Dangerous Precedents Set By SCOTUS

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The US Supreme Court has ruled that Americans can sue Nations such as Iran over terrorist acts that may or may not have been supported by those Nations.  There is a ruling about to be decided upon currently concerning Saudi Arabia. These are extremely dangerous rulings that could set precedent that place Americans in danger across the Globe. I would love to see any and every avenue taken to bring Saudi Arabia down. The House of Saud is a great evil and are responsible for 90% of Islamic Terrorism across the Planet. If Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabi Death Cult could be crushed, much of the unrest and division between Muslims and other people across the world could be arrested and turned around. With Saudi Wahhabis funding global terrorist groups, terrorism and groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS will continue to rise and wreak havoc and sow division everywhere.

Even so, our Supreme Court is treading dangerous waters with these rulings.

American Foreign Policy has place the US Military around the globe “combatting” terrorism. Our strategies, tactics, techniques and procedures are not always on solid footing with International Norms. Strictly speaking, much of what we do would be illegal in a International Criminal Court. Our Soldiers and Leaders are placed at risk because of these rulings. Now, I have no problem with politicians such as Barack Obama or George Bush being held to account for their illegal, inhumane and downright evil acts. My issue is that Joe the Private or Sam the Colonel might be renditioned whilst on vacation in the Bahamas. A US Citizen might be held and extradited to Iran, France or Syria for prosecution for breaking Iranian, French or Syrian law. We do it. Why could they not follow suit?

What if the people of Pakistan, Syria,Iran, Guatemala, Iraq, Afghanistan took this to its logical conclusion? Each of those nations could sue us for terrorism and mass murder. We have bombed the hell out of those places. We have indiscriminately targeted “military aged males.” One need not be guilty of anything more than being in a cricket club to be bombed by our drones and missiles. We have made this more than obvious. We have publicly stated the “military aged males” targeting. We have bombed civilians for no other reason than they were in the same general area as suspected terrorists.

If Citizens of the US can sue those governments for their crimes then Citizens of other nations can sue our government for crimes we have committed even if we will never admit that they are crimes. SECDEF Gates warned against this. He called it “Lawfare.” Our military members and civilians could be targeted for rendition and extradition by other nations. Our politicians could be targeted.

This smacks of lunacy, idiocy and a lack of comprehension of International Law and Treaty. I fully expect stupidity from the American People. Congress and SCOTUS should know better.

The Least of Me and the “Christian Nation”

 

 

 

 

The Good SamaritanI am the first to admit that I am extremely negative and distrustful of Christianity.  My opinion is that modern Christianity is so unlike Christ as to be THE Anti-Christ.  This is especially so of Modern American Evangelical Christianity (MAEC).  MAEC has become so politicized as to have lost it’s moral compass.  Certainly, there are good Christians out there who observe the message of Christ and who live a Christ-like life.  However, too many of them subscribe to the “all fall short” mentality and allow that to excuse hateful behavior towards their fellow man.

Christian capitalist are the perfect example of this.  Modern American Capitalism is rarely based on giving the best product for the best price.  It certainly is not set upon the value of excellence or good behavior towards one’s fellow man.  Corporate CEOs are nothing but bottom line vultures.  They wish to pay the lowest wage possible for the most work squeezed out of wage slaves.  They wish for nothing more than a labor force so dependent upon wages that little choice is left but to work for corporations that destroy the planet in the name of higher stock prices at the expense of all else.

Christians political support of the Drug War is indecent and not supported by any passage or message in either the Old or New Testament.  Much in the history of religion actually points to support of drug use.  At least for the Judges and early leaders of Judaism and the Church.  Drug imagery and “secret” messages encoded in the Bible point to the use of mushrooms and hashish by the likes of Moses and Aaron (smoking tents and whatnot).  The Bible does not encourage forcing people to be good Christians or followers of secular law.  If anything, the Life of Christ is an example of civil disobedience to civil law.  Jesus was crucified for that very act.

I was told today that “breaking the law constitutes criminality.”  If that is the case, biblical leaders are a long line of criminals.  Abraham, Moses, Daniel and Jesus were infamous for their refusal to obey unjust laws.

Not only that but America is built upon a tradition of civil disobedience.  If breaking the law makes one a criminal, every “Christian” founder of our nation were criminals.  I begin to see that criminality against the State is not only NOT bad but essentially wholly good for the soul and intellect.  It is a calling for true Americans and true Christians alike.

Jesus admonished the people of the Earth to “love thy neighbor” and to “love the least of me as you would me.”  I view the world through that lens.  I try to live those words.  Of course, there are people whom I cannot stand and would love to punch in the face.  That said, along the path of my life, I try to help those less fortunate, less intelligent, less motivated, less informed and less loved than I.  For I am fortunate.  I believe myself intelligent.  I am nearly always  motivated.  (I just ran a six minute mile.  ; ) )  I am fairly well informed as I read constantly and study often.  I also attempt to reflect upon that which I learn in my reading and study.  And above all, I am fortunate enough to be loved by many.

With that in mind, I tend to view issues such as the “sanctity of marriage,” immigration, war, the drug war, terrorism and “nation building” through the lens of these “Golden rule” wisdoms.  The Golden Rule is omni-present in cultures throughout the ages and across breadth and length of this globe.  All great civilizations have some form of the Golden Rule.  Treat others as you would wish for them to treat you.  What could be simpler.  Yet it seems so difficult for humanity.

We have millions of immigrants showing up at or borders right now.  Many conservative Christians would throw them out with little thought to consequences and with a blind eye towards the message of Christ.  Would Christ suffer the little children of immigrants to be thrust back into poverty and desolation?  Would Christ abandon these people?  Are our actions and attitudes towards our Southern neighbors one of loving our neighbor?  I think not.  We would abandon these people.  We would not follow the example of the parable of the man from Samaria.

 “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Go and do likewise.  America should be a good neighbor.  We have not been a good neighbor.  Our policies have led directly to the situation which has placed these peoples on our borders.  Our banks rape and pillage to the South and we blame the victims for their plight.

The sanctity of marriage is a farce.  Millions of Christians who purport to believe in the “sanctity of marriage” have been divorced.  Some of them have been divorced several times.  Yet, they believe marriage to be so sacred that homosexuals, lesbians and others should be denied the right to have their marriages recognized by the State.  My first response to this is that State recognition of a marriage has nothing to do with God or sanctity.  The State sanctifies home invasion and murder in the name of the Wars on Terror and Drugs.  The State is run by politicians who have proven time and again to be ungodly.  Iniquity runs rampant in the green and black blood that oozes through it’s deadly veins.  Yet, somehow Christians believe that State recognition will somehow affect the “sanctity” of their second and third marriages.

I see hypocrisy here.

Hypocrisy is nowhere in the message of Christ.  Christ admonished us to love.  Not to segregate based on our own base prejudices.

This is where I differentiate myself from the MAEC.

I try to live my life with the admonishment to love my neighbor and to not see others as lessor than me.  This is one reason that I love my girlfriend, Unny.  She reminds me to be nice and to see the world around me through loving eyes and a purer soul.  She lives to help others and her art is a reminder to me that helping others see beauty and wonder in everything around is as close to the divine as I will every travel.

This is one reason that I love working in Afghanistan.  Aside from the pay, I get to help people.  I teach, mentor and advise.  I watch young people making their way through life and making hard choices.  At times, I see nothing but cruelty and ignorance around me.  However, there are moments when I see the light in a young persons eyes.  There are times when I can help and when that help makes a difference.  These moments are priceless to me.

If Jesus wished for us to love our neighbors as we loved him, should we not take a step back as a nation and re-evaluate our policies in the drug war, in our dealings with other nations, in our support of despots and in our treatment of our South American neighbors.  Should we not be good Samaritans.

If we don’t, can we truly call ourselves a Christian nation.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men. (Galatians 6:10)

Victims: Casualties of War ~ Boston Marathon Bombing and the GWOT

“The rain …falls upon the just and the unjust alike; a thing which would not happen if I were superintending the rain’s affairs. No, I would rain softly and sweetly on the just, but if I caught a sample of the unjust outdoors I would drown him.”

~ Mark Twain

It is simple cause and effect.

Collectively, America has chosen a path.  That path has led to people who see us, justly or not, as the challenge to their choices as to their way of life or death whatever the case may be.

The little boy did not deserve a death at the hands of madmen.

Perhaps, many of the the folks did not deserve to die or be injured in such a heinous manner.  I would posit that many, if not most, of the children killed and injured by American bombs, missiles, errant bullet rounds and drone strikes, likewise, did not deserve that fate either.

We cannot expect, as a nation, to constantly war on other nations and other peoples causing “collateral damage” and other forms of violence and to maintain our peaceful way of life at home in America.

The world is small.  There are consequences for our actions.

We have been in a constant state of war for over a decade.  We will be in a constant state of war for the foreseeable future.

Eventually, the people against whom we war will figure out a way to bring that war to us.

Thus far, we have been fortunate.  They have been too lazy or disorganized to wage war in America.  That will not always remain so.  I am surprised that it has taken this long to have a public ground attack/strike such as this.

If I were among the peoples against whom we have been waging war, I would have found a way to strike at America long before this.  I would make life miserable for Americans.

Who is to say that this is not in the works.  Everything that they need to wage war upon us can be purchased in America.  They need to bring nothing.

Actions have consequences.  Words and phrases such as collateral damage have a reality behind them against which your average American has been shielded.

Were I the enemy of America, that would not be the case.  Eventually, someone is going to rise up who will decide to teach America the realities of war.  The reality that we once learned during our war of 1860 to 1865 but have forgotten.

To the average American war is a video game.  It’s something viewed from afar.  Something that happens over there.

Will that always be the case?

Boston may simply be a harbinger of things to come.

No one deserves a heinous death or to be injured in the manner of the “victims” of the Boston bombings.  I would not wish that upon a single human being whether they be American, Pakistani, Syrian, Kiwi or Fijian.

Yet, our wars cause this kind of death and injury on nearly a daily basis.  Many, if not most, of those “victims” are undeserving as well.

For his own sordid ends
The pulpit he ascends
And though he disbelieves in resurrection,
Makes all his hearers quail
Whilst he unfolds a tale
Of Last Day scenes that stun the recollection.

They recite their sacred books, although the fact informs me 
that these are a fiction from first to last. 
O Reason, thou (alone) speakest the truth. 
Then perish the fools who forged the religious traditions or interpreted them!



~ Abu ‘L-ala Ahmad b. Abdallah al-Ma’arri (973-1057)

Geo-Politics: Change the Dynamic ~ Offer Incentive

If I were President…

1.  We get less than 20% of our oil from the Middle East.  I’d halt this immediately.

2.  That oil shortfall would be sourced from our own reserves and Canada.  I’d even throw a bone to Venezuela in exchange for their withdrawal from OPEC.

3.  I’d close all bases in the Middle East.

4.  I’d place a base in Israel and Egypt.  Keep the base in Turkey.

5.  I’d tell Egypt and Turkey that they have choice.  Either they’re with the West or their with the Muslim world.  If they decide that they’re with the Muslim World, then we withdraw all support and all bases from those countries.

6.  I’d tell Europe and Asia that America is no longer responsible and will no longer take action in the Middle East except in the case of defense of our allies.

7.  The Allies in the Middle East would be designated as Israel because they are a Democracy as well as Egypt, Turkey and Jordan.

8.  Our alliance with Egypt, Turkey and Jordan would be predicated upon Democratic reforms and their renunciation of a foreign policy based upon Islamic Internationalism.  These countries can keep their Islamic Nationalism, if they chose to do so.  That choice would mean our pulling all resources and support from their nations.

9.  Support of Jordan and Egypt would also be predicated upon an agreement to assimilation all Palestinian refugees.  All refugee camps would have to be closed down.  Those refugees would have to be given full rights in the countries in which they are located.  The US would assist with funding for housing and job training for these refugees at 50% of the cost.  This Aid Package would be closely guided by a contractual auditor to ensure that the monies were being used to build infrastructure and not lining the pockets of corrupt officials.  If bribes are insisted upon, funding would be withdrawn.

10.  Continued support of Israel would be predicated upon a real peace plan with the Palestinians.

a.  Israel would either permanently partition the West Bank and Gaza as sovereign nations and pull out completely leaving the Palestinians to their own fate.

or

b.  Israel would annex the Palestinian areas and alter their constitution making Israel an officially and legally secular nation.  Part of that constitutional reconstruction would be safeguards for all religions, creeds, ethnicities from persecution, etc.

There would be a ten year time frame to effect these changes with specific milestones in place.  If these milestones are not met, we would pull all support for any or all of these nations.

We would offer the new Palestine Nation, if created, a package of aid in return for a turning away from Islamism.  The US would provide financial and expert support in building a nation from the ground up.  A referendum from the Palestinian people would be required to receive this Aid Package.  In essence, the Palestinian people would be required to request it via said referendum and the leaders of Hamas, Fatah as well as members of any other quasi-governmental group recognized by the people.  If the people did not vote for our assistance, the offer would be withdrawn.  This Aid Package would also be closely guided by a contractual auditor to ensure that the monies were being used to build infrastructure and not lining the pockets of corrupt officials.  If bribes are insisted upon, funding would be withdrawn.
The onus would then be on these nations.  If they decided to go along with us, they would have our support.  If not, we would withdraw from them and leave them to their collective  fates.

I would have these treaties ratified by the US Congress and the United Nations.

There would be no military solutions offered.  Either they come on line with us or we no longer have a reason to be associated with them.  End of discussion.

As for the Gulf and their oil, that would be the responsibility of whomever wishes to continue to purchase oil from those nations.  China, France, Germany…whomever it may be.

We would continue to patrol the ocean lanes for support of international trade.  The Straits of Hormuz — no longer our problem.  Saudi Arabia — keep with your Wahhabism/Salafism on your own shores or risk offending more nations.

Egypt seems to be progressing towards Democracy.  This surprised me as I thought that the Muslim Brotherhood would take them in the direction of Islamic Sharia.  This is a positive development.  Jordan would need to step away from Monarchy and join the rest of the world in Democratic reforms.

Over the short term, these initiatives would seem expensive.  Over the long term, these initiatives would save America and the Globe much in terms of blood and treasure.

This would be my solution.

In effect, we would be saying; “Join the World and we will support you.  Remain in the Dark Ages and we will abandon you.”

I want out of the business of supporting corrupt and/or stubborn regimes.  Whether that regime be Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Western Europe.

The next thing that I would do would be to withdraw all forces from Europe.  The only way we would keep US troops stationed in Europe would be if at least 50% of the costs were funded by the country that wished for us to be there.  All real estate used by the forces stationed in those countries would need to be loaned permanently at a cost free basis for the duration of the deployment to that country.  A Status of Forces Agreement would have to be met whereby our Servicemembers would be subject to US Law and the UCMJ only while in country.  All services for our Servicemembers would be provided without interference by the United States.  All Servicemembers would be on a Tax Free Status in that country.  That nation would also have to be a member in good standing of the Democratic Nations of the World.

If they are not willing to do this.  No problem.  We will simply not have a need to act in defense of their Nation.

I would also pull out of South Korea.  On the way out, I’d tell China that if North Korea attacks, we would bomb the North into the dark ages.  That would be my final and only dealing with North Korea.  If the people of the North are too brainwashed, too stupid or too weak to fight for change, this is not the problem of the United States of America.  Let China feed North Korea or South Korea if that be their desire.

I would pull all of our forces out of Japan.  Japan doesn’t need us there and many of the people don’t want us there.  Next, I would enter a treaty with the Philippines wherein we purchase land from them to station our Pacific Forces.   I would base a Marine Expeditionary Unit and an Army Mechanized Infantry/Stryker Division there along with a Carrier Fleet being on Station at all times.

China would be warned that Japan is still our ally.  Taiwan would be told to work out their differences with China.  If China became bellicose and threatened invasion, we would act in defense of Taiwan.  Unless the threat is based on Taiwanese provocation.  In that case, Taiwan is on their own.

I would also make an alliance of mutual support with India.  Our Armed Forces would conduct joint operations/exercises with India.  If possible, I would allow for a treaty whereby US Forces would be permanently stationed in Southern India.  This would hinge upon Indian acquiescence on the Kashmir debate.

I would withdraw all forces and support from Pakistan and Afghanistan.  If Pakistan wanted our support, they would have to oust the Saudi Wahhabis and the Deobandi.  Pakistan would also be required to sweep the FATA and NWFP of taliban influences.  They would also be required to withdraw from the Kashmir debate.  This would be the price of assistance from the US.  No debate.  No equivocation.  If they want our support, they give up their dispute with India over Kashmir and halt support of all terrorism directed towards India.

India and Kashmir would be required to allow a full vote by the Kashmiri people.  1.  Independence  2.  Annexation by Pakistan  3.  Retention by India

International Election Officials would oversee the vote.  Any monkey business by either side and no deal.  Kashmir should be able to decide it’s fate.  Their fate should not be decided by Muslim terrorists or Indian Soldiers.

We would withdraw all support from Pakistan if this is not followed through to completion.   With regards to India, we go to a neutral stance.  India has no need of our support.  They’re a viable nation in their own right.

Aside from moving away from the Defense of Europe, I would do nothing in Europe.  They’re sovereign nations that can navigate their way through the world in their own rite.  We should not be providing defense for them unless they are willing to subsidize it.

On patrolling the commercial sea lanes, I would require that other nations either subsidize fleet operations or provide support in the form of personnel and equipment.  Either that or we protect only US shipping.

It’s time for the free ride to end.  The Nations of the World (especially Europe) have enjoyed peace at the expense of the American tax payer for far too long.  They decry our every move.  It’s time for them to step up.  The World doesn’t want Team America — World Police or so they say.  Let them have their desire.

These actions would save American Tax dollars.  They would remove us from the Middle East conflicts.  They would place the onus on other nations to conduct their own defense and improve the lot of their own citizenry.

After these offers, blame for the sorry affairs of the world could no longer be placed at the feet of America.  The primary sources of conflict would have been given a viable alternative.  If they chose the path to peace, it would be with our leadership.  If they chose the path to war, it would be at their own behest.  The blame would lie with themselves.

Another thing that I think would be a positive is for an exchange program wherein a Battalion of another Nations forces would be given the opportunity to come to Fort Irwin, Texas to train with US Forces.  I’d rotate the Nation on a regular basis.  6 Month rotations.  This would be a tremendous opportunity for our Armed Forces and theirs.  I’d offer this opportunity to India, Romania, South Korea, Hungary, Egypt, Russia, Thailand, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and other Nations with whom we would engage in treaties of mutual defense or with whom we wish to improve relations.

The last item on my agenda would be reforming the UN.  That, though, is a whole other post.

That would keep us from any more of this:

Along with legislation mandating a Declaration of War in order to commit forces to a Ground Invasion of another country.  I have no problem with bombing a perpetrating country into the stone ages.  If there are viable targets.  I would also work to repeal the prohibition against assassination of World Leaders.  We could have saved a lot of money and lives by simply putting a .99$ bullet through the forehead of Saddam Hussein.  We could save a bit more by spreading about 200 USD worth of lead throughout the Iranian, Hezbollah and Syrian power structures.