Friday, June 29, 2007

Bush, Mideast Wars & End-Time Prophecy


By JP Briggs II, Ph.D., and Thomas D. Williams

t r u t h o u t
Special Report

Friday 29 June 2007

"Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."- Former US President Thomas Jefferson

President George W. Bush has become dangerously steeped in ideas of Armageddon, the Apocalypse, an imminent war with Satanic forces in the Middle East, and an urgency to construct an American theocracy to fulfill God's end-of-days plan, according to close observers.

Historians and investigative journalists following the "end-time Christian" movement have grown alarmed at the impact it may be having on Bush's Middle East policies, including the current war in Iraq, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the strife in Lebanon and the administration's repeated attempts to find a cause for war against Iran.

Many people are aware that Bush is "the most aggressively religious president in American History," as eminent historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. described him, (Schlesinger, "War and the Presidency," 143) but most remain without a clue to what this actually means.

One piece of evidence is Bush's funneling billions of dollars to "faith-based" organizations. Faith offices making grants are now so widespread inside government agencies that federal watchdog officials have serious difficulties accounting for how much money has actually been spent. (Goldberg, "Kingdom Coming" 121). Marvin Olasky, a devotee of end-time theology, designed Bush's faith-based welfare concept. See also Goldberg, "Kingdom Coming," 110.

Further evidence is the Bush administration's transformation of the military. Until complaints forced its removal, a religious recruitment video made by a group called the Christian Embassy appeared on the Department of Defense web site. The video included interviews made inside the Pentagon with seven high-ranking military officers, congressmen, other federal officials and even the Christian Ethiopian ambassador to the US about their personal relationship with Christ. Army Lt. General William "Jerry" Boykin made headlines in 2003 when he said he believed America was engaged in a holy war as a "Christian nation" battling Satan. Adversaries can be defeated, he said, "only if we come against them in the name of Jesus." Despite his highly publicized rhetoric, Boykin remains Bush's deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

Beneath Bush's benign-sounding words, "faith" and "Christian," lies the deeper reality of the authoritarian, doomsday religious beliefs of the ministers and spiritual counselors that surround him, say experts. Officially he has been at pains to show an openness traditionally expected of an American president. Typical is his assertion in a speech at a National Prayer Breakfast found on the White House website: "There's another part of our heritage we are showing in Iraq, and that is the great American tradition of religious tolerance. The Iraqi people are mostly Muslims, and we respect the faith they practice." However, experts point out the particular brand of Christianity that permeates Bush's environment is anything but tolerant. For example, Bush's own personal minister, Franklin Graham, has called Islam "evil and very wicked." He has said, "Let's use the weapons we have, the weapons of mass destruction if need be, and destroy the enemy."

Respected journalist Bill Moyers says that for the religious figures around Bush "a war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared, but welcomed - an essential conflagration on the road to redemption." Scholars calculate that the group, which religion author Lynne Bundesen has dubbed "end-time Christians," has up to 40 million followers. Though not all may fully subscribe to the doomsday theology, they are inundated with it in books, megachurches, and on Christian broadcasting stations that reach millions upon millions of the faithful and are almost entirely dominated by end-time preachers. The messages come from "dispensationalists," who believe that true believers are close to the time of being "raptured," or drawn up into heaven by God, in the days before the final battles. They also emanate from various stripes of "dominionists" pushing to erect an American theocracy for the end-of-the-world wars against the anti-Christ. Read "Who Are The End-Time Christians?"

Crosshairs Iran - an Illustration

A potent example of the influence of end-time Christians in the White House developed in early May 2007 when the president invited dominionist James Dobson and 12 or 13 other "family value" ministers for a special meeting. They were called in to discuss the "disturbing threats Iraq, Iran and international terrorism posed to US, Israel and other democracies around the world. Dobson is best known as the founder of Focus on the Family, an end-time lobby. Dobson opposes homosexual rights and abortion, and advocates the "submission of women." He has backed candidates who call for the execution of abortion providers, and works to establish an American theocracy. Dobson was careful not to quote the president in his radio address. He declined a Truthout interview request about his influential relationship with Bush, including what his radio broadcast said involved many meetings in the past with the president. Dobson told his listeners that Bush "appeared upbeat and determined and convinced that his mission is to protect this great nation from those who have threatened us." He said Bush wanted "to let history be his judge for the way he has dealt with this crisis in the Middle East.... He laid out the challenge before us."

The meeting with Bush, said Dobson, inspired an entire week of his radio discussions on radical Islam's impact on America. He said the "general tenor and tone" of his session with the president emphasized "how we are living in very perilous times, and the future generations of Americans depends upon how we rise to that challenge today." He continued: "Iran has promised to blow Israel off the face of the earth, and they have made no bones about that.... They fully intend to wage war with us. They will do it when they have the nuclear and biological weapons to do it."

On the same program, Dobson pointedly discussed the president and the Iranian "threat" with bestselling author and dispensationalist Joel Rosenberg. Rosenberg is an end-time "prophecy expert" who claims he makes frequent visits to the White House to help them "understand what will happen next in the Middle East." He informed Dobson's listeners that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - the latest in a long line of end-time anti-Christ candidates that recently included Saddam Hussein - is "telling people inside Iran that he believes that the end of the world is just two or three years away." Dobson, referring to Ahmadinejad, said: "We didn't take Hitler very seriously either. I just see the parallel. The president, it seems to me, does understand this."

Divine Mission

From the beginning of his presidency, Bush's own messianic statements have been downplayed or dismissed by the mainstream press - uncertain of how seriously to take them and shy of offending the religious feeling of their Christian audience.
In "American Theocracy," historian Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist, explores the question of Bush's professed sense of "divine mission." "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job," the president told a gathering in 2004. Phillips concludes that "the president of the United States may for some years have wandered into what we could describe as a period of personal theocracy, and he may have shaped US policy in the Middle East around a personal and radical interpretation of the Bible." (Phillips, "American Theocracy," XLII)

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey told the BBC World Service in 2002 that he believed the president subscribed to end-time prophecies when "the whole world goes through a difficult time during those days of Tribulation."

Stephen Zunes, Middle East editor of the Foreign Policy in Focus project, observes that "Iraq has become the new Babylon" for Bush. In biblical Revelation, Babylon is the "great whore" representing human sin and corruption that will be destroyed to allow Jerusalem's rise and Jesus's return.

In an unscripted moment talking to the troops in April 2007 - as Iraq descended into chaos and the Democrats pressed him to pull the troops out - Bush seemed to offer a view of biblical Babylon and prophetic Tribulations. He said of Iraq: "It makes me realize the nature of the enemy that we face, which hardens my resolve to protect the American people. The people who do that are not people - you know, it's not a civil war; it is pure evil. And I believe we have an obligation to protect ourselves from that evil."

Paul S. Boyer, professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of "When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture," said in a lengthy telephone interview: "That sounds very much like Bush, kind of inarticulate, but also the workings of his mind are pretty clear. In his first speech after 9/11, he said he would rid the world of evil, which was an extreme evangelical sense of defining the war on terror."

Norton Mezvinsky, a distinguished CSU professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, has also extensively researched the Christian end-time movement and is writing a book on the subject. In an interview in his office, he agreed the president's statement fits with his 9/11 pronouncements. "You knew Bush was saying, he just got the message from God; he finally realized why he was president of the United States." Mezvinsky says, "There's no question that he is and has been influenced by the end-time ideas.... So there is a danger. To what extent? We don't know. The extent that we know is pretty bad."

A spokeswoman for the White House did not respond to nine requests by email and telephone for the president's answers to a series of questions about that influence. But when Phillips's "American Theocracy" came out in March 2006, a questioner at a Bush speech referred to the historian's book and asked whether the president believed in the Apocalypse. The Washington Post reported that Bush stammered and laughed nervously as he responded: "The answer is - I haven't really thought of it that way.... The first I've heard of that, by the way. I guess I'm more of a practical fellow." Phillips writes in the new introduction to his book that Bush then went on with his answer for "four and a half minutes without ever mentioning the Apocalypse, Armageddon, the end-times, or the Book of Revelation." (Phillips, "American Theocracy," XL).

The Israel Connection

One of the most influential end-time Christian ministers with entre to the president is John Hagee. Recently, Hagee updated his book, "Jerusalem Countdown," to highlight a coming war with Iran. It promises: "There will soon be a nuclear blast in the Middle East that will transform the road to Armageddon into a racetrack. America and Israel will either take down Iran or Iran will become nuclear and attempt to take down America and Israel." Hagee claims Iran is producing nuclear "suitcase bombs." In 2006, Hagee assembled a large number of end-time Christian groups into an umbrella organization, Christians United for Israel. When CUFI met for the first time in Washington, Israel had just invaded Lebanon. The British Telegraph newspaper reported that Hagee's "claim of political clout is no idle boast. The president sent a message of support praising him for 'spreading the hope of God's Love and the universal gift of freedom.'"

During the invasion period, www.raptureready.com, the website for those anticipating ascension into heaven before the final battles, excitement mushroomed. Responders thought the war in Lebanon signaled the start of the Tribulations. "This is so exciting," one commenter offered. "I have been having rapture dreams and I can't believe that this is really it! We are on the edge of eternity!" said another.

Meanwhile, other websites noted the curious echo of prophecy from a statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that clearly grated on foreign diplomats' nerves: "What we're seeing here are the birth pangs of a new Middle East," she said, even as she refused to call for a cease fire to end the killing and destruction going on in Lebanon. The echo was a core prophetic verse in Matthew: "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs." Was it a coincidence of language from a woman who has described herself as born again and evangelical? Rice denied any such reference.

Though they give different, sometimes changing "literal" versions of how close the Apocalypse is, end-timers all agree that the establishment of Israeli hegemony over the biblical lands and the rebuilding of the ancient Jewish temple are preconditions for Christ's return. From this belief derives the unwavering support of end-time Christians for Israel. Both dominionists and dispensationalists call themselves "Christian Zionists." End-time Christians (or Christian Zionists) have become Israel's main tourist revenue, shepherding groups to the holy land to see the sites of Armageddon and the Second Coming.

Mezvinsky has extensive contacts within the Israeli government and various conservative Israeli groups, and he is emphatic on one point: although a succession of Israeli prime ministers has courted the American end-timers (the Christian Zionists) and declared them Israel's "greatest friends," the Israelis don't accept the end-time theology one wit. They are also aware that it is anti-Semitic. (For one thing, they interpret the Bible as claiming that only 144,000 converted Jews will be allowed to survive the Apocalypse.) However, Mezvinsky says, the Israelis also know that the end-time Christian Zionists are a lobby that can deliver US support for Israeli hard-line positions on arms, West Bank settlements, negotiations with the Arabs, and Iran.

Neocons and End-Timers

Historians Mezvinsky and Boyer stress that the power of blood-drenched, Satan-versus-God Christian prophecy has merged with another major factor shaping the Bush administration's Mideast policy and the current focus of hostility toward Iran. As president, George W. Bush represents a perfect storm that has blown neoconservative ideology together with the end-time movement. Before 9/11, the neocons envisioned an American global empire supported by newly created democracies friendly to American interests in oil, markets and ideas. But they thought only a Pearl Harbor-type event like 9/11would make mobilizing the country for it possible. The key to this plan was the Middle East. Phillips says that designs on Middle East oil reserves, particularly in Iraq and Iran, were part of the neocon strategy. Notes Boyer, the neocons and end-timers "come at the subject of the Mideast war from different perspectives, but they end up agreeing."

In Bush's speeches, a careful coding of words and phrases also brings the neocon and end-time perspectives together. The president makes "liberty" and "democracy," for example, synonymous with "divine wishes." Read sidebar, "Hidden Behind Coded Language."

But Mezvinksy cautions that many neocon strategists probably think the end-time Christian Zionists "are nuts, but, boy, we can utilize them." Indeed, the thinly concealed disdain some neocons have expressed for the prophetic Christians has fed into the media habit of underestimating end-time influence on the assumption that only identifiable political ideas can shape policy.

Meanwhile, the influence of end-time Christians has burrowed deeply into the American Israel Political Action Committee, AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby. At the last AIPAC meeting with a long list of speakers that included Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "Hagee got the loudest applause of anybody," according to Mezvinsky.

Mezvinsky reports he is increasingly hearing Israelis say that "we want the United States focusing on Iran. Those are people who would like the United States to attack Iran. They realize that, given the involvement in Iraq, there's not the wherewithal to go after Iran." Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called Iran an "existential threat" to Israel.

This spring, AIPAC, with the help of its end-time supporters, succeeded in removing language from a military appropriations bill that would have required Bush to get Congressional approval before using military force against Iran. So again, Iran policy provides the example - here for how end-time religion, the politics of Israel and neocon strategies converge. And how end-time thinking entangles George W. Bush.

At about the same period that Bush was meeting with Dobson and Dobson was touting a war with Iran, Vice President Dick Cheney, the consummate neocon (no sign on his horizon of end-time religious views), stood on the deck of an American aircraft carrier just off Iran's coast. He warned that the United States was prepared to use its naval power to keep Tehran from disrupting oil routes or "gaining nuclear weapons." But, a Cheney spokesperson cited his remarks on the aircraft carrier, as mentioned word-for-word on the White House Internet site, to suggest there is no warning to use naval power against Iran. The Kuwait Times reported that Cheney had visited the region to forge an alliance among the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt "in support of a possible US strike against Iran over its controversial nuclear program, according to Jordanian politicians and academics." Cheney was apparently unsuccessful, the newspaper said.

When asked about his foreign policy position on Iran, a Cheney spokesperson cited a statement from Cheney: "We hope that we can solve the problem diplomatically. The president has indicated he wants to do everything he can to resolve it diplomatically. That's why we've been working with the EU (European Union) and going through the United Nations with sanctions. But the president has also made it clear that we haven't taken any options off the table." The Cheney aide's references to Cheney statements made no mention about "a strike on Iran."

For probably different reasons, the fascination of Bush and Cheney for war with Iran has been longstanding. Reports say Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's original war plans for Iraq included moving on to Iran within 90 days of securing Baghdad. The plans were later dropped, but they suited both necon adventure for oil and democratization and the violent Christian prophecy that sees defeat of Babylon as a vital step on the path to the return of Christ. (Dubose and Bernstein, Vice 182) Through it all, nuclear bombs convey the awe of an Apocalypse.

In the spring of 2006, Pulitzer prize journalist Seymour Hersh reported Bush had ordered his generals to begin planning for an air assault on Iran's nuclear facilities using "bunker-busting" tactical nuclear weapons. When generals tried to remove the nuclear option from the plans, they were "shouted down," Hersh wrote. Said a former senior intelligence official, "Bush and Cheney were dead serious about the nuclear planning." There were also reports the administration was trying to convince the Israelis to do the bombing.

Then in late February this year, new word came on Bush's Iran war planning. The London Times reported: "Some of America's most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defense and intelligence sources. Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learned that up to five (US) generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack. 'There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,' a source with close ties to British intelligence said. 'There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.'"

In May 2007, the Inter Press Service reported that Admiral William J. Fallon, who was slated to become the Central Command chief on March 16, had sent a message to the Defense Department in mid-February, opposing any further US naval buildup in the Persian Gulf. The news article said Fallon squelched an administration effort to send a third carrier strike group to the Gulf. That would have brought the US naval presence up to the same level as during the US air campaign against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, the report said. It continued: "A source who met privately with Fallon around the time of his confirmation hearing and who insists on anonymity quoted Fallon as saying that an attack on Iran 'will not happen on my watch.' Asked how he could be sure, the source says, Fallon replied, 'You know what choices I have. I'm a professional.' Fallon said that he was not alone, according to the source, adding, "There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box."
Of course, no one knows if the administration will eventually attack Iran. But experts believe that end-time ideas are playing a part in Bush's thinking about a widening war in the region.

End Game

Bundesen's sources within the religious community and in the military around the president tell her that end-timers are "crawling all over the White House and Camp David." These are men who purvey what Hedges calls a "theology of despair" that "feeds dark fantasies of revenge and empowerment." Bundesen says she is not being cynical when she observes that end-time ministers like the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Tim LaHaye and James Dobson have used their dark theology to increase their followers, pump up their power and fill their coffers. And it's clear that Bush, in turn, has used end-time Christian leaders and their ideas for political and moral support. So isn't it just about politics?

No. Experts say that whether anybody even believes the violently apocalyptical scenarios shouldn't obscure the stark fact that Bush's policies have emerged in an atmosphere saturated with these dark ideas. Journalist Ron Suskind reported in 2004 that the administration prided itself on not being "reality-based," and the end-time vision may be one way to understand what that pride is about.
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JP Briggs II, Ph.D. is a Distinguished CSU professor at Western Connecticut State University, specializing in creative process. A former reporter for the Hartford Courant and coordinator of the journalism program at WCSU, he is currently senior editor of the intellectual journal "The Connecticut Review." His books include "Fire in the Crucible" (St. Martins Press); "Fractals, the Patterns of Chaos" (Simon and Schuster), and "Trickster Tales" (Fine Tooth Press), among others. Email: profbriggs@comcast.net.



SIDEBAR 1

Who Are the End-Time Christians?

Prominent Groups and Individuals

"God requireth not a uniformity of religion to be enacted or enforced in any civil state; which uniformity sooner or later is the greatest occasion of civil war, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants and of hypocrisy and destruction of millions of souls." - Roger Williams, originator of either the first or second Baptist church established in America.

There are two major brands of end-time Christians: The "dispensationalists" hold that true believers will be "raptured" into heaven just before a cataclysmic war fought between "left behind" believers and the forces of the anti-Christ. "Dominionist" end-timers hold that the US as a Christian nation will play a special role representing God in the final battles, and dominionists work toward the construction (or "reconstruction") of an American theocracy to fulfill God's end-time plan. The two brands cross over and blend. Collectively they call themselves Christian Zionists to affirm their support of Israel's control over the holy lands (particularly the West Bank, Gaza and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) because that control is a key prophetic "sign" for the Second Coming of Christ. The commonly used media terms "religious right" and "evangelical" obscure the powerful influence of the apocalyptical and theocratic end-time ideas and blur the fact that not all evangelicals or members of the religious right are end-time Christians. Estimates of the number of the end-timers range from 20 to 40 million. The catalogue below is far from complete.

AIPAC - American Israel Public Affairs Committee. This powerful Jewish lobby is heavily supported by Christian Zionists eager to encourage the Israeli government's control over the holy lands. Middle East experts say AIPAC has accepted the Christian Zionists' support and tried to ignore their apocalyptical ideas because the movement provides Israel with money and influence on US government policy in the Middle East.

The Apostolic Congress - A group affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church developed connections with President Ronald Reagan. Apostolic minister Robert G. Upton claims to be "in constant contact with the White House" under George W. Bush and briefed "at least once a week." Emails obtained by the Village Voice revealed that in 2004, National Security Agency Director Elliott Abrams reassured Apostolic leaders that the Israelis' withdrawal from Gaza did not mean that they were really turning biblical lands over to the Palestinians.

Kenneth Blackwell - An avowed theocrat, lost his 2006 race for governor of Ohio. As Ohio's secretary of state, Blackwell banned reporters from polling places and fostered, then ignored, scores of voting irregularities in the 2004 election. After the election he sought to impose voting regulations that allowed his office to disqualify tens of thousands of would-be voters.

Gen. William Boykin - Declared the US a "Christian nation" battling Satan. Boykin was defended by the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, and has remained in his position.

Christian Embassy - Journalist Chris Hedges describes the group as dedicated to building a "Christian America" and says it has "burrowed deep inside the Pentagon. It hosts weekly Bible sessions with senior officers, by its own count some 40 generals, and weekly prayer breakfasts each Wednesday from 7 to 7:50 a.m., in the executive dining room."

Creation Museum - Petersburg, Kentucky. This $25 million project dedicated to biblical "creation science" features models of Adam and Eve swimming in a river as dinosaurs roam the banks, a scale model of Noah's ark, a dramatic giant screen production of the six days of creation, and a walk through a depraved inner-city alley that depicts "the horrors of a culture that had made man's opinion [and not the Bible's words] the final authority in life."

Paul and Jan Crouch - Televangelist owners of Trinity Broadcasting Network. Paul Crouch has said on his broadcast, "God, we proclaim death to anything or anyone that will lift a hand against this network and this ministry that belongs to You, God."

John Darby - Nineteenth century British churchman who formulated a series of signs for the end of days. Historian Paul Boyer writes that Darby's signs were "wars, natural disasters, rampant immorality, the rise of a world political and economic order, and the return of the Jews to the land promised by Abraham." The 1948 founding of the state of Israel was a key sign in Darby's system and set up the end-time expectation that the last era, or dispensation, had arrived. Darby's scenario was popularized in 1909 by the Scofield Reference Bible, which annotated and explained the biblical passages that contained Darby's apocalyptic signs.

James Dobson - A licensed psychologist, author of numerous books on childrearing and chairman of Focus on the Family. Dobson's program is broadcast on over 7,000 stations worldwide. He is currently one of the most influential figures in the Dominionist movement.

The Federalist Society - According to Theocracy Watch, a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University, "The Federalist Society formed 20 years ago in reaction to the powers the Supreme Court was granting the federal government. It is hostile to civil rights, environmental protections, worker safety laws, a separation between church and state and more. Former president of the Christian Coalition Donald Hodel is a board member. Twenty four of President Bush's top cabinet members and most of his court nominations are members of the Federalist Society. The list includes John Ashcroft, former attorney general; Spencer Abraham, secretary of energy; Gail Norton, secretary of the interior, and Theodore Olson, solicitor general. Other notable members are Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, Orrin Hatch, Kenneth Starr."

Jerry Falwell - The recently deceased founder of the Moral Majority believed that a biblical prophecy came true when Israel gained military control of Jerusalem during the Six Day war in 1967. "When that event took place a clock began to tick that signaled the downfall of the great Gentile powers, the last and greatest of which is the United States," he wrote in his 1990 book, "The New Millenium." Wikipedia notes that "the Anti-Defamation League and its leader Abraham Foxman have expressed strong support for Falwell's staunch pro-Israel stand - despite repeatedly condemning what they perceive as intolerance and anti-Semitism in Falwell's public statements."

Franklin Graham - President George W. Bush's personal minister, has called Islam "evil and very wicked." He has said, "Let's use the weapons we have, the weapons of mass destruction if need be, and destroy the enemy."

John Hagee - Major figure pushing for bellicose Middle East policy through his Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Author of a best-selling book calling for war with Iran. He sympathized with the assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzah Rabin on the grounds that it was "an abomination against God" for Rabin to contemplate the transfer of land in the West Bank to the Palestinians.

Benny Hinn - Televangelist and healer, who says that Adam was a superhero who could fly to the moon. Claims one day the dead will be raised by watching the Trinity Broadcasting Network from inside their coffins. Lashes out at critics: "Sometimes I wish God would give me a Holy Ghost machine gun. I'd blow your head off." (Hedges, "American Facists," 172-3)

Dr. James Kennedy - Runs training courses in how to make converts. Hedges has described the techniques as a sophisticated form of mind control. "The goal is not simply conversion but also eventual recruitment into a political movement to create a Christian nation," Hedges wrote in "American Fascists." (59) Kennedy's Center for Christian Statesmanship evangelizes on Capitol Hill. He has worked closely with Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart and Tim LaHaye.

Tim LaHaye - End-times guru, co-author of the wildly popular "Left Behind" series of books describing the rapture of true believers into heaven and a seven-year period of chaos known as the Tribulation for those left behind. Over 60 million copies in print. In video games made from the books, nonbelievers are executed by God-fearing teenagers on the streets of New York City. A recent guest on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News show, LaHaye excited the Mormon talk host into declaring himself a believer in imminent biblical Apocalypse and the urgent necessity for war with Iran.

Sun Myung Moon - South Korean leader of the Unification Church. Calls for an "autocratic theocracy to rule the world." A long-time patron of the Bush family, especially Bush senior. In 1995, Moon financed the bail-out of Falwell's Liberty University. Moon owns The Washington Times, which claims editorial independence but regularly uses end-time Christian leaders and politicians as key sources. Washington Times reporters often appear as experts on mainstream TV news shows. Moon calls himself humanity's savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.

Rod Parsley - Historian Norton Mezvinsky considers Parsley a rising star in the end-time movement because of his crossover appeal to the African-American community. Parsley describes Allah as a demon spirit and says that Christian American has been mandated to defeat all demons to usher in the reign of Christ.

Erick Prince and the Blackwater Security Army - Prince is CEO of Blackwater, a huge "security firm" with facilities across the US and contracts in the hundreds of millions from the State Department, the Pentagon and domestic agencies. Prince is associated with an evangelical group engaged in the Christian/Muslim conflict in the Sudan, according to author Jeremy Scahill in "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." Scahill says that Prince, a former Navy Seal converted to a fundamentalist Catholicism, has connections to James Dobson and that "the Prince family was deeply involved in the secretive Council for National Policy" founded by Tim LaHaye. Hedges thinks Blackwater may become the SS of an intended Christian Fascism and that "we may be further down this road than we care to admit."

Ronald Reagan - A half a dozen times during his presidency, Reagan indicated his conviction that the world would end very soon in a fiery Armageddon.

Ralph Reed - Christian Coalition political mastermind determined to create an American theocracy. Reed told a Virginia newspaper that his political strategy for getting Dominionists elected was, "I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night." (Goldberg, "Kingdom Coming" 14)

Pat Robertson - Founder of the Christian Coalition, 1988 Republican presidential candidate, televangelist and founder of Christian Broadcasting Network seen in 180 countries and broadcast in 71 languages. His show, The 700 Club, immensely popular. Despite strong Christian Zionist positions, Robertson's book "The New World Order" propagated theories about a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, and his statements are regarded by leading Jewish intellectuals as anti-Semitic. Called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and described the war in Iraq as "a righteous cause out of the Bible." Has said there will be a nuclear attack on the US in 2007.

Joel C. Rosenberg - One-time adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and columnist for the prominent conservative magazine, National Review. Latest best-selling book, "Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your World," promotes the idea that end-time prophecy is rapidly being fulfilled.

R.J. Rushdoony - His book, "The Institutes of Biblical Law," written in 1973, set the tone for the current surge of the end-time movement. Calls for the creation of a violently repressive Christian state. Argues the American Christians have taken over the role of God's chosen people from the Jews.
Kenneth Starr - Special prosecutor who investigated President Bill Clinton. Member of a dispensationalist church in McLean, Virginia. (Halsell, "Forcing God's Hand," 104)

Southern Baptist Convention - Historian Kevin Phillips describes the SBC as "preeminent in the South, an eight-hundred ton dinosaur in the parlor of American Protestantism, and over the last century the fastest-growing major church in the United States." ("American Theocracy," 149) Dominated in recent years by end-times Christians such as Jerry Falwell. In 2000, former President Jimmy Carter, a third-generation Southern Baptist, and the first president to call himself a born-again and evangelical, severed his ties with the SBC, saying that its "increasingly rigid" dogmas violated the "basic premises of my Christian faith."

Trinity Broadcasting Network - Beamed to 75 countries. Stations in El Salvador, Spain, Kenya and the Middle East. Watched by five million households in the US and millions more overseas. TBN is one of six national television networks controlled by Dominionists, reaching tens of millions of homes. Dominionists also control almost all of the 2,000 religious radio stations in the US. In recent years, sex scandals have plagued TBN owner Paul Crouch and other committed dominionist end-time televangelists such as Ted Haggard and Jimmy Swaggart, though their influence and appeal continue.

Universities With End-Time Leanings

Liberty University - Lynchburg, Virginia. Founded by Jerry Falwell. Ken Ham, a leader in the creationist movement and developer of the Creation Museum is a graduate.

Regent University - Virginia Beach, Virginia. Founded by Pat Robertson. A graduate of Regent's law school, Monica Goodling, came to prominence in 2007 over the US attorney firings. She became the only Department of Justice employee in history to exercise Fifth Amendment rights with respect to official conduct and remain an employee. She later resigned. Regent's website claims 150 graduates of the law school have found jobs in the Bush administration. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft is a Regent professor.

Patrick Henry University - Accepts almost exclusively Christian evangelical home-schooled students, of which there are an estimated 1-2 million. The university's founder, Michael Ferris, is a protëgë of "Left Behind" author Tim LaHaye. According to Salon journalist Michelle Goldberg, though the university only began operating in 2000, by 2004 it had provided seven percent of the White House interns, and interns for 22 conservative congressmen. A Patrick Henry graduate works on Karl Rove's staff.

US Congress members - A number of members of Congress, recent and current, have been explicit about their end-time views. High-profile end-time politicians include: former House Majority Leader Tom Delay; former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey; former Senate Majority leader Tom Frist; current Republican Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell; former House Speaker Dennis Hastert; current Republican presidential candidate Senator Sam Brownback. Before the last elections, 186 members of the House of Representatives had earned an 80 to 100 percent approval rating from end-time Christian groups, including Robertson's Christian Coalition.

Perspectives of Three Christian Journalists

The recent surge of the end-time movement began in the 1980s, its fantastic growth made possible by the internet and cable TV, according to Lynne Bundesen, author of three books about the Bible and a book on prayer. She has written about end-time Christian influence since the Reagan years. In phone interviews, she vividly remembered joining a Christian tour to Israel in 1985 that had an affiliation with Pat Robertson. She went to report on the experience for her syndicated newspaper column. On the trip, she discovered how distant her own sense of spirituality was from the movement. The last stop on the tour was the valley of Megiddo, also known as Armageddon. "The leader said any day now this valley will be filled with blood, and the women said hallelujah, and they all began to cry with joy. With joy. I recall to this day standing on that hill overlooking that valley, feeling very alone in the midst of a group. We've all had that feeling. It's like, Oh, my heavens."

In the 1990s, Bundesen managed a major network of religious web sites that put her in touch with many end-time groups. "I've never heard any one of these ministers quote the beatitudes or any of the healing statements of Jesus. Nor to love thy neighbor as thyself. Their belief is violent and drenched in blood. Jesus Christ as a five-star general." She views the theology as focused on selected biblical passages, on gaining and wielding power and control, and not on forgiveness or tolerance. She proposed "end-time Christians" as a name that more aptly captures the religious orientation of the movement than the names Christian Zionists, dominionists, or dispensationalists. "With this group you get extra credit for bringing on the slaughter of millions. This is the end-time Christian mission, and both President Reagan and President Bush have been part of it."

Bundesen referred to the late Grace Halsell, a distinguished journalist and Green Honors Chair Professor of Journalism at Texas Christian University, who made the point with the title and thesis of her last book, published in 1999, "Forcing God's Hand." The end-time Christians are not content to wait for the apocalypse to happen, Halsell argued; they want to bring it on. Bundesen thinks that individually most followers are at least ambivalent about wishing for the imminent end of everything and that the apocalyptical belief has appeal to many for social and psychological reasons. "Ours is a numbing society. I think if you get numb and there isn't any way out, this is a way out - based on the most important thing that ever happened: the birth of Jesus Christ."

In his book, "American Fascists," Pulitzer prize war correspondent and former Harvard seminarian Chris Hedges gives a bleaker assessment from his own sense of the Christ's message: "Debate with the radical Christian Right is useless. We cannot reach this movement. It does not want dialogue. It is a movement based on emotion and cares nothing for rational thought and discussion. It is not mollified because John Kerry prays or Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school." (202)

In late 2004, Bill Moyers - journalist, former Lyndon Johnson White House press spokesman and Baptist minister - told a Harvard audience: "I'm not making this up - I've read the literature. I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious, and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's why the invasion of Iraq for them was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelation where four angels 'which are bound in the great river Euphrates will be released to slay the third part of man.'" He more recently observed that "even though some critics believe the influence of the religious right is waning as Bush's popularity sinks, many prospective candidates for his job are pledging their allegiance to ... his powerful base" - those same end-time Christians.



SIDEBAR 2

Hidden Behind Coded Language

Scholars say the president presents himself as a "born-again Christian" and the public assumes it knows what that means. However, a recent dustup over James Dobson's assertion that former senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson isn't a Christian illustrates the problems with language in the realm of end-time philosophy. Dobson's spokesman explained, "We use that word - Christian - to refer to people who are evangelical Christians." But there was an additional layer. Some evangelicals are beginning to rebel against the presumption by end-timers such as Pat Robertson and James Dobson that they represent all who call themselves "evangelical." For Dobson, the terms "Christian" and "evangelical" appear to be coded to mean a dominionist end-time Christian. George W. Bush may be using this coding as well.

David S. Domke, associate professor of communication at the University of Washington and author of "God Willing? Political Fundamentalism in the White House," has pointed out how Bush and his speechwriters have regularly employed coded language. This coding communicates to the faithful the president's secret agreement about the construction of an American theocracy and what scholars call an historical "exceptionalism" that ordains the US with a special mission in God's plans. When Bush says, "I believe freedom is not America's gift to the world. It is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman," it requires close attention to penetrate the double think of the message. When the linkages between the Almighty and freedom involve a US mission to democratize the Middle East, then the patriotic ideals pushed by the neocons have merged with the exceptionalism idea of the American theocrats to justify war. (see also Phillips, American Theocracy 206)

Bush's adoption of Martin Olasky's phrase "compassionate conservatism" became a code for channeling federal monies to religious groups that could make conversions and build a theocracy in the US.

There are obvious reasons for Bush to use coded language that avoids specific references to a belief in the type of radical prophetic Christianity shared by his many spiritual advisors and allies. A presidential belief in these highly charged ideas would raise uncomfortable questions about his policies on global warming, helping the poor, healthcare, the role of the UN, debt and deficit, the potential widening of war in the Middle East, or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bush's facility with religious coded language may have helped in his close - and to many surprising - relationship with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Critics say Blair seriously damaged his own political legacy with his apparently unquestioning support of Bush's Mideast policies. Though it has not been reported on this side of the Atlantic, Blair is considered by many of his own countrymen as "one of the most religious prime ministers in the past century," one web site explains. Britain had its troubles with religious controversies in earlier centuries, and these days the British electorate expects a rigorously secular government. Blair is a member of the Church of England, but attends the Roman Catholic church and may be intending to convert to Catholicism once he leaves office. The National Secular Society in England claims, "Tony Blair has done more to undermine the secular nature of British society than anyone in recent history. But many people haven't woken up to what will be regarded by coming generations as Tony Blair's worst legacy - encouraging single-faith schools." Blair has no obvious connections to end-of-days beliefs. Like Bush's White House, his government offices issue strong statements affirming solidarity with "the vast majority of decent Muslims." But, given his background and behavior, it is not unreasonable to think that Blair has sympathized with the coded political-religious language Bush uses and with Bush's attempt to entwine religion and government.
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Solution to Global Warming & Pollution



By; Stewart Brennan

Solution to Global Warming and Pollution

The Living World as we know it, is faced with the possibility of extinction at every level. No longer can we reject the consequences of Pollution to our Soil, Air, and Water. The term "Global Warming" is a warning, so we better start thinking and acting before it’s too late. It isn’t enough to say that we will “study the problem” or take a “lets wait and see stance”. It's time to take serious action now, on a Global scale and do it collectively.

Man is sharing the threat of extinction with all other life forms on this planet, and man is to blame. We can no longer ignore the signs of environmental degradation, pollution, industrial waste, desertification, disappearing animal species, war, starvation, the shortage of drinking water, and an exponential population explosion.

The Root Cause of Global Warming:

For over 60 years, (Since the end of WW2) the world has seen massive growth in industrialization. Millions of Companies have developed a wide range of products and sold them to consumers nationally and internationally. These products range from plastic dog poop to huge recreation vehicles. The speed at which we consume can be seen by the progress and impact of communication. We started with Radio, added television, then the internet, and now personal hand held devices that combine all of those mediums into one where you can be reached anywhere, at any time, by anyone, including advertisers.

The methods of manufacturing, and the management of the resulting waste, were, and still are not properly regulated. Corporate decisions are made by corporate stockholders in favour of higher profit at lowest possible cost. The sacrifices made every time are the considerations of morality regarding life and the environment. There has never been a set of moral laws put in place to govern what a company can and can't do. Greed prevails and the result is like giving a virus free reign in a petri dish.

The concept term called "Global Warming" should not be the sole focus, because it is narrow in scope and does not address the problems. Pollution in general needs to be dealt with if we are going to sustain a livable Biosphere for all living things. Greed and the lack of moral responsibility in planning and decision making, are at the heart of the matter.

If we are going to have a serious look at Global Warming then we must start looking at the root causes. Ie: We need to do the math...

Sustainability 101: Exponential Growth - Arithmetic, Population and Energy




We will need to change the way we live...change our values because the way in which we live is not sustainable.

David Suzuki just wrote a letter on obsolescence where technology is moving so fast that a new product may only have a one-year shelf life. An electronic product available this year will not be available next year due to so called improvements. The result is that you get stuck with a battery recharger, and an extension cord that no longer has a function because it does not fit the new product, or any other product for that matter.

What happened to standardization, or long lasting products? What is alarming is that we are consuming at an exponential rate converting materials and fossil fuels into disposable products and discarding them faster than ever before, and for what? So that some shareholder will make money? What will you use the money for when the living environment is completely destroyed by corporate greed?

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 3)



Video Source: Mad Razor Ray

What are our options? You know that those in charge will not change directions...Global Warming? Maybe it should be given a new name..."Global Greed". If we don't do anything about global greed, we will not survive the exponential direction it takes us...

The Solution

We need to seriously re-examine our priorities. We have two choices: the pursuit of money with the status quo of exponential growth or the pursuit of sustainability and the preservation of life...

The solution is to change our way of thinking, and that change starts at the top. It's really that simple...

American War Crimes




By: Stewart Brennan

George W. Bush, President of the United States, says with conviction, that he is a man of God...Really? He claims that the war in Iraq was "a just War"...what does that mean, "A Just War"?...and that the American Government did all it could to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina....Really? After 5 days of inaction?

I say, that a man who believes in God would not deceive the World, and start a War based on fabricated information planned by his own bloody cabinet. Nor would a man of God turn his back on the victims of Hurricane Katrina for five days and then look for scapegoats...A true leader, and a true man of God, would have been on top of the situation and taken immediate action to help the people of New Orleans. A true man of God would not start a War for corporate profits and murder one million people.

If you the reader were in the position of authority as ole Bush wacker boy george here, wouldn’t you have investigated unproven accusations before declaring war on another nation?...and wouldn’t you send help right away to your fellow citizens in their hour of need? Wouldn’t a man of God “act” rather than give excuse for his inaction...?

Who is responsible for inaction after Katrina? Who is responsible for starting a war? Is it the people? Is it the Republican Party or the Democrats?...or is it the responsibility of the President?

Let us revisit the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell speech as President of the United States in January 1961.

I believe that the words spoken by Eisenhower, expressed not only his morals and values as a man but also his responsibility as a leader and belief in the American people.

Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address – (Jan. 17th, 1961)



The text versions of the speech can be found at the link below:

Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address

The words of praise and caution by Dwight D. Eisenhower shows the character of a true leader and represents the pillars of what the American people believe their country stands for.

It's not fair to blame the tragedies of Iraq and Katrina on one man, as it is the responsibility of all those in power and behind the scenes to share the blame.

In other words, it was the responsibility and authority of every individual in the Republican and Democratic Parties to put the brakes on an administration that is lost or out of control. Where is the integrity and credibility of the United States of America? Waging war is a crime!

The Fallout

Throughout the world today, the United States is looked upon as an unwanted bully, a bringer of evils, an untrustworthy nation with aims of conquering and removing anyone that opposes them. The “Military Industrial Complex” that President Eisenhower warned us of is real. The blame belongs to members of both the Republican and Democratic political parties who do the bidding of a small group of American Oligarchs...

The New World Order that was conceived, created, propagated, and put into action by these men has the World in a death grip today. Corporate Profits outweigh the individual rights and freedoms of the people. War is waged by US Corporations to acquire the wealth of other nations. War is big business, and war business owns the politicians. They all own a slice of the earth and will not be satisfied until they have it all...

It's disheartening for me to see such suffering going on all over the World...especially in areas ravaged by western wars...as a westerner I feel shame towards my own government's silence towards the injustice.

When I watch online news and see the body of a dead child or a child crying from wounds received by American weapons, I can't help but see my children looking back at me through their eyes...I am both grieved and outraged at the same time because I feel I can't do anything about it. What would your reaction be if you saw your children suffering by the wrath of war? I mean, what would you do if it was your child?

The past present and future of our World is in the hands of profiteers and madmen. In Iraq, a million people lost their lives, and ten million are still displaced because the American people did nothing to stop their government from leading them to war…

The cries of the innocent after hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf coast, sent chills throughout the World, but in Washington DC, the only concern was how to minimize losses for corporate shareholders. That took 5 days to decide what to do and the only solution they could come up with was a plan for mass relocation...What about the mass rebuilding of homes?

The World put aside their political differences and lined up to help when Katrina hit, even Cuba, a nation stricken with poverty induced by American Policy, offered assistance of medical help. (2000 doctors and medicine)...what did the Bush administration do? They snubbed Cuba's offer and accused them of having evil ulterior motives. In fact, the US governments response to the World was, “We can handle this on our own”..."we don't need your help"...I think that if the US government had of let every nation help, then everyone affected by the Hurricane would have been able to rebuild...but that didn't seem to be the plan of the US government...maybe big real estate had something to do with it...how to get rid of everyone and make a lot of money on their misery...Who was it that did nothing? Who showed a lack of empathy?

Oh, and contrary to your ridiculous statement of "you are either with us or you're with the terrorists", the right thing to do is put insane war mongers in jail! There's no such thing as a good war because it's all about economics ...

Bringing the troops back home from Iraq is not betraying the Men and Woman of the military but setting the stage to right a wrong. It is not enough however, just to bring the soldiers home. The United States must prosecute those that gained profit from the War in Iraq. It must also declare “War Crimes” and “Crimes Against Humanity” on those responsible for this outrageous War committed in the name of Freedom and democracy! The USA must give a formal apology to the Iraqi people and help them rebuild their lives and their country.

A man is judged by his action or inaction in life. When a man achieves a position of great authority, much is expected of him because many entrust him with their life.

George W. Bush betrayed the American People. He used his family influence and corporate financial backing to gain the US Presidency and then proceeded to commit War Crimes. No American President is above the law...and how far does this crime reach within the Republican Party? How far does it reach into the Democratic Party? Which Industrialist’s pushed for capital gains over human life?

The BLOWBACK SYNDROME: Oil Wars and Overreach


Video Source: Eon3

The American people cannot let these Evil Criminals walk away free. It is up to the Citizens of the U.S.A. to prosecute the Bush administration and those who are financially tied to the decision to go to war...

There are few nations in our world today that would venture to lay charges against the USA because George W. Bush has declared that, “if you are not with us you are against us!”

There is only one nation that will not fear the USA, and that is the USA itself.

Empathy shows compassion, listening is the art of communication and action shows you are willing to back up your words. Honesty, Integrity, Compassion, and Respect must return to men of power...so it will be up to the “American People” to set the United States back on the path of honour and trust.

DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay


Video Source: Eon3

Hold your politicians feet to the fire and open a War Crimes trial in the name of humanity. If the criminals are not brought to justice, then I'm afraid the World will continue to turn its back on you...don't let that happen, because we will all meet with a greater tragedy down the road...

Regards,
Stewart

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Eisenhower's Farewell Speech 1961



Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation
January 17, 1961







Text of Speech:

Good evening, my fellow Americans: First, I should like to express my gratitude to the radio and television networks for the opportunity they have given me over the years to bring reports and messages to our nation. My special thanks go to them for the opportunity of addressing you this evening.

Three days from now, after a half century of service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on questions of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the nation.

My own relations with Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and finally to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nation well rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the nation should go forward. So my official relationship with Congress ends in a feeling on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country.

Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America's adventure in free government, such basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among peoples and among nations.

To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.
Any failure traceable to arrogance or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us a grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings.

We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle – with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in the newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research – these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

But each proposal must be weighed in light of a broader consideration; the need to maintain balance in and among national programs – balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages – balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between the actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their Government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well in the face of threat and stress. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.

Of these, I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war – as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years – I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So – in this my last good night to you as your President – I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I – my fellow citizens – need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations' great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Now, on Friday noon, I am to become a private citizen. I am proud to do so. I look forward to it.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Nuremberg Trials - Mr. Justice Jackson



MR. JUSTICE JACKSON:


May it please Your Honors:


The privilege of opening the first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world imposes a grave responsibility. The wrong’s which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated. That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason.


This Tribunal, while it is novel and experimental, is not the product of abstract speculations nor is it created to vindicate legalistic theories. This inquest represents the practical effort of four of the most mighty of nations, with the support of 17 more, to utilize international law to meet the greatest menace of our times aggressive war. The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched. It is a cause of that magnitude that the United Nations will lay before Your Honors.


In the prisoners' dock sit twenty-odd broken men. Reproached by the humiliation of those they have led almost as bitterly as by the desolation of those they have attacked, their personal capacity for evil is forever past. It is hard now to perceive in these men as captives the power by which as Nazi leaders they once dominated much of the world and terrified most of it. Merely as individuals their fate is of little consequence to the world.


What makes this inquest significant is that these prisoners represent sinister influences that will lurk in the world long after their bodies have returned to dust. We will show them to be living symbols of racial hatreds, of terrorism and violence, and of the arrogance and cruelty of power. They are symbols of fierce nationalisms and of militarism, of intrigue and war- making which have embroiled Europe generation after generation, crushing its manhood, destroying its homes, and impoverishing its life. They have so identified themselves with the philosophies they conceived and with the forces they directed that any tenderness to them is a victory and an encouragement to all the evils which are attached to their names. Civilization can afford no compromise with the social forces which would gain renewed strength if we deal ambiguously or indecisively With the men in whom those forces now precariously survive.


What these men stand for we will patiently and temperately disclose. We will give you undeniable proofs of incredible events. the catalog of crimes will omit nothing that could be conceived by a pathological pride, cruelty, and lust for power. These men created in Germany, under the "Fuehrerprinzip", a National Socialist despotism equalled only by the dynasties of the ancient East. They took from the German people all those dignities and freedoms that we hold natural and inalienable rights in every human being. The people were compensated by inflaming and gratifying hatreds towards those who were marked as "scapegoats". Against their opponents, including Jews, Catholics, and free labor, the Nazis directed such a campaign of arrogance, brutality, and annihilation as the world has not witnessed since the pre-Christian ages. They excited the German ambition to be a "master race", which of course implies serfdom for others. They led their people on a mad gamble for domination. They diverted social energies and resources to the creation of what they thought to be an invincible war machine They overran their neighbors. To sustain the "master race" in its war-making, they enslaved millions of human beings and brought them into Germany, where these hapless creatures now wander as "displaced persons". At length bestiality and bad faith reached such excess that they aroused the sleeping strength of imperiled Civilization. Its united efforts have ground the German war machine to fragments. But the struggle has left Europe a liberated yet prostrate land where a demoralized society struggles to survive. These are the fruits of the sinister forces that sit with these defendants in the prisoners' dock.


In justice to the nations and the men associated in this prosecution, I must remind you of certain difficulties which may leave their mark on this case. Never before in legal history has an effort been made to bring within the scope of a single litigation the developments of a decade, covering a whole continent, and involving a score of nations, countless individuals, and innumerable events. Despite the magnitude of the task, the world has demanded immediate action. This demand has had to be met, though perhaps at the cost of finished craftsmanship. In my country, established courts, following familiar procedures, applying well-thumbed precedents, and dealing with the legal consequences of local and limited events seldom commence a trial within a year of the event in litigation. Yet less than 8 months ago today the courtroom in which you sit was an enemy fortress in the hands of German SS troops. Less than 8 months ago nearly all our witnesses and documents were in enemy hands. The law had not been codified, no procedures had been established, no tribunal was in existence, no usable courthouse stood here, none of the hundreds of tons of official German documents had been examined, no prosecuting staff had been assembled, nearly all of the present defendants were at large, and the four prosecuting powers had not yet joined in common cause to try them. I should be the last to deny that the case may well suffer from incomplete researches and quite likely will not be the example of professional work which any of the prosecuting nations would normally wish to sponsor. It is, however, a completely adequate case to the judgment we shall ask you to render and its full development we shall be obliged to leave to historians.


Before I discuss particulars of evidence, some general considerations which may affect the credit of this trial in the eyes of the world should be candidly faced. There is a dramatic disparity between the circumstances of the accusers and of the accused that might discredit our work if we should falter, in even minor matters, in being fair and temperate.


Unfortunately the nature of these crimes is such that both prosecution and judgment must be by victor nations over vanquished foes. The worldwide scope of the aggressions carried out by these men has left but few real neutrals. Either the victors must judge the vanquished or we must leave the defeated to judge themselves. After the first World War, we learned the futility of the latter course. The former high station of these defendants, the notoriety of their acts, and the adaptability of their conduct to provoke retaliation make it hard to distinguish between the demand for a just and measured retribution, and the unthinking cry for vengeance which arises from the anguish of war. It is our task, so far as humanly possible, to draw the line between the two. We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well. We must summon such detachment and intellectual integrity to our task that this Trial will commend itself to posterity as fulfilling humanity's aspirations to do justice.


At the very outset, let us dispose of the contention that to put these men to trial is to do them an injustice entitling them to some special consideration These defendants may be hard pressed but they are not ill used. Let us see what alternative they would have to being tried.


More than a majority of these prisoners surrendered to or were tracked down by the forces of the United States. Could they expect us to make American custody a shelter for our enemies against the just wrath of our Allies? Did we spend American lives to capture them only to save them from punishment? Under the principles of the Moscow Declaration, those suspected war criminals who are not to be tried internationally must be turned over to individual governments for trial at the scene of their outrages. Many less responsible and less culpable American-held prisoners have been and will continue to be turned over to other United Nations for local trial. If these defendants should succeed, for any reason, in escaping the condemnation of this Tribunal, or if they obstruct or abort the trial, those who are American-held prisoners will be delivered to our continental Allies. For these defendants, however, we have set up an International Tribunal and have undertaken the burden of participating in a complicated effort to give them fair and dispassionate hearings. That is the best- known protection to any man with a defense worthy of being heard. [=]