Why Have Humans Always Needed Someone?
Note – this post is written tongue in cheek and respects all faiths and beliefs.
Ever since I was quite small I remember being exposed to religion. There was not really any choice in the matter. One parent was a slightly devout Catholic and so myself and my siblings all had to trundle off on Sundays to the local country church.
It all escaped me really what was supposed to happen. An old bald man sat behind a mesh screen in a darkwooden phone box thing and I had to tell him what bad things I had done. I didn’t think I had done much to warrant telling this old guy and can’t remember what I must have said. Probably just made something up.
I wonder what others tell him. I guess if you think long enough you can find something wrong.
Many millions of people around the world tell some old guy something it seems. Each old guy (there are many younger ones these days) then tells another even older guy something at some point. And they all answer to this guy below, the infallible one, who draws millions of people to Rome each year to see him wave.
Funnily enough, there are no old ladies to spill your inner most thoughts to in this system and some of the others. Wonder why half of the created children aren’t allowed any part of running some of these particular shows?
Crowds don’t always flock to just religious figures, stories and places. Sometimes, millions are devoted to just one man, as in old China. I guess sometimes people’s natural inclination towards their devotion of others can be taken advantage of. Some people might actually warrant a little devotion, but who decides who gets it and how much devotion they get?
Weapons and money have often helped to decide these questions in many places and times all throughout history.
The country that has probably the greatest number of devoted people – practically the entire population – is India. Indians have been devoted longer than almost anyone else. For many millenia. Their long held devotion to their plethora of gods makes the Rome and Mecca based lot look like positive newbies. Some of the biggest single crowds in the world congregate in India during their festivals and other auspicious times. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad when I visited some of the sacred sites there. Only a few thousand devotees around, a positively tiny number.
One of more spectacular and highest attended gatherings of devotees in the world is in Mecca each year and occurs during the traditional Hajj pilgrimage season. Over 2.5 million pilgrims can be there during one season. And the patterns they form are mesmerizing as they circle the central point in devotion.
Even before the relatively modern organized religions there were aspects of nature we worshipped such as the sun gods. The Greeks and Romans had plenty of figures to be devoted to. And even more ancient people such as those which have inhabited Australia for 50,000 years or more believed in a range of gods as they sometimes recognized in natural landscape forms.
So it seems that for as long as humans have been around, we must deify someone or something. Perhaps very far into the future humans might outgrow this, who knows.
If you have been paying attention recently you will know that I’m a life long devotee to Abba. With the creation of their new music aptly titled “Voyage” these four fabulous Swedes have in a way resurrected themselves into the world’s consciousness. Perhaps they never really left, given the astounding popularity of the Mamma Mia! franchise.
Their cutting edge technology “Abbatars” will ensure that they live on maybe forever. And like the very best of other old European masters such as Beethoven, Mozart and Greig, Abba’s music – their message of hope and a source of joy worldwide – will undoubtedly remain in our hearts for many centuries to come.
But then we come to the important points to consider.
Nobody has been killed in the name of “Abba”. Abba don’t say, “don’t judge others” then proceed to judge alot. Whole nations haven’t been invaded in their name. There is no Abba inspired cultural system which rigidly segragates you into one of thousands of unalterable levels, ranked from top to bottom, the moment you are born. Abba haven’t caused huge loss of life simply to perpetuate themselves or their music. And from their many little known acts of kindness, Abba have been wonderful role models of humility and simplicity for everyone, especially children.
It seems to me that Abba are truely worthy of respect. The current revival of pure and spontaneous joy that has resonated globally really is a miracle.
Abba don’t tell people how to live their lives. Or discriminate against others. Or force their views on people. They are a simple source of happiness and joy who cut across nearly all cultural barriers. So why not worship Abba? If I am going to worship anything, it will be them. Even when they are old and bald.
Nazi Germany’s Greatest Crime
It Wasn’t the Holocaust
If you asked most people what Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, greatest crime was I think most would say the holocaust. And for good reason – for that was a horror that supposedly shocked the western world when it was “uncovered.”
Images such as the one above really make one wonder about how and why human beings do such things to others.
However for all the shock and shame and tragedy of the holocaust, it was not considered Adolf Hitler’s worst crime.
What could be worse than killing 6 million innocent civilians?
The Nuremberg Trials were created by the victorious allies after World War 2 in order to bring the perpetraitors of war crimes to justice.
Opening the prosecution, US attorney Robert H. Jackson said Nuremberg was “the first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world”, adding that aggressive war was “the greatest menace of our times”.
The surviving Nazi leaders were all charged with and on trial for, some or all of the following,
- “Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace,”
- “Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace,”
- “Participating in war crimes,”
- “Crimes against humanity”
American Supreme Court Justice and US Chief of Counsel, Justice Robert H. Jackson’s opening statement, over 3 hours long, hit on a fundamental truth,
“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.”
In delivering their sentences, after the guilty verdicts were reached, the tribunal judges concurred, saying that “war is essentially an evil thing… to initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”.
So, the trials at Nuremberg Germany after World War 2 established an important principle in International Law – that aggressive wars of invasion are “the supreme international crime….(as they) contain the accumulated evil of the whole.”
The surviving Nazi leaders were tried and convicted and many went to their deaths for their crimes.
However, fast forward 55 years and this important legal principal established at Nuremberg seems to have taken a hit, when the United States launched an invasion of Afghanistan, ostensibly to “get” Osama bin laden. The US did get their man eventually, in Pakistan, after wrecking much of the already poorly maintained infrastructure in Afghanistan in the process.
Other nations had launched wars of aggression against Afghanistan such as the Soviet Union in 1979. However, that invasion, according to former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, was a carefully trap laid by Washington. The Americans pretended to be invading Afghanistan themselves, building up their forces to imitate an invasion. This US military buildup, some say the Americans actually crossed into Afghanistan in small numbers, precipitated the Soviets to promptly launch their own real invasion in order to keep the Americans out of their nearby neighbours. The trap worked but a high cost was paid by the Afghan people. And at any rate, we know the Soviet communists were “bad” people. Shouldn’t the self proclaimed occupants of the moral high ground, the USA and UK, be setting a better example ?
It was only 2 years later in 2003 that we got the answer when America ditched the Nuremberg principal altogether and launched a phoney and pre-meditated, deadly war of aggression on Iraq. Without credible evidence or justification and without legal precedent. The invasion was not widely supported by many nations or populations for the naked aggression of the operation was clearly obvious. Leaders of many nations including France, Germany, Malaysia and Russia spoke out publicly against it. All to no avail. The aggressors simply didn’t care.
By 2003, America and the UK wanted their war of aggression and they started it. They launched an unprovoked attack on Iraq – just like the Nazis did on Poland. The Nazis were charged and found guilty.
But what happened to the warmongers from Washington and London whose western predecessor’s had established the international conventions, if not laws, at Nuremberg?
Nothing happened. As usual.
George W Bush, Tony Blair and their cohorts were most certainly found guilty in the court of public opinion and some organizations have tried to persue these people in real courts of justice. But aggressive warmongers today know they are safe.
In fact, so emboldened were these western elites after the “success” of Iraq, their successors in the Whitehouse and Downing St themselves had a go in committing the ultimate international crime. And the successors got away with it as well !
Of course, nothing will ever happen to all of these perpetraitors of multiple wars of aggression.
Only the people of Syria, Libya, Somalia, Venezeula, Yemen, Chile, Iran etc will suffer.
History is soon forgotten, the mainstream media and their friends in Public Relations see to that. In today’s world, Donald Trump was correct about one thing at least – the mainstream media really are enemies of the public. Much of the tragedy that occurs globally would not be possible if the mainstream media were doing their job, even poorly.
But the media doesn’t do their job poorly, they are in fact, active promoters of wars of aggression, because these wars help their profits. We must abandon the giant global media corporations and turn to each other to share with and learn from.
Thanks for sharing this today.
French Colonial Horrors in Algeria
Western Wars and Persecution Usually Go Unnoticed
I recently watched a documentary about the 8 years long Algerian War of Independence against France, lasting from 1954-1962.
I had no clue just how vicious and violent and devastating this conflict was. France officially claims the dead numbered “only” about 500,000. Algeria claims 1.5 – 3.0 million dead. Whatever the figure, it seems the echoes of tragedy are still being heard on the streets of France today.
The above article from France24 written on the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in 2012, sheds light on the atrocity that was the 8 year French war against Algeria.
The National Archives of France that this article refers to contain very little on this brutal 8-year European colonial war, the entry only being 4 paragraphs long.
No mention is made of the “Harkis” – native Algerians who served with distinction in the French security forces but were massacred by the thousands when France withdrew.
Little reference is made to the hoards of “Pieds-noirs” – French Europeans who had made their life in Algeria but left everything and fled en masse to return to a France that they never really knew and which did not welcome them.
And NO MENTION at all is made of the OAS (Organisation Armee Secret), a French terrorist organization formed by members of the French armed services who refused to accept independence for Algeria and tried to prevent it.
The OAS unleashed a bloodbath of terrorist attacks in 1961-62 in France and Algeria, killing thousands of innocent people in just 2 years.
Several attempts were made by the OAS to assassinate then-President Charles de Gaulle who had granted independence to Algeria.
Asked why so little information on these vast state atrocities is present in the French National Archives, spokesman Phillippe Richard George commented,
“The National Archives management decided that right now, (2012) it is still a sensitive subject, and to go into detail would risk sparking protests.”
During the 2007 presidential campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy promised that once in power he would officially recognize France’s “responsibility in the abandonment and killing of French Muslims who trusted France so that the forgotten will not be killed again.”
Recognition never came. 5 years later during the presidential campaign of 2012, Sarkozy instead commented that France will not “repent” for unleashing the Algerian war.
“Atrocities were committed on both sides…these atrocities…. must be condemned but France cannot repent for having conducted this war.”
(The “atrocities-on-both-sides” argument is commonly used by Empires to obfuscate their hugely disproportionate use of force and the overwhelming guilt they should feel at causing huge death and suffering. See Iraq / West’s use of chemical weapons against Iran in 1980-88. Iran never possessed or used such WMDs but the West invoked the “fault on both sides canard” and falsely claimed “these chemcial weapons were used by both sides”).
It seems to me that Algeria’s hardly mentioned 8-year war of independence was particularly relevant today as it provides context to, and invites comparison with the wall-to-wall global mainstream media coverage we see whenever a comparatively minor Muslim terror attack occurs in France.
For example, in the last 8 years since 2013 – the same time period as the Algerian war of independence – Islamic terrorist attacks in France have resulted in a total of 257 deaths according to Wikipedia.
These deaths should be condemned and are condemned very prominently and repeatedly in the global media.
But when will the millions of dead at the hands of European empire builders in Muslim Algeria receive the global exposure they deserve? Why is it basically secret? What is the media doing? Or, more correctly, not doing ?
What links exist between the brutal war of independence in Muslim Algeria and modern Islamic terrorism in France?
Why does the global media continually focus on relatively tiny numbers of deaths caused by Islamic terror, whilst at the same time, ignore far greater atrocities that are very likely related?
Aren’t all human lives equally sacred?
France remembers the Algerian War, 50 years onFrance remembers the Algerian War, 50 years onHalf a century ago, representatives of the French government and the main Algerian nationalist party signed the Evian Accords ending the Algerian War. But it also unleashed a series of traumatic even…
The Case of the Disappearing Documentary
A strange thing happened this last week to a major German network’s (DW TV) documentary about Julian Assange, called “The Price of Truth.”
First the documentary – presumably about the detention and what’s been called torture of Assange – was visible as normal, seen below.
Shortly afterwards, the screen was partially blacked out, but the title and Assanges’s facial figure was still evident. But however, now the documentary was deemed, “not available.”
Version Number 2 : “This video is not available” and Comments are turned off.
Finally there is version number 3,
Fully censored !
Some people think censorship and propaganda exist only in “bad” countries like China. Well, yes, censorship certainly does exist there, but it exists in the western world as well. The West invented modern propaganda actually.Opened Eyes
British Politics Now Very Dirty
Last week there was a by-election in the British parliamentary electorate (similar to a Congressional District) called Batley and Spen to replace a representative (called an MP) who had resigned.
The UK Labour party had won the seat for many years but its victory in this election was far from assured for a number of reasons including dissatisfaction with the Labour party leader, Mr Keir Starmer.
Another reason Labour were expected to lose the three way vote was the presence of third party candidate, ( & former Labour party MP) Mr George Galloway who was expected to win major support and split the Labour vote, either in favour of a victory for the other main – Conservative – party candidate, or indeed, a victory to Mr Galloway himself, who is a popular figure in many quarters. In fact, Mr Galloway made it very clear, he was standing in the election in order for Labour to lose the seat and therefore increase the pressure on Labour leader Keir Starmer to resign.
The Labour party selected as their candidate, Ms Kim Leadbeater, who is the sister of the former representative (MP) of the same Batley and Spen electorate, Ms Jo Cox.
Tragically, former MP Jo Cox was shot to death by a white supremacist type in 2016 whilst on her way to meet locals. To have a low profile political representative gunned down on the streets of the UK was a truely shocking and emotional event.
However, people in some quarters, perhaps worried that the Labour candidate, and Jo Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater would not win, handing the traditionally Labour seat to the opposition Conservatives, or even to the Independant Mr Galloway, conducted a very dirty smear campaign against Mr Galloway. A loss in this election would in turn increase the pressure for a Labour party leadership change.
The internet quickly became awash with fake pictures of Mr Galloway – a highly principled and upright man – waving a handgun about whilst campaigning for the district where his opponent’s sister was murdered by a shooting.
Someone called “Sophie”, like many others, took to twitter to share her feelings…..
And guess what ? Although a prominent political figure, and a former MP such as Mr Galloway supposedly took to campaigning on UK streets with a hand gun in plain site (public gun displays and gun violence are very rare in the UK) none of the mainstream media made a big deal out of this. Even though his opponent’s sister in this same district was shot to death with a hand gun!
Doesn’t that seem an utterly incredible thing to be ignored by the media ?
Or is this just another reason why fewer and fewer people believe anything the mainstream global media write or say ?