An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Interrupt the World




"In a secret videoconference last November, Maliki and Bush signed an agreement, a cynically titled “Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship,” which outlined plans for the establishment of permanent American military bases and preferential treatment for US energy conglomerates and investors to exploit Iraqi oil reserves." - "Thousands of Iraqis protest agreement for indefinite US occupation"

Thus the empire plans to finalize its control over Iraqi oil fields by the permanent stationing of 50,000 troops in 20 massive bases, according the Debka-Net-Weekly, a site associated with Israeli intelligence. The final end of democracy in America has cast its shadows ahead of the event in many ways. One of them is signaled by the manner in which the permanent commitment of troops to occupy and control Iraqi resources no longer requires even a rubber stamp approval by the imperial Senate: "Crocker reasserted the administration’s position that the bilateral deal did not need to be and would not be submitted to the Senate for approval. Instead the so-called Status of Forces Agreement would be imposed by executive order." - "Thousands of Iraqis protest agreement for indefinite US occupation"

The agreement allows U.S. troops to kill or incarcerate any Iraqi citizen deemed to be a threat to the empire's plans for total control of the resources of that country. It is likely that such agreements will serve as cover for contingencies such as the accidental victory of a Democratic candidate for president, though that eventuality has no doubt been effectively planned for in many ways. The new president will be compelled to maintain occupying forces in the Middle East by such agreements, as well as by the pressure of manipulated public opinion, especially if control of Iraqi oil can be leveraged to lower gas prices. Thousands of incremental surrenders by the American public have paved the way for this assertion of control, from the current acceptance of torture as an instrument of American policy, to the implicit acceptance that vast public opposition to the war is no longer a factor in the calculations of empire.

The Iraqis themselves, whose voice is openly ignored by the U.S. media, are quite aware of what the agreement implies for their country, "Another leading Sadrist, Sheikh Mohannad Al-Gazawi, decried the agreement, stating that it 'binds Iraq and gives 99 percent of the country to America.'" - "Thousands of Iraqis protest agreement for indefinite US occupation" He could have easily added that it gives 100% of the country to the empire of global capital. We can only hope that the new masters of Iraqi resources will not find it necessary to completely eliminate the native population, as the Israelis have decided to do in Palestine.

The protests that flared out across Iraq as soon as news of the agreement became known embody the Iraqi understanding of the plans long laid. "The Association of Muslim Scholars declared that any Iraqi signatories of the document would be looked on as 'collaborators with the occupier." - "Thousands of Iraqis protest agreement for indefinite US occupation" The U.S. intended from the beginning of the invasion to break up Iraq into warring social segments so that it could weaken and eliminate opposition. It is likely that current division into three segments of political dominance, Kurd, Shiite and Sunni will be formalized and a low-intensity civil war encouraged so as to keep each faction focused on sectarian fighting. This accomplishes two major purposes for the Americans. The first is that it diverts resources from resistance to imperial plans. Secondly, it aids in the ethnic cleansing process that would otherwise need to be carried out exclusively with American resources.

It would seem that the "Vietnam Syndrome" is finally at an end. The empire, having neutralized the ability to mount effective protests, can now proceed in its project of controlling the last remaining fossil fuel resources without hindrance. Yet...control can never be complete, one spark of resistance can connect with another. The forces we struggle against realize the nature of our power, but their power is based in the weakness of violence. "The exploited of the world vastly outnumber the exploiters. In order to remain in power, the privileged must therefore rely on economic controls, torture and murder by police states, military intervention, and a threatened last resort, weapons of annihilation. The Third World War, which is now being fought through interest, will some day be fought, if the exploiters find it 'necessary', by nuclear explosions on the poor in the Third World - in the name of a defense against terrorism." - James W. Douglass, "The Nonviolent Coming of God"

But the power we wield is not based in weakness. "Evil's power lies in darkness, our own darkness. Evil's power to destroy life comes from our denial of its presence and our refusal to accept responsibility for it. The essence of our life-destroying evil lies in our unseen unacknowledged cooperation with it. As we began to claim personal responsibility ... we experienced the faith to overcome the evil which was in us and on the trains: faith in the redeeming power of nonviolent love, faith in the cross." - James W. Douglass, "The Nonviolent Coming of God"

The power we wield is the spiritual equivalent of the nuclear explosions that power the sun. "Is there a spiritual reality, inconceivable to us today, which corresponds in history to the physical reality which Einstein discovered and which led to the atomic bomb?...Might there not also be, as Gandhi suggested, an equally incredible and undiscovered law of spiritual change, whereby a single person or small community of persons could be converted into an enormous spiritual energy capable of transforming a society and a world?"

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