Stein-Baraka Position On Middle East, War And Peace.

By Jerry Alatalo

“One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.”

– WALTER BAGEHOT (1826-1877) English economist

baraka-3Alphabet Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka appeared for an interview recently on the Real News Network. After being shut out of both presidential and vice presidential debates, rigged to include only the Democratic and Republican tickets, in this election American voters are effectively the victims of “democracy censorship” by not being given an opportunity to learn the positions of Green and Libertarian candidates.

What would national polls look like today had Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party and Libertarian Gary Johnson both participated in the 1st presidential debate? Nobody can say, but it’s certain the polls would more accurately reflect the true views of the American people. How can the United States continue to call itself a democracy when well over 70% of its citizens call for inclusive debates with Green and Libertarian taking part, then that clear “mandate” of the people becomes totally rejected and ignored?

Perhaps Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share the opinion that Americans don’t possess the intellectual capacity and power of discernment to make accurate assessments of the candidates’ qualitative positions on the major issues. Stein-Baraka and Johnson-Weld are candidates with a mathematical chance of winning the election. But Americans will never know the stances of Clinton and Trump; they are both eerily silent on the issue – neither has commented one way or the other, favorably or in opposition, on 4-way debates.

If Dr. Jill Stein had appeared with Clinton, Trump and Johnson for debate #1, perhaps Americans would for literally the 1st time started the serious discussion necessary for bringing a resolution to the 67-year long Israel-Palestine conflict, and asking tough questions about the wisdom in continuing to provide, and increase, military aid worth billions of dollars annually ($38 billion over 10-years) to the international outlaw state of Israel – the perennial, decades-long denier of basic human rights to the Palestinian people.

If Ajamu Baraka were to appear with Pence, Kaine and Weld for vice-presidential debates, perhaps Americans would learn that the over 5-year violent conflict in Syria is not a civil war as many intentionally portray for the purpose of deception, but a U.S., regional and European ally proxy war using paid (with U.S. taxpayers’ money) mercenary terrorists in place of American soldier “boots on the ground”. The hideous and criminal acts have occurred while practicing a grand lie, with highest-level officials telling Americans and the world they are “fighting terrorism”.

Perhaps Americans would demand a new, independent investigation of 9/11 to get to the truth of what really happened that fateful day, making up for the profoundly incompetent effort resulting in the official 9/11 Commission Report, and determining the real perpetrators of the mass-murder, instead of the sham story of 19 hijackers and a cave-dweller. Those perpetrators are likely responsible for planning and implementing the monstrous war-related crimes and catastrophes of the Middle East and North Africa since 2001; now is the time to arrest, prosecute, and “get them off the street” to prevent further human carnage, possibly of unimaginable scale.

If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both believe their ideas, positions and proposals are the most beneficial for the American people and humanity around the Earth, then both should have no fear whatsoever of inviting and competing with Stein-Baraka and Johnson-Weld. Besides, American voters will always respect, appreciate and cherish the memory of their great presidents through history who practiced the personal quality of fairness, in particular having an open mind to new and/or potentially more beneficial ideas.

The Democrats and Republicans can change their minds at any time about debates.

That’s not going to happen, it’s unfair, and represents an objectionable, stubborn stance that is absolutely undemocratic. By denying democracy at this point in the presidential election of 2016, neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are practicing/exhibiting the noble leadership qualities of fairness and open-mindedness. It’s scandalous – and a shame.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)

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UN’s Geoffrey Feltman On Israel-Palestine: ‘We Can No Longer Accept This Reality.’

by Jerry Alatalo

“Look gently on each other, and behold the world in which perception of hate has been transformed into a world of love.”

“The holiest of all spots on Earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.”

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

cropped-world-map1.jpgAlphabet Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs of the United Nations Geoffrey Feltman addressed the Security Council recently about increasing tensions and violence between Israelis and Palestinians. These developments come one year after last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, where for 51-days Israel’s military carried out what some have come to perceive as genocide against the Palestinian people living in Gaza.

After the killing, violence and bombing stopped last August, over 2,000 Palestinian men, women and children had perished, and when United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon saw the results in Gaza he thought the destruction was like something out of World War II. The Secretary General, speaking at a meeting of the world’s nations for raising the billions of dollars required to, once again,  rebuild Palestinian homes and businesses after massive bombing and destruction by the Israeli military, told all who attended the meeting, “Let us make this the last time”.

Only a small percentage of the billions of dollars pledged at that meeting have actually been delivered, and very little reconstruction has taken place in Gaza in the twelve-month period since Operation Protective Edge ended in August 2014. Palestinians in Gaza have over the past twelve months lived in extremely harsh conditions, the international community has not honored commitments made to provide financial help to rebuild, and now people in the region face the risk of a repeat of Operation Protective Edge and the seeming bi-yearly Israeli military bombardment of Gaza.

The Palestinian people could be compared to the boxer in movies who receives blow after blow after blow on the ropes, but refuses to lose no matter the pain his opponent inflicts upon him. Boxing metaphors aside, the United Nation’s Geoffrey Feltman is entirely right to say “We can no longer accept this reality”.

Mr. Feltman points out that Israeli decades-old illegal destruction of Palestinian buildings and homes, forced displacement of Palestinians, and construction of settlements in the occupied territories has continued despite calls for a halt of illegal actions from an increasing number of people from around the Earth.

Many long-time observers of Israel and Palestine believe the United States government has the power to end the 70-year confrontation by sanctioning Israel through the cutoff of $3 billion/year in aid (primarily military), but, instead of taking that action to bring about a lasting resolution to the conflict, recently upped the annual aid to Israel by $1.5 billion.

One can only describe circumstances related to the recently negotiated P5+1 Iran nuclear agreement as astonishing in that the country of Iran has long-renounced possession of nuclear weapons because such weapons are in direct contradiction of Islamic law, while most observers understand that the state of Israel possesses anywhere from 100-400 nuclear weapons. Part of that astonishment derives from the fact that President Barack Obama, when asked if Israel possesses nuclear weapons, was unwilling to respond with the truth and say “yes”.

Given another instance of increasing tension and risk of escalating violence in Israel-Palestine, as well as ongoing and seeming endless war in the Middle East region, the number of people around the world who agree with Geoffrey Feltman that “we can no longer accept this reality” is growing rapidly, and that includes finally resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, ending war in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc., and establishing a nuclear weapons/weapons of mass destruction free zone across the entire Middle East region.

Under-Secretary General Geoffrey Feltman said the following about the once-again precarious, current Israel-Palestine situation, but his sentiments also apply to the region as a whole. Mr. Feltman spoke to the reasons for repetitions of violence in the West Bank and Gaza, and strongly suggests the time to end the violence is now.

“(Recurring acts of violence are the) inevitable product of the failure to make the tough choices necessary to resolve the conflict. They are the ramifications of the failure to prioritize the pursuit of a shared future built on trust rather than fear. We can no longer accept this reality. It is time to reverse the perilous tide we are now facing, and restore – to Israelis and Palestinians alike – the hope that is in danger of being stifled by those promoting their hate-driven agendas.”

Men, women and children in the Middle East have been on the ropes taking punches through wars for far, far too long. Literally millions have perished over time, while many millions more have become forced to live their entire lifetimes with the horrific consequences. If powerful moral action is not taken, many more will die and suffer.

Humanity must now rise to the occasion and become like the referees who, mercifully, place their bodies between the boxers – to end the suffering.  

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(Thank you to Nizar Abboud at YouTube)

The Spiritual Dimension: Toward A Progressive Unifying Vision.

Posted on October 21, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-9Alphabet Rabbi Michael Lerner, Sister Joan Chittister and Dr. Cornel West co-founded the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Michael Lerner likes to point out that Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t say “I have a… complaint” but “I have a dream”. The main message he gives to audiences across the United States and around the world is that liberal/progressive movements have excluded the spiritual dimension in their articulations, and that – because almost every human being desires a world with more love, kindness, caring, and generosity – simply because of that exclusion a better world has been severely slowed in manifesting into reality.

The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) share the perspective that there are two views of the world. One is a view that has been widespread in most of human society for thousands of years and says everyone is looking out for themselves, maximizing advantages and control so others won’t dominate and take advantage of them, all the while creating fear, distrust, and psychological, physical stress and violence ranging from personal differences to domestic/family disputes to wars between nations.

The other view, which Michael Lerner believes progressives unfortunately dismiss as impractical, has also been around for millennia, and that is a world of love, caring, kindness and generosity. This worldview forms the basis of all the world’s major religions, included in the sacred writings of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion, Shintoism, Sikhism, Judaism, Jainism, Baha’i, and others. Most people shift back and forth between the many times simultaneously held views in their daily lives and realities, and members of the NSP advocate for a tremendous strengthening of love, kindness, caring and generosity views in public debate, discussion, and other forms of conveying ideas and proposals.

If humanity were able to vote on it, most have reached the point where a new world fueled by more love, caring and generosity is something that would greatly help in solving what Michael Lerner calls the “spiritual crisis” created in large measure by absorption of competitiveness, maximization of profits, selfishness and materialism in today’s global society. In what Mr. Lerner and fellow members of NSP see as a great paradox, what most people want – a new and better world – is not coming into existence simply because people hold the belief that it’s not possible.

He gives the example of low-income people voting for right-wing politicians against their own interests to point out how progressives’ inclusion of the spiritual dimension in their writings, talks, and other forms of communication has become a serious matter for consideration. Widespread perceiving from the materialist, competitive view of the world has led many people/voters to – because of the shortage of spirituality in offered progressive political philosophy – lean on right-wing churches as their perceived only option for answering psycho-spiritual needs, although by doing so their votes end up going to candidates who act against their interests after winning the election.

According to spiritual progressives, change activists must acknowledge a failure to articulate a broader vision of the world which everyone wants: a different world conveyed which will startle and move people because they’ve never heard progressives talk from such a viewpoint. Michael Lerner is aware that responses to the ideas of spiritual progressives typically include “materialism and selfishness is everyone’s lifestyle” so what groups like NSP recommend is “unrealistic”. Michael Lerner’s suggestion to audiences is “do not be realistic”, throw out all perceptions that the way things are is all that’s possible, and always go for the highest vision of the greatest good, whatever your issue(s).

Michael Lerner is the editor of Tikkun Magazine (the spiritual left), with articles written by spiritually progressive men and women from all religious traditions. The following video is of Rabbi Michael Lerner giving a fascinating talk in Ashland, Oregon in September 2014 after accepting an invitation from Peace House.

Does participating in spiritual progressivism offer humanity a magnificent opportunity to create positive change – the new and better world every man, woman and child wants to experience?

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For more information please visit: http://www.tikkun.org

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(Thank you to Peace House at YouTube)

“Israel Destroyed Everything.”

Posted on August 19, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

Many times after tornadoes pass through areas of America, helicopters from news stations become dispatched to fly over the path of destruction.  Everybody’s seen the videos, looking almost as if a giant “lawnmower” drove over the trailer park, town or city blocks. Tremendous, shocking images of destruction and devastation from tornadoes which touched down on Joplin, Missouri a few years ago remain in viewers’ memories from film footage shot out of news helicopters after the damage had occurred.

Tornadoes are events which humans have no power to prevent or stop. What the Israeli military did to the people living in the Gaza Strip in the past five weeks – the now infamous “mowing the lawn” – was unleash an intentional, murderous bomb tornado. Has anyone noticed there have been no long video reports coming from helicopters flying over the destroyed sections of the Gaza Strip? The United Nations’ Robert Serry described conditions in Gaza as an “unprecedented destruction and humanitarian crisis”.

In the following video, a Press TV reporter talks to the former mayor of a city in the Gaza Strip with 15,000 residents. He recalls 1999, when the city and himself invited over 50 mayors from Israel to visit, welcomed them with food and drink, and how the Israeli mayors became impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the city. The reporter asks him if the Israeli military were firing against military or civilians.

He replied that they (Israeli forces) were “targeting everything”: houses, trees, streets, ladies, kids, and old men. The former mayor estimated 450 homes were bombed, in what he describes as “complete, mass destruction”. He told the reporter that life for residents is now very difficult to cope with and, with winter coming, what has happened is the “disaster of the century”.

“They (Israel’s) are a brutal army. They kill civilization, they kill life”.

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(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)