Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Reflections on a War

Posted: 27/07/2013 by zandtao in Struggle, War

Early on in this blog I began an Iraq page following an online interchange. I have just watched this movie, Hijacking Catastrophe:-

The clip summed up the interchange and was a fitting epitaph on the Iraq stuff I did. It was never completed comprehensively but it helped me put flesh on the bones of my understanding. Good movie.

My deliberations on Iraq began here, and includes my reflections on a war as the 5th link.

Blogs:- Zandtao, Mandtao Matriellez

Hillary at the CFR

Posted: 23/09/2011 by zandtao in Finance, Insight, War
Tags: , ,

(added to CFRWatch page)

Interpreting what the politicians say is fraught with danger so claiming I can follow what is happening in US politics is arrogant. Yes I have some insight but my knowledge of the US system is weak – my knowledge of the UK system is better but it is still very weak. I am an observer not a whistleblower – I cannot know. What is important in watching is to place what is being said in context, and the context of this Hillary speech is helpful. Remember she is addressing the War Council – Council on Foreign Relations, and I suspect that she is trying to convince some of them – many of them? For those who dispute the validity of watching the CFR, read this banter at the beginning of her speech:-

“I have been often to I guess the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”

Who are the CFR? Individually I have little idea but to me they represent the corporatocracy. So to place her speech in context it is necessary to know that, and focus on what the corporatocracy wants. What the corporatocracy wants does not require any insight, they govern with the sole purpose of making a profit. Whilst the corporatocracy is composed of faceless individuals it does have an institutional identity – it wants profit and it does not care how. To understand global politics and US foreign policy it is necessary to see that what is described as politics is a public version of this private agenda – to make profits for the corporatocracy. But I think it is also important to understand that these faceless manipulators have different agendas, their profits come from different sources. The MIC make profits from war, do the banks? Oil companies make profits by controlling the flow of oil so in the Middle East the interests of the oil companies coincide with the interests of the MIC. But in a recession most of the interests coincide – the people are poor they cannot buy so there are no profits. The interests of the MIC are always war, and it is a clear indication that the Republicans are backed by the MIC, for example in the US budget deficit discussion the war budget was off the table. And quite naturally from both parties at the time so was taxing the rich. I suspect Obama has put “taxing the rich” back on the table as an election ploy.

So the recession is hitting the corporatocracy now. The banking section of the corporatocracy has pocketed huge amounts of taxpayers’ money from the bailout, but they have been so greedy not even Obama can sweetmouth them into getting more. So now the corporatocracy need to fight the recession, a recession they created – see Money Masters and Inside Job. And this is where the foreign policy comes in. Until 2006 US Foreign Policy was belligerent and isolationist, now they realise that to make more profits the world needs to trade with the US, and this is what Hillary’s speech is about.

But that speech has to be balanced, the corporatocracy has to see that what she presents represents their interests. Historically if you look at foreign policy as represented by Pax Americana and RAD, there was aggression of Pax Americana, cooling off during the Clinton administration, aggression during Bush Junior as represented by RAD, and now there is a recession where there is economic need. And this is where Hillary’s speech comes in, here is the clip and here is a transcript.

To begin with she ingratiates with their egos by playing to the power of the War Council, and then she states the position of the US in the world. For those who still believe the US contributes to democracy, look at this embedded clip as to how assured she is of the US position as world leader:-

The positive aspect of this clip is that she says in concert with others, would Bush ever have said this? What is clear throughout the talk is that she stresses this leadership position, and as a response to those who maybe would want to take advantage of her less hawkish position she said this:-

“And to these foes and would-be foes let me say our focus in diplomacy and development is not an alternative to our national security arsenal. Our willingness to talk is not a sign of weakness to be exploited. We will not hesitate to defend our friends, our interests and above all our people, vigorously and when necessary with the world’s strongest military.” Appeasing the hawks.

However she does promote some caring values typically:-

“I’ve also seen how hope, hard work, and ingenuity can overcome the longest of odds. For almost 36 years I have worked as an advocate for children, women, and families here at home. I’ve traveled across our country listening to everyday concerns of our citizens. I’ve met parents struggling to keep their jobs, pay their mortgages, cover their children’s college tuition, and afford health care. And all that I have done and seen has convinced me that our foreign policy must produce results for people. The laid-off auto worker in Detroit whose future will depend on global economic recovery. The farmer or small business owner in the developing world whose lack of opportunity can drive political instability and economic stagnation. The families whose loved ones are risking their lives for our country in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Children in every land who deserve a brighter future.”

She is a politician and interested in power, she is willing to accept Bilderberg manipulation to gain that power. I see this apparent caring side of her as a political address to her audience that they need to be something other than just the War Council in this day and age, for the US to come out of recession the world needs to perceive a US caring side to give others an excuse to trade with a caring nation. But in truth I see it as a bit of conscience sneaking through as well – secondary to her political ambition of power of course.

The context of this talk is that she is saying to the hawks we will still be belligerent, but to finance she says the emphasis is enforced international cooperation to enable economic exploitation under the guise of trade:-

“We want to seek global economic recovery and growth by strengthening our own economy, advancing a robust development agenda, expanding trade that is free and fair, and boosting investment that creates decent jobs.

…. We’ll use our power to convene, our ability to connect countries around the world, and sound foreign policy strategies to create partnerships aimed at solving problems. “

“We’ll use our power to convene”.

“Today we must acknowledge two inescapable facts that define our world. First, no nation can meet the world’s challenges alone. The issues are too complex. Too many players are competing for influence, from rising powers to corporations to criminal cartels, from NGOs to al Qaeda, from state-controlled media to individuals using Twitter.

Second, most nations worry about the same global threats — from nonproliferation to fighting disease to counter-terrorism, but also face very real obstacles for reasons of history, geography, ideology, and inertia. They face these obstacles and they stand in the way of turning commonality of interest into common action.

So these two facts demand a different global architecture, one in which states have clear incentives to cooperate and live up to their responsibilities, as well as strong disincentives to sit on the sidelines or sow discord and division. So we will exercise American leadership to overcome what foreign policy experts at places like the Council call “collective action problems,” and what I call obstacles to cooperation. For just as no nation can meet these challenges alone, no challenge can be met without America.”

So what are her foreign policy strategies? Smart power appears to be a buzzword of her approach:-

“Smart power translates into specific policy approaches in five areas: First, we intend to update and create vehicles for cooperation with our partners; second, we will pursue principled engagement with those who disagree with us; third, we will elevate development as a core pillar of American power; fourth, we will integrate civilian and military action in conflict areas; and fifth, we will leverage key sources of American power, including our economic strength and the power of our example.”

Vehicles of Cooperation
Principled Engagement
Integrate civilian and military in conflict
Leverage using economic strength and power of our example

Enforced cooperation – the US provide the vehicles and will engage with all. They will impose development using the leverage of economic strength and the world will follow US example. And in areas of conflict Halliburton will be happy as there will still be 100% exploitation – munitions, mercenary security and civilian reconstruction contracts using the money of those countries (integrating civilian and military in conflict).

In the end these strategies will maybe be as harmful as war. The rest of the world will be forced to comply. Allies such as NATO will gather round the flame, do the US bidding to gain from economic fallout. Meanwhile money will start redirecting itself towards the US through enforced economic trade – the unfairness of Fair Trade. The consequence of such development strategies will have to be further hunger and starvation in the Third World as the weak are further bullied by the Big and supporting cronies. But surely that has got to be better than the death and the destruction of the “War on Terror”:-

Iraq Deaths Estimator

Again appealing to US jingoism she finished with:-

“More than 230 years ago, Thomas Paine said, “We have it within our power to start the world over again.” Today, in a new and very different era, we are called upon to use that power. I believe we have the right strategy, the right priorities, the right policies. We have the right president and we have the American people — diverse, committed and open to the future. Now all we have to do is deliver.”

Choice and Suffering

Posted: 20/09/2011 by zandtao in Insight, War
Tags: , , , ,

(add to Religion page)

Free from suffering?

Are we free from suffering whilst others die in war?

As Buddhists there is a recognition of fundamental unity, we are all one species, one entity, oneness. One. We are not killing something else, we are killing ourselves. This is a fundamental understanding that has to lead to pain and suffering, we feel the pain at the death of others. How do we deal with this pain? Coming to terms with this pain begins to set us free so it is important to understand how we interact with this pain. In the 4 Noble Truths the first Truth talks about suffering existing. So with this suffering existing how do we become free from it, are we not a part of that suffering? Yes we are, because we suffer. When an Iraqi dies we suffer.

Before I go on, I think of the recent Republican debate in which the audience were cheering when someone spoke of people dieing, it is sad how far these people have strayed from their humanity to lead them to cheering. There is such sickness in their hearts for them to do that, so much suffering in their own hearts.

All of the above are what is included in suffering existing, and why are we here? Compassion, free people from suffering. That is our purpose, free ourselves, the rest of the world, the unity, from suffering. How can we do that? By ourselves not suffering, and by helping others to free themselves from suffering.

In ourselves we need to recognise suffering, and we need to recognise the causes of suffering. For many Buddhists they see this as meaning freeing ourselves from suffering by not attaching to desire personally. But what about compassion – freeing others from suffering? Must we do this? I think so as a measure of compassion – being compassion. For many this leads to good works – understandably, and of course this goes part way to compassion. But does compassion end there? For me it definitely does not.

In the 4 Pillars of War I discussed the 4 components that make up a declaration of war:-

1) Military
2) Corporations
3) Government
4) Democratic legitimacy or accountability.

The military and corporations by their very nature push for war, the government usually complies, and the only control lies with democracy. It is our vote that legitimises war, it is using our voice that the MIC takes on the war for corporate benefit. Yet Britain went to war against Iraq when a popular demonstration clearly showed disagreement. Tony Blair said He did not “seek unpopularity as a badge of honour”, he said, “but sometimes it is the price of leadership and the cost of conviction”. In a democracy the price paid should have been the cost of his leadership, and not lamenting his lack of popularity, because that is what democracy is – he was an elected representative. The war went ahead and more than a million Iraqis have died:-

Iraq Deaths Estimator

In the UK the public demonstration was not enough, but what more could have been done? The answer to that is individual and lies with our own conscience, but my conscience tells me 1,455,000 + Iraqis died, my sisters and brothers died, and yet in a democracy that I am connected to my leaders and my soldiers killed them. This is suffering, Iraqi suffering and my suffering. I am not free until my conscience frees me. I am only free from siffering when my compassion has been active.

And that is the dilemma that I have been facing just recently. I am not free from the suffering my Iraqi comrades have suffered, my heart is not free. I seek freedom, to be free from suffering my conscience genuinely needs to be satiated, before it was not.

I am seeking freedom from my suffering, and without that freedom any thoughts of enlightenment are deluded falsehoods.

And when we go beyond the suffering we seek explanation. Here we need insight to discern the truth as to the need for war, we need to go beyond the lamentable excuses that are the stock and trade of the politicians as they serve their corporate masters. And when we go beyond their falsehoods a new world of intrigue and rationale open up that eventually leads to proper understanding of war, corporatocracy, influence and compromise. Recognising this understanding begins the freedom from suffering – true compassion.

Now that I am beginning to come out of the legitimate anger that can accompany political understanding the question that really matters is “what is all this blogging and angst for?” Quite clearly a significant aspect of the zandtao-corporatocracy blog has been my own learning process, a process that has involved an updating on political reality, a recognition that the system I am a part of is responsible for the deaths of so many people, and also preparation for the next section of the treatise. In the end the politics must settle down and be integrated into my journey – wherever that takes me next.

As with Buddhism there is an unreasonable part of me that wants to force this down peoples’ throats and make them understand – especially the monk. But that is not right. Awareness has to be personally driven. I think back to my dissertation on black achievement in schools – there was no doubt that imposed black awareness had a deleterious impact on the achievement of black students. We never forced white kids to understand how nasty the white system is, why did liberal teachers black and white think it would help black kids? I suspect the black intellectuals were angry and feel that they should teach all the black kids about the oppression but it hurts trying to cope. And that’s what I feel about the politics, it hurts, it makes you angry – or it should. However the understanding should be made available.

So where should it be made available? In the same place you look for Buddhism, the monks. So in the end this awareness is about monks as they are the teachers of Buddhism, this awareness issue is about the institution that has sold out. Where do monks take their insight? As far as is safe for the institution, but this is not awareness. The real issue comes down to this. For someone to achieve enlightenment there needs to be mindfulness – 100% awareness. What happens in practice at the moment is that it appears that monks shut off their minds to the consideration of the political causes of suffering. Suffering always exists as the Buddha said so it is Nature, why look into the causes now? There is some truth in that. But there is also truth in the fact that people are dieing because of tacit acceptance of humanity – the voters of US, UK and France for example.

For a monk seeking enlightenment should they not be aware that the donations for their upkeep could have come from the spoils of war? And that those spoils of war were the reason for the war in the first place. Can they do anything about it? Very little. But without understanding this can they be considered enlightened? I would suggest that part of enlightenment is understanding the times in which you live as well as the more important dhamma, isn’t that compassion?

But it is not just Buddhism. The churches I visited when young lived off the collections. Where did those collections come from? People mostly working for corporations. And where did the corporations get their money? Initially immoral wars, wars for profit, MIC wars. Surely war for profit is the greatest immorality, and yet did our priests tell us this?

But the real point for me is that political insight is insight, and insight is required for enlightenment. Monks seeking enlightenment seek insight at all levels including the political. How can people be expected to live with the reality of compromise with their society’s participation in war for profit when their spiritual teachers don’t?

And when those people choose that awareness can they get it from their spiritual teachers? NO. Living with the death of a moral war is hard enough but wars are not moral they are driven by power for profit. The reality of living with war for profit is suffering, it is hard. People should not be forced to do this. But if they are seeking complete awareness then that is a suffering they have to go through. How will their teachers be able to help them when they haven’t been through that suffering?

War Council

Posted: 11/09/2011 by zandtao in Insight, Struggle, War
Tags: ,

(Added to NWO Plan page)

I had been aware of the Council on Foreign Relations. A Think Tank is supposedly acceptable within a democracy but when you have Western democracies in the state they are in then Think Tanks become very dangerous. However at the same time organisations such as the Council on Foreign Relations do bring some transparency to the process because on their website you can see the formation of US policy – all you need to find it is There are always people who put career first – here are some promoting the 9/11 war agenda:-

watch this

And the headline on the website “Lost US Opportunities after 9/11”, here is an interview with the head of CFR. Pleasingly there are no wars in sight, although it angers me a little when he says “the Iraq War never should have happened, but that the main shortcoming in the past decade was the U.S. failure to take advantage of “this extraordinary moment in history, where the United States enjoyed an absolute as well as relative position vis-à-vis the rest of the world that really was without precedent.” Haass says progress has been made in the past decade against terrorism, but it will never be completely eradicated. The biggest threats, he says, “to the quality of life in this country, to our ability to lead in the world come from within: the economy, the deficit, the debt, problems of infrastructure, problems of education, problems of productivity, persistent unemployment.” What is interesting about this is that there is then a project called Renewing America where the Think Tank is thinking about these 6 issues – so you can see where the US is going.

But what angers me is this:-

Iraq Deaths Estimator

yet the head of the Council Foreign Relations simply describes US involvement in Iraq as a mistake. How many dead mistakes?

It would be nice to have minutes of the Bilderberg group (or opinion here), but maybe the CFR is on the way to that?

** (added 20/9/11)
Here is an indication that it is. Have a look at this page – accessed as CFR’s Think Tank?

The David Rockefeller Studies Program. Does that not point to it the CFR being bankrolled to follow a Bildeberg agenda?**

It is important to keep an eye on what they are doing, I will be looking at RAD – Rebuilding America’s Defenses from here. Today I have realised that I am taking on too much, there is not the balance and calm that I discuss on my Insight page. It has become necessary to rationalise and to that extent I am going to limit what I focus on – I have been trying to focus on too much during my catch-up. It is important to watch what the plans of these people are. The main purpose of this blog is to struggle for peace by using insight into the corporatocracy, this page is going to be looking at the plans they are making in terms of US foreign policy.