31 July 2006

The Cutting Edge: Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement

The Cutting Edge: Shin Bet Vetoed Secret Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement -- How can there be peace when people keep sabotaging it?

More on the Christianists

The Gaelic Starover: Otisolatry gives some background on the origins of the Christianists and their theology. A useful and concise summary.

Back to Iraq

Despite the title, this is the blog of a journalist currently in Lebanon, and so gives come immediacy to reports of the war there.

I've just heard that there is to be a 48 hour ceasefire from Israel's side. I hope Hizbollah observes it too, and that they start talking.

30 July 2006

Israel will achieve its goals in Lebanon

So says some spokesman on TV five minutes ago.

But what are their goals?

To judge from their behaviour over the last two weeks, they want to destroy the fragile democracy in Lebanon and replace it with an extreme militant Islamist government, which will have the dominant motive of revenge against Israel.

They, and the American government that provides them with precisioin weapons to deliberately kill children, are either completely evil or completely insane.

Why does the world need another militant Islamist government? Why is Israel, backed by the Bush-Blair Axis of Evil, so intent on creating such government in Lebanon and Iraq? What do they have to gain from it? What does the rest of the world have to gain from it?

27 July 2006

Elizaphanian: Ten books that have influenced me

Elizaphanian: Ten books that have influenced me has an interesting list of books, well, two lists actually, but the one is linked to the other.

The second list, Elizaphanian: One book, got me thinking about what my books would be, so here is mine.

As you can see, I wasn't able to answer all the questions, but left them in case anyone else wants to have a go.

One book
1. One book that changed your life:
For the life of the world, Alexander Schmemann

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
The place of the lion, Charles Williams

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
Don't die in the bundu

4. One book that made you laugh:
At bay in Gear Street, Michael Frayn

5. One book that made you cry:

6. One book that you wish had been written:

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Duncton Stone, William Horwood

8. One book you’re currently reading:
The master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:

26 July 2006

More schlock causes shock

If you are a Christian and were feeling smug in reading kitsch like The da Vinci code, it may come as a bit of a shock to learn that Christian kitsch has outsold Dan Brown's no-brainer "makes you think" book.

24 July 2006

Antioch Abouna: Lebanongrad

Antioch Abouna: Lebanongrad asks some pertinent questions about the apparent approval with which the Blair-Bush Axis of Evil regards Israel's destruction of Lebanon, including the killing of civilians in a manner which can only be described as war crimes, which I noted in my other blog. Coupled with this is the deliberate destruction of educational institutions, churches, hospitals and schools.

Of course, we've seen it all before. In 1999 Blair and Clinton did it themselvers in Yugoslavia, instead of using a surrogate like Israel.

In Lebanon Christians were formerly fairly well-disposed towards Israel, but after their churches have been bombed and members killed, any goodwill that there was is dissipating rapidly, as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

But even that report cannot resist the temptation to brainwash Americans still further, when it adds the nasty little factoid: "Hezbollah triggered this latest Middle Eastern war when their fighters mounted an ambush two weeks go in Israel and kidnapped two Jewish soldiers."

These factoids are slipped in, almost unnoticed, so that people are hardly even aware of reading them, but end up firmly convinced that "Hezbollah started it."

Even some Israelis don't swallow that sort of guff -- see http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/736009.html.

So it may be worth looking at the ancient history of two months ago (before living memory, if not pre-historic for American journalists) to see just how the present conflict escalated.

CHRONOLOGY - how the conflict escalated in the last 2 months

2006-06-09 Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing 8 civilians and injuring 32. Following this, Hamas calls off 16 months of military truce.

2006-06-13 Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in an attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.

2006-06-20 Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.

2006-06-28 Palestinian militants launch a raid and kill two Israeli soldiers and capture a third, Cpl Gilad Shalit.

2006-06-29 Israel troops, having pushed into Gaza, detain Hamas lawmakers and cabinet members. Air strikes.

2006-07-12 Hizbollah captures two Israeli soldiers and kills eight. Israel calls it 'act of war' and widens Gaza offensive, killing 24 civilians. Air strikes destroy 10 bridges in Lebanon, and hit power stations and a water facility.

Israel claims that the soldiers were captured on Israel territory, Hizbollah claims that they were captured during an incursion into Lebanon.

2006-07-13 Israel bombs Palestinian Foreign Ministry and Beirut airport. Israeli Navy blockades Lebanese ports.

2006-07-14 Israel bombs Beirut-Damascus road and Shia suburbs of Beirut: 67 Lebanese civilians dead. Hizbollah launches 130 missiles at Israel, killing at least
two civilians. Israeli ship is hit by an explosives-filled drone, four dead.

2006-07-15 Israel warns inhabitants of village of Marwaheen in southern Lebanon, to leave. While they are fleeing they are attacked by Israeli aircraft and several families die.

If the last incident was not a war crime, what is? Ordering civilians to leave their town, and then shooting them up as they try to leave?

US President George Bush vetoed a bill on embryonic stem-cell research because he believed it crossed a moral boundary. But does not incinerating these children cross the very same moral boundary?

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22 July 2006

The Gaelic Starover: Hezbollah Has Two Mommies

The Western news media have managed to distract attention from the killing of children in Lebanon by concentrating their reporting almost on the evacuation of those lucky enough to be citizens of other countries, and even that coverage was pretty racist:
Even the newspaper and television stories managed to avoid the reality. As our Jolly Tars helped the elderly on board and US Marines landed very briefly - or "stormed the beach", to quote the Associated Press's imperishable report - to protect their ship, television crews hunted through the crowds of refugees for suitable pictures. Their problem, of course, was that almost the entire evacuation is of Lebanese who happen to hold dual citizenship. Cameras moved inexorably towards the very few blue-eyed men and blonde ladies of the "kith and kin" variety, anyone in fact who didn't look remotely like most of the rest of the refugees. It was pathetic. Even while we are betraying the Lebanese, we tried not to film the lucky few who could escape on our ships.
As Robert Fisk writes in the Independent. But even Fisk manages to give the impression that Hezbollah started it.

The Gaelic Starover: Hezbollah Has Two Mommies managest to set the record straight a little.

18 July 2006

Christianists and Christianism - ugly neologisms or useful descriptors?

I just discovered the term Christianist today (see earlier post), and then discovered that there has been quite a bit of discussion about it already.

The meaning seems intuitively obvious to me, by analogy with Islamist and Zionist. It refers to those who try to turn the gospel into an ideology, and are prepared to use violence to spread it. Elizaphanian has written quite a bit recently on ideologues and fundamentalists, and this seems to link to those ideas.

Samuel Huntington, in his book The clash of civilizations predicted that the post-Cold War world would see clashes of civilizations rather than clashes of ideologies. The three worlds model of geopolitics would be replaced by civilizations, of which Huntington identified nine. Clashes would take place at the boundaries of civilizations, like the geological tectonic plates. In many ways his predictions have been remarkably accurate. Since the end of the Cold War most violent conflict has taken place at the boundaries of civilizations. Where there have been conflicts within civilisations (such as that in the Democratic Republic of Congo) the world powers and the world media have paid very little attention.

These civilizations are strongly linked to religion, according to Huntington, but what he perhaps failed to predict is the extent to which religions have tended to give rise to ideologies. Some years ago people talked about "Militant Islam"; I'm not sure when it became "Islamism" or who first used the term, but "Christianism" seems to be an analogous phenomenon, as does Hindutva.

Anyway, the Donklephant article on Christianism seems to make a good case for the word.

The Christianists are coming

I hadn't heard the term before, but it had to come. We have Islamists, we have Zionists, and now we have Christianists. These are the ones evelling in the bloodshed of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, because they believe it means the Lord's coming is near. You can read about it in Entangled States: Andrew Sullivan and World War III.

A Jewish friend of mine used to send me copies of an article Anti-Zionism is antisemitism by Martin Luther King. Now, however, it would be more accurate to say that anti-Zionism is anti-terrorism.

At the moment the Christianists seem to be applauding from the sidelines, but for how long?

15 July 2006

Church growth -- or shrinkage

For the past 25 years and more there has been much discussion and debate about church growth, but it seems that some of the optimism is unfounded, as the following articles show.

The Ochlophobist: the �berfromm snuggling up to the gates of hell, part I

How Catholicism fell from grace in Ireland


12 July 2006

Morality versus unity

In an article Sowing the seed of change Theo Hobson writes of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams:
Williams is performing the ecclesiastical suspension of the ethical: renouncing the moral good for the sake of the unity of the Church.

Williams, says Hobson, has learned the hard way that Catholics cannot be liberals too. "A Catholic has very publicly sacrificed his or her belief in the moral rightness of ordaining homosexuals, for the sake of the church's unity."

The more I see of discussions like these, the more relieved I am that I am no longer Anglican. I no longer have to participate in them. The whole debate seems different from the outside, and Anglican unity seems more and more chimerical, because each party in the debate is being asked to sacrifice its view of moral rightness for the sake of this chimaera. Each side claims the moral high ground. The trouble is that the moral high ground they claim is not on two different sides of the same mountain, but on two different mountains, with an unbridgeable gulf between them. They are mutually exclusive moral systems.

Elizaphanian: Catholicism trumps liberalism beliieves that it is possible to achieve unity if three different strands of Anglicanism can be held together -- the Catholic, the Liberal and the Evangelical. But if the centrifugal forces overcome the centripetal ones they will become Ultramontanism, Atheism and Fundamentalism. But I think this too overlooks the incompatibility of the moral high grounds being claimed by the different parties.

Hobson regards liberalism in the Anglican Communion as being endangered, if not dead. But there is a far bigger threat to liberalism than that.

There is a wider tendency in the British media to speak of the moral high ground, which is much more ominous than the internal debates of the Church of England, or even the Anglican communion as a whole. This could be seen when Tony Blair was pushing for legislation to allow detention without trial, as B.J. Vorster did in South Africa in 1963. Tony Blair didn't get his way, but the British media described him has holding the moral high ground, and the Labour MPs who failed to support him of lacking moral fibre and being traitors. Anyone who supports detention without trial is no liberal, but a fascist. And that the British media are equating fascism with the high moral ground is very ominous indeed.

The Church of England did not have much to say about that: it is too obsessed with its own internal bickering. On the anniversary of the terrorist bombings on the London transport system, in which 35 people died, there was a two-minute silence and a lot of public commemoration -- something which had previously been reserved for remembering the victims of world wars that had lasted several years and which millions had been killed. Others have commented elsewhere that this grief lite is a disturbing feature of British society. One commentator writes of this
I find the ridiculous display of incontinent emoting shown this past week in the UK over the bombs last year both pathetic and disturbing. The apparent grief is, no doubt real in those who have lost people they knew, but in the vast mass of the population it is an indulgent and completely bogus display.

Encouraging such mass manufactured pseudo emotion is, of course, a useful political tool, most popular with totalitarian regimes. It encourages 'solidarity of the masses' and unites the plebs against an enemy so that more and more repressive measures can be taken against them in the name of the 'war'.
He goes on to quote passages about "Hate Weeks" from George Orwell's 1984.
Two days after this shedding of crocodile tears
bands of masked gunmen went on a rampage in a predominantly Sunni Baghdad neighborhood, killing at least 42 Sunni Arabs in a gruesome sectarian attack despite a massive security crackdown, witnesses said.

The apparent response to the attacks was swift, with at least 19 people killed and 59 wounded in two powerful car bombs next to a Shiite mosque in a mixed neighbourhood of the predominantly Sunni district of Adhamiyah on the capital's north side, an interior ministry official said.
Such things are almost a daily occurrence in Iraq. But, say the Bush/Blair apologists "They're better off than they were under Saddam Hussein".

Perhaps the Brits should observe 2 minutes silence every day that 35 or more people are killed in Iraq, and remember that they voted for Blair, they voted for that killing to start and continue (they altready knew that Blair was a warmonger before the invasion of Iraq, as he was an enthusiastic participant in the bombing of Yugoslavia).

If Blair and his government showed the slightest remorse over the thousands they have killed without compunction, one might feel inclined to sympathise with them for the 35. I have sympathy for the victims of the 7 July bombings on the London transport system and their friends and relatives, as I do for the 61 killed in Baghdad on 9 July 2006. But the official public mourning as a political tool, and Tony Blair's proposal for a "modernised" version of human rights is part of the real death of liberalism. In England, neither the Established Church nor the government nor the media seem to have a clue where the moral high ground lies. And if the church can't agree on where the moral high ground lies, it has nothing to say, and no witness to the rest of society.

Of course the Orthodox Church in Britain is not a paragon of unity at the moment either, and its divisions, like those among Anglicans, has dragged in the wider Church, involving the Pariarchates of Constantinople and Moscow. But there is a difference. The Orthodox disputes are not about faith and morals. They are about culture, language and mission strategy. The options are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible to compromise on these issues without compomising the Orthodox Christian Faith. Whether people have the will to compromise is another matter.

I am reminded of what G.K. Chesterton said nearly 100 years ago:
We have mixed up two different things, two opposite things. Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean (just now) that we are always changing the vision. It should mean that we are slow but sure in bringing justice and mercy among men: it does mean that we are very swift in doubting the desirability of justice and mercy: a wild page from any Prussian sophist makes men doubt it. Progress should mean that we are always walking towards the New Jerusalem. It does mean that the New Jerusalem is always walking away from us. We are not altering the real to suit the ideal. We are altering the ideal: it is easier.

Silly examples are always simpler; let us suppose a man wanted a particular kind of world; say, a blue world. He would have no cause to complain of the slightness or swiftness of his task; he might toil for a long time at the transformation; he could work away (in every sense) until all was blue. He could have heroic adventures; the putting of the last touches to a blue tiger. He could have fairy dreams; the dawn of a blue moon. But if he worked hard, that high-minded reformer would certainly (from his own point of view) leave the world better and bluer than he found it. If he altered a blade of grass to his favourite colour every day, he would get on slowly. But if he altered his favourite colour every day, he would not get on at all. If, after reading a fresh philosopher, he started to paint everything red or yellow, his work would be thrown away: there would be nothing to show except a few blue tigers walking about, specimens of his early bad manner. This is exactly the position of the average modern thinker. As long as the vision of heaven is always changing, the vision of earth will be exactly the same. No ideal will remain long enough to be realized, or even partly realized. The modern young man will never change his environment; for he will always change his mind.
And that is why I am glad that I am Orthodox and no longer Anglican. The Orthodox Church is divided over how to realise the ideal, how to attain the vision. The Anglican Church is divided over the vision itself, and seems to have so many competing visions that its unity is indeed chimerical.

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08 July 2006

Pilgrims of the Absolute

In various blogs I have been reading about and the , and discovered that quite a lot of people had been talking about these in various forms.

This led me to review and revise a web page on which I had posted a paper called Pilgrims of the Absolute by Brother Roger of the Community of the Resurrection.

Brother Roger read his paper at a conference of the Anglican Students Federation of South Africa. It had the sub-title of "the unrespectability of our religion", and was aimed at shaking Christian students our of the complacency of their bourgeois upbringing.

Back in the early 1960s Christianity in South Africa was a good deal more bourgeouis and respectable than it is now, and Brother Roger gave examples of countercultural figures like the Beat Generation authors Jack Kerouac and John Clellon Holmes, the playwright Jean Genet and others.

Pilgrims of the Absolute blew my mind, and I began reading Beat Generation authors, especially Jack Kerouac's The Dharma bums (which was soon afterwards banned in South Africa). Brother Roger kept me supplied with reading matter from the well-stocked library of the Priory of the Community of the Resurrection in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, and became a kind of guru, sharing his vision with me.

I was not a particularly apt pupil, and the vision remained a more or less unattainable ideal for me. One consolation is that it also remained unattainable for Jack Kerouac. It was the vision of a , in which young people would give up the security and comfort of home, and the dominant values of an acquisitive society, and become Pilgrims of the Absolute, similar, in a way, to the kind of life described in The way of a pilgrim, which is a prime example of a pilgrim of the absolute, and it could also be seen as a vision for a new monasticism. One could find more examples in recent times, like , zine and .

I wrote something about this in my LiveJournal so won't repeat it all here, but I was moved by the discussions in various places to revamp the Pilgrims of the Absolute web page, in the hope that some might find it interesting and useful, and that it might contribute to the discussion about a .

Note: I also posted this on my blog over at MySpace, where the Technorati tags seem to work, though they don't seem to work here.

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07 July 2006

Fr. John Whiteford's News, Comments, & Reflections: Gender Neutral Language and the Trinity

Fr John Whiteford links to a cartoon that sums up thoughts about American Presbyterians trying to find gender neutral language for referring to the Holy Trinity. Fr. John Whiteford's News, Comments, & Reflections: Gender Neutral Language and the Trinity

He notes that that Turkish and Chinese do not have genders, but that doesn't seem to stop Turks and Chinese from being sexist.

And Zulu has nine genders, or 18 if you count singulars and plurals separately, and none of those genders is linked to sex, but it doesn't seem to stop native Zulu speakers from being as sexist as anyone else.

Actually, for theological purposes Zulu is better than English, because it has two words for man-human being and man-male, where English has only one, which causes endless problems.

For man in the inclusive sense (including both sexes, that is), Zulu has umuntu (plural abantu). The umu- aba- class (or gender) in Zulu is sex-neutral, that is, it refers to people of either sex.

The word for a male man is indoda (plural amadoda). The i-/ama- class (or gender) in Zulu is also sex-neutral, though the word indoda is not -- it means an adult male human being. But ihashi can refer to either a stallion or a mare, just like horse in English.

Perhaps we need to revive the old English word werman for man in the exclusively male sense.

One of the best comments on this was made by the sociologists Peter and Brigette Berger, in their book War over the family
Sexist language is an invention of the feminist movement... Taken literally (it) is a theory that elevates infantile misunderstandings to the level of hermeneutics. But it would be a mistake to take this literally. It matters little, in the final analysis, that here is a theory of language that rests on little or nothing beyond the emotions of the theorists. What matters a lot is that the theory legitimates a linguistic offensive that is part of a general political strategy. In this strategy, every masculine pronoun purged from a text, every insertion of `person' as a generic suffix, constitutes a symbolic victory in the larger struggle.

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06 July 2006

Elizaphanian: Spiritual cancer (or: why I hate fundamentalism)

A good posting about Fundamentalism, which highlights many of the shortcomings of that ideology. I think this goes to the heart of the matter:
As such this doctrine shrivels the human spirit; it renders impotent the wider human faculties of intuition and imagination; it embraces the secular assumptions of Enlightenment modernism; it distorts what the Bible actually is.

While Fundamentalism was originally a reaction against modernism, it took on many of the characteristics of what it was reacting against.

Elizaphanian: Spiritual cancer (or: why I hate fundamentalism)

One of the problems in discussing Fundamentalism nowadays, however, is that the word "fundamentalist" has become a pejorative epithet among journalists for anyone who regards religion with anything other than bland indifference, thus obscuring what is really wrong with Fundamentalism. Elizaphanian helps to clear up some of the misunderstandings.

Theology and modern universities

There are sometimes discussions about whether subjects like theology have a place in the modern university. Having once taught missiology in a university, I am quite interested in such questions, and remember that modern universities had their origin in medieval ones in which theology was regarded as "The Queen of the Sciences".

There is an interesting article on The Culture of Theological Thought as a Part of Educational Universum by Deacon Andrei Kuraev, Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy, translated by fr. Savatii Lewis.
Jul 5, 2006, 23:07

I find it interesting to compare the kinds of attitudes found in this article with those at the University of South Africa (Unisa), where I worked for several years. When I started working there, it was a Broederbond-controlled institution, dedicated to turning out obedient servants of the white male Afrikaner estalishment that ran the university and the country. The higher one went in the university, the greater the proportion of Broederbond members among the staff, and the lower ranks, secretaries, typists etc were filled with their wives and daughters.

One of the few exceptions to this was the theology faculty, in which certain departments, notably Missiology, Theological Ethics, and Systematic Theology were almost alone in seeing the need for Unisa to transform itself from a party-policical indoctrination machine into a true university. One result of that is that the first non-Broederbond faces to appear among the top management of the university were mainly from the theology faculty. Unfortunately this seemed to have a deleterious effect of the theology faculty itself, where some of the best minds were taken away from teaching, and sidetracked into academic administration.

04 July 2006

Death to the world lives

Someone has just written to me with this news:
some newly-illumined brothers in USA have received the blessing of Fr Damascene to resume the publication work of DTTW. Details from the editor are shared below:

Subscriptions for Death to the World are $6 for one year. Any additional issues are $2 a piece. You can send money or some kind of Check made out to Death to the World and send it to:

3505 Cadillac Avenue, G-3
Costa Mesa, United States, California, 92626

I look forward to seeing their own website but in the meantime contact can be made through this address.

The pilgrimage is described in the book Youth of the Apocalypse, and there is more about the Children of the burning heart, punx 2 monks and all.

Nearly impossible adventures in literature, cinema, & robust conservative thought!: That Hideous Strength

I'm glad to see that someone else likes C.S. Lewis's That hideous strength. I was filling in time while waiting to take my son to work and thought I'd look to see which blogs mentioned my favourite books, and found Nearly impossible adventures in literature, cinema, & robust conservative thought!: That Hideous Strength.

Has some interesting things to say about it too.

I started off looking for mentions of Phil Rickman, whose books are very difficult to obtain here. My son works in a bookshop, but says they don't stock them because they don't sell too well. Yet people will rush to buy rubbish like The da Vinci code

03 July 2006

Dropping knowledge

An interesting idea, perhaps... Dropping knowledge is where you can ask questions -- any questions you like -- about how to make the world a better place.

The aim is that questions of people all round the world will be correlated, and then perhaps we will find out what are the burning quesions of the day are.

Well, why wait? Go ahead and ask your questions. I'm not sure if we'll find the answerts, but at least we'll know what people are asking.

Winning the hearts and minds

The USA doesn't seem to be able to win the hearts and minds of its staunchest allies, never mind those it has conquered by force of arms.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, a pro-US paper,
Most Britons see America as a cruel, vulgar, arrogant society, riven by class and racism, crime-ridden, obsessed with money and led by an incompetent hypocrite.

And perhaps the reason for the low opinion is not far to seek, for the report goes on to say
A spokesman for the American embassy said that the poll's findings were contradicted by its own surveys.
"We question the judgment of anyone who asserts the world would be a better place with Saddam still terrorizing his own nation and threatening people well beyond Iraq's borders."

Are they still so blind that they can't see that most people think that the world would be a better place without George Bush still terrorizing his own nation and threatening people well beyond the USA's borders? Either this spokesman is ignorant, stupid or lying, or any two or all three. And making such statements reinforces the bad opinion that other people have of the USA. Any fool can see that George Bush is a far bigger threat to peace than Saddam Hussein ever was. So the spokesman for the US embassy must be worse than a fool. The world was a safer place with Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq than with George Bush II and his lackey Tony Blair in charge of the USA and UK. Perhaps regime change in those countries might make the world a safer place, perhaps not.

People who criticise US foreign policy tend to be labelled, especially by people like this spokesman for the US Embassy in Britain, as "anti-American". But I find it difficult to be anti-American. Most Americans I have met in the flesh have been decent people, and good people, and people that have been good to know. They have been kind, generous, open and friendly, and have often been embarrassed at the blunders made by their government.

I was once staying with an American family who lived in Durban, and some relatives of theirs came from the USA to visit for a few weeks. The relatives admitted, rather ashamed, that they had voted for Richard Nixon for president. How, their Durban relations asked, could they do that, in the light of Watergate? Oh, they had read about Watergate, but hadn't believed it.

And now it is even worse. Since the end of the Cold War, the iron curtain has shifted. It no longer surrounds the second world, keeping out news of the outside world. It surrounds the USA, keeping the American people largely ignorant of the world outside. The country is controlled by the media, who keep the people ignorant, and by a few people who have grabbed the levers of power, as in a coup.

In surfing the blogosphere, I've come across some strange Americans who descirbe themselves as "moderates". As far as I have been able to ascertain, these are people who believe the lies of both sides of the American political divide, without discrimination. American society seems to be structured in such a way that regime change will not help. Though "moderates" may speak of the "political divide", it makes no difference in practical policies. It's just jumping from the frying pan into the fire and back again. The Democrats must be better than the Republicans, because they didn't bomb Baghdad. But the Democrats bombed Belgrade, and it was Madeleine Albright, not George Bush, who said that the price of the lives of half a million Iraqi children to maintain American hegemony in the Middle East was "worth it". Was Saddam Hussein really worse than that? The spokesman of the American Embassy has a long row to hoe.


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