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)

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(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.”

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9-11 Justice Legal Team Forces Special Grand Jury.

(Via: Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth website)

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth is pleased to share the following announcement made by the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry on November 26, 2018:

United States Attorney Agrees to Comply with Federal Law Requiring Submission to Special Grand Jury of Report by Lawyers’ Committee and 9/11 Victim Family Members of Yet-To-Be-Prosecuted 9/11 Related Federal Crimes

The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, a nonprofit public interest organization, announces its receipt of a letter from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in response to the Lawyers’ Committee’s April 10, 2018 Petition and July 30, 2018 Amended Petition demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7). The U.S. Attorney, in his November 7, 2018 letter to the Lawyers’ Committee, stated: “We have received and reviewed The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Inc.’s submissions of April 10 and July 30, 2018. We will comply with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3332 as they relate to your submissions” (emphasis added). (The U.S. Attorney’s letter is available here.)

The U.S. Attorney’s letter does not spell out the steps that will be taken to comply, but 18 U.S.C. § 3332 is clear as to what these steps must be. This law states: “[a]ny such [United States] attorney receiving information concerning such an alleged offense from any other person shall, if requested by such other person, inform the [Special] grand jury of such alleged offense, the identity of such other person, and such attorney’s action or recommendation.” This law also states that “(a) It shall be the duty of each such [special] grand jury impaneled within any judicial district to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district.”

This letter from the U.S. Attorney was signed by Michael Ferrara and Ilan Graff, Chiefs, Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. On November 24, 2018, the Lawyers’ Committee replied, thanking the U.S. Attorney and expressing support for a thorough inquiry into the crimes reported in the Lawyers’ Committee’s petitions.

The Lawyers’ Committee’s April 10th 52-page original Petition was accompanied by 57 exhibits and presented extensive evidence that explosives were used to destroy three WTC buildings. That evidence included independent scientific laboratory analysis of WTC dust samples showing the presence of high-tech explosives and/or incendiaries; numerous first-hand reports by First Responders of explosions at the WTC on 9/11; expert analysis of seismic evidence that explosions occurred at the WTC towers on 9/11 prior to the airplane impacts and prior to the building collapses; and expert analysis by architects, engineers, and scientists concluding that the rapid onset symmetrical near-free-fall acceleration collapse of three WTC high rise buildings on 9/11 exhibited the key characteristics of controlled demolition.

The Lawyers’ Committee’s July 30th Amended Petition addresses several additional federal crimes beyond the federal bombing crime addressed in the original Petition. The Lawyers’ Committee concluded in the petitions that explosive and incendiary devices preplaced at the WTC were detonated causing the complete collapse of the WTC Twin Towers on 9/11 and increasing the tragic loss of life.

Attorney Mick Harrison, Litigation Director, stated: “The failure of our government to diligently investigate this disturbing evidence has contributed to the erosion of trust in our institutions. The Lawyers’ Committee felt it was our duty as public citizens to submit this evidence to the U.S. Attorney for submission to the Special Grand Jury.”

Attorney David Meiswinkle, President of the Lawyers’ Committee’s Board of Directors, stated: “We have offered to assist the U.S. Attorney in the presentation of this evidence to a Special Grand Jury. We have also requested that Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth provide us expert support in the hope that our organizations will be invited to make a joint presentation of relevant evidence to the Special Grand Jury.”

Attorney William Jacoby, Lawyers’ Committee Board Member, stated: “We call upon the public and legal community to contact us and support our efforts to contribute to this grand jury process and to monitor and ensure compliance by the Justice Department.”

Executive Director and Actor Ed Asner stated: “The U.S. Attorney’s decision to comply with the Special Grand Jury Statute regarding our petitions is an important step towards greater transparency and accountability regarding the tragic events of 9/11.”

Moralizing International Politics.

(Originally posted at Transcend International)

Moralizing International Politics

BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 4 Dec 2017

Dr. Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra – TRANSCEND Media Service

This article makes an appeal to bridge the chasm between the practice of international politics and the universal moral principles. Violation of moral principles has emerged a norm than exception in international politics. States and global institutions have proved ineffective to checkmate violent conflicts and wanton killings as in Syria. It is not they are incapable or lack resources. The problem lies elsewhere. Ego is a major cause behind much of the hazards in international politics. The article problematizes ego and calls for a broader thinking in international politics.  

Ban Ki-moon, the former head of the United Nations, expressed the frustration of our age. He lamented: “It should shame us all…the suffering of the Syrian people continues to plumb new depths … The international community, and in particular the Security Council, cannot afford to waste any further time in ending the cycle of violence… it is time to find an exit from this madness” (The United Nations 2015). Syria provides a stark example before us how states and global institutions have proved ineffective to ensure international peace and security. Within a span of six years since the crisis erupted, more than 400,000 people lost lives and unaccountable others uprooted. The powerful states in the United Nations flexed muscles over means to realize peace. Peace remained elusive.

One of the factors that contribute to the ineffectiveness of the international community and its leaders is the technological-moral chasm. There has been rapid growth in technology, particularly the communication technology, but the thinking pattern has not witnessed parallel growth. The old primordial way of thinking has not changed. The archetypal thinking in terms of binaries – mine vs thine, us vs them, my group vs rival group – has not evolved over centuries though major changes appeared in the structure and organization of human living. This thinking has produced a paradox. In the midst of developed technology, globalization and discourses of a flat and borderless world, the states are engaged in re-bordering practices. Technology has been used to rigidify barriers – us vs them – through narrow visions of security. Both hard power and soft power are used to strengthen these binaries in thinking and practice.

Does seclusion/isolation help? Is an isolated state immune from insecurity beyond its borders? In this age of globalization, how would states ensure safety at home when there is violence outside? The global concerns such as terrorism, religious extremism and climate change transcend state borders. Isolation as a foreign policy strategy might have worked in the past, but in the contemporary world isolation implies invitation to more problems. A small happening in a small part of the globe can shape international developments. How would erecting barriers ensure security of one state while other states undergo violent crises? Does eerie calm imply peace? When minds are disturbed, security is fragile, peace is uneasy, when we have blatantly messed up with Nature, how would we ensure the survival of human race in the decades and centuries to come?

The states spend billions of dollars in building weapons, while vouching disarmament. States spent around 1686 billion US dollars on defense in 2016. Contrast this figure with another figure: from 2014 to 2016, about 795 million people in the world suffered from chronic undernourishment. Is it not a violation of human moral principle to invest billions in weapons to secure people and borders while people remain hungry?

Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo argued, like individuals, states have egos– amplified through national habits, prejudices and idiosyncrasies (Sri Aurobindo 1962). When applied to international politics, they lead to jingoism, exploitation and wars, leading to practices like colonialism and imperialism. Colonialism and imperialism, one of the worst forms of exploitation, have ended. However, they were only manifestation of an exploitative substructure. The root, the ego, is intact, and its manifestation has acquired new shapes. The Indian philosopher argued that state ego could evolve when state leaders think in terms of larger human unity and harmony. The establishment of the United Nations, after the failure of the League of Nations, was hailed as a right step in this direction. The UN was established with a promise to ensure dignity and equality to all states. Has this happened?

If the ultimate goal of human life is peace and security, then the theories of international politics have not fared well. Grand theorizing might provide a big picture and offer plausible explanations of developments, but they largely fail to account small developments at small places with big implications. Should not theories suggest ways to address state egos and its various avatars? Explaining developments in retrospect maybe useful as it offers insights for future action, but unless there is an active agenda to realize global peace, the theories would be limiting in their usefulness. Social science theories, dealing with human beings and their behaviors, stand in contrast to physical science theories, which deal with matter, mostly insentient. The post-behavioralism trend in political science that emerged in late 1960s due to ‘deep dissatisfaction in political research and teaching’ called for ‘new strategies in science’. David Easton in his presidential address at American Political Science Association in 1969 called for “the development of new norm of behavior” as the post-behavioral trend “sees policy engagement as a social responsibility of the intellectual…” He further agued, “Someday it may also require the release of the social scientist from bondage to the unique needs and objectives of his own national political system” (Easton 1969, 1061). The trend, however, petered out quickly. Now is the time to revive this trend.

Some theories suggest that the world has become a better place to live since inter-state wars have declined. Are we living in a more secure and peaceful world? What about wars within communities and states and their international ramifications? How does one define conflict in Syria – intrastate, interstate or both, or a more dangerous face of traditional rivalries? Thousands of fault lines along regions, religions, races, ethnicities have emerged. Even the threat of interstate wars with a nuclear angle cannot be undermined. The present crisis can be compared to a can of worms, with worms – multiple conflicts at various levels – continuously crawl out, in all shapes, sizes and colors and challenge individuals and states alike.

The dilemma over pleasure, happiness and peace was well depicted in the life of the Greek philosopher Diogenes. The philosopher asked the Emperor Alexander, who offered him all comforts of life, not to block sun light and that was all what he needed from him. With a lantern in his hand, Diogenes searched for an honest man. This act may defy rational understanding, but it contains a deeper message, which can help salvage humanity from the multiple crises. Pretensions, subterfuges, and other instruments meant for tangential gains bring hazards in its trail and harm the perpetrator. Gandhi’s caution rings true: “For one man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole” (Gandhi 1969, 571).

A report titled, “Welcome to Miami, Massachusetts” claimed that if the greenhouse gas emission continues at the current rate, “… by 2100 Boston’s average summer-high temperatures will likely be more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than they are now, ‘making it feel as steamy as North Miami Beach is today’” (Annear 2014). A large iceberg of the size of Delaware broke off from an ice shelf in Antarctica in July 2017. According to a report, “global warming has pushed temperatures up to 5 degrees higher in the region since the 1950s and could increase up to 7 degrees more by the end of the century, putting more stress on the ice” (Rice 2017). Tony de Brum, the former Marshall Islands Foreign Minister, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for his role in Paris Climate agreement, died recently at the age of 72. Brum witnessed the ‘Bravo shot,’ the thermonuclear test at Bikini Atoll when he was 9 years old. He became a champion of nuclear disarmament and environment protection. Brum, whose island home went under waters due to rising ocean, argued, “The thought of evacuation is repulsive to us…We think that the more reasonable thing to do is to seek to end this madness, this climate madness, where people think that smaller, vulnerable countries are expendable and therefore they can continue to do business as usual” (The Guardian 2017). Gandhi’s ‘Nature has for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed’ provides a powerful message. Unless the very basic thinking of states and their leaders change, it will be difficult to moralize international politics.

Plato devised a scheme of governance in which the king, the modern equivalent of president/prime minister, must be a philosopher. The king must undergo decades of education to govern the state. The king and his class must rise above the notions of mine and thine, live a communal life, eat in common kitchen, transcend boundaries of family and group, and become free to dedicate his life to state. Applying the Platonic yardstick to modern day kings, leaders of modern states, may appear farfetched, but it provides a vision how a leader should govern a state.

For moralizing international politics, one state does not have to dominate or be dominated. Morality requires collective conscience and action. The states, through their leaders, need to develop an integral moral psychology that informs social, economic and political worlds as they interact and shape each other. Powerful states may provide leadership in this direction.

References:

Annear, Steve (2014) Welcome to Miami, Massachusetts. Boston Daily, July 11, http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/07/11/climate-central-map-heat-boston-miami/, accessed 4 July 2017.

Easton, David (1969) The New Revolution in Political Science. The American Political Science Review; 63 (4):1051-1061.

Gandhi, Mahatma (1969) The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 32. New Delhi: The Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

Rice, Doyle (2017) Massive iceberg nearly the size of Delaware breaks off Antarctica. USA Today, 12 July, https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/07/12/massive-iceberg-breaks-off-antarctica/102637874/, accessed 4 July 2017.

Sri Aurobindo (1962) Human Cycle, the Ideal of Human Unity, War and Self-Determination. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

The Guardian (2017) Tony de Brum, champion of Paris climate agreement, dies aged 72, 23 August,https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/23/tony-de-brum-champion-of-paris-climate-agreement-dies-aged-72, accessed 24 August 2017.

The United Nations (2015) Statement by the Secretary-General on the Third Anniversary of the Geneva Communique on Syria.  30 June, http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/30/world/middleeast/ap-un-united-nations-syria.html, accessed 5 August 2017.

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Dr Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra is a member of the TRANSCEND Network, Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Non-Violence, Human Rights and World Peace at Hindu University of America in Florida, and a Fellow at the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development, University of Massachusetts Boston. He is an Indian commentator and his areas of interest include conflict transformation and peacebuilding in South and Central Asia. His edited book Conflict and Peace in Eurasia was published by Routledge in 2013.

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Dec 2017.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source,TMS: Moralizing International Politics, is included. Thank you.

Former Pentagon Staffer: Absence of Engines, Tail, Wings Show No 757 Crashed at the Pentagon On 9/11