to the task of self-defense.

Ultimately, the mass militarist of the modern era, augmented by ever-more expensive weapons systems, place an unacceptable economic burden on the nation-states that support them — a burden that eventually may undermine the militaries themselves.

Consider what has been happening to the world’s sole military superpower, the United States. The latest estimate for the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is, at this moment, at least $3.2 trillion, while total U.S. military spending equals that of the next 15 countries combined, and adds up to approximately 47% of all global military spending.

To this must be added the cost of caring for wounded and otherwise damaged veterans, which has been mounting precipitously as medical advances allow more of the injured to survive.  The U.S. military has been sheltered from the consequences of its own profligacy by a level of bipartisan political support that has kept it almost magically immune to budget cuts, even as the national debt balloons to levels widely judged to be unsustainable.

The hard right, in particular, has campaigned relentlessly against “big government,” apparently not noticing that the military is a sizable chunk of this behemoth.

In December 2010, for example, a Republican senator from Oklahoma railed against the national debt with this statement: “We’re really at war. We’re on three fronts now: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the financial tsunami  [arising from the debt] that is facing us.” Only in recent months have some Tea Party-affiliated legislators broken with tradition by declaring their willingness to cut military spending.

How the Warfare State Became the Welfare State

If military spending is still for the most part sacrosanct, ever more spending cuts are required to shrink “big government.”  Then what remains is the cutting of domestic spending, especially social programs for the poor, who lack the means to finance politicians, and all too often the incentive to vote as well.

From the Reagan years on, the U.S. government has chipped away at dozens of programs that had helped sustain people who are underpaid or unemployed, including housing subsidies, state-supplied health insurance, public transportation, welfare for single parents, college tuition aid, and inner-city economic development projects.

Even the physical infrastructure — bridges, airports, roads, and tunnels — used by people of all classes has been left at dangerous levels of disrepair. Antiwar protestors wistfully point out, year after year, what the cost of our high-tech weapon systems, our global network of more than 1,000 military bases, and our various “interventions” could buy if applied to meeting domestic human needs. But to no effect.

This ongoing sacrifice of domestic welfare for military “readiness” represents the reversal of a historic trend. Ever since the introduction of mass armies in Europe in the seventeenth century, governments have generally understood that to underpay and underfeed one’s troops — and the class of people that supplies them — is to risk having the guns pointed in the opposite direction from that which the officers recommend.

In fact, modern welfare states, inadequate as they may be, are in no small part the product of war — that is, of governments’ attempts to appease soldiers and their families. In the U.S., for example, the Civil War led to the institution of widows’ benefits, which were the predecessor of welfare in its Aid to Families with Dependent Children form. It was the bellicose German leader Otto von Bismarck who first instituted national health insurance.

World War II spawned educational benefits and income support for American veterans and led, in the United Kingdom, to a comparatively generous welfare state, including free health care for all.

Notions of social justice and fairness, or at least the fear of working class insurrections, certainly played a part in the development of twentieth century welfare states, but there was a pragmatic military motivation as well: if young people are to grow up to be effective troops, they need to be healthy, well-nourished, and reasonably well-educated.

In the U.S., the steady withering of social programs that might nurture future troops even serves, ironically, to justify increased military spending. In the absence of a federal jobs program, Congressional representatives become fierce advocates for weapons systems that the Pentagon itself has no use for, as long as the manufacture of those weapons can provide employment for some of their constituents.

With diminishing funds for higher education, military service becomes a less dismal alternative for young working-class people than the low-paid jobs that otherwise await them. The U.S. still has a civilian welfare state consisting largely of programs for the elderly (Medicare and Social Security). For many younger Americans, however, as well as for older combat veterans, the U.S. military is the welfare state — and a source, however temporarily, of jobs, housing, health care and education.

Eventually, however, the failure to invest in America’s human resources — through spending on health, education, and so forth — undercuts the military itself. In World War I, public health experts were shocked to find that one-third of conscripts were rejected as physically unfit for service; they were too weak and flabby or too damaged by work-related accidents.

Several generations later, in 2010, the U.S. Secretary of Education reported that “75 percent of young Americans, between the ages of 17 to 24, are unable to enlist in the military today because they have failed to graduate from high school, have a criminal record, or are physically unfit.”

(Wonderful news: Drop the Gendarme notion of controlling the world)

When a nation can no longer generate enough young people who are fit for military service, that nation has two choices: it can, as a number of prominent retired generals are currently advocating, reinvest in its “human capital,” especially the health and education of the poor, or it can seriously reevaluate its approach to war.

The Fog of (Robot) War

Since the rightward, anti-“big government” tilt of American politics more or less precludes the former, the U.S. has been scrambling to develop less labor-intensive forms of waging war. In fact, this may prove to be the ultimate military utility of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: if they have gained the U.S. no geopolitical advantage, they have certainly served as laboratories and testing grounds for forms of future warfare that involve less human, or at least less governmental, commitment.

One step in that direction has been the large-scale use of military contract workers supplied by private companies, which can be seen as a revival of the age-old use of mercenaries.  Although most of the functions that have been outsourced to private companies — including food services, laundry, truck driving, and construction — do not involve combat, they are dangerous, and some contract workers have even been assigned to the guarding of convoys and military bases.

Contractors are still men and women, capable of bleeding and dying — and surprising numbers of them have indeed died.  In the initial six months of 2010, corporate deaths exceeded military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan for the first time. But the Pentagon has little or no responsibility for the training, feeding, or care of private contractors.

If wounded or psychologically damaged, American contract workers must turn, like any other injured civilian employees, to the Workers’ Compensation system, hence their sense of themselves as a “disposable army.”  By 2009, the trend toward privatization had gone so far that the number of private contractors in Afghanistan exceeded the number of American troops there.

An alternative approach is to eliminate or drastically reduce the military’s dependence on human beings of any kind.  This would have been an almost unthinkable proposition a few decades ago, but technologies employed in Iraq and Afghanistan have steadily stripped away the human role in war. Drones, directed from sites up to 7,500 miles away in the western United States, are replacing manned aircraft.

Video cameras, borne by drones, substitute for human scouts or information gathered by pilots. Robots disarm roadside bombs. When American forces invaded Iraq in 2003, no robots accompanied them; by 2008, there were 12,000 participating in the war.

Only a handful of drones were used in the initial invasion; today, the U.S. military has an inventory of more than 7,000, ranging from the familiar Predator to tiny Ravens and Wasps used to transmit video images of events on the ground.  Far stranger fighting machines are in the works, like swarms of lethal “cyborg insects” that could potentially replace human infantry.

These developments are by no means limited to the U.S. The global market for military robotics and unmanned military vehicles is growing fast, and includes Israel, a major pioneer in the field, Russia, the United Kingdom, Iran, South Korea, and China.

Turkey is reportedly readying a robot force for strikes against Kurdish insurgents. (Not likely. The Kurds have advanced robots)

Israel hopes to eventually patrol the Gaza border with “see-shoot” robots that will destroy people perceived as transgressors as soon as they are detected. (Will Not need much programming: whoever you detect, shoot to kill)

It is hard to predict how far the automation of war and the substitution of autonomous robots for human fighters will go. On the one hand, humans still have the advantage of superior visual discrimination.  Despite decades of research in artificial intelligence, computers cannot make the kind of simple distinctions — as in determining whether a cow standing in front of a barn is a separate entity or a part of the barn — that humans can make in a fraction of a second.

Thus, as long as there is any premium on avoiding civilian deaths, humans have to be involved in processing the visual information that leads, for example, to the selection of targets for drone attacks. If only as the equivalent of seeing-eye dogs, humans will continue to have a role in war, at least until computer vision improves.

On the other hand, the human brain lacks the bandwidth to process all the data flowing into it, especially as new technologies multiply that data. In the clash of traditional mass armies, under a hail of arrows or artillery shells, human warriors often found themselves confused and overwhelmed, a condition attributed to “the fog of war.”

, that fog is growing a lot thicker. U.S. military officials, for instance, put the blame on “information overload” for the killing of 23 Afghan civilians in February 2010, and the New York Times reported that:

“Across the military, the data flow has surged; since the attacks of 9/11, the amount of intelligence gathered by remotely piloted drones and other surveillance technologies has risen 1,600 percent. On the ground, troops increasingly use hand-held devices to communicate, get directions and set bombing coordinates. And the screens in jets can be so packed with data that some pilots call them “drool buckets” because, they say, they can get lost staring into them.”

When the sensory data coming at a soldier is augmented by a flood of instantaneously transmitted data from distant cameras and computer search engines, there may be no choice but to replace the sloppy “wet-ware” of the human brain with a robotic system for instant response.

War Without Humans

Once set in place, the cyber-automation of war is hard to stop.  Humans will cling to their place “in the loop” as long as they can, no doubt insisting that the highest level of decision-making — whether to go to war and with whom — be reserved for human leaders. But it is precisely at the highest levels that decision-making may most need automating.

A head of state faces a blizzard of factors to consider, everything from historical analogies and satellite-derived intelligence to assessments of the readiness of potential allies. Furthermore, as the enemy automates its military, or in the case of a non-state actor, simply adapts to our level of automation, the window of time for effective responses will grow steadily narrower. Why not turn to a high-speed computer? It is certainly hard to imagine a piece of intelligent hardware deciding to respond to the 9/11 attacks by invading Iraq.

So, after at least 10,000 years of intra-species fighting — of scorched earth, burned villages, razed cities, and piled up corpses, as well, of course, as all the great epics of human literature — we have to face the possibility that the institution of war might no longer need us for its perpetuation.

Human desires, especially for the Earth’s diminishing supply of resources, will still instigate wars for some time to come, but neither human courage nor human blood-lust will carry the day on the battlefield.

Computers will assess threats and calibrate responses; drones will pinpoint enemies; robots might roll into the streets of hostile cities. Beyond the individual battle or smaller-scale encounter, decisions as to whether to match attack with counterattack, or one lethal technological innovation with another, may also be eventually ceded to alien minds.

This should not come as a complete surprise. Just as war has shaped human social institutions for millennia, so has it discarded them as the evolving technology of war rendered them useless. When war was fought with blades by men on horseback, it favored the rule of aristocratic warrior elites. When the mode of fighting shifted to action-at-a-distance weapons like bows and guns, the old elites had to bow to the central authority of kings, who, in turn, were undone by the democratizing forces unleashed by new mass armies.

Even patriarchy cannot depend on war for its long-term survival, since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have, at least within U.S. forces, established women’s worth as warriors. Over the centuries, human qualities once deemed indispensable to war fighting — muscular power, manliness, intelligence, judgment — have one by one become obsolete or been ceded to machines.

What will happen then to the “passions of war”?

Except for individual acts of martyrdom, war is likely to lose its glory and luster. Military analyst P.W. Singer quotes an Air Force captain musing about whether the new technologies will “mean that brave men and women will no longer face death in combat,” only to reassure himself that “there will always be a need for intrepid souls to fling their bodies across the sky.”

Perhaps, but in a 2010 address to Air Force Academy cadets, an under secretary of defense delivered the “bad news” that most of them would not be flying airplanes, which are increasingly unmanned.

War will continue to be used against insurgencies as well as to “take out” the weapons facilities, command centers, and cities of designated rogue states. It may even continue to fascinate its aficionados, in the manner of computer games. But there will be no triumphal parades for killer nano-bugs, no epics about unmanned fighter planes, no monuments to fallen bots.

And in that may lie our last hope. With the decline of mass militaries and their possible replacement by machines, we may finally see that war is not just an extension of our needs and passions, however base or noble.

Nor is it likely to be even a useful test of our courage, fitness, or national unity. War has its own dynamic or — in case that sounds too anthropomorphic — its own grim algorithms to work out. As it comes to need us less, maybe we will finally see that we don’t need it either. We can leave it to the ants.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of a number of books including Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. This essay is a revised and updated version of the afterword to the British edition of Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (Granta, 2011).  To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which  Ehrenreich discusses the nature of war and how to fight against it,  click here, or download it to your iPod here.

Copyright 2011 Barbara Ehrenreich


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