Ron Paul on CNN talking about the debate 5-16-07.mpg
© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
I marvel at the ignorance, the ability to "ignore" information or the lack of knowledge expressed by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. While the Mayor may wish to accentuate his actions during the September 11, 2001 clean-up operations, how can he negate a lesson that we all learn over time. "What we do unto others, will be done unto us." Rarely, if ever does any being attack another without what they believe to be reason.
Even if the broadly "accepted" theory were true, "they hate us for what we have," I doubt the rage would be quite so deep. Often, people strive to obtain what they covet. America has "played" in the Middle East for decades. We want their oil. However, when humans feel victimized, they react. As theologians might remind us, it is "an eye for an eye" often motivates brutal aggression.
To state that he, Giuliani has never heard the contention Congressman Ron Paul made during the May 15, 2007 Republican debate is ludicrous. Where might the Mayor have been in the last six years? For that matter where was he as a child. Did Mayor Giuliani merely walk onto the scene of a crime against humanity and declare this is unwarranted, unprovoked, and unnecessary?
What some think of as "just," may seem unreasonable to another. The person inflicting pain thinks his or her behavior is apt. The individual or group attacked has a different perspective. The roles are often reversed simultaneously. Ultimately, we must acknowledge that every [wo]man has a reason for each reaction. If only we might walk a mile in the moccasins of others before we engage militarily.
Cable News Network contributor Roland Martin phrases a similar thought in this manner. "We need to understand history and how it impacts what is happening today." He offers a brilliant assessment of the recent rhetoric. Martin writes . . .
What has been overlooked is that Paul based his position on the effects of the 1953 ouster by the CIA of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.Ahhh, Mister Martin, I love your musings. For me, your words sing of truth. This text might be considered biblical in its proportions. The conclusion you offer is as Congressman Paul claims, the essence of his message. Were it not for time, Ron Paul would have liked to utter the Testament phrase
An excellent account of this story is revealed in Stephen Kinzer's alarming and revealing book, "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq," where he writes that Iran was establishing a government close to a democracy. But Mossadegh wasn't happy that the profit from the country's primary resource -- oil -- was not staying in the country.
Instead, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known British Petroleum, or BP) was getting 93 percent of the profits. Mossadegh didn't like that, and wanted a 50-50 split. Kinzer writes that that didn't sit too well with the British government, but it didn't want to use force to protect its interests. But their biggest friend, the United States, didn't mind, and sought to undermine Mossadegh's tenure as president. After all kinds of measures that disrupted the nation, a coup was financed and led by President Dwight Eisenhower's CIA, and the Shah of Iran was installed as the leader. We trained his goon squads, thus angering generations of Iranians for meddling in that nation's affairs.
As [Ron] Paul noted, what happened in 1953 had a direct relationship to the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979. We viewed that as terrorists who dared attack America. They saw it as ending years of oppression at the hands of the ruthless U.S.-backed Shah regime.
As Americans, we believe in forgiving and forgetting, and are terrible at understanding how history affects us today. We are arrogant in not recognizing that when we benefit, someone else may suffer. That will lead to resentment and anger, and if suppressed, will boil over one day.
Does that provide a moral justification for what the terrorists did on September 11?
Of course not. But we should at least attempt to understand why.
Think about it. Do we have the moral justification to explain the killings of more than 100,000 Iraqis as a result of this war? Can we defend the efforts to overthrow other governments whose actions we perceived would jeopardize American business interests?
"[T]he children will pay for the sins of their fathers."The United States is certainly paying for the sins of our fathers. It is said that salvation comes through work. Salvation is motivated by love. Americans profess to believe, 'Love they neighbor as you love thyself.' Yet, often we do not. Thus, our country might reap as we sow.
Former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark often reflects as Ron Paul did. In a recent interview with Cable News Network Correspondent Wolf Blitzer, the two address the sanctions imposed on Iraq. Again, Americans accept, allow, and advance policies that are contrary to religious teachings.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lawyer, legal scholar, and Civil Rights Activist Ramsey Clark recounted American history. In a reflective speech, Clark recalled . . . . .
The most fundamental, dangerous and harmful violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its fifteenth birthday is economic sanctions imposed on entire populations. The United States alone blockades eleven million Cubans in the face of the most recent General Assembly resolution approved by 157 nations condemning the blockade, with only the United States and Israel in opposition. The entire population of Cuba and every Cuban has had the "right to a standard of living adequate for health and well being... including food, clothing, housing and medical care" deliberately violated by the United States blockade.Are we to believe that causing hunger, illness, and distress equates to loving our brethren as we would ourselves. Such hypocrisy, I believe breeds the brutality that befalls us and did on that day of infamy. Congressman Paul and the Iraq Study Commission Report concur. There is little excuse for obfuscating the facts and for occupying another nation. What Americans do and have done is not democratic; nor will our behavior advance egalitarian principles.
Security Council sanctions against Iraq, which are forced by the United States, have devastated the entire nation, taking the lives of more than 1,500,000 people, mostly infants, children, chronically ill and elderly, and harming millions more by hunger, sickness and sorrow. The sanctions destroy the "dignity and rights" of the people of Iraq and are the most extreme form of "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," which are prohibited by the Declaration.
Despite the cruelest destruction of the most basic human rights and liberties of all the people in Iraq, including rights to medicine, safe drinking water and sufficient food, the United States government, with the major mass media in near perfect harmony, proclaims itself the world's champion of liberty and human rights. The problem as Lincoln surely knew is not merely one of definitions. It is a problem of power, will, and accountability. The United States intends to have its way and serve its own interests, with Iraq, Cuba, Libya, Iran, the Sudan and many other countries whatever the consequences to the liberties and rights of those who live there.
The United States control over and its concerted action with the mass media enables it to demonize such countries, its victims, for "terrorism," threats to world peace and human rights violations at the very time it rains Tomahawk cruise missiles on them and motivates and finances armed insurrections and violence against them. At the same time, the United States increases its own staggeringly large prison industry, more than a million persons confined, including 40% of all African American males between 17 and 27 years old in the State of California.
Simultaneously the U.S. spends more on its military than the ten largest military budgets of other nations combined, sells most of the arms and sophisticated weapons still increasing worldwide while rejecting an international convention to prohibit land mines and an international court of criminal justice. And the U.S. maintains and deploys the great majority of all weapons of mass destruction existent on earth, nuclear, chemical, biological and the most deadly of all -- economic sanctions.
Man's inhumanity to man explains much of what we are witnessing today. This construct defines much of what we are part of and propagate.
I ask us all to imagine what the world might be like if Americans used the ingenuity we often speak of to originate peace and prosperity for all, equally.
If citizens of this gluttonous country did not build a nation dependent on petroleum, would wars be as they are. At least, the magnitude of these might be less. Man devises the fuel consuming machines that now drive him.
Granted, humankind might find another cause for hatred. Nonetheless, if we, the people create a world whose mission is balance, if we work to live in harmony with nature, and did not choose to fight our fellow man for fossil fuels perchance the perils would be fewer.
Those on the "Right," frequently considered religious, G-d fearing followers of Ten Commandments, might do well to honor the laws of the Lord Almighty.
'Thou shalt not kill.'
'Thou shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'
Then the sanctimonious "religious right" might know as atheists and agnostics experience. Violate the Golden Rule; you, and your progeny shall be damned. If the Lord does not admonish you for your brutal behaviors or reprimand you for your voracity, your fellow man or woman will.
References, Resources, Religious, and Human Rights . . .