FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

There is no valid argument for the destruction of our planet and any form of life on it.As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves. Be the change that you want to see in the world.
This blog does not promote, support, condone, encourage, advocate, nor in any way endorse any racist (or "racialist") ideologies, nor any armed and/or violent revolutionary, seditionist and/or terrorist activities. Any racial separatist or militant groups listed here are solely for reference and Opinions of multiple authors including Freedom or Anarchy Campaign of conscience.

THE OLIVE BRANCH

THE OLIVE BRANCH

Freedom Adds

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Challenge: The Road to Bondage

Challenge: The Road to Bondage



Apathy toward indecent, uncivil, and immoral behavior has been the undoing of many a nation throughout history. Nations who replace a relationship with God for secular idols are quickly filled with individuals who are apathetic about how they treat others, and ultimately become nations marred by selfishness and greed. And as Rome proved many years ago, a nation composed of selfish, greedy, immoral individuals cannot stand. History shows us that no enemy was able to defeat ancient Rome; Rome fell from within when it became morally bankrupt. Common decency, civility, and morality are intertwined, and the future of our society depends on them.

Consider the words of Professor Alexander Tyler, an eighteenth-century historian and economist who wrote the following in his central work, The Cycle of Democracy, in 1778:

*The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith,
From spiritual faith to great courage,
From courage to liberty,
From liberty to abundance,
From abundance to complacency,
From complacency to apathy,
From apathy to dependence,
From dependence back into bondage*

That cyclical pattern of redemption and corruption even marked the history of God’s chosen people. Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites repeatedly turned away from God’s way to pursue their own desires. God, through Moses, rescued them from slavery in Egypt, parted the Red Sea to save them from Pharaoh’s armies, and led them through the wilderness by pillars of fire and cloud. Right after all of those miracles, while Moses was on Mount Sinai speaking face to face with God, the Israelites constructed an idol and decided to worship it rather than the Living God they had been following, and that quickly led them into all other kinds of wild behavior.

In Exodus 32, it says, The Lord told Moses, ‘Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live!’” (Exodus 32: 7-8).

Moses went back down the mountain to bring the Israelites to repentance and beg God to forgive them. They did repent of their wickedness, and paid a steep price for their sin. Just like the Israelites, we as Americans so easily forget our history. Ours is an apathetic society, to say the least. If our children are to have a future of freedom, it’s going to be up to us to start restoring the very basis of a civil society: love of God and man.

The Hope: Faith in God



Our home church’s mission is To love God and people above all else. It was Jesus who said that these are the two greatest commandments.

These two basic principles, if modeled consistently by adults and taught faithfully to our nation’s children, would immediately restore American civility and greatly impact the world. But the popular culture teaches adults and children to do neither.

It’s no longer acceptable to invoke the name of God in a school setting or to pray for His guidance and blessings. And the price of this secularization of the culture has been a loss of civility and decency.

Brad Bright, author of God is the Issue, explains how America has lost its moral consensus in the school setting and the culture at large: We Americans pretend that God is irrelevant to education, but then we act shocked when our children behave as if there really is no God. If we want children to behave as though God exists, we must teach them that he does. If they do not believe it, they will not act like it. It is that simple. Brad continues, Morality is merely a fairy tale unless a rational God exists. Teaching values apart from God is like explaining how a light bulb works without ever mentioning electricity, or talking about how the automobile runs but never referring to the internal combustion engine. Talking about values and morality is meaningless if divorced from their source. If there is no God, we are simply arguing about conflicting preferences, not right and wrong, not good and evil. Right and wrong cease to exist the moment God is removed from the equation.

The most important issues to consider in each of our lives are: In what do I believe? In whom do I put my trust? Everything springs from the answers to those questions. What we view as indecent; what we deem acceptable; how we treat other people; how we raise children. The list is endless.

No, you don’t have to embark on a crusade to save the whole country. But by making the decision to instill in your own family basic principles of faith, morality, decency and civility, you will also be protecting your family from the apathy and selfishness that threaten our nation’s very existence.

Romans 12:9-13 is a beautiful guideline for right living. It says:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Though it sounds good, if we are honest with ourselves, it is a tall order. That kind of living is simply impossible apart from God working in our lives through faith.

The famous hymn, Come, Thou Fount, says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” The author, Robert Robinson, knew on a personal level the same truth that the Israelites learned as a nation: It is so easy to get distracted. We are inclined to depart from the road of faith. And when we do, the road we follow leads us to the dark corners of ourselves where selfishness infects our hearts and destroys our relationships with God and others.

May our daily prayer echo Robinson’s plea expressed in that beautiful hymn:

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to Thee.

By Rebecca Hagelin

A Party of One

A Party of One




In today's era of hyperpartisan, uber-racialized, 24/7/365 campaign-mode politics, Barack Hussein Obama has so alienated the electorate with his politicized, racialized, and disorganized policies that few in America support or even understand them. Let’s review a partial list.

Ebola


The Obama CDC responded to the Ebola crisis in the most inept and haphazard manner, first assuring Americans there was no danger and then engaging in multiple backtrackings. It appears that the Ebola crisis is to Obama a special case of immigration reform that must be supported under all circumstances (per his October 2 statement that "no force on earth" can stop it), and thus allowing Ebola to enter America through open borders is more important even than the health and lives of American citizens.

ISIS


Obama's flaccid response to ISIS without a clear understanding of mission or strategy and his childlike efforts at coalition building have confused everyone. How America can fight a war while refusing to define the enemy (e.g. radical Islam), while at the same time engaging in one of the largest reductions in military forces since the end of the Vietnam War, taxes all logic or common sense.

Illegal Immigration

With cheerleading from the Obama administration, a flood of illegal immigrants, estimated at over 400 thousand, crossed into America from Mexico this past summer to be dispersed throughout the country. DOJ mandates require that they be educated at taxpayer expense at public schools regardless of health or immunization information required of other students. Many are now, predictably, skipping their deportation hearings and according to some experts creating a wave of disease and even deaths throughout America, while liberals play at NIMBY games. How this humanitarian crisis helps America is unknown, but it has certainly allowed Obama and his supporters to score cheap political points with the open borders crowd.

ObamaCare



Not a single responsible politician in America now supports ObamaCare,  the passage of which, it turns out, was based on a hyperpoliticized web of lies and deceptions. Its unaffordable premiums and deductibles are scheduled to rise (after the election, by design), and when more than a dozen states are required to cancel healthcare policies not in compliance with Obamacare in coming months it will force hundreds of thousands of Americans out of their current healthcare plans.

Due to these and other policies Obama is so toxic today that even having voted for him is considered a political liability. Having moved far to the left of the electorate, his supporters, and even the Democratic Party, Obama’s bright promise in 2008 to fundamentally transform the country now takes the form of horrifying threats to bypass Congress on healthcare, the environment, immigration, appointees, and other issues.

Today, through his radical, politicized, incomprehensible approach to current issues and his secretive dictatorial plotting on issues to come, Barack Hussein Obama has become his own party, a Party of One. God help us.

The Age of Arrogance

The Age of Arrogance



I think the alternate term is the “Information Age,” and I’m beginning to think that, like Adam and Eve, we weren’t ready for the information we’ve accumulated, and also like our garden couple, it’s made us think we can be like God, which we obviously can’t.

I’m a teacher, so you’d think I’d be in favor of knowledge, and I am. I used to have an inscription over my classroom door that said, “Know lots of stuff.” It was a quote from a drama teacher that I once overheard in New York -- an inelegant statement, but a true one. It was my answer to the usual teenage whine of, “Why do we have to know this?”

So why am I complaining? Information is everywhere now; we live in a world filled with experts who know everything and can make all my decisions for me -- I can relax. Really? This common assumption begs some questions:

Q1. What does it take to be an expert? College, one would assume, but a lot of people have even advanced degrees and we don’t call them all experts. Experience? You’d assume that, but how much is enough? Was the experience successful or just something the “expert” in question muddled through? Is success in one’s field necessary and if so, how do we measure that?

Q2. This is a corollary to Q1: Can expertise be purchased? Is it possible that one can attain “expert” status by saying the right things, kissing up to the right people, by singing the right song? Can one lose “expert” status be refusing to do so? I think here of Guillermo Gonzalez, the astrophysicist who lost tenure at Iowa State because his heavenly observations brought him to some heavenly conclusions. He was denied expert status because he wasn’t singing along with the Darwinist/atheist chorus.

Q3. Can experts be wrong? Obviously. Look at the changes that have rippled through the area of nutrition. 1. Butter, bad -- margarine, better 2. Trans-fats (margarine) bad, butter better. 3. No to all fats -– yes to good fats -– yes all fats and no to carbs. You all know how hard it is to actually apply all the contradictory dietary information thrown at us.

Look at the global-warming nonsense. There has been no warming in 18 years. So the experts tried saving face by altering the term to “climate change” and calling the cooling we’re experiencing a mere “hiatus”, a “pause” in the warming, which brings up another question:

Q4. Does being an expert make you an honest, trustworthy person? Does it make you foolproof? Why would a person with expert status lie? That answer is too easy for comfort -– to keep, or get, funding; to keep, or get tenure; to belong, to publish and make a name for himself; to further a political goal. Reasons to be dishonest are crawling out of every dark corner. And here’s another troubling question: if you are the expert, who’s going to say you’re wrong?

That puts us in a quandary.

There’s so much information out there that we feel overwhelmed and, therefore, depend on the experts to sort it out for us.

However, we don’t know what the experts actually know and what they just want to believe, or think they have to say.

We don’t even know what makes these people “experts.” Note that the new Ebola czar is not even a doctor.

This predicament is intensified a thousandfold by the fact that people no longer share the same values. Questions that were once answered on the basis of principle can no longer be addressed that way. We expect a decision on legalization of marijuana to be determined by “studies” performed by “experts.” We no longer understand that numbing our mental acuity is disrespectful to the body God gave us. No. We have to rely on the experts, none of whom agree, and few of whom seem to be open and honest.

Time was when we didn’t have to decide if it would be legal for a doctor to end the life of someone who was tired of being sick, or just tired of being tired. Time was when abortion wasn’t a reasonable way out of having to bear and raise a child. Time was when we didn’t presume to know what the climate was doing or how human beings might be affecting it.

I am reminded of Edith Wharton’s charming novel The Age of Innocence. She couldn’t have known how really innocent the early 20th century was, and we’re no longer there. We’ve wandered into a place where the only knowledge that really matters is being denied a chair at the table of public discourse. The one piece of information that can answer the dilemmas of modern life, the Bible, is pointedly not invited, is in fact, barred. That leaves us with nothing to go on but contradictory, anonymous, and doubtful “studies.”

What’s even more concerning is the fact that expertise seems to have a deleterious effect on humility. In a time when information -– raw data -– rules, one of the finest traits a person can claim is intelligence, as if one can’t be smart and wrong. If you are blessed enough to be born with an efficient brain, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t give you a leg up in the virtue department, and if you get told too often how bright you are, and nothing happens to contradict that, you could well end up way too taken with your own good fortune. So often in discussions I hear people give as a person’s credentials his “brilliance.” We heard that about our president, and with no corroboration whatsoever, people voted him into the highest office in the land.

It’s fitting, I suppose, that in this age of incredible arrogance we’d end up with a president who is the very definition of hubris. He, along with many of our younger generation, is unteachable; they already know it all.

Now, because of the arrogance of information and the glut on “experts,” we can no longer read with charity, with curiosity, only with suspicion. I rarely peruse anything without raising that shield of doubt –- “Oh balderdash!” or “How do they know that?” Not that it’s a bad thing to exercise some caution and keep our credulity under tight control, but when those “experts” have so abused the public trust that we’re drowning in misinformation and downright disinformation we’re in serious intellectual trouble.

We have knowledge, or are arrogant enough to think we do, but we have no wisdom; we have no understanding of the importance of absolute truth, the glory of real righteousness, let alone the principles of justice. To have a balance of both must be our goal.

Deana Chadwell blogs at www.asinglewindow.com.

The Real War on Women

The Real War on Women



Americans should be outraged over the abusive, brutal, and horrific death of Colleen Hufford. Many Americans might not recognize the name until how she died is mentioned:  she is the working mother and grandmother who was beheaded on September 25th in Oklahoma by a Muslim extremist. State Representative Lewis H. Moore feels this is the real war on women, referring to the terrorist’s website. Hufford’s peers, prior to the beheading, told Moore that he terrorist screamed that stoning women is all right.  American Thinker interviewed others who agree with Moore’s description of the “real war on women.”

But Moore is not alone. There is a bipartisan feeling that women have to wakeup to the real war. The headline in the Washington Times on September 28th stated “Bill Maher Slams Liberals For Phony war On Women”. Maher went on to say, “But Saudi women can’t vote, or drive, or hold a job or leave the house without a man. Overwhelming majorities in every Muslim country say a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. That all seems like a bigger issue…”



Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, who is running for office in Tucson Arizona, has personal knowledge of just what Maher was referring to. She noted to American Thinker, “I had my rights as an American women threatened while serving when cultural norms were forced upon myself and my peers.  American women deployed in Saudi Arabia could not travel without permission of a man, had to sit in the back seat of a car, had to be covered with a headscarf, as well as what Mr. Maher noted. It was like a female apartheid. Not only did it go against military values of good, order, and discipline, but goes directly against American values of equality. There is already harassment against women in the military so what message did this give, that it was all right to treat women serving as second-class citizens.”

McSally is someone who should be admired by all women, since she actively tried to get the treatment changed over a period of six years. She had to face the threats of disciplinary charges if she did not obey the regulations. While complying, she filed a lawsuit in December 2001, and worked to have bipartisan support. The bill she fought for was signed into law on December 2, 2002.

Another woman who is fighting this war is Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who wants women to understand that the extremist Islamists “want a society that would keep women down. Many countries do not believe in freedom, equal opportunity, and human rights for women. We need to question some of the rhetoric here in America compared to how others are treated around the world.”

She makes a very good point, considering current events in the headlines recently. Democrats are concentrating on birth control and abortion as issues while women around the globe are fighting for basic rights and their lives. This past Saturday, a twenty-six year old woman was hanged in Iran. Her crime: stabbing a forty-seven year old surgeon who had worked for the intelligence ministry and had attempted to sexually abuse her. During the trial she had her rights violated time and again.

In Syria and Iraq, British extremists have boasted on Twitter and other social media that Yazidi women had been kidnapped and used as "slave girls". The men sexually abuse, beat, and threaten them when they try to resist. There is also the case of Malala Yousafzai, the 17-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl, and the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She was nearly killed when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus in the Swat Valley district of Pakistan and shot her in the head for blogging and speaking publicly in support of education and women’s rights.

Last June, In Nigeria two hundred schoolgirls were kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist network because they were of the Christian faith. Currently they are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a medieval form of slavery. They capture the women, sell them off, and force them to marry.

Democrats use the "War on Women" as a political message, not caring that it diverts attention from those who are suffering horrifically. Their campaign does not speak of women in the U.S. who suffer from abuse and rape, but only refer to issues involving contraception and abortion. Women in this country and abroad do face major challenges today, but not the ones many Democrats espouse with their claims of victimhood politics and policies. In fact, in a recent Rasmussen poll, 52% of likely U.S. female voters said they believed the "war on women" slogan is primarily used for political purposes.

Hopefully more American women will agree with McMorris Rodgers and McSally that the rhetoric and slogan of “war on women” is phony. The real War on Women is looking how women are abused and killed, especially within the Islamic extremist mindset.  This should not be seen as a Democratic or Republican issue, but as one where all women can come together to solve it.



By Elise Cooper

The Moral Blindness of our Leading Liberals

The Moral Blindness of our Leading Liberals


 Behold the quintessential earnest progressive liberal in the highest moral dudgeon: Digby railing with thunderous fury at the possibility (the very distinct possibility) that Barack Obama is going to suppress the Senate's report on CIA torture. Digby quotes the recent letter from some of Obama's fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates, who are calling on Obama to release the report (and close the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, for good measure.) Worthy sentiments and justifiable anger indeed. But then Digby adds this gloss:

"Honestly, if they deep six the report (or redact it so heavily that it's meaningless) I think President Obama has no choice but to give back his prize. There's [sic] a lot of actions he's taken as president that people could claim disqualify him for the prize anyway. Arguments about the dirty wars and targeted assassination programs alone will go on for generations. But one can, at least, say they represent some form of modern warfare and that the President of a military Empire is always going to be required to deal in such ugly matters. (That, in fact, s one reason why it was ludicrous to give him the prize in the first place --- he runs the most powerful killing machine on the planet.)

But however you see his performance as Commander in Chief, There can be no debate about torture. It's a war crime. It should be prosecuted. But even if they cannot do that, covering it up is to be complicit."

Old cynic that I am, I must admit that even my grizzled jaw dropped as I read these words. "Arguments about the dirty wars and targeted assassination programs alone will go on for generations." This, again, is from one of our leading liberal lights. She thinks dirty wars -- secret incursions into other nations to murder, subvert, wreak havoc, terrorize -- are open to debate. She thinks that "targeted assassination programs" -- one of which is run directly out of the White House, with regular weekly meetings where Obama and his advisors tick off names of human beings to be killed without warning, without the slightest pretense of judicial process or rule of law -- will be argued about for generations. The morality of death squads and dirty wars is something about which serious, concerned citizens can disagree and debate, apparently.

Running a death squad -- which, among many others, kills American citizens without due process, then, just for the hell of it, murders their children: this doesn't put a person beyond the pale of acceptable human behavior. Not at all. It's something we can argue about, sure; but not only is it within the parameters of acceptable behavior, it does not even disqualify you from enthusiastic political support, not even from earnest, peace-loving antiwar liberals like Digby, who fought tooth and nail to keep Obama running his death squads and dirty wars in 2012. (And if he could run for a third term there is no doubt -- none whatsoever -- that he would have fierce backing of the earnest, peace-loving antiwar liberals like Digby.)

But my poor jaw had not yet done descending. For Digby, astonishingly, goes on to offer one of those arguments for state murder and the Nuremberg-level war crime of carrying out "dirty wars" on the sovereign territory of other nations: "One can, at least, say they represent some form of modern warfare and that the President of a military Empire is always going to be required to deal in such ugly matters."

Now, I'm sure we are all to understand that Digby herself wouldn't make that argument. But she does see its point. She thinks it’s something that can be debated. She might not like it, she might even oppose it (while of course never opposing the continuation of its perpetrator in power). But from the gritty, savvy realpolitik perspective that our earnest progressive liberals are always so keen to show they understand and appreciate, you can certainly make that argument and remain within the bounds of respectable debate in Digby's eyes.

Isn't this a wonderment? A progressive, peace-loving liberalism that can accept a president actually checking off names on a death list, like Stalin in the Politburo -- that can accept "dirty wars" that have slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians and destabilized whole regions, breeding more violence and terror. And although Digby has criticized such actions, it is obvious that none of them have put Obama beyond the moral pale for her. He's still within the bounds of acceptable realpolitik. ("Hey, the guy has to run a military Empire. What's he supposed to do?"). He is still -- if only just -- on "our" side.

Wholesale murder, wanton destruction, untold -- and unnecessary -- anguish and grief and suffering and turmoil: these things can be borne, if reluctantly, by our liberal progressive peace-lovers. But torture -- that, apparently, is the one thing that is beyond the pale. And in this particular case, it is not even torture being carried out by the Obama administration. (There is torture still going on, of course, but it's not at issue in the Senate report on past CIA actions which has so fixated our progressive liberals.) No, just the mere act of covering up a report on past torture is, for Digby, a step too far at last. Killing, mayhem, subversion -- well OK, if you have to; but torture -- why, that's "a war crime"! There can be absolutely "no debate about torture."

But here the obvious question arises: why not? If you can swallow all the rest and still support the perpetrator, why draw the line at torture? If, by Digby's own logic, you can "at least" make the argument that dirty wars and death squads "represent some form of modern warfare" -- then why not torture? Why not lump it in with those other "forms of modern warfare"? "Hey, we do lots of things now that used to be considered war crimes --- because we now face new dangers in our modern warfare. We have to kill people without due process, we have wage dirty wars -- and every now and then, we have to get rough with a prisoner. If you can support a president who murders and subverts, why not support him when he tortures, or covers up for torturers?"

What is that makes torture worse than actually murdering innocent people? Why is torture an undebatable war crime, but blowing up children sleeping in their homes in some Pakistani village is something that can be "argued about" -- indeed, such an open moral question that the debate will go on "for generations"?

The truth, of course, is that murder and dirty war are even worse than torture. But all of them partake of a radical evil that should put any perpetrator beyond the pale, making the person a war criminal who indeed "should be prosecuted." But if our earnest progressive liberals took off their blinders and acknowledged this truth -- then what? They would have to admit that they have been supporting -- with however much showy reluctance and "savvy" constructive criticism -- the perpetrator of monstrous war crimes.

So they focus on what is, relatively speaking, the lesser evil. Probably because most of them believe that Obama really has abolished torture in our far-flung gulags and bases and "secret facilities," rather than just entrenching it and codifying it with new manuals and different jargon. So in the end, Obama is not really that evil, is he? Since they cannot accept the full moral import of the death squads and dirty wars, they expend their righteous fury on the safer and more limited ground of torture. Or again, in this case, on "complicity" with torture, by covering up a report on the crimes committed years ago by the real bad guys, from the other side of the partisan divide: the Bush gang.

But let's say that Obama does quash or whitewash the report, confirming his "complicity" in torture. What then? What condign punishment does our morally furious liberal progressive envision for him in that case? Impeachment? Prosecution? Imprisonment? No. If Obama does this really, really bad thing -- which is so much worse than murdering people and waging dirty war -- then Digby believes he should ... he should ... give his Nobel Peace Prize back.

That's it. Pretty rough, huh? That would really teach him a lesson, if he had to do that!

But even if Digby's worst fears come to pass, is there anyone who believes that she would then disown the president, break with him, denounce him publicly as a war criminal? Of course not. She, and the other earnest progressive liberals, will continue to support him -- with loving chastisement and sad shakes of the head, to be sure -- but they've got his back.

And we will see them on the hustings for Hilary Clinton when the time comes for her to perpetrate these same moral outrages, these same war crimes. Their partisan tribalism blinds them to the fullness of the reality that confronts us. (And I know how that works; I suffered from the same tribal blindness for many, many years.) They cannot genuinely and effectively oppose the monstrous system of military Empire because, in the end, what is most important to them is not stopping the system -- but making sure that one of "theirs" is running it.



Chris Floyd blogs at http://www.chris-floyd.com

Separation of Church and State?

Separation of Church and State?



Is there really a separation of church and state and has the current administration honored it? Have Democrats around the country been stepping on our rights to Religious freedom?

In February, President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and said, “It’s also clear that around the world, freedom of religion is under threat…..No society can truly succeed unless it guarantees the rights of all its people, including religious minorities.”

 But is that being practiced here in the United States? Are our religious freedoms being taken from us one day at a time? We continue to see case after case where this “separation” has been challenged.

Recently in Houston, the mayor, Annise Parker, started quite a firestorm when she demanded local pastors be served with subpoenas in regards to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), signed into law in May. The subpoenas were issued after a law suit was filed by the pastors over a provision in the ordinance which would allow men, who identify as women, to use women’s bathrooms.

In a recent article by Dylan Baddour of PolitiFact, Texas, Parker instructed officials to issue subpoenas to local pastor’s requesting:

“All speeches, presentations, or sermons related to Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, (HERO), the petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”

“All communications with members of your congregation regarding HERO or the petition.” (writings, notes, diaries, electronic or videotape recordings, emails, instant messages, text messages.)“


Jared Woodfill, who is representing the pastors said, "This is a mayor who has waged a full-scale war on the churches in Harris County. These pastors are standing up and saying enough is enough and we are not going to allow it to happen on our watch.”

In response to the mayor’s actions, more than 1,000 bibles were sent to Parker’s office in protest. In a press conference today, Parker announced that she is directing the legal department to withdraw the subpoenas.

Meanwhile in California, Governor Gerry Brown is demanding that all employers, including churches, offer and pay for elective abortion through their health insurance policies. The LifeLegal Defense Foundation and Alliance Defending Freedom are representing 7 churches in a lawsuit against the requirement. Casey Mattox, an attorney with Alliance, said, “Forcing a church to be party to elective abortion is one of the most unimaginable assaults on our most fundamental American freedoms. California is flagrantly violating the federal law that protects employers from being forced into having abortion in their health insurance plans. No state can blatantly ignore federal law and think that it should continue to receive taxpayer money.”

In Idaho, city officials have demanded that ordained ministers must celebrate same-sex weddings or face fines and jail time. One case involves Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of the Hitching Post Chapel. They refused to marry a same-sex couple and as a result are now facing a 180 day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they refuse to marry the couple. The city of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, has a non discrimination statute and recently the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage between and man and a woman. Based on this, the city feels the Knapp’s should be forced to perform the marriage even though it goes against their religious beliefs. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion arguing that this action “violates first and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion, substantive due process and equal protection.”

In 2011, family members, visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, were prohibited from bringing Bibles or any religious reading materials to their loved ones. When the policy was challenged by Representative Steve King, (R-IA), the medical facility rescinded the policy.

In 2013, The Alliance for Religious Liberty outlined many examples where the military restricted religious expression. In one extreme example, thousands of soldiers received “equal opportunity training,” where "Evangelical, Christians, Catholics and Orthodox Jews were classified as ‘Religious Extremists’ comparable to the KKK and Al Qaeda. Those attending the training were also told, in writing, that they could not support these extreme organizations by fund-raising, recruiting, attending meetings, organizing or distributing literature.“

In a letter by the Alliance, they stated, "In other words, thousands of soldiers were told that they could not go to church, lead Sunday School, tithe, share their faith, or give out Bibles.”

Congressman John Fleming, (R-LA), introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure religious freedom for service members and chaplains. The Amendment passed the House Armed Services Committee and another passed the Senate Armed Services Committee. However, President Obama said the additional provisions were “unnecessary and ill-advised.” His advisors recommended he veto the Religious Liberty Amendment.

We, as Americans must understand and demand that our constitutional rights be upheld by the very government, that was elected by the people, and for the people. The United States Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and edited by the Committee of five, states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Have these infringements on our religious rights been equally enforced? Have the same demands been made on local Mosques or Temples? Has our government become so politically correct that they create special privileges for some while infringing on the rights of others?

As Americans, we must insist, even with changing times, that the constitutional rights granted us by the founding fathers of this great nation, must remain intact. Our government must protect the “unalienable rights.” without caving to special interest groups, political favor, or a deteriorating morality. We must not allow the government to enforce or mandate any religious doctrines, not tell us how or what to believe. Although it is not written in the constitution, we have the unalienable right to a separation of church and state.

By Leigh Bravo

Links:

(http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/02/06/president-obama-praises-freedom-religion-national-prayer-breakfast)
(http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2014/oct/23/greg-abbott/greg-abbott-says-houston-city-attorney-subpoenaed-/)
(http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/News/Detail?ContentID=80997)
(http://dailysignal.com/2014/10/18/government-ordained-ministers-celebrate-sex-wedding-go-jail/)
(http://cpcfoundation.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/military-warriors-denied-religious-freedom/)

Isis, Jabhat al-Nusra and Other Islamist Groups Are One And The Same: Senior Army Officer


Isis, Jabhat al-Nusra and Other Islamist Groups Are One And The Same: Senior Army Officer 

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities



 Phones were ringing through the army headquarters in central Damascus and a veteran of Syria's 1982 war with Israel in Lebanon was explaining how all wars involved victories and defeats - that Syria's forces also suffered setbacks in their war against “terrorism” - when the news arrived at his own desk. A flurry of calls established that Jabhat al-Nusra rebels had stormed into the centre of Idlib, the surrounded but still government-held city west of Aleppo; that they had captured the governor's office and were beheading senior Syrian officers. Our interview was not intended to have gone quite like this. It was a good day to see the general. Which means it was a bad day.

The leading Syrian army officer, who requested anonymity, takes a shrewd view of events - and history - and clearly had no objection to America's air strikes on Isis targets in his country, although he viewed them dispassionately. “Our army doesn't know where or when these strikes are going to happen,” he said. “We see aircraft on our radar - we can see everything - but if our checkpoints (on the front) see the strikes, it is only by chance. We and the Americans are not sharing information with each other. The Americans just do it. It's natural. They decide in the UN that they are going to do these strikes. Syria says 'yes'. We are fighting 'Daesh' (Isis) and the other terrorist groups. But America never asked us about their targets.”

Isis, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Islamist groups are one and the same - he dismisses the Free Syrian Army (FSA) so beloved of President Barack Obama and US Republicans as more of a fantasy army than a reality - and insists that the strategy of Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra is the same wherever the Syrian army fights them. “It's the same plan, the same orders, and we are using the same tactics in fighting them. There is a priority for the Syrian army - to know where they have to fight. I can't say that in all the military operations that the Syrian army is taking the upper hand. War is not just about victory. There are winners and losers. That is the nature of war.”

That's when the phones started ringing. Other officers arrived in the general's office. He walked into another room to take a call. His right-hand fingers tapped on his desk. Was the army to announce the events in Idlib? But he returned to our interview, remembering exactly where he had broken off. “Yes, there are places where the Syrian army loses and there are some setbacks, we can't deny that. We don't pretend that we always have victories. But our victories are bigger than our losses. Three days ago a town called Moraq - strategic between Idlib and Aleppo was recaptured by our army - the main road from Damascus to Aleppo is now completely safe.”

But not Idlib. The phones rang again. “Nusra tried to infiltrate into the city, but we foiled them,” he said triumphantly. True. But the general didn't mention - perhaps did not even then know - that his own comrades were being beheaded, even as the army was about to recapture the governor's office. By chance, I had been asking the general about Raqqa province, whose last military fortress and airbase was captured by Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra this year. Videos showed hundreds of Syrian soldiers being executed beside mass graves, one even showed two fighter jets being towed through the streets by rebels. And within days, reports from outside Syria spoke of Isis being trained on Mig-21s by former Iraqi pilots.

He knew about the jets. “This is cheap propaganda - these were old, unflyable jets that stood near the airbase gates. If they could have been flown, we would have taken them away. They were very old Mig-17s, junk jets without radar or control. We couldn't rebuild them - and nor can they. Even the Russians can't rebuild them. We know everything that is flying over Syria - even the American planes - but these old Migs can never leave the ground.”

As for Raqqa and its citizens and the fate of his soldiers, he was visibly angry. “Isis is reactionary, trying to represent the past - the medieval era. There are executions, torture, they are telling people they are practising sharia. And they are teaching children how to behead people....” The general would not speculate on how many of Syria's soldiers had been murdered in Raqqa. “I can't give you exact numbers - some are still missing, videos can be doctored. We don't take Isis's word for anything. There are soldiers who have been captured. We don't know how many.” Unknown to the general, up to 70 soldiers had just been beheaded in Idlib.

I was surprised, I said, that Syria does not call these executions war crimes - as Syria's enemies always accuse Syria of war crimes. But it was clear from his reply that this is a war without any prisoners. “The Syrian Arab Army has been in open war with terrorists for four years. Of course we are feeling angry. We have setbacks and they are targeted by us every day. We are killing hundreds of them. I am not going to give Syria to these stupid people. We are fighting to the death. But we are for a political resolution. We are concerned that in the end there must only be a political resolution for Syria. Eliminate the terrorists - all the people in the world are against them - and anyone who carries weapons against Syrian soldiers or the Syrian government or civilian people is involved in terrorism. We will deal with them. America did this because a journalist was murdered - it was a pretext for America to come to Syria. But we are going to eliminate all the terrorists on Syrian soil. In my opinion, we are cooperating with the Coalition because we said 'yes' when they attacked Isis. The UN resolution was a sign of cooperation.”

As for the battle of Ain al-Arab, or Kobani, on the Turkish border - famous on television screens around the world - the general had some cynicism. “We must separate the military and the political. Ain al-Arab is a Syrian town, the majority of its people are Kurds and Isis attacked them, just to control it. And to base themselves there, because it's a border town. Politically, however, there is something of a theatre about this. The Turks want to have a buffer zone and to pressure the US to give them this buffer zone. And the Americans are trying to push Turkey into the war situation. This is the 'headline'! But they are trying to use each other, the Turks and the Americans, and Ain al-Arab's civilians are paying the cost of this.”

As for the FSA into which the US put so much faith, he laughs. “There may be some in Idlib and near Deraa.”There were soldiers and some officers who defected from the Syrian army,” he said. “Some asked to come back and are in our army again. Others returned and we sent them home.” More Dad's Army, it would seem to the general, than the Free Syrian Army.

By Robert Fisk

CIA Mouthpiece Lets Slip On Russian ‘Aggression’

CIA Mouthpiece Lets Slip On Russian ‘Aggression’



For months now, Western mass media have been in lockstep with the US State Department and the NATO military alliance, promulgating claims of Russian aggression in Ukraine and towards Europe generally. The mantra-like repetition of these claims, with scant substantiation, resembles the Big Lie technique of Third Reich master propagandist Josef Goebbels. Told often and brazenly enough, the claims acquire normalcy as «accepted facts».

Western news media, from the BBC to the New York Times, uncritically peddle NATO and Washington claims that Moscow has «annexed» Crimea and infiltrated troops into eastern Ukraine to destabilise the pro-Western «government» in Kiev. Last month at the NATO summit in Wales, outgoing secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen asserted: «So we continue to call on Russia to pull back its troops from Ukrainian borders, [and] to stop the flow of weapons and fighters into Ukraine».

Last week, that narrative was debunked by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The OSCE has been appointed to monitor the border between Russia and eastern Ukraine. The organisation’s monitoring chief Paul Picard confirmed that since the beginning of its observer mission at the end of July to present, it has not recorded any movement of military equipment or units from Russia into Ukrainian territory.

«The movement of military equipment has not been seen by the OSCE from our border point [of observation]», said Picard during a press conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don last week.

The OSCE monitoring chief did say that there was Russian military movement of airplanes, helicopters and drones inside Russian territory along the border, but that there was no cross-border incursion. «We observed their movement, but didn’t see them fly into Ukraine, so they did not cross the border», Picard said.

Tellingly, the OSCE assessment nullifying Washington and NATO claims of Russian invasion and infiltration of Ukraine was given negligible reportage in the Western media, which persists with the anti-Russian narrative that seems to operate on the basis of not letting the facts intrude on a convenient storyline.

However, the OSCE version of reality was surprisingly corroborated by an unlikely source – Radio Free Europe – albeit unintentionally, it would seem. 

RFE was set up during the height of the Cold War as a mouthpiece for the American Central Intelligence Agency to broadcast anti-Soviet propaganda across Eastern Europe. As a recent France 24 headline put it: ‘Radio Free Europe back on frontline over Ukraine’ in which the obsequious report said gushingly: «A quarter of a century after it helped topple totalitarian Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is duelling Moscow again, this time in a media war over the Ukraine crisis.»

In any case, in a RFE report last week under the headline 'He Was Just A Boy', the American broadcaster told of the anguish of a Russian mother who recently buried her 18-year-old son after he was killed fighting in eastern Ukraine earlier this month. A grief-stricken Zalogina Pushkaryov told RFE how her son, Yevgeny, was shot dead by Kiev military forces after he had volunteered to join anti-Kiev militia. That part of the story is real enough.

But the significant detail is that the report makes clear that young Yevgeny travelled from his hometown of Kronshtadt, near St Petersburg, to eastern Ukraine after he was recruited via the internet social media. He did so surreptitiously without his mother’s knowledge. The RFE report also quotes other Russian «volunteers» who have gone to take up the fight for independence in the Donbass region from Kiev. It noted that these individuals are «ill-equipped and unprepared» for military action and are often «cannon fodder» in the battle against Ukrainian regular army units and self-styled National Guard battalions.

Thus RFE inadvertently spills the beans on the real nature of Russian involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. As Moscow has been consistently saying for several months, it has not sent weapons, troops or commandos into Ukrainian territory to support the pro-independence self-defence militia battling against Kiev forces, since the latter were dispatched in April on a so-called anti-terror operation against the dissenting ethnic Russian population of Donetsk and Luhansk.

To the extent that there is a Russian connection it is mainly on the basis, as the RFE report acknowledges, of young men volunteering unofficially through informal internet channels. These hapless volunteers are driven by personal reasons to defend what they see as a compatriot population under fire from an illegal regime. The RFE reported that these Russian volunteers have to arrange and pay for their own travel to the conflict region. That is obviously the behaviour of private Russian citizens, who are taking it upon themselves to take up arms in eastern Ukraine. It is not the kind of channel that Moscow would be operating if there was any official covert military plan to destabilise Ukraine – as Washington, NATO and the Western media, including RFE, have been claiming ad nauseam without the slightest proof.

The decision to bear arms in Ukraine by Russian individuals cannot be attributed as Russian government policy, in the same way that hundreds of Western private citizens travelling to fight as mercenaries in Syria is not automatically cited as proof of Western government endorsement of that activity. 

Together with the latest OSCE assessment of no cross-border military transport, the CIA’s RFE report of «untrained and ill-prepared» Russian youths dying in eastern Ukraine provides an important rebuttal of Western claims against Moscow. Those claims can now be seen for what they are: propaganda in the service of a political agenda from Washington and its NATO allies to mount aggression on Russia.

The West’s specious claims of Russian expansionism in Ukraine serve to distract from the reality that Washington and its European allies are the ones who have in fact destabilised Ukraine by fomenting an illegal regime in Kiev. This regime cannot salvage legitimacy even with the latest farcical parliamentary elections. The regime and its Western sponsors have sought to legitimise the illegal subversion of Ukraine’s sovereignty by turning reality on its head and blaming Russia for the unrest in that country since the CIA-backed coup in February this year.

The baseless claims against Russia’s interference in Ukraine is part and parcel of a bigger picture of similar innuendo against Moscow for jeopardising European-wide security. 

Rasmussen’s successor in the top NATO job, former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, has continued in the same vitriolic vein accusing Russia of aggression and having nefarious expansionist ambitions.

On his first official visit, Stoltenberg went to the NATO airbase in Lask, Poland, earlier this month where he declared that increased NATO «policing» fighter jets over the Baltic Sea were «solidarity in action» to deter alleged Russian belligerence.

Last week, Western media reported, as good coin, NATO claims that a Russian Il-20 surveillance plane had breached Estonian airspace. Russia denied that the aircraft had strayed from international airspace.

But the Western media sought to substantiate that claim by merely piling on more unverified NATO claims that there was a threefold increase in «provocative» Russian military flights over recent months.

«I would suggest that the level of this provocative flying is higher than at the height of the Cold War», said a NATO spokesman quoted by US government-sponsored Voice of America. The NATO official added there had been «a threefold increase in the number of NATO intercepts this year than last year in the Baltic region.» 

In a Financial Times version of the same report, it was said that there was a «threefold increase in the number of scrambles Nato fighters have had to make since January». If the Western media were really doing its job of independent journalism, it would inquire of the sceptical question: perhaps NATO is just scrambling more aircraft not out of an objective security concern over Russia, but rather to simply produce flight data that appears to support allegations of Russian «provocation»? There is a big difference between scrambling jets and actual territorial breaches.

The Financial Times goes on to report that NATO has spent nearly $200 million already over the past year in upgrading air bases in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to handle what has been a four-fold increase in NATO fighter planes in the region since 2013. Citing expenditure in euro amounts, the FT reports:

«Runways have been extended and resurfaced, new hangars built and larger ammunition and fuel depots installed.

In Estonia, €40m has been spent on Ämari air base. In Latvia, €42m has gone on upgrading Lielvārde a large fuel dump will be finished there next year. In Lithuania, 29 separate projects costing more than €41m have overhauled the airfield at Šiauliai, and in Poland, €17m has been spent on Malbork.»

It should be obvious that such infrastructure upgrades must have been part of a long-term plan, not as the FT would have us believe, as part of a short-term «response» to Russian «provocation».

In other words, the Washington, Brussels, NATO and Western media narrative of «Russian aggression» in Ukraine is as baseless as the extended theme of «Russian provocation» in the Baltic region. The real narrative is one of US-led NATO aggression and expansion towards Russia under the cover of specious claims against Moscow, which are invoked as a retrospective justification of NATO belligerence.

This is consistent with Washington’s long-term geopolitical agenda of «throwing Russia off balance», as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented in an interview with Itar-Tass last month.

So keen is Washington in pushing its propaganda offensive that the CIA mouthpiece Radio Free Europe seems to have overlooked a few gaping holes in its own Big Lie technique, as shown by its recent report on the Russian mother grieving the loss of her son in Ukraine.

By the way, ironically, in this era of capitalist austerity, it is reported that RFE has endured serious cutbacks and staff redundancies over the past year. The CIA’s mouthpiece seems to have incurred an «intelligence» retrenchment as a result.

By Finian Cunningham

Strategic Culture Foundation

Latest Putin-bashing Invention: Putin About To Be Sacrificed


Latest Putin-bashing Invention:
Putin About To Be Sacrificed 



I am getting a flood of emails asking me about the article Putin's Head - Who will remove the head of Russian President Putin and offer it on a platter to the U.S.? (also here) I normally don't comment any of the nonsense which circulates on the Internet, but this one seems to have a lot of people worried.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40090.htm

Friends, the key to the entire article is right at the beginning: "It seems that Russian authorities have found a way towards accommodation with the West. Liberals have become more powerful and are leading the talks".  Every word in these two sentences is utterly false.  For one thing, Putin is "the Russian authorities".  His power stems from three sources:

1) He was elected by the Russian people
2) He is solidly backed by the "power ministries" (Internal, Security, Military, Police, Intelligence, Emergencies)
3) His current popularity is somewhere in the high 80%

In other words, removing him would be legally impossible, physically impossible and politically impossible.

Second, if anybody seriously believes that Putin is seeking an accommodation with the West then he/she simply needs to listen to his latest speech at the Valdai club to come to realize that far from seeking any accommodation, Putin is fully ready for a long confrontation with the AngloZionist Empire.http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/10/putin-at-valdai-world-order-new-rules.html

Finally, because of their failure to overthrow Putin during the Presidential elections and, even more so, because of the civil war in the Ukraine, the Russian liberals have never been weaker then before: they are associated with the nightmarish 1990s and they are seen as allies of any and all Russia-hating forces be it Wahabi Chechens or Ukrainian Nazis and as tool of the US/EU/NATO.

Finally, when the authors write "Russian “patriots” dream stubbornly of convincing today’s President to imitate Stalin or Ivan The Terrible" they are completely misrepresenting the ideology and wordview of the Russian patriotic movement.

This worthless article is a typical example of the kind of anti-Putin propaganda organized by the US: if they cannot demonize him, they at least show him as weak and about to be sacrificed.  There will be much more of that nonsense in the future and I urge you all to simply ignore it.

By The Saker

The Cheney-Powell-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz Strategy: An Evaluation

The Cheney-Powell-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz Strategy: An Evaluation


The U.S. never demobilized after the Cold War ended. It constructed new missions for its military. It adopted a new post-Cold War strategy but kept its military forces intact.
Americans received no peace dividend. To the contrary, as the years have passed and America’s wars have proliferated, Americans have expended enormous wealth.

The war policies of Barack Obama and George W. Bush grew out of defense plans of the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. These plans maintained the Cold War mentality. This involved the U.S. constantly being heavily armed against foes and enemies. The Defense Department planners transmuted “Global threats” of the Cold War into “regional challenges and opportunities.” These plans retained a U.S. military force structure suitable for a wartime situation, rather than the actual peacetime situation.

In order to keep the U.S. on a military footing despite being at peace, these plans replaced the Soviet Union with an array of other justifications.  They appealed to such goals as maintaining regional stability, being able to fight two wars, defending American overseas interests in natural resources, warding off foreign threats, fighting terrorism and preventing the emergence of rivals. The planners multiplied missions and magnified their importance.

In the past, no such goals had ever prevented the U.S. from demobilizing and returning to a peacetime posture. None of these goals was ever serious enough or regarded as so serious as to require that the U.S. be on a continuous war footing. The U.S. had not before regarded itself as a sole superpower. It had not conceived itself as having these missions to fulfill, with the attendant military superiority and applications of force that they implied.

It is argued below that the defense policy plans were constructed so as to justify the military. The justifications and arguments they contained failed to reflect all sorts of realities. Consequently, when put into practice, they have failed miserably. They have not lived up to the aspirations of the planners.

In its planning, the U.S. established  missions for itself that relied on war and force. The missions were broad, open-ended, vague, and subject to interpretation. They opened up into new pro-active vistas. The language of the plans often sounded innocuous or even sensible and reasonable, but they were disturbing in many ways. Carrying over the Cold War mentality, they blithely referred to democracy as if it were a criterion of goodness and as if peace required its extension everywhere. American interests everywhere were taken for granted. The plans were  global in scope. The seeds of pre-emptive warfare were planted.

In the January, 1993 document containing “Defense Strategy for the 1990s”, Dick Cheney would write,http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/naarpr_Defense.pdf

“Together with our allies, we must preclude hostile nondemocratic powers from dominating regions critical to our interests and otherwise work to build an international environment conducive to our values.”

Plans to extend NATO were in place:

“The second goal is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded nations together in common defense against aggression…”

The U.S. planned full spectrum dominance everywhere. Any country that the U.S. regarded as nondemocratic became an automatic threat, especially if its region contained resources that the U.S. regarded as critical:

“The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the reemergence of a global threat to the interests of the United States and our allies. These regions include Europe, East Asia, the Middle East/Persian Gulf, and Latin America. Consolidated, nondemocratic control of the resources of such a critical region could generate a significant threat to our security.”

Defense was redefined to include activities that involved social and political changes in foreign regions under the theory that doing this produced a good known as reduced regional instability. The U.S. would spread democracy in its own defense. Under the umbrella of national security policy, the U.S. would see fit to meddle in all sorts of way and in all sorts of regions and countries:

“The fourth goal is to help preclude conflict by reducing sources of regional instability and to limit violence should conflict occur. Within the broader national security policy of encouraging the spread and consolidation of democratic government and open economic systems, the Defense Department furthers these ends through efforts to counter terrorism, drug trafficking, and other threats to internal democratic order, assistance to peacekeeping efforts; the provision of humanitarian and security assistance; limits on the spread of militarily significant technology, particularly the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction along with the means to deliver them; and the use of defense-to-defense contacts to assist in strengthening civil-military institutions and encourage reductions in the economic burden of military spending.”

Pre-emption and spreading democracy became part of U.S. doctrine:

“Our strategy is designed to preclude threats and to encourage trends that advance U.S. security objectives in the future. This is not simply within our means; it is critical to our future security…If we and other leading democracies continue to build a democratic security community, a much safer world is likely to emerge.”

In 2002, David Armstrong identified some of the U.S. defense planning and strategy documents that have guided major elements of U.S. foreign policy for about the past 25 years. He identified the men directly responsible for drawing up these plans and strategies as Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld. Some of these documents are available here,http://www.archives.gov/declassification/iscap/pdf/2008-003-docs1-12.pdf
 here,http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb245/#doc3
  here,http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/naarpr_Defense.pdf

http://www.dod.mil/pubs/qdr/

 As time went on, the plans and strategies evolved. In May of 1997, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen issued a new Quadrennial Defense
http://harpers.org/archive/2002/10/dick-cheneys-song-of-america/

In a journal article published in 2011, Alexandra Homolar writes that between 1989 and 1995, these formal defense reviews

“provided a medium for political bargaining between key actors in the defence policymaking community which enabled the maintenance of core elements of the status quo. This bargaining process lead to a rearticulation of actors’ interests that in turn enabled a new strategic consensus to emerge that preserved many of the principal pillars of US Cold War defence policy, the linchpin of which was a shared belief in the need to maintain an absolute superiority in US military power.”

She also identifies Powell, Cheney and Wolfowitz as key players. Les Aspin resisted the direction being taken, but Bill Clinton acceded. She concludes

“…all major defence reviews in the post-Cold War era have underlined the US status as the sole military superpower and the will to persist as the world’s preeminent military power as well as the willingness to resort to the use of military force, despite a strategic environment where manifest military threats to US interests appeared to have declined substantially. In short, the maintenance of ‘unipolarity’ quickly became defined as a central objective of US defence policy in the post-Cold War era…At the same time, this reconfiguration of US strategic objectives served to avert radical changes within the US defence establishment.”

These defense plans that embody the Cheney-Powell-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz (CPRW) strategy would lead to the U.S. war policies of the twenty-first century. They would lead to the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya among others. They would lead to the effort to oust Syria’s government, to sanctions on Iran and Russia, and to drone warfare in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. They would lead to the blowback of 9/11 and to the Islamic State. They would lead to the Department of Homeland Security, to the growth of the national security state, and to the TSA. They would lead to confrontation with Russia over Ukraine and to a Pacific “pivot” that confronts China. They would lead to AFRICOM.

The planners saw their plans as relevant for the next 100 years, and they have not yet been proven incorrect in their assessment. Even though these plans in practice have produced enormous failures that can be traced back to the false assumptions and mistaken ideas of the planners, the U.S. government has yet to acknowledge its failures much less alter its basic presumptions.

Under the Cheney-Powell-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz (CPRW) strategy, a huge military is kept alive and U.S. policy is reshaped around that military force. The CPRW strategy creates a military force structure that’s not needed for maintaining peace or for security. This has major negative effects. For one thing, the U.S. government then has options to apply military force throughout the world. The missions are so broad that the government has the option of making continuous war, but more importantly it has the option of making war at junctures that favor swaying domestic political outcomes. War at chosen junctures brings certain benefits to government officials, including a way to re-align domestic political opposition and a way to win elections. The result is wars being made for political purposes. Second, politicians who have their own personal reasons for making war have a ready-made tool to do so. Third, any group with the skill to work the levers of government power or convince officials can instigate wars for its own reasons. Project for a New American Century (PNAC) did just that. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were also associated with PNAC. These groups can mobilize important segments of the public in support of their aims. Fourth, even if war is avoided, the U.S. government stands ready to intervene in almost any country for almost any reason. This meddling has very high costs. Beside being difficult to reverse, it ties the U.S. into local and regional predicaments that the U.S. cannot resolve. Where a regional hegemon might be able to keep order, the U.S. cannot. Regional instability rises.

The CPRW strategy created a standing war-making machine, and a standing war-making machine is an invitation to the making of war. Consequently, the wrong wars in the wrong places and for the wrong reasons become more probable. Wars for non-rational reasons or without rational calculation of the war’s costs and benefits become more likely. Because it provides the military means, the CPRW strategy encourages government and those who influence government to push other nations around and dominate them in the name of doing good. At the same time, the CPRW strategy reflects this aim to begin with.

A tremendous gulf divides the lofty CPRW strategy of the elite defense establishment from the results that have actually occurred on the ground when these plans were put into practice.

“But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!”


Instead of a safer world, the world is less safe. Cheney’s defense document contains one erroneous statement after another, which explains why his best-laid schemes went astray. For example, he wrote

“One of the primary tasks we face today in shaping the future is carrying long standing alliances into the new era, and turning old enmities into new cooperative relationships. If we and other leading democracies continue to build a democratic security community, a much safer world is likely to emerge.”

Extending NATO’s life and range to Russia’s borders didn’t make Russia more cooperative. How could it possibly do so? Withdrawing from the ABM treaty didn’t achieve that end either. How could it do anything but interfere with cooperation? The U.S. built and extended its “democratic security community”, but that hasn’t made the world safer.

Cheney opined that

“Our fundamental belief in democracy and human rights gives other nations confidence that our significant military power threatens no one’s aspirations for peaceful democratic progress.”

How believable is it that the U.S. could grow in strength but others would not feel threatened? That might well be a first in human history, but Cheney thought that American exceptionalism (its “fundamental belief in democracy and human rights”) assured this result. How could other nations not feel threatened when the U.S. in practice used its military power to violate human rights and to violate international law?

Cheney’s thinking in this 1993 document, which was U.S. official doctrine, made this assertion:

“Similarly, NATO’s new strategy not only reflects an adjustment to the reduced threat environment in Europe but equally it reassures our former adversaries of the truly defensive nature of the NATO alliance.”

The NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999 showed how wrong his thinking was. The role of NATO in the Libyan campaign provided a further instance. NATO’s response to the Ukrainian conflict makes total hash out of this statement.

One last example of many that could be cited shows again that the U.S. plans were shaped without sufficient regard to realities. The documents live in a rarified world of their own in which the writers seem to think that what they express about the world actually makes it so. It doesn’t. Their ignorance of everything involved is so vast that they could not help but go wrong. Cheney wrote

“Our ability to reduce sources of regional instability and to limit violence should conflict occur also is critical to shaping the environment This includes, for example, updating our strategy to counter the proliferation of militarily significant technology, particularly the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction along with the means to deliver them. Our traditional export control efforts must not only be updated and strengthened in this new era, but supplemented by political dissuasion, bilateral and multilateral negotiations, and inspection and destruction missions, as illustrated in the case of Iraq.”

There was a fixation on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction revealed here and elsewhere in the thought of American defense planners. They seem to have lost all sense of proportion. Accompanying this was the sense that it was up to the U.S. to “reduce sources of regional instability”. Why? And could it be done? Cheney was intent on “shaping the environment”, another fixation. Why attempt this? Was this really necessary for security of Americans? Is it even feasible? Were Cheney and his planners even cognizant of the difficulties in doing so? He thought this was “critical”. Why? How much difference does it really make to Americans if various regions have changes or instability? Isn’t this as old as the hills?

Here we have Cheney piling up one erroneous, distorted or wild idea atop another. Eventually these ideas would lead him and Bush to an attack on Iraq. These ideas could be made to sound sensible and logical by practitioners of the art of persuasion on talk shows, interviews and speeches; but they are all flawed and they led to disaster, it being widely thought, as is easy to document, that the decision to invade Iraq was a huge policy blunder.

The CPRW plans and strategy are official U.S. policy to this date. They are a loser.

Michael S. Rozeff [msroz@buffalo.edu] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.