Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Talks Peace, Justice, And True Religion.

(Editor’s note: It is difficult to remember an interview of an international leader matching the high level of truth, wisdom and spiritual power as that of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently on the program Going Underground RT. We strongly recommend and encourage people to share widely this timely, profound, outstanding discussion on the world’s most pressing and urgent issues. JA)

***

(Transcript of Ahmadinejad interview, followed by video)

…That’s all while the EU, Britain and the USA continue economic warfare against another fossil fuel power, Venezuela. Welcome President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. One of the world’s greatest revolutionaries, Hugo Chavez, remembered by supporters and enemies alike today, died six years ago this week. You knew him. Was he, as NATO, mainstream media has it, a dictator?

In the name of God the most merciful … Americans and the British can label people however they want. We have to see what their standards and criteria are for labeling people in such a way. Do you know of a dictator who loves his people; who could walk freely among the people on the streets; listen to their demands, and fulfill them?

Of course Mr. Chavez was against the domination of foreigners over his country and other countries. He was a strong supporter of freedom. He became president with a high percentage of the people’s votes. I believe you should ask the people who make such labels why they are trying to fan the atmosphere of vengeance among the public.

Those who knew Mr. Chavez closely know that he was a very kind man, a really lovely person. And on various occasions I saw him in many parts of Venezuela. He went to the people, moved freely without any security or bodyguards, he listened to the people for hours. He loved his people and that is how he lived.

I think if you want to have a better world you need to have certain standards that are acceptable by all the nations of the world. The standard as defined by those with hundreds of years of colonial history who waged wars, even today they set their sights on the wealth of other nations, and they cannot run their own economy independent of other nations. Those standards have failed to bring security to the world, and this does not bring friendship among nations.

Well, the US and European Union want to overthrow his successor Maduro of the Bolivarian revolution, just like the US wants to overthrow the government of Iran.

Before speaking about changes, we have to ask: do Americans have the right to overthrow Maduro in Venezuela? If we accept that others have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, then no space would be left to talk about human rights, international laws, freedoms and humanity. The Venezuelans are independent, brave, well-informed people. They seek freedom and they love Liberty.

Let us allow other people to decide on their own. The destiny of the Venezuelan people should be decided by themselves, not the president of the USA.

After Donald Trump violated the UN nuclear deal with sanctions, are things basically the same between Washington and Tehran as they were when you were president?

That was expecting too much. We had accepted the regulations and the provisions of the IAEA. Can we think of a sustainable peace if a government is to enjoy more rights than others do? Can we entertain the ideas of brotherhood and friendship? This is dictatorship, but at the international level. The US administrations should allow people to participate in running the affairs in a democratic atmosphere. They should not seek more rights than others, nor meddle in the affairs of other countries. The path they have been on in the past decades has destructed the world security, and created concerns for the future among all the people of the world.

Americans are respectable people. The USA, however, has many problems at home; the US president and his administration need to spend their time fixing people’s problems in their own country. If they imagine that the resolution is to create trouble and put other nations into chaos, then that would mean they are sowing deep vengeance and animosity among the nations. I believe that this is not the right way.

Do you think these kinds of violations of UN resolutions are symptomatic of capitalism itself?

Yes, capitalism by its nature is based on cruelty and injustice. Actually, we don’t have capitalism in the world anymore. It’s the system of capitalists who are dominating the resources of the world. They deprive other people of many opportunities. The nature of a capitalist system is unjust distribution of opportunities, natural wealth and riches. In this situation there is no chance for others, so the freedoms of other humans will be restricted, and that is the greatest war against justice.

While all chances for growth, improvement, development will be hindered, – this is injustice by definition. It’s unacceptable to see one side amass colossal wealth in astronomical figures while on the other side they remain in poverty. There are many prisoners in the United States; we also have detainees in Iran. I oppose any form of prison in principle, and I think many prisoners are held captive for two main reasons: firstly discrimination – social gaps cause extreme deprivation and poverty, and secondly, a number of people regard themselves superior than others. They keep their rights for themselves to trump on the rights of society and other people.

If we try to put in place the joint management of the world, then all human beings will partake in society’s interests and effectively participate in shaping that society. Then hopefully detention centers would be scrapped, and in future we will not see anybody behind bars anymore.

Also, some thinkers look at the phenomenon of prison from a different angle. In any geographic location where some people or a nation are under pressure their freedoms are confined, their rights are ignored, and they are not allowed to develop themselves and reach a proper status. Then that geographic location then becomes a prison. Wherever superpowers pressure people, confine them and infringe their rights, that place becomes a jail.

I hope through universal unity and joint efforts by all humans we will not witness anyone making prisons, nor anyone committing such a crime that would make them deserve to be thrown behind bars. If natural sources of wealth and opportunities are distributed evenly we would never see four million people sleeping on park benches in the United States. Humans, every single one of them, are important. Is there a lack of wealth in the United States? If resources and opportunities were divided equally, nobody homeless would remain on the streets.

You tweeted a picture from the UK-backed war on Yemen, and said the starving child was because of the capitalist system. How does capitalism kill?

Yes, any system that stands against the interests of the people would fall into decay, even if they develop and grow for a short period. You should look at the names of the weapons manufacturers who are taking the lives of people in Yemen, and you’ll notice that the nature of capitalism is war and destruction. We want a world without weapons, because weapons are designed to kill. Warfare cannot serve justice.

Do they send weapons to produce food for the people in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, or do they do it for slaughter? When arms sales are a lucrative business, then this is entwined with conflicts and war. Everybody knows part of the US governing body are the owners of weapons factories. Without tension, without wars, those weapon factories will shut down. You could find a pretext and start a war among people and nations.

The question is: what are the United States and Britain doing in the Persian Gulf region? Who allowed them to come into our region? Many problems in many parts of the world would be solved when the US and the UK and their like leave that region. They must allow people to decide for themselves. Yemeni people should be allowed to take their decision on their own. Those who sell weapons to kill people will have a terrible fate and God almighty is just; he will defend the rights of the oppressed.

Let us close down weapons factories. Can we expect to stop wars when some economies have arms production as a major pillar of their economic growth and employment? Can we assume no war will happen when some country’s economic growth relies to a large extent on the production of bombs – atomic bombs, rockets and warplanes, and a bulk of employment is dependent on arms industry?

We hope one day we will see that arms industries turn into an industry that produces equipment to improve the quality of life. So, let me give you some statistics. The world military spending is one thousand five hundred billion dollars, while 1.2 billion people live in absolute poverty, and can’t afford even a meal a day.

If we make a global consensus to issue this military spending within a five-year period and allocate it to the poor or improve economic growth of other nations, would there be insecurity anymore? Is this option better, or is war the solution? Is it better to earn revenue by serving humanity, or earn money by killing people? These are possible and feasible options, if we had a humane approach and we think of humankind.

We should care about every single person who loses his or her life in wars. People have feelings, emotions and families. In our culture, killing an innocent person amounts to killing all humankind. I hope that the day will come when all of us would act humanely, and when others look at us they would see humanity in friendship. What’s the difference between man and other creatures when you don’t love others? The extent of the love in your heart determines what kind of a human you are.

When your heart is full of love you can’t produce means for taking the life of another person. I cannot imagine this, and hope the conditions of the world will soon change in favor of justice, humanity, liberty and friendship. We believe that the basis of social life is justice, mutual respect and cooperation, so, anybody anywhere in the world who makes an attempt to spread justice deserves our respect and support. Everyone, everywhere should support them.

We believe religions came to bring further unity and solidarity among human beings. If they are dividing people in the name of religion, then be sure that this has nothing to do with the truth of religion. Humans are all the same. These governments must stand by the people, promote peace instead of wars, friendship instead of animosity. Then life will become beautiful for everyone.

I’ll stop you there. More from the former President of Iran after the break.

Continue reading “Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Talks Peace, Justice, And True Religion.”

Advertisements

President Tulsi Gabbard?: “There Is No Force More Powerful Than Love.”

(Editorial comment: Hawaii’s elected representative to Congress Tulsi Gabbard’s February 2, 2019 address announcing her candidacy for President of the United States in 2020 was remarkable in many ways, but what separated her most from Donald Trump and others who’ve publicly conveyed their intentions of running was one statement by Ms. Gabbard: “There is no force more powerful than love.”

If one were to imagine Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden etc. being asked by journalists the following question: “How do you feel about the idea, suggested by Ms. Gabbard, that there is no more powerful force than love?”, then one might better understand why the just-born Tulsi Gabbard campaign and movement has immense potential for success.

In the history of United States presidential politics, unless mistaken (and we don’t believe so), such a reference by a candidate to high-consciousness spiritual wisdom implying the feasibility of real, transformation-producing, global spiritual evolution as Tulsi Gabbard did during her speech is without precedent, – in other words, even when taking into consideration the massive compilation of speeches … new.

Tulsi Gabbard has simply, boldly and courageously raised the bar higher than ever before, arguably where the U.S. presidential debate bar should always have been, rightly, from the start. Donald Trump and the other candidates’ advisers and public relations experts will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to refute and/or overpower the essential, morality-based, profoundly compelling message just sent from Hawaii. End of editorial comment)

 

****

(Transcript of Tulsi Gabbard’s February 2, 2019 presidential campaign announcement address comes from Tulsi2020.com)

Aloha.

Thank you so much.

Growing up here in Hawaii, I loved swimming, surfing, and having fun in this paradise we are lucky to call home.

But I gradually realized that I was actually happiest when I was doing things for other people, doing things to protect our water, oceans, and beaches.

This was a different kind of happiness than what I experienced when just thinking of myself. It was a deeper happiness, that stayed with me.

I knew that no matter what path I chose in life, I wanted service to be the foundation.

I am proud to serve our country as a soldier.  I’m a Major in the Army National Guard where I’ve served for the last 15 years.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the people of Hawaii and our country in so many ways over the years –, in the state house where I was elected at 21, serving 100,000 people as a member of the Honolulu City Council, and now for over 6 years in Congress.

Thank you for your trust and your aloha.

I’m a Major in the Army National Guard, where I’ve served for the last 15 years. a Major in the National Guard and proud to serve as a soldier, a Major in the National Guard, proud to serve our country as a soldier.  I enlisted nearly 15 years ago in the Army National Guard, and deployed twice to the Middle East.

Our nation was founded on the principle that our government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people — where all people are treated equally, and with respect, in these UNITED states of America.
But today that vision seems like a far off dream.

Hatred and divisiveness have cast a dark shadow across our country.

We are being torn apart by powerful, self-serving politicians and greedy corporations, inciting hatred, fear, and conflict between us because of the color of our skin, the way we worship, or our political party.

This corruption of spirit driven by greed and selfishness is eroding the very fabric of our society …  and democracy itself.

This is not who we are, America.

The best of our nation is exemplified by our nation’s veterans who embody what it means to put service above self.  Who have sacrificed their own personal interests out of a greater love for our people and our country.

Love is not just a feeling.  It is a powerful force that drives us to act, to put service above self.

Our men and women in uniform, generation after generation, motivated by love for one another and for our country have been  willing to sacrifice  everything … for us.

They don’t  raise their hand and volunteer to serve  just to fight for one religion but not another; people of one race but not another; people of one political party but not another.

No.

When  we raise our right hand and volunteer to serve, we set aside our own interests — to serve our country and to fight for ALL Americans.

We serve as one —  Indivisible and unbreakable, united by  this bond of  love for  each other and love for our country.

It is this principle of putting service above self, that is at the heart of every soldier, every service member.

And it is in this spirit that today I announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America.

I will bring a soldier’s principles to the White House — restoring the values of dignity, honor and respect to the presidency. And above all, love for our people and love of country.

I ask you to join me, in this spirit of putting service before self, to stand up against the forces of greed and corruption.

The road ahead will not be easy.

The battle will be tough, the obstacles great.

But I know that when we stand united, by our love for our people and our country, there is no obstacle we cannot overcome, there is no battle we cannot win.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” 

We must heed his call to action today, at this critical time in our history.

We must stand up, and fight for the soul of our country.

Continue reading “President Tulsi Gabbard?: “There Is No Force More Powerful Than Love.””

#Free Marzieh Hashemi.

(Cross-posted from American Herald Tribune)

*

Detention Of Marzieh Hashemi Pursuant To Material Witness Order Borders On Political Kidnapping

ny discussion of the detention of journalist Marzieh Hashemi must begin in the historical context that all presidents have used the Department of Justice for constitutionally prohibited personal ends. The calculated seizure and political intimidation of Mrs. Hashemi and her family in the United States is but the most recent flagrant instance.

Whether it’s the deportation of political enemies during the Palmer Raids of the early 1900’s, or the COINTELPRO attacks a half a century later upon dissidents of color through assassination, mock show trials and indefinite detention of political prisoners, or the post 9-11 hysteria that drove hundreds of thousands of Muslims from the United States, or the targeted attack on whistle blowers and construct of the surveillance state by the last president, all have seen their executive power as essentially boundless, and their thirst to use it . . .  largely unrestrained.

Yet none before has been so public, indeed brazen, as is the current one in his utter contempt for the settled rule of law and procedure. Indeed in Trump’s view the Department of Justice exists as but a mere extension of his own political thirst and agenda and may be employed as a tool to implement personal and political reprisal. In this light, the lawless seizure of Marzieh Hashemi was as predictable as it is ominous in both process and substance.

The history of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) has largely lain dormant with few prosecutions, if any, for violations and none before that have triggered the seizure of an American journalist pursuant to the subterfuge of a material witness order, here employed as little more than political handcuffs.

As of now there has been no official comment by the Department of Justice as to the nature of the grand jury dodge that served for the illegal and unnecessary seizure of Mrs. Hashemi when she recently de-boarded a flight in St. Louis, Missouri.

nitial grounds for the unprecedented seizure of the highly respected anchor for Press TV swung wildly, ranging from leverage to obtain the release of other Americans “held” in Iran to a US investigation into possible violations of the recently re-imposed political sanctions against Iran to OFAC violations (Office of Financial Assets Control) arising from her unlicensed work for a designated foreign state.

If, as it turns out, the seizure of Mrs. Hashemi finds its genesis in an unprecedented criminal investigation of a news outlet pursuant to FARA, to understand just how calculated and arbitrary a step it is, one need only look at its very different application against the Russian state-owned media outlets Sputnik and RT.

Cast in the light of the hysteria over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, Congress and various government agencies turned their attention to both outlets. Claiming the need to provide listeners with notice as to their partisan bent, in point of fact FARA was used against Sputnik and RT as so much a legislative bully-pulpit in a readily transparent effort to “purify” if not control the message of these two foreign-owned outlets.

Yet, if FARA triggered the stunning seizure of Marzieh Hashemi, that precipitous step bears no likeliness whatsoever to the procedural and substantive approach employed by the US government with regard to like violations by Sputnik and RT.

In neither case were journalists of the networks seized by the government for possible violation of FARA. In neither case were the networks targeted for grand jury investigation.  In fact, unlike here, both media outlets were given ample opportunity to raise objections to the applicability of FARA to their activity and when their arguments proved unavailing a chance to either register with it or to cease operations within the United States. Failing this, the government threatened but did not, at any time, undertake criminal prosecutions or arrests of employees, let alone journalists, who worked for the outlets.

hat is not what has apparently happened here with Press TV. In this regard, there is no evidence that Press TV was put on notice that it’s “presence” within the United States or acquiring and using information it received in and about controversial US issues for airing in Iran, and elsewhere, triggered FARA oversight let alone a criminal violation of its reach. Nor, does it appear, Press TV was given an opportunity to challenge a claim that its activity fell within the rubric of FARA. Finally, there is no evidence Press TV was given an option to either register with FARA or to cease its operation or a warning that failure to do so could result in the prosecution of the network or the arrest of its journalists.

In this light, it is palpably clear that the Department of Justice has employed a double standard between its approach to the application of FARA to Sputnik and RT and to that applied as against Press TV.

Given a grand jury investigation into Press TV for an alleged criminal violation of FARA and the arrest of one of its most respected journalists, it is beyond cavil that the US government has chosen to selectively enforce and punish it for political reasons driven, no doubt, by an Oval Office agenda.

Continue reading “#Free Marzieh Hashemi.”

Father Dave Smith On Israel-Palestine, Christian Zionism: “Politics And Religion Mixed Up A Lot.”

By Jerry Alatalo

Australian Father Dave Smith at a recent “Warrior Weekend” – part of the “Boxing For Life” program, using boxing to bring people of different faiths and cultures together through sport.

ather Dave Smith of Australia was one of  the men and woman from around the Earth who received invitations to speak at the recent New Horizons Conference in Iran – the 6th Annual convening of the event in May 2018.

Among the group of others who participated were (from the U.S.): Alison Weir (author, founder of If Americans Knew), retired Central Intelligence Agency counter-intelligence expert Philip Giraldi, former State Department official Michael Maloof, military psychological operations expert and author of “Shell Game” (Swiss banks terrorist financing) Scott Bennett, and attorney/author Michael Springmann (Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry).

Father Dave Smith’s talk  focused on the erroneous theological foundations of Christian Zionism, the distinctive branch of the faith finding 50-70 million adherents in the United States alone. The Christian block is very influential (negatively, if what Father Dave Smith suggests is correct) when it comes to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere around the Earth, particularly with regard to Israel-Palestine.

If one accepts the central thrust of Father Dave Smith’s thesis, the most worrisome aspect of Christian Zionists’ erroneous beliefs set is holding the idea that being a Christian requires giving full support to Israel – and accepting the “prophecy” that the return of Jesus Christ is dependent on Israel’s militarily conquering its neighbors or enemies. In other words, Christian Zionists are to believe (and do believe) that wars fought by Israel, including those fought by the United States for or joined with Israel, are absolute/solid “signs” – ignorant of the potential huge losses of human lives, the injuries, dislocation and destruction associated with military violence – of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

This theologically incorrect stance is actually the one held firmly by millions of U.S. Christian Zionists (readers might have family members or friends in the religious category) – in fact to the point where many are joyously anticipating the “Armageddon” of Revelations in the Bible or major war in the Middle East, which supposedly then triggers the prophecy-fulfilling supernatural spiritual event of Christ’s return, the 2nd Coming, and/or “The Rapture”.

Americans might find it important to know that former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and now Secretary of State under Donald Trump – Mike Pompeo – believes in “The Rapture”. Moreover, Father Dave Smith wonders out loud in his talk whether Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton is a Christian Zionist. The selection of Bolton by Trump did not require the approval/vote or confirmation of the U.S. Congress.

The Rapture has come into the consciousness of America’s estimated 50-70 million Christian Zionists through the reading of the controversial (many Christian leaders criticize and consider it sheer blasphemy) Scofield Bible, published in 1909 and including extensive end notes or interpretive commentary by editor Scofield, which portray biblical scriptures/verses in an extremely Israel-centric light.

Perhaps some men or women journalists can ask Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Bolton if their bibles are the Scofield version. It might be very important to know the answer, and especially so, given the current highly tense global situation.

A few hours of research into the Scofield Bible, its historical facts and the theological controversy surrounding it are enough for one to lean strongly in the direction that millions of Americans who’ve used/read solely the Scofield publication have been sadly fooled about Israel vis-à-vis Christianity. In many instances people professing themselves as Christians have used the Scofield Bible alone … solely that book without exception, for decades and/or generations.

Among America’s more well-known Christian Zionists are Pat Robertson (who ran for president as a Republican, and once publicly called for the political, literal assassination of  Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez), John Hagee and Robert Jeffress (who both spoke in Israel at the U.S. Embassy dedication ceremony, after Donald Trump moved it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem), Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, Hal Lindsey, and many others.

***

Father Dave Smith spoke toward the end of his talk:

“Hence, biblical prophecies … they’re never designed to help shape foreign policy; any more than they’re designed to just satisfy our curiosity about the future. They’re designed to call us back to the commandments. Once we recognize this, I think we can see the fundamental flaw in the logic of Christian Zionism. They claim the biblical prophecies point to the triumph of the modern-state Israel over its neighbors.

“Even if they could be right, that some prophet had predicted this, it wouldn’t mean that either the prophet or the scriptures as a whole endorsed the event, nor would it mean that people should support it, any more than Jeremiah’s dire warnings were intended to garner support for the destruction of Jerusalem. In the Hebrew bible, when the prophet gives dire predictions about the future, his hope is that his warnings will cause his hearers to come back into a relationship of obedience to God – resulting in the prophecy proving false.

“See, the tragedy of Christian Zionism … Is it gets the whole process back to front, urging us to follow the prophecy even if it means breaking the laws of God, breaking the commandments. Prophecy has never been normative. The commandments are normative. The commandments tell us how we have to behave towards God and towards our neighbors. It’s the commandments with which we can base our foreign policy on, – a biblically based foreign policy, which would require of course a focusing on justice.

“As a Sydney Anglican priest I’m privileged to be part of a church tradition that has never been greatly influenced by Zionism. Indeed, I believe that at the Sydney Anglican Synod of 1948, some people did indeed stand up suggesting the creation of Israel was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

“It was the principal of our theological seminary who corrected them, saying: ‘No, no … It’s the fulfillment of the 8th commandment – Thou shalt not steal’. And this is the great tragedy of Christian Zionism … That under the guide of faithfulness to biblical prophecy it indeed justified stealing, and murder, and any number of other crimes that are clearly contrary to the commandments of God.

“A genuinely biblical approach to the situation in Israel-Palestine must begin, I believe, not with prophecy, but with the unambiguous command to do justice. A justice that respects the rights of Palestinian people to their land, to life and to liberty.”

Father Dave Smith after declared the ‘winner’ of an exhibition boxing match.

 ***

(Thank you to Dave Smith – YouTube)