Some goof over on YouTube called Mohamed ElBaradei a New World Order goon, the man who stood up to George W. Bush and all the neocons about the WMD in Iraq that weren't there and also about the supposed proof of some nuclear-weapons program in Iran.
He was right! This guy is the favourite of the Soros Foundation who are funding and pushing all these so-called Arab "uprisings"
Dig deeper. There is much more to find out.
Des, I know about ElBaradei's connections to George Soros. I know about where ElBaradei was during the planning stages for the Egyptian Revolution. I don't need to dig. I support the Egyptians overthrowing Mubarak's Regime.
You need to ask yourself where you're getting your ideological bent.
Exactly which New World Order don't you want? There are New World Orders, and then there are New World Orders. You're going to have to choose at least one of them.
My New World Order is consensual and based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ calling for giving and sharing all, not greed, and for peace, not violence, and for purity, not depravity.
Anyway, the criticisms leveled against George Soros come out from the greediest of the greedy and their minions, such as the very confused and antichrist (there are many of them) Glenn Beck, not that George is poor or hasn't ever done wrong things in his financial life to make his billions. Sin is relative though.
Check this out, Des:
I barely know who Glenn Beck is!
I come from the left rather than the Tea Party.
Why has the Soros Foundation spent so much money on training young Arab activists from all the Arab states?
If you believe that potted biography on 98% and that he only has a desire for democracy I have a bridge in London to sell you.
OK, I won't bother you again. We'll agree to differ.
When I first posted anything on that 98% post, I wrote that I don't agree 100% with it. I didn't think it was necessary to say that here. I agree with most of it concerning Soros and probably all of it concerning the Kochs.
So, why is George Soros spending so much money on his causes if not for the reasons he says? Exactly how much do you think he's spent training Arab activists, and what's wrong with doing that if it helps to get them out from under the likes of Qaddaffi, the murdering swine?
You have to give me facts before we can even arrive at a place where I'm comfortable saying we'll have to agree to disagree.
Soros is a mixed-economy capitalist. He's made billions. He sees nothing wrong with that. I disagree with him, but I don't believe he's worse than the Kochs for instance, not even close.
By the way, I didn't assume you were getting your info from Glenn Beck; but many people on the left latch onto poorly thought-out, second-hand ideas Beck pushes, so I just tossed his name out there.
You'll have to explain where you're coming from, Des.
I am inclined to go with Des on this one.
(1) You have called Qadhaafi "murdering swine" ... that begs the question, do you think the Libyan state (or let us say, collection of collective Libyan authorities) will be less bloody if Qadhaafi is overthrown? I think tribes will control fiefdoms and the West (i.e., financiers) will come in and steal their oil.
Qadhaafi is an Islamic Socialist, which is I guess a North African version of Ba'athism (fit for a place with almost no Christians). No matter how corrupt the govt may be, this ideology is likely more advanced from a civilisational point of view than what it seems would follow it (if it be overthrown now). If your beef is with Qadhaafi as a person, the best solution would be a coup against him within the system (for a "renewal" of the revolution of 69).
(2) Soros is among the worst of the worst. Yes, it seems on the surface he was against the Iraq war. At most, this is a difference of strategy, not goal. Soros is an international currency speculator, who makes billions off insider trading and particularly targeting countries to cause instability and shake up their govts. It is not a recent revelation on the Alex Jones show that his money filtered down to the "colour revolutions" that left millions more dependent on IMF debt slavery, whatever you think of Milosevic, Shevardnadze, Bakiyev, etc. (and remember that here Soros and Bush II were on the same page 100%). Soros' political activities go back at least to the 80s (I can add he puts a lot of money behind the liberalisation of laws against both hard and soft drugs). I am not sure the Kochs' speculative endeavours target governments for political reasons.
Intelligent leaders (Putin, Lukashenko, Al-Assad) have kicked out, or never allowed, Soros- and NED-backed NGOs.
I'm not attempting to rationalize Soros and his billions. The issue was and remains ElBaradei and the vision for Egypt relative to the Mubarak Regime. If we take the position that the Zionists take, we will defeat the Egyptian Revolution. Soros took the opposite view of the Zionists.
The point I'm making is that Alex Jones and many, many others are conflating things that do not fit together under the umbrella of some thoroughly planned, decades-old (at least), global-collectivist (leftist; socialist) agenda.
As for Qaddaffi, absolutely I'm saying that Libya could join Egypt in being vastly less repressive. It depends a great deal upon what the masses (American public opinion to a large degree) expect of Obama and the rest of that crowd. If you have low expectations, you'll be sending out those vibes or, as a Christian, spirit.
Qaddaffi is a socialist under the worn out "cult of personality" crap that was dead on arrival the moment Lenin started in with it. He has to go and be replaced by someone who is interested in the people as a whole and less on his nurse's bra size.
I'm far from wet behind the ears concerning CIA machinations all around the world and the role billionaires play in that. That though doesn't mean that I can't stand up for what's better and best just because the CIA front might be saying the same thing but for other reasons and for another outcome. I intend for humanity to win regardless of what any billionaires might or might not want to the contrary.
As for the Kochs not targeting governments, try the US Empire. The Kochs are spending just as hard on trying to bring in laissez-faire capitalism in the US (and thereby much of the Empire) as Soros has been spending to work his vision for Special Drawing Rights where George is in on the ground floor of the 100 trillion dollar series of tranches designed to replace the toxic derivatives with a new hallucination.
Which vision is better? Well, I can work to turn the CIA, but the Koch's ideology is Randian insanity where only total conversion will even put a dent in it.
I left the following comment on Alex Jones' Sunday video:
"Comment: Alex Jones says anti-dictatorship uprisings are good & grassroots, but Soros funding is for chaos & a global, collectivist dictatorship. If he's right Obama is part of that plan, why has Obama been dragging where Soros has been funding?
"Alex, which is better "Atlas Shrugged," by Ayn Rand, or the "Gospel of John" and why?
"Jones doesn't like the Wisconsin Gov. (social conservative, deficit hawk) threatening unions (Alex doesn't like) with the National Guard.
"Who's which NWO?"
Let us get a few things clear...
(1) There was a sort of Egyptian revolt, but it is unclear that there is an Egyptian "Revolution". There is currently a repressive military dictatorship that has promised a constitution. That military, however, is dependent on US foreign aid $$$ for its goodies, which is why there is reason to be sceptical for real change.
(2) All the same, there was more justification for supporting the Egyptian revolt than the Libyan. Egypt's govt had Arab nationalist origins but had descended into an American puppet state which was beginning to implement some neoliberal reforms. The opposition there was vocal and included people with clear demands for a more progressive economic and foreign policy. I have heard nothing of an organised Libyan opposition beyond tribal gangs that hate Qadhaafi's family for apolitical reasons.
(3) Libya is NOT a neoliberal country with a dictator; it has a fairly controlled economy probably resembling Hungary or Poland in the 80s (it is isolated, not part of the alleged NWO). "Personality cult" or not, so what? I don't follow personality cults either (and it is the norm, not the exception, in the Mid East), but the point is this: "Do you see progress coming out of the revolt, or do you just have blind hope?"
I think in Libya's case, there is no hesitation from the US in condemning violence against protesters/rioters because they have been waiting to get rid of Qadhaafi ever since he came into power. They want control over Libya's oil, privatisation of its other nationalised corporations, poisonous IMF aid, a weak central state dominated by tribal rivalries, and an end to pan-Arabism and pan-Africanism.
And, in the experience of other colour revolutions (if we want to follow Tarpley's hypothesis, this includes Obama), the laws of repression largely remain with the new regime and are just used against enemies of the new order.
As regards the Kochs, I don't wish to claim they are morally superior to Soros, just relatively small fish. No, I don't think buying a little political influence by organising tea parties is comparable to forcing the UK govt to raise interest rates to 15% and knocking the pound off the ERM (with huge political implications). I don't think it is comparable to organising revolutions in the streets.
As far as AJ is concerned, my understanding is he thinks the grassroots anger is real but El-Barad3ei was a Soros man flown in (from Vienna, where he actually lives) to hijack the revolution. This is a reasonable hypothesis. If you watched Al Jazeera during the revolt, you would have seen for some days they were pushing him as "the opposition leader", even though he had no role in Egyptian politics. Real political party leaders were not interviewed. Although AJ can be hard to pin down because he has guests with different backgrounds/philosophies, I don't think he has been self-contradictory here.
I know only too well about the military dictatorship and the American military funding. The Egyptians who brought down Mubarak know about it too. The combination of groups: Youth, students, labor, Muslim Brotherhood, international community, etc., isn't going to just rollover anymore just because some dictator is overthrown and there are entities remaining who want to become the new dictators. The fight is on now for a global breakthrough on thinking.
Look, once upon a time, Europe was wholly monarchical. Which European nation-state has sole sovereignty vested in a monarch anymore? Times change, and they are changing in the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere. Don't be behind the curve.
Are you really under the impression that the same aspirations that have been being promoted by the Egyptian revolutionaries are not being shared all over the place? Communications are not by a Pony Express anymore. They are at the speed of light and global for the most part, except where governments still control ground-based ISP's, etc. (That will change too.) The Libyans are fully aware of what the Egyptians stood up for. It's infectious, Thomas. The psychology-of-revolts understands this. People in the know also know and are more on guard than ever about the counter-measures of those who would be the new dictators.
Our job is to spread the new thinking, not the old.
Libya isolated? Qaddaffi runs Libya as his private estate. He shuffles billions around the financial system.
Thomas, the fight is multifaceted. We don't support dictators because the Empire wants to eat the Libyans. We oppose both the dictators and the Empire at the same time. That's Christian.
The revolutions that are occurring are beyond pan-Arabism, and the US government knows it. The point here is that we are calling the Empire's bluff about democracy, etc. If you diminish this enlightening process, you're creating blind hope where certainty in numbers would otherwise make real and proper change a certainty. In other words, you make yourself your own self-defeating prophet.
Tarpley's hypothesis is good for back when. The rate of change is accelerating right beyond that thinking. Besides, the color revolutions remain platforms for additional changes that would otherwise not have been possible. Aren't you glad Stalin fell, Thomas, even though the CIA also wanted him gone? Are you not able to reconcile these things?
Tarpley's a Lyndon LaRouche disciple, Thomas. Lyndon has had some interesting things to say about the British Empire, etc., but he fails his own concept of remaining out in front of the rate of evolutionary change so as to not be selected out.
The war for truth is huge and growing exponentially. That's why the Zionists could not prevent the Egyptians and could not force Obama to speak Zionist-speak. Obama was forced to speak more of my speak, shared by hundreds of millions around the world. He was late, on purpose; but we've called him on it and are winning the hearts and minds of masses of people. We are holding the Muslim Brotherhood to its word about a multi-party system. We are encouraging the other Egyptians to forego any Supreme Council of cleric's concept for Egypt. Egypt must not become an Islamic sharia state or slip back into a Mubarak type regime.
Egypt needs to be a light to the rest of the Middle East and North Africa and the whole world. Libya and the other nations can follow suit.
The Kochs are small fish? Thomas, you're living under a rock on that issue. The Kochs have had a huge and negative impact on the American political-economic dialogue. They've been stealthy about it enough apparently to fly under your radar. They've pumped billions into influencing every level of government in pursuit of laissez-faire capitalist policies with way too much success (if one may rightly call it that.)
The Kochs have organized revolutions in the streets, only the police are never giving the laissez-faire capitalist revolutionaries a hard time, contrary to how they abuse the anti-capitalists. What in the world are you thinking?
[The reason the police aren't jacking around the unions in Wisconsin is because of the police union. It's about time the police everywhere get a clue when they're told to beat pro-democracy and anti-war protesters for the sake of the war-profiteering, capitalist, global plutocrats. The police need to say no. The police need to protect pro-democracy and anti-war protesters and tell the privatizers to back off or find themselves in jail for inciting violence against peaceful protesters.]
ElBaradei was involved in the planning for months and months before the out break, Thomas. He worked directly with many of the leading youth in the Movement. He was not flown in to hijack the Revolution at all. Alex Jones doesn't know what he's talking about on that score (and plenty of others).
I think our disagreements probably stem from this sentiment, "Our job is to spread the new thinking, not the old".
Though you may mean by "new thinking" radical Christian ethics, in which I case I agree, the fitting application to your more recent posts (and the previous paragraph) would suggest this means pro-democracy activism or the avant-gardiste revolutionary slogan du jour.
Radical Christian politics is a mixture of various positions and sentiments that ranges from reactionary Right to revolutionary Left in modern European/American parlance. It is not fitting to Christianity to go around condemning the past wholesale, and certainly makes no sense to denounce monarchies and dictatorships because of their form, rather than substance, of gov't.
That said, I understand the point about not supporting dictators just because they are not part of the inner clique of Western imperialism. I wish you would understand my larger point, though, which is (1) there is no apparent political substance to the Libyan revolt beyond tribal rivalries and hatred for a personality (as opposed to Egypt where one could back Nasserist or socialist groups); and (2) if we were Egyptian or Libyan, then surely we could take a more nuanced position, but certainly it is wrong to support vague manipulated or easily manipulable movements.
It also makes no sense to claim that my scepticism will defeat an "enlightening" process in the Middle East. For that matter, I think pan-Arabism/Ba3athism is the most enlightening ideology one could hope for in the Middle East and represented a chance for the material progress and the development of those nations, something never desired by the West (esp. UK/US). Even with dictatorships, these societies were/are more meritocratic than the Gulf monarchies, have a better distribution of wealth, and better education.
The current thought on Stalin in Russia is that he was killed. There is also no reason to believe this was a good thing, as Beria had a hand in it and Khrushchjov was a fool. Btw, Trotsky was also a bigger psychopath with more bloodlust. History, tragic as it has been for Russia, could have been much worse, and that is worth remembering.
Tarpley *was* (not 'is') a LaRouche disciple. He left the political cult some time ago (AJ discussed this once on air). LaRouche is mostly right on the issues (if never on strategy), and Tarpley has almost identical beliefs, but they do not share the same strategy.
As has been established, it was clear from the get-go that major international media outlets had it in for Mubarak (e.g., Al Jazeera, which was never balanced in its coverage of events). Obama didn't decide to agree with you because of grassroots democratic pressure (you did notice they vetoed the condemnation of Israeli settlements, so he hardly cares about Arab opinion). The WH has various factions and was always conflicted over what to do...they got their safest result, an army coup that will honour bad geopolitical agreements.
A TEA PARTY IS NOT A REVOLUTION...a colour revolution (in praxis) has involved not only "pro-democracy" activists but gangs of hooligans, often alcoholic or drug-addicted youth, storming buildings, assaulting people, and torching things. The Kochs are NOT on the level of a Soros. The reason, btw, the Democratic Congress could not deliver financial reform is because of the influence of Soroses and Buffets, Goldman Sachs, etc., over the alleged "Left". Soros and Koch both represent wings of liberalism, whereas most Democratic voters are more social democrats at heart and Republicans more truly conservative. That is the game of the two party duopoly in a "constitutional republic" subverted by financial interests.
El Barad3ei was not in Egypt in the months leading up to the revolt. He did associate with "pro-democracy" NGOs, which are NWO fronts for training revolutionaries (you understand they only use these people as manpower and then ignore them?). That does not mean he was a political figure with policy statements. Apparently he floated the idea of running for president once...in a speech at Harvard.
While I do not take AJ to be an expert on Egyptian politics (and he certainly gets a lot of facts wrong), I think much of what you say to be quite influenced by American parochialism (e.g., thinking Soros is mostly attacked for being a 'leftist'). Not being in the Middle East (or Serbia, or Georgia, or the Ukraine, etc.), you can hope for the best, but actively support the best of viable options, NOT change for its own sake. That was, is, and always shall be a recipe for disaster.
Jumping to Christianity is not something people are ready to do. Christianity and radicalism are one and the same in my Gospel reading. I've been asking people for years now to even begin to discuss the full implications of that Gospel but have had zero takers. What I see now is that the Movement to "Democracy" is a stepping stone for souls not given to the soft-hearted position that is real Christianity. I remain opposed to coercion and hence violence and violent revolution, although I know who has the lesser sin in such matters.
You are using the term "radical" not in the Christian sense but rather mundane senses that even the atheists can agree upon. I, of course, can speak with you using either manner of defining "radical."
"It is not fitting to Christianity to go around condemning the past wholesale...." One certainly can't condemn Jesus; however, you and I have been down the road concerning "orthodox" traditionalism, etc. I condemn the condemnable while not losing sight of my own indiscretions (legion in my life). I'm not throwing any soul into the Lake of Fire because I am too ignorant concerning the full meaning and result concerning which souls. God knows though, and I trust God. I know that much.
The Kingdom of Heaven is certainly a monarchy. I'm not opposed to God. My point was not one of saying monarchies, per se, are evil but rather that change can be dramatic. Europe is dramatically different from when all was monarchical. The form is only as good as the parties involved.
"I wish you would understand my larger point, though, which is (1) there is no apparent political substance to the Libyan revolt beyond tribal rivalries and hatred for a personality (as opposed to Egypt where one could back Nasserist or socialist groups)" Oh, I hear you and heard you, but my approach is something you don't latch onto for whatever reason. Faith, Thomas, is collective as well as individual. Also, I explained that the word about the basis for the sweeping movement is spreading. The Libyans heard the Egyptians. What makes you think they don't want the same thing for Libya? Don't forget, Nasser was popular across the Arab world because of his Nasserism. They knew what it was. The same sort of dynamic to a new understanding can happen right now. Get behind it with me.
"...it is wrong to support vague manipulated or easily manipulable movements." The Movement is elastic. What we say about it makes it. The more a group agrees as to how to define it, the more that reality is brought forth.
"It also makes no sense to claim that my scepticism will defeat an "enlightening" process in the Middle East." This is the exact same position that a Zionist Israeli attempted to make to me as well. It is the single most sticking point for the whole world that I see. It is a matter of faith and lack thereof. The naysayer would point at me to say, he's engaging in "magical thinking." I'm engaging in believing. Where there is little of it, there are little or no miracles granted. Jesus was amazed by it, and so am I.
There is spirit, Thomas. Your thoughts and words factor into outcomes whether in a large way or small. It's why Jesus said that we are to keep all of the commandments. Consistency is the key to life in the highest. Hypocrisy is death.
I agree with you that the West has been against the rise of the Arabs. It is of course racism exacerbated by Mohammed's Islam. I'm for the Arabs experiencing a much higher quality of life. I'm for them having freedom of religion. I'm for them being pre-positioned to begin to consider the higher aspects of Jesus's teachings and life example that have been "forbidden" to them by Islam and capitalism and coercive, Marxist socialism.
As for Stalin versus Trotsky and blood shed, etc., Trotsky was the army leader, but Stalin was the consummate purge artist and the gulag man. I made a study of it for a bit. My memory has faded on it over the decades, but Stalin was a monster. As for the debate between Trotsky and Stalin over Socialism in One Country versus the Worldwide, Permanent Revolution, Trotsky was more tactically and strategically correct in my view.
I don't believe Khrushchev was wrong for having exposed Stalin's sins. He also deserves credit for having spoken honestly with the Kennedy's about the Cuban situation at the time, which I lived through. He cut the Kennedy's slack and trusted them that they were speaking the truth that they were having difficulty gaining control over rogue elements in the US government and military. That took smarts and guts on Khrushchev's part.
"Tarpley *was* (not 'is') a LaRouche disciple." Okay, I won't split hairs with you on it. I even anticipated your comeback when I wrote it. I say he is a disciple in as much as he still agrees with LaRouche, which is greatly.
Regardless, Webster rails on about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks being a Mossad Operation when there is zero hard evidence of that and in fact much more that suggests that it simply isn't true. Webster and many others are now part of Gordon Duff's clique over at Veterans Today. Their work on WikiLeaks is appallingly distorted. They have some ax to grind, and no amount of countervailing facts will give them even pause. My comments there that contained hard facts about how the sources they were using were complete fabrications were deleted repeatedly. What is Webster Tarpley doing there besides making additional money?
"Obama didn't decide to agree with you because of grassroots democratic pressure (you did notice they vetoed the condemnation of Israeli settlements, so he hardly cares about Arab opinion)." The one doesn't prove the other, Thomas. Obama can only be pushed so far so fast. He was definitely pushed by public opinion. How you didn't see that unfolding in real-time is something I don't understand except for your overarching skepticism. If the people had remained silent in the US and on the Internet, Obama would have looked the other way while the Mubarak Regime did whatever if it could have convinced the military. It took the people around the world in conjunction with Obama assuring the Egyptian military for Mubarak to be persuaded to leave office. The Obama administration had wanted the people to back Mubarak's Regime. Hillary Clinton said he was a family friend. Joe Biden said he was not a dictator. Their ploy didn't work and their desires were not met because of voices such as mine. It's a fact.
"The WH has various factions and was always conflicted over what to do...they got their safest result, an army coup that will honour bad geopolitical agreements." Of course! I know that the whole time I was calling for them to tell Mubarak to go. If you think the military is not still hugely constrained, I don't know what you know about the actual people who undertook the demonstrations and what they have in mind if the military backslides.
"A TEA PARTY IS NOT A REVOLUTION...." Well, usage, Thomas, usage. Let's remember to speak within the context each of us is using terms with more than one connotation. If the Tea Party gets its way, it will be the complete rollback of everything to before the Square Deal. That would constitute revolutionary change of the most reactionary type. Their core wants to do away with minimum wage, overtime pay, the 40 hour work week, workers comp, Social Security, OSHA, environmental protection, restrictions on child labor, and more, and practically public anything. Frankly, they're insane. They are Ayn Rand's disciples. They are antichrists whether they know it or not.
"Ž"...a colour revolution (in praxis) has involved not only "pro-democracy" activists but gangs of hooligans, often alcoholic or drug-addicted youth, storming buildings, assaulting people, and torching things." For Pete sake, Thomas. You can't deduce from that that George Soros is in favor of "hooligans, often alcoholic or drug-addicted youth, storming buildings, assaulting people, and torching things." If you do that, then I'm responsible for every stone that was thrown and every bit of art that was stolen, etc., in Egypt. I get to pick and choose what aspects of the Revolution I endorse. I give the same right to George Soros. If it can be shown that Soros funded drunken, stoned hooligans by choice where he could still have funded protesters without any hooligan activities, then I'll denounce that action by Soros. Do you have proof you can show me — credible links, etc.? I'm always open to learning more truth. As I've said, I'm not a Soros fan. I'm not defending his evil wealth accumulation or the means by which he's done it.
The Kochs are "liberal" only in the sense used by laissez-faire capitalists, Thomas. Have you made a study of what they've been financing? They fund think tanks up the (well, I'll leave it to your imagination). They fund getting laissez-faire capitalists into professorships. They fund scholarships to promote laissez-faire capitalism. They lobby Congress in huge ways. Are you aware of just how rich they are and how they have never gone public? They don't report to the SEC for instance. I'm amazed by your position concerning these hyper-capitalist billionaire brothers who have more money then does Soros. The Kochs are the most hyper-capitalist billionaires on the planet to my understanding, and they spend more on influencing the politics of the US as a percentage of their wealth than do any other billionaires. They have AstroTurfed the Tea Party Movement, which is apparently much bigger, dangerous deal than you realize.
By way of saying that the Kochs have been knocking huge chunks off the New Deal in no way diminishes the same thing concerning Wall Street. It is not an either or, Thomas. The Kochs and Wall Street are evil.
"ElBaradei was not in Egypt in the months leading up to the revolt." He didn't have to be to be involved in the planning. It wasn't just NGO's he was dealing with. It was the core group of youth who made the demonstrations click.
You are misreading ElBaradei's character. You don't believe he's telling you what he really thinks. I see him as being extremely honest about what he wants for Egypt. Look, it's a wonder Bush and the Zionists didn't have him assassinated back when he was standing up to them over and over and over. Exactly what do you make of that, that he was a fake all that time? I don't see it at all.
"I think much of what you say to be quite influenced by American parochialism (e.g., thinking Soros is mostly attacked for being a 'leftist')." No, I'm not taking my views about Soros from others. He's attacked in the US for being a Jew but more so for being a leftist in terms of the American political spectrum. I'm speaking within context. I was discussing the US when I was making my point. On a global scale, Soros is a reactionary. I know that. You should have already known that about me after all the conversations we've had. I'm a communist, Thomas. Remember? I'm not a Marxist, but I am a communist. I'm as anti-capitalist as they come, even while I will not do violence to stop people from engaging in the evil of capitalism — and it is evil.
"Not being in the Middle East (or Serbia, or Georgia, or the Ukraine, etc.), you can hope for the best, but actively support the best of viable options, NOT change for its own sake. That was, is, and always shall be a recipe for disaster." I don't follow what you're trying to say there. I'm adamantly opposed to change for its own sake. I thought the "change" mantra of the Clintons was stupid. I was amazed that people's memories were so short when Obama used it in exactly the same nearly meaningless fashion — would have been meaningless had it not meant change for the worse in so many ways.
Now, I really have to get on with other things, so if you comment again on this thread, don't feel slighted if I don't get back to you right away. It won't be because I'm disinterested or don't find it as a valuable opportunity to expound.
Thank you both for this wonderful debate. This level of discussion on the Arab crisis is is not to be found elsewhere amongst my friends on Facebook who take an interest in what is happening in the middle east.
You both make excellent points but I'm still agreeing with most of what Thomas has to say. (No surprise!)
Particularly his comments on the situation in Libya both now and before this "uprising".
Compared to most Arab states, Libyans are fairly comfortable and though he may have been a dictator, Gadaafi shared the wealth with his people and they have good schools, probably a better health service than Americans and like Saddam, he has kept his country together.
Unlike Egypt, there is very little hard news coming out of Libya. Obvioulsy the Soros crowd and Freedom House trained bloggers and Twitters as well as CANVAS have not gained a foothold there as they have in Tunisia and Egypt.
Much of the news coming out of Libya at the moment is on a par with the propaganda spread about the Hun in world war one where they were supposed to be bayonetting babies in Belgium!
Remember the babies torn from their incubators and thrown on the floor! All lies of course but fed to us by a tearful young girl who turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the USA.
African mercenaries rampaging across Libya indeed. Pull the other one, as we say in London, it's got bells on it!
Des, I don't see the level of coverage as being on par with the Bush-41 lies in the lead up to the first invasion of Iraq. The people crying into their phones about dead bodies lying around and snipers and with all the background noise of lots of shooting would be highly counter-productive to the whole movement were it all to turn out to have been a huge fabrication.
Well Tom, we shall just have to wait and see.
In the meantime please have a look at some of these links to the people who are training the bloggers and Twitters....
Please have a look at all the comments on my profile page re the Arab revolt.
"The cooptation of the leaders of major opposition parties and civil society organizations in anticipation of the collapse of an authoritarian puppet government is part of Washington's design, applied in diffe...rent regions of the World.
The process of cooptation is implemented and financed by US based foundations including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Freedom House (FH). Both FH and the NED have links to the US Congress. the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the US business establishment. Both the NED and FH are known to have ties to the CIA.
The NED is actively involved in Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria. Freedom House supports several civil society organizations in Egypt."
Particularly those comments by Danny Chaplin.
There is no definition of the word "radical" that is specifically Christian. Radical what? When it does not modify anything, the political tradition of the "radical" is militantly secular left-liberalism (re: 19th century Britain, France, Denmark).
I am sure you are very introspective, but your approach to Christianity has many hallmarks of the extreme puritanical sect (like Anabaptists, or, in politics, Trotskyites) that makes wholesale condemnations for even relatively minor disagreements and indiscretions. While some orthodox Christians might treat the heterodox in a similar fashion, what is particularly appealing about sacramental Christianity is that it does not deny the radicalism of Christ or the call towards perfection while also bringing us to repentance and the understanding of Christ's forgiveness for our inevitable falls. Orthodox Christianity celebrates sacrifice, which I know you also value to a degree challenged by few, but also forgiveness and healing of the soul, and thereby it offers a sustainable lifestyle. Tom, you can and you do do great activism to seek to make the world more Christlike, but you cannot build a church just around emulating Christ (which you won't achieve) in political and social work, while constantly delineating the righteous and pure from the unrighteous and impure.
In short, the puritanical "permanent revolution" chasing after abstract concepts is not of Christianity. The permanent theosis of personal reformation is.
"The form is only as good as the parties involved" -Those are true words of wisdom. This is true of any system, including representative democracy. Only...I would say (this being my old Tory side) that the ideology a system promotes is also a major factor. That is to say, for example, that liberal capitalism is a particularly horrible system, because, while you might work for a kind boss, the whole system promotes and rewards egoism. By contrast, your feudal lord or socialist bureaucrat might be totally heartless or corrupt, respectively, but this is not what he is taught to be and he runs the risk of punishment.
I assure you I would support the revolts if I thought they were coalescing behind something like Nasserism. My opinion on the Egyptian revolt was and is mixed (and I want to support it pretty badly), but increasingly sceptical, as I see fanatics talk about having achieved "freedom" already when they have a military dictatorship banning strikes and having successfully kicked them out of Tahrir. If I thought Qadhaafi's revolution in Libya would be renewed by a fresh face, I would back their uprising. I am not a knee-jerk conservative, nor a knee-jerk radical. I want what is best for the Middle East out of the apparent, viable options. There is no good option facing us in Libya, and you have never made the case for one beyond blind hope.
"The Movement is elastic. What we say about it makes it." -I hope you do not take the news too badly to hear that you and I have close to zero influence over the nature of Middle Eastern revolts. Your best dreams and worst nightmares are irrelevant to what they do over there.
"It is a matter of faith and lack thereof" -Forgive my academic's sceptic tone (maybe I follow in St Thomas' footsteps :) ), but there is no virtue in blind faith. If it is hard enough to justify in religion, it is an absolutely foolish creed for politics. I believe because the Holy Spirit is here with us, and Christ appeared as a perfect embodiment of it. Much morality is not learned, it is intrinsically experienced. But democracy and revolutions, they can lead to a good end, no doubt, but I do not have faith in them.
Trotsky was a bloodthirsty monster. It is not Stalin who penned open an open defence of terrorism or whose faction of the Comparty led the attacks on churches and priests (these 30s purges by the NKVD ended, one might note, once Stalin himself purged the NKVD). Trotsky as an army leader was an adventurist who wanted to keep fighting the Germans in 1917-8 and whose poor strategy probably cost the SU the war against Poland. I am not convinced there is much practical substance to the "socialism in one country"/"permanent revolution" debate, but, insofar as there could be, what would that have meant? It would have meant a massive Soviet expansion campaign or direct partisan/guerrilla/terrorist aid. Suddenly, all the Nazi propaganda would have been justified. And what, then, of the poor Soviet peoples, made to sacrifice for constant external struggles? The SU would have collapsed. And then how many would have died? Trotsky only gets a good rap in the West (and only in the West) because he isn't the one who pulled the proverbial trigger, but his own ideology and words were much more reckless and ruthless.
And that, really, is a good microcosm of our general disagreement. In Corner A we have a ruthless dictator whose policies have killed a few million people; in Corner B we have an intellectual who has only killed some tens of thousands, perhaps, but who thinks there the society of Corner A is too peaceful and should enter a permanent state of war and conflict. How is replacing the dictator with his opponent progress? I rather think sometimes you are suggesting it is this permanent revolution which is spiritually purifying. It is just an emotion which can equally go in the wrong direction.
"Hypocrisy is death." -Not to belittle the sin, but we are all dead, then.
re: Tarpley...I imagine his living is middle-class off a small radio show and a few obscure books. I think he is far off on many issues. Regarding Assange, he thinks the CIA is behind him, not the Mossad, as far as I know (he is not that anti-Israeli). It is reasonable to suspect Wikileaks and Assange (who gets far too much credit/blame for a larger organisation) are manipulated externally, but probably not that they are puppets. In any case, you take Tarpley's line on the Tea Party/Koch brothers. I don't think either of us is totally on the same page as he, nor against him.
"If you think the military is not still hugely constrained"
—Not so much as you, apparently. The protesters said they would stay in Tahrir until they got real reform. I said to my wife, "I give them 3 days until they are kicked out". The army did it in 2. I don't think the army is so brazen it will maintain a permanent military dictatorship, but they hold all the cards in how to frame the new constitution, and they can make it acceptable to the NGOs, Israel, the US, and Al Jazeera. The likely end result in that case will be freer elections, but at the cost of neoliberalism.
"They are Ayn Rand's disciples. They are antichrists whether they know it or not."
—No. They are misguided and spiritually sick or numb. They are not of Satan.
"You can...'t deduce from that that George Soros is in favor of "hooligans, often alcoholic or drug-addicted youth, storming buildings, assaulting people, and torching things"
-I didn't say that. I don't think Soros hires hoodlums. I think he hires and trains NGO "pro-democracy" activists who instigate rebellion, which attracts hoodlums. See Des' link.
The symbols and organisation of Otpor, Pora, K'mara, and Kefaya are the same (and the names of the latter three = "Enough!"). The activists of successful colour revolutions fly to other countries to train new activists. Who is paying for that? Soros-like NGOs and your tax money via the NED, IRI, USAID, etc.
Your fear of the Kochs sounds like Tarpley. But, btw, that does not mean I think you are his disciple.
I didn't say El Barad3ei is lying. He said what he wants. He wants to run for president. He was quite open about this. He also has not appeared to divulge a political platform. I didn't mind him stepping in and acting as a negotiator. But I will be very suspicious if he forms a political party that is pushed by the media and is swept into office in a huge revolutionary fervour. We'll just see.
As for assassinating him, don't you realise, he didn't matter, just like Hans Blix didn't matter. If the Americans really wanted at Iran, they would have done it. Cheney wanted it, but the military wouldn't go for it. They promoted the more neocon Petraeus, but Rumsfeld left and Gates took over, and the latter does not want to attack Iran and won't let the Israelis do it. That does not mean he is a good guy (I have met him a couple times, he is particularly arrogant, even for a Washingtonian), but the attack on Iran is on hold for a year or two at least.
Do you favour change for its own sake? No, I know in American politics, which you understand well, you don't. You were not caught up in Obamamania. But what you say about countries like Libya, which I, having studied Arabic for 4 years, hardly know much about because it is such a closed country, sounds just like it. You don't really know what factions are at play, you are caught up in the emotions and puritanical fervour of anti-dictatorship politics (and the feeling of "get with the winds of change", not understanding them), and you trust in the hope that things must work out for the best.
I want to remind you, too, that the media are ones who showed pictures of the Georgian assault on Tskhinvali and said it was the Russians attacking. They cropped and misreported all sorts of pictures from Tibet in 08 to make the Chinese look worse than they were. How do you know machine gun fine is not often from the protestors? They have been using violence, why act like they are innocent and only a dictator's army and police can do wrong?
Yes, Des, I'm familiar with the alphabet soup and the history of the various ones you've mentioned. None of that though dissuades me from any of what I've written here and on the other thread where Thomas and I have been bandying this topic around.
Not every single thing the Empire wants runs contrary to what I want. I'm not against things just because the Empire is for them. Their ends are not my ends and neither are most of their means, but we share some stepping stones. I share stepping stones with Alex Jones and with Muslims and with plenty of others also.
I'm a Christian but often find myself in complete agreement with atheist Marxists when the topic is narrow enough. I can say the same concerning laissez-faire capitalists.
Somewhere along the line though, I part company with everyone with whom I've ever interacted in this life with the exception of Jesus.
Some people are closer than are others of course.
Exactly what freaks you out about Freedom House? You said earlier that you come from the left, but you're a libertarian. So, are you a libertarian socialist and the Franklin Roosevelts were too right-wing for you? They are the most leftist couple we've ever had in the White House.
You know, if you tried to avoid everything that is touched upon by the alphabet soup, you'd have to bury your head.
We had Hosni Mubarak as dictator. Now he's gone. What's the plan, complain because Soros has been active? What was the alternative, going along with the Zionist who were completely against Mubarak's overthrow?
Really, it's fine to know the connection of the various alphabet soup orgs, but there comes a point when solutions have to be provided rather than just handwringing. I'm a solutions guy. I can't stand people who busy themselves fulltime with connecting all the dots to a standstill.
So, what's your solution? What position do you take right now that you are telling the Egyptians and Libyans, etc., they ought to do, nothing, what?
Look, I routinely advocate for non-violent resistance in the form of simply not cooperating. What does that make me? Jesus didn't cooperate either. They told him to shut up, and he refused. He kept preaching. Was he NWO? Yes, he was, and he's not done.
I'm not leaving the field to Soros or the Kochs or Jones or ElBaradei or anyone else. Millions of people don't know my name, but that doesn't mean I'm not having an impact. I understand the ripples I cause. I understand the seeds I spread. I've seen things I said first going around the world and coming back to me. So, I continue and will continue.
The color revolutions have attempted non-violently. Good! They have been in the promotion of democracy. Well, that's better than an undemocratic, brutal dictatorship.
So Ackerman made a killing in junk bonds. I'd hate to tell you how I've made money in my life if you'd be unwilling to allow me to repent of it. I don't know Ackerman except for what he's been doing since then. If supporting non-violent pro-democracy movements over fascistic regimes is what he's been doing, then what's so sinister about it? Does he have a hidden, greedy corporatist agenda? Where's the evidence of it?
Soros has done some wicked stuff so that means he has to be up to wickedness with every move? Even Obama has moments of conscience. Even George W. Bush was conflicted —stupid but still conflicted. It doesn't, and didn't, stop me from calling him out though.
We need universal repentance. Do you know how to bring it? If so, I'm all ears.
Soros needs to stop, turn, repent, and atone. I could put his billions to much better use with the Christian Commons. He's not with it though. He's a mixed-economy guy, not a Christian convert (yet).
"There is no definition of the word "radical" that is specifically Christian." Thomas, Jesus is the branch. Who's the trunk and root? What's the root of radical but "root"? Honestly, you think overly prosaically on these matters. When I speak of Christianity as one and the same with radicalism, "the political tradition of the "radical" is militantly secular left-liberalism (re: 19th century Britain, France, Denmark)" absolutely does not come to mind. I'm really surprised that you haven't caught on yet to my way of expressing myself. I don't have the same problem anticipating you. You need to loosen up.
I am sure you are very introspective, but your approach to Christianity has many hallmarks of the extreme puritanical sect (like Anabaptists, or, in politics, Trotskyites) that makes wholesale condemnations for even relatively minor disagreements and indiscretions.
I'm absolutely a puritan only not at all the kind you mean. You see, Thomas, Jesus was also a puritan. He was in the process of going back to Heaven. He was under going the straitening process. He said so himself. He was in the process of being perfected. What do you want me to do? What is it that you want me to say is okay that I don't say is okay now? Be specific about it. I really don't know exactly what it is. I need to allow for greed, war, sexual perversions, what is it? I'm already cutting Soros slack, but I'm too puritanical for you? I don't see exactly what it is that benefits you by saying that I'm missing the mark of Christianity — that I don't get it where you do.
"While some orthodox Christians might treat the heterodox in a similar fashion, what is particularly appealing about sacramental Christianity is that it does not deny the radicalism of Christ or the call towards perfection while also bringing us to repentance and the understanding of Christ's forgiveness for our inevitable falls. Orthodox Christianity celebrates sacrifice, which I know you also value to a degree challenged by few, but also forgiveness and healing of the soul, and thereby it offers a sustainable lifestyle." What is it that I disagree with? Are you back to the liturgy or vestments or what? Jesus did what he did. Whatever ritual was in it is fine with me. It's not lost on me what he wants us to be reminded of via repeating what he said we should do to that end. He did though tell us to do much more than that, and the result is not to rest on our liturgy. Christianity is supposed to be fulltime. Telling people otherwise is leading them to fall short but be comfortable about it. It's no way to end a war.
"Tom, you can and you do do great activism to seek to make the world more Christlike, but you cannot build a church just around emulating Christ (which you won't achieve) in political and social work, while constantly delineating the righteous and pure from the unrighteous and impure." Oh, why not? Jesus did it. Are you going to tell me I'm not Jesus? You may as well tell me I can't join him as one no matter what I do or believe. In which case, what would that make you? You see, I won't tell you what you've just told me. In fact, I do tell you the exact opposite, but you don't want to hear it from me. I'm asking too much of you, but I'm not asking more than Jesus asks.
"In short, the puritanical "permanent revolution" chasing after abstract concepts is not of Christianity." The major problem people have about Jesus is that he is too abstract for them even while he's clear and plain to me. It's not my fault. What you appear to want of Christianity is other than what Jesus said would result, which is that there would be few who would find it. Now, I believe that everyone who will find it will be the only ones standing when all is said and done. The whole world will be saved then because everyone else will be gone having fallen short. That doesn't discount forgiveness and mercy, Thomas. There are many mansions. Everyone who achieves life doesn't necessarily face God full time. It's the pure in heart who end up closest to God. I know Jesus didn't say that verbatim, but I know it's true.
They will be back in Tahrir. I never said the revolution is over. While we are here, we aren't out there where the powers that be are hearing more from us. I have other ways though.
"There is no good option facing us in Libya, and you have never made the case for one beyond blind hope." So, when Jesus says to you, "Ye of little faith," how do you respond? Again, will you say to me that I'm not Jesus? What difference does that make? Didn't the disciples work miracles or rather didn't God work miracles through them? Is the power of prophecy dead in your church? It's not dead in mine.
"I hope you do not take the news too badly to hear that you and I have close to zero influence over the nature of Middle Eastern revolts. Your best dreams and worst nightmares are irrelevant to what they do over there." I know you are wrong.
"'It is a matter of faith and lack thereof' -Forgive my academic's sceptic tone (maybe I follow in St Thomas' footsteps :) ), but there is no virtue in blind faith. If it is hard enough to justify in religion, it is an absolutely foolish creed for politics." I actually take offense at your repeated use of the term blind especially in conjunction with my faith. When you throw that term out there over and over, do you not stop to consider the term in connection with how Jesus used it? What is blind about my faith, Thomas? I thought Jesus is the light to his followers. I thought he said that we can move mountains via our faith if it is strong enough. Do you block the way as the barking dog in the manger who cannot eat the straw or as the Pharisee who cannot enter in at the gate? Get thee behind me is what Jesus would say to you, would he not?
Furthermore, there is no differentiating Christianity from politics when Christianity is a whole way of life — of being — of interacting, etc. I don't hold with separation of Church and state. You know that. The current situation is temporary. The founding fathers of the US were wrong. I'm no Reconstructionist about it though, obviously. They are violent. I am not. They are coercive. I am not.
"I believe because the Holy Spirit is here with us,...." You speak as if he is powerless [or unwilling] to intervene in the affairs of mere men though.
"Trotsky was a bloodthirsty monster." Agreed.
It is not Stalin who penned open an open defence of terrorism or whose faction of the Comparty led the attacks on churches and priests (these 30s purges by the NKVD ended, one might note, once Stalin himself purged the NKVD). Ah, but Stalin purged until all were loyal to or fearful of Stalin. People died on account of Stalin's paranoia. He wasn't killing people to stop the killing. He was killing people to prevent rivals.
"I am not convinced there is much practical substance to the "socialism in one country"/"permanent revolution" debate...." You're being mundane about it while I was speaking about whether or not one hides the light under the bushel. Neither Stalin nor Trotsky had any part in that light. I say shed light in the Middle East and North Africa. At the risk of your considering me too immodest, the concept of six degrees of separation isn't useless. What's more, there are instances were I speak directly to decision makers regarding the spirit of the revolution. So for you to say even on the mundane level that I have little to no influence is simply untrue. I have seen my impact.
"Suddenly, all the Nazi propaganda would have been justified." Oh, who cares? Hitler versus Trotsky is not a choice I need make and don't. They were both insane.
"I rather think sometimes you are suggesting it is this permanent revolution which is spiritually purifying." No, killing is not spiritually purifying. I'm a pacifist, Thomas. You are not. You have things backwards here, not that I think you think anything is particularly purifying that you can see anyway.
"It is just an emotion which can equally go in the wrong direction." If you lack faith, you'll fall.
"'Hypocrisy is death.' -Not to belittle the sin, but we are all dead, then." And who is the resurrected but the prodigal son? Who the hell am I? I'm worse than the one in the Gospel, but I'm on my way home. Don't try to stop me, Thomas.
"re: Tarpley...Regarding Assange, he thinks the CIA is behind him, not the Mossad," Webster is careful to avoid being labeled anti-Semitic. He mentions Israel enough and targeting Iran though. It's up to you what you make of it.
"I don't think the army is so brazen it will maintain a permanent military dictatorship, but they hold all the cards in how to frame the new constitution, and they can make it acceptable to the NGOs, Israel, the US, and Al Jazeera. The likely end result in that case will be freer elections, but at the cost of neoliberalism." They don't hold all the cards. They are making mistakes. They don't want to come off as impotent but are showing signs of weakness by still doing a little pushing even though pushing is completely unnecessary for law and order. The US holds all the cards if it wants to play them at the risk of horrifying everyone and throwing their PR efforts into the dumpster. Was there ever any doubt that a revolution would include compromises? I'm not looking for a war between Egypt and Israel. Egypt would lose because the US would still back Israel at this point. Egypt doesn't have to go neoliberal though. It can go more financially Islamic and socialist. Even talking about it this way is counterproductive though. It comes across as a dispassionate academic discussion when Obama needs to feel the fire or he'll misgauge the rage and the support of Americans for real reforms where the Egyptians have real rights and are not raped. Obama can so quickly revert to being totally feckless. He's about the worst I've ever seen in that regard. He takes stands that are easy for him to take. He's a coward to go out on the limb. He lacks real faith, and the US pays for it. He needs to stand up before he's made to.
"They are misguided and spiritually sick or numb. They are not of Satan." Oh, people flip, Thomas. Satan's son can quit him for God and vice versa. Let's not be Calvinists about it. Peter was Satan when Jesus called him that. He was also a beloved disciple who caved in but got back out.
Thomas, I don't say the army and police are the only ones who can do wrong. Where did you get that?
"He [ElBaradei] also has not appeared to divulge a political platform." He has in general terms.
"As for assassinating him, don't you realise, he didn't matter, just like Hans Blix didn't matter." He mattered because he matters now. He's still there and running contrary to the hardline neocon/oil agenda. He's not in the hip pocket of the neoliberals. He's going to surprise you.
"Do you favour change for its own sake? No, I know in American politics, which you understand well, you don't. You were not caught up in Obamamania. But what you say about countries like Libya, which I, having studied Arabic for 4 years, hardly know much about because it is such a closed country, sounds just like it." You are just failing to understand the dynamic I've seen before more than once. I watched Nasserism and the Non-Aligned Movement. I watched the former Soviet Republics and studied them as well. Libya is not rebelling in a vacuum. They are Arabs, and the adults remember Nasser and Pan-Arabism. Anyway, you're missing what I've been saying here.
"You don't really know what factions are at play, you are caught up in the emotions and puritanical fervour of anti-dictatorship politics (and the feeling of "get with the winds of change", not understanding them), and you trust in the hope that things must work out for the best." That's pretty arrogant, Thomas. I'm disappointed to see you taking this approach, especially after everything I've written here. I'm not doing anything blindly. I'm not in the dark, Thomas. I'm on the right side while you are too worried that if you pick a horse in the race, you'll be embarrassed. Well, you will be embarrassed, maybe ashamed, but for having sat it out on the sidelines.
"Ž1. Freedom House is an imperialist institution. How can you tell? It makes ratings that, like those of other imperialist institutions, are very politically influenced. For example, one will often see at the bottom of freedom/democracy/corruption ratings Venezuela, Russia, Iran ... but Western client states like Egypt, Jordan, Georgia, (a few years ago) the Ukraine, Romania, etc., will have improbably high ratings. Corruption in the Ukraine is much worse than Russia/Belarus. Iran is much more democratic than Egypt/Jordan. You are far less likely to be kidnapped, shot, etc. for exercising freedom of speech in Venezuela than Colombia or several Central American states. As rigged as the Russian electoral system is, spetsnaz does not swarm Ekho Moskvy even before a declaration of martial law that stands in place right up to an election (as in Georgia). They rig their ratings.
2. Mubarak was a dictator. That did not make him bad. It was his actions in office that made him bad.
3. Why do you keep repeating that Soros is a "mixed economy" guy. He is 100% behind radical privatisations. This is what he has always pushed in Eastern Europe. He is not a social democrat...though he can identify (and seeks to influence) "third way" social democrats who are pro-privatisation. He is with those who buy up privatised companies on the cheap. He is one with the Larry Summers-es who stole billions from Russia (that was not bad advice, by the way, it was theft).
4. "If supporting non-violent pro-democracy movements over fascistic regimes is what he's been doing, then what's so sinister about it?"
—What is so sinister is that he, and people like him, would be planning to gain important influence over the new government or series of governments...to buy off parliament, if you expect there to be a half-hearted attempt at parliamentary democracy. I would think that to be clear. Note also he has not publicly repented (and I would take it that he is an atheistic Jew like Soros and so many other financiers, so to whom would he repent?). In terms of corporate interests ... I think Bob Chapman makes a good point about Soros. He isn't in it for the money, and whatever extended family he may have won't see much of it when he dies. The (stolen, usured) money will be recycled into other NWO causes.
It is good to pray for Soros' conversion and atonement, but you are trying quite hard to forgive him while being very quick to condemn others.
"Ž5. "What is it that you want me to say is okay that I don't say is okay now?"
—It is not that. Puritanism is not the same as prohibitionism. I cannot think of anything you have said in terms of personal behaviour that I disagree with (I have some political disagreements over the role of the State and institutional religion, but that is different). It is the conception of religion as moralistic fervour, which leads to much positive behaviour, but, ultimately, leaves little room for repentance, forgiveness, and healing, and, in such, is unforgiving and tends towards self-righteousness, and, then, self-destruction.
In this case, the puritanism is applied not to one's own personal behaviour (which would be appropriate), but to the struggle against dictatorship, tagged as an evil. Revolution is seen as a purifying experience leading to a higher moral understanding. The means is elevated at the expense of the end result. The sceptics are opponents of the perfect society you want to create.
6. "Oh, why not? Jesus did it. Are you going to tell me I'm not Jesus?"
(a) Jesus did not create a church built on social/political activism.
(b) Jesus, being one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, could see people's hearts and fates. You cannot.
The Christian Church cannot demand perfection from all its members, and, when they fail in this, respond with, "Well, you are with us or against us". I was not referring to vestments earlier, but rather, the cycle of repentance and forgiveness, the continual personal renewal promoted by the Gospel. You cannot have a 100% emphasis on moralistic crusades, for, in doing so, you will likely destroy yourself. And you can avoid this without promoting mediocrity.
Always promote the perfect morality, but always repent and always forgive. The most spiritual are the most repentant, even if it would appear to others, that they have the least cause to repent.
7. "So, when Jesus says to you, "Ye of little faith," how do you respond?"
—This is irrelevant to one's view on geopolitics. It could easily be turned on your head. "Why don't you have more faith, Tom, that Qadhaafi won't repent of all his sins and make everything right? He might be God's sent servant. Do you not have faith in God's plans then?" I am sure some state-employed imams are making this argument as we speak (I think the Coptic patriarch said something slightly along those lines in Egypt). Don't be like a non-denominational preacher, citing bits of Scripture out of context to make political points.
8. "take offense at your repeated use of the term blind especially in conjunction with my faith."
—You have no grounds to take offence, since you are the one turning words concerning faith in Christ against people who don't have faith in revolutions on the other side of the world. I refer to point (7), stop mixing faith in the Triune God with faith in foreign tribal and/or religious/political factions, as that is easily turned against you.
"Ž9. "If you lack faith, you'll fall."
—So why don't you have faith in long-established governments, just in revolutions?
10. "No, killing is not spiritually purifying. I'm a pacifist, Thomas. You are not."
—No, I am not. But as much as I know you would not participate in violence, you cannot escape its reality. You cannot ally with violent revolts and stand aside and claim your hands are clean (same with their opponents, who also use violence). Either be neutral or disclaim pacifism.
It is the crusade that I think you find spiritually purifying, though it is one of condemnation and judgment (even if we ignore the violence). That does not make it wrong in my book, it may be politically necessary, but it has nothing to do with faith or spirituality. Relatively pure men find themselves on each side of such conflicts.
11a. "Don't try to stop me, Thomas."
—I would not dream of it. I think your activism is great and I agree with 90% of what you post (I would have said 98% a few weeks ago). But your intermittent self-identifications with Jesus are troubling (no, I don't think you think you are divine, but you see yourself as a better disciple than almost everyone else). It appears to be creating scenarios where you quote Jesus out of context about faith and discipleship, and when you quote "Get thee behind me", you are thinking others should follow you. If they don't, you are not introspective, you think it is because they lack your level of faith. Do you not see the problem?
11b. "I'm worse than the one in the Gospel, but I'm on my way home." "What you appear to want of Christianity is other than what Jesus said would result, which is that there would be few who would find it. Now, I believe that everyone who will find it will be the only ones standing when all is said and done."
—I will make a prediction...the few who find it won't be proclaiming that they are among the few who have found it and truly understand it. Don't fall into that trap. That is gnosticism.
12."Webster is careful to avoid being labeled anti-Semitic. He mentions Israel enough and targeting Iran though. It's up to you what you make of it."
—I don't know your point. If I were to judge his tone and views against your wall and blog posts, and one had to be anti-Semitic, it would be you. But I don't think you are anti-Semitic (I rather object to the term, anyway, since a minority of Jews are Semites, but most self-identified "Arabs" are).
13. Egypt does not need to wage war on Israel to tear up its obligations to pin in Gaza. If Israel would then want war against Egypt, but I don't think they do, they could easily lose.
14. "Egypt doesn't have to go neoliberal though. It can go more financially Islamic and socialist."
—Then the Soros/Ackerman types won't get a return on their investment. But, yes, there is a chance it could go that way, I don't exclude it. I support certain types of pro-democracy activists, just not indiscriminately...certainly not these upper-middle-class bloggers who appear to have no regular job or the professional activists organising the April 6 Movement. Muslim Brotherhood is better than they, but Nasserism is the best solution.
15. "Satan's son can quit him for God and vice versa."
—Don't use the term "anti-Christ" so easily then.
16. "I don't say the army and police are the only ones who can do wrong. Where did you get that?"
—It seems if you hear machine gun in the background of a revolution, you assume it is the authorities doing it (and indiscriminately). The revolting party or parties has/have seized many arms and military vehicles. Of all that we don't understand, that much is clear.
"He's not in the hip pocket of the neoliberals. He's going to surprise you."
—Then why does he associate with them?
"He's going to surprise you."
—I saw your post about him proclaiming that Egypt should be like Sweden. If he calls for a high minimum wage in a political campaign, I will listen. I live in Scandinavia, and it is not a paradise. There are elements which are terrific, and elements which are more neoliberal than most of Europe (don't you notice Scandinavian countries always rank very high in "economic freedom" ratings?). What is good here is that wages are very equal, and working hours low, because unions and collective bargaining are strong. What is not good is that taxes are high *compared to* benefits. The health system is bad (huge copays, long queues, serious rationing); the State does whatever it can to try to justify reductions/denials of entitlements (and bureaucrats are rewarded for their savings management). The State has huge amounts of information and control on everyone and their finances, and, in Norway anyway, these records are kept (surprise! surprise!) in the same ghost town village where all the credit card companies are based. Norway is a bit different, but most of Scandinavia has few state-owned enterprises; they are not high mixed economies, they are welfare state liberal economies.
When globalists promote Scandinavia as a model, I don't think they are socialists, I think they want the high income taxes (banks and banksters avoid most of their taxes here too) with benefits rationing, centralised control over individuals' finances, and BS eco-taxes and carbon credits (that can be traded in derivatives markets). They don't want strong unions and high pay.
"They are Arabs, and the adults remember Nasser and Pan-Arabism"
—Unfortunately, most Arabs are caught up in tribal feuds and are not politically and socially conscious on a scale that far exceeds their extended families, much less full of nationalism or pan-Arabism. Have you been to the Middle East? I love Arabs and they are among the most wonderful hosts in the world. But public areas are dirty and nasty and seemingly sweet old ladies throw their trash out on the road (whereas their homes are pristine beyond anything I could muster). Why? Because most Arabs have not developed a social consciousness.
So I support Nasserism, but I know it is not an ideology that will arise organically from a revolutionary mass. If anything, this kind of socialistic nationalism has is imposed by force wherever it did and does exist (in older Egypt/Iraq or modern Syria). And that force is not necessarily a bad thing (though it can be), even if Jesus Himself would have been a Ba'athist politician.
"Well, you will be embarrassed, maybe ashamed, but for having sat it out on the sidelines."
—I don't. If it is Muslim Brotherhood alone vs. Mubarak, I cautiously take MB's side. If Nasserists vs. Mubarak, I side with Nasserists. If young liberal bloggers with NGO money vs. Mubarak, I pick Mubarak. If it is 'unclear array of factions' vs. pro-US Egyptian military, I stand aside for a while. If it is new, less corrupt Islamic socialist leader vs. Qadhaafi, I choose the former. If it is armed tribal gangs vs. Qahdaafi, I choose the latter. If it is confusion backed eagerly by the West vs. Qadhaafi, for the time being, I have to side with Qadhaafi.
You say always you sympathise with Nasserism, but don't you realise, that Qadhaafi always supported a type of Nasserism? They are relatively in the same boat ideologically. Nasser was a dictator, too, he thought liberal democracy was a Western imperialist instrument to control Egypt's economy. He would have had Soros men expelled or shot. He used state violence against Islamists, foreign agents, and liberals. Yet, you don't tar him with the same brush of evil that you associate with Qadhaafi.
"I'm not doing anything blindly. I'm not in the dark, Thomas."
—Then, goodness sake, explain Libyan politics to me. Is there something you caught that I haven't. You cite a New Yorker article that says that Libyans live so badly...Libyan GDP PPP is $15K (over twice that of Egypt), putting it on par with much of contemporary Eastern Europe or Latin America (between the first and third worlds). It has a mixed economy and welfare system. The oil industry is nationalised (was done so by the current regime) and this funds the welfare state. Who are the opponents of the regime and what is their political programme? You don't seem to know a thing about Libyan politics, and you wouldn't since it is a closed society, and are resting on the hope that everyone is a closet Nasserite and that faith in the revolution is akin to faith in Jesus (which it isn't). You can prove me wrong, but you haven't really tried.
Thomas, the Freedom House question was to Des. The idea was to gain some insight into where Des is coming from.
Of course Freedom House is imperial. That understanding is, or should be, a given at this level of discussion. I have no doubt that Des sees it as imperial. The issue is more refined not because imperialism as practiced by neocons in general for instance isn't wrong but because as with dictatorship, it depends upon by whom and why it is being practiced and how it is being implemented. The Kingdom of Heaven is imperial. I am not anti-imperial. I am anti-evil-empire. When I write "the Empire," I rarely make the point because no one has ever asked me, "What about the empire of God?" or anything remotely like it.
I cut you slack because you don't shift with the context as readily as I'd like, but you aren't accustomed to having to, to the extent that I do it and force the practice when possible because it is a key to scripture — a practice you are being rather stubborn to accept in the areas where I do it but not hesitant to apply concerning "dictatorship," even though I've said that the empire of God is also a dictatorship. I will qualify that with "to God's understanding." I mean by that, that God is hands off or hands on as God sees fit, and God's full understanding is beyond our comprehension until God sees fit to make that otherwise, which I have no doubt God can do and will do under certain circumstances, Jesus being the prime example of one with whom God is sharing himself more so than with any other being if we are to take Jesus's own word for it that he knew that and knows that firsthand. I see no reason not to take his word for it, even though possible existences continue to expand in mundane and spiritual imaginings.
Perhaps you pick and choose where to exercise treating words as you treat "dictatorship," widening the range to the typical journalistic w-questions of who, what, where, when, and why, because of the lack of exposure to shifting context but also perhaps because you find the implications more than unsettling and rather frightening in that you'd have to give up much of your lifestyle and mode of thinking and feeling and core-being, actually. I know I did. I had to shift back. I had to start over from my first recalled thoughts.
It's almost amazing to have to say this to someone who has gone from where you were to where you are because having made the transitions you have, one might expect that additional change would come naturally to you; but I see a blockage and see you as refusing to face it.
You treat "dictatorship" as a range or spectrum where practice and the answers to the questions about it inform you as to whether or not it is better than not for the given circumstances. I have zero problem with that. So, I want to move beyond the place where we have been stuck in our conversation since the very first back -and-forth we ever had. I want you to render the same treatment of "dictator" to the terms "politics" and "revolution" and "spirit" and all the other words there are and also for the concepts in your mind where you need to string words together simply to even attempt to begin to flesh out those concepts.
Politics exists in the Kingdom of Heaven. Revolution does also. What is happening on Earth is a reflection and is reflected. Where the borders exist between Heaven and Earth are in our minds and hearts, and those borders are not fixed. What is more, the Kingdom anticipates all the connotations we think of. Hell is in that Kingdom depending upon the context. There is the Kingdom where there is darkness because Satan is there in darkness no matter how much he thinks he's shedding truth against God. There is no darkness in the Kingdom where we understand that ultimately the Kingdom is of God alone and realize Satan is self-deluded. We are to be in the process of ridding our minds and hearts of the satanic so that we join God in God proper. That's what returning means. That's what Jesus came here and did, was sent here to do to show it to us. He came but didn't fall even though he was subjected to the temptations of this place, which is the Kingdom of Satan even though it is also the Kingdom of God.
Righteousness and evil are not in the same place at the same time even in the Newtonian world. Our brains though when viewed as whole forms contain both good and bad. Therefore, the place where good and bad are separated is microcosmic with macrocosmic implications. Make the whole tree good is what Jesus said. He didn't say to carve up where and when you are willing to treat words as you, Thomas, have shown you are capable of concerning "dictator." he didn't say pick and choose where and when you are in society and practicing or not Christianity.
If you think I've taken Jesus's words out of context there, you are completely mistaken. Context is not yours to limit so as to maintain separation concerning where and when you are allowed to be a real Christian and be recognized as such in the Highest.
Jesus made clear that there is a war for souls. He made clear that there is a revolution and that we are in it. He did not say don't take part. He said how to take part. He said don't pick up a sword and cut people and kill people to be rid of evil because doing so is exactly hypocritical. He said call people to be what he said we should be in his Sermon on the Mount.
So, when there are revolutions amongst the Arabs, we say to them to be Christlike. Do they all immediately fall into line? Do they all have to immediately fall into line else we should shut up and stay out of it? Have then all heard the Gospel? Has it been preached to all of them? They haven't because it hasn't.
So, what do I say to them? I say to be sure that freedom of religion is placed at the top of your list of priorities. I say it over and over and over for reasons that should be obvious to you as a professing Christian. I do not say to grab a machine gun and go assassinate Qaddaffi. I say to Qaddaffi to stop what he is doing and turn to God and repent and work to atone for your manifold sins. Can he hear me? Oh yes, he can. He can hear me for reasons you should also understand as a Christian. He should be able to hear you as well. If he hears me, I who am only repeating the teachings of Jesus, and he rejects that light, he will suffer not at my hands but Satan's. That's just how it is whether I'm the only one saying it or billions of souls are saying it. I'm not the only one.
"2. Mubarak was a dictator. That did not make him bad. It was his actions in office that made him bad." He was a hugely unwanted dictator for the right reasons. He tortured and killed people as Satan (one of many; demon/evil possessed, as anti-Christ (also one of many, one of the same). The souls who were tortured were imperfect souls. Satan said and says they had it coming to them. Jesus argues against Satan even while Jesus knows the failings of those souls. Hosni Mubarak knows the Gospel message of Jesus is there for him to read and to take in. He has never done it. He has made a conscious decision not to. Just how conscious is only knowable by being God in God's totality. It is though correct to say that Hosni has consciously rejected the core message of Jesus that everyone knows precludes torturing people. Only those who seek to twist to rationalize their own evil will take scripture and build a selective case for torture. I can do it as "devil's advocate," but that entails deliberately avoiding the full picture of the Gospel message, which I refuse to do. I would not play "devil's advocate" for the sake of actually being the devil's advocate but only if I am able to flesh out that the devil is mistaken.
Venezuela says to Hugo to go ahead and make law by decree for a while. Hugo won free and fair elections. It's not perfect because the whole is fractured and the result is coercive. It can only be viewed in relative terms. The US ostensibly has free and fair elections. Bush-43 did cheat in a huge way, which anyone who looked deeply into what happened in Florida for instance knows. The Republicans who pulled it off all know. They rationalize it though. Hugo is not less legit than Obama. He is not a dictator where Obama is not. I want the Venezuelan poor to have the better quality of life. Hugo struggles to bring that to them not because Hugo is faking it. He cares about the people as a whole and individually much more than do the elitist capitalists who look down on the "peasants" as inferiors by reason of the elitists' willingness to engage in takings where the peasants don't have gigantic egos but want everyone to rise and unlike the elitists, don't feel reduced when that happens. I don't though say that Hugo is right about everything. I understand his arguments, and I understand that he is also rationalizing. He says he is a Christian, but he cannot be else he would not be doing many of the things he is doing. A Christian cannot run in a secular election and assume a secular office and lord it over the realm by reason of the majority and using the violently coercive tools of that secular organization. It's not possible.
There is though no choice in America right now but to live under the secular regime. There is no choice but to obtain money and use it. The system will not allow anyone "legally" to live on the land without being molested by that system, without paying except in the case of the religious orders, which is something many secularists (mostly activist atheists) want to end and point to the evils of the Catholics in particular (pedophile priests and whatnot) to convince the masses that no matter how pure, Christians don't deserve any exceptions.
Now I know you know much of what I'm saying here, but I'm building my case not just for you.
Mubarak's office never fit the bill of dictator by the free consent of the people or their legitimate representatives. That sentence is loaded with mundane connotations, so read it in its own context. I don't consider that the electorate of Egypt will be free in the divine when they hold their so-called free elections. It will though be an improvement over Mubarak even if they vote for ElBaradei. Actually, ElBaradei would be vastly better than Mubarak because he won't torture anyone for one. Could power corrupt? It would. The question is how compromising he'd be willing to be. Mubarak was extremely compromised to the tune of billions.
As for Soros and the term "mixed economy," have you heard Robert Johnson speaking from the Institute for New Economic Thinking? If not, you need to. Johnson is Soros' top guy there. Johnson came right out of Soros' hedge fund. He's very nearly a socialist if not a socialist in mixed-economic clothing. Full-blown socialists listen to him. People have the right to learn and grow, even old "predator" capitalists such as George Soros. I don't know how much he's changed or is still changing. It remains to be seen. Right now though, he's backing mixed-economy people, including ElBaradei.
Thomas, are you on Putin's payroll?
"4. "If supporting non-violent pro-democracy movements over fascistic regimes is what he's been doing, then what's so sinister about it?""
You're answering the questions I put to Des, Thomas. Did you not see his name at the top of my comment reply to him? I don't know whether to be annoyed or not. No, I'm not annoyed. I will say though that I asked Des question for which I have answers. You've answered as if I have no clue on the subject.
"5. 'What is it that you want me to say is okay that I don't say is okay now?'
"—It is not that." It has to be that, and you are telling me what to change in what I'm saying; however, your case is built upon a fraudulent understanding of Christ's message. You are hung-up on Catholicism, which is crap. The popes were the crusaders and all apostolic succession failed in that institution and frankly never existed, as that at the moment Rome declared itself the seat, it failed. It also failed with all of its "Peter" as the leader thinking. Peter was not the closest to Jesus. He was not the one and only recipient of the "keys." Clearly, he took a back seat to James when in Jerusalem, even though I don't hold out James as being "the one" either. I don't do it with John or Paul either. The Church is a group and it does have shepherds though. Pope Benedict XVI isn't the top shepherd. He's not even my shepherd at all. If you are an Anglo-Catholic though in the ecumenical sense in which I believe you see yourself, how is he not yours? If he is, then if he told you to take up the sword for the Holy Mother Church against the invading Muslims, would you do it? I certainly would read him the riot act, as I have done concerning his predecessors.
Contrary to your statement, moralistic fervor does not inherently leave little room for repentance, forgiveness, and healing. Nor is it unforgiving or tending toward self-righteousness and self-destruction. Jesus had moralistic fervor and promoted it. There are people who go wrong. That is not to stop others. It is not to be a lesson not to be moral. Flavorless salt, Jesus said, is fit for being cast out and trampled under men's feet. And don't tell me that I'm taking his teaching out of context. If you think it, it's only because of your failure in reading comprehension on the subject. He said exactly what my point is and it applies exactly to countering your incorrect teaching and reading on the subject.
Look, a Christian doesn't be pure within and then shut up when it comes time to discuss Caesar. They tried to shut Jesus up by appealing to the Roman law. He refuted them and went right on preaching his same message that was exactly against Caesar even while being exactly for the real soul who was Caesar, if Caesar, others, you, and I are only willing to see it and be rightly transformed by it.
Getting rid of bad leaders (shepherds) is just that. You're doing what is called over intellectualizing. Mubarak was bad. Now he's gone. I wish no one had died or been injured. I would not have engaged in stone throwing, and did write that they should not be engaging that way. Now Egypt needs new leadership. I would that they would follow Jesus. If you have a problem with any of that, then you have a problem with Jesus and me, not just with me.
Your view that Jesus didn't create his Church on social/political activism is to strip the meaning of the terms from any and all things Christian, which is impossible to live while being Christian. Glenn Beck will love you for it though since he sees social justice movements emanating from a social Gospel (there isn't any other kind) as a great evil. At least propagating that wholesale nonsense has made him very rich in filthy lucre. Show me one thing Jesus did or said that was not social/political activism. I'll show you exactly how it was and remains so.
"(b) Jesus, being one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, could see people's hearts and fates. You cannot." Thomas, there is no way that you should have said that. You could have said that I don't know everything about every heart and the fate of everyone at this point, but to say that I cannot see hearts and fates is not for you to say. You do not know what God shares with me, do you? For you to state that God does not send the Holy Spirit to me to be in me to direct my doings and understandings is offensive not only to me but to that very Holy Spirit who is God. If the Holy Spirit has not been in me and is not in me, how did I change from making the huge mistakes I was making when I finally came to realize Jesus's message? It wasn't an atheist telling me that I could become an "ethical" or "moral" person again while foregoing God. No, Thomas, it was and is the Holy Spirit working in me and my life. The process is ongoing. I am being made strait. I hate this world of yours where the "light" is under a bushel and is not working on the Arabs.
Coercion against coercion is what is going on in this worldly world. I'm against it on all sides. So is Jesus. You haven't seen him slaughtering anyone, have you? Do you expect to? I expect Satan to cast himself into Hell and to lock himself away. I expect truth will do that while Satan and truth are opposites. Can you wrap your mind around that or is it an unreconcilable paradox for you or no paradox at all?
In addition, you're off the subject: "'Tom, you can and you do do great activism to seek to make the world more Christlike, but you cannot build a church just around emulating Christ (which you won't achieve) in political and social work, while constantly delineating the righteous and pure from the unrighteous and impure.' Oh, why not? Jesus did it." That's exactly the opposite of what Jesus calls upon us to do. You are saying don't do what Jesus wants you to do. You are also prejudging me that I cannot emulate Jesus. Do you realize how demonic that saying of yours is? You are not encouraging me to be Christlike. You are saying it's not even possible so don't try. Give up and be like me (Thomas). That's bad, Thomas. You're speaking exactly against Jesus. You're being careless, even reckless, and you are in danger. I rightly rebuke you here and now for it for cause. It is now incumbent upon you if you are a Christian to repent of it, per Jesus Christ's own words.
I really loathe what you're saying here. It's very dark side.
"The Christian Church cannot demand perfection from all its members, and, when they fail in this, respond with, "Well, you are with us or against us"." Exactly who is advocating that? It's a major misreading of me by you. Jesus said to be perfect as God is perfect. That is what is expected. Anyone who tries and fails and is earnestly sorry is forgiven 7 x 70 times and more. So, exactly where does all the rest of your assigning things to me that don't belong destroy the whole foundation of your attack on my Church for the sake of yours, which is becoming clearer and clearer is not of the same body of Christ by different names?
So, Jesus was not on moralistic crusades full time in your denomination(s) because it destroyed him. That's the inescapable conclusion of your position you've stated over and over here. I'm not a member of your chosen denominations because they are fundamentally wrong. They are misled and misleading others, you included.
"Always promote the perfect morality, but always repent and always forgive." You say this to me in answer as to why I "cannot build a church just around emulating Christ (which you won't achieve) in political and social work, while constantly delineating the righteous and pure from the unrighteous and impure." This means that you're telling me that I don't always repent and that I don't always forgive. If you claim that's not what you are saying there, you'll be wrong. It is what you are saying. Not only that but, you have said to do something and to not do it. Always promoting perfect morality necessitates living it full time in society, in the affairs of people (secular or not, Arab or not, etc), which is exactly what you've said not only that I should not be doing but that I cannot and will fail and likely self-destruct for even trying. When I say to the people of Egypt to stop choosing bad shepherds to lead you, I am not at the same time promoting perfect morality. Neither am I failing to tell them to forgive Mubarak and not seek his punishment but rehabilitation. Failing to say those things to them is failing Christ. Whether or not George Soros is involved in the overthrow of Mubarak is not the deciding factor in whether or not I support the Egyptians changing shepherds. I can't ask them to change to Jesus and not ask them at the same time. Neither can you. I have been asking everyone to change to Jesus, as Jesus and not as some killer and destroyer of souls. I don't seek the destruction of Mubarak's soul or Qaddaffi's soul or Obama's soul or the Pope's soul or anyone's soul. So, get that through your head, as fathers used to say.
There's forgiveness and then there's forgiveness. There are those who repent and are forgiven and then there are those who don't repent and are still forgiven but not saved, at least not until they do repent and after having received the stripes of their own making by virtue of having fallen to temptation (Satan's worse for having done the tempting there, but people turn around and tempt others with the same temptation to which they've fallen — not a good pattern of behavior). There are those who refuse to hear the Church and are as heathens therefore, not members of the body. Knowing this and practicing it full time is not going to destroy me, Thomas. You're wrong. Knowing it and doing it, believing in it, is life eternal. You're just dancing all around it so you think you can avoid it.
Thomas, you know plenty of details and facts about things, but you talk out of your hat a great deal. I would like to think your bouncing things off me with an eye to changing where you come to see mistakes in your way, but it appears that that's not what you're doing but rather engaging in massive self-rationalizing of your stubborn refusal to do what you know you ought to be doing.
"7. 'So, when Jesus says to you, "Ye of little faith," how do you respond?'
"—This is irrelevant to one's view on geopolitics." Now that's just plain stupid for a Christian to say. There's absolutely no line of demarcation concerning Christian faith. You're still stuck in that rut I remember from when we first communicated. You want your faith where and when it's convenient to your planned slippage, whatever it is your engaging in that you know you should not be doing and concerning which you know you have a clear choice not to be doing. You're pleading with me now and hoping I'll fall with you on it. My faith is with me 24/7. It doesn't leave while I think about the world and how it's governed and should be and will be and my role in that. Nothing you can or will say will alter that basic Christian fact, ever.
"It could easily be turned on your head. "Why don't you have more faith, Tom, that Qadhaafi won't repent of all his sins and make everything right? He might be God's sent servant. Do you not have faith in God's plans then?" Why didn't Jesus have more faith that Pilate would say no to Caiaphas? Qaddaffi is God's servant when he does stop, turn, repent, and start atoning. That's exactly what I've ask of him — exactly! He's working for Satan right now. He is not God's sent servant. There's no doubt about that. You of a mind that butchers are doing the purgative work of God as his hand on Earth. You completely fail here to grasp why Jesus never called down the wrath. He never called down the wrath. He's not going to call down the wrath. He doesn't need to call down the wrath to be separate from evil. Neither do I. This is why you are not a pacifist. I am, and I leave room for wrath and Satan because I don't need violently to coerce Satan to defeat Satan by God. God can separate me from evil without harming a hair on anyone's head, and I'm glad about that truth and you should be too.
If you don't know that, you're no Christian, Thomas. You better rethink what you're saying here. It sounds very serpentine wrapped in sheep's clothing, something I believe you really want to avoid but have a huge struggle overcoming.
In addition, my prayers are done in secret. You should think deeper thoughts before you ask such things. You should ask God and Jesus directly about Tom Usher, and be sure not to dismiss the real answers that will be given if you do it in earnest.
"stop mixing faith in the Triune God with faith in foreign tribal and/or religious/political factions, as that is easily turned against you." Thomas, Jesus said the Romans would come and destroy the Temple building and more, but he didn't know exactly when. He had faith that, that bloody war would be fought sometime in the not too distant future. It would be fought between non-believing Romans and non-believing Jews. So, knock it off with your arrogant pronouncements about things about which you know nothing, and I'm referring to what God has imparted to me. You have zero business telling a Christian that his faith is not. God and Jesus are not opposed to better and best government. You have some strange liking for Qaddaffi and his governing over people. There's something wrong with your heart in that — that you can't see your way clear to bringing forth through the spirit a better way for the Libyans. Otherwise, you wouldn't be defending that unrepentant maniac against people who mostly simply want to be out from under his wicked, greedy, repressive regime. Qaddaffi's an ass, Thomas. I can forgive him as Jesus forgave people from the cross, but I don't have to pretend that Qaddaffi is not the prince of darkness in this world who has no part in Jesus or Jesus in him. If you want to live in that fantasy world, go ahead; but count me out. I don't want to end up with you where that sort of thinking is definitely leading you.
"—So why don't you have faith in long-established governments, just in revolutions?" I have faith that it will be better for the people of Libya to be out from under Qaddaffi. You don't. Saying that does not mean I accept the premises of your question. Not one of your so-called long-established governments is of the Holy Spirit. Every single one of them is in need of repenting and transformation on the order of being reborn as Jesus said. It applies to individuals. It applies to the nations (families that make up the whole family of humanity). "He will rebuke the nations." So do it. I do. I stand rebuked, and I rebuke based upon it. That's proper. Also, my faith is not in any revolution not of my own defining, which is Jesus's defining by my choice that you cannot deny me regardless of what you say. You don't have the power. What you are saying is not signifying against me in Heaven.
"You cannot ally with violent revolts and stand aside and claim your hands are clean (same with their opponents, who also use violence). Either be neutral or disclaim pacifism." No, I'm not allied with violent revolutionaries any more than Jesus was when he called upon the Pharisees to stop being evil and then they suffered at the hand of Titus (for you, God's servant?).
I have never called for violence. I have realized that people bring it upon themselves by being more than others, who are insufficiently soft-hearted themselves, can bring themselves to bear. I have always said to be non-violent (I mean since my revelation). I have written against violent reactions. When violent people protest along side non-violent ones, the non-violent ones do not have to stop protesting just because there are violent ones. Violence in the world was on-going while Jesus continued preaching. Otherwise, it's allowing the violent to have complete control. The Zealots preached too while Jesus was preaching. Both said they wanted freedom. It was different freedom. Jesus didn't stop and shouldn't have stopped. Neither will I or should I. You should be asking me to. It is you who is fence sitting concerning calling for the evil dictator to step down non-violently. Your reasoning fails. You fear tribalism. Those tribal members are not going to escape hearing the word, Thomas. It's inevitable that the Gospel will be preached everywhere. Qaddaffi will not be in the way of that.
"It is the crusade that I think you find spiritually purifying" You've said that now how many times without knowing what you're talking about on it? Getting rid of a corrupt leader and allowing people to choose a better shepherd can be put in both spiritual and purifying terms. Who the Hell is Satan? Is he spirit or flesh or both? Is getting rid of him an act of purification? How do you divorce cleaning your heart from the actions you take in every aspect of your being and how you interact with the world Jesus came to save? You don't. You're trying and failing to establish that I'm in bed with the violent and that I see violence as purifying. You are the violent one between the two of us. You'll kill where I will not, unless I fall from Christian principles. You're the one who will rid himself of perceived evils via violence. It is you who see purification in revolution. You see Nasser as an exemplar of that process. I do not see him in that light. He was in the dark. He just should not have been violently attacked, which he was on a number of occasions when he was acting primarily defensively. The British, French, and Israelis (repeatedly) attacked Nasser Egypt, not the other way around. So I know who had the greater evil in the matter. What are you doing here, trying to test your own personal failings vis-a-vis Christ?
"it may be politically necessary, but it has nothing to do with faith or spirituality." You can't divorce politics from faith and spirituality when you're a Christian. It can't be done. You can know when you're dealing with others who don't have faith and aren't spiritual, but you can't take those things out of yourself and make a move and then change to something else and put the faith and spirit back just because you switch from dealing with a revolution on the other side of the planet to dealing with your wife at home or your priest at the Church building. Christianity is a full-time endeavor or you're failing. You're failing at every instance where you deal with geopolitics without Christianity. Christianity is to come to rule the whole Earth, Thomas.
I'm not calling for Qaddaffi's death. I'm calling for him to step down. He's bringing the wrath upon himself by refusing to do what's right. He's being a very wicked person. He's been a very wicked person. That doesn't mean I've forgotten my own errors (not that dwelling upon them year after year is necessary). It doesn't mean I would refuse his conversion. Don't read things in that aren't there. I'm not looking for his soul to be tortured for eternity.
"your intermittent self-identifications with Jesus are troubling (no, I don't think you think you are divine, but you see yourself as a better disciple than almost everyone else)." My identification with Jesus is not intermittent. It's full time and has been ever since before we first started communicating. I plan on divinity, Thomas. It's where I came from, per Jesus. I have the spark within right now. As for your other complaint, when I come across someone whose positions are closer to Jesus's teachings, I'll adjust mine accordingly. As far as there being people who behave better than I do, I can't see what everyone is up to. I can see the outward manifestations — the fruits of their doings and consequently their root spirit. I'm not precluding visions and premonitions though. I've had them and will. I believe in miracles. I've seen them. I lived them.
"It appears to be creating scenarios where you quote Jesus out of context" Thomas, I don't quote Jesus out of context. You don't read Jesus in context, which should be clearer and clearer to you on account of what I've written to you here.
"...about faith and discipleship, and when you quote "Get thee behind me", you are thinking others should follow you. If they don't, you are not introspective, you think it is because they lack your level of faith. Do you not see the problem?"
No, I don't see the problem because there isn't one. I follow Jesus to the best of my ability. If you were better at that, that I could see, I'd follow you. I am definitely saying that I'm right here and that you are wrong and should be following what I'm saying. How else is it supposed to be? What do preachers do if not the same thing by the millions? What are you doing if not the exact same thing in reverse? You want me to follow you in what you're saying here. Who doesn't know that? It's either that or you're only testing your theories. You sound like you're evangelizing for your view though and not trying to learn.
"11b. I'm worse than the one in the Gospel, but I'm on my way home. What you appear to want of Christianity is other than what Jesus said would result, which is that there would be few who would find it. Now, I believe that everyone who will find it will be the only ones standing when all is said and done.
"—I will make a prediction...the few who find it won't be proclaiming that they are among the few who have found it and truly understand it. Don't fall into that trap. That is gnosticism."
Jesus found it and said it's there to be found. He said to seek it, and you'll find it. He said to have faith in it. So, that's what I'm doing, but you call it a trap. That's why I said, "Get thee behind me." It is not Gnosticism by the way. I haven't said I've arrived. I said I'm on my way home. You said you wouldn't try to stop me, yet here you are saying the exact wrong thing to me. The next time someone says to you that he or she is on the way home to God, say Hallelujah instead of telling him not to fall into that trap. It will serve you much better. Look, when I've arrived, that will be that. I won't deny it. Jesus said to follow him that is through the strait gate and onto and along the narrow way. We have his words. If we follow him, we can't then say that we aren't entering at that gate onto that way. That would be saying I'm following Jesus but I'm not sure I'm following Jesus. I'm sure I'm following Jesus. Can I do better at it? I'm always working on it. I try to be conscious of it full time — every time I open my mouth or type a word, etc.
"15. 'Satan's son can quit him for God and vice versa.'
"—Don't use the term "anti-Christ" so easily then." What goes through your mind? While someone is being the son of Satan, he is being anti-Christ. There's no separating the two.
You know, you'd be much better off asking more questions rather than making rulings. You really are too young for what you're doing here. You don't read the Gospels better than I do, Thomas. It's just a plain fact. It doesn't matter how many languages you know or whether you can read it all in the original or not. You just don't have the same capacity for comprehension (yet). I truly want you to end up amazing me with your Christian brilliance.
"16. 'I don't say the army and police are the only ones who can do wrong. Where did you get that?'
"—It seems if you hear machine gun in the background of a revolution, you assume it is the authorities doing it (and indiscriminately). The revolting party or parties has/have seized many arms and military vehicles. Of all that we don't understand, that much is clear."
Please, the reports of people, many, many people, have been mostly about Qaddaffi's forces doing the killing. There have been reports about people fighting back. I'm opposed to all of it, but it's bizarre for you to conclude that because I believe Qaddaffi's people started the violence and have ramped it way up that, that means I believe opposite violent forces can do no wrong. You can't believe I'm a pacifist and advocating pacifism while suggesting that I'm saying stone throwers are not making a mistake. All violence is wrong. It's all sin. Performing surgery to remove a foreign body that dies in the process is not the violence of which I speak. Qaddaffi is a sort of cancer, but he is a human being only dead of the Holy Spirit of truth. He has a disease he's clinging to and that is clinging to him. He can't enter Heaven to be with Jesus with that disease. I have no problem with that. He can be rid of the disease very easily simply by accepting Jesus's teachings, which would necessitate his giving up his violent revolution. I also believe that the cancer removed by the surgeon is removable by Jesus through his and my faith in God's healing/purgative power. There is only lesser and greater sin in the current movement in Libya (with the exception of any true Christians there, who would necessarily be involved, as I am involved from here), and Qaddaffi has the greater sin there.
"most of Scandinavia has few state-owned enterprises; they are not high mixed economies, they are welfare state liberal economies." Mixed is a range, Thomas. It's not a fixed percentage of state-owned enterprises, as you know. Public police versus privatized is part of the mix. The US is mixed. Non-mixed is either 100% public or 100% private. How mixed, is the point with Scandinavia right now, not whether or not, at least not yet. Perhaps you meant "not highly mixed" rather than "high mixed." It matters. It is fairly obvious though that ElBaradei is referring to the social democraticness of the area before the laissez-faire changes.
Iceland took the better approach concerning the banksters, although they agreed to pay more than they should have. They should have paid nothing. They were had by the banksters and owe nothing to anyone where the banksters got them into it.
"public areas are dirty and nasty and seemingly sweet old ladies throw their trash out on the road (whereas their homes are pristine beyond anything I could muster). Why? Because most Arabs have not developed a social consciousness." That's something every one who watches alternative videos of the area can readily see. Meanwhile, Tahrir Square was cleaned up very well by the hundreds of thousands camping there until the thugs showed up to rain stones as temptation, provocation, pretense, and terrorism. They cleaned it up again though. How long do you think it takes for social consciousness to permeate places? That's rhetorical. It can happen overnight and does. That aspect of those demonstrations should not be forgotten soon, if ever. The Libyans have had quite a bit more up against them though to have been as concerned with square cleaning. So, you'll have to pardon them about it. You know, your statement here in your context sounds like the exceptionalism conveniently pulled out by Zionists. Oh, those Arabs don't have it in their DNA to be "civilized," blah, blah, blah. I don't say that by way of saying you agree with the Zionists but by way of giving you pause to consider the overall failure of your point.
"even if Jesus Himself would have been a Ba'athist politician." That's not within the realm of possibility.
"'Well, you will be embarrassed, maybe ashamed, but for having sat it out on the sidelines.'
"If young liberal bloggers with NGO money vs. Mubarak, I pick Mubarak." That's evil. Mubarak had people tortured to death. He stole billions. The liberal bloggers are not for doing those things. Anyway, labor was right there, and the Muslim Brotherhood ended up joining in. Lastly on it though, when you support the change you are not locked into supporting everything everyone else supporting it and engaging in it do. There is also a point at which you can wash your hands of movements, which parts. I cannot and do not support people chanting "Death to the dictator" for instance. You've made quite clear that you choose which revolution based upon which group and which end. I choose but with greater refinement via the power of the Holy Spirit. I will line-item veto. I will veto a single word. I will add what needs adding. I call for Jesus's vision for the world.
"You say always you sympathise with Nasserism" I'm not for Nasserism over Christianity. I was saying that some of the better sentiments in Nasserism can be carried forward into government that make Nasserism pale by comparison. The zeal in Nasserism shows that there can be zeal in all Arab nations but for good government and better and better government until perfection, whether gradual or dynamic. A quantum leap awaits humanity though.
"Qadhaafi always supported a type of Nasserism" He talked a good game, sometimes. He didn't deliver. He lived like a king and kept most of the people way down. If you like that, you're sick. You need to hold people to what they say they're going to do. If there are good reasons for not being able to deliver, if the person really tried, okay. Qaddaffi though has had no good reason, and he didn't really try. He is an ass, Thomas.
"Nasser was a dictator, too, he thought liberal democracy was a Western imperialist instrument to control Egypt's economy. He would have had Soros men expelled or shot. He used state violence against Islamists, foreign agents, and liberals. Yet, you don't tar him with the same brush of evil that you associate with Qadhaafi." You miss why I speak about Nasserism. I don't laud him in total. I compare him to what is worse. You do the same. I use him as an example that Arabs can come together. I don't say they should resurrect Nasserism, per se, but the elements of family (Arabs). When I say family there though, I fully expect that, that notion will carry over to where I am family as a human being, per Jesus.
If Nasser had lived to do what Qaddaffi or Mubarak have done, he'd be down there with them. As it is, Nasser is only a man in relativity, as are all the worldly leaders. You are being extremely slow on the up take that everyone is relative to everyone else and to Jesus. I am not a fan of Nasser, as I'm a fan of Jesus. Nasser just was not the problem that American administrations made him out to be. He is not what I want for Egypt though. In general, he was much better than what followed though. There's no doubt about that. Sadat and Mubarak can't hold a candle to him, but he can't hold a candle to Jesus.
When I say anything good about Nasser and Nasserism, I'm being picky. I'm selecting those aspects that are heading in the right direction and rejecting those that aren't. Pan-Arabism is great so long as it's not bigoted or doesn't say Islam over other religions. It's great if it's heading toward the non-coercive consensus of righteousness. Closer is better.
"'I'm not doing anything blindly. I'm not in the dark, Thomas.'
"—Then, goodness sake, explain Libyan politics to me. Is there something you caught that I haven't. You cite a New Yorker article that says that Libyans live so badly...Libyan GDP PPP is $15K (over twice that of Egypt), putting it on par with much of contemporary Eastern Europe or Latin America (between the first and third worlds). It has a mixed economy and welfare system. The oil industry is nationalised (was done so by the current regime) and this funds the welfare state. Who are the opponents of the regime and what is their political programme? You don't seem to know a thing about Libyan politics, and you wouldn't since it is a closed society, and are resting on the hope that everyone is a closet Nasserite and that faith in the revolution is akin to faith in Jesus (which it isn't). You can prove me wrong, but you haven't really tried."
Nationalism under Qaddaffi means Qaddaffi. Qaddaffi is Libya in Qaddaffi's mind. The nation of Libya is not the people of Libya to Qaddaffi. The oil is his to do with as he alone sees fit, and the mass of the people have zero say in the matter. He's an absolute monarch by a different name and not a good one but bad.
There's just been no getting through to you so far. Eastern Europe and Latin America aren't good enough. Egypt isn't going to be good enough, even if it's ten times better than under Mubarak. The US is far from good enough. Nowhere is good enough on this planet, not even close.
The Libyans haven't been allowed to choose a new shepherd. That's wrong. When they said to Qaddaffi that they wanted to choose, he should have said fine. They should have been able to run and to vote and to choose. Had he been sharing the wealth rather then hoarding for self, maybe they wouldn't have asked. He had Beyonce Knowles perform for his sons privately. He reportedly paid her a million or more to do it. How is that justified using the oil money of Libya? Did the people approve? You know they wouldn't have.
The people have asked him to go, and he's said no and very violently. He has told them that he will kill them all before they can have a different ruler. He's scum. I don't see how you can defend him while complaining so about Soros and doing so based upon versions of Soros promoted by people who have themselves been proven untrustworthy and often truly anti-ethnic Jew. Again, though, Soros is relative. Everyone is. I want Qaddaffi and Soros to turn.
Things will not be worse once Qaddaffi is gone and his sons with him. I know it because the Holy Spirit has told me that it will be better with them gone. I don't have to prove that to you. You accept it or reject it. That's all. If the Holy Spirit doesn't tell you I'm right, that's that where you're concerned. If the Holy Spirit never speaks to you though, you can't possibly know whether or not the Holy Spirit ever informs me.
I don't get everything I want all the time. Sometimes it takes a while for me to find out that it's better that I didn't because I wasn't seeing down the road whereas my guardian angels could and watched out for me. Sometimes it can take longer than at other times, but usually I know instantly.
Concerning Libya, it was nearly instantly. On Egypt, it was instantly. On Iran, it was instantly but the reverse — that the Green uprising over and around Ahmadinejad's election wasn't going to succeed and why not, which was mainly Zionism but also sexual depravity — namely homosexuality.
As for other places, I get different levels of feedback and sometimes none at all even though I may know the country better and have been there. I can't always tell what's going to happen down the street or next door or even in my own home. What I don't do is fight it. I can become upset, I get over it, and it never gets out of hand.
Plenty of people claiming Christianity never have experiences they attribute to the spirit. Nothing unordinary ever happens with them. I don't fall into that group. I've had extraordinary things happen in my life, things that cannot be explained in any other way but that the spirit was at work, sometimes in very huge ways, earthshaking ways. The spirit also says don't speak of the specifics and doesn't always explain exactly why. A few people know of some of the events.
So, you don't have such experiences; otherwise, you'd be picking up what I've been saying. You want everything in non-spiritual terms except for in some very narrow space you call church as opposed to the temporal. It's medieval Roman Catholic. It doesn't work that way at all. The Roman Catholics screwed things up royally, literally. I don't say that every utterance of that church is wrong. It's when they start elaborating and start launching into a defense of their traditions that excused the crusades and such that they just leave me completely cold to their views. I much prefer hearing people who say they are recovering Catholics on account of the obvious crap that shows in Catholic history. The same light must shine on all denominations of course.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)