ACTIVE NON-VIOLENCE AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE :
THE ANSWER TO MILITARISTS AND WARMONGERS
As the international community braces for a U.S.-led war of aggression against Iraq, I am reminded of a story about Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, as a member of the Manhattan Project, when asked by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee if there was any defense against a nuclear weapon. He replied, “Certainly. Peace.” The United States, with or without the UN Security Council’s approval is bent on waging war against Iraq, occupying it, and helping itself on the world’s second largest oil deposits.
In the Philippines, violence threatens to unleash itself with the insurgency and secessionist movement now more agitated with the heightened “war against terrorism” unleashed by the U.S. and Philippine authorities. Violence also manifests itself fratricidally, as in the treacherous killing two weeks ago of former guerrilla leader Romulo Kintanar, in a family restaurant in Quezon City.
The struggle for peace, justice and freedom let us not forget, is basically a POLITICAL STRUGGLE. It is a struggle for the hearts and minds of the people. It cannot be founded on violence, physical elimination or assassinations. Have we not had enough of the Reign of Terror, the Stalins, Hitlers, Pinochets and Pol Pots? Violence and counter-violence only unleashes more violence and counter-violence.
But let us go to something more fundamental : Can we really believe that taking away a person’s life as a matter of exacting reciprocal punishment is an act of justice? Can we not make mistakes in exacting the punishment on the wrong person? Or when due process is not applied? In any case, it is perhaps time for true peacemakers to reclaim the principles of peace and active non-violence.
In the midst of international and local injustices and the current warmongering of the Bush administration, we call on the American people, and the peace-loving peoples of the world, including those in our beautiful land the Philippines, to renew and intensify their struggle for peace and justice against this most arrogant superpower. Nelson Mandela calls this superpower, the “greatest threat to world peace”, as well as at least 80% of TIME Magazine’s internet readers surveyed who were asked which country they thought was the biggest threat to world peace.
ACTIVE NON-VIOLENCE AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE is our answer to militarists and warmongers, whoever and wherever they are. It would be wise at this time for the man who is bringing us on the brink of another catastrophic war, U.S.President Bush to reflect on the wisdom of a great American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson when he wrote, ” Peace has its victories, but it takes a brave man to win them.”
Professor Roland G Simbulan
Debunking The Terrorist Myth
The Great White Lie Is Really a Glaring Red Blood Soaked Lie
The often referred to, “white lie” is in fact making the statement that telling a lie is justified, yet in absolute truth remains a lie. If fact it is the liar that determines the difference between what lies are allowed to be told for the public’s good, and those that are not. The next criteria for accepted white lies is who gets to tell them. For some it may very well spell a holocaust for themselves or for their entire nation. For other, it gives them the right to re-write what goes into the history books so future generations will not be held accountable for their ancestors actions.
The very most important issue for mankind has been tossed out of the window, to serve the needs of ruthless fortune hunters, as the truth is no longer of any value. A glaring example of such was created on the heals of 9/11 by the American Government.
“On February 19, the New York Times reported that a new group within the Pentagon, the Office of Strategic Influence, was “developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations.” The revelation was met with outrage, and within a week the Pentagon had closed down the OSI, saying that negative media attention had damaged the office’s reputation so much “that it could not operate effectively” (AP, 2/26/02).”
“When Douglas Feith, the official who oversaw OSI, was asked whether the Pentagon might “secretly enlist” a non-government third party “to spread false or misleading information to the news media,” he did not rule it out. “We are going to preserve our ability to undertake operations that may, for tactical purposes, mislead an enemy,” said Feith (AP, 2/20/02), “but we are not going to blow our credibility as an institution in our public pronouncements.” The Pentagon might lie, he seemed to be saying, but won’t announce that it’s doing so.” (Original Story)
The issue is a lot greater than just telling a white lie, as it involves the innocent deaths of millions of people on this planet, people with the same rights as you and me. There seems to be at this time an extreme double standard, much like that in the days of the Jewish Holocaust, where justice really was only ever determined by your nationality. And this philosophy is one that has a very real meaning to the Afro-Americans in the USA.
America is unfortunately the source of this new white lie that in effect calls everyone that opposes the objectives of America’s corporate agenda “a terrorist”. How do they do this? This is accomplished by re-writing the rules of not only just war, but also the rules of free speech. America has already deemed that certain influential people as terrorists, even though they fight exactly the same war as the much acclaimed civil war in United States. Could any imagine calling the Civil War in the USA a war on terrorism? If so, to whom should the label of terrorists go to?
America at this time has labeled those groups that are not supportive of a USA influence as terrorist groups, and has removed from them the right to say it is a war they are fighting. Two good case points are the ongoing civil war in the Philippines, and the war over territory between Israel and the Arab countries. Notice however there is one clear common denominator, that both are predominantly Muslim. What then is the actual defining point of difference between terrorism and war? The United States has declared that what the Palestinians do to Israel is called acts of terrorism. Then what would you call it if Palestine was supplied by China or Russia with the same fire power of the USA has supplying Israel, then committed the same acts as that done by Israeli to Palestinians? Would you then define the difference by ones means to fight for their own independence?
Here is a horrifying example of what I mean.
This is a prelude to what we call a terrorist in the making.
“In front of a burning building of the UN’s Fijian battalion headquarters, a girl held a corpse in her arms, the body of a gray- haired man whose eyes were staring at her, and she rocked the corpse back and forth in her arms, keening and weeping and crying the same words over and over: “My father, my father.” A Fijian UN soldier stood amid a sea of bodies and, without saying a word, held aloft the body of a headless child.
When I walked towards them, I slipped on a human hand… Israel’s slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day offensive – 206 by last night – has been so cavalier, so ferocious, that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day before, the 2-year-old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a family of 12 – the youngest was a four- day-old baby – when Israeli helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home.
Shortly afterwards, three Israeli jets dropped bombs only 250 meters from a UN convoy on which I was traveling, blasting a house 30 feet into the air in front of my eyes. Traveling back to Beirut to file my report on the Qana massacre to the Independent last night, I found two Israeli gunboats firing at the civilian cars on the river bridge north of Sidon.
A French UN trooper muttered oaths to himself as he opened a bag in which he was dropping feet, fingers, pieces of people’s arms. We had suddenly become not UN troops and journalists but Westerners, Israel’s allies, an object of hatred and venom. One bearded man with fierce eyes stared at us, his face dark with fury. “You are Americans”, he screamed at us. “Americans are dogs. You did this. Americans are dogs.” “
Now here is the result, a terrorist is born.
“I would like to be made into a bomb and blow myself up amid the Israelis”, one old man said.
Now comes a time for deep soul searching, would not you or I, or any American have taken the same position, should you be exposed to the same ordeal? And you ask why 9/11? I hope by now you can see a very powerful connection. Now you may well understand what made Americans so angry when the Prime Minister of Canada said the following.
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien;
“There’s a moment when you have to stop,” Chrétien gravely told CBC-TV interviewer Peter Mansbridge in a broadcast to be aired Wednesday night.
“You cannot exercise your powers to the point of humiliation for the others. And that is what the western world — not only the Americans, the western world — has to realize. Because they are human beings, too.
“There are long-term consequences if you don’t look hard at the reality in 10 or 20 or 30 years from now.
“And I do think that the western world is getting too rich in relation to the poor world.
“And necessarily, we’re looked upon as arrogant, self-satisfied, greedy and with no limits. And the 11th of September is an occasion for me to realize it even more.” (Original Story)
Have a look back into history for one moment. And look at who is telling or dictating to the world what should and should not be done. Was this the UN, or was this the United States of America dictating what the world must do? Do not get me wrong, that it was not the correct action to take, however when you give orders to allies, its clear who is running the show.
“In 1956 Eisenhower ordered Britain, France and Israel to end their invasion of Egypt. In October 1973 Nixon ordered Israel to pull troops commanded by General Sharon out of the west bank of the Suez Canal. Sharon was once again ordered to cease his aggression in 1983, this time against Lebanon. And George Bush Sr. withheld funds from new settlements Israel was building in the Occupied Territories taken in the 1967 war.” (Original Story)
Take careful note that what Sharon has been doing is killing, plundering, torturing, and the harshest words ever spoken against Israel is using the word “Aggression” No one ever held Sharon accountable for his actions, why? Was it because the attacks were against Muslims? If this is not the reason I would most certainly be all ears to hear how anyone could explain their way out of this one.
Now lets compare the following human rights violations and compare.
THE PROSECUTOR OF THE TRIBUNAL AGAINST SLOBODAN MILJKOVIC
Beginning on 17 April 1992, Serb military and political authorities coordinated and carried out the following actions as part of that campaign of terror: a) arrested and detained most of the Bosnian Croat and Muslim men in the municipality particularly the political, economic, professional, academic, and civic leaders; b) established and operated, primarily under the authority of the Serb police, detention camps where prisoners were killed, beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted, and otherwise mistreated; c) permitted units of paramilitary soldiers from Serbiato enter the detention camps to kill and beat the prisoners; d) forced Bosnian Croat and Muslim residents to leave their homes, and permitted Serb residents to move into the vacated homes; e) expelled, through force or intimidation, Bosnian Croat and Muslim residents of the municipality to other countries and other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina (excerpt from documents) Reference (Original Story)
Now let’s look at another similar situation with drastically different end results.
Ariel Sharon, is hailed as a statesman the USA, yet look at his track record.
“On the night of September 16, 1982, Sharon sent Phalangist murder squads into two Palestinian refugee camps, Sabra and Chatila. With Israeli tanks and troops closely surrounding the camps to prevent any of the Palestinians from escaping, the murder squads machine-gunned, bayoneted, and bludgeoned Palestinian civilians all that night, the next day and the following night; all while the Israelis surrounding the camps listened gleefully to the machine gun fire and screams coming from inside. Sharon then sent in bulldozers to hide as much of the atrocity as he could. At least 1500 Palestinian men, women and children were butchered, and perhaps as many as 2500. (An official Lebanese investigation set the figure at 2500) Even after the efforts of Sharon’s bulldozers, many Palestinians remained unburied, and Red Cross workers found whole families; including hundreds of elderly and little children, with their throats cut or disemboweled. Uncounted numbers of women and girls were als! and raped before they were slaughtered”
“The commander of the Haganah unit that controlled Deir Yassin after the massacre, Zvi Ankori, made this statement in the Israeli newspaper Davar: I went into six to seven houses. I saw cut off genitalia and women’s crushed stomachs. According to the shooting signs on the bodies, it was direct murder.”
“The brutal torture of thousands of one’s enemies must be classified as a particularly vicious form of terrorism. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been tortured in Israeli jails. A Jewish human rights group in Israel confirmed in a 60-page report that 85% of Palestinian detainees undergo torture while in custody. And make no mistake about it; many of the tortures endured by these Palestinian victims are the stuff of one’s worst nightmares. Israeli torture includes everything from choking victims with urine and feces soaked bags tied over their heads, to using electric cattle prods for anal rape and mutilation. Israel often doesn’t even admit to who they are holding, so if they decide to kill or torture a Palestinian to death while he is in custody, his body will simply disappear, or they will later claim that they died in a battle with Israeli police before capture. Many thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese have died while in Israeli custody.” Reference (3) (This is a copy of the original article in HTML format, the original is linked from this page and is in PDF format.)
There are hundreds of references on the internet in regards to the verification of what happened in Palestine, they may differ somewhat in content, based on the writers experience, yet the fact that happened is undeniable. Even more disgusting is that Israel got away with it by claiming it was an error, or accident. Would this same rule have applied if every time there was an intention to bomb Israeli officials and troops, that they could also just say “Oops we missed”? In absolute disregard for the facts, this man Ariel Sharon is greeted by the American Government as a great leader, and gets the respect due to such by American Presidents.
Now have a look at the rules of evidence as given under the “International Tribunal for Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia.” Ask yourself the question of why these same rules cannot be applied to other perpetrators of the same or similar crimes?
On the same subject ask yourself why Americans should be exempt from war crimes committed? Have they been deemed to be the new elite human race that is above the law? (Original Story) When are we going to have one law internationally that will apply equally to all countries? What is clear is that we have two sets of rules, with the party that has the most firepower, declaring who is and who is not in violation. This is a very frightening scenario, and one that if Americans do not control soon, will be the end of civilization as we know it. Every day the American Government is allowed to continue its agenda of world dominance, is one day closer to the next terrorist attack.
Ask yourself, if you lost your wife, parents, children, and everything you own, as well as any chance of ever having a decent future, are you not then the perfect candidate to become the next terrorist?
Reinier J Kanis
British Columbia, Canada
Webmaster for YONIP
* Article by Roland G Simbulan – For a full professional background of Professor Roland G. Simbulan (Click Here)