Kony 2012: Misleading? – Corporate Interests (Part 2 of 3)

The new viral sensation entitled ‘Kony 2012’ has beguiled the masses through its depiction of corrupt innocence, luring the sincerity of the masses into a campaign that may express elements of corporate duplicity.

Kony 2012 Could be Another Imperialist Search for Oil

The purpose of this post is not to claim the inherent deceitfulness of the seemingly sincere campaign being head by Jason Russell; rather, it is to impress upon the open-minded and skeptical the very real likelihood of corporate opportunism that could manipulate the charity into yet another example of american imposition of corporate interests abroad.  To begin, the sensation that is Kony 2012 has been propagated throughout every social media asset and has over 1 million pledges for its ‘Cover the Night’ event on April 20th.  The crimes and atrocities being committed in Sub-Saharan Africa are horrendous and dehumanizing, but the idea of forced intervention into foreign lands for ‘crimes against humanity’ is not isolated to this event.  The charity calls upon the people to encourage an action that can be defined as Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “White Man’s Burden”, in which it is suggested that the duty of the White people is to help rescue the savage peoples of the world from their un-Christian ways.  This theme was and still is a political phenomenon that influences foreign policy in lands that are now opposed to America because of the exploitation of its people and resources, as well as the destruction of their infrastructure that was left in the American wake.  Ranging from corporate sponsored CIA operations in Panama, Guatemala, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Vietnam, there was has always been ulterior motives for invading these countries.  The Middle east is the most evident example of blind patriotism in which American lives have been lost for the purpose of securing oil in Iraq, opium in Afghanistan and the general Iran-Contra scandal was a blunt enough demonstration of the corruption behind the CIA.

“Invisible Children helps fund the Uganda People’s Defense Force, better known as the Ugandan army.  This force not only has an enlistment age of 13 (therefore making them a force who employs child soldiers), but has also been known to free children that Kony has kidnapped and in lieu of providing them with counseling and care, instead brainwash them to fight for their side.  This makes them no better than Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.” – Brian Westrick, journalist for The North Wind

So saying, with a variety of examples depicting American mistakes in land abroad, the American people are tired of war, tired of death and tired of making enemies in other lands.  With a domestic agenda opposed to the utilization of force for the supposed interests of national security and defense, the leaders of the American government are realizing that the populace will not tolerate further imposition of corporate interests on their lives.  On that note, the national interest is heterogeneous in that it is dependent on the leader and groups that are in control at the time, leaving a strong subjective component in which any ambiguous statement of national interest will actually fit into the interests of some special interest group.  With that inherent support always available, with the press corpse and sensationalism of the media running the conveyor belt society along a predetermined path, a sudden resurgence of wakefulness to foreign events within the domestic populace will not frighten corporations away from pursuing their materialist nature in other lands.  Those who would kill for their power, would not hesitate before any option that offers the opportunity to expand their power farther and wider.  Yet, as said before, the wakefulness of the people does mark an obstacle in which the corporations of America must discover new tactics and strategies in which to deceive the masses.

“Obama claimed that he decided to act because it ‘furthers US national security interests and foreign policy’.  Yet it is not entirely clear how that could be true, since Kony and the LRA have not targeted Americans or American interests and are not capable of overthrowing an allied government.” – Mareike Schomerus, Foreign Affairs journalist

Blind passionate and unceasing support is their key to the tax dollars that fund their wars.  Evidently, the scenes being demonstrated in Kony 2012 demonstrate such passionate and devoted support.  The film is a call for an African invasion, using the cover of sincerity and humanity to secure their inspirational hold of the millions of people who have already signed onto the campaign.   If they were to have a military presence in Africa, such as the 100 Special Forces sent to Uganda as military advisers in October 2011, they would need the full support of the public.  With 80 million and counting, the video has truly demonstrated that the public-will is behind such militarily presence, ensuring that the possible ramifications are understood and tolerated by the public.  The people both in corporations and government know how to manipulate people in society to their liking, and having years of experience does nothing to limit their resources and cleverness in the endeavor.  Like the puppet masters they are, the elites are able to use tv, media and mass movements to play the people to the dance of their dominant global takeover.  The key to their manipulation is the information gap and elite consensus, in which the people use heuristics to learn of global events and the stance they should have.  With politicians and businessman of the world framing such news to their bias interpretation, they are able to frame the consensus for the rest of society to conform to.  Kony 2012.  The short film describes the horrors of Joseph Kony’s actions in Uganda, despite the fact that the LRA has not been in Uganda since they were forced to flee Museveni in 1985.  What has been in Uganda since 1985 and still is there, is oil.  Under Lake Albert there are reserves that some reports estimate to be larger than those in Saudi Arabia.  With China the special recipient of oil reserves from Ethiopia, Africa has now become a battlefield for the fiscal superpowers of the US China over the black gold of the world, the one resource that truly determines hegemony.  The US, long-standing ally of Uganda, will undoubtedly ensure that no corruption or exploitation of the oil comes to be, for the cheap price of most favored nation status in trade with Uganda for the majority of the oil reserves that are drilled.

“When the West and the corrupt interests that run this country say they want to invade an area to stop a human rights’ disaster, I have examples from just last year from the Ivory Cost of Africa.  , where the UN admits to having killed thousands of people to overthrow the elected government there in the Ivory Cost.” – Alex Jones, Nightly News

In retrospect, with enough money anything can be bought.  With enough people on board, everyone else will jump on board because they see everyone else doing it.  Like band-wagoning, the people begin to think alike and enter into what psychologists term as ‘group-think’.  As is oft said, the tinkerers of the world will sing the same tunes and march to the same beat, homogenized in their perceptions of the world.  Kony 2012 could become this corporate tool to deceive the people into fomenting militant action in Africa for the materialist purposes of America.

Kony 2012: Ranks of the Masses Rising (Part 1 of 3)

The Non-Governmental Organization known as Invisible Children has become a viral sensation, commanding the attention of more than 80 million people with the 30 minute short film entitled, ‘Kony 2012’, and have thus become the most viewed short film to be yet made.

Kony 2012 is a short film created by the Invisible Children Inc, intended to promote the charity’s ‘Stop Kony’ charity which aims to arrest the indicted Ugandan criminal on crimes of murder, child abduction, rape and crimes against humanity by December 2012.  Invisible Children first began its work in Uganda in 2005.  Based in Gulu, Invisible Children Uganda (ICU) began by working alongside local reformists and activists who identified the northern regions of Uganda as those in greatest need.  Relying on such guidance and expertise, ICU worked to develop programs on the ground.  The evolution of this movement into the stirring global campaign known as ‘Kony 2012’ is attributed to the emotional propaganda video retelling tales of the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the personal experience of a Uganda dissident, Jacob.  The atrocities of the LRA span multiple countries, ranging from the lower Sudan to the northern most regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The events have been a global phenomena, fueling the masses with the need to cease the clearly horrific scenario that is unfolding in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The knee-jerk reaction of the American populace, though sincere, comes at the beck and call of the NGOs expertise of such promotional videos in which they have introduced the relationship that exists in Africa between the innocence of childhood and the cruelness of violence being forced upon them.  With such juxtaposed imagery of purity and youth intertwined with abuse, death and sex slaves, the masses of the world have risen to the occasion.  Blanketing the streets with posters and banners, the infamy of Kony rises and the masses stir the call to action and prepare for their launching night on April 20th.  On that night, the street teams of the Kony 2012 campaign will paint the towns and cities with pictures, banners and fliers of the detested warlord Kony and illustrate with persistence the overwhelming need for action.

“He was born into a pretty complicated world and as a dad, I want him to grow up in a better world than I did.  And because of the course of events of my life, I see a way to get there.” – Jason Russell, Kony 2012 creator and Invisible Children Co-Founder

With the call to action ringing across the world, Jason Russell has appealed to the masses through the social networking devices of modern media, mainstreaming a cause to which the people have now bonded with.  At the focus of this global campaign is the Lord’s Resistance Army and its warlord Joseph Kony.  The LRA came about in Uganda in 1985 when the government of Tito Okello was ousted by Yoweri Museveni.  Targeting the Acholi population, Yoweri Museveni used military forces to suppress opposition and ensure stability but among all the opposition forces, the LRA was the only one not silence.  Fleeing into neighboring countries like South Sudan and DRC, the LRA has been continuously on the run since 1985 despite various global operations to stop them.  Despite combined efforts of the Ugandan military, the USA and the EU, the guerrilla forces of the LRA remain about.  The LRA has received significant support from Sudan and because of its domestic expertise and guerrilla tactics, has been able to avoid large infantry movements of the Ugandan military.  Moreover, from the perspective of Joseph Kony, the use of ‘kid-soldiers’ is strategically smart because of their ability to hide and be overlooked in the forests of Africa.  The only operation to come close to capturing Kony was Operation Lightening Thunder in 2008 but the Ugandan military used noisy helicopters which allowed Kony to flee.  Coupled together with the fact that the infantry arrived 72 hours late and the Congolese troops didn’t even show, demonstrates the inability for operations to run effectively in the region.  So saying, without domestic agenda pushing for renewed actions, the LRA will be able to perpetuate its criminal actions without challenge.  Thankfully, the populace has awaken to the realization of their powers of accountability over political seat-holders and have begun to assert their influence as constituents, demanding that the Washington hacks rise up and truly enforce the previously illustrious words of  ‘freedom for all’.

“We worry the rebels, when they arrest us again, then they will kill us.  My brother tried to escape and then they killed him using the panga.  They cut his neck.  I saw” – Jacob, Ugandan dissident

Despite claims of sensationalism and falsehoods presented in the video, the point must be argued that no matter the extent of the atrocities being committed by Joseph Kony, any manner of such crimes are dehumanizing and should be held accountable for.  The LRA, though only around 200 strong, has forced around 800 children into the army and has forced an almost equal number of girls into becoming sex slaves.  The numbers are lower than many believe, but once again, the point stands that if such actions were to be perpetrated in a developed state, the perpetrators would be held accountable for those actions within short notice.  The information gap, the alienation of human cost because of the oceans and land masses that separate Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of modernized society, has dehumanized the masses in the past to such events abroad.  Nevertheless, the hopes of this video and this organization are to change this trend and to mark a step in another direction, one aimed at bringing about a resurgence of global relations and connection between people around the world.  Targeting the culture stars and political officials, Invisible Children has illustrated the power of numbers, the realization that no one, be they Senators or CEOs, are anything without the support of the masses.  Because of the existence of such peoples’ movements, as well as those of the Arab Spring, Invisible Children has hopefully sparked a revolution of thought for global populations about the level of control and influence they can wield through numbers and congregations.  With the ranks of the masses rising, Kony 2012 could very well be a possibility under the right circumstances, but even if not, the significance of this ‘peaceful uprising’ (if it can be called so) should not be forgotten.

–>  Writer’s Note:

Though a rather optimistic fortune above, the reality of the situation may be harder to swallow for many, as the national interests of the American government (those of the corporations, more often than not) are not interlinked with the situation of Kony and his child-soldiering, though the Ugandan oil may be of interest to the imperialists among the group of corporate position holders.  So saying, 2 posts will follow on the Kony 2012 developments.  1 of which will be part of the Anti-Flag series and concentrate on corporate interests in the Kony 2012, more specifically the oil in Uganda.  The other will analyze the extent to which there is actually very little of substance that the US can do to interfere in the actions of the LRA.

Syria: Assad Accepts Annan Peace Plan

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted the UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan’s 6-point peace plan to end violence; yet the gesture seems shallow and deceitful, as fresh clashes broke out once again across Syria on Wednesday.

Assad Buys Time by Accepting Annan Peace Plan

Facing growing global pressure over the rising suppression of his regime in the country, Assad had no option but to accept the UN special envoy’s peace proposal.  With the “Friends of Syria” contact group limiting resources through strict sanctions and increasingly stringent rhetoric against Assad’s few remaining allies in China and Russia, the embattled President had nothing to lose by accepting the peace plan.  Nevertheless, timing was likely the key factor in the Syrian government’s response, hoping to delay international response to the humanitarian crisis in his country.  By making this show of grandeur acceptance of peace, Assad has made it much more difficult for western powers to stress the immediacy of the situation in Syria.  US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other global leaders are expected to discuss ways to assist the Syrian opposition at a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Istanbul this Sunday.  The meeting relies heavily on attendance and UN congruence, which Assad has effectively slowed down, because his consent to this peace plan will force the UN into carrying out long-winded negotiation with the Syrian regime.  Despite flicker of hope, with many seeking to find a thaw in the endless tyranny of the Assad family regime, most remain skeptical and agree that Assad’s agreement is merely a fraud at buying time to repress all opposition once and for all.  With similar delay tactics being used by Assad’s last remaining ally, Iran, in the nuclear talks over its facility Parchin, the skepticism is not unfounded.

“They can keep on negotiating and drag this out, because with every passing week they kill more dissidents.  I think what the regime is hoping is they can crush all of this before anybody moves to help the opposition.” – Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

The Syrian cooperation with this plan is a transition from its previous blunt rejections of both UN and Arab League peace plans, but the key difference lies in that Annan’s plan does not require Assad to leave office.  With Russia and China standing-by Assad indefinitely, the plan offered Assad an escape from EU and US sanctions while remaining hold of his seat of power; thus, the logic of Assad’s consent is evident considering its leniency.  China and Russia have vetoed recent UN resolution to condemn Assad, securing him from the brunt of the international community and have thus granted him this last opportunity to talk a good game and gain more time.  The protracted crisis has become an international nightmare and yet the only plan lying ahead is to draw the Chinese and Russian into dialogue to stop the fighting and to allow Assad to stay in power.  The plan rests on political dialogue with another party that has a gun to the head of its civilian populace, has the support of the two largest land powers, and has nothing to lose from perpetuating circular negotiations.   Evidently, the Annan peace plan has little to offer to the opposition and will only serve as another stepping stone for the eventual intensification of violence in another month or two.

“It will talk the talk of cooperation with the international community, but not walk the walk on the actual requirements that are necessary, such as really ceasing the use of lethal force against its own people in the streets of Syria.” – Edward Djerejian, US Ambassador to Syria

The Annan peace plan calls for: an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address grass-roots grievances; a commitment to halt fighting and forge a UN supervised halt of violence by the government and opposition groups; timely humanitarian aid; speeding up the release of arbitrarily detained people, including those engaged in peaceful political activities; ensuring freedom of movement for journalists; and respecting peaceful demonstration and freedom of association.  Assad has little to lose by signing the plan as the concessions he will be forced to make include a ceasefire, ensuring humanitarian assistance, a release of political prisoners, allowing entry to journalists, and permitting demonstrations, all of which can be easily reversed relatively quickly.  Meanwhile, the benefits for Assad are far more significant.  Considering that he is being allowed to stay in power and not face trial for crimes against humanity despite killing over 10,000 Syrian citizens, some UN member states view the President’s acceptance of the plan as a positive step providing evidence of the regime’s new willingness to compromise with the opposition.  Moreover, the plan also hurts the opposition which has not been forced to accept the indefinite rule of Assad according to the plan.  Furthermore, the news of Assad’s acceptance will call for negotiation between the exiled opposition government, the Syrian National Council, which is already in rifts and should the negotiations actually occur, the question of who will speak for the opposition will only exacerbate the divisions.  Annan’s plan also represents an impediment to critical funding from the US to Free Syrian Army, assistance that will not be received and will leave the army empty-handed.

“Given al-Assad’s history of overpromising and underdelivering, that commitment must not be matched by immediate actions.  We will judge Assad’s sincerity and seriousness by what he does, not what he says.” – Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State

In retrospect, the Assad regime has been able to alleviate foreign pressure from the international community in the past and will continue to do so through the usual delay tactics and promises of liberalization.  During the Bush administration, Assad came under scrutiny for the regime’s assumed role in the murder of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and for helping move insurgents into Iraq to kill American soldiers.  At moments of increased international pressure, however, Assad was able to escape through promises of possible peace negotiations with Israel and joining Egypt in that peace camp.  Assad succeeded in escaping the Bush administration through such tactics and will do the same to the current Obama administration unless the UN, US and Arab League realize that none of Assad’s promises of laws of parties, elections and media are even remotely true.

 

America: Corporate Imperialism Abroad (Americas)

The United States stands resolute as a bastion of ‘peace and democracy’, standing hypocritically as an international police force dedicated to the spread and enforcement of such ideals abroad; yet, history has demonstrated corporate influence in the manipulation and procurement of US materialism in lands abroad.

The American Corporation Exploits the Weak and Vulnerable

The iron fist of blood and empire that is the United States government remains today as the last remaining superpower, guided by an unfaltering ethical code bought by the highest bidder, be it Halliburton, the US Fruit Company or Pepsi Cola.  So saying, there exists a correlation between corporate interests abroad and that of American foreign policy.  As with many ideals propagated by the press corpse of America, the US is glorified as the defender of people domestically and abroad against forces seeking to loot them of their natural rights.  Resplendent in armor and weapons, the propaganda posters bespeak of a protector and warrior.  An unfaltering force undeterred by the fallibility of the common man, the US marches on killing to further the interests of private corporations, killing to control the global economic situations, killing for personal gain and lulling the deluded people at home with rallying cries of communist threat, national security, and Islamic terrorists.  Refer to it as neocolonialism or neoimperialism, the point stands that the CIA and military forces of the US stand as tools, as mercenaries, for hire by the opportunist corporations of the American capitalist bureaucracy.  Beginning from the spread of the American colonialists through disease, genocide and slavery during Manifest Destiny, the American dream has been gilded through foreign imposition of American corporatism in the Spanish-American War (1848), Guatemala (1954), Dominican Republic (1960), Chile (1970), Panama (1980), Haiti (1980), and Ecuador (1981).

“Arbenz, Mossadeq, Allende, Aristide, elected democratically all snuffed out by the CIA.  The truth will cause your heart to seize, shed light on the true enemy.” –  Anti-Flag, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”

The US is particularly fond of making statements supporting peace and respecting national sovereignty, but military actions such as in Grenada and Panama, as well as the evident conflict of interest in Iraq run counter to its assertions.  The endless stream of inflated nationalistic diction utilized for purposes of domestic blindness and delusion has succeeded in re-gilding the signs of freedom for all, while casting in darkness the ever-so subtle fine print, ‘subject to change based on market price’.  The American price tag has been sadistically low, luring the corporations of the world in a bidding frenzy in which the US may hope to emerge as the fiscal superpower that it was pre-Cold War era.  So saying, the economy has been the source of corruption for the American nation and the world in general, as money and greed are clearly the carrots that keep luring the pack mules further.  The slave trade and the ideology of colonialism, the expropriation of natural resources and peoples for self-indulgence, can be no clearer a demonstration of the corporate materialism of the Western hemisphere.  Yet, the purpose of this post is to concentrate on the inter-American relations, and the corporate corruption of American hegemony within Southern and Central America.

“Gun ho and true to the Stars and Stripes.  They fuckin’ brainwashed you to do their bidding.  And like a flock of sheep with wool over your eyes, you just fall into line.” – Anti-Flag, “The Panama Deception”

To narrow in on the concrete objective of corporate imperialism abroad, the Spanish-American War seems as ideal a place to start.  Following the American Civil War, the division of the states had been sutured shut and yet the level of development of the North far outpaced the South, leaving an unbalanced economic system between a backwards agricultural sector and a far more advanced industrial north.  With a limited consumer base and depleting natural resources, the corporate groups of America monopolized their efforts into a unified diction of American imperialism and enforced it upon the career politicians and Washington hacks.  With promises of wealth and power, the oaths to uphold the Constitution and the American people went forgotten in dusty shadowed crevices in the Liberty Bell.  The corporate monopolizers proposed that the way to strengthen the US industry was not to produce less but to find more customers to buy goods.  For these reasons, many called for greater access to foreign markets, fewer restrictions on exports, and aggressive foreign policy in underdeveloped regions in which civilians could become consumer puppets.  Such became the fuel and fodder for the masses through the golden age of sensationalist journalism that drove military operations into Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines following the sinking of the Maine.  With “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain”, a series of corporate inspired endeavors began in the undeveloped regions of the world to exploit and control the innocent and vulnerable, a series of interconnected events founded on corporate imperialism that resulted in trillions spent on paramilitary coups to undermine democratically elected governments to satiate the materialist fire of the American elites.

“They’re sleeping between satin sheets.  While huddled masses sleep in streets, tucked in at night, they lay and dream of corporate state theocracy.” – Anti-Flag, “Nothing Recedes Like Progress”

Thus, under the cover of the Communist threat during the Cold War era, the US was able to propagate its materialist nature throughout its hegemony of the Americas.  One of the most prominent examples of US intervention for the purpose of corporate interests is that of Guatemala in 1954.  President Arbenz was democratically elected by the people in 1950 and had pledged to enforce a form of ‘spiritual socialism’, in which the land would be redistributed to the people.  The concept of socialism and redistribution is oft adhered to as a taboo, considered tell-tale signs of Marxist leaning and yet, Arbenz was merely trying to balance the economic system of his country.  72% of Guatemalan land was owned by only 2% of the people, most of whom were investors of the US Fruit Company.  Offering to pay the value of the land back to its owners, Arbenz started his redistribution process, which angered many American officials invested in the US Fruit Company.  Among these investors were Henry Cabot Lodge (Republican Senator), Allen Dulles (CIA Head) and John Foster Dulles (Secretary of State).  With such prominent US officials oiling the wheels, the US marched forth to protect the interest of business abroad.  With the backing of the CIA, General Armas was able to oust Arbenz through a military coup and return the land, and more, to the US Fruit Company.  All is well that ends well for the US government, as its special interest groups were appeased by its blatant disregard for the sovereignty of the foreign government, as well as the installation of a regime that was later responsible for oppression and disparity, intrinsic to its militaristic nature.

“You live and breathe, sleep and drink, beg and plead.  Blind, diseased, no water can wash the blood off your hands.” – Anti-Flag, “On Independence Day”

With contracts signed and bonds forged, the corporations secure their hold on the national defense department, luring in the CIA, FBI and all available national security assets with the promise of blood money, corrupt investment, foreign suppression and no penalty at the home-front.  Consciences left at the door, the tinkerers of the corporate syndicate slave away, paving the pathway for yet another coup d’etat under false-pretenses to ensure that the elites of the American industry never deplete their resources of foreign enslavement.  In Chile in 1970, the International Telephone and Telegraph Company and Pepsi Cola were challenged by the plurality election of Allende to Presidency.  The peoples’ leader, Allende pledged to return Chile to the its people and yet such a nationalistic diction, oft heard at rallies in America, were unwelcome to the American businessman.  As the record spins the historical record of endless repetitions, the puppeteers carried away their CIA operatives on strings sewn from the minerals raped from the soil of Chile and undermined the government of Allende, fomenting a military coup that led directly to the regime of General Pinochet.  As with all military dictators, General Pinochet demonstrated his redeeming qualities by fiscally and politically suppressing the country, as well-being responsible for countless human rights violations throughout the years of his regime in which thousands disappeared, all of which was directly result of CIA operations.

“You won’t kiss the American flag?  Well by God we’ll make you.  We’ll ram it down your throat.  Sing the Star Spangled Banner with feeling.” –  Anti-Flag, “Tar and Sagebrush”

Killing for corporations and for self-gain, the American system has founded its plutocracy on the death of the liberties and rights of the peoples in its neighboring countries, extorting resources and peoples for the sadistic pleasure of CEOs and Fortune 500s.  The trust and civility of the nation grows taut when corporate influence is even slightly jeopardized, as seen in Panama and Grenada.  In Panama, the US would hardly stand-by and watch as its profit from the Panama Canal was jeopardized by a popularly supported leader that sought to redistribute wealth through the implementation of tariffs on the Canal.  Commander Torrijos, the first leader to represent the true Panamanian majority, was supported by the US corporations as they led him by nose to ratify and pass treaties that ensured US trade through the Canal, as well as their right to intervene in the country if the neutrality of the Canal was in question.  Such ambiguity, a key to the success of the loophole finding businessman, allowed for US military intervention in 1989 to secure their holdings in Panama and ensure the mutual understanding that the US was the true power in the region, despite the promises of sovereignty.  The corrupt nature of the relationship was climatically demonstrated by the mysterious crash of Torrijos’ plane in the late 80s, later shown to be a bilateral operation between Noriega, on the CIA payroll, and other CIA operatives.  Coupled together with the US-involved plane crash of Ecuadorian president Jaime Roldos Aguilera in 1981, the morality of the government is best seen by its utter lack of regard for neighboring countries.   Not so dire a circumstance as the “accidental” deaths of the two presidents, the Haitian president Aristide was confronted with threats of military force and execution under CIA operation’Uphold Democracy’, in which the US ousted the democratically elected president, supported by 67% of the people.  Once again, through military means and the transition to a military regime afterwards, the US secured their capitalist interests in its typical imperialistic fashion.  With political accountability waylaid by dismissive and disinterested constituents, all of whom have been lulled into submission by the endless stream of corporate goods produced at the cost of foreign imperialism, American foreign policy has been unrelentingly decayed by corporate privatization of democracy.

“And I can list them like a cliché in a 60s folk song.  Bring me your sick and your poor and your huddles masses yearning, yeah.  But today instead of handing out invitations, maybe the liberty drops holy thing on other nations.  Capitalist hogs feeding from the trough.  When the pig get too fat, then the pig’s time is up.” – Anti-Flag, “What do You Think About Western Civilization”

In retrospect, with such an evident illustration of this new form of corporate nationalism, resembling an evolved form of totalitarianism, the dictatorial nature of the American bureaucracy becomes a little bit clearer to the conveyor belt society that has been addled by subliminal messaging and corporate truths that are to be held as self-evident.  Without impediment,  special interest groups have wielded unrelenting influence on the House, Senate, and diplomatic floors, creating a regime for their own and all the benefits – tax cuts, policies and rewards – flow in one direction: up.  The words of freedom, democracy and equality ring hollow in oil refineries, textiles and hollowed out mines of the underdeveloped regions of the Americas, as the ranks of the laborers return to a regime installed and supported by US corporations, US military and US finances.

Religion: Judaism and Violence

Unlike other ancient Near Eastern religions, Judaism introduced the Hebrew God as unitary and solitary, thus juxtaposing a new era of monotheistic against the polytheistic religions, as well as introducing scriptures and religious texts rationalizing laws of siege, wars of extermination, and Zionist assassinations.

The Chosen People Have Existed on the Ashes of Past Empires

Judaism is a monotheistic religion, claiming a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years.  It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, and the oldest one to survive into the present day; having faced ethnic, religious and cultural wars throughout its history.  Many suggest that its survival can be attributed to its violent nature and willingness to use violent means to eradicate enemies.  As with other major religions, the rationalization of violence is associated with the doctrines and texts.  Judaism is no exception, in that the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament hold repeated references and descriptions of the power and glory of Israel’s God in languages of violence.  The scriptures contain thousands of passages referring to Yahweh as acting violently or supporting the violence of humans and more than 100 passages involve divine commands to kill humans.  Since its beginning efforts to propagate and expand its religious beliefs, Judaic violence has been concentrated on nationhood and its inherent need to seek international recognition.  The existence of Israel among numerous volatile neighboring countries of Islamist origin, only begins to describe the animosity that exists in the tense region.

“Jews and Christian who smugly console themselves that Islam is the only violent religion are willfully ignoring their past.  Nowhere is the struggle between faith and violence described more vividly, and with more stomach-turning details of ruthlessness, than in the Hebrew Bible.” – Bruce Feiler, American Author

Much violence in Judaism stems from the belief that violence is condoned in the form of human sacrificed, violence against other religions or unbelievers, and the most common perception of the Jewish struggle for nationhood.  Followers of the Abraham religions believe that God accepts human sacrifice when he asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  When Moses gathered the Semetic tribes together, it was their religious instructions to wage war against the people who were living in what is now called Palestine, kill them all and take their land, because they were not believers in the Hebrew God.  According to the commandment of Milkhemet Mitzvah, war refers to a war during the times of the Bible when a king would go to war in order to fulfill something based on, and required by, the Torah.  In this sense, the text limits violence to defensive tactics, as anything non-defensive needs prior approval by a High Priest.  Nevertheless, as ambiguous a statement as ‘Interest of National Security’, religious perspective of ‘Defensive Violence’ has been extremely flexible.  The Tanakh contains commandment that require the Israelites to exterminate 7 Canaanite nations, and describes several wars of extermination that annihilated entire cities and groups of peoples.  Several scholars have characterized the exterminations as a genocide, supported by the Judaic scriptures that ordered Israelite not to leave anything that breathed alive.  Among the rationalizations for the extreme violence is a passage that suggests that if Judaic followers were to not strike out against the Canaanite nation, they would sin against their own Hebrew God.  Evidently, the threat of sinning against their own God rationalized a supposed preemptive genocide against 7 tribes of peoples.

“It is the law to kill anyone who denies the Torah.  The Christians belong to the denying ones of the Torah.” – Coschen hamischpat 435 Hagah 425. 5

Coupled together with the commandment to exterminate the Amalekites, there does exist a correlation between such violent attitudes and the modern era. The commandment to exterminate the Amalekites was given under the premise that if they were to rescind on their duty to pay a tax to the Jewish Kingdom, the Jewish army would be obligated in killing all the Amalekites, including women and children.  Mush of this animosity from Jewish fundamentalism is considered to be the source for much antagonism between Judaism and other cultures.  The divide between Palestine and Israelis is seen as a perpetuation of the extermination wars, as many suggest the Palestinians are like the Canaanites or Amalekites, vindication an inferred duty to make merciless war against Arabs who reject Jewish sovereignty.  This brewing conflict between Judaism and Islam, most evidently embodied by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has widespread effect throughout the Middle East and exists throughout the past of the Judaic religion.  Zionists believe that they can hasten the coming of the Messiah by seeking to establish the state of Israel by the violent Mosaic method.  According to their religious prophecy, the Messiah would arrive in Jerusalem; therefore, the reason for the eternal conflict between the Jews and Arabs is evident.  This division of the two is demonstrated by Abraham’s banishment and disinheritance of Ishmael, progenitor of the Arabs, and the appointment of Isaac, progenitor of the Jews.

“This is a message to all leaders of the Jewish people not to be compassionate with those who shoot [rockets] at civilians in their houses. If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000.  And if they don’t stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000.  If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000.  Even a million.  Whatever it takes to make them stop.” – Shmuel Eliyahu, chief rabbi of Safed

The battle for sovereignty, the general statement of recognized nationhood by all neighbors, has brought the Jewish nation of Israel into multiple climatic battles with the Islamic world.  Despite the political and military implication for the wars, there does exist a strong theological justification for violence, used by Israel and Palestine, against each other; as in both their religions, the religion and nationhood are inexplicably linked to the land.  The combination of Religion, People and Land equals the horizontal legitimacy necessary for a nation to exist.  Because they are different religions, different people and different nations fighting for the same land, the inherent violence conflict cannot be circumvented.  The rivalry between to two religions is demonstrated by the 4 wars waged against Israel: 1948 War of Independence, 1956 Sinai War, 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  Much of the antagonizing and fault is laid to blame on Islam, and will evaluated in a following post on Islam to be later published, but the general religious volatility of the region between the Jews and Arabs is the rot for such bloody and ruthless violence, thus giving credibility to the general thesis that there exists an intrinsic relationship between religion and violence.

“All the nasty people who hate on Israel, like Abu Mazen [Abbas], vanish from our world… May God strike them down with the plague along with all the nasty Palestinians who persecute Israel.” – Ovadia Yosef, former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel

The influence of religion on radical sects and individuals is open to interpretation, but the manipulation of religious message has been utilized by many as justification for slaughter and murder, but leaving the perpetrators with a clean conscience.  Many Zionist leaders rely on religious doctrines for justification for the violent treatment of Arabs in Palestine, citing examples where pre-state Jewish militia used verses from the Bible to justify their violent acts, which included explusions and massacres such as the one at Deir Yassin.  Moreover, the teaching of Rabbi Meir Kahani were essentially a call for the killing of anti-Semetics, and were justified such deeds with Jewish theology, historical precedents and biblical examples.  It was his teaching that inspired Dr. Baruch Goldstein to slaughter 30 Palestinians and injuring scores more while they were praying at the tomb of Patriarchs in 1994.  Even the assassination of Prime Minister Rabid was seen as a sacred act in destroying someone, even their own leader, who committed a supposed heretical act in that he surrendered biblical lands to the Arabs.  The assassination was carried out by Yigal Amir, who was motivated by his political views and his understanding of Judaism’s religious law of moiser (the duty to eliminate a Jew who intends to turn another Jew into a non-Jewish authority, thus putting a Jews’s life in danger) and rodef (a bystander can kill one who is pursuing to murder him or her if he cannot otherwise be stopped).

“So Joshua smote all the land, the hill-country, and the South, and the Lowland, and the slopes, and all of their kings; he left none remaining; but he utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded.” – Joshua 10:28-42

In retrospect, Judaism has been a source of major bloodshed and prejudicial violence, mimicking many other major religions in their conquest to be the dominant monotheistic religion.  The violence between Islam and Judaism is forefront in public media because of its climatic perpetuation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as the growing nuclear threat of Iran.  Nevertheless, it’s the religious scriptures about Abraham, the common denominator of both religions, that has somehow set these religions apart.  Furthermore, its is scripture and justified violence that has allowed many individuals to abuse the delusions of others and manipulate them into actions of unjust nature that only increase the severity of the growing divide between Jews and Arabs, as well as illustrating the overall stubbornness of religious sects.  It is the concept of holy lands and holy peoples, which have been forgotten individually except for biased interpretative scriptures, that has driven religions into ceaseless war.  Judaism has beliefs in human sacrifice for the coming of their peaceful God, yet the contradiction seems inherent in that a peaceful God is summoned by the murder of thousands of innocents.  Nonetheless, if the religious scriptures say so, then it must be true; because there can clearly be no other way except for that of the Hebrew Bible and its Chosen People.

Religion: Christianity and Violence

As of the early 21st Century, Christianity has approximately 2.2 billion adherent, representing about a quarter to a third of the world’s population and is the world’s largest religion; thus, based on the premise presented in the previous blog, Christianity can be considered one of the largest sources for justifying violence.

Christianity's Compassion, Love and Acceptance are Contradicted by Years of Violence and Death

Though there are many differences of interpretation and opinion of the Bible on which Christianity is based, resulting in multiple divides in Christian faith into sub divisional religions, the set core of beliefs and ethics of this major religion has sparked and/or contributed to the outbreak of violence.  So saying, the foundation of many of its subset religions, such as Protestantism has come at the cost of millions of lives.  The division was more recently portrayed in the civil war in Northern Ireland, in which Scottish and Welsh Protestants were arriving in a predominantly Catholic country.  Christianity is a religion in which historical reflection will portray internal division and war that has cost the lives of millions of individuals due to divergent interpretation of a book that speaks of necessary violence and sacrifice.  Moreover, these bitter divisions have no real claim of vindication once taken into consideration the fact that all Christian faiths share the same set of core values; thus illustrating the reality that millions of lives were lost because of a deluded disagreement between like-minded individuals.  This division is only brought about by religion and its blinded followers.  Christianity, despite its supposed premise of compassion and acceptance, is widely considered the bloodiest faith and has the most turbulent influence on civilizations throughout historical recordings.

“Among the intellectual elite in the Western cultural milieu the contemporary coupling of religion and violence feeds most decisively on the memories of the wars that plagued Europe from the 1560s to the 1650s, in which religion was the burning motivation, the one that inspired fanatical devotion and the most vicious hatred.” – Miroslav Volf, Professor of Theology at Yale University

The relationship of Christianity and violence is the subject of controversy because on view is that Christianity advocates peace, love and compassion while it is also viewed as a violent religion.  Throughout history, certain teachings from the Old Testament, the New Testament and Christian theology have been used to justify the use of force against conceived notions of heretics, sinners and external enemies.  The need for justification is surely an example of the falsehoods represented by religion.  This justification leads to a supposed clean conscience in which followers are eased into a false sense of complacency, believing that their use of violence to kill, cheat and steal are justified under the word of god.  This belief has morphed into the just war theory, a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin which holds that a violent conflict should meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.  This sense of right and wrong is weaved around a fallible religion that justified the violence during the Inquisitions, Crusades, wars of religion and Antisemitism.  To this list, cannot be forgotten the warrior pops, support for capital punishment, corporal punishment under the guise of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’, justification of slavery, world-wide colonialism in the name of conversion to Christianity, the systemic violence of women subjected to men.

“The bible is easily one of the most violent religious books in existence.  Blow for blow it outshines even Islam in sheer brutality and in the advocation of race based on mass genocide.” – Bhagwad Jal Park, Journalist  

The root of violence in religion also includes a correlation between nationalistic violence and nationalistic conquest.  In Ireland, although nationalism appears to be the motive behind the Catholic-Protestant conflict, at the heart of the problem exists a religious dispute that was sparked a year previous by the British encouragement of Protestants from Scotland and England to settle in the Catholic dominated Northern Irish counties.  The result was tension between two peoples of different religious labels.  Moreover, most of the activists of the IRA are strong members of the Catholic Church, whole those that oppose vociferously are Protestant ministers.  Religion provided the resources for the violence, as well as the moral justification by allowing activists to believe that nationalism and religion are intrinsically related, and fighting for one was also fighting for another.  This form of religious violence, that based on competition, can organize broader social boundaries and thus crystallize nationalist conflicts.  In the West alone, evidence is apparent in the factions among the 5th Century Christian that sought to prevent opponents from venturing out of their monastic domains, skirmished among rival Protestant groups during the English civil war, and Protestant violence towards Catholics in the 19th century US.  So saying, the above examples clearly establish the internal animosity between the different sects of Christianity, a bitter division that led to the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572 and costing almost 30,000 lives of French Huguenots.

“Religion can become a tool of conquest, both through cultural hegemony, and more materially, by settling and organizing populations in colonized territory.  Even if religion is not directly involved in the exercise of violence to secure and control territory, to the degree that it sacralizes a political regime, it lends legitimacy to that regime and thus functionally support the regime violence.” – Michele Dilon, Handbook of the Sociology of Religion

The use of religion as a justification for violence, as tool for competition and conquest is prevalent throughout the ages, serving to scapegoat the minority and manipulate the masses towards an end presumably for the greater good of the religion.  The Crusades was a stark example of Christianity’s apparent role in colonization, the abuse of foreign peoples and lands for the benefit of those opportunists able to rise through the religious bureaucracy.  St. Bernard de Clairvaux promoted a fusion between military organization and religious order during the Crusades, arguing that a member of a crusading order serves his own interest in dying and Christ’s interest in killing.  So saying, the Crusades and especially the Iberian reconquista provided the original template for subsequent European colonization.  Roman Catholicism sanctions state violence, evident with the papal bulls that authorized Henry the Navigator to enslave peoples he encountered on his voyages to convert and combat the supposed infidel.  This pattern of conquest continued throughout the Americas and soon religion became a subordinate partner for purposes of moral justification.  In the spread of Portuguese and Spanish empires to the Americas, violence was the prerogative of this expansionary state, and conquest was first and foremost a military achievement.

“Curse the unbelievers, don’t let them live any longer, the evil-doers who turn away from God.  For a godless man has no right to live if he hinders the godly.  The sword is necessary to exterminate them if they resist, the ungodly have no right to live, save what the Elect choose to allow them.  Now, go at them…it is time..the scoundrels are as dispirited as dogs.  Take no notice of the lamentations of the godless!  They will beg you, don’t be moved by pity.  At them!  At them!”- Thomas Muentzer

To illustrate the statistics related to killings in the name of Christianity, this paragraph will pool together the event and casualties.  The Crusades, mainly from 1095-1272, killed more than 1 million innocent men, women and children, none of which were involved in combat.  In 1209, Pope Innocent III called for a crusade to exterminate the Cathar people of France, mainly because they had different superstitious beliefs than his own.  Estimated suggest that 200,000 women and children were butchered.  During the Inquisition, another 350,000 were approximated to have been killed.  During the witch-hunt, some estimated are as high as 1 million innocents, though some are range it around 100,000.  The witch-hunts were perhaps Christianity’s worst crime, considering the ludicrous notions in which these individuals were accused of and then killed for.  During the colonization of North and South America, 14 million natives were estimated to have been killed.  Coupled with the slave trade that claimed the lives of an additional 17 million Africans, the bible’s words seem to have been christened in the blood of its victims.

“The Church started killing unbelievers as early as the 4th Century.  The killing (often with torture) of heretics, church splinter groups, dissenters, atheists, agnostics, deists, pagans, infidels and unbelievers was supported by almost all mainstream Christian theology for over a thousand years, starting with the intolerant St. Augustine.” – Mark Humphry

In conjunction, the Christian faith has been plagued with internal divisions since its establishment, which goes to argue that if the religion cannot make peace with followers of a like-minded set of core beliefs then there is no hope of its compassion to religions such as Judaism and Islam.  The development of antisemitism arose from the Christian faith, the first depiction of such discriminatory violence was taken by Pope Innocent III who believed that rampant disease and epidemics in medieval Christianity were caused maliciously by Jews, resulting in the burning of Jewish men, women and children.  The later reformations represented by Martin Luther and John Calvin did not present the Jews with any relief, as both men were staunch anti-Semites.   The thousand years of killing and prosecuting Jews did reach a climax, the rise in Christian led antisemitism led to the Holocaust.  In the mid-20th Century the Roman Catholic church had a fundamental dislike of democracy and religious freedom, and was searching for an alternative.  After coming to power in 1933, Hitler’s first foreign treaty of all was with Pope Pius VII in 1933, granting Hitler’s new regime international credibility and recognition.  Hitler was baptized a Catholic and attended Catholic schools and churches in Austria.  Hitler repeatedly wrote and said that he was on a divine mission from God to destroy the Jews.  Moreover, during the series of invasions that marked the beginning years of World War II, the Catholic Church did support Hitler’s fight against Jewish Bolshevism and remained separate from state actions during the genocide of Jews at the concentration camps, aware of the atrocities.

“My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter.  It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by only a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they are and summoned men to fight against them and who was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.  How terrific was the fight for the world against the Jewish poison.” – Adolf Hitler

The embroiled conflict between the Middle East and Christianity is evident to even the most arrogant and deluded person, considering the sequence of events succeeding the Crusades.  Coupled together with Western imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa for purposes of exploitation and power all sanctified under interpretations of religious scriptures, the animosity between religious is evident.  Rather than focusing solely on past examples, events beginning after World War II and on have supplied numerous examples of Christian violence.  In Turkey, the country has been divided ethnically since its foundation after World War I, leaving a nation torn into regions by religious strife.  The new Egypt has come under siege of religious conflict between the Coptic sect of Christianity and the predominantly Islamist majority of the nation.  Moreover, British and US intervention in Iran before its transition under the Iranian Revolution and Hostage Crisis was source of major strife and tension because of Christian influence entering a Islamic nation.  Lastly, animosity between the two religions was seen during the heightened controversy after a Florida pastor threatened to burn the Qur’an; which was later escalated by the burning of numerous copies of the holy book by American soldiers.

Religion: History of Violence

Religion represents one of the oldest institutions that govern social and personal behavior and yet, the history of religion is a history a violence to the extent that a correlation exists between years of wars and countless lost lives in the name of a deluded sense of religious righteousness.

The History of Religion is that of Violence

 

All major religions, Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism are tainted with violence, vindicating the generalization that violence can be said to be inherent to religion.  Historical reflection will attest that religion and violence are woven together in the tapestry of historical conflict.  Numerous religions have justified violence under certain circumstances, and many more have become caught up in its processes.  Zoroastrianism transformed earlier combat myths into a theology of eternal apocalyptic struggle between god and evil, and ancient Judaism forged a confederation under conditions of war.  Early Christianity had its martyrs, the Medieval Roman Church, its Crusades and Inquisition.  Islam holds within a close association between rulership and religion which, coupled together with the principled of jihad as a vessel of reformation, infuse politics with enduring potential for violence.  Throughout human history, people have killed and been killed in the name of their gods.  Ironically enough, this idealist entity of supreme power and knowledge is intended to serve to strengthen the bonds of solidarity among those who worship the same god.  Nevertheless, this solidarity breeds enmity towards those who worship other gods or worship the same god differently. “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” – Blaise Pascal, French Philosopher The scriptures of the numerous religious beliefs have served as catalyst for numerous occasions of bloody conflict, as well as existing as an umbrella justification for any potential feuds or divisions that are in need of willing sacrifices from the ignorant masses.  Religion provides rules for social order and government, and those who fail to follow these principles must pay penance or penalty, or else the whole of society, could be visited with disaster.  4 of the first 5 books of the Bible are descriptive of the penalties for not following its rules.  The Old Testament presents God as a virtual punisher for the slightest deviation from his laws.  Pharaoh’s Egypt was visited with 7 plagues for refusing to free the chosen people.  1 of the 10 Commandment speaks of punishment even unto the thirds and fourth generations.  Modern interpretation have not demonstrated peace or acceptance either, as the New Testament speaks of the death of Annias and his wide Sapphira for not disclosing and surrendering to the church the entire sum of money that they had sold their house for.

“Time and time again, we see leaders and members of religions incite aggression, fanaticism, hate and xenophobia – even inspire and legitimize violence and bloody conflict.” – The Declaration of a Global Ethic

Though the diction of the scriptures have vindicated years of violence, as well as illustrating a vengeful and violence god, interpretation and ambition have resulted in religious violence.   Most religions teach that those who have been called, ordained or anointed can also carry out punishment on behalf of god.  This concept of sacrifice, persecution, punishment, and holy war has led to many people believing in their status as the hand/tool of god for such acts of violence.  Yigal Amir, the man responsible for the assassination of the Israeli prime minister, stated that his orders had come from God.  Christian Identity is an organization that believes in full and unrelenting state of war against the US government, illustrated by Kerry Noble who bombed abortion clinics in the name of god.  The teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahani were essentially a direct call for the killing of anti-Semetics, justifying such deeds with Jewish theology, historical precedent and Biblical examples.  It was his teaching that inspired Dr. Baruch Goldstein to slaughter 30 Palestinians and injuring scores more while they were praying at the tomb of Patriarchs in 1994.  The violence and acts of terrorism in Northern Ireland during the revolution were justified to oppose and fight any influence of Protestantism, represented by the British.  Evidently, religion has been a source of righteous justification for the cruelest and unethical actions throughout human history, an unwavering source of fuel for slaughter for any opportunist.

“Once started, religious stride has a tendency to go on and on – to become permanent feuds.  Today we see such intractable inter-religious wars in Northern Ireland, between Jews and Muslims and Christians in Palestine, Hindus and Muslims in South Asia and in many other places.” – Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Prime Minister of Malaysia

Religion is the best illustration of the problem with rigid perspective, of unwavering reference points that are picked and chosen by a biased Selectorate.  Religious boundaries separate the supposedly pure and virtuous “us” from the impure and evil “them”.  The people construct religious texts to only include things that they believe to be divine and true, a justification and reinterpretation for the evil and corruption that lay within.  Religion has been used as a tool for manipulation of the people, a tool for the state and church to mold as fuel for the masses.  So saying, religion has serve as a catalyst, a source of motivation, for the benefit of a sect of society that stands casually by as observers of a conflict fueled by blinded belief in a theoretical concept of nothingness.  The evidence of blinded belief is undeniable, as the growth of cults and fanaticism has correlated to demonstrations public violence and mass suicide.  The unwavering stance of religious figures and their believers, though strong in cults, is most eminent in the 30 Years War, the Spanish Inquisitions, and the Crusades.  Besides Western examples, the long divide of the Middle East has perpetuated throughout recorded history, forcing regions into archaic structures of society and no concept of freedom or modernization. Countries within the Middle East have never truly been united, always embroiled in some regional war brought upon by religious animosity most evident in the general Arab-Muslim division.  Moreover, the correlation between violence and religion is further illustrated by the evidence in Central/Northern Europe.  The Scandinavian countries in Northern Europe have been attested at the most democratic and peaceful nations on the world, as well as being home to the largest atheist population in the world.

“As can be seen, therefore, perpetrators of violence must necessarily demonize or discredit their victims to clear their conscience and justify their actions on altruistic or religious grounds.” – David G. Sukhedo

In retrospect, each religion is beholden to its own series of unethical and unjust sources of conflict and wars, resulting in millions of deaths throughout recorded human history.  With a history of interpretation, revision, and translation, religion has been an opium for the masses to flock to in times of need.  A source, a reference, an outlet to which the people are indoctrinated into an unfounded belief in the righteousness of their actions, their scriptures and their interpretation, while criticizing the impurity of religion founded on a parallel series of beliefs in a mosiah and a god.