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Archive for May, 2011

I believe all physical violence is unjust, and terrorism by definition is the use of violence against civilians in order to achieve political goals. The following quote from Robert Fisk is useful to put Osama bin Laden in context, after his recent assassination by Navy Seal commandos in Alottabad in Pakistan. The interesting thing to note is the gap between this account and the western media account of bin Laden:

“When the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the Saudi royal family–encouraged by the CIA–sought to provide the Afghans with an Arab legion, preferably led by a Saudi prince, who would lead a guerrilla force against the Russians. Not only would he disprove the popularly held and all too accurate belief that the Saudi leadership effete and corrupt, he could re-establish the honourable tradition of Gulf Arab warrior, heedless of his own life in defending the umma, the community of Islam. True to form, the Saudi princes declined the noble mission. Bin Laden, infuriated at both their cowardice and the humiliation of the Afghan Muslims at the hand of the Soviets, took their place, and with money and machinery from his own construction company, set off on his own personal jihad.

A billionaire businessman and himself a Saudi, albeit of humbler Yemeni descent, in the coming years he would be idolised by both Saudis and millions of other Arabs, the stuff of Arab schoolboy legend from the Gulf to the Meditteranean. Not since the British glorified Lawrence of Arabia had an adventurer portrayed in so heroic, so influential a role. Egyptians, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Algerians, Syrians, and Palestinians made their way to the Pakistani border town of Peshawar to fight alongside bin Laden. But when the Afghan mujahideen guerillas and bin Laden’s Arab legions had driven the Soviets from Afghanistan, the Afghans turned against each other with wolflike and tribal venom. Sickened by this perversion of Islam–original dissension within the umma led to the division between Sunni and Shia Muslims–bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, bin Laden once more offered his services to the Saudi royal family. They did not need to invite United States to defend the two holiest shrines of Islam, he argued … Bin Laden would lead his “Afghans”, his Arab mujahideen against the Iraqi army from within Kuwait. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia preferred to put his trust with the Americans. So as the US 82nd Airborne Division arrived in the northeastern Saudi city of Dhahran and deployed in the desert roughly 500 miles from the city of Medina–place of Islam’s prophet’s refuge and first Islamic society–bin Laden abandoned the corruption of the House of Saud to “bestow” his generosity to another “Islamic Republic”, Sudan … ”

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A quote from Vidal’s 1986 essay “The Day that the American Empire Ran out of Gas”:

By the end of the Second World War, we were the most powerful and least damaged of the great nations. We also had the most of the money. America’s hegemony lasted exactly five years. Then the cold and the hot wars began. Our masters would have us believe that all our problems are the fault of the Evil Empire of the East, with its satanic and atheistic religion, ever ready to destroy us in the night. This nonsense began at a time when we had atomic weapons and the Russians did not. They had lost twenty million of their people in the war, and eight million of them before the war, thanks to their neoconservative Mongolian political system. Most important, there was never any chance, then or now, of the money power shifting from New York to Moscow. What was–and is–the reason for the big scare? Well, the Second World War made prosperous the United States, which had been undergoing a depression for a dozen years, and made very rich those magnates and their managers who govern the republic, with many a wink, in the people’s name. In order to maintain a general prosperity (and enormous wealth for the few) they decided that we would become the world’s policeman, perennial shield against the Mongol hordes. We shall have an arms race, said one of the high priests, John Foster Dulles, and we shall win it because the Russians will go broke first. We were then put on a permanent wartime economy, which is why close to two-thirds of the government’s revenues are constantly being siphoned off to pay for what is euphemistically called defense.”

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We are angry and discontented at our existence in a world that is a dysfunctional Hell for the large proportion of humanity. We are herded like cattle or sheep to channel our emotions towards distant enemies. We are frustrated to see the terrible conditions in which the world lives, where injustice reigns supreme, where slave armies murder with impunity while the cultivated are paid servants of power and expend their considerable skills not in helping to dissolve the structures that produce societies that are free but reinforce slavery. Our lives are tied to evaluations of our worth by the administrators of financial credit. Expressions of our rage are labeled as abnormal and we are filled with sedatives and chemicals. We relegate our hearts to the fictional, but the greatness of artists lies in pulling from our hearts our deepest cries. They articulate for us the roots of our anger, roots that are swamped by the mechanical, ugly, impotency that blankets our spirits.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?

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The mind is not capable of providing anything but beliefs. The mind is not capable of knowing anything, for only the heart is capable of knowledge. We often demand a story, a coherent narrative, of an enormously complex spiritual history of an eternal universe. Many mythological stories are true about the universe and of human spiritual history. I remember the fall in flashes, of chaos, of loss of wings, of being cast into darkness, imprisonment and punishment. In art, the following painting http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/bruegel-pieter-the-fall-of-the-rebel-angels-1562-897006.html
I see the fallen angels not in the menagerie of sea-monsters but also in the angels apparently pushing them downward. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, we see another account of the fall of the rebel angels, and this resonated with me strongly, in which Lucifer seemed to me to be the most human of all divine beings I came to resonate with over time:
“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven?–this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since He
Who now is sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from Him is best,
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor–one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The associates and co-partners of our loss,
Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion, or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?”

I had asked myself personally many times of what is the criteria by which am I to ascertain that I am Lucifer in my heart, and I found the following test. It is true that my eloquence does not equal that of Milton’s Lucifer or that of Shelley’s Prometheus (who is also an avatar of Lucifer, for the drama of the fall is replayed by Prometheus, son of Themis, the elder goddess of Justice) in his long punishment by Zeus. The criteria I had used was pride. I had led a reasonably privileged life until 2008, but I sat on the sidewalks outside subway stations and I considered to what extent my inner pride had diminished when people would give me 10-15 cents from their purses and I realized that my pride had not been diminished, internally, even an inkling. Pride without reason, pride that is an essence of the soul, the need for rebellion against all authority, regardless of consequences. These characterize for me the heart of Lucifer.

Now let me tell you a summary, a drama, of what happened during the fall. One that is more sensible than the accounts offered by the scriptures. I believe that human beings were once — perhaps two billion years ago — and this particular time frame is something I did not choose randomly but from the accounts of an event that happened two billion years ago when the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy first touched the Milky Way. I believe the human civilization before were light angels, a Republic of light angels. There was a dark god who had conquered the civilization of angels, enslaved them, and cast the rebels including Lucifer into Hell, and the remnants of the fallen angels have produced the current human civilization. I believe human civilizations of various scales have existed for two billion years on Earth, and many different gods and goddesses and powerful beings had influence on us, but underneath all of these spiritual drama, the entire human race are the fallen angels.

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