Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, With Friends Like These…

There is no “Reblog” on these articles, so I just copy and paste…  My personal question is posting this was, post this or not? It’s a tough choice, although the source of this article is definitely American, from TomDispatch which I believe is located in New York.  This should not be taken as an anti-American article, but an explanation of why things are getting so bad in homeland America, and a clear and present WARNING of what America’s endless and expanding wars is going to do to homeland America. The following ‘opinion piece’ will not sit well with American patriots as I already know but patriots are the worst kinds of people to trust when a nation has been highjacked by totalitarian-thinking politicians allied with military minds.  The America of its founding fathers hangs by a thread, folks, and it is the patriots, all right let’s call them by their real label, the MAGA types, who are busy hacking away at that thread.  If nothing REAL is done that thread will soon break.  So read on and find out what Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular, a retired U.S. Army major and former history instructor at West Point, has to say.  (in order not to lose the ‘colour’ of the links here, I am not changing the font colour to black, sorry)

Posted by Danny Sjursen at 8:01am, May 30, 2019.
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Think of U.S. policy in the Middle East as the proverbial broken record. Explain it as you will, Washington’s focus always comes back to Iran. Seldom has a country that remains anything but a superpower (even a regional one) loomed larger. It all started in 1953 when the CIA overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, the prime minister of a democratically elected Iranian government, and left power in the hands of the autocratic young shah (and his brutal secret police). In other words, Washington’s modern history in the region began with a devastating blow against a democracy (and against democracy itself). In a sense, neither country has ever recovered. Of course, blowback for that act finally arrived in 1979, when the Shah was ousted, Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile, American diplomats were taken hostage, and the clerics ascended to power.

The enmity between the two countries would only grow in the years that followed. Though it’s long been forgotten here, in the mid-1980s, the U.S. secretly backed Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. (Yes, the same Saddam who, within years, would become the “Adolf Hitler” of the Middle East in Washington’s eyes.) The U.S. military even helped his forces target Iranian troop concentrations at a time when Saddam was using chemical weapons on them. It was another bitter blow to the Iranians (though President Ronald Reagan’s administration also secretly sold that country arms in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal). And then, of course, George W. Bush’s administration turned on Saddam, declared him part of an “axis of evil” (including, of course, Iran), attempted to “decapitate” his government, invaded his country, and left its ruler to be hung. But even when destroying its former ally and disastrously occupying Iraq, Bush’s top officials, including John Bolton, never took their eyes off Iran. As the saying reportedly went at the time, “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.”

The real men, of course, didn’t make it there in 2003 or thereafter, but it seems that they’re once again angling to take a shot at it, as the Trump administration further beefs up U.S. forces in the region. Almost 70 years after Mossadegh and Iranian democracy went down for the count, the blowback only continues. (Even Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, might have been amazed.) And so many years later, what could possibly go wrong with such a policy approach to the Middle East? As retired Army major and TomDispatch regular Danny Sjursen suggests today, when it comes to both this country’s eternal fixation on Iran and its eternal devotion to “democracy,” Washington is playing that same broken record again. Hey, remind me, isn’t it time to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran? Tom

Troika Fever
Key American Allies in the Middle East Are the Real Tyrants
By Danny Sjursen

American foreign policy can be so retro, not to mention absurd. Despite being bogged down in more military interventions than it can reasonably handle, the Trump team recently picked a new fight — in Latin America. That’s right! Uncle Sam kicked off a sequel to the Cold War with some of our southern neighbors, while resuscitating the boogeyman of socialism. In the process, National Security Advisor John Bolton treated us all to a new phrase, no less laughable than Bush the younger’s 2002 “axis of evil” (Iran, Iraq, and North Korea). He labeled Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua a “troika of tyranny.”

Alliteration no less! The only problem is that the phrase ridiculously overestimates both the degree of collaboration among those three states and the dangers they pose to their hegemonic neighbor to the north. Bottom line: in no imaginable fashion do those little tin-pot tyrannies offer either an existential or even a serious threat to the United States. Evidently, however, the phrase was meant to conjure up enough ill will and fear to justify the Trump team’s desire for sweeping regime change in Latin America. Think of it as a micro-version of Cold War 2.0.

Odds are that Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both unrepentant neocons, are the ones driving this Latin American Cold War reboot, even as, halfway across the planet, they’ve been pushing for war with Iran. Meanwhile, it’s increasingly clear that Donald Trump gets his own kick out of being a “war president” and the unique form of threat production that goes with it.

Since it’s a recipe for disaster, strap yourself in for a bumpy ride. After all, the demonization of Latin American “socialists” and an ill-advised war in the Persian Gulf have already been part of our lived experience. Under the circumstances, remember your Karl Marx: history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

And add this irony to the grim farce to come: you need only look to the Middle East to see a genuine all-American troika of tyranny. I’m thinking about the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the military junta in Egypt, and the colonizing state of Israel — all countries that eschew real democracy and are working together to rain chaos on an already unstable region.

If you weren’t an American, this might already be clear to you. With that in mind, let’s try on a pair of non-American shoes and take a brief tour of a real troika of tyranny on this planet, a threesome that just happen to be President Trump’s best buddies in the Middle East.

America’s Favorite Kingdom

The Saudi royals are among the worst despots around. Yet Washington has long given them a pass. Sure, they possess oodles of oil, black gold upon which the U.S. was once but no longer is heavily dependent. American support for those royals reaches back to World War II, when President Franklin Roosevelt took a detour after the Yalta Conference to meet King Ibn Saud and first struck the devilish deal that, in the decades to come, would keep the oil flowing. In return, Washington would provide ample backing to the kingdom and turn a blind eye to its extensive human rights abuses.

Ultimately, this bargain proved as counterproductive as it was immoral. Sometimes the Saudis didn’t even live up to their end of the bargain. For example, they shut the oil spigot during the 1973 Yom Kippur War to express collective Arab frustration with Washington’s favoritism toward Israel. Worse still, the royals used their continual oil windfall to build religious schools and mosques throughout the Muslim world in order to spread the regime’s intolerant Wahhabi faith. From there, it was a relatively short road to the 9/11 attacks in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals (and not one was an Iranian).

More recently, in the Syrian civil war, Saudi Arabia even backed the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda franchise. That’s right, an American partner funded an offshoot of the very organization that took down the twin towers and damaged the Pentagon. For this there have been no consequences.

In other words, Washington stands shoulder to shoulder with a truly abhorrent regime, while simultaneously complaining bitterly about the despotism and tyranny of nations of which it’s less fond. The hypocrisy should be (but generally isn’t) considered staggering here. We’re talking about a Saudi government that only recently allowed women to drive automobiles and still beheads them for “witchcraft and sorcery.” Indeed, mass execution is a staple of the regime. Recently, the kingdom executed 37 men in a single day. (One of them was even reportedly crucified.) Most were not the “terrorists” they were made out to be, but dissidents from Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority convicted, as Amnesty International put it, “after sham trials that… relied on confessions extracted through torture.”

During the Arab Spring of 2011, the Saudi royals certainly proved anything but friends to the budding democratic movements brewing across the region. Indeed, its military even invaded a tiny neighbor to the east, Bahrain, to suppress civil-rights protests by that country’s embattled Shia majority. (A Sunni royal family runs the show there.) In Yemen, the Saudis continue to terror bomb civilians in its war against Houthi militias. Tens of thousands have died — the exact number isn’t known — under a brutal bombing campaign and at least 85,000 Yemeni children have already starved to death thanks to the war and a Saudi blockade of what was already the Arab world’s poorest country. The hell unleashed on Yemen has been dubbed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. It has already produced millions of refugees and, at present, the world’s worst cholera epidemic.

Through it all, Washington stood by its royals time and again, with The Donald far more gleefully pro-Saudi than his predecessors. His first foreign excursion, after all, was to that kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, where the president seemed to relish joining the martial pageantry of a Saudi “sword dance.” He also let it be known that the cash would keep flowing from the kingdom into military-industrial coffers in this country, announcing a supposedly record $110 billion set of arms deals (including a number closed by the Obama administration and ones that may never come to fruition). Son-in-law Jared Kushner even continues to maintain a bromance with the ambitious and brutal ruling Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

In other words, with fulsome support from Washington, sophisticated American weapons, and a boatload of American cash, Saudi Arabia continues to unleash terror at home and abroad. This much is certain: if you’re looking for a troika of tyrants, that country should top your list.

America’s Favorite Military Autocracy

The U.S. also backs — and Trump seems to love — Egypt’s military ruler Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. At a press conference at the White House in September 2017, the president leaned toward the general and announced that he was “doing a great job.” Hardly anyone inside the Beltway, in the media, or even on Main Street batted an eye. Washington has, of course, long supported Egypt’s various tyrants, including the brutal Hosni Mubarak who was overthrown early in the Arab Spring. Cairo remains the second largest annual recipient of American military aid at $1.3 billion annually. In fact, 75% of such aid goes to just two countries, the other being Israel. In a sense, Washington simply bribes both states not to fight each other. Now, that’s diplomacy for you!

So, how’s Egypt’s military using all the guns and butter the U.S. sends its way? Brutally, of course. After Mubarak was overthrown in 2011, Mohammed Morsi won a free and fair election. Less than two years later, the military, which abhors his Muslim Brotherhood organization, seized power in a coup. Enter General al-Sisi. And when Morsi supporters rallied to protest the putsch, the general, who had appointed himself president, promptly ordered his troops to open fire. At least 900 protesters were killed in what came to be known as the 2013 Rabaa Massacre. Since then, Sisi has ruled with an iron fist, extending his personal power, winning a sham reelection with 97.8% of the vote, and pushing through major constitutional changes that will allow the generalissimo to stay in power until at least 2030. Washington, of course, remained silent.

Sisi has run a veritable police state, replete with human rights abuses and mass incarceration. Last year, he even had a show trial of 739 Muslim Brotherhood-associated defendants, 75 of whom were sentenced to death in a single day. He also uses “emergency” counterterrorism laws to jail peaceful dissidents. Thousands of them have gone before military courts. In addition, in U.S.-backed Egypt most forms of independent organization and peaceful assembly remain banned. Cairo even collaborates with its old enemy Israel to maintain a stranglehold of a blockade on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which the United Nations has termed “inhumane.”

Yet Egypt gets a hall pass from the Trump administration. It matters not at all that few places on the planet suppress free speech as effectively as Egypt now does — not since it buys American weaponry and generally does as Washington wants in the region. In other words, a diplomatic state of marital (and martial) bliss protects the second member of the real troika of tyranny.

America’s Favorite Apartheid State

Some will be surprised, even offended, that I include Israel in this imaginary troika. Certainly, on the surface, Israel’s democracy bears no relation to the political worlds of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Still, scratch below the gilded surface of Israeli life and you’ll soon unearth staggering civil liberties abuses and a penchant for institutional oppression. After all, so extreme have been the abuses of ever more right-wing Israeli governments against the stateless Palestinians that even some mainstream foreign leaders and scholars now compare that country to apartheid South Africa.

And the label is justified. Palestinians are essentially isolated in the equivalent of open-air prisons in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — not unlike the bantustans of South Africa in the years when that country was white-ruled. In the impoverished, refugee-camp atmosphere of these state-lets, Palestinians lack anything resembling civil rights. They can’t even vote for the Israeli prime ministers who lord it over them. What’s more, the Palestinian citizens of Israel (some 20% of the population), despite technically possessing the franchise, are systematically repressed in a variety of ways.

Evidence of an apartheid-style state is everywhere apparent in the Palestinian territories. In violation of countless international norms and U.N. resolutions, Israel imposes its own version of a police state — functionally, a military occupation of land legally possessed by Arabs. It has begun a de facto annexation of Palestinian land by building a “security wall” through Palestinian villages. Its military constructs special “Jewish only” roads in the West Bank linking illegal Israeli settlements, while further fracturing the fiction of Palestinian contiguity. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not only refused to withdraw those settlements or halt the colonization of Palestinian territory by Jewish Israelis, but during the recent Israeli election promised to begin the actual annexation of the West Bank in his new term.

Israeli military actions are regularly direct violations of the principles of proportionality in warfare, which means that the ratio of Israeli to Palestinian casualties is invariably absurdly disproportionate. Since last spring, at least 175 Palestinians (almost all unarmed) have been shot to death by Israeli soldiers along the Gaza Strip fence line, while 5,884 others were wounded by live ammunition. Ninety-four of those had to have a limb amputated. A staggering 948 of the wounded were minors. In that period, just one Israeli died and 11 were wounded in those same clashes.

Life in blockaded Gaza is almost unimaginably awful. So stringent are the sanctions imposed that one prominent official in a leaked diplomatic cable admitted that Israeli policy was to “keep Gaza’s economy on the brink of collapse.” In fact, back in 2012, one of that country’s military spokesmen even indicated that food was being allowed into the blockaded strip on a 2,300 calories a day count per Gazan — just enough, that is, to avoid starvation.

Through it all, with President Trump at the wheel, Netanyahu can feel utterly assured of the near limitless backing of the United States. The Trump team has essentially sanctioned all Israeli behavior, thereby legitimizing the present state of Palestinian life. Trump has moved the U.S. embassy to contested Jerusalem — admitting once and for all that Washington sees the holy city as the sole property of the Jewish state — recognized the illegal Israeli annexation of the conquered Syrian Golan Heights, and increased the flow of military aid and arms to Israel, already the number-one recipient of such American largesse.

Sometimes, in the age of Trump, it almost seems as if “Bibi” Netanyahu were the one guiding American policy throughout the Middle East. No wonder Israel rounds out that troika of tyranny.

Wag the Dog?

Beyond their wretched human rights records and undemocratic tendencies, that troika has another particularly relevant commonality as the U.S. reportedly prepares for a possible war with Iran. Two of those countries — Israel and Saudi Arabia — desperately desire that the American military take on their Iranian nemesis. The third, Egypt, will go along with just about anything as long as Uncle Sam keeps the military aid flowing to Cairo. Think of it as potentially the ultimate “wag the dog” scenario, with Washington taking on the role of the dog.

This alone should make Washington officials cautious. After all, war with Iran would surely prove disastrous (whatever damage was done to that country). If you don’t think so, you haven’t been living through the last 17-plus years of this country’s forever wars. Unfortunately, no one should count on such caution from John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, or even Donald Trump.

So settle into your seats folks and prepare to watch the empire swallow the republic whole.

Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular, is a retired U.S. Army major and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet and check out his podcast “Fortress on a Hill,” co-hosted with fellow vet Chris ‘Henri’ Henriksen.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, John Feffer’s new dystopian novel (the second in the Splinterlands series) Frostlands, Beverly Gologorsky’s novel Every Body Has a Story, and Tom Engelhardt’s A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power and John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II.

Copyright 2019 Danny Sjursen

16 thoughts on “Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, With Friends Like These…

  1. jim-

    It’s still calm here in the eye of the hurricane. I have watched so many of these things play out with our government here over the years and you just wonder how nobody can see it. They do. They just don’t give a shit. As long as we stay insulated nothing will change.
    I was told I was going to go swiftly to hell—
    I pondered those words and thought back just a spell—
    Then I looked down on the ground at right where I stood—
    Where soil and souls met as well as they would—
    Going? Said I, but I’m already here—

    Living the American Dream. Nightmares are dreams too, right?

  2. rawgod

    I don’t know how much of this is true, or just a slanted viewpoint. But I do know it fits my theory of how Trump/Pence/Pompeo want the entire Middle East to vanish in a barrage of nuclear bombs, wiping out Jews, many Muslims, and non-Evangelical christians in one fell swoop, meanwhile keeping American hands seemingly bloodless. For the two Ps in the pod, it brings the rapture time closer, and for the T he thinks it gives him access to owning the oil that still remains in the ground there. Will that nuclear-radiated oil be useful to anyone? El Dumbpo doesn’t care, if it becomes his he will sell it anyway.
    So what is Trumpelstiltskin’s main goal–human life to survive only in America, not in Europe, Asia, Africa, or India. By then he will have annexed Canada. What he wants to do with South America, I’m not sure, but you can bet it won’t be good. That leaves Australua and New Zealand, but they speak English there, so he sees them as no threat. He and his descendents will be Rulers of the Known World forever (he thinks), and that suits him just fine.

  3. m.caimbeul

    Excellent and informative post with impeccable details that show a long pattern of behavior that can only result in the unraveling of America.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you Mike. Tomgram articles are always very informative and well researched. Not “fake news” this… and yes, such bloody shenanigans are going to bring down America, no ifs, it’s just a matter of in how much time.

  4. Hyperion

    While the details are factual, the opinion is indeed skewed. If we are to visit reality to the extreme, our ousted and bitter Major offers no options, no path forward, no opinion on what would be a return to balance and beneficial to most. That was not his intent. There is zero explanation why this horror happened and why the US consistently chooses partners that have no benevolent bones. What the Major cannot know and what the readers will never hear or read is the horrific burden of choosing the lesser of two evils and then not having the collective intellectual foresight to execute a plan that solves a problem. Why, because the politics of choosing allies is a dirty, dirty, dirty business. I offer the now trite passages, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The reason we have endless wars and endless tyrants is the great empires lack the will to do what it takes to solve the problems of conflict once and for all. Humanity lacks the collective political intelligence to do anything but introduce chaos through ill thought out and executed governance of which a main pillar is safety and defense of the Republic, no matter how evil it is judged. Survival is a cutthroat business and the objective is to live by the death of others. I think our Major should revisit, The Prince by Machiavelli. He was required to read it as part of his training. The Prince was written a few centuries ago and it is very clear about how one suppresses insurrection, lack of discipline, or attack from foreign armies among other martial tenants. It would seem that nothing has changed except our lack of will to stop the violence. We have strayed far from Machiavelli, thinking we are far more intelligent and advanced, yet we create the problems his works offered a solution too. To our insightful Major, I would offer a chance to examine why the abysmal failures are perpetuated century after century. Start with root causes and eliminate them. It will anger many or most but peace for humanity will be obtained. And there are plenty of successful examples to follow. Finally, to the Major I would say, If you want to eat well, you have to get your hands dirty and suffer a sore back. Freedom and peace on this angry blue planet is bloody business and a few profit immensely from the suffering of others.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      A carefully and properly crafted response, Daniel, taking into account your personal experience of much of these things… and kudos for having read “The Prince” by Machiavelli. Let me quote this from your comment, hopefully not too out of context: “Survival is a cutthroat business and the objective is to live by the death of others.” There is no possible argument against that observation – I grant it. That’s how it’s been and how it is today. However (damn those ‘howevers’) that is also what is killing the planet today primarily because of man’s out of control interference in the balance of things. The thing I recognized a long time ago, having myself been a victim of patriarchal oppression, is that our predatory behaviour (erroneously labeled ‘survival of the fittest’) is not a natural process. Despite all evidence around me, and having been raised essentially on the edge of a vanishing wilderness, I consistently refused to accept that the predator system of balance could ever be natural. It felt wrong and today it feels more wrong than ever. Something happened to this world that twisted its nature and forced it to go askew. What is that ‘something’ you may ask? I know what it is but it is a very long story which took me decades to ‘read’ in my mind. There’s bit and pieces of that story on this blog but among my dog’s breakfast of posts which I believe exceed the 800 mark now… good luck with that, hey! But there is a way available to us all that could put the question to rest, and that is something that haunts my mind/heart 24/7 of my current life. We could choose to give ourselves without reserve to the compassionate force. Here’s a very real thing very much akin to the “Force” of Star War except that it does not have a dark side. Evil is the dark side, but it is not part of the force of compassion. Now then, anyone who has seriously considered becoming compassionate, no holds barred, knows that it would be impossible to ‘compassionately’ survive by killing others, and thus would be forced, literally, to choose other paths to survival and if none appeared (I think that is unlikely) then the final act is to submit and let the body go in order to remain constant to one’s choice. We are not without choice here. If we could realize that being a predator is not logical nor natural we would see that that itself is a choice, therefore we can choose to change. What was it like before there was predatory behaviour on this world? There was no killing, no bloodshed. I need to define that ‘predation’ is the killing of sentient life to feed one’s own. It is to inflict fear, pain and death upon a victim. It is not partaking of the abundance of air, water or plant life which is designed to adequately feed our type of life and doesn’t have the same reaction to being used or consumed. At least for now – it may be that as we plunge deeper into the Force we may discover our ability to be ‘breatharians’ and never have to ingest solid ‘food’ as we must do currently. At the very least though, we certainly can, and must, stop all our wars; our egregious violence towards others. We will not be able to forever respond with overwhelming violence against those who would do us violence, the great “One Law” is against that so we have probably doomed ourselves already by refusing to put in the effort to resolve our conflicts without resorting to any sort of violence, either direct as in military intervention, indirectly through economic pressure, and psychologically, as in demonizing those we label enemies. Some people are still broadcasting the slogan, “Give peace a chance!” not realizing that such is impossible. One has to mentally be in a place of total peace or the term has no meaning. How can peace coexist with predation?

      1. Hyperion

        I seem to always skirt the fact that I agree personally with you without reservation. My mind seems to absorb the deeds of humankind past and present and draws connections on many levels. The curse of a researcher’s mind blended with a powerful subjective imagination. I often write an ecclectic and eccentric view of my observations looking out and not what I find looking in. I have witnessed mass examples of compassion which had the effect of subduing almost completely the evil that stalks us. To me these were miracles of our true humanity. I once observed a child murder another child for the food we had given him. Later I watched young boys close to 8 years old help the village men murder a woman, a mother of three. Her death was prolonged and brutal, her sin a displeased husband who concocted a story to have her killed so he could persue another woman he thought would please him more. One was the madness of survival, the other was the madness of culture and belief. Both were horrendous. These children were forever ruined and to try to save them and try to nurture a compassionate being might work but there was no one to take on this job. The adults they depended on were also beyond the reach of our view of reason. We were not allowed to interfere because interjecting our authority only caused more unrest and more killing. So we had to let nature take its course. Had any of them posessed a weapon and posed a threat to us, we could demonstrate our own justice swifter than a bolt of lightning. There were countless memories far worse than these which taught me that life was not precious. Life was anything but sacrosanct. Sentients to me at this time was a myth taught by religion and not by nature. We kill weeds that live naturally in our gardens. Humans possess the ability to be much less admirable than weeds and infinitely more harmful. We have to decide at some point, do we want to be the flower or the ear of corn, or do we want to be the pest or weed and if we chose, we will always risk being conflicted by the other. The Major failed to describe the killing houses of ISIS and the genecide based on religious affiliation. The world is mute. Crickets. Some see having an ally that is as equally horrified by the action of ISIS and other extremist organizations as the weeds in the world’s garden and those allies are not sinless themselves but they have a common cause, to weed the garden and keep the proceeds for themselves. Not what I would choose to do, but it is being done none the less. True compassion without defense is the path to extinction. I do ask myself if that isn’t a noble course of action if the planet is to survive.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        I’ll take this line to respond to because it’s the easiest to tackle for me and the least controversial, and quote: “True compassion without defense is the path to extinction.” That’s the story, and if we look at our world through the eyes of the programming, that is a correct conclusion. Of course it isn’t for if life was a matter on violent competition on the broader canvas it would be a horror show, as it is on Earth. Compassion is a force. Compassion empowers, energizes. Unlike love, it does not demand emotional input from its wielder in order to produce energy – it does the opposite. But even if the compassionate were to be physically annihilated by those who choose the violence of evil, the compassionate are eternals and infinite beings. It is those who do violence who die. Another thought I had today is about the concept of death. Death isn’t a source but a consequence. What causes death is the use of evil in one’s thoughts, words and deeds. Death was never intended to be a part of life – that is such a contradiction it’s laughable. Where there is no evil; where violence is unknown, there is no death for death emanates from a corrupt mindset. Next quote: “I do ask myself if that isn’t a noble course of action if the planet is to survive.” Extermination of this Homo Sapiens race is pretty well a guarantee now, but it won’t happen because people become compassionate and are decimated by a violent environment. They will decimate themselves because they will continue to choose competition as the means to seek survival. The corruption will grow until it swallows up man’s entire (un)civilization!

      3. Hyperion

        Beautifully said, Sha’Tara. This follows the other conversation about my lack of a line of demarkation between my inner and outer view of my world. The violence I immersed myself in has left its mark in how I see things and has severed my will to be a part of that world and the people I so readily condemn. I have no fear of death and do not see it as the end of me. I do know that I continue on as I always have, my being more wise for the time spent in this life and in communion with you and others like you. I do know many compassionate people and I have seen how their example and labor has changed lives throughout the world. This does give me comfort knowing that the best counter to the evil of this world is the demonstration of compassion and how easy it is for certain people to adapt to it. The human species is changing rapidly toward something radically different than before. It has happened many times in our history on earth. That rapid change is evident to all but suppressed in the mind by the noise of our lives. I cannot say it is better or worse, only different than before. I suppose this overwhelming evil could be the burning away of the past evil in us, much like burning wood down to coals and finally ash. The fire consumes us until it burns itself out. What emerges remains to be seen. We can choose a path even though choice can be a difficult thing.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “The fire consumes us until it burns itself out.” Then we rise again, in youthful vigor, like the great Phoenix.

      5. Hyperion

        Perfect ending to an open statement. Yes X 10^19 power. That’s a lot of yeses which means I’m a believer in the continued journey.

  5. colettebytes

    A timely post given the posturing of the political situation yet again.

    Actually, stepping back a bit, the political situation in the world developes apace with the commercial machine of taking, negotiation to swap, and commandeering of commodities. This is why Trump is in power. He is good at both the greedy grab and the sneaky steal. Politics is not about people, nor is it about their safety or welfare. Politics is the distraction to keep the masses worried and wondering why? While the magicians do their worst to take more treasure from under our noses. Think about that for a minute…
    People die only when they don’t play the game. It is inconsequential. The game will resume once they have been removed from play.

    Our compassion will mean our death, but it is coming anyway, because the goals of the political game do not include us. It never did.
    However, If we at least achieve a compassion for those on the other side of the game board, we can reduce the immediate losses and slow down the game.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Many years ago, after I abandoned standing up as an active environmentalist and politician, seeing as it was obvious people DID NOT WANT any change that would have meant slowing down of the frenzy of capitalism and its promises based on false science, I decided that ‘slowing down the game’ was nothing more nor less that a personal challenge. So I changed my own lifestyle and considered that enough. You may be interested in reading this blog post:

      1. colettebytes

        Yes, wholeheartedly agree with you Sha’Tara. Stuart Bramhall understands the situation well too. Good read, and not unexpected.

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