Mar 31, 2010

Language, languages, and titles

Mullah Omar, head of the Taliban in Afghanistan, is usually referred to, in his own country, as ameer al mo’mineen, Commander of the Faithful, or commander of believers. (His strict orders to all Taliban never in any circumstances to cause explosions that harm civilians, but always to target only and exclusively foreign occupying troops, leave open the question as to who exactly is responsible for the civilian massacres.)

The title “Ameer” for a commander was brought back by the crusaders from the Holy Land, and has produced large numbers of English versions. The Arabic phrase they are drawing on is “Ameer al bahr” – sea leader. Eighteenth century scholars had as much trouble with it as twentieth century scholars had with “Semitic” and decided that the word lacked a letter “d," relying on their background in Latin, and produced the word “admiral” as an equivalent (retaining the “al,” you notice, describing commander of who or what) which survives in First Lord of the Admiralty, Admiralty Arch in London, and many other titles.

When he became president of Indonesia and visited the White house in Washington, Abdurahman Wahid (popularly known at home as “Gus Dur,” Gus meaning roughly elder brother and Dur being short for Abdurahman) was invariably referred to in the US press as a “half blind Moslem cleric.” It is quite true that he was a cleric; if we translated his exact position into western terms, you might say that he was an ordained priest (to translate his position into Roman Catholic terms) who was the head of a ruling council of Catholic boarding schools. It is also true that he had problems with his eyesight. Neither of these really had much to do with the fact that he visited the US officially as the president of the country with the largest number of Moslems in it of any country on earth, and the problem was that the country of which he was president guaranteed in its constitution the right of all Indonesians to switch from any religion (including Islam) to any other religion as many times as they wished, which many Indonesians do, often to marry someone of the religion being switched to. To have admitted that would have caused enormous problems with the view of Islam as a demonic cult that the corporations favored, and destroyed, for example, the Christopher Hitchens assertion that no Moslem could ever escape from the iron bonds of Islam under pain of death. (“We can’t have our experts demolished like that! Call him a half blind Moslem cleric.”)

An inexperienced observer transported to an Arab country would find it impossible to tell Arab Christians from Arab Moslems – same appearance, same lifestyle, same attitudes, same food, same clothing, same everything. Mr. Eric Prince, the private owner of Blackwater, has an army, navy, and air force larger than those of most countries in the world, and is an open proponent of slaughtering the world’s Moslems as fast and efficiently as possible. Blackwater is the mercenary organization backed by the full force of the US government, which continues to give it favored treatment, many non-compete contracts, partnership with CIA “black” operations, and direct influence with their leading generals in Afghanistan and Iraq. Blackwater has more troops than the uniformed US military in countries occupied by the US.

This dovetails neatly with the subtext visible in all western “thinkers,” that overpopulation is the world’s main problem and that therefore all reductions in it are to be welcomed, (ignoring, for example, the vast unpopulated stretches of Russia, covering much of Europe and Asia) and does not stand in the way of the declared policy of having resources situated in thinly populated areas, making them easier targets for military takeover.

The objections of other countries to having their populations, Moslem and Christian alike, Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu, and Zoroastrian, slaughtered in pursuit of these objectives are regarded as unsporting, and are universally ignored.

It explains, however, why Osama bin Laden was awarded the title Saif’ullah (the sword of God) by the Pakistani Ulema Council, the top organization of Moslem scholars. Illogical, unreasonable, and unsporting it may be, but the objection to being slaughtered is paramount.

Mar 21, 2010

Policing Afghanistan

Policing Afghanistan - How Afghan Police Training Became a Train Wreck
By Pratap Chatterjee

The Pentagon faces a tough choice: Should it award a new contract to Xe (formerly Blackwater), a company made infamous when its employees killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007, or to DynCorp, a company made infamous in Bosnia in 1999 when some of its employees were caught trafficking young girls for sex?

This billion-dollar contract will be the linchpin of a training program for the Afghan National Police, who are theoretically to be drilled in counterinsurgency tactics that will help defeat the Taliban and bring security to impoverished, war-torn Afghanistan. The program is also considered a crucial component of the Obama administration’s plan for turning the war around. Ironically, Xe was poised to win the contract until a successful appeal by DynCorp last week threw the field wide open.

Some people in the U.S. government (and many outside it) believe that this task should not be assigned to private contractors in the first place. Meanwhile, many police experts are certain that it hardly matters which company gets the contract. Like so many before it, the latest training program is doomed from the outset, they believe, because its focus will be on defeating the Taliban rather than fostering community-oriented policing.

The Obama administration is in a fix: it believes that, if it can’t put at least 100,000 trained police officers on Afghan streets and into the scattered hamlets that make up the bulk of the country, it won’t be able to begin a drawdown of U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan by the middle of next year.

"The Obama administration's strategy for the Afghan police is to increase numbers, enlarge the ‘train and equip’ program, and engage the police in the fight against the Taliban," says Robert Perito, an expert on police training at the United States Institute of Peace and the author of a new book, The Police in War. "This approach has not worked in the past, and doing more of the same will not achieve success."

When it comes to police training, the use of private contractors is not unusual -- and neither is failure. North Carolina-based Xe has, in fact, been training the Afghan border police for more than two years, and Virginia-based DynCorp has been doing the same for the Afghan uniformed police for more than seven years now. Nonetheless, the mismanagement of the $7 billion spent on police training over the last eight years, partly attributed to lax U.S. State Department oversight, has left the country of 33 million people with a strikingly ineffective and remarkably corrupt police force. Its terrible habits and reputation have led the inhabitants of many Afghan communities to turn to the Taliban for security.

Of the training programs run by the NATO Training Mission out of Camp Eggers in Kabul, the Afghan capital, only DynCorp’s component is even fully staffed. The company supplies 782 former American police officers to dozens of training centers and military bases scattered around the country to work with the U.S. military and with European Union police mentors. Altogether there are supposed to be 4,000 of these trainers, but NATO estimates that it has only half of the staffers it needs.

In a desperate attempt to offset this shortage of trainers, Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar has proposed the dispatching of 3,000 police officers annually to Jordan and Turkey for nine months of instruction abroad.

Too-Fast-Track Training

In May 2009, I visited several training sites for the Afghan security forces in and around Kabul. Major Joey Schneider of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan escorted me around a recruitment center at the Kabul Central Police Command. There, dozens of raw recruits from Afghan villages were being tested for ever-present drugs before induction into a fast-track program to double the 5,000 police officers in Kabul before the August elections.

"After three weeks in the Kabul Security Acceleration Program, these men will get a badge, uniform, and gun and be sent out to patrol," Schneider explained. Asked if that was really sufficient, he assured me that the new police officers would be given an additional five weeks of intensive post-election training by DynCorp contractors and international military mentors.

Three months later, a report for the European Commission written by Scott Chilton and Tim Bremmers, two police experts, in collaboration with Eckart Schiewek, a senior United Nations official, concluded that this approach was a disaster-in-the-making. It was, they claimed, causing an "absolute irresponsible downgrading" of the police force. "Our view is that the spiraling increase in police deaths and wounding will further increase with quick-fix recruiting, poor training, and equipping."

Absurd as it may sound, this program is considered better conceived than many of the older training programs the Afghan government launched with U.S. funding. For example, a 2006 attempt to induct 11,000 villagers into a new organization dubbed the Afghan National Auxiliary Police -- with only 10 days of training from DynCorp and international military mentors -- was a complete and abysmal failure. One-third of the trainees in certain southern provinces, given a gun and a uniform, were never seen again. Two years later, in September 2008, the project was terminated.

A 2008 report by the well-respected International Crisis Group pointed out that such rapid-induction programs had the perverse effect of actually lowering the average literacy rate and effectiveness of the Afghan police force -- and that’s without even considering the security problems created by those drop-outs with guns.

Eight Years of Failures

Until recently, Afghanistan has never really had a national police force, though before the Soviet invasion of 1979 there was a conscription system that produced rank-and-file cops working under a trained officer corps. In 2002, in the wake of the Taliban's defeat, the Germans set up a police academy in Kabul that offered a five-year training program aimed at bringing back the officer corps. In 2003, the U.S. awarded a small contract to DynCorp to run a train-the-trainers program in Kabul, based on prior work it had done in Haiti and the former Yugoslavia.

Yet no one spent much time worrying about beat-cop training, least of all the Bush administration, which was already immersed in planning the invasion of Iraq and preferred to operate in Afghanistan with what it liked to call a "light footprint."

By 2005, security in Kabul was deteriorating sharply. At the same time, the spectacular failure of the U.S. effort to create a brand new police force in Iraq had helped spark a bloody, devastating civil war in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. Somewhere in this period, Bush administration officials started to wake up to the possibility that Afghanistan might be heading in the same direction. A series of new contracts were then issued to DynCorp by the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs -- $1.6 billion in training work scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009. (The contracts have since been extended to June 2010.)

State Department planners seem to have taken an inordinately long time to wake up to the basic problems that Afghanistan faced in creating a viable police force. With salaries pegged at $16 a month for a beat cop in 2002, the police were particularly vulnerable to corruption in the form of extorted bribes, and to the Taliban who offered much higher wages to their fighters. Making the situation worse, the force was remarkably top-heavy. More than 20,000 officers and non-commissioned officers oversaw only 36,000 patrolmen. It was regularly alleged that they made their beat cops shake down citizens for bribes. In fact, a 2007 study by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan that reviewed the records of 2,464 police officers found claims of drug trafficking, corruption, or assaults against more than one-third of them.

"There are some parts of Afghanistan where the last thing people want to see is the police showing up," Brigadier General Gary O'Brien, former deputy commander of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, told the Canadian Press news agency in March 2007. "They are part of the problem. They do not provide security for the people -- they are the robbers of the people."

Salaries are not the only budget shortfall. Afghanistan simply has no money to pay for equipment like guns and police vehicles, or even to build police stations. Instead, for the last eight years the Afghan police have received hundreds of millions of dollars worth of donated weapons and other equipment, much of which turned out to be broken or incompatible with the equipment the force already had. Typical was a batch of thousands of Czech VZ58 rifles that look like the AK-47s Afghan policemen traditionally carry but require completely different maintenance procedures.

In another glaring example of what a lack of resources has led to, Hazeb Emerging Business, an Afghan company hired to maintain the force’s weapons, used hammers and nails to “repair” grenade launchers, because they had no idea how to fix donated weapons. In perhaps the most widely reported mishap, AEY Inc., based in Florida, and described by the New York Times as “a fledgling company led by a 22-year-old man whose vice president was a licensed masseur,” dispatched to the Afghan security forces 100 million Chinese cartridges, some 40 years old and in “decomposing packaging,” under a $10 million Pentagon contract.

In a country where the official literacy rate is pegged at an optimistic 30% -- some estimates put the rate among police recruits at closer to 5%, or even less -- most of any Western-style training curriculum proves strikingly irrelevant. To make things worse, one in five volunteers for police training is a drug-abuser, a statistic that rises to 60% in southern provinces like Helmand, which produces a significant part of the opium crop for the world’s leading narco-state.

Not surprisingly, then, capability assessments of the Afghan police have been less than encouraging. At a June 2008 discussion at the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Congressman John Tierney summed up findings on the 433 Afghan National Police units of that moment this way: "Zero are fully capable, three percent are capable with coalition support, four percent are only partially capable, 77 percent are not capable at all, and 68 percent are not formed or not reporting."

A new plan was drawn up under which dramatic changes were made, including the raising of police salaries to $180 a month in 2010 (and in high-risk areas up to $240). In addition, increasing numbers of police salaries are now paid directly and electronically to bank accounts or cell phones, which means it’s harder for officers to dip into the meager pay of their underlings.

The officer corps has also been slashed dramatically, thanks to a new requirement that all high-level staff complete a difficult exam. By 2010, the 340 generals had been reduced to 117, the 2,450 colonels to 301, and the 1,824 lieutenant colonels to 467. (Afghan police ranks have military titles.)

Perhaps most significantly, a new, intensive training program called Focused District Development (FDD) was launched in late 2007 under which every police officer in specific districts would be removed en masse for eight weeks of training in another part of the country. In the meantime, the country's elite police unit, the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP), was to temporarily take over local policing duties. When the original force returned, a mentorship team of 14 internationals accompanied them to provide advice and -- at least theoretically -- to root out corruption.

By early 2009, FDD was claiming success. Almost one in five police districts which completed the program was now considered “independently capable.” (Before 2008, that number was zero.) Unfortunately, only one-quarter of the police districts in Afghanistan have completed the FDD program to date and only 5% of the country's police units are considered capable of operating on their own. Even this may be an illusion as an estimated 25% of police recruits quit every year -- and that's not just among the bad performers. The drop-out rate for the 2,500 strong elite ANCOP is an astronomical 65%, making any training efforts a Sisyphean undertaking.

One year after Obama promised to revamp the Afghan police aid effort by sending in more trainers and civilian experts, no one is hailing the results as an outstanding success; few even consider them a half-decent start. "Operationally, the effort is broken. Assets are misdirected, poorly managed and misused,” wrote Robert A. Wehrle, a U.S. advisor to the Afghan Ministry of the Interior, in February 2010 after returning from a 15-month stint in Kabul. “Graft and corruption in the Afghan forces are endemic, and coalition forces unwittingly enable that corruption."

Assigning Blame

Who, then, is responsible for this dismal state of affairs? Many have pointed fingers at the State Department. A joint report from the inspectors general of the Pentagon and the State Department claims that the DynCorp contract was particularly badly managed. "The current [contract does] not provide any specific information regarding what type of training is required or any measurement of acceptability… Additionally, the current contract does not include any measurement of contractor performance."

Indeed, DynCorp’s police trainers, who tend to hail from small American towns, are often remarkably ignorant about life in a war zone. A DynCorp trainer from Texas, who asked not to be named, typically told this reporter about his first encounter with mortars in eastern Afghanistan: "I was mesmerized by what looked like a fireworks display." Angry U.S. soldiers yelled at him to hit the ground.

Naturally, DynCorp disputes this. "[N]either our military nor European National police were formed or trained to teach basic law enforcement skills," Don Ryder, the DynCorp program manager, told the Commission on Wartime Contracting, a congressionally mandated body established to offer an independent assessment of contracting practices in Iraq and Afghanistan. "At DynCorp International we do not build satellites. We do not design aircraft. We do training and mentoring. That is our core competency -- and this competency is represented in the DNA of our 30,000 employees worldwide."

Most experts disagree. "DynCorp and [the] State [Department] had too few people, too few resources, and too little experience building a police force in the midst of an insurgency," Seth Jones, a political scientist with the RAND Corporation who spent most of 2009 traveling with Army Special Forces teams in Afghanistan, told the commission. "While it may be necessary to utilize [private] contractors to help execute some security programs -- including helping U.S. military or other government officials conduct some police training -- contractors should not be the lead entity, as they were from 2003 to 2005."

Not the least of the problem with Dyncorp (or Xe, if it gets the new training contract) is the cost of hiring such contractors to train police. Each expatriate police officer makes a six-figure U.S. salary, at least 50 times more than an Afghan police officer and three times as much as military mentors.

Alternative Police Programs

Mentoring programs “are based on the assumption that international mentors are the more knowledgeable actors, whose job it is to impart their wisdom and expertise to their Afghan junior partners," observed Andrew Wilder, the former director of the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit in Kabul, in his 2007 report on the Afghan police, “Cops or Robbers?” "In reality, however, this is often not the case. The internationals may know much more about the technical aspects of policing in the West, but the Afghans know much more about the culture and politics of policing in Afghanistan."

Wilder proposes a radical solution: to dramatically scale back the plans for an Afghan police force. He notes that the historical role of police in Afghanistan, especially in rural areas, was limited to protecting government buildings. "Most civil disputes and criminal matters, however, were not referred to the police or courts -- which were perceived to be corrupt, costly, and slow to take decisions -- but were resolved using customary law and institutions." Wilder believes any counterinsurgency efforts to fight terrorist attacks should be limited to the Afghan army and possibly a "separate paramilitary force, or gendarmerie."

"A prevalent view, even among some international police, is that Afghanistan is unready for civilian policing and holds that the police must remain a military force while insecurity lasts," writes Tonita Murray, a former director general of the Canadian Police College, who worked as an advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Interior in 2005. "If such a view were to prevail, only military solutions for security sector reform would be considered, and Afghanistan would be caught in a vicious circle of using force against force without employing other approaches to secure stability and peace."

According to Robert Perito, who worked with the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program training police in international peace operations from 1995 to 2001, the U.S. government should rethink its entire approach. It should, he says, pull back from using contractors to run its police-training program, turning instead to a strong U.S. federal workforce that is qualified to undertake police training abroad.

A New Direction?

Earlier this month, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, head of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, admitted that police training has been a train wreck since the toppling of the Taliban almost nine years ago. "We weren't doing it right. The most important thing is to recruit and then train police [before deployment]. It is still beyond my comprehension that we weren't doing that."

The realization that giving illiterate, drug-prone young men a uniform, badge, and gun (as well as very little money and no training) was a recipe for corruption and disaster is certainly a first step. But how to withdraw the 95% of the Afghan police force that is still incapable of basic policing for months of desperately needed training in a country with no prior history of such things? That turns out to be a conundrum, even for President Obama.

On March 12th, the president devoted much of the monthly video conference call between his Washington national security team and his senior commanders in Afghanistan to questions about how the problem should be tackled. “The President has gone through and looked at monthly recruitment and retention goals because… we’re not going to be there forever,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that day. “Not only are we going to need improved governance, but we’re going to need a police force that can keep the peace.”

If the Pentagon does not dramatically alter the current training scheme, it doesn’t look good for either governance or peace in Afghanistan. Yet the likelihood remains low indeed that Pentagon officials will take the advice of a chorus of police experts offering critical commentary on the mess that is the police training program there. Instead, it’s likely to be more of the same, which means more private contracting of police training and further disaster. Bizarrely enough, the Pentagon has given the Space and Missile Defense Command Contracting Office in Huntsville, Alabama, the task of deciding between DynCorp and Xe for that new billion-dollar training contract. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, as the French say: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Pratap Chatterjee is a freelance journalist and senior editor at CorpWatch. He has traveled extensively in the Middle East and Central Asia and is the author of two books about the war on terror, Iraq, Inc. and Halliburton's Army (Nation Books, 2009), which has just been published in paperback. He can be contacted at

Mar 13, 2010

Marjah and after

The area of Marjah in Afghanistan, scene of the most recent ISAF campaign, is an open plain, with a few farms and local farmers markets.

General Petraeus, previously described by his superior officer as “an ass kissing little chickenshit,” has made clear that describing Marjah as a “town of 80,000 inhabitants” was a disinformation campaign tactic aimed at US domestic public opinion.

Time magazine wrote about the "town of 80,000" Feb. 9, and the Washington Post did the same Feb. 11. The Associated Press further confused the issue in a Feb. 21 story, referring to "three markets in town - which covers 80 square miles…." A "town" with an area of 80 square miles would be bigger than such U.S. cities as Washington, D.C.

For details see for Gareth Porter’s article: “It turns out, however, that the picture of Marja presented by military officials and obediently reported by major news media is one of the clearest and most dramatic pieces of misinformation of the entire war, apparently aimed at hyping the offensive as a historic turning point in the conflict. Marja is not a city or even a real town, but either a few clusters of farmers' homes or a large agricultural area covering much of the southern Helmand River Valley.”

“A central task of "information operations" in counterinsurgency wars is "establishing the COIN [counterinsurgency] narrative", according to the Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual as revised under Gen. David Petraeus in 2006.

“The COIN manual asserts that news media "directly influence the attitude of key audiences toward counterinsurgents, their operations and the opposing insurgency." The manual refers to "a war of perceptions…conducted continuously using the news media."

“Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of ISAF, was clearly preparing to wage such a war in advance of the Marja operation. In remarks made just before the offensive began, McChrystal invoked the language of the counterinsurgency manual, saying, "This is all a war of perceptions."

“The Washington Post reported Feb. 22 that the decision to launch the offensive against Marja was intended largely to impress U.S. public opinion with the effectiveness of the U.S. military in Afghanistan by showing that it could achieve a "large and loud victory."”

Those clever old French philosophers noted some years ago that what matters is not the “truth,” as generally believed, but “the convincingness of your narrative.”

So it goes. The dance card is full. The dance continues.

Mar 9, 2010

The Burqa - Sanity is alive and well in Europe

Hammarberg said it was not clear women under undue pressure to don the burqa would welcome a ban [AFP]

Rights chief challenges veil ban

A leading European human rights official has said banning the full Islamic veil would not liberate oppressed women and could backfire.

Thomsas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, said on Sunday that banning the burqa and niqab would be "an ill-advised invasion of individual privacy".

"Prohibition of the burqa and the niqab would not liberate oppressed women, but might instead lead to their further alienation in European societies," Hammarberg said ahead of International Women's Day.

He also said supporters of a ban have not shown that women who wear the veil are more oppressed than others, nor that the veil undermines democracy, or public morals.

The message comes as debate is under way in a number of European countries, most notably France, on whether to ban the Muslim form of dress for women.

The council, which is not related to the European Union, was founded in 1949 to protect human rights and democracy in Europe. It has 47 members, all of whom have signed the European Convention on Human Rights.

Under the convention, limitations on human rights can only usually be justified on the grounds of public health, safety, or morals.

Hammarberg added that depending on its terms, a ban might also breach the European Convention on Human Rights.

Unconvincing reasons

In January, a French parliamentary report called for a ban on the niqab, saying Muslim women who fully cover their heads and faces posed an "unacceptable" challenge to French values.

Hammarberg said that the small number of women who wear the veil - around 1,900 in France, which is home to Europe's largest Muslim community - made the idea that it undermines democracy, public safety, or morals unconvincing.

Women interviewed in the media about why they wore the veil gave a range of reasons, he said.

"There may of course be cases where they are under undue pressure - but it is not shown that a ban would be welcomed by these women," Hammarberg said.

"Rightly, we react strongly against any regime ruling that women must wear these garments. This is absolutely repressive and should not be accepted."

But banning the same clothing in other countries did not remedy this situation, he said, and governments should avoid passing laws on how people dress themselves.

Banning the Muslim veil would be as bad as criminalising the cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad that caused outrage in some Muslim-majority countries when they were published in a Danish newspaper in 2005, Hammarberg added.


“...I've always thought the west was utterly wrong about the women in the Middle East. Those women from the Palestinian camps moved like queens; in no way were they subordinated to anything. Old women were far more terrifying than any kind of man. I completely understand the final sanction against the (male) rulers of Northern Nigerian Muslim states when they got beyond a joke - the palace was approached by a procession of naked grandmothers and the ruler vanished through the back door never to be seen again. That's the account according to Chinua Achebe.” Isobel Clark, UK


Sheikh Tantawi - who headed al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning - died on Wednesday. He was known for his controversial ban of the niqab, which he said had no basis in Islam.

It is the Commissioner's low key "governments should avoid passing laws on how people dress themselves" that prompted the sanity label.

Mar 8, 2010

Women's Day

Women are tougher than men in many ways, natural warriors. “The female of the species is more deadly than the male.” The muscle that pushes the baby out is stronger than any other in the human body. The male contribution to continuing the race is less demanding, and less bloody, than the female function.

Some little known facts about women

Women form fifty per cent of world population, and put in two thirds of the working hours. They receive ten per cent of the wages and salaries, and own less than one per cent of the property.

The earth itself is usually regarded as female.

“Three things men fight about, women, and money, and land,” say the Hindus.

“No one owns the earth – she is too old,” say the Africans. “She owns us. From her we come, and to her we return.”

Monday, March 8, is International Women’s Day

Mar 3, 2010

Ultima Ratio Regum

“They have created a republic, if you can keep it,” remarked Ben Franklin as he walked away from the hall in Philadelphia where the founders were writing the US constitution, a process in which he declined to participate.

Like a flash of lightning suddenly illuminating a nighttime landscape, Madison’s remark (the College of Electors was designed as a bulwark against populist pressures for the equal distribution of property, “and other wicked schemes,”) illustrates that you can not keep it, and why you can’t.

The whole shebang was designed as a plutocracy, to protect the property rights of these eighteenth century gentlemen, with their slaves and servants, from the mob, that heaving mass of humanity always threatening them. It was never intended for people like you.

The property rights have now passed from gentlemen owning large estates to corporations owning even larger ones, but the property rights remain essentially intact. The question remains how to protect them against the mob.

If the pressures become too great, eradication, total destruction of the mob, becomes necessary, and that is what the US Air Force Drones program is quite openly proposing to accomplish. By 2087 no human intervention will even be able to divert it, according to the program.


Mar 1, 2010

Christian dogma

Both a census (“counting the people”) and interest on loans (“usury”), the universal basis of western commerce, are strictly forbidden in the Christian bible in half a dozen separate places.

The reason for this can be seen in our current situation. Interest on loans, or amounts payable, will swiftly rise to loan shark levels, and effectively turn a sizable segment of the population into debt slaves, generating social conflict and turmoil. (At the very least, the old Jewish custom of cancelling all debts once every seven years and starting again from scratch is a vital safety valve.)

Counting the people, an enterprise of no apparent worth, opens the door to manipulation of the numbers, subsequently employed in further political maneuvers.

As one of the founding fathers of the US constitution pointed out, the College of Electors is a vital safety barrier to “populist demands for equal property distribution, and other wicked schemes.”