Monday, June 27, 2005

Before the Invasion, There Was No Insurgency

A cause for reflection.
Does the situation that exists in Iraq now look different to you from what you were told to expect when a war was being marketed? A decision based on false perspectives has a faulty underpinning. Let me remind you:

Before the invasion, there was no insurgency. In fact, there was no "Muslim" or "Islamic" or "Jihad" in what had been run politically as a very secular Iraq. Authorities who warned that an invasion could spark greater violence and anti-American hatred were ignored.

It was also a functional country with national health and hospital care, thriving businesses and car sales, a generally ongoing economy, cities and houses and buildings in one piece, running electricity and water, and roads that could be traversed.

There was no violence.People walked the streets freely and welcomed the few westerners into their homes who had come to their country as observers (having followed many of the visitors daily or weekly personal email messages, there were close and numerous bonds formed with people from the middle and lower classes). The people presented themselves in good spirits and humility.

It was also a nation of feudal war lords whom their people respected and followed in the ways of thousands of years. The nation (as many in that and other parts of the world) also had a dictator known to do cruel things and who lived very prosperously (and yet who rarely messed with the feudal lords.), and

It was a nation who had actually done away with the WMDs, as various official agencies and past weapon inspectors went on public record stating. It was a nation whose regular army had been devastated morale wise and hardware-wise, according to other experts (who also were rarely televised or given credence as the coopted media presented the american public with administration's pro-war PR)

After our invasion, our troops and imbedded media were shocked at the retreating army and the lack of air defense. Thousands of civilians died/die still - in air raids and in shoot outs.
The infrastructure (running electricity, water, roads, economy) collapsed and people still struggle daily for water, food, electricity. Hospitals are overtaxed (or destroyed) for the devastation and illness that became rampant. Hundreds of thousands of people protest several times for the U.S. to leave once Saddam is out of power. People became tired, hungry, tired, frustrated, and angry.

THEN, an insurgency developed. THEN, religious factions raised their voices and grabbed guns. Then Jihad strikes deep and we hear of the insurgency growing and becoming more organized, aided and abetted with "hundreds" or "thousands" of foreign fighters rushing across the border, daring to cross the line in the sand that had been drawn on our political and military planning boards.

The latest news has the VP saying things are getting better (again), while everyone else in authority, including the secretary of defense, has gone on record that the insurgency could go on for many years. Not the pretty picture painted for us in years past?

Have much easier it would have been if we had chosen the tactics urged by those other nations/other agencies/other individuals. We could have spared ourselves an insurgency and not fanned the flames of jihad.

When you do unto others what you do not want/fear they will do to you, you've ensured you get what you've given. It's been experienced time and time again. When we learn it, we will turn our beliefs and allegiance away from such paths and no longer offer blind loyalty to political and military leaders, because we will know (at last) they don't supply the answers and they are not looking out for our welfare.

Peace be with you,
Claire

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Reason Our Media Doesn't Report Real News

Robert Kennedy, Jr. was speaking in Ashland, Oregon this Saturday and answered a question that has always bugged the writer and investigative journalist in me:

"Why isn't our media reporting the real news?" Despite claims by a political party that the media is "liberal", it isn't. To those who don't agree with the policies or beliefs being promoted by those making that claim, it is obvious that not only isn't the media "liberal" (as if that was such a dirty word), but that every significant topic of actual "news" isn't hitting the airwaves across the board whether in TV, radio, or news.

Kennedy, who has what I can only describe as a massive and encyclopedic memory for facts, figures, quotes, names, and dates and who talks without notes of any kind provided this fact:

He said that by law the media had an obligation to cover the news and to cover news affecting their community, and to cover all sides of an issue/event. That law was called the Fairness Doctrine. It also forbade the consolidation of businesses, including the broadcasting companies. "The airwaves belonged to the public...(the Fairness Doctrine) mandated local control and diversity of control, " Kennedy explained and that was the idea behind the writing of that law, which was called the Fairness Doctrine. “They used to have an obligation until 1988. (It was) the proviso that they used them to advance democracy and promote the public interest. That was the law."

That law and responsibility was abolished by Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Since that time mergers and consolidations have become endemic, and Kennedy points out that the media has focused more on gaining returns for its shareholders than keeping citizens properly informed as they were once mandated to do.

“(Now), instead of reporting the news, they’re entertaining us. They’re appealing to the prurient interest that all of us have in the reptilian core of the brain for sex and celebrity gossip. So they give us Michael Jackson, Lacey Peterson and Kobe Bryant, but they’re not telling us about global warming, the mercury in our food or particulates in the air which are causing our children to have asthma attacks. The typical American, when he learns that he can no longer fish locally — which is true in 19 states not a single freshwater fish is safely edible, in our 48 states at least some of the fish are now inedible — (the citizen) is not connecting that to the president’s policies, which he should be.” (He also revealed that recent medical tests revealed that there is twice the amount of Mercury stored in his body than agencies consider "safe." His doctor told him that there is no doubt that if he was a woman and gave birth, the child would suffer some type of retardation and/or blindness).

The reporting of this "whole truth" information is scarce and the lack of news coverage has resulted in a population that is under-informed as well as misinformed by talk radio celebrities, such as Rush.

“We’re the best entertained and least informed people on earth. There was a report, ... a massive survey that was done at the time of the election by the University of Maryland. And what it showed was that the values that Americans share — Republican and Democrats — are identical. There was no difference between red states and blue states, no moral difference, no values difference.“ The difference was informational,” he said.

The vast majority of ALL news media -(80 percent of newspapers and 6,000 radio stations) are owned by 6 major corporations. The business of news has become gaining market share and profit. It is also now in the business of promoting the policies near and dear to the corporations who own them. One corporation he named even makes the +100 stations under their leadership sign a contract stating they will not include negative news about the President of the U.S. Kennedy also quoted specific stats about the huge numbers of investigative journalists whose positions have simply been eliminated (over 80% of investigative journalists positions have been completely whited out, for example), so there's no one to dig teeth into stories that could effect change revealing information benefiting local constituents and the electorate.

Kennedy asserts that this informational deficit is directly attributable to the lack of coverage by the press. “It’s not that people don’t care about these issues,” Kennedy says, “it’s that they don’t know about them."

By the way, the book of his that was released in 2004 and is now in paperback is called: "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and his Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy (HarperCollins, 2004).

- Claire

Friday, June 17, 2005

U.N. Funds Cut - The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

The House of Representatives passed a bill cutting U.S. funds to the United Nations by half. It probably won't pass through the Senate or White House, but it's a nice publicity move by lawmaker Rep. Hyde.

Quoting scandals (such as sex scandals and rip off of funds in the U.N.'s Iragi Food for Oil program) the U.N. is targeted for a financial powerplay. That is to say that the largest international coordinating agency of relief efforts (medical immunizations and medical care, food, humanitarian work on other fronts, terrorism reports, and peacekeeping force is having needed funds "voted out". This by the legislature of a country known for its fair share of scandal (environmental impact reports re-written by an oil lobbyist, presidential sex scandals, prisoner abuse, suspicion of misleading reports to justify an invasion into another country, financial irresponsibility in driving up an astronomical deficit, cutting social and educational programs in order to shore up dwindling national resources that have gone to support a war, Haliberton fraud, suspicion of voter scandal, etc.

The idea is to force reform by threatening funding withholding. Most everyone else says this does not supply a good way to handle reform, cuts funds much needed by the suffering individuals in other lands, and places another separating wedge between the U.S. and other nations -- at a time and for purposes calling for greater unity.

People habitually look outside of themselves and throw blame on others for that which within themselves they either know they do, fear, feel quilty about, feel inadequate in and so manipulate for power purposes, etc. We need to look at ourselves as a country and as individuals and ask "Why would we do such a thing?" Fear and the desire for power to shore up fear? Fear and the desire to throw negative attention on another agency and away from the U.S. government's areas of weakness (called by others "corruption")?

We can call it and interpret it and dress it up all we want. It's a shell game of self deceipt on a global scale, benefiting no one ( Our tax dollars at work?). And just imagine all the trees that are having to be cut down to supply the paper needed to print out all the official legislative reports on the bill, all the additional newspaper space it takes up, all the additional emotional energy it dredges up and wastes. The better focus of all this energy and money would be towards focus activity on both reform and supplying programs with funds appropriately and quickly.

Radical Peace holds you outside the angst and centered in "what is important here for the benefit of those most needing to benefit" and "how can this be resolved on holy ground".

Best,
Claire

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

An Outside View - What You Read Is Not What You "Get"

Something odd, but not totally unexpected, occurred as a result of my previous two blogs (read June 13, and June 12th).

After the June 13th blog (Only Two Forces and Paths to Take), several people sent direct email responses to me (rather than using the blog "comment" response ), all of them almost matching each other and the two conversational lines can be summarized as follows:

  • 'The article was great/right on/very insightful and so true -- There are so many people who are hung up with their fears and they're continually driven to do such bad things to themselves/others/and back such awful political legislation. We feel sorry for them, but they just don't get it.'

and

  • 'Can't wait for Bush to get his!' /'Why can't he see what he's doing?'

In both lines of conversation people are, as usual, pointing outside, away from themselves, to the others who have yet to "get it." You might observe accusations/separation/judgements/insecurities/anger in these "well-meaning" responses. Yet, a key factor in the June 13th blog is that we are ourselves responsible and that we can't point the finger at others, because we are generally unaware of how much we are all tied up into doing the same thing we accuse/fear/etc others of doing and in doing that we pour the foundation supporting continuance of the same old-same old.

Funny, eh? So, let's rephrase the question above and see how it and another feels to each of us. Okay, say these aloud: "Why can't I see what I'm doing?" and "What are my beliefs/actions/responses/thoughts/contributing to the world?"

The "morale (as it were) of the June 13th blog was to become aware of our SELVES and all the little and big ways we create, support, and weave the tapestry of war in our lives and into the energy of lives around us and the world. We are culpable. As Socrates (and plenty others have said) "Know Thyself." We can also be creating, supporting, weaving peace.

Become aware of the hidden recesses, peek under assumptions about who, how and why we are and why we respond to/plan things/nurse feelings in certain ways; realize that we have been dooming our future to repeat the past patterns when we live according to our past and our weaknesses rather than our strengths in our present.

Say this aloud: "As I release the ties that bind me, I free others."

Are you living in ways that sustain, support, and create peace or war? What's the payoff for you?

Wishing you a Radical Peace,

Claire Krulikowski (I do hope I continue receiving emails after writing this blog!!!!)

P.S. By the way, as a follow up to my blog of June 12th (Mark Felt's Real Significance) , in which I talked about how "connecting the dots" can lead to the conclusion that within the next couple of months a major scandal might "peek beneath the assumptions" held of and by the U.S. administration, pay attention to a news story about the memo uncovered by a British journalist detailing Bush's plans to fabricate information to justify an attack on Iraq. Some people are calling it "the smoking gun."

Monday, June 13, 2005

Only Two Forces and Paths to Take

There are only two driving forces and directions in life: One is fear, the other is love.

Fear acts out of and builds on motivations of guilt, defense, anger, violence, blame, separation, and sees threats to personal existence everywhere: work, home, personal and professional relationships, world events, etc. It judges all around in terms of threat. It seeks to build the present on the past in order to ensure the future works out the same.

Love acts out of and builds on motivations of unity, helpfulness, empathy, compassion, solutions, support, generosity, and sees creative potential and similarities in all things. It doesn't hold the past as its springboard, sees what is now and creates the future from there only. The judgement that might have prevailed before is released so the tension and fears and threats, etc of the past do not intrude.

Fear limits and seeks seperation. Love joins and seeks to unite.

It's easy to look outside of ourselves, at the world's events and observe how running governments or organizations on the Fear Factor prompts decisions to attack, to withhold, etc. (And isn't it always so easy to see fault in another?)

It is less obvious for us to see we all contribute to the Fear Factor with our own entrained viewpoint, attitude, actions. We are all feeding fear and imbibing on fear -- or NOT, depending on how we choose each moment to relate to ourselves, people, and events. How we relate to the "external"stimulus (even if only in our thoughts or physical emotional response) reflect how you feel about yourself and demonstrates your motivation.

Example, if you have a new boss, does your internal dialogue keep track of how she/he's doing in terms of how things had been, or how he had been before/should be now, or how things always are? Are you afraid she/he might fire you or are you doubting yourself? Are you quietly waiting for she/he to fail?

Another example: Are you pissed off at the market checker? Are they going to do something "bad" to you, such as make you late? Or are they, perhaps based on their physical appearance, "typically stupid." With those kinds of reactions, you've (a) projected yourself to a different location at a (b) future time where you are experiencing "late" even though you are simply right now standing on the checker line. Making derogatory judgements about the checker also places you in a position of separation (obviously forgetting, forgiving, and/or ignoring all the times you've been less than efficient for others).

That tonnage of angst, fear, judgement you've opened yourself to experience hurts YOU a lot and affects the other by type-casting them/the situation and making it "how things/they always are"- and it/you are creating WAR.

When we can understand our own internal wars and forgive and forget our fears, we offer ourselves and others love and build up our strengths rather than continue to work the muscles of our weaknesses. Our energies can tie the world in a knot, but with each one we individually untie, something magical happens - We begin also releasing others to release the notes in them.

LIVING A RADICAL PEACE works news muscles and they're used to help build anew. It's not easy for us to face our own complicity. Then when we face it, it can seem to be harder to begin to implement change (old habits die hard?). Yet, if we always continue to be aware and take our focus back to the implications of love, we can begin to see how different our typical reaction/thought was (and how much it really hurt us as well as them/situation) from the radical new reality we'd wish to create. Then we see the new path clearer and can take next steps with increased awareness and surity.

And, if you think you've "fallen down/failed" along the way, just be like a kid again -- Laugh, pick yourself back up, and get in the game!

- Claire

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Mark Felt's Real Significance: Connect the Dots

The Real Significance to Mark Felt's
Announcement that He's "Deep Throat."


Several years ago I was offered advice that boiled down to this: "Claire Krulikowski, connect the dots of your life. Connecting the dots will tell you more about the whole of your life and where you're going than just the individual dots you've been focusing on."

That same advice works in preparing for upcoming events in the world also. The media went wild when, just as May was ready to slip into June 2005, Mark Felt came forward as being "Deep Throat," the man who some thirty years ago had fed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's information that had helped topple a fraudulent, illegal, and dangerous Presidential administration. It led to the only resignation by a sitting U.S. President in history.

Interestingly (and you should start tingling when you read this part), it had been a month of June when the Watergate burglars were caught 30 years ago, and a single reporter (Woodward) thought some of what he heard in their courtroom arraignment didn't sound quite right...and he was off and running for answers and therein lies a tale, a book, a movie, and the long time mystery of "who was Deep Throat?", now revealed as being a Washington insider - the #2 man at the FBI during Nixon's reign.

RESULT?

Mark Felt's announcement has gotten everyone in the U.S. (how about you folks abroad?) revisiting memories of Watergate and somewhere in those sparked thoughts is kindled the fact that a Presidential administration can be corrupt, that America and the President are not above the laws, and that though the agencies and citizens of the country kept believing in the President(and trying to "shoot" the messengers, i.e. the reporters and the Washington Post), eventually people understood they'd been misled in a real big way.

So - Expect a big revelation within the next couple of months regarding the Bush Administration which, without the preparation managed due to Felt's annoucement, might have dynamited the psyche of millions of Americans. However, now we can recall thanks to Watergate's Dot and Deep Throat's dot, there is a history of such possibilities. It doesn't seem so out of the questions.

There's already been other Bush dots beginning to form the picture, such as, for example, that he lied to get the U.S. into war with Iraq, and another dot about oil being the prime U.S. interest in that region, dating back into the 90s.
Plus, there's that other dot of the mindset that provides room for "reality TV" scenarios that just might play a part, no matter how subtle in this.

WHAT REVELATION MIGHT IT BE?
Let's consider something that hasn't been given much thought, much less credence, by a majority of Americans yet, such as voting fraud/stealing of the election!!!!

Yes, it had been debated before, people cried foul but, so far, the proof has not been able to come to the surface. However...what happens when there is undeniable and traceable PROOF. (FYI, Watergate took years to completely uncover. With the Quickening of info, I personally believe our upcoming "revelation" is going to come hard, fast, and down the middle, but we'll see). However, the scandal might be something else. I'm just putting my chips at this moment on stealing the election, because stealing the political election for Bush secured the block of financial and oil Interests to get the plan they wanted and needed implemented.

"Follow the money," Deep Throat advised Woodward regarding Watergate.

There are no accidents. A huge scandal will hit the Bush Administration and rattle Americans to the core, and, no matter the focus, the seeming anxiety and trauma will be beneficial, because it will (a) allow us all to examine what values are most important, (b) urge people to see themselves apart from the mythology of government and start placing trust in new directions and new dots to shift the future away from where they were being led prior.

Blog has been down awhile

Apologies for my absence. For some mysterious reason, as soon as I loaded an "ad" feature to this blog, nothing I typed in ever made it to the public. Also couldn't access the host. It would be great if blog hosts also had emergency phone numbers for times like that.

Many months later, trying again. So far, so good.

Let's see what happens when I push this button...