Terrorist Backers Are Guilty Of War Crimes.

by Jerry Alatalo

superior777-1Perhaps the major historical deficiency of international law is the near absence of rapid taking into custody, prosecution of, and imprisonment of high level war criminals. The current example is lack of legal consequences for those enabling ISIS and other terrorist groups who’ve been carrying out horrific levels of violence and murder over recent years in the Middle East.

Because urgent and necessary United Nations reform making it mandatory for each UN member state sign on to the Rome Statute and come under jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) or face expulsion from the global organization has yet to come about, those in power in nations outside the legal bounds of the ICC have committed war crimes with impunity, or without real deterrence.

A good way to describe this is imagining oneself living on a small island under the enforcement structure of  no organized legal institutions, and therefore having to face no consequences for what are actions prosecuted as crimes on the mainland one mile across the water. Simply put, the person(s) living on that “island” could pay murderers to travel to the mainland, carry out violence and killings, destroy homes and infrastructure, and any number of criminal actions, yet not become prosecuted – literally outside the law.

Observing the current global situation from a historical standpoint examples are plenty where leaders “got away with” war crimes and only rarely – too-often only decades later – faced the legal accountability for their crimes in a court of law. Such an international situation could be described as the international law liquids container persisting with a large crack leaking the essential substance of effective operation of law and order.

The international law “container” is in need of repair to greatly diminish and perhaps even end any repetition of major war crimes anywhere on Earth. Failure to do so guarantees further acts of war crime carried out with impunity, more bloodshed, violence and destruction, and more innocent people fleeing their homes and becoming refugees.

An international agreement making the ICC the highest court on Earth, responsible for swiftly prosecuting the world’s most serious crimes and their perpetrators, is long overdue and offers the best option for stopping high-level, powerful leaders from committing war crimes negatively affecting the lives of millions of innocent men, women and children.

War crimes are taking place today, the legal institutional framework and agreement by humanity has yet to become developed to its fullest extent to deter those crimes, so the time for reaching the greatest global enforcement potential is now.

(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)

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Upanishad: Spiritual Teaching.

by Jerry Alatalo

From “The Upanishads” (2007), translated by Eknath Easwaran, page 113-115

“Brihadaranyaka Upanishad”

[ 4 ]

The sage Yajnavalkya to famous king Janaka:

Header4When the body and mind grow weak, the Self gathers in all the powers of life and descends with them into the heart. As prana leaves the eye, it ceases to see. “He is becoming one,” say the wise; he does not see. He is becoming one; he does not hear. He is becoming one; he no longer speaks, or tastes, or smells, or thinks, or knows.” By the light of the heart the self leaves the body by one of its gates; and when he leaves, prana follows, and with it all the vital powers of the body. He who is dying merges in consciousness, and thus consciousness accompanies him when he departs, along with the impressions of all he has done, experienced and known.

As a caterpillar, having come to the end of one blade of grass, draws itself together and reaches out for the next, so the Self, having come to the end of one life and dispelled all ignorance, gathers in his faculties and reaches out from the old body to a new.

As a goldsmith fashions an old ornament into a new and more beautiful one, so the Self, having reached the end of the last life and dispelled all ignorance, makes for himself a new, more beautiful shape, like that of the devas or other celestial beings.

The Self is indeed Brahman, but through ignorance people identify it with intellect, mind, senses, passions, and the elements of earth, water, space and fire. This is why the Self is said to consist of this and that, and appears to be everything.

As a person acts, so he becomes in life. Those who do good become good; those who do harm become bad. Good deeds make one pure; bad deeds make one impure. You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.

We live in accordance with our deep, driving desire. It is this desire at the time of death that determines what our next life will be. We will come back to earth to work out the satisfaction of that desire.

But not those who are free from desire; they are free because all their desires have found fulfillment in the Self. They do not die like the others; but realizing Brahman, they merge in Brahman.

So it is said:

When all the desires that surge in the heart are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal. When all the knots that strangle the heart are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal, here in this very life.

As the skin of a snake is sloughed onto an anthill, so does the mortal body fall; but the Self, freed from the body, merges in Brahman, infinite life, eternal light.

Those who realize the Self enter into the peace that brings complete self-control and perfect patience. They see themselves in everyone and everyone in themselves. Evil cannot overcome them because they overcome all evil. Sin cannot consume them because they consume all sin. Free from evil, free from sin and doubt, they live in the kingdom of Brahman. Your majesty, this kingdom is yours!

Janaka:

Venerable One, I offer myself and my kingdom in your service.

****

Love Is The Answer.

by Jerry Alatalo

“Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.”

– ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955)  Youth (1932)

galaxy22Persons paying attention will discover these are amazing days on Earth. If one holds to Einstein’s quote about how one can choose between believing nothing is a miracle or that everything is, depending on which one has chosen, these days are exhibiting more “miraculousness” than experienced in some time.

After listening closely to Pope Francis’ address to the United Nations and his accurate articulation of today’s international condition, the wishful thought came of him and Noam Chomsky getting together with the goal of coming up with good solutions to humanity’s historic and current major challenges.

Then, the impossible idea of those two elderly men, Pope Francis well-studied in things spiritual and Noam Chomsky well-studied in things more material, intellectual and scientific, being joined by John Lennon if he were alive came up. Seeing John Lennon, an artist for all time, unfortunately died at the age of only 40 years old with people basically robbed of experiencing his extraordinarily promising future potential, perhaps a suitable fill-in to complete the “three amigos” would be Peter Gabriel.

Imagine (intended) Pope Francis, Noam Chomsky and Peter Gabriel agreeing to spend as much time as it takes to come up with the best possible solutions for humanity’s greatest challenges. You’d have the person who some believe is the spiritual leader of leaders on Earth, the person who some believe is the world’s most influential intellectual, and, although up for debate, the person who best represents the world’s artists and their one-third of a claim to human evolutionary activism.

Peter Gabriel was one of the forces behind the founding of the Elders, a group of high-level retired political and academic leaders including Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson and other elder men and women former heads of state and influential leaders. One of its original members, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, has for years supported universal membership by nations in the Rome Statute and coming under jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Pope Francis, among the direct ideas he conveyed to the United States Congress and the United Nations, talked about the paramount importance of international law and increasing the effectiveness of a global “juridical” framework to keep the peace, and that framework is the International Criminal Court. Mr. Chomsky favors greatly strengthening the ICC, Mr. Gabriel is certainly in the same view, and so that could be one of the solutions agreed upon after the three discuss for as long as it takes.

Peter Gabriel would likely send Kofi Annan in his place for such a “meeting of the minds” if it ever were to occur because he’s the kind of guy who respects elders and the wisdom stored up over long lifetimes. It’s too bad Pete Seeger isn’t still living because him, Noam Chomsky and Pope Francis, to use the title of a Beatles song,  certainly could have “worked it out”.

Some of the points and issues put forward by Pope Francis at the United Nations include:

  • the role of international finance, “oppressive lending systems”,  in practices which abuse developing nations and peoples through usury
  • development and promotion of the rule of law, without which damage becomes inflicted to universal fraternity
  • the spirit of law itself is all about limitation of power
  • negative results occur when individuals or groups consider their power absolute
  • international law limits power badly exercised and leading to innocent victims
  • juridical norms need to become more effective on the enforcement end of international law

Pope Francis covered the environment, economic and social exclusion, the toll on innocent lives of somewhat impotent resolutions made by leaders who should consider doing “more than assuage our consciences”, the need for humanity to become “consciously conscious”, abolition of nuclear weapons from the Earth, sincere, patient and constant dialogue for the sake of all people, seeing innocent victims of war as human beings and not statistics, among other matters.

He read words used in an address to the United Nations by a previous Pope 50 years ago, and that decades old message, unfortunately, still applies today. A widespread recognition of the sacredness of each human being no matter their status has yet to take root, grow and effectively become the major factor for decision-making at high levels of governments of national and international institutions.

In essence the Pope’s message was spiritual, a direct challenge to leaders for action based on moral principles established in all world religious organizations, and joining together in selfless service with a higher degree of wisdom that rejects any deference to an “all-powerful elite”.

I thought the United Nations address was profound for its revealing of truth at the root of today’s global problems and conditions, for its strong suggestion to facilitate international law with true enforcement tools, and the message of the sacred nature of all men, women and children. Unfortunately, the man felt current conditions on Earth made it necessary to discuss urgent matters with both the America people in the United States Congress and the world’s people at the United Nations.

Although Pope Francis accused no person or nation specifically for wrong-doing  and didn’t call for a new investigation of September 11, 2001, overall his addresses delivered serious food for thought about eliminating divisions, service to power and greed over selfless service to others, war, poverty and disrespect of people, the environment and creation. His talks get “two big thumbs up”.

While Pope Francis and Noam Chomsky in their respective styles can speak for long periods on issues of great importance, if John Lennon were still alive his talks would be, let’s say, a little more “concise”. If the “three amigos” imagined earlier of Pope Francis, Noam Chomsky and John Lennon were to happen miraculously or presented in an artsy creative movie, one can see in their mind’s eye John Lennon’s first words to the two men after first sitting down for discussions, instead of an hour-long oration, taking the form of a short question…

“How about peace and love?”…

(Thank you to Beatleboy Jd at YouTube)

Speak Softly, Carry A Big Spirit Truth.

by Jerry Alatalo

Sunset OceanA few comments on Noam Chomsky’s talk at The New School in New York titled “On Power and Ideology”… First, it was an interesting coincidence, days after publishing “2016” and intentionally naming the title to suggest George Orwell’s “1984”, that Mr. Chomsky would begin his talk by referring to Mr. Orwell. Perhaps there’s something to quantum physics, the unified field and newer theories that propose thoughts influence material reality, but we’ll leave that mesmerizing topic for another day.

Mr. Chomsky is over 80 years old now, and men and women at some point in the life/aging process start using softer tones when speaking to others. For Mr. Chomsky, in his younger days during the Vietnam War era one can find talks where his voice was more assertive, at a higher volume and on rare occasions loud, especially when in the heat of debate or discussion.

At 80 the dizzying amount of information he’s researched, written and talked about through decades has resulted in his communicative style becoming more subdued, which could describe him as one who “speaks softly, but carries a big truth”.  Many have probably come across comments on the internet which claim that Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now host Amy Goodman and others are “gatekeepers”. Some believe the so-called gatekeepers are holding back on essential truths, and not going “all the way” when discussing important Earth issues.

That debate won’t become discussed now but to say it is always most beneficial to speak the 100% truth, without omission, as best one perceives it . For example, besides the gatekeeper criticism, Noam Chomsky has received criticism for not being more forceful or speaking out about the need for a new investigation of the events which occurred 14 years ago on September 11, 2001. This writer’s view is that one is truly necessary, and could easily be carried out with relatively minor financial cost. In fact, there are probably multi-millionaires and billionaires around the Earth who would agree to cover the costs of a new investigation entirely, so cost is no constraint.

The closest I’ve seen Mr. Chomsky come to expressing more of a spiritual message in his talks was years ago when he answered an audience question “what drives you… keeps you going?’ by saying, “A person has to look at himself in the mirror every morning”.  My one “critical” observation is that if Noam Chomsky (along with all peace and justice activists) presented more in his talks and writings on man’s spiritual aspects he would become more effective. Why? Because I believe peace and justice activism is all about spirituality.

This is no criticism of Noam Chomsky but only a simple observation.  There is a great deal to respect and honor in the decades of work Mr. Chomsky has carried out, and, besides believing peace activism is all about spirituality, it is also my belief that no person has any right to interfere in another person’s spiritual journey. This relates directly to what Noam Chomsky talks about in the talk, in particular American relations with  the Islamic nation of Iran.

“We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us their children. It teaches us to be thankful, to be united, and to love one another. We never quarrel about religion.”

– RED JACKET

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In his talk, Chomsky goes into the current American debate about the Iran nuclear deal. He pointed out that this was an international agreement between the P5+1: permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Britain, China, France , Russia and the United States), Germany and Iran – not only between the U.S. and Iran. He added that the “debate” is only occurring in the U.S. as the rest of the world has been in favor of the agreement, accepting it with relief and optimism, and that it is the U.S. by debating the deal which exhibits its other, unmentioned form of exceptionalism and risks further isolation.

In his quiet manner, he destroys all talk of Iran as “an aggressor nation seeking hegemony over the Middle East”. He points out that Iran hasn’t invaded another nation in well over a century, in “several hundred years” but once – during the reign of the Shah of Iran when he used military force to secure some local small islands. He shares his perception that the Obama administration action to normalize relations with Cuba stems from Latin American nations’ rejection of U.S. policy in Central and South America, and that it was the Cuba action or becoming completely shut out by the people of the South.

On assertions that ‘Iran is a great threat… Iranian aggression…” Chomsky mentions recent Gallup polls asking which nation represents the greatest threat to world peace, and that it is the United States, not Iran, which easily and far and away comes in #1 according to polled men and women. He contrasts Iranian support of Syria and Iraq in those nations’ fight against ISIS being described as “aggression… destabilizing…” to the Iraq War begun in 2003 on lies about Iraq weapons of mass destruction and connection to 9/11, resulting in Iraq’s destruction, the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and where the latter has often been described as “stabilizing the region”.

Chomsky noted that Saudi Arabia is responsible for supporting a great percentage of extreme ideology terrorist groups like ISIS, that U.S. NATO ally Turkey has supported terrorist groups killing and destroying in Syria and Iraq, and that media and government narratives fail to accurately describe what’s really happening. His view is that Saudi-sponsored radical Islam is the real danger for the people of the Middle East and beyond.

He said the “threats” posed by some about Iran are non-existent, and that assertions the deal didn’t go far enough are true, but in a different sense than conveyed by those making the assertions. Others claim the deal didn’t go far enough because it didn’t include language making the Middle East a nuclear weapons and mass destruction weapons-free zone. Such a plan has been the content of resolutions at each five-year international meeting on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), but, Chomsky points out, the United States has sabotaged or blocked implementation of the plan every five years at least since 1995, including a resolution at the meeting held earlier this year.

In the Q+A he received a question about Donald Trump. He said “the (Republican) candidates are not that different”, Scott Walker (who dropped out of the race days after this talk) told a debate audience he would bomb Iran on his first day in office, while Jeb Bush would wait until the first meeting of his cabinet, and that “This is just off the spectrum of, not only international opinion, but relative sanity”. He stated his agreement with some far-right conservative commentators that the Republicans are no longer a political party but a “radical insurgency”.

He described the current state of the Democratic Party as one where it has moved to the right and are what were known in the past as moderate Republicans, while the Republicans have “simply moved off the spectrum”.

Another question asked about upcoming meetings at the United Nations on sustainable development goals and his view on potential success. He answered by saying “a two-word answer” and that “nothing will be achieved”.

In answer to a question about WikiLeaks Chomsky praised the group, and told the audience much would be earned from reading WikiLeaks information which hasn’t been widely published. He compared U.S. actions toward Iran as “Mafia-like”, comparing the U.S. to the mafia “Don” who sends his goons to teach harsh physical lessons to those who “disobey orders” – which Chomsky asserts represents Iran. Now, nations from Europe are sending government and business delegations for meetings with Iranian officials to discuss contracts and conducting business.

The extreme irony is that Republicans, those who oppose the Iran P5+1 deal so strenuously are associated with corporations restricted from seeking and doing business with Iran. Although the final question “What is intelligence?” didn’t specifically refer to that ironic situation, perhaps Mr. Chomsky’s response after cracking a rare wide grin did. “Well, it’s something that’s lacking in certain places… Let’s put it like that. Thanks.” He then walked off the stage.

The thought came up of Noam Chomsky, at 80 years old and certainly well aware of its inevitable coming, walking off the Earthly stage.

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(Thank you to Democracy Now)

Those interested can watch the entire over one-hour lecture here.