Home

Mission

Contents

News

Links

Authors

About Us

Publications

Harmony Forum

Charles Mercieca: culture of war and social harmony

Charles Mercieca

The Global Harmony Association Vice-President



 

Ph.D., President

International Association of Educators for World Peace

NGO, Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education,

Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament

Professor Emeritus

Alabama A&M University
http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=129 (in English) 
http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=136 (in Russian).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About Global Peace Science

Global Peace Science is really indispensable for nations, since o­nly scientific consciousness enables us to ensure unity in harmony of peaceful cultures diversity. Military science, which has been in operation for more than two centuries, opposes and divides nations between the promoters of war and peace. Opposite factions can always be united harmoniously through world-wide peace science o­n a permanent basis. It defines historical meaning and social importance of this science.

Prof. Charles Mercieca,

President, International Association of

Educators for World Peace, USA

http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=129

15/04/16


Charles Mercieca

Five articles from Global Peace Science, 2016:
http://peacefromharmony.org/docs/global-peace-science-2016.pdf

1. Peace Education: Source of National Unity and Global Harmony. Pages: 254-256

2. Death of Democracy and Freedom in America: 279-280

       See also its publication here: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=708

3. The Continuity of Wars in World History: 493-496

4. Peace as a Break between Wars and Preparation for New Wars in Industrial Civilization: 496-498

5. Culture of War and Militaristic Culture of Peace: 498-499

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Biography of Dr. Charles Mercieca

Dr. Charles Mercieca spent most of his life doing academic work and traveling extensively in an effort to help bring about world peace through education. In addition, he revealed great interest in problems of human and social concern. He has also been an advocate of using human resources merely for positive and constructive purposes. He was born and raised in the Island of Malta and studied in Italy and the USA where he has been living since 1961.

Academic Achievements
He secured his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1966 in Philosophy and Historical Foundations and taught at Alabama A&M University for 34 years. During this time he was also Visiting Professor, Kyung Hee University, South Korea, fall 2000; Tver State University, Russia, spring 1993; National University of Santa Ana, El Salvador, spring 1990; Visiting Scholar, Northeastern University, summer 1985; Associate in Education, Harvard University, spring 1985, and Hon. President and Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich, since 2001.

This professor is also founder and president of the International Association of Educators for World Peace, which is a non-governmental organization of the United Nations whose four major goals are peace education, environmental protection, human rights and disarmament. He has been enlisted in several Whos Who. Besides, he also studied several languages including English, Maltese, Italian, Spanish, French, German Russian, Latin and Greek.

He published a few books and over 900 articles o­n a variety of topics related to education, political science, culture, religion and social problems of human concern. Some of his articles were translated into quite a few languages and put o­n quite a few websites, o­ne of which was done not long time ago in Russia which carries several selected articles of his.

Some of the websites which carry several articles of Dr. Mercieca are the following:  http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=129 (in English) and http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=136 (in Russian). There are a few other websites, which printed some of his articles in other languages especially in Spanish. In all of his numerous writings he always expresses concern for all people from every walk of life and profession as well as from every religion and culture from around the world. His main contribution is revealed in his ability to transcend all boundaries of division as to make all people feel like brothers and sisters, members of o­ne big family.
 
Working for Peace as a Vocation
 
In recent years, he revealed interest in the revival of the matriarchal society because he believes that women tend to rule from the heart, which is kind, loving and trusting. This led him to write several articles o­n the Blessed Virgin Mary whom he views as the ideal woman that ever existed since the beginning of time. In fact, fairly recently he published a book entitled: Marian Spirituality: Key to Eternal happiness. This may be secured from Sanbun Publishers, A-78 Naraina Indl. Area, Phase 1, New Delhi 110028, India. The e-mail is: sanbunpublishers@hotmail.com

By nature, Dr. Mercieca proved to be quite altruistic. He constantly concentrates o­n giving to others all that they may need to the best of his ability while, at the same time, he expects nothing in return. In all of his work he has demonstrated himself to be a genuine peace-maker. Over the past few decades, he has been invited to give talks in countries across every continent, which served as an inspiration to many who later decided to follow the route to peace as their career. He firmly believes that in a war everyone is a loser and no o­ne is a winner.

He also shares the philosophy of former US President Dwight Eisenhower who said to the US Congress in his farewell address: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, o­nly their governments want war. Besides, this US President also reminded the US Congress saying: Keep in mind that every dollar you spend o­n weapons and wars is a theft from the hungry and the poor. This type of philosophy explains why Dr. Mercieca decided to use all his time and energy to work for peace.

In this area, he always encourages everyone to do o­nes best and then God will do the rest.  As some ascetical writers tell us, God wants to save the world through our efforts. This means we must, by all means, let God use us as effective instruments to help solve the manifold problems facing the world. The more we try to become involved in problems the world faces, the more we are likely to succeed. In the process, we should demonstrate faith, hope and love for all humans without exception.
 
 



Global Leader of Social Harmony

 

We learn from history that leaders are not created by the titles they receive. They naturally emerge from the crowds, thanks to the wisdom and inspiration they demonstrate to others. For over 30 years, Dr. Leo Semashko from Russia has dedicated himself to help create a better world that is characterized by stability, prosperity and peace o­n basis of social harmony. About this topic he wrote many articles and books and he made six discoveries from his tetra-sociology as to validate his theory.

 

Characteristics of a Better World

 

The first o­ne consists of the sphere classes of the population as the conscious actors of social harmony. Just as in the human body all organs work in harmony, likewise in society people can reach social harmony after becoming aware of how the human nature functions. The second o­ne deals with the concept of democracy. It is found in the equal distribution of power among the sphere classes and in childrens suffrage that stems from parental responsibility.

 

This suffrage provides children with top priority in their welfare and in all related endeavors. The third o­ne is connected with the area of statistics, which expresses a quantitative measure of essential resources necessary for social harmony. The fourth o­ne deals with the area of information technology o­n the sphere statistics base. The fifth o­ne opens the educational and peacemaking socio-cultural technologies ensuring harmonious peace and training for youth for the preservation of cultural and religious diversity.

 

This serves as enrichment among all people. The sixth o­ne covers the area of strategic management/control that guarantees harmonious government and guides to desired social harmony, gearing (coordinating) all levels of politics, economics and finance. These six discoveries for the creation of social harmony open a new vision of the sustainable world and peace beyond war, poverty and violence. Dr. Semashko demonstrates these discoveries not o­nly theoretically but also practically o­n his International Website: A New Culture of Peace from Social Harmony and Childrens Priority. It is briefly stated as Peace from Harmony www.peacefromharmony.org

 

For four years, since February 15, 2005, this website united more than 300 authors from 48 countries and it is published in17 languages forming around itself a new global community of harmony people. As a result, they formed the Global Harmony Association (GHA). This organization, as the international NGO, has united not o­nly individuals, but also collective members from various groups with more than o­ne million participants from 80 countries.

 

On the theoretical base of Tetrasociology, this Association created (from 30 to 140 co-authors) 19 collective global projects, among which the most important being the following: Harmonious Era Calendar, Magna Carta of Harmony, Making Children a Priority in the World, Harmonious Peace Culture, General Harmonious Education, Harmony Academies, Harmony Salons WorldNet, Alternative Reserve Currency, Antinukes Project, Harmonious Civilization Universal Declaration and others are advanced in detail. They include many people and organizations from all over the world.

 

Sound Work and Philosophy

 

GHA sent letters o­n the creation of Harmony Academies to 12 Governments: China, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Argentina, Algeria, Rwanda, Russia, France, England, and Tunisia, in addition to the European Union (EU) and the United Nations as well as UNESCO. Dr. Semashko is responsible for mentioned website. He is also the GHA Founder and President, projects manager and the GHA letters in the Governments initiator.

 

One of Dr. Semashkos great capabilities has been to bring people together from every walk of life and profession that share the same identical goals of prosperity, harmony and peace. These people tend to be altruistic, that is, ready to undergo any personal sacrifice to help make our planet a better place of habitation where people could live a life that is characterized by good health and education and where they could all feel secure from any kind of physical and social disease. The philosophy of this great Russian scholar is very simple. He views the reality of everything from the Natural Law perspective. The entire world is guided by supreme design that is perfect.

 

Besides, he perceives truth as our minds accurate correspondence to the realities that surround us everywhere. Moreover, he visualizes good as anything that is conducive to the universal welfare of all people without exception. This is an edifying spiritual concept of good in contrast to the political concept which views good as the promotion of what is conducive to the welfare of some to the exclusion of others. Lastly, he comprehends beauty as a spiritual element that is more attached to the action of people rather than to their physical appearance. In this regard, persons of the caliber of Mother Teresa, who dedicated her life to help all people without exception, may be properly described as beautiful.

 

In view of this, we may fully realize why Dr. Semashkos activities depict him as global leader of social harmony. Those, whose philosophy is similar to that of this Russian educator, become also leaders of social harmony. This is due to their ability to turn their dream into a political reality. This has been illustrated by China, which announced in October 2006 its intention of building a society of social harmony.

 

Needless to say, there are many other global organizations of modern harmonization. The projected concept of social harmony will undoubtedly extend world-wide. Therefore we may realize why Dr. Semashko, who spent so much energy for its promotion for more than three decades, has earned the title of global leader of social harmony. The world will have everything to gain and nothing to lose by taking his leadership seriously. We should all be grateful for the time he spent and energy he consumed to provide us with a better world.

28/05/09

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 March 30, 2010
 
Dear Friends:
 
         Yes, wars can be ended and there are many approaches to this goal. Among such approaches would be:
 
        1. Encouraging those who work for the war industry to quit their job, even at the cost of getting another job at a lower pay. I am referring to those who do not view money and wealth as their "God."
 
        2. Convincing those who may be considering getting jobs with the war industry that in the moral sphere those who procure weapons for others to perform the killing are equally guilty of murder.
 
        3. Approaching the head of states of countries where there are US military bases and ask them to have them closed. Such money then could be used to solve the manifold problems facing our earthly community.
 
        4. Electing members to the US Congress of the caliber of Dennis Kucinich who would stop making the USA the self-appointed policeman of the world, which alienated many nations and created more enemies.
 
        5. Developing a 24 hour chain prayers for the collapse of the weapons industry and the military industrial complex o­n a global level and replace these elements with purely humanitarian agencies.
 
        6. Working o­n replacing hatred with love, mistrust with trust, anger with patience, pride with humility so as to render the set up of a world community characterized by peace and harmony.
 
        7. Keeping always in mind that what goes around comes around, that "he who kills by the sword," as the Master Teacher said, "will die by the sword" in the strict sense with no ifs and buts attached.
----------------------------------------------------------- 

Making America Great Again

 

Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.

International Association of Educators for World Peace

Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education,

Environmental Protection, Human Rights and Disarmament

Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University


When the time arrives for national elections in the United States, most of the candidates campaign o­n the slogan: making America great again. However, not o­ne political figure brings into the open the real source of the nations great problem. Many of those running for an office tend to defend the way things have been going.


US Constitution Needs Revision

            Up to now, the United States Constitution was never revised, far less updated, since it was composed some 300 years ago when things were entirely different from those of our times. There is o­ne thing for sure, if the US Constitution had to be written today, such a document the way have it, would never have been produced. We may pick up some example for purpose of crystal clarity.

            When the US Constitution was drafted, there were no cars, busses, telephones, and airplanes. Hence, when people travelled out of town, they had to assume the responsibility of being their own policemen, their very own protectors from any abuse they may encounter. Hence, it seemed very appropriate to jot down in this US document the phrase, the right to bear arms.

Today we have fast communication through a variety of transportations, including trains and airplanes. Besides, every segment of the nation is well taken care of and anyone could get in touch with enforcement officers quite fast. The idea of having a gun for self-protection evolved into having a gun for business purposes.

Needless to say, several of those who are determined to get what they want through violent means, do not encounter any difficulty in securing not o­nly guns but also all kinds of devastating arms. When some good member of Congress shows that times have changed and that this right to bear arms need to be dealt with, those with special interest in weapons as business try to raise a pandemonium.


Violence Breeds Violence

One of the leading agencies in this regard is the NRA National Rifle Association, which tries to create fear among people in general. Since the United States is perhaps the o­nly nation in the world that advocates the right for all people to bear arms, it explains why every year there are more people in the USA that are killed by the gun than any other nation, including China and Russia.

We all know that violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence. The NRA slogan - National Rifle Association -may be stated as follows: Guns do not kill, o­nly people kill. I think this slogan needs to be perfected in the following way: Guns do not kill, but guns in the hands of people kill. In this regard, people have no business in carrying guns, far less military ammunitions.

            At present, the United States seems to be going through open discussions. The real aim of this type of communication is to hopefully respect the feelings of those who disagree with you. This approach eventually leads to nowhere unless steps are taken to eliminate guns and lethal weapons from the hands of people from every walk of life. This may take us a long time to have this problem settled.

            Theoretically, all the American nation needs is to get rid of guns and all sorts of lethal ammunitions. This would be feasible if we were to have a strong government. The real problem lies here. Many of those in the government have been financed by big industries, including the weapons industry, which views the manufacture and sales of guns and weapons as their real and primary source of good income.

Once they get the money they want, they literally care less about the lives and welfare of the people even if they were to be massacred innocently in tens of thousands. From studies made over the past decades, the best solution to this abusive gun problem lies in getting straight to its source. The US Constitution is literally outdated and it needs to be fully revised and re-written.


Importance of National Security

As stated by many writers, the right to bear arms needs to be abolished. If we were in an auditorium of 3,000 people watching a performance, would all of us be safer if no o­ne would be carrying a gun or if each o­ne of us would be carrying a loaded gun? This is merely common sense. However, as some philosophers stated in the past, common sense is very uncommon and it is rare to find.

During the process of human development, we need to develop a deep sense of adaptability. Things that are felt to be required at a certain stage of life, may not be needed at another segment of our life process. o­ne of the leading mistakes we notice in those who are especially in a position of influence may be termed as abuse of power which is essentially criminal.

It is criminal because it is, at the same time, very deceitful. In theory it tries to demonstrate a list of possible benefits. But in practice it always evolves in creating surmountable problems, thus making each o­ne of us less and less safe. The United States is perhaps the o­nly nation in the world that allows to have all people carry guns and deadly ammunitions under the aspect of freedom.

At the same time, the United States has more people dying of guns and violence every year than any other country o­n earth, including China with six times of the population in size. It is now fully obvious that those in power who want to see all people having guns and weapons without limit are those who view these deadly elements as a good means of making more and more money.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Perspective of Three Major

Philosophies in Human Relations

 

In our earthly community, human relations vary from o­ne group to another and from o­ne country to another. They are generally built o­n cultural ties, religious connotations, and a variety of other factors. When we study history we are mostly learning about the story of human actions. Such actions reveal the philosophy of people from every walk of life and profession.

 

Nature of Philosophy

 

In view of this, we may safely conclude that if we know history we know the philosophy of those that formed it. o­n the other hand, if we know the philosophy of people we may predict with virtual certainty their actions. Philosophy deals with four basic questions: (a) What is real? (b) What is true? (c) What is good? (d) What is beautiful? Needless to say, there are as many different answers to these questions as there are people, since no two human beings are identically the same in their thinking and ways of doing things.

 

Just as in astrology people are classified into twelve groups, in philosophy we view people oriented toward o­ne of six major areas, which may be enlisted as follows: Idealism as provided by Plato, Realism as perceived by Aristotle, Scholasticism as explained by Thomas Aquinas, Pragmatism as furnished by John Dewey, Existentialism as advocated by Jean Paul Sartre, and Spacism which refers to the space age philosophy as initiated by Werner von Braun.

 

In brief, Idealism views reality as a world of ideas since human actions are the result of ideas. Realism views reality as a world of things, which are perceived by the senses. Scholasticism views reality as a world of reason since quite often we have to make distinctions especially in things that look identical. Pragmatism views reality as a world of experience since without it we may often make mistakes. Existentialism views reality as individual existence since everything happens to be very unique. Spacism views reality as a world of humans since they can do whatever crosses their mind.

 

The first three philosophies are viewed as objective because everything is a parte rei the same regardless of the changes of time. However, the last three o­nes are perceived as subjective because reality is viewed in the eye of the beholder more nor less. In fact, in pragmatism reality is assumed to correspond to the views of the majority. In existentialism reality is believed to be the conception of each individual independently. In spacism, which is the philosophy of the space age era, reality is identified with the identical feeling or judgment of all humans without exception.

 

Philosophy of Retaliation

 

We may now proceed to talk about the three major philosophies that have influenced human beings profoundly. The first of these philosophies leans toward existentialism. It is found dominant in the Old Testament which may be described also as the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth philosophy. It is a mode of thinking based o­n getting even with others, doing to them the same as they did to you, nothing more and nothing less. This philosophy seems to have been dominant in a number of ways over the centuries.

 

In some countries, o­ne may come across people with an arm amputated simply because o­ne was caught stealing something. Among other nations, this has been noticed nowadays in some countries like Libya. When you inflict pain o­n someone, that same pain will be inflicted o­n you afterwards. Should you destroy the property of others, your property soon afterwards will be destroyed as well. The history of the world tends to abide with episodes of this nature, which enables us understand, in some way, the nature of evil better.

 

Although many adherents to the Old Testament viewed the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth philosophy as justifiable, there were many who questioned the justification of such a philosophy. In the sphere of morality we always have to make a distinction between something that went wrong accidentally and something that went wrong through a carefully planned evil intent. Although in the latter case a punishment may be deemed necessary, in the first case we should exercise caution.

 

However, because people by nature tend to be impatient in some way or another, there is always the possibility of abuse or inconsideration in the process of retaliation. This involved philosophy does not give us much opportunity to exercise self-control that may lead to healing and to happiness afterwards. Besides, as ascetical writers tell us, we cannot heal an evil that happens to us by another evil that we may promptly commit by way of counteraction. Thus, we are now in a position to comprehend the nature of this philosophy of retaliation.

 

Some of the greatest religious leaders of all time, from Buddha and Lao Tze down to Jesus all the way to Mahatma Gandhi and beyond, told us clearly that we tend to be treated in life same way as we treat others. There is everything to gain in doing good for our neighbor and nothing to lose. In fact, in the New Testament the Master Teacher of Nazareth has changed radically the philosophy of retaliation into a philosophy of conciliation, which proved to be highly beneficial for everyone involved and concerned.

 

Philosophy of Reconciliation

 

This philosophy of reconciliation leans toward scholasticism, known also as the philosophy of reason. Thomas Aquinas said that we may solve all problems simply through the usage of common sense. But then he added saying that common sense was very uncommon, not easy to find. Those who use this philosophy in life tend to be righteous and beneficial. Jesus said to the Pharisees with crystal clarity that the God they preached was not the God He knew. It explains why He often called them hypocrites. He also compared them to white tombs that are clean from the outside but stink badly from the inside.

 

This Master Teacher of Nazareth added saying: You speak of a God that advocates the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth, a God of hatred and revenge. The God I know is a God of love and mercy that when you strike him o­n the face He will not o­nly refrain from retaliating but He rather turns his face to let you strike him o­n the other cheek. The philosophy of reconciliation exhorts us to return hatred and revenge with love and compassion, to replace grudges with forgiveness.

 

If o­ne were to destroy my property I would, in return, make sure that his property is protected. Those that adopt belligerent approaches should be counteracted with friendly and helpful means. We should always remember the good deeds we receive from others with gratitude, while we should forgive and, if possible, forget their offences. After all, this is the way God deals with all of us. No matter how many times we offend him and keep grudges against his children, He always exercises kindness and forgiveness toward us.

 

The proverb which says that o­ne catches more flies with honey, applies perfectly well when it comes to healing and reconciliation. When Jesus exhorted us to do to others what we would like others to do to us, apparently He knew very well what He was saying. By nature, regardless as to whether or not we are good or bad, we always yearn for others to do beneficial things to us and to treat us with respect. A careful study of history reveals that here is the line that divides the politicians from the statesmen.

 

Politicians, o­n the whole, tend to approach national and international problems by resorting to threats, punishments in forms of sanctions, and the like. They tend to divide segments of the population into opposite factions. This is instigated o­n motto of divide and conquer. They also work for the interests of some to the exclusion of others. This has always created suspicion and mistrust. o­n the other hand, statesmen seek to solve differences through healthy dialogues and wise diplomacy that is proven to be beneficial to all parties involved.

 

Philosophy of Devastation

 

The philosophy of devastation is the third philosophy that is being presented in this write-up. It may be viewed as an extreme extension of the first the philosophy of retaliation, which is based o­n the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth philosophy. It also leans toward existentialism in principle. This philosophy could best be described as one hundred eyes for o­ne eye and o­ne hundred teeth for o­ne tooth, a philosophy that, by its very nature disseminates successfully enmity, hatred, revenge and assured disaster.

 

This is, in essence, the philosophy of tyranny, which may stem from a dictator or a group of political figures that put themselves above the law, regardless of whether or not such a law constitutes the Divine Positive Law, the Natural Law, the Ecclesiastical Law, or the Civic Law. At the individual level, among those who are using this philosophy of tyranny are: Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who grabbed power in 1980 and would not release it by all means, and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who assumed power in 1989, has been accused by the International Criminal Court of serious crimes against humanity.

 

Among other tyrants we find Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, who came to power in 1994, imprisoned hundreds of thousands of people including children in camps, and Than Shwe of Burma, known also as Myanmar, who climbed to power in 1992, has been accused of depriving citizens from the vital needs of life, as well as Isayas Afewerki of Eritrea, who moved into power in 1991, has abolished elections for three or four decades to rule the nation assuredly for life. Such dictators practice the philosophy of devastation with their own people where the punishments they inflict are totally out of proportion.

 

Ironically, we do have a couple of nations, that are officially viewed as democratic and where elections are held periodically, which have practiced in the open the philosophy of devastation, that is, the one hundred eyes for o­ne eye and the o­ne hundred teeth for o­ne tooth. These are the United States and Israel who believe that they can solve all problems with other nations through weapons of mass destruction and the waging of never-ending wars.

 

Since actions speak louder than words, we may illustrate this by some tangible evidence. When the United Nations advocated the abolition of all nuclear weapons and landmines, the United States and Israel were the o­nly two nations that objected. They were also against the implementation of a global program of disarmament and arms control. Besides, these two nations continue to pour endless billions of dollars for the manufacture and indiscriminate sales of weapons and the endless promotion of wars.

 

Armed to Annihilate

 

The United States has 747 military bases spread around the world with warships sailing through every ocean. There are more US military bases in the world than those of all the nations of the entire planet combined. Moreover, the United States gives Israel more military aid than it gives to all the other so called friendly nations of the entire world together. No wonder why the United States is in such a financial crisis and the American people are beginning to suffer considerably from anxiety and uncertainly about their future.

 

In 2001 a handful of young men carrying a few knives and some cheap ammunition destroyed the twin towers of New York and killed some 3,000 innocent people. The USA reacted by invading Iraq killing over o­ne million innocent Iraqis, besides causing the death of over 4,000 young Americans. This is the philosophy of devastation, the o­ne hundred eyes for o­ne eye and the o­ne hundred teeth for o­ne tooth. Israel practices the philosophy of devastation in an eminent way. For every Israeli or house the Palestinians destroy, the Israelis would kill o­ne hundred Palestinians and destroy o­ne hundred houses.

 

Not o­nly so, but the West Bank, which is supposedly to be a Palestinian land, is all occupied by the Israelis and the whole territory is decimated where Palestinians are isolated from each other. No wonder why Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa accused Israel of imposing apartheid that was worse than the o­ne in South Africa. Even former US President Jimmy Carter spoke in o­ne of his books of this shamefully imposed segregation of Palestinians from each other.

 

In conclusion, three of the major philosophies in human relations that developed and that have affected human lives deeply and radically are: (a) the philosophy of retaliation consisting in the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth, (b) the philosophy of reconciliation consisting in the solution of differences through healthy dialogues that demonstrate mutual concern in the best interest of all those involved, and (c) the philosophy of devastation that relies o­nthe o­ne hundred eyes for o­ne eye and the o­ne hundred teeth for o­ne tooth, which endangers human life continuously and unnecessarily.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Outdated American Constitution

Provides Continued Violence

 

There must be a reason as to why the United States is viewed in the world at large as a violent nation. In the early stages of this nations history everything seemed to be fine in many ways. However, as time rolled o­n, at least o­ne segment of this well written document became obsolete, abusive and dangerous because it was no longer applicable to our times. This segment has become nowadays a liability, a malignant tumor that needs to be surgically removed.

 

Original Intent of U.S. Constitution

 

Before we go straight into the heart of this vital issue, we need to learn the circumstances under which such a U.S. Constitution was written. We are focusing here o­n the phrase: peoples right to bear Arms. The said document was drafted in 1787 and became effective two years later in 1789, under completely different circumstances. At the time the U.S. Constitution went into operation, there were no airplanes, no trains, no busses, no cars, no telephones, and no radars. o­nce people left town mostly o­n horseback, they were fully o­n their own.

 

There would be absolutely no o­ne to protect them in any way whatsoever. Hence, this explains why the founding fathers found it wise to let people become their own protection, their own policemen, and their own militia for all practical purposes. In view of this, we may understand, within the context, the reason for the insertion of the right to bear arms in the second amendment, which states: A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

 

Nowadays, several irresponsible US government officials continue to advocate the right for Americans to be fully equipped with weapons both unchecked and unlicensed. This explains why in the United States every year there are more civilians killed by guns than in all the nations of the world combined. Such US government officials continue to resist any step that may be taken to bring the proliferation of weapons under control.

 

At this stage of history, the United States has developed immensely compared to more than 200 years ago when it virtually started. Its population now has exceeded 300 million people who come from virtually every major country from across every continent. Its culture is rich as it has been formed from a fusion of the richest cultures o­n earth. In the world at large, the United States is viewed as a democratic nation even though its capitalistic system has enabled big corporations to control the entire governmental structure.

 

Nation of Plutocracy

 

As a matter of fact, many view this nation as being run by the rich and for exclusive interest of the wealthy. This is verified in time of elections especially when every political candidate to be elected must in the first place reach as many people as possible. To this end, such a candidate needs to have an enormous amount of money to pay the news media -- radio, press and television for needed advertisements to reach the electorate. This means o­ne has to pay from o­nes own pocket money, in the event the individual happens to be rich.

 

If the political candidate happens to have charisma but not much money of his own, then big corporations will find a way to exploit that charisma by financing the campaign of such a candidate for their long-range financial benefit. This explains why so many in the U.S. Congress continue to vote to spend more and more money o­n the manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars, rather than o­n the health care and education of the native population. It explains why they are opposing Presidents Obama health care plan.

 

It is not in the best interest of insurance and pharmaceutical companies to have competition from the US government. Deep inside they feel they would be fighting a losing battle. So, they lobby with the US Congressmen whose election they helped to finance as to keep for the years to come their financial monopoly unchallenged, even to the detriment of the American people. This, in a way, seems to be a blessing in disguise in the sense that it would be easy now for the American people to make a good value judgment of their elected officials.

 

In view of this, we may now begin to understand why several US government officials continue to defend that constitutional phrase, the right to bear arms, even though nowadays it emerged to become a malignant tumor that is literally destroying the nation from every aspect o­ne can imagine. The manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars has become the most lucrative business in the world. Those involved in this industry make big money fast and smooth, which is their ultimate goal. Its quite interesting for us to find out that the American motto is viewed to be: In God we trust.

 

Let us keep in mind here that in a capitalistic system the real God is not the heavenly God that Jesus of Nazareth conveyed to us. The nature of the capitalistic God consists merely of wealth and money. This explains why the United States, for this capitalistic God, it is ready to do anything. That would include the proliferation of the manufacture and sales of weapons in the entire world, along with the promotion of wars across virtually every continent. What counts in a capitalistic nation is the making of big money by all means.

 

Disregard for Human Life

 

To this end, the life of the American people as well as the life of people everywhere becomes secondary. We may begin to realize with clarity why so many members of the US government continue to defend the constitutional right for all Americans to purchase all kinds of weapons without the need of any permission or approval. Some time ago a group of teen agers in California were asked the question: Do you find it difficult to secure guns? The answer was quick: All we need is $45 dollars; we can buy guns as easy as we buy candy!

Those that are heavily involved in the business of the manufacture and sales of weapons are generally characterized by paranoia. They are so afraid of governmental restrictions dealing with the purchase and sales of weapons that they are openly opposed even to the requirement of a license. Ironically, while no o­ne objects to the fact that to drive a car o­ne must have a license, those that deal with the weapons industry do object for anyone to use a gun must first have a license. Now, in recent times they went a step further.

 

The promoters of the gun industry are encouraging Americans to carry loaded guns wherever they go, even in political meetings where the US President happens to be giving a speech. What is amazing is not that such promoters are doing their best to have as many Americans as possible carry loaded guns everywhere but that the US government just stays there looking while saying and doing nothing. Confronted with this reality, many foreigners are beginning to become increasingly suspicious of the US government.

 

Many have raised the question saying: If the US government, for any reason, cannot assume the responsibility to prevent needless fatalities among its civilians by bringing guns under full control, how can we expect such a government to help prevent needless fatalities among our people? Others have expressed surprise and disgust at the same time when seeing this cancerous phrase, referring to the right to bear arms, is still not yet abrogated from the US Constitution. They feel that the continued presence of such cancerous phrase may end up doing more harm for the American nation in the long range.

 

In some institutions of learning, students tried to use logic to prove the futility of the retention of such a malignant phrase. At o­ne time, a few students said they would like to ask every single member of the US government who supports the continued existence of this dangerous constitutional phrase the following question: Suppose you are in the midst of an auditorium watching a stage show with five 5,000 spectators in it. What would make you feel safer if you and every single spectator there with you carry a loaded gun, or if neither you nor anyone there sitting in the auditorium with you is carrying no gun at all?

 

Total Elimination of Guns

 

Needless to say, will not people everywhere feel safer when they are shopping in a mall, attending service in a church, walking in parks or strolling o­n the beaches where absolutely no o­ne there is carrying a loaded gun? Will really people feel at ease when they know that there is always the possibility of someone coming out to shoot them for any reason whatsoever? From a variety of studies made over the years in the USA, those that want to carry with them a loaded gun are generally those who feel insecure in some way or another.

 

When Barack Obama was campaigning to become the U.S. President he promised that he would bring lobbyists in Washington DC under control. As to whether he would succeed to do so remains to be seen. The lobbyists, o­n the whole, are characterized by selfishness whose o­nly goal is to get what they want even to the detriment of the American people. To this end, US government officials who allow themselves to be controlled by lobbyists should be viewed as traitors of the American people.

 

We need to train a group of lawyers to be conscientious and patriotic as to take the initiative to bring to justice all US government officials who succumb to such vicious lobbyists. Here we are faced with methodical corruption that cannot be tolerated any longer. To turn insult into injury, quite a good number of U.S. Senators and Congressmen have prided themselves in the past as being owners of guns. They also pointed out that the fact that all Americans can carry loaded guns with them reveals a freedom that everyone enjoys!

 

This is far from freedom. It is permissiveness which always leads to lawlessness, and which explains why children in U.S. schools have shot and killed other children along with their teachers. It also explains why we have had some entering malls shooting and killing everyone they come across. If everyone in the USA can carry loaded weapons, then what are the policemen doing? What are the members of the military doing since people have been allowed by the US constitution to become their own policemen and their own militia?

 

Let us assume that in a town everyone is born and raised healthy. There is no sickness, no disease around. Everyone enjoys doing daily physical exercise and eating right. Now let us assume that after several years an epidemic sweeps this town and for people to survive they must have medical attention. Such people are now confronted with a choice: They may either choose to take needed medication to regain back their health and keep o­n living for a long time, or they may choose to refuse their needed medication and simply keep o­n living through this epidemic, which eventually will, sooner or later, prove fatal.

 

Abrogation of the Malignant Tumor

 

At this stage of history, the U.S. Constitutional phrase the right to bear arms has proven to have become fatal, a detriment for the continued survival of this nation in the long range. It has become abusive for it has already threatened in numerous ways the very life, serenity, security and peace of the American people. Ironically, the USA is viewed as a predominantly Christian country who professes belief in Jesus of Nazareth as being the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. This Master Teacher spent His lifetime preaching against violence.

 

In fact, Jesus warned the Pharisees saying: The God you preach is not the God I know. You preach a God that advocates the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth. The God I know is a God of love and mercy a God that when you strike Him o­n the cheek He would rather turn His face to let you strike Him o­n the other cheek than to retaliate. In other words, in the Old Testament God was presented as o­ne who advocated the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth. While in the New Testament God was presented a o­ne who advocated love and mercy.

 

The two nations in the world that have been viewed as being violent because of their continued reliance o­n the manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars have been singled out as the USA and Israel. When it comes to the Old Testament both of these countries stand firmly together. They believe in a God that advocates the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth, a God of hatred and revenge. They differ somewhat from each other when it comes to the New Testament.

 

Israel rejects it since the Jews in general refuse to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. The USA accepts the New Testament but o­nly in theory. In practice, the USA rejects it also. This explains why in U.S. Churches you hardly ever hear o­ne church minister preaching o­n the words Jesus said to Peter: Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword. You never hear o­ne church minister condemning the violence the U.S. Military brought in both Iraq and Afghanistan, under the guise of bringing freedom and democracy!

 

To go back to where we started, the United States is a capitalistic nation whose ultimate objective is the never-ending building of a capital. Because of this, the American government is more business-oriented than people-oriented. This means that the primary concern of the U.S. government lies with the boosting of the interests of big corporations, even to the detriment of the nations people. The adamant resistance to the abrogation of the stated malignant tumor the right to bear arms that developed in the U.S. Constitution proves the case that is being made in a tangible way.

 

Still Bright Hope in U.S. Congress

 

Fortunately, we do have quite a few members of the U.S. congress who would be ready to do something substantial about the nations proliferation of guns and all kinds of weapons. There are many things that they could do. They may introduce a constitutional amendment to abolish the second amendment that gives all Americans the right to bear arms unchecked and unsupervised. They may also take the initiative to pass a national referendum asking Americans two simple questions:

 

1.Do you feel more secure if you and everyone you come across in the nation is carrying a loaded gun or do you feel more secure if neither you nor anyone you come across in the country is carrying no gun at all?

 

2. In view of this, do you want to see the U.S. constitutional phrase the right to bear arms that was inserted at a time when there were no trains, no airplanes, no busses, no cars, no telephones and no radars, to be abolished?

 

Let us keep in mind that in the United States, the American people and not the government, big corporations and the wealthy, are constitutionally the supreme rulers of the nation. If the U.S. government is more interested in serving the interests of big corporations and the wealthy, such a government cannot constitutionally have the last say if it contradicts that of the American people. This explains why it is important that we have as many humanitarians, lawyers and judges as we can to work o­n having the involved constitutional cancer gone.

 

In conclusion, we would like to see in the United States the abolition of all kind of domestic violence that comes through easily available guns and all kinds of weapons. Spiritual leaders from every walk of life and profession and from every religion and culture should start advocating in the open with constant persistence the end of violence that takes place continuously through the proliferation of these lethal elements. The greatest task facing schools and churches lies in bringing domestic violence to an end the sooner the better.

8/22/09

-------------------------------------------------------------
Free Education for All Citizens:

Best Investment for World Peace

 

One of the leading problems in the world may be viewed as ignorance, which is described by The New Websters Dictionary of the English Language as a state of being where knowledge is wanting, that is, missing. We tend to make several mistakes to the detriment of many because, quite often, we are not aware of the realities that surround us. This explains why people with adequately needed knowledge tend to commit considerably less mistakes, if any at all.

 

Prevention Better than Cure

 

Needless to say, the more people create problems the more headaches are created for society at both the local and the national level and, quite often, at the global level as well. There is hardly any government in the world that does not spend tens of millions, and even billions, of dollars for the so called national security. Most of this money could be saved if each government were to take drastic steps to provide preventive methods as to have crime avoided in the first place. In the long range, such preventive methods may serve as a great asset.

 

            To this end, we need to keep in mind that the greatest and best asset of each nation lies with its people. o­nly people can make things happen for the better or the worse. If people are given the opportunity from early childhood to develop a positive and constructive view of themselves and their surroundings, the actions they perform will tend to be equally positive and constructive. In other words, people will, as a matter of fact, behave as ideal good citizens.

 

In view of this, we may categorically state that the primary responsibility of every single government is to provide to its people free education not o­nly at the elementary and secondary schools but at the college and university as well. This would be the best investment that the governments of the world could make to their respective nations. Through free and proper education people will be given the opportunity to develop their God-given potential to the maximum, where everyone will be a winner and no o­ne a loser.

 

According to British educator John Locke and many others, the human being is born tabula rasa, that is, with a brain that is totally void of any knowledge conceivable. As the human being grows and passes from o­ne stage of life to another, knowledge of any kind begins to enter into this tabula rasa. Such knowledge is afterwards bound to play a great role o­n the various actions taken afterwards by human beings, individually and collectively.

 

Importance of Good Education

 

A good education will enable people to act positively and constructively. o­n the other hand, a bad education will move people to perform actions that may prove to be detrimental to themselves and to others. As a rule, governments have to train many policemen to control all kinds of crimes at the cost of tens of millions of dollars, amounting to billions o­n a global scale. Statistics demonstrate the bulk of crimes are generally committed by those least educated. It would definitely cost less money to give free education to all citizens to eventually preserve the rule of law.

 

The knowledge that could be bestowed through education has no boundaries whatsoever. For instance, such knowledge may deal with geography, history and philosophy. Through geography we learn about the various people o­n earth in terms of culture and language expression. History enables us to comprehend the various actions of human beings over the centuries in terms of eventual consequences for the better or the worse. Besides, philosophy enables us to analyze carefully the human mind in terms of its function.

 

To illustrate this by a few examples of quite a few philosophical systems, the idealism of Plato tends to base human actions o­n a world of ideas, while the realism of Aristotle views human actions as a world of things. o­n the other hand, the scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas makes reality consisting of a world of reason, since not all the glitters is gold. These three major philosophical systems are considered as objective in the sense that things are the way they are a parte rei, in themselves; they are not the result of an individual interpretation.

 

However, by way of contrast, the following three major philosophical systems may be viewed as subjective in the sense that things are the way they are because of a majority, individual or unanimous decision. In the case of a majority decision we have here pragmatism, where everything is decided by the taking of a vote. When a decision is individualistic, that is, based o­n o­nes own feeling and perception, we have existentialism at work. When everyone happens to view things the same way, then we have spacism, that is, the space age philosophy in operation. In this regard, the whole world is viewed as o­ne big family.

 

This latter philosophy is expected to become the dominant philosophy of the 21st century. When the astronauts went into space they could not see where the boundaries of nations were. They could see o­nly masses of land and water. Planet earth looked very peaceful and astronauts were amazed when they brought to mind the numerous struggles and wars that took place in history. Today more than ever, people everywhere are realizing that when the air of o­ne nation is polluted the air of the nearby nations will soon be polluted as well.

 

Best Means for Survival

 

In other words, the role of education plays a vital role for the survival not o­nly of o­ne individual nation but for all the nations combined. Hence, it is the obligation of every single nation o­n earth to protect its air and water from pollution. This is a moral obligation and no o­ne is exempt from it. Hence, every government is obligated to educate its citizens to become responsible not o­nly for the good of their respective communities, but for the welfare of the entire world, as a matter of fact. It explains why education cannot be taken lightly.

 

For citizens to benefit immensely from education, they must, in the first place, have their mind free of worries as to enjoy good health. They need to learn to eat anything that is nutritious and not just delicious but junky at the same time. The provision of a free education for all citizens enables the nations people to stop worrying o­n how they will pay for the education of their children. We should stop putting financial burden o­n people when it comes to education. Parents should have more time to enjoy their children without distractions.

 

After all, people are being educated not for fun but for the benefit of the entire nation in particular and the world at large. The real security of a nation is based o­n its peoples ability to make positive and constructive contributions to society, which can o­nly come through the provision of a free education for all people from the cradle to the grave. It has been stated and proven over the centuries that the best form of government is social democracy, where the people govern themselves through elected representatives.

 

Moreover, in social democracy the government fulfils its sacrosanct obligation to provide its people not o­nly with a free education but also with a free health care system. This makes great sense and it proves to be highly logical. After all, for the people of a nation to get things done properly and effectively they need to be strong and healthy. They need to be alive and well. Let us keep in mind that a government is as good and as bad as the quality of its people. This explains why in social democratic nations, people o­n the whole seem to be better off. As a whole, these nations tend to enjoy more stability and security.

 

In accordance with the Natural Law, free education and free health care is a human right. Ascetical writers of all time tell us that we should always practice what we preach. The religious leaders of every era of history did just that including Jesus of Nazareth. During the decade of the eighties, Pope John Paul II told people in Mexico that world peace would eventually come but only after two of the greatest evil systems of the 20th century, communism and capitalism, are gone because both seek to advance their causes through the exploitation of people. Shortly after communism collapsed and the cold war was over.

 

Collapse of Communism

 

The whole world took a sigh of relief because people everywhere thought that since the Soviet Union, the seat of communism, was gone, the United States would then pursue the course toward universal peace. But the Pope proved to be right, the United States, the seat of world capitalism, embarked o­n a big military build-up and tried to sell weapons of all kinds to anyone that gave the right price. The manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of struggles and wars became a lucrative business. Tens of millions of people around the world were fully exploited and many lost their lives unnecessarily.

 

Since World War II ended in 1945, the United States preferred to equip nations with all kinds of weapons and military equipment than with needed educational material and with needed medicine and medical equipment. This capitalistic nation preferred to create needlessly and uselessly military bases in 146 nations than creating missionary stations that may serve as centers for learning and for medical assistance. The US government sent representatives to several nations not to disseminate peace but to sow the germs of war.

 

Moreover, most of military coups that overthrew democratically elected governments were supported by the United States that claims openly to be a nation of freedom and democracy. In reality, the United States is a nation where the concept of free education from the cradle to the grave does not exist. Not o­nly so, but such a concept never crossed, not even remotely, the mind of any government official. It is a nation where the citizens freedom of movement is conspicuously restricted.

 

Unlike Canadians and people of many other countries, Americans are forbidden by their government to visit a number of countries including its peaceful neighbor Cuba. In other words, the United States has increasingly become ineffective as world leader because it has developed the habit of saying o­ne thing and doing another. Thus, its element of credibility has been radically shaken. Its a pity when there are so many good and beneficial US citizens.

 

In this presentation focus is primarily made o­n the tremendously good investment the various governments of the world can make in providing their respective populations with free education at all levels. As we have seen, education, like health care, is not a privilege. It is a sacrosanct human right that cannot be violated under any circumstance whatsoever. If we were to make a careful analysis of the problems of every single country in the world, we will discover that those nations where people have a free education at all levels of learning, they tend to have much less crimes and people feel more secure.

 

Proliferation of Military Equipment

 

It is not right for the USA to clutter the oceans of the world with warships and to saturate 146 nations with military bases, supposedly for national security when the American people, that constitute the real backbone of the nation, are not provided with free health care. What is really curious is found in the fact that, while the US government says there is no money to provide free education and free health care for all Americans, there is always money for the manufacture and sales of weapons, and the promotion of struggles and wars.

 

Throughout history, the people of every nation have always been viewed as the best ambassadors of peace of their respective countries. o­n the other hand, the military has always been viewed as an instrument whose purpose is to wage wars with a green light that would allow them to destroy the infrastructure of cities and to kill mercilessly tens of thousands of innocent people while maiming tens of thousands of others. In spite of this, a substantial number of governments have used the military, instead of their people, to deal with other countries.

 

Why is education so important as an investment in the future of any nation and of the world at large? Well, education is derived from two Latin words e plus duco, that is, from plus lead. This means that education is a process that would enable us to lead others from darkness into light, from confusion into clarity of mind, from doing things that are negative and destructive into doing things that are positive and constructive. However, in this process we may also lead people the other way round. Much depend o­n those that are set in charge of the educational process.

 

In every era of history, the people proved to be the most powerful element in every single nation. This explains why governments in general are so much afraid of their own people that lead them to perform even atrocities to control them. This is usually revealed with clarity in nations where we have a dictatorial government. Hence, people need to become actively involved to safeguard their sacrosanct human rights relative to free education and free health care.

 

In his farewell speech to the US Congress, former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated emphatically: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, o­nly their government wants war. If this is a fact, then a question needs to be raised. How is it that some governments continue to wage o­ne war after another against the will of their own people? The manufacture and sales of weapons along with the promotion of struggles and wars has become a great lucrative business. What a way of making money! To this end nothing serves a purpose, not even human life itself.

 

Making Wise Expenditures

 

It is impossible for anyone to talk about free education and free health care without talking about a governments urge to deal with the business of the manufacture of weapons and the waging of wars. If merely 50% of all the money spent o­n weapons, military equipment and wars is spent o­n free education and free health care, there will be enough money to finance schools and hospitals for the rest of the 21st century. This way we will be contributing toward the creation of a nuclear free world characterized eventually by disarmament and peace.

 

What kind of legacy we would like to give to our children, to our grandchildren and to posterity, as a matter of fact? The answer to this question is entirely in our hands. In Italian there is a proverb which says: Parole si, fatti no words yes, facts no. And the Romans had a saying which stated: Aliud est theoria, aliud est practica o­ne thing is theory, another thing is practice. We often hear politicians talking of peace in anything they say but then we witness wars in anything they do. This is certainly betrayal of people.

 

In view of this we may fully understand the warning that Jesus of Nazareth gave us when he said: Homo hominis lupus, which is best translated as man is his own worst enemy. Our government officials in depriving their people of their basic human rights, such as free education and free health care, become in good faith our de facto worst enemies! Peace is so precious that when good people meet they always tend to greet each other with the word peace or simply by saying: Peace be with you.

 

We need to keep in mind that peace is priceless. In fact, those governments that spend millions, billions and trillions of dollars o­n weapons, military equipment and wars, they all tell their people that they are doing this to preserve or bring about peace! Of course, this constitutes a contradiction in terms. The money that has been and is still being squandered o­n these negative and destructive elements should stop abruptly and be shifted for positive and constructive purposes, like the provision of free education and free health care.

 

What all the nations of the world need to keep in mind by all means is this: Violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence. We cannot bring others under control through threats, which always serve to harden them and make them more determined to resist and do the opposite of what may be expected. The best way to solve human problems is through diplomacy and healthy dialogues that should be developed o­n mutually beneficial bases. Let us keep in mind that all human beings share the same identical human nature.

 

Sharing Same Basic Needs

 

This means that all human beings would want to eat when they are hungry and to drink when they feel thirsty. They all would want to live a happy, healthy and long life in prosperity and peace. To this end, they need to be prepared from early childhood properly and effectively o­nly through a good education where no o­ne should stand in the way. We learn from history that nations where people had to pay to get a good education had more problems than those other nations where people had a free education.

 

The enrichment of a nation is always measured by the caliber of its inhabitants in terms of education, good health and productivity. Confronted by this reality, the whole world should wonder as to why we still have governments that seem to be convinced that the strength of their nations is to be sought in sophisticated and expensive weapons and wars! Some say that governments of this caliber may be run by the mafia because they see in these negative and destructive elements the generation of a tremendous amount of money.

 

From the outset, the United Nations had a program o­n disarmament and arms control along with the development of human resources for positive and constructive purposes. However, quite a few countries did not take such a program seriously because they saw a loss in their war industry profits. This is sad since the human life is worth more than all the wealth and money in the world. Instead of sacrificing our wealth and money to preserve life in the best shape possible, many responsible governments went the other way round. They would not hesitate to sacrifice the human life for these materialistic elements.

 

At this stage of life we need to learn at least o­ne big lesson, which is, never to believe politicians who put more and more money o­n weapons and wars to safeguard the security of the nation. They refer to the interest they have in their pocket as the nation. We all know that in the sphere of morality or ethics, the end does not justify the means. Those that put the nations money in weapons and wars instead of in education and health care are performing a criminal act against humanity, which should be brought under control.

 

The greatest spiritual leaders of all time, along with numerous outstanding philosophers, found that the secret of wisdom lies in the renunciation of worldly elements in the sense that you feel detached from them. This would include money and wealth. This explains why the Master Teacher of Nazareth said emphatically to His disciples that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Lord Buddha was born into a wealthy family and he had anything that he might have wished in life except for o­ne thing, happiness.

 

Putting Priorities in Order

 

Later o­n he did find happiness but o­nly after he renounced the material things of this world. He could then discover genuine serenity and happiness. Mahatma Gandhi was a good lawyer and had a promising future but he became increasingly convinced that he would exert a better influence if he were to renounce all the valuable things of this earthly community. His spiritual power became so strong that quite a few historians attribute Indias independence from Great Britain to the great spirituality he managed to build up.

 

Mother Teresa, who decided to give her life to work among the poorest of the poor, became o­ne of the most respected women in the world. When she passed away, the Indian government gave her a state funeral like she was a head of state. Like Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth and Mahatma Gandhi, and others, Mother Teresa exercised great constructive influence o­n others, something that all the military might in the world could never achieve. Yet, many still seek for the strength of the military that is trained for destructive actions.

 

The preamble of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) starts with the words: Since wars being in the minds of men it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. Former US Presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, said that everything that takes place in the world for the better or the worse originates from o­ne single idea; if that is the case, he stated afterwards, we should all try to generate good and constructive ideas and proceed to implement them immediately afterwards.

 

Experience demonstrates that those who receive a good education are in a better position to present to the world community positive and constructive projects. This explains why free education for everyone should be viewed as the best investment that a government could possibly make. This would be the best step for us all to provide future generations the kind of peace and harmony we all have wished to experience since we were very young. We need o­nly to cultivate will-power since when there is a will there is a way.

 

The larger nations of the world that do not offer free education to their people, far less free health care, often bring the excuse that there is no money available to provide such benefits to their people. Yet, these same nations spend billions of dollars day in and day out all the year round o­n the manufacture and the indiscriminate sales of weapons and the waging of wars. Several years ago Costa Rica was viewed as o­ne of the poorest countries in Latin America. It had a large military with several civil wars. Finally, o­ne general who took over the government assured the people that there would never be a war again.

 

Changing Role of the Military

 

This general, with o­ne stroke of the pen, abolished the military. Then he used the would-have-been military money to build the nation from the devastation it had for a long time. At that time, some 80% of the people were illiterate, many were homeless and the rate of mortality among infants was the highest in all of North and South America. Within a matter of a few years, all people were provided with adequate residential facilities and with a free education at all levels elementary, secondary, college and university.

 

Besides, all people were given free health care and today the population of Costa Rica is among the healthiest in the world. Also, their mortality rate among children is the lowest in all of the Americas, even lower than that of the USA. The time has arrived when the whole world must either abolish the military or, still better, change the purpose of the military from o­ne of destruction to o­ne of construction. Soldiers could be trained to plant trees along the highways of nation, repair roads and bridges, and build homes for the homeless.

 

The military in Cuba, for example, already took a step in this direction. The free education Cuba gives to all of its citizens from the cradle to the grave has now been extended even to thousands of foreign students studying there. Besides, Cuba gives free health care to all the people and provides medical doctors to a number of poor nations, along with needed medicine. In spite of the unjust embargo against it that has been enforced by the United States for almost half century, Cuba continued to move forward with determination and success.

 

It looks like when a nation is equipped with people that are well educated and in pretty good health, there is always a way found in overcoming all kinds of obstacles that come along. Education and good health tend to instill in people a feeling of confidence and security. This means that for a government to give people free education and free health care there is everything to gain and nothing to lose. National stability becomes the characteristic of the nation. After all, this is the ultimate goal of every responsible and sensible government.

 

It is a sad, especially in capitalist nations, to measure the value of anything conceivable in terms of money. We need to stress the importance of volunteer organizations where many could offer their expertise in every field of knowledge possible to fellow citizens. There are many of such organizations who are already doing a tremendously good job in this regard. Among others, we have physicians, nurses, teachers, and construction workers, as well as businessmen in the food industry, and pharmaceutical personnel all of whom are serving their fellow brethren with pride.

 

Importance of Volunteer Organizations

 

The great philosophers of all time remind us to do to others what we would like others to do to us. Volunteer workers, as they can attest, often feel highly rewarded especially with inner joy and happiness. This is an experience that is greatly valuable and it cannot be purchased with either money or wealth. To understand the importance for a government to provide free education and free health care to its people, let us imagine we have a large number of families who have been blessed with many children.

 

Such parents do proceed to look after their children the best they can but, at the same time, they fail to raise them up with a sense of responsibility, while they do not really provide them with good nourishment. Such children are likely to grow up showing little respect for others in addition to getting into mischief where later some may even end up in prison. This will be due to the fact that the parents, for o­ne reason or another, failed to give them adequate education. Besides, some of these children may develop needless health problems.

 

Such problems may be due to the fact that their health care was neglected. As a result, such parents will end up facing endless problems with numerous headaches. Let us keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. The USA, for example, which does not provide free education and free health care to its citizens, has more people locked in jails per capita than any other nation o­n earth, including China with six times the population. Now the US government is spending countless millions of dollars every month o­n these jails.

 

If the US government worked o­n the provision of free education at all levels and the provision of free health care to all of its citizens, there would definitely be less jails. Many of those in prison might have been doing o­n a voluntary basis, a lot of constructive work for the benefit of the entire nation. The problem of drugs and alcohol might have been considerably less. Besides, violence in America might have been o­n the way to extinction. All of this takes time but we need to start somehow and someway, the sooner the better.

 

We may now begin to see with clarity how in giving free education to all citizens, a government has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Access to free education and to free health care is bound to create a healthy nation where everyone will have less worries and a greater peace of mind. As we saw in the preamble of UNESCO, conflict and wars originate in the human mind. Likewise, serenity and peace also originate in the human mind. The history of civilization over the past 6,000 years should convince us that when people are at peace with themselves and others, they become more constructive and productive.

 

Blessings of Peace

 

The financing of wars is enormously more expensive than the financing of peace. Besides, there is absolutely nothing constructive that could be achieved through the waging of wars. In giving just a brief glance at the recent Iraqi war we discover the destruction of the infrastructure of several cities, the massacre of and maiming of well over o­ne million innocent people, and the displacement of two million Iraqis. In addition, some 5,000 young Americans lost their lives, more than 30,000 of them were maimed and quite a few committed suicides while others had their family life disrupted and got divorced.

 

Besides, this needless war forced the US government to enter into its biggest debt in history. The nations economy is falling apart in spite of the optimism expressed by the US president. The US governments contention is that there is no money to provide free health care system for Americans, far less to provide free education for everyone. At the same time, this same US government continues to build more foreign military bases, which it has already in 146 countries, construct more weapons and seems determined to continue with its waging of wars indefinitely.

 

The advantage of the study of history lies in the fact that we give an opportunity to ourselves to learn vicariously, that is, through the mistakes of others and not the hard way, that is, through our own mistakes. Ascetical writers tell us that the difference between the wise and the fool lies here. The wise learns vicariously, that is, through the mistakes of others, while the fool learns the hard way, that is, through his own mistakes. The choice is entirely in our hands.

 

In conclusion, let us keep in mind that the greatest mistake we may commit is to give up hope. This means that we should always look forward into the future with hope and determination to succeed. Free education for all citizens, along with free health care, constitute a dream that is bound to be achieved by all means in the best interest of peace. It is o­nly a matter of time. A number of nations have already achieved this objective. We do have hope.

 

Related Bibliography

 

Barash, David P. (Editor). Approaches to Peace: A Reader in Peace Studies, Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA, 2000

 

Choue, Young Seek (Editor). Proposal for Peace: Last Option for Humankind, Institute of International Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 131, South Korea. 1986

 

Choue, Young Seek (Editor). Will World Peace be Achievable in the 21st Century? International Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University Press, Seoul 131, South Korea, 1999

 

Diamond, Louis. The Peace Book: 108 Simple Ways to Create a More Peaceful World, Conari Press, 2550 Ninth Street, Suite 101, Berkeley. CA 94710, USA, 2001

 

Galtung, Johan and Jacobsen, Carl G. & Brand-Jacobsen, Kai Frithof, Searching for Peace: The Road to Transcend, Pluto Press, 345 Archway Road. London N6 5AA, UK, 2002

 

Ikeda, Daisaku. For the Sake of Peace: Seven Paths to Global Harmony, A Buddhist Perspective, Middleway Press, 606 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA, 2001

 

Hicks, David (Editor). Education for Peace: Issues, Principles and Practice in the Classroom, Routeledge, 11 New Fetter Lane. London EC4P 4EE, UK, 1988

 

Nathanson, Stephen. Patriotism, Morality, and Peace, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706, USA, 1993

 

Paupp, Terrence Edward. The Future of Global Relations: Crumbling Walls,

Rising Regions, Palgrave Macmillan, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, USA, 2009

 

Prasad, Surya Nath Prasad and Shukla, Suman. Science, Religion and Peace, IAEWP, 216 Laxminagar, Nagpur 440 022, Maharashtra, India, 2002

 

Reardon, Betty and Nordland, Eva (Editors). Learning Peace: The Promise of Ecological and Cooperative Education, State University of New York Press, Albany, NY 12246, USA, 1994

 

Yoo, Jong-Youl (Editor). Mens Search for Peace, Institute of International Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 131, South Korea, 1985


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Crime of War in Iraq

 

What is the purpose of having rules and regulations when we can disregard them at will at any moment we like? Since the early days of human existence, those that transgressed rules and regulations to the detriment of others always tended to be punished, sooner or later. In order for us to understand the seriousness of such violations, we need to understand properly the significance of laws. In order to do that, we must have a clear concept of the four hierarchical laws of which ascetical writers spoke over the past several centuries.

 

Four Hierarchical Laws

 

St. Thomas Aquinas, who has been viewed as a genius by many, talks with great clarity o­n the four hierarchical laws consisting of (1) the divine law, (2) the natural law, (3) the ecclesiastical law, and (4) the civic law. They are viewed as hierarchical because in the event we do have a clash between them, then the o­ne that is higher should be observed while the other that is lower should be disregarded. Before we illustrate this by examples, we need to form a clear concept of each of such laws. Afterwards, we may proceed to learn about their relationship as to enable us to create a harmonious world community. Let us put each o­ne of them into proper focus:

 

1. The Divine Law, which is commonly known as the Divine Positive Law, consists of the Ten Commandments, which are found in virtually every religion by different names. In the Holy Scriptures we read that these were the laws that God gave to Moses. Hence, they are perennial in the sense that they are always applicable century after century till the end of time. Such laws supersede all other laws in the sense that they cannot be disregarded for any reason.

 

2. The Natural Law, which consists of the unique order that God set up in the entire universe from the first moment of creation. This is revealed in the law of gravity, where everything that is heavier than air tends to go down; in the law of plant life that makes the root of trees develop below the soil surface while the tree itself grows above the soil surface; and the law of conception that will inevitably result into the birth of the creature involved, in addition to other laws.

 

3. The Ecclesiastical Law, which consists in the enactment of rules and regulations made by spiritual leaders of any church or religion. Such enacted laws are expected to enable the adherents to observe better and more effectively the first two laws mentioned above. If, for o­ne reason or another, laws are enacted that go contrary to the positive law and/or the natural law, then such laws ought to be disregarded by all means.

 

4. The Civic Law, which is man-made law that could change from time to time. No government, no political leader, no court, no authoritative source of any kind can enact and implement laws that go against any of the above three laws. That would include the ecclesiastical provided no laws are enacted that go against the first two laws that were mentioned. Hence, people are obligated to disregard any law enacted by any government that does not respect higher laws.

 

We are now in a position to make a value judgment about anything that goes o­n in our earthly community. For such a judgment to be valid it must be objective and not subjective. It is objective when we view a human action the way God sees it, that is, without any deception whatsoever. o­n the other hand, a judgment may be viewed as subjective if it is merely based o­n our interpretation or opinion, if it contradicts or goes against the other three laws in particular the first two. Let us now analyze carefully the Iraqi war.

 

Such a war cannot be judged as right or wrong by what politicians choose to tell us or by the rationale that is given by the weapons industry and the military industrial complex. Unfortunately, experience has demonstrated that many have become rich by turning the manufacture and sales of weapons, along with the promotion of struggles and wars, into a big lucrative business. In other words, such sources have developed the habit of making millions of dollars through the infliction of so much pain and suffering.

 

This may be viewed as blood money that is cursed. The American war against Iraq was waged in violation of the Geneva Convention, since Iraq was not a threat to the security of the United States. The reasons given for the invasion of Iraq, which included the having weapons of mass destruction, were proven to be entirely unfounded and false.

 

Besides, some of the leading statesmen of the world like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu of South Africa, the Dalai Lama, Oscar Arias of Costa Rica and Pope John Paul II, in addition to others, warned the United States that such an invasion would be a grave mistake. The Pope even pointed out that such an invasion would create animosity between Christians and Moslems and that it would instigate more terrorism as to become totally out of control.

 

What did the war in Iraq achieve over the past five years? Before we prove the illegality and immorality of such a senseless war we need to enlist some of the eventual achievements of this abusive, cruel and disastrous war. Without a clear concept of these achievements we are not in a position to make a value judgment of such a war. This list is not structured in any specific order.

 

1. Destruction of the infrastructure of a nation: Thousands of houses and several hospitals, schools, and businesses were destroyed. People became homeless having lost all of their belongings. They could no longer have a place where they could preserve their food. Hunger and disease spread which led to the death of many.

 

2. Massacre of over o­ne million innocent Iraqis: In the process of conquering Iraq, supposedly to liberate it from terrorists, Americans killed mercilessly almost over o­ne million innocent people consisting mostly of women, children the elderly and the sick. In addition, tens of thousands were maimed with legs or arms amputated.

 

3. Creation of tens of thousands of orphans: Many children had o­ne or both of their parents killed. They will have to live now for the rest of their life with a trauma that will always be felt to be unbearable. As a result, these children have lost their real happiness and joy of life. Many are bound to spend the rest of their life in a state of depression as a consequence.

 

4. Increase in the number of deaths of children: Due to luck of food and medicine, the number of children dying in Iraq is literally frightening. According to UNICEF, 20% of Iraqi children are dying of starvation every year. What a nice legacy the United States has given to these Iraqi children! Tens of thousands of them have not gone to school since the American invasion in March 2003.

 

5. Making thousands of families to be homeless: Some US officials refer to the Iraqi war as the war of liberation. It is truly a war of liberation because Americans did succeed to liberate the Iraqis from their homes and now they are homeless; to liberate Iraqis from their markets and now they find it difficult to get food; to liberate Iraqis from their beloved o­nes and now they live in pain.

 

6. Maiming numerous civilians with arms or legs amputated: It is very sad to see now many Iraqis deformed for life. Many international reporters tell us that, in just four years under American domination, the Iraqis have suffered infinitely more than under the 30 years rule by Saddam Hussein, who was condemned to death just for being responsible for the death of 146 people.

 

7. Disruption in the education of children at all levels: A nation is as good and bad as its people in terms of education, culture, and religious practices. We are now setting up an Iraqi nation consisting of a generation that is being limited in its educational endeavors. This Iraqi war instilled in many the deprivation of a will to live, which explains the story of the so called suicide bombers.

 

8. Creating a great shortage of food: For about ten years prior to the Iraqi invasion, the United States put sanctions o­n Iraq that made it difficult for this nation to secure the vital needs of the people. Because of that every year 10% of the children died of starvation, as reported by UNICEF. Now, the food shortage has even increased and the country is suffering immensely.

 

9. Instigation of hatred and revenge against Americans: The Iraqi people, as a whole, attribute all the mess that is going o­n in Iraq to the presence of US troops. Teenagers were asked by humanitarian organizations what did they think was the source of all their problems. They all said: The presence of Americans. We want them all to leave Iraq. We want them just to leave us alone.

 

10. Exploitation of Iraqs natural resources: Some political analysts tell us that the United States, in invading Iraq, had ulterior motives, which consisted in the confiscation of oil. As a capitalist nation, the United States is run by big corporations, which control not o­nly the economy of the entire nation but also the entire US government.

 

In other words, the United States is ruled by the Corporate Trinity of Evil, consisting of the weapons industry, the construction companies and the oil enterprises. They work hand in hand. The weapons industry destroys the infrastructure of a nation; then the construction companies go there to rebuild the nation while the oil enterprises step in to control the natural resources.

 

11. Imposition of a notorious, cruel and heartless dictatorship: The feeling among the vast majority of the people in Iraq is this. The Iraqis were much better before the American invasion than after. And they explain why. Before the American invasion, the Iraqis had their own homes. The spouses enjoyed each other and they loved seeing their children growing up.

 

Parents were happy to see their beloved children playing and enjoying themselves. Now, those that manage to be still alive are mourning deeply the loss of so many of their family members, relatives and friends. They feel sad and many do feel that they have nothing to live for now, that their life has been fully ruined. Many feel so upset and angry at the Americans who killed their beloved o­nes they feel their o­nly goal in life is to kill as many Americans as they can.

 

Needless to say, every Iraqi that tries to avenge the death of his dear family members, relatives and friends is quickly labeled by the US government as Al-Qaeda, even though such Iraqis may dislike the Al-Qaeda in no lesser way than they dislike the American soldiers. The saintly Pope John Paul II had warned the United States that the invasion of Iraq would create great animosity and that it would turn the region into a ground of terrorism that would go out of control. We are witnessing today the execution of the Popes prophetic warning.

 

12. Destruction of the rich heritage of an old civilization: Iraq is not just another country. It is a unique country that could be viewed as a sacred ground for Jews, Christians and Moslems since most events related in the Bible took place there. In just five years, this needless and atrocious war has destroyed what has been built over a period of some three thousand years.

 

13. Endangering unnecessarily the lives of young Americans: Over 4,000 Americans were killed, not counting those that committed suicide. Besides, more than 30,000 were wounded with arms or legs amputated and quite a few with disfigured faces for life. These young Americans did not choose to go to war. If they had a choice, the vast majority would have opted for sure not to go.

 

Besides, because of this war, many young American soldiers had their marriage broken ending up in a divorce. o­nce these young Americans are sent to fight, to destroy the infrastructure of a nation, and to kill anything that moves, as they are often told, their life, quite often, deteriorates psychologically. We need to keep in mind that, for all practical purposes, the life of American soldiers is sacred in no lesser way than that of the Iraqis. After all they are all children of the same God.

 

We need to bring to our attention here the words of former US President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech to the US Congress. He said: Remember that every dollar you spend o­n weapons and war is a theft from the hungry and the poor. This World War II US General knew very well that every war is barbaric, that in a war everyone is a loser and no o­ne a winner. He also warned about the weapons industrial complex that for profit the lethal product of this industry may go completely out of control. This would be a great catastrophe for it would hasten the road to Armageddon.

 

To this send, the time is ripe to start viewing as criminals all those who have turned the manufacture and the indiscriminate sales of weapons, along with the waging of wars into a lucrative business. Countless millions of dollars are being made through the infliction of merciless killing of tens of thousands of innocent people amounting to millions o­n a global scale.

 

What amazes every sensible person in the world lies in the fact that hardly any news media reporter ever tries to investigate the kind of money those government officials that promote wars might be making behind the curtain. People need an explanation of how most government officials initially have enough money to make ends meet and then, all of a sudden, they become millionaires. Scholars of political science have concluded that such excessive money made by politicians comes from weapons and wars.

 

War as Betrayal of People

 

If US President Dwight Eisenhower were alive today he would have probably referred to government officials who continue to pour billions of dollars o­n the manufacture of more weapons and the promotion of more wars as traitors who, like Judas Iscariot, continue to betray innocent people and sending them prematurely to their grave. They will never reveal their real intent. o­n the contrary, they try to cover their intent very carefully by referring to anything negative and destructive they do through the usage such phraseology as safeguard of American interests and as national defense and security.

 

To get back to where we started, every crime that takes place in the world constitutes a violation of o­ne or more laws, especially against the divine positive law and the natural law, since both of such laws are God-made laws. This means that they can never be modified or changed till the end of time. Among such laws we find that we should not kill anyone under no circumstance whatsoever, that we should not lie to people when we talk to them, that we should not destroy or confiscate the property of others, and that we should love others with respect same as ourselves. All of these laws fall within the divine positive law.

 

Besides, we are obligated to protect the environment from air and water pollution. Moreover, all people are entitled to free health care and education and to have adequate home facilities. All of these constitute a part of the natural law. If the billions of dollars that the US government has spent o­n the Iraqi war were spent o­n the needy, today millions of people sleeping in the streets like strayed animals would have had a home. All the hungry in the world would have had food and all the poor would have had available all kinds of medication.

 

Regardless of what we may hear to the contrary, the military by its very nature exists to promote violence revealed in the destruction of the infrastructure of cities and the merciless killing of countless innocent people that would include women, children, the elderly and the sick. We all know that violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence. This is thoroughly vindicated by the quagmire Iraq is in because of a war that should have never taken place.

10-16-08

------------------------------------------------------------------------

How to Create a World Without Wars

 

From the early days of creation there seems to have been wars going o­n century after century. Needless to say, there have been extended periods in history that were characterized by peace. For example, we read in the Holy Scriptures that when Christ was born the whole world was at peace. As a result, people o­n the whole felt relieved from tension and tended to feel at ease.

 

Eisenhowers Admonition

 

Speaking o­n this topic in his farewell speech to Congress, former US President Dwight Eisenhower reminded the US government saying: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, o­nly their government wants war. He also remarked that the people in the world want peace so badly that their government is going to have no choice but to give it to them.

 

The tendency for most governments to solve their political differences through struggles and wars will have to stop abruptly, the sooner the better. At this stage of history, we have entered the nuclear age. This means that now the entire world is faced with annihilation where everyone will be a loser and no o­ne a winner. Each time a war was waged we witnessed the destruction of cities and the death of many innocent people o­n both sides.

 

We all recall World War II. Germany lost the war; its economy collapsed and poor people were found everywhere. At the same time, Great Britain won the war. Ironically, its economy equally collapsed and poor people were found everywhere. Not o­nly so, but this so called winning nation witnessed the collapse of the British Empire soon after.

 

Since World War II was over we witnessed the emergence of two super powers, the Soviet Union and the United States. As a result, the arms race started that was leading to World War III. Both nations put so much money o­n the manufacture of weapons and the build-up of the military that the entire civic economy was threatened. As a result, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1987 and many predicted that the collapse of the United States would come soon after.

 

What amazed the entire world lies here. The United States could have embarked o­n a program of international disarmament and arms control. It would surely have had the staunch support of the United Nations since world peace is a major UN objective. Instead, it continued with its phenomenal military build-up, with the manufacture and sales of unlimited weapons of mass destruction and with the continued preparation for an eventual World War III.

 

Two Ways of Solving a Problem

 

When we are faced with a problem we have two ways of approach to the involved problems solution. o­ne way lies in concentrating o­n the consequences and then figure out something by way of cleaning up the mess that followed. Another way would be to seek for the real source that caused the problem and take immediate steps to deal with that source in a way that the problem would not be repeated again. The reason why we have had so many wars lies here. Responsible government officials feel challenged by the result or consequence of a specific action and they proceed to take immediate steps to counteract it.

 

They hardly ever seek the real reason behind the tragic event that took place so that they could procure kind of remedies that the involved problem would never be repeated again. For example, when the terrorists destroyed the twin towers in New York o­n September 11, 2001, the United States government reacted by taking immediate retaliation of o­ne kind or another. They simply would not take their time to figure out how and why it happened. They blamed Osama Bin Laden who was presumed to be hidden in Afghanistan. Then the Americans took steps immediately to invade this central Asian nation.

 

As though this was not enough, the United States wanted to demonstrate its machismo. This time the scapegoat was Saddam Hussein of Iraq who was accused of having weapons of mass destruction and of becoming a great threat to the United States! And we know the rest of the story. The United States, contrary to the opposition of the United Nations and several well-known diplomats, like Nelson Mandela, Oscar Arias, Desmond Tutu, Pope John Paul II, in addition to others, proceeded to invade Iraq. The Pope even warned that such an invasion would create animosity between Christians and Moslems.

 

Besides, the Pope also warned that such an invasion would turn Iraq into a haven for terrorists and would turn the region out of control. He also stressed that the best way to deal with terrorism was to go to its source as to discover what has instigated terrorists to do what they did. To this day, the United States never went to the real source of terrorism. Instead it fabricated such statements as jealousy for the democracy and freedom that Americans enjoy!

 

Of course, this was unfortunately very ridiculous to say the least since in the United States there is o­nly a façade of democracy. We need to keep in mind that this is a nation of plutocracy where the government is controlled by the rich with iron fist through big corporations. When o­ne considers that Americans are prohibited by their government to visit a number of nations including its peaceful neighbor Cuba, it takes o­nly o­nce ounce of intelligence for o­ne to realize that, unlike people of other nations, Americans are severely restricted in their freedom of movement.

 

Exploitation of People

 

In several studies made by many non-governmental organizations, it was discovered that many people in the world were becoming increasingly tired and sick of their exploitation by colonialists and imperialists. Over periods of time they developed animosity and even hatred toward such powers and that included especially the United States. We are all fully aware of how US big corporations try to infiltrate in as many nations as possible to exploit their natural resources, while leaving the natives in abject poverty and suffering from all kinds of maladies.

 

Hence, the source of the kind of terrorism we have been experiencing against such an imperialist nation as the United States and such a colonialist nation as the United Kingdom could be well understood. Briefly stated, the world at large cannot accept any longer its respective nations being exploited to their own detriment. To turn an insult into injury, a number of nations, above all the United States, resort to the military to get what they want by force anything they feel it could not be obtained through diplomatic means. The people in the world at large do not view the military the way it is advertized.

 

The military is viewed the way it performs since actions tend to speak louder than words. Judged by its actions o­n a global scale, the military has been described in some academic circles as a terrorist organization sanctioned by the government. The excuses a government brings to the contrary are viewed as pure lies, as elements of deceit. For example, what did the US military do following its invasion of Iraq? US soldiers have destroyed the infrastructure of many cities, leaving numerous people homeless. They massacred thousands of innocent Iraqis composed mostly of women, children the elderly and the sick.

 

Besides, they left over half million children orphans having lost o­ne or both of their parents. The life of such children will never be normal again. They have to live in pain with a trauma for the rest of their lives. As the Iraqis said repeatedly, the greatest problem they have is the presence of Americans.

 

When some humanitarian organizations visited Palestinian and Iraqi children, they asked them the following question: What would you like to do when you grow up? Without hesitation some 80% of them replied: Killing Americans. These were children between the ages of nine and eleven. When such children were asked to explain why this was their goal in life, they were quick to reply saying: Because Americans killed our fathers; they killed our mothers; they killed our brothers and sisters and they maimed several of our relatives and friends who live now with an arm or a leg amputated.

 

Foreign Troops Unwelcome

 

Toward the end, the Iraqi children spoke of what they think would bring peace in their country. They said: We want peace in our country by all means but for this to happen we want the Americans to leave the country the sooner the better. We just want them to leave us alone. Of course, the military atrocities we have experienced by US troops and their European allies in both Afghanistan and Iraq is not something new. Such atrocities were experienced by many Europeans, especially the Jewish people, in World War II by the military regime of Nazi Germany.

 

Moreover, such war atrocities were experienced by Tibetans in Tibet by the Chinese military. They were eventually experienced in countries across every continent where we have had civil wars or nations invading nearby nations. It is quite curious for us to discover that in all of these struggles and wars no o­ne was a winner but everyone ended up being a loser. In spite of this military fiasco that was experienced over the past 6,000 years of recorded civilization, the nations of the world continue to manufacture, sell and purchase weapons and military equipment. They continue to rely o­n the military for their eventual security!

 

Former US Alabama Senator Howell Heflin was o­ne of those in the US Congress who advocated and defended peoples right to purchase and own guns as they need. He explained this saying that the American people have a right for self-defense. In the event they are attacked, he added, they may have no time to call the police; they have to take care of their lives themselves.

 

One of his constituents o­nce raised to him the following question: Senator, suppose you are in the midst of an auditorium with 500 other people watching a stage show, what will make you and everyone in the auditorium feel more secure if you and each o­ne of those present is carrying a loaded gun, or if neither you nor anyone of those present is carrying no gun at all? He never answered that question to the end of his life. Needless to say, the answer was obvious but he would not put himself o­n the spot.

 

In view of what has been stated, we may begin to understand why the military has emerged to become the greatest stumbling block to peace. From a brief glance at the past 6,000 years of recorded history, the military was hardly ever used to promote peace. It was virtually used to promote struggles and wars, to massacre innocent people and to destroy peoples homes, hospitals, schools as well as their places of worship. Besides, the military has become a source of our air and water pollution and the tremendous amount of maladies that have developed as a result, which threaten human survival.

 

Liability of the Weapons Industry

 

Since we cannot imagine a military without weapons, those corporations that manufacture such lethal elements have increasingly become the greatest polluters of our planet. Unfortunately, the weapons industry, along with the promotion of struggles and wars, developed itself into a lucrative business. Government officials are bribed with millions of dollars to support the spending of more and more money o­n these lethal instruments.

 

Organized groups, the mafia type, visit various global areas to find ways how to instigate the starting of civil wars and the pushing of nations to fight against each other. In spite of all that has been stated, we still can create a world without wars if we were to take the proper steps. Some people have become so skeptical that they really feel convinced that we are bound to have weapons along with struggles and wars till the end of times.

 

This is certainly true o­nly if we were to choose not to become involved in making a difference, if we decide to generate in ourselves and in others negative rather than constructive energy. However, individually and collectively we could make a big difference, for we could turn things around o­nce and for all as to fulfill a dream that is cherished by all.

 

We are referring to the creation of a permanent world peace through the structure of a new global approach that is in the best interest of all people without exception. All we need to do is to adopt the right approaches while keeping in mind the universal welfare of all people without exception. We need to view each other as members of the same body known as humanity.

 

Each time the members of our body are properly coordinated, we all feel satisfied and happy. If it is true that both the arms and legs have different functions, it is also true that they all belong to the same person. It would be incomprehensible if we were to say seriously that we are concerned primarily with the welfare of our arms but not of our legs.

 

This kind of reasoning may force us to neglect the needs and health of our legs as to risk becoming lame or ending up in a wheelchair. In the political sphere politicians must be concerned, first and foremost, with the welfare of all people not o­nly of their respective nations but also around the world. This kind of reasoning leads to unity, peace, prosperity and harmony. It leads eventually to a world without wars. This was o­ne of the secrets of Barack Obama in his campaign to become the US President. He said:We are not democrats or republicans; we are not black, white, Asians or Latinos; we are all Americans who share the same country, the same opportunities and the same destiny.

 

Solution of all Problems

 

We need here to bring to our attention what Socrates said some 2,500 years ago relative to the solution of problems we may encounter. He said: We can solve properly and effectively every problem we encounter without exception if we were to take the first step. What is this first step? He continued to say: The first step is to bring the problem into the open for everyone to see because, unless people become aware of the problem, they will never do anything about it.

 

Moreover, Socrates added saying: Once people become aware of the problem then they immediately begin to figure out how this may affect them in some way or another and o­nce they see that clearly, then actions are taken and the problem is solved. For 2,500 years, this statement of Socrates was continuously vindicated with no virtual exception whatsoever. We may now begin to understand and realize why our politicians, who often tend to function like a mafia gang, try to lie to their constituents as to make them see things differently, not in true perspective. This explains why so many governments in history adopted strict censorship in the news media.

 

Everybody knows in the world that honesty is the best policy. If this is the case, it is in our best interest and that of all human beings around the world to expose corporate greed and selfish interests as well as governmental abuses of power. We need to bring to justice all those that have been responsible to genocidal crimes and to the infliction of untold suffering o­n so many innocent people through the destruction of their places of habitation along with their hospitals, markets, schools and places of worship.

 

We need to view as criminals all those who provide money for weapons to destroy the infrastructure of cities instead o­n food to feed the hungry and o­n medication to cure the poor who are sick. We need to jail all those who use the military for negative and destructive purposes without hesitation.

 

In order for us to understand the status quo of our earthy society, let us imagine that all sane and intelligent people are locked up in jail, while all the notably insane and notorious criminals are released from their asylum or jail. Let us also suppose that such released mentally deficient people and dangerous criminals assume afterwards the realm of government. Can we imagine the atrocities that people everywhere would be soon experiencing? What makes such people dangerous is not the fact that they were locked up but the fact that they have proven to be mentally deficient, heartless and cruel.

 

Enemies of Peace

 

Yes, we can create a world without wars by all means without the slightest shadow of a doubt. In the first place, we need to get to the source that has inflicted so much suffering in this world. We need to deal with that source in bringing it under full control, no matter how long it may take. Here is a list of the enemies of peace that is formulated at random and in no special specific order. These enemies of peace have at least o­ne thing in common. They have no regard for human life at all, regardless of what they may say to the contrary.

 

1. Weapons Industry: The culprits here that need to be brought under control are the owners and share holders of the weapons industry. These tend to make millions of dollars almost without limit. There are also those who work at such industries under the pretext of making a living. It is immoral to produce objects that are meant to kill human beings and also to destroy the infrastructure of cities. Like the Master Teacher of Nazareth said: Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.

 

2. Wagers of Struggles and Wars: Those that usually wage struggles and wars are politicians who use the military for negative and destructive purposes. Many of these tend to become millionaires from such morally abusive actions. They tend to work maliciously under the patronage of Satan. We need perhaps to invoke the intercession of St. Michael who wiped out Satan and his adherents from heaven with the speed of light. We need to have all belligerent politicians removed from office. This is best done during time of elections.

 

3. Religious Fundamentalists: We find such groups in some of the major religions of the world. In Judaism we have the Zionists, in Christianity we have the Christian Fundamentalists, and in Islam we have the Jihadists. What do these religious fundamentalists have in common? They claim that God told them to wage wars against other people, to kill them mercilessly and to destroy the infrastructure of their cities! This is certainly not the God of Jesus Christ whom He described to be a Father of love and mercy.

 

4. Tunnel-Vision Clergymen: Several clergymen, in spite of being good at heart, have a narrow tunnel-vision of spirituality. In good faith, they mislead people to their detriment. In the USA such tunnel-vision clergymen reveal themselves openly in political elections. They exhort people to vote for pro-life politicians who are also pro-war at the same time. o­nce elected these pro-life politicians take money away from the hungry and the poor and from the health care and education of children to pass it to the weapons industries for the promotion of more wars, where tens of millions o­n a global scale are massacred.

 

5. Big Corporations: It has been verified by several humanitarian groups linked with the United Nations that big corporations in general have become the greatest polluters of our planet. They have been singled out as responsible for the pollution of our air and water, two vital elements that are very essential for human survival. The reason for this is always the same: greed and selfish interests. To make things worse, governments, like in the USA, tend to abdicate their responsibility to protect the health of their people and do hardly anything constructive to improve the situation.

 

6. Governmental Corruption: There may be hardly a nation without having experienced, at o­ne time or another, corruption in its political leaders. Such leaders, at times, receive millions of dollars from foreign groups to help improve the life of their people as well as the educational system of the involved nation. Instead, such leaders use such money for themselves while letting their people continue to suffer from deprivation of the necessities of Life. Just to mention a couple of examples, we have had President Sese Seko Mobutu of the former Zaire and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

 

7. Military Operations: If we were to give a rapid glance over the past 6,000 years of recorded history, we would discover that military operations were virtually always linked with the destruction of the infrastructure of nations and the endless massacre of innocent people. The military exists for the sole purpose to instigate and promote struggles and wars. Hence, such operations should be severely restricted. The objective of the military should be changed from o­ne of destruction to o­ne of construction.

 

To illustrate this by example, military ships could be used as floating hospitals to bring medical attention to the poorest nations o­n earth. War airplanes could be used to carry medical and educational equipment to nations in need, along with food for the hungry. The military personnel could be used to build bridges along the highways of nations, to construct and repair bridges, and to build modest residences for the homeless. Cuba took a step in this direction several years ago already and people have benefited immensely.

 

Needless to say, the list of the enemies of peace may go o­n but these seven mentioned may be viewed among the principal o­nes. Of course, there are many positive and constructive steps that could be taken toward the creation of a world without wars. In the first place, we need to start with our schools at all levels of education covering kindergarten, elementary, secondary, college and university. The importance of peace education is vital since our children and students of today will be the leaders of our governments of tomorrow.

 

UNESCOs Preamble

 

Let us keep in mind the preamble of the United Nations, Educational, Scientific, and cultural Organization (UNESCO). It states: Since wars begin in the minds of men it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace should be constructed. The good or bad ideas children receive now will be demonstrated in their actions as adults of our earthly community tomorrow. o­n this point Lenin said: Give me a child until it is eight and it will be Bolshevist forever.

 

We need to imbue in our children from early childhood with a good philosophy of peace by enabling them to find pride in the practice of virtue. It is nobler to give than to receive, to serve than to be served, to be patient than to be compulsive, to reveal courage rather than arrogance, and to promote peace instead of waging wars.

 

In addition, we all need to work together to procure for our children a better world where the concept of war would be remote. Thus, we need to take drastic steps to this end. These steps are not enlisted in any specific order.

 

Step Number 1: How can we deal with the weapons industry in a way as to force it change its product? For example, instead of manufacturing tanks for soldiers it may start to manufacture tractors for farmers. To this end, we need to convince those that work for such an industry to quit their job and get another job instead. Former Rear Admiral Gene La Rocque remarked o­n this point saying: The weapons industry would then have to choose between remaining in business with a different product or simply fold up and go out of business.

 

Step Number 2: How can we deal with those that make a lot of money from the promotion of struggles and wars? We need to find ways as to convince themthat such a money is cursed money since it is earned through the shedding of blood of numerous innocent people consisting mostly of children, women the elderly and the sick. In the sphere of morality, when o­ne person furnished another with a gun to kill another person, both are equally accused of murder and both will receive the same punishment, even the capital punishment.

 

Step Number 3: How can we deal with religious fundamentalists who claim that they wage wars and kill people mercilessly because God directed them to do so? We should think o­n what Socrates advised in this regard: exposing their fallacious and wrong philosophy. The Master Teacher of Nazareth confirmed that the God He knew was a God of love and mercy, a God that when you strike Him o­n the face, He would not strike back by way of revenge. He would rather let you strike Him o­n the other cheek instead. He also rejected the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth philosophy, which is espoused by the military.

 

Step Number 4: How can we deal with clergymen who seem to neglect all of Gods Ten Commandments except the o­ne that says: You should not kill? In practice, they apply this commandment o­nly to the killing of the unborn! As already stated, in time of elections they encourage people to vote for pro-life politicians who are also pro-war. We need to expose their fallacious and wrong spiritual direction that they give. Our slogan may be: Voting for a pro-life and against-war politician yes, but voting for a pro-life and pro-war politician no.

 

Step Number 5: How can we deal with executives of big corporations to convince them that it is in the best interest of everyone concerned to try to reduce considerably the hazards they emit to the very air we breathe and the water we drink? When we consider that such corporations are generally run by greedy and selfish people who are mostly ego-centric, the o­nly hope to bring them under control would be through governmental intervention or through the courts. If necessary we need to have people trained to boycott their lethal products, which they could change, if they want, to beneficial and constructive items.

 

Step Number 6: How can we deal with top government officials that are proven to be corrupt? This would be a tough job since such officials would try to make you believe they agree with you but, at the same time, they already have in mind not to do anything different. If people were to become properly organized they will surely find ways to have such corrupted officials removed from office, like Americans did in recent times when they ousted the Republicans from the US government and replaced them by Democrats almost overnight.

 

Step Number 7: How can we deal with crucial problems that emanate directly from the very presence of the military in so many countries all over the world? There are several practical steps that could be taken, regardless of the time it may take. We need to put pressure o­n every single government o­n earth which has foreign military bases to have such bases closed without further delay.

We need to make it clear that while humanitarian and peace groups would be always welcome, the presence of the military would be always unwelcome for as long as the objective of the military would remain to wage wars.

 

In view of that has been stated, we may conclude that creating a world without wars is feasible even though the road to this end may be found rough in a number of instances. We need to be adamant in our determination to achieve this goal, which is the best legacy ever that we could give to our children, grandchildren and posterity. The achievement of a permanent world peace is, technically speaking, not difficult at all, since the seed of peace already exists in the heart of every human being, good and bad alike.

 

Nature of Peace

 

This means that peace cannot be imposed from the outside by any person or government, far less by the military. We have to nourish the seed of peace that we all have and simply pull it out from inside of us. This way we give peace a real healthy birth with a chance to live indefinitely. That is why peace education could play a big role in this regard.

 

In the meantime, we should put pressure o­n our respective governments, to make sure that those who try to make money through the manufacture and indiscriminate sales of weapons, along with the promotion of struggles and wars, be viewed as criminals and be prosecuted for treason. At the same time, we should become highly suspicious of any government official who says that we need to prepare for war in order to retain peace. The slogan over the past 2,000 years has been: si vis pacem para pacem if you want peace prepare for peace and si vis bellum para bellum if you want war prepare for war.

 

The greatest hope we have to create a world without wars was expressed by former US President Eisenhower, as already mentioned, when he said that all people of all nations want peace. It is o­nly a tiny minority that still wants war. Unfortunately, the war-minded of this tiny minority has infiltrated a number of governments. Our job and challenge would consist in working as hard as we can to eventually find effective means to eradicate this war mentality from every government where it exists. Let us keep in mind two good traditional sayings: (1) When there is a will there is a way, and, (2) Do you best and God will do the rest.

 

In addition, we need to keep in mind the words of the Master Teacher of Nazareth who said: With faith and prayer you can move a mountain. Also, the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, during the decade of the eighties, said to the children there something similar: With faith and prayer you can suspend the laws of nature. We may have a world without wars, sooner than later, if we were to get the habit of developing positive and constructive energy toward this end. It basically amounts to a combination of faith and prayer. Besides, we need to continue to work to bring the enemies of peace outlined above under control.

February 7, 2009

========================================

 

Education for World Citizens

 

Education is derived from two Latin words: e (out of) and duco (lead). Hence, education is a process that is meant to lead people hopefully from ignorance into knowledge, from darkness into light, and from confusion into clarity of mind. However, people could be led the other way round. It all depends o­n who is the educator and o­n the willingness people have to see things genuinely into true perspective.

 

Senecas Educational Philosophy

 

In the early first century A.D., Roman philosopher Seneca was very much concerned with the welfare of all people. He believed that a good education may eventually bring joy, comfort and satisfaction to every human being without exception. He was convinced that this was possible through a good education, which enables everyone to view the entire world and say, as he stressed: Omnis orbs terrarium patria mea est The whole world is my native land.

 

To this end, Seneca stated that a true and meaningful education is o­ne that would prove to be beneficial to everyone across every continent. Needless to say, if the entire world is, indeed, my own native land then I must be a genuine world citizen. Since then, this philosophy of education has been implemented merely o­n a few regional areas but never o­n a global scale.

 

A recent example of this is the European Union where people of various countries in Western Europe could travel to other countries without a passport. They could also work anywhere they want in these nations like each o­ne of them was just o­nes native land. However, for the past 2,000 years, Senecas concept of education for world citizens was never put into operation.

 

As a matter of fact, it was never taken seriously o­n a global scale, which explains why we have had, and we are still having, so many conflicts, struggles and wars, where everyone has been a loser and no o­ne a winner. We may begin to understand why we have so many nations where we find people living still in abject poverty, deprived of all the basic essentials of life.

 

In order to understand where we stand with each other at this stage of history, we need to bring to our mind the words which former US President Dwight Eisenhower told the US Congress in his farewell address. He reminded them saying: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, o­nly their government wants war. This good and peace-oriented US President also revealed great concern about the weapons industry and the military industrial complex, which he viewed as two dangerous elements that, unless brought under control, may serve as the destruction of civilization the way we know it today.

 

Evaluation of our Priorities

 

Over the next 50 years which followed, the words of this US President proved to be prophetic. Several nations, headed by the United States, emerged to become literally monsters of our earthly community. Such nations put the bulk of their money o­n the manufacture and sales of more and more weapons and the waging of more and more wars. As a result, the infrastructure of many of our cities has been destroyed with tens of thousands, amounting to millions, becoming homeless. As a consequence, these people have been also deprived of the necessities of life, which would include food and medicine.

 

Besides, millions end up being refugees living like discarded furniture for all practical purposes. To turn insult into injury, most government officials who have enriched themselves through the manufacture and sales of weapons and through the waging of wars, view these lethal weapons and disastrous actions as a necessity to safeguard the lives of their people! We need o­nly o­ne ounce of common sense to realize that people starve to death and die of manifold illnesses primarily because their respective governments do not really care about them.

 

Education for world citizens instills in us great love and respect not o­nly for our relatives and friends but for all people around us and across the world. This kind of education enables us to feel responsible not just for the members of our immediate family but also for every single human being o­n earth. This type of education enables us to see all people in the entire world as members of o­ne same body: humanity. If someone smashes o­ne of our toes, our entire body will immediately enter into an agony of pain, not just the o­ne smashed toe alone.

 

Most governments are somewhat suspicious of the idea of promoting an education for world citizens. The more belligerent countries identify this kind of education with peace, which is viewed as their enemy. Since they make plenty of money through the manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars, as explained earlier, they view peace as a threat to all that blood money they made and they are still making.

 

In fact, if we were to analyze carefully the foreign policies of belligerent nations, headed by the United States, when their governments representatives visit governments of the poorest nations especially, they tend to offer them mostly weapons and military equipment. All that these nations need desperately is food for their hungry, medicine for their sick, and homes for their homeless. It seems quite obvious in many ways that those government officials, who try to sell or buy weapons and to assist in the waging of more wars, may be viewed with virtual certainly to be thoroughly corrupt.

 

Proper Exercise of Our Responsibilities

 

The New Webster Dictionary of the English Language describes criminal as guilty of a crime, wicked, atrocious, villainous, and felonious. When we procure elements, which lead to the destruction of the infrastructure of cities and entire nations, along with the merciless massacre of thousands and millions of innocent people, we certainly qualify to be viewed as criminals in the strict sense of the word. After all, we are fully responsible for the horrible and atrocious disaster of such a crime. Crimes of this nature would not have been possible if education for world citizens was fully in operation.

 

The Seneca approach to education o­n a global scale is still feasible, even though we would have to do plenty of home work to this end. As we already know, all the mess we have in this world originates mostly from a hand-full of people we have in the government who proceed to abuse their power with no remorse whatsoever. All we need to do is to prepare a future generation that is properly equipped to replace hatred with love and war with peace. Besides, we need to instill in our future generation the idea that the best gift we could give o­n earth is to enable people to live in peace with themselves and with others.

 

We also need to imbue the young generation especially with virtues such as prudence, meekness, patience, perseverance, kindness and detachment from the material things of this world. We need also to equip them with a philosophy that would view the spiritual and physical strength of people as a top priority. Like St. Catherine of Siena used to say: Anima sana in corpora sano A healthy mind is found in a healthy body. When the mind is healthy, it will be able to put priorities where they belong, especially in relation to all human beings.

 

Since the concept of education for world citizens is vital to the survival of the human race as we know it today, we should not hesitate any longer to start implementing it in our classrooms. No permission or approval is ever required in life from anyone when it comes to doing something that is good and fully beneficial to all human beings around the world.

==========================================

 

Impact of Culture in

Developing Countries

 

Culture is derived from the Latin word cultura, which literally means cultivation. It deals with improvement of knowledge by mental or physical training. It especially refers to peoples way of life. A cultured person is often viewed to be an enlightened individual that merits respect. Needless to say, the way that people tend to act or behave reveals their unique culture. This explains why peoples habits vary so much from o­ne global area to another.

 

Appreciation of Arts

 

When we speak of the appreciation of culture we generally refer to the appreciation of arts that may include painting and music as well as theater and poetry. Cultural exhibitions that take place from time to time in various global areas tend to show what it has just been stated. Besides, the Olympics that have taken place in Beijing in 2008 revealed a vivid demonstration of culture. Culture may be viewed in many ways as transcendental in the sense that it is generally liked and respected by all people.

 

The enrichment of culture is the result of contributions made individually or collectively. Luciano Paverotti, a famous Italian singer, fascinated large audiences with his singing. His individual cultural contributions brought joy and happiness in the hearts of countless thousands of people. It is good that we are living in an age of advance technology because his voice had been recorded and it could be still heard for many centuries yet to come.

 

Needless to say, many remember the Beatles that consisted of a group of four young men from England who performed together for a long time drawing large audiences. They were also instrumental in enriching our culture with their musical and singing talents. They made millions of records, which will enable them to keep their cultural contribution to society alive for a very long time. In addition, many videos and films were made o­n them that have eventually immortalized their cultural talents.

 

We should not forget the classical operas and various symphonies that were composed by Verdi, Beethoven, Mozart and the list goes o­n and o­n. Tens of thousands still flock several theaters to see stage operas and to listen to the classical music of some of the best composers in history. The enrichment of arts lies in the fact that they are so different in both concept and expression and, yet, they are all termed to be beautiful.

 

Source of World Enrichment

 

If we were to take a rapid tour around the world, we would be surprised to notice how many people of talent do exist in so many global areas. We should feel very grateful toward them because they have become the source of world enrichment. For those who might have visited France, they might have had the opportunity to listen to the cultural contributions made by Boudjemaa Zennouch whose talents in playing string instruments have instigated many to invite him to perform in a number of countries.

 

Mr. Zennouch is a young Berber from Algeria who lives with his beautiful wife and four talented children at St. Dennis in the outskirts of Paris. He is at present a permanent residence of France. Fortunately, he made quite a few CDs of his music and singing, which could be secured directly from him at any time. His e-mail is: b_zennouche@yahoo.fr

 

He has performed in a number of countries including Germany. During October 2008 Mr. Zennouch was scheduled to give performances for a few weeks in Algeria the country of his birth. He gave numerous radio interviews and people came from everywhere to enjoy his cultural contributions to society through his musical talents. Mr. Zennouch is a very intelligent and charming young man. He is noticeably modest and would go out of his way to make people feel happy and comfortable.

 

What is really nice with Mr. Zennouch, and many others like him, is that he tries to bring joy and peace in the hearts of all those he comes across. In fact, the music and songs he composes are all geared toward the promotion and implementation of peace, both individually and collectively. It was not easy for him to arrive at this important stage of him life time. He comes from a rather poor family where he had to do a variety of work to make sure that all the members of his family were not deprived of anything substantial and essential.

 

For some time, he played in subways and streets to entertain people that would stop to listen to him. Some of whom were so amazed and impressed that they gave him all the financial assistance that he needed.

 

What is the real impact of culture o­n developing countries? Such an impact has always been proven to be both positive and constructive. Culture is viewed in general as the product of the good an individual, a group or an entire nation, as a matter of fact, has to offer. As stated earlier, culture deals not o­nly with painting and music but also with poetry and theater. These are items that are instinctively sought by all people from every walk of life and profession. They are elements that make people feel interiorly fulfilled.

 

Proper Utilization of Culture

 

We should keep in mind that culture could be kept alive or simply be buried into oblivion. When we keep it alive, especially in developing countries, we are managing to inject life and energy in people, something that they would appreciate immensely. o­n the other hand, when we keep it quiet like it is not there, we develop a situation where everyone feels a vacuum sensing that something is missing.

 

When we deal with culture in developing nations we need to make sure that we do respect and preserve their inherited culture. Besides, we could take the opportunity to bring to the natives of these less fortunate nations other cultures that would enrich or complement their respective cultures. In this process, we need to be gentle as to bring them peaceful music, the composition of uplifting poetry, and the proper use of the theater as to enable them to learn vividly from history anything that is positive and constructive.

 

Besides, we could present a variety of paintings that are meaningful to their life, both at the individual and community level. The cultural approach would surely enable the natives of developing countries not o­nly to appreciate culture but also to become an integral part of it. The most important element is to keep in mind that culture should be used primarily to promote and implement peace among the various communities o­n a permanent basis.

 

When people learn and practice the art of sharing with each other their feelings of both joy and concern, there will never be room for war, which should become obsolete the sooner the better. In view of what has been stated, it is obvious that we cannot take the importance of culture lightly. Culture gives satisfaction and fulfillment to everyone involved and concerned.

 

Moreover, it is enables us to develop our sense of appreciation toward ourselves and others. It also enables us to bring peace and harmony in the midst of each community where everyone should feel a winner and no o­ne a loser. The appreciation of culture should always be our goal in life.

8/22/08

 


----------------------------------------------------------------
Role of Religious Leaders in Guiding

The World to Peace and Harmony

 

The history of our earthly community has virtually been characterized by struggles and wars. This seems to be somewhat strange when we consider that people in general always opted for peace and harmony. If we were to go deeply into the matter we would soon discover that those that tend to promote struggles and wars consist generally of tiny minorities.

 

Promotion of Struggles and Wars

 

Such tiny minorities would be grouped into two basic segments: (1) those who occupy governmental positions, and (2) those that form cliques to rebel against any form of government. In addition, we may perhaps add another group that could be held responsible for the continued promotion of struggles and wars. It consists of religious leaders who do little or hardly anything to help replace struggles and wars with peace and harmony.

 

For all practical purposes, let us concentrate o­n this latter group that is commonly referred to as religious leaders. The primary job of religious leaders has always been to provide guidance to the various peoples of the world to live in peace and harmony. However, experience has demonstrated, as clearly witnessed in the USA, that such religious leaders are often hesitant to speak out loud and clear against the evil in our society especially when it stems from political leaders or leaders of various factions within our earthly community.

 

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that the secret of good life has been to promote and to preserve the good regardless of where it comes from, even if it were to have originated from a garbage man. o­n the other hand, this great theological saint stressed the importance for all of us to condemn evil by all means even if it were to have originated from the king, that is, from high government officials.

 

Religious leaders are obligated ex officio to investigate governmental belligerent policies that often lead to struggles and wars and that result in the destruction of the infrastructure of whole communities, the destruction of our environment and the destruction of human life itself. They need also to explore what kind of money that is being made by those who provide all lethal devices for the continued preservation of struggles and wars. This is often done under the guise of national defense and security!

 

No Justification for Violence

 

The world at large knows fully well today that the promotion of struggles and wars has turned into a lucrative business. The making of money by the elite few has taken priority over the sacredness of human life. The end justifies the means has become the slogan of quite a few governmental officials and a substantial number of organized rebels. Those in charge for the effective provision of moral leadership should learn from the Master Teacher of Nazareth that violence of any kind is never justified in no way whatsoever.

 

This great moral leader of all times taught us that violence breads violence and more violence breeds more violence. It explains why Jesus of Nazareth told Peter, o­ne of his disciples: Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword. Religious leaders ought to instruct military officials to change their mission from o­ne of destruction into o­ne of construction, to realize that their first duty is to render themselves as good instruments in the hands of God to alleviate human suffering rather than inflicting it.

 

Military officials ought to defy openly political leaders when they are instructed to invade and attack another country, like it was with the case of Iraq which was considered to be a big mistake even by many American politicians. There was a time in history when struggles and wars were viewed as justified under various circumstances. Nowadays, under the guidance of many modern spiritual leaders we have come to realize that the promotion of struggles and wars has ceased completely to be for purpose of security.

 

The nature of struggles and wars became criminal and it deserves the condemnation of every responsible human being. What did many of the modern spiritual leaders have in common such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Sai Baba of India, the Dalai Lama, and Pope Benedict XVI, in addition to numerous others? They all condemned struggles and wars that are directed to the suffering and massacre of people as an evil that cannot be justified under any circumstance.

 

Also, Nelson Mandela, along with others, stated that at this stage of history, the United States has emerged to become the most belligerent and dangerous nation o­n earth. He based his statement o­n the fact that this nation manufactures and sells more weapons of destruction than all the nations of the world combined! The US government seems to have succeeded fully well to brainwash and indoctrinate the vast majority of American religious leaders to view American involvement in struggles and wars as positive and constructive!

 

Brainwashing and Indoctrination

 

Many of the American religious leaders have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to believe that the struggles and wars, which US government wages anywhere in the world, are geared toward the security and national interest of the United States and that the Americans who fight in such struggles an wars are heroes while those who support the cause of these belligerent and genocidal policies are patriots!

 

This explains why in the USA people hardly ever hear their religious leaders, as a whole, criticizing and condemn in the open the genocidal policies of their government. In their places of worship they opt to remain silent instead of demonstrating courage to condemn all kind of evil by all means. They often speak of peace and harmony but, at the same time, they hardly ever provide means to implement such elements among the various peoples of our planet.

 

In addition to what has been stated, religious leaders ought to instruct periodically and systematically people everywhere of their sacrosanct moral obligation not to work for the weapons industry by all means. They should also make it clear that all those who perish by the lethal product, which they produce will sooner or later back fire to their regret and with no hope of return, since we cannot ever reverse the clock of history.

 

Last but not least, religious leaders everywhere should instruct the general public that those who make money through the manufacture and sales of weapons should view such money as blood money. In essence, they are traitors and guilty of the massacre of innocent human lives same way as Judas Iscariot was with Jesus of Nazareth when he betrayed Him for merely 30 pieces of silver!

 

After all, in our earthly courts of justice not o­nly those who murder are condemned but also those who provide the means for such committed murders. They all share the same identical punishment. If we were to make it a point to fulfill properly our moral obligation to others, peace and harmony in the world may be achieved sooner than later, before we even know it.          
06-05-08

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Analysis of the Foreign Policy of Barack

Obama as President of the United States

 

One of the greatest assets of Barack Obama lies in the fact that by nature he is more inclined to be a statesman than a politician. A statesman is viewed as o­ne who is interested in the universal welfare of all people to the exclusion of no o­ne. o­n the other hand, a politician is o­ne who proves to be interested in the welfare of some to the exclusion of others.

Creation of World Problems

This explains why throughout history we find that most of the worlds problems have been created exclusively by politicians. With this view in mind, former US President Dwight Eisenhower did not hesitate to tell the US Congress in his farewell speech: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, o­nly their governments want war. Of course, there are various degrees of statesmen and politicians.

In general, statesmen opt for healthy dialogues with all possible factions o­n a mutually beneficial basis. In this process, they reveal at times to have heroic virtues such as patience, perseverance, and humility along with flexibility in the process of solving problems properly, effectively and permanently. Unfortunately, politicians often tend to view military action as an option in dealing with various nations.

In spite of the effort politicians make in projecting a good image of the military, the fact remains that, in terms of tangible evidence, the military has become a violent institution in the hands of politicians to get what they want by all means.Some described the military as a violent institution used by politicians to get what they want lawlessly under the guise of security.

For example, those entering other nations without legal authorization to make contributions to society through their constructive work are soon viewed as illegal immigrants. However, those known as soldiers who enter another country illegally to destroy the infrastructure of society, to kill and maim brutally tens of thousands of innocent people, are viewed as heroes and as defenders of freedom and democracy!

There has not been o­ne statesman in the history of recorded civilization that sought peace through war. In fact, the traditional saying has always been: Violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence. Some of the greatest worlds statesmen have been Buddha, Lao Tze, Jesus of Nazareth, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Oscar Arias, Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela, in addition to numerous others.

Dire Need for Statesmen

What did all these statesmen have in common? They all tried to promote genuine peace through healthy dialogues while they all tended to renounce war under any circumstance. To this end, the great statesman, Pope Benedict XVI said: War should never be an option under no circumstance whatsoever. In view of what has been stated, let us now analyze the essential foreign policy of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

As analyzed from both his speeches and actions, Barack Obama is fully aware of the fact that honesty is the best policy. He is a man of intelligence and compassion. In his campaign to become the US President, he admitted more than o­nce that he is not a perfect man. He also expressed gratitude to his wife Michelle saying that she often reminds him of this fact. This episode made him often reflect, pray and meditate, in addition to his determination to search for better options in the solution of problems.

The foreign policy of Barack Obama is not based o­n favoring the allies over the non-allies, o­n promoting certain ethnic and religious beliefs over others or o­n repaying favors to those who gave him in the past what he might have wanted. Such a foreign policy is based o­n the eventual peace and security of all nations. For example, he made it clear that every country without exception has a right to live in peace and security.

To this end, he vouched to protect Israel by all means, no matter what that would entail. At the same time, he expressed his desire to see a healthy and prosperous Palestinian State existing side by side with Israel. Within the context, he made it clear that he favors the continuance existence of Israel since in the past it was threatened by surrounding countries more than o­nce.

Of course, many conscientious citizens from the surrounding countries of Israel speak of the atrocities committed by Israelis against their people. In this regard, the problem we seem to face in the Middle East is this: Which came first the chicken or the egg? Who initiated first the trend for violence in the Middle East, the Israelis or the Palestinians? Regardless of who was responsible for the initiation of such violence, Barack Obama prefers to look forward rather than backward. He prefers to provide positive and permanent solutions in the direction of a bright and hopeful future.

Maybe Nelson Mandela could serve as a guide in this regard. When he became President of South Africa he was asked by the press o­n how he intended to deal with the white minority who put him in jail for 27 years and who persecuted badly the black people of South Africa for a long time. This great statesman replied saying: Let bygones be bygones; we are all South Africans working together to make this nation great. He showed no feelings of revenge but of mercy and forgiveness. Through this attitude of his, he became recognized instantaneously as o­ne of the worlds greatest statesmen and won the admiration of countless millions around the world.

Testing Obamas Sincerity

Will Barack Obama go down in history as o­ne of the greatest Presidents the USA and the world at large ever had? That depends o­n whether he makes the security of nations consisting o­n continued military build-up or o­n a program of demilitarization o­n a global scale. It depends o­n whether he believes that people are safer when they have the most sophisticated weapons in the world at their disposal, or when the various nations around the world develop eventually their natural and human resources to their maximum potential.

Former US Senator Howell Heflin who believed in the right of people to bear arms, was o­nce asked the following question: Senator, if you were sitting in the center of an auditorium with 5,000 people watching a stage show, what would make you feel safer if you and each of the 5,000 people were carrying a loaded gun, or if neither you nor anyone in the auditorium was carrying no gun at all? This US Senator never answered this question to the very last moment of his life several years later!

Barack Obama is faced with the unique opportunity to bring peace and harmony in the Middle East by all means. He needs first of all to make it clear that the United States views the continued existence of Israel of paramount importance, as he already did. At the same time, he needs to encourage the surrounding countries of Israel to realize Israels right to exist and for all the nations in the Middle East area to develop a program of demilitarization and arms control. In doing so they all could then concentrate o­n the development of the natural and human resources, after the example of Germany and Japan following World War II.

This way the peoples standard of living in the entire Middle East area could be improved considerably. People everywhere would be more able to have a house and a car in addition to a better health care system with properly equipped hospitals and with an excellent education where schools are provided with the best available academic means. Barack Obama said that not o­nly Israel has a right to exist, but also Palestine. This means that Barack Obama could be viewed as merely pro human rights advocate.

Although Barack Obama expressed his desire and determination to see Jerusalem remaining undivided, he also expressed the importance for Palestine to become a fully fledged state with well defined boundaries. Arabs living in Israel may become Israeli citizens with all rights and privileges. At the same time, Israelis living in Palestine may become Palestinian citizens with all rights and privileges as well.

Importance of Peace and Harmony

When peace and harmony in the Middles East become a tangible reality, the Israeli government should not have control over Jewish settlements in Palestine. At the same time, the Palestinian government should not have control over Palestinian settlements in Israel. As peace and harmony become increasingly felt, there should no longer be any need for any US military presence in the entire Middle East region.

As President of the United States, Barack Obama will be provided with the unique opportunity to replace military alliances with economic alliances, to change slowly but surely the product of the weapons industry from o­ne of being negative and destructive to o­ne of being positive and constructive. Instead of furnishing nations with tanks for soldiers, he could provide these same nations with tractors for farmers.

Moreover, instead of having the military using huge ships and aircraft carriers to carry lethal equipment that is used to destroy the infrastructure of nations and kill millions of innocent people, the same military ships could be changed into floating hospitals for the needy and the poor. Barack Obama is intelligent enough to realize and understand that the proliferation of weapons is not in the best interest neither of the United States nor of the world at large.

He is intelligent enough as to realize and understand that when the United States equips a friendly or an allied nation with nuclear devices and weapons of mass destruction that would be a grave mistake. The government of that same country may be replaced by another government that is hostile and suspicious of the United States. And such a government may then use such destructive and devastating devices to destroy the USA in a variety of ways. As President of the USA, this young man may bring new hope to future generations by taking gigantic steps in the direction of a safer world. This is certainly the greatest desire of people across every continent.

Without further hesitation, he may assume world leadership in promoting an international program of nuclear disarmament and arms control. Besides, his determination of establishing dialogues with all the leaders of the worlds nations will enable him to discover with clarity the real source of most of the worlds problems as to provide better and more effective solutions where everyone would end up being a winner an no o­ne a loser.

Considering that in his presidential campaign Barack Obama brought the prospect of radical changes in Washington, DC in a vivid and convincing manner, it is now hoped and fully expected that he reveals this promised radical change in his modus operandi. The American people want to regain their liberty and freedom of movement by all means. They want to be free to travel freely all over the world to any country of their choice, including, above all, Cuba their peaceful neighbor.

Lifting Cuban Embargo

It is hoped that the embargo that the United States imposed o­n Cuba for already 40 years would be lifted up entirely and that Americans would have o­nce more that same freedom to travel to Cuba as they have to travel to Canada. This embargo was condemned as immoral by many religious leaders including Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. It was equally condemned by some of the worlds greatest statesmen including Oscar Arias and Nelson Mandela. In spite of the United States embargo, Cuba has flourished and the peoples life in general improved better than in many other countries across the world.

All Cubans are provided with free health care facilities from the cradle to the grave, something that never existed in the USA to this very same day. Besides, education in Cuba at all levels is free, even at the university level, something that never existed in the USA, again to this very same day. In addition, while the United States offers the poor nations of the world military equipment and weapons, Cuba offers the same nations medicine and medical equipment along with educational needs.

Moreover, Cuba has found the cure of various forms of cancer and the United States for the past several years would rather allow its people die than to let them go to Cuba to be cured from their life-threatening malady! Several well known US politicians, like Senator George McGovern and former US President Jimmy Carter, in addition to others, have condemned the US embargo and advocated normalization with Cuba.

Besides, former US top military officials of the Center for Defense Information in Washington, DC, like the late Admiral Eugene OCarroll, have also urged the end of the US embargo against Cuba. They even made at least four videotapes to demonstrate the real bright and positive side of Cuba. For the past 20 years, Barack Obama have proved himself to be a great statesman in a way that he won the confidence of millions of people both in the United States and around the world. As President of the United States he is faced with a dilemma:

1. Bringing all the radical changes in the modus operandi in Washington, DC that would replace the previous eight years of belligerent cowboy diplomacy with healthy dialogues and statesmanship, or

2. Retaining the status quo in the modus operandi in Washington, DC by continuing to relay heavily o­n the military to try to get by all means anything that is in the best interest of American big corporations, which have always controlled the United States government with iron fist and reduced the United States President as their puppet for all practical purposes.

Implementation of Middle East Peace

As for the Middle East, Barack Obama needs to create an atmosphere of genuine peace through a program of demilitarization with simultaneous recognition of secure boarders for each of those countries there. Of course, this would apply to both Israel and Palestine. As of now, Palestine had been severely decimated by Israel which occupies a large amount of Palestinian land. In the best interest of permanent peace, the politics of war need to be replaced with the politics of a healthy diplomacy.

As stated earlier, just as all the land of Israel as designated in 1948 is under Israeli rule all of the original land of Palestine as designated in this same year should also be under Palestinian rule. Arabs living in Israel should submit to Israeli rule with the option of becoming Israeli citizens. o­n the other hand, Israelis living in Palestine should submit to Palestinian rule with the option of becoming Palestinian citizens.

Most importantly, the Jews in Palestine that may wish to move to Israel should be nice as to give their residential facilities to poor Palestinians rather than bulldozing them senselessly as they did in the past. This would show that after all, both Israelis and Palestinians are spiritual brothers and sisters whose ultimate goal is to live at peace with each other and to experience mutual assistance or help.

Moreover, the two leading US Democratic Presidential candidates, Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton, both promised that the United States under a democratic president would move to end immediately the war in Iraq. They also both promised to bring the American troops home within a matter of months. Besides, both of these two leading US Presidential candidates have promised to let all Americans have access to a good health care system with same benefits that the members of the United States Senate themselves enjoy.

Last but not least, and this may be o­ne of the most difficult challenges to realize, Barack Obama as US President must keep in mind that if a country assumes the right to have nuclear weapons, every other country is free to assume the same right. The best policy in this regard would be for the United States to initiate an international program of nuclear disarmament and arms control. Lets hope and pray that the radical leadership changes that have been offered by Barack Obama during his presidential campaign will become eventually a tangible reality.

12/06/08

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mothers Day Special Celebration

 
.
In the early part of May 2008, Dr. Reese Kilgo, a retired professor of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who is now a healthy jovial lady and very active peace worker in her early eighties, asked her friends to go to her house-garden to celebrate Mothers day in a unique way. A party was scheduled to this end during which time each o­ne would spend a few minutes by turn to say all the nice things o­ne could remember about o­nes mother.

 

Julia Brincats Life in Perspective

 

My mother passed away at age 76 in 1985 in the early hours of the morning. It was indeed a great loss not o­nly for her children and relatives but also for all of her friends and those who knew her in some way or another. A couple of days before she passed away, she looked well and healthy and walked about four miles to visit the family of her younger daughter. This explains why her passing away was a great shock, as it was fully unexpected.

 

She was born in Malta in 1909 as Julia Brincat, the third of five children consisting of four girls and o­ne boy who was the youngest. In 1920 her father settled in the New York where he found a job. He left all of his family in Malta since he could not afford the transportation. In 1929 his wife passed away at age 46 when my mother was 11 years old. She was still a child attending elementary school, which she left soon to take care of her aunt and her little daughter.

 

In 1934 my grandfather Joseph brought in New York to join him his youngest two children, Evelyn and Joseph, Jr., both of whom were single. By then my mother and her two elder sisters, Helen and Mary, were already married and remained in Malta with their families. My mother got married in 1932 and she soon had 3 children: myself born in 1933, Josephine born in 1935 and Adleen born in 1939, five months before World War II started.

 

For three years my father Carmelo, along with my mother Julia, went through very rough times. My mother and her three children spent most of this period living in a cave underground to escape the routine massacre of the Nazis.

My father had to take two jobs just to make ends meet, o­ne during the day and o­ne during the night with hardly much time to sleep. He never owned neither a house nor a car. He went to work daily riding his motorcycle.

 

Ups and Downs of Life

 

My father had o­nly two serious accidents that I remember. o­ne was when a bull ran loose and went toward my father hitting him hard while lifting him several feet high up into the air. The other was with the motor cycle when he was apparently smashed by a car or a truck. Thank God he survived each time. For all of us to appreciate best the importance of Mothers Day celebration we need to have at least a vague idea of the ups and downs of life a mother went through.

 

The ups and downs of life have always helped people to strengthen their character and personality as well as to mature realizing that in life not all the glitters is gold. As a little child who was brought up underground to escape the Nazis barbarism I recall that the saddest moments of my mother occurred when, together with other women, she used to hug her children every evening while murmuring: Today we are alive, tomorrow we may be dead!

 

When the war was over in 1945, it was like the hidden sun that brought darkness for the previous few years, came out shining o­n the horizon. After the rebuilding of so many destroyed homes, schools and churches, life began to come to normal. Two years later, my mother at age 38 gave birth to a nice baby boy who was named Vincent. He grew up healthy with happy surroundings. I was then 14 years old who loved to cycle, swim, dive and play soccer.

 

For the first time in my life, I began to see my mother the way she really was by nature, that is, when she was fully free from the pressure and anxiety of such a devastating war. In spite of the fact that she had o­nly elementary education, she was very intelligent and had phenomenal memory. She soon became an expert in making all kinds of suits and clothes for both men and women, for children and for people from every walk of life and profession.

 

Most people asked her to make outfits for both the bride and bridegroom, which were always elegant and attractive. I do not recall that any of my family ever bought clothes. My mother would simply buy the cloth and then she would make a variety of paper models and the o­ne that would appear most attractive will eventually become the dress or suit that o­ne would wish to have. In addition, she was always seeking ways to make all of us happy.

 

As the years passed by and the memory of the war experience began to become remote, I noticed she had a wonderful sense of humor. She was hardly ever engaged in a conversation where she would not, at o­ne time or another, make people laugh. This gift was something that was very natural. It came out of her very spontaneously. Besides, she never seemed to have ever done anything knowingly that would make anyone get offended.

 

More Good Qualities

 

My mother was noticeably a generous woman. She would give you everything that she could while, at the same time, she would seek absolutely nothing in return. Her motto seemed to have been: The joy of living is found in the joy of giving. I recall she was greatly respected by my father who passed away after a long illness at the age of 71 in 1977 in her presence while she was conversing with him when he was sitting in bed.

 

Some of her conspicuous virtues may be outlined as kindness, dedication to others, meekness, keeping low profile wherever she happens to be, honesty, and trustworthiness, in addition to others. She was deeply spiritual, which explains most of her strength in anything that might have gone wrong, especially during the hardships at the time of World War II. There was hardly o­ne day in her lifetime where she did not allot some time for prayer and mediation.

 

Needless to say, this gave her not o­nly inner strength but joviality and self-confidence as well. I recall her presence everywhere was always a source of joy and happiness to those that surrounded her. She was always ready to help others to the best of her ability and without a bit of hesitation. Relative to her hobbies, I do remember she liked swimming, or merely floating o­n the surface of the ocean, as she used to say. She also liked relaxing o­n the beach.

 

Besides, she liked visiting parks that were crowded with trees and packed with flowers. She did this especially during the time she was raising her four children. Needless to say, she liked cooking and she always prepared the three daily meals for the entire family. My father never worried about what he had to eat. He viewed my mothers food as the most delicious. My two sisters took after my mother not o­nly in cooking but also in making all kinds of clothes.

 

In conclusion, I want to thank Dr. Reese Kilgo for coming with this new idea of celebrating Mothers Day by talking nicely about the good things of our mother. This way we may continue to remember her nicely with a positive and constructive attitude. A good mother is indeed a great gift from heaven because she tends to exert great influence o­n our lives.

02/05/08
---------------------------------------------------

Who Are the Insurgents?

 

 

There has probably been no other nation in history that has used with such frequency the word insurgents as often as the United States. What does this word mean? Dictionaries tend to describe the word insurgent as one who rises in opposition to lawful civil or political authority, o­ne who is rebellious. The New Webster Dictionary of the English Language tells us that an insurgent differs from a rebel in holding less pronounced position of antagonism, and may or may not develop into a rebel.

 

Analysis of Distorted Concept

 

Most American government officials, above all the US President and his entire administration, view an insurgent as synonymous to rebel. Nowadays, the word insurgents is constantly being used to describe thousands of Iraqis who oppose the United States military occupation of Iraq. Such protestors are automatically branded as insurgents and they are viewed to be very dangerous, even though this may not necessarily be the case.

 

The American people are told that such insurgents are obviously jealous of the American way of life, of the democracy and freedom the US people enjoy.Americans are also injected with the belief that the ultimate goal of the insurgents is to destroy the United States and that we should destroy them before they have the opportunity to destroy us, as top government officials have expressed o­n a number of instances. o­ne of the basic problems of the American people lies in the fact that they live in a culture of war society.

 

As the Romans used to say, aliud est theoria, aliud est practica o­ne thing is theory, another thing is practice. In fact, a careful analysis of speeches given by several American public officials reveals that, in essence, the United States views as an insurgent in Iraq anyone that opposes its belligerent policies. In order for us to understand the nature of insurgents in Iraq in particular we have to understand the nature of Iraqi opposition to the presence of American troops there. Such an understanding is of paramount importance.

 

Let us get to the source of the so called problem of insurgency in Iraq. In invading Iraq, the United States went against the Geneva Convention, which states that no country can invade another country without provocation. It did so against the will of the United Nations, against the admonition of respectable religious people such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Pope John Paul II. In addition, it did so against the warning of leading world statesmen of the caliber of Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, along with others.

 

Exposition of False Assumptions

 

This invasion was done under the pretext of bringing democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people! Instead, the Iraqis witnessed the brutal destruction of the infrastructure of their nation. Many of their houses along with schools, hospitals and religious places were destroyed almost over night. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives, leaving tens of thousands of children orphans or maimed. Ironically, over the past couple of years there has been a hot debate in the United States about illegal immigrants.

 

Most of these immigrants come from Mexico, a neighboring country, to seek for menial work with very small wages. These illegal aliens entered the United States with the intention to do anything they can that is positive and constructive and beneficial to the American people. By way of contrast, American soldiers entered Iraq likewise illegally without seeking approval of the legitimate government, without any visa and passport, same way as Mexicans do when they enter the United States.

 

And to turn an insult into an injury, these Americans went to Iraq not to do anything positive and constructive in any way whatsoever. o­n the contrary, in anything they did, in more than four years of occupation, they virtually destroyed an entire nation, left over 650,000 innocent Iraqis dead, in addition to tens of thousands maimed for life. Over two million Iraqis fled the country and now they are refugees with no home, besides being deprived from vital necessities of life.

 

Those that managed to survive so far, learned to resent the presence of American troops who are viewed o­n the whole not as friends or benefactors but more as enemies. This brought a natural feeling of animosity and despair among quite a few millions of Iraqis. They disapprove of the innocent killing of their tens of thousands of dear relatives and friends. They feel they lost everything they had to live for and the o­nly avenue left for them is to demonstrate the way they know best: their opposition and resentment to the presence of Americans.

 

How can Americans be viewed by Iraqis as liberators from the so called tyranny of Saddam Hussein when they took the initiative to destroy the infrastructure of their nation and to kill in tens of thousands their most beloved o­nes? These consisted of the brutal massacre of parents and now thousands of children are orphans as a result and of the brutal killing of numerous innocent Iraqis that included women, the elderly and the sick. Many Iraqis that have survived the horrible holocaust that was inflicted o­n them by Americans have now lost the will to live.

 

Massacre of Innocent Lives

 

Besides, tens of thousands of young Iraqis that lost mercilessly their beloved o­nes feel now they have a sacrosanct obligation to avenge their death by killing Americans by way of retaliation. Of course, the moment anyone of such Iraqis retaliates by killing Americans, they are quickly labeled by the US government as insurgents! While the list of Americans that lost their lives in Iraq is now over 3,500, the list of innocent Iraqis that lost their lives now exceeds 650,000. What a disproportion!

 

The American invasion of Iraq may be viewed as o­ne of the most unjustified wars that ever took place in history. Here we had a group of 19 young men that destroyed two buildings in New York killing 3,000 people. This was certainly an outrageous act that brought the condemnation of the entire world. Shortly afterwards the US government proceeded to wage a war against Iraq under a number of assumptions all of which proved to be false! And we know the rest of the story.

 

As a result, more than 3,000 additional Americans were killed, not to mention the fact that more than 23,000 Americans were wounded and maimed with arms or legs amputated. The US government found it justifiable to retaliate against somebody, in this case Iraq, to avenge the death of 3,000 innocent Americans. Is it not in accordance with sound common sense for the Iraqis to find it justifiable to retaliate against those who destroyed their homes and killed well over half million of their relatives and friends?

 

What is ironic and incomprehensive seems to be this. The US government views the Americans who destroyed the infrastructure of the Iraqi nation and who killed and maimed some three quarters of a million of innocent people there as heroes. At the same time, the same US government views Iraqis who want to avenge the brutal massacre of their dear o­nes as insurgents! o­n this point, US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who is third in line in succession for the US presidency, had something important to say o­n C-Span o­n June 22, 2007.

 

After referring to the Iraqi war as a tragic mistake, she deplored the needless death of the 3,500 young Americans as a result. She also stated that she deplored in no lesser way the unfortunate death of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis adding saying that these are also children of the same God. Nancy Pelosi has been vocal among other members of the US government in viewing the Iraqi people more humanely, the way they really are: a suffering people. What is ironic as far as the US government goes lies here.

 

American Mockery of Democracy

 

While the US administrative branch of the government continues to speak of bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq, not even o­ne of them dares to ask the Iraqis how they feel relative to their present problems. Some time ago, the Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, was asked o­n television a simple question: Do you favor a referendum in Iraq to let the Iraqi people tell us as to whether or not they would prefer the Americans to remain there?The answer was quick with a qualitative and emphatic no! Apparently, this Senator does not seem to be aware that in real democracy the people have always the last say.

 

If the US administrative branch, headed by the US President, continues to believe strongly that all those who oppose openly the presence of American troops in Iraq are insurgents, then the US policy that is being adopted there needs to be seriously re-examined. If these so called insurgents are mostly being stimulated to view Americans as their enemy because of the destruction of their homes and the massacre of their relatives, then the continued destruction of the infrastructure of cities and the killing of more Iraqis should be brought to an end.

 

The more US troops are sent to Iraq, the more the Iraqis will witness the destruction of their nation and the obliteration of their lives. This will continue to instigate more and more opposition to the presence of Americans in Iraq. When young children were asked by some humanitarian organizations what was their goal in life, the answer was quick: Killing Americans because they have destroyed our homes and killed our father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends.

 

Ascetical writers tell us that we should always be in search of the truth because, they say, the truth shall set us free.This means we have an obligation to investigate the real source of insurgency in Iraq. Is it coming mostly from the so called Al-Qaeda, or is it mostly instigated by the brutal actions of Americans? Some of the US presidential candidates, like Denis Kucinich, believe that the Iraqi mess could be lessened by bringing all American troops out of Iraq right now. Many Americans are beginning to realize that political problems should never be solved through the military but rather through healthy dialogues.




Perspective of Church and

State Relations in Russia

 

Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.

President

International Association of Educators for World Peace

Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education,

Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament

Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University

 

The whole world still recalls vividly the seventy years of communism in Russia covering the period 1917-87. During this time, the Russian Orthodox Church was split into two groups. o­ne went underground and continued with its religious practice, while the other remained functioning openly with many restrictions. Although this latter o­ne was not officially suppressed, its eventual lively religious functions became moribund, reduced to the state of paralysis.

 

Realities Facing Russia

 

The faithful that initially participated in religious services under communism became increasingly suspect of being anti-communist and anti-government. Hence, Russians became increasingly haunted with fear and the vast majority of them stopped going to church any longer. The o­nly way for the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church to survive seemed to keep in complete silence and to just hibernate. Following the collapse of communism in the later part of the eighties we witnessed the advent of glasnost and perestroika.

 

This brought a notable dosage of democracy, which caused a sigh of relief to many. The Church of the catacomb emerged from underground and began to function normally in the open. Besides, many branches of Christianity began to flourish all over the nation, most of these were Protestant. All of these new churches were vibrant and visibly active, two elements which attracted many Russians to join them. o­ne of the most vibrant was a newly emerging Church of the catacomb, the Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnaya.

 

The religious services of this Church gave all of the participants a real taste of heaven. In the meantime, Russian government officials disassociated themselves from the communist party and associated themselves with the Russian Orthodox Church, the o­nly Church that openly submitted to communist leaders during the 70 years of communist domination. At the same time, the Russian Orthodox Church began to feel somewhat uncomfortable in seeing so many of its former faithful joining new Christian Churches across Russia.

 

The leaders of this Church tried to profit from its increased new friendship with the Russian government. In fact, they asked both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin to suppress such churches. Such officials of the Russian Orthodox Church stated they such Churches were intruding o­n the turf of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was quite providential that both Yeltsin and Putin did not adhere to such a proposal. However, both Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin kept close and cordial relation with the Russian Orthodox Church.

 

State and Church Relations

 

With such a close and cordial relation, the Russian Orthodox Church has now emerged to be perhaps the single entity in the entire nation to exercise most influence o­n the Russian government. Of course, since Russia is admittedly a world power, it is obvious that Russian government officials continue to rely for their strength o­n the indefinite manufacture and sales of weapons, the infrastructure of the military and their capability to use nuclear weapons if and when deemed necessary.

 

Needless to say, this is not something new since such a dangerous philosophy is shared fully well by several other nations that would include, above all, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.For those who may not know, such members would be the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France. Unfortunately, none of these nations ever assumed the responsibility to help make the world safer through a global program of disarmament and the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

 

While such nations claim to have the right to have such lethal weapons and the right to continue to manufacture them without any limit, they have the guts to demand other nations not to have any. Ironically, they all want to win the support, admiration and sympathy of the whole world! Maybe we need to have more responsible religious and civic leaders that condemn in the open the continued manufacture and sale of weapons along with the instigation and promotion of wars.

 

Over the past centuries, religious and civic leaders adhered to the philosophy that war should be used to solve human conflicts o­nly rarely and not by way of habit. They stated that war is justified when it comes to self-defense. Regardless of how much such statements may sound rational, experience has convinced us that many politicians and businessmen who work closely with such politicians, view the manufacture and sales of weapons along with the promotion of wars as a lucrative business.

 

Fortunately, o­ne of the leading religious leaders of the world, Pope Benedict XVI, during his second year of his pontificate said for the first time that war is never justified under any circumstance whatsoever. In fact, if we were to analyze the wars that the five members of the UN Security Council were involved in over the past 60 years, we will find out that there were other motives apart from their traditional excuse or slogan of self-defense! President Putin, as well as President Bush, finds himself trapped in this culture of war mentality.

 

Threatening Russia and Putins Reaction

 

Since President George W. Bush came in power over six years ago, he resolved to solve all of the world problems through the manufacture and sales of weapons and through the promotion of struggles and wars. With his building of US military bases all over Europe and around the world and with his intent to build ballistic missiles o­n virtually the Russian boarder, Bush succeeded to force Putin into the starting of a new cold war. As we know, Bush has made it clear that in what he does he relies o­n his Christian beliefs and o­n a strong military.

 

Putin recently has followed suit when he stated that he derives his strength from the Russian Orthodox Church and ballistic missiles. And to defy the belligerent policies of Bush, Putin is now following analogous policies that offer closer friendship with China, India, Iran and North Korea. We learn from history that the world could never be conquered through wars, hatred and revenge. Great religious leaders of all time, including Jesus of Nazareth, tell us that the world could be conquered o­nly through peace, love, and compassion.

 

In both the USA and Russia, many churches have turned themselves into a business enterprise. Some authoritative sources tell us that in Russia, for example, the Russian Orthodox Church makes 10% profit from the blessings it gives to the manufacture and sale of lethal weapons to Iran and other nations that would give the right price. Such a traditional noble Russian Orthodox Church would achieve tremendous good for Russia if it were to put its trust and reliance o­n the Virgin Mary, who has been the backbone of Russian Christianity.

 

In essence, there is nothing wrong with the Russian Orthodox Church as such. However, as Archbishop John Bereslavsky remarked in recent times, the cooperation of the Russian Orthodox Church with governmental war policies is contributing toward insecurity rather than security of the world. This is perfectly applicable to Christian Fundamentalist Churches in the United States that support openly the US government belligerent policies around the world. Archbishop John is the Russian Patriarch of the Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnaya, which is viewed by many as the church of the catacomb.

 

When a head of state becomes haunted with the concept of power that goes out of control, o­ne of the first things such a person does is to control the freedom of movement of the nations people. In fact, such a cherished traditional democratic freedom is not easily seen nowadays in both the USA and Russia. Also, those that surround such leaders tend to protect their commander-in-chief through the usage of threats, blackmailing, distortion of truth, along with torture and death. As a result, tens of thousands lost their lives needlessly.

 

Need for Genuine Spirituality

 

Maybe it would be good for the leaders of our major nations of the world to spend some time, every now and then, to meditate o­n the warning that Jesus of Nazareth gave to his disciple Peter, when he said, Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword. But Putin and Bush seem to be surrounded by powerful money-dealers. For money they seem to be ready to do anything, including the massacre of numerous innocent people as we have witnessed in both Chechnya and Iraq, in addition to numerous other places.

 

We seem to be witnessing in some of the leading nations of the world, including the United States and Russia, that the government slogan became same of that of Machiavelli: The end justifies the means. This is essentially the philosophy of the mafia, which has a reputation of being notorious, deadly, and unscrupulous. Unfortunately, when confronted with such a reality we always have a substantial dosage of corruption. As a result, those that generally end up o­n top are those that have had most money.

 

This explains the traditional slogan which goes as follows: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Confronted by such realities, when we have churches becoming an integral part of the corruptive political system, we may begin to understand why the younger generation is beginning to feel increasingly uncomfortable with regular church attendance. The younger generation still has a long future ahead and they want such a future to be productive and peaceful by all means. They want certainly to be different.

 

In view of what has been stated, it is important for an emerging ambitious Russia to fill up the vacuum of world leadership, since this has been abdicated by the USA. The people of the world will recognize and eventually accept as world leader o­ne who is genuinely dedicated to the promotion of world peace, environmental protection, safeguard of human rights, and the organization of an international program of disarmament and arms control. This would include the abolition of all nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and landmines. Besides, we need to replace hate with love, fear with courage, and war with peace.





The essays list of Charles Mercieca o­n our website from February 15 to May 20, 2007:

 

  1. Living in Harmony with Nature.
  2. Backbone of Russian Spirituality: Mother of God Church Derjevnaya
  3. Toward a Culture of Peace Based o­n Human Rights
  4. The Crime of War in Iraq
  5. Prophet Mohammad: Gods Messenger of Peace
  6. Global Leader of Social Harmony

 

Living in Harmony with Nature

When God created the world billions of years ago, He visualized the creation of human beings in due time. He wanted that such creatures of His would be imbued with intelligence in a way that they could govern themselves. Thus, He established a law of nature, which meant to serve as a guide for humans to make their life better and smoother. Scientists call this divine plan the ecological system, which deals with nature itself. In view of this, the secret of life in planet Earth lies in living in harmony with nature.

 

Meaning of Nature

 

Nature deals with the life of every species that exists which includes human life as well. It deals with the various elements of our planet that include air and water. Living in harmony with nature means that we should do our utmost to keep our water and air clean, free of any pollution whatsoever. The more we live in harmony with nature, the more we are rewarded and feel blessed. Tampering with the laws of nature becomes
detrimental to our survival and we will have to pay dearly.

 

When we take care of our planet we are rewarded with good health and longevity. If we neglect our planet and try to mess it up with air and water pollution, we are going to incur numerous diseases and die prematurely. Nowadays we are living in a world of challenge because of the enormous air and water pollution we have which is produced by toxic wastes coming from big industries headed by the weapons industry in particular. Confronted with such realities, we need to figure out a solution and develop a plan, at the same time, to make our planet clean, healthy, and pleasant to live in.

 

Since our body constitutes a part of nature, we need to take care of it by eating well and by having adequate rest. Besides, we need to make regular exercise to feel fit constantly day in and day out. It would be ideal if we were to have access to some good gym where we could go to exercise o­n a periodical basis. This will help us avoid numerous health problems because through exercise our blood keeps o­n circulating smoothly. Relative to what we should eat, we need to avoid, as much as possible, anything fried and food made in saturated in fat. Prevention is better than cure, It is much better for us to avoid getting sick than getting sick and then we have to take plenty of mediation to cure ourselves from the encountered health problems.

 

Relative to physical exercise, apart from a variety of weight lifting, it would be appropriate to walk two miles or three kilometers daily, in addition to some cycling if available. The healthier we are the better we will prove ourselves capable to live harmoniously with nature.Our greatest secret for good health and happiness is to learn to live in harmony with nature. After all, nature constitutes an integral part of the natural law, which is meant to guide us o­n the path of doing things that are right and beneficial not o­nly to ourselves but to others as well.

 

Respecting Mother Earth

 

In order to live harmoniously with nature we need to develop the habit to look after our o­nly o­ne planet, mother earth. Not o­nly we should try to keep it immaculately clean but also we should make it always look beautiful from every aspect possible. Some people have developed the habit to speak with plants and trees as either hobby or ritual. Trees tend to absorb nitrogen and exhale for us oxygen, which we need very badly for survival. What we exhale, trees inhale and vice versa. What a beautiful order we have in nature!

 

Everything seems to work harmoniously together like a chain. Mother nature has provided us with a perfect balance of life. The greatest problem we face lies here. No matter how much ability we may demonstrate to live in harmony with nature, if we continue to let the big industries pollute our air and water with toxic wastes, the problems we face will continue to develop and evolve from bad to worse.

 

Hence, we need to find ways how to make big industry change or modify its product that is producing such a mess in our planet. Strategies need to be planned to this end. If necessary, we could organize a universal boycott of the product of such industries. Because of the urgency that is involved, we need to act fast, the sooner the better. The o­nly language big industries understand is money. They make money because we consent to give to them. We can draw the line knowing for sure that our victory would be certain.

 

During the decade of the eighties a boycott was organized against General Electric because of its manufacture of nuclear devices and the tremendous air and water pollution we were experiencing as a result. When General Electric began to feel the losses of millions of dollars a month as a result, they decided to stop making a substantial number of nuclear weapons. This means we should use the power of a universal boycott to stop big industries from their continued effort to literally destroy our planet for monetary gain.

 

It is a fact that the most important element, which exists in planet earth, is our own life itself. This means we must do anything possible to safeguard this o­nly o­ne life we have. To this end, we should make sure that plans are carefully made to find a remedy to the tremendous amount of air and water pollution our planet is facing. If we demonstrate respect for nature, in return nature itself will show respect to us by providing with good health and longevity, two elements which everyone seem to desire. 26/02/07

--------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Backbone of Russian Spirituality:

Mother of God Church Derjevnaya

 

One of the best religious experiences that o­ne can possibly have is through participation in the liturgical function of the Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnaya in Russia. It is commonly known by its adherents as the Mother of God Church. This providential and inspirational Church fuses the best of traditional orthodoxy with some of the most meaningful liturgical events in the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Weekly Spiritual Celebration

 

Its weekly spiritual celebration injects in participants plenty of energy, dynamism, and enthusiasm, coupled with such virtues as faith, hope, humility, love and dedication to o­nes neighbors. In addition to these spiritual benefits, this weekly spiritual celebration enhances great and genuine devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In both the Orthodox and Catholic churches, this spiritual event is known as the celebration of the Mass.

 

What seems to make this event unique lies in the fact that several priests and religious, along with the laity, participate in this Mass celebration with great devotion. During this celebration we do not o­nly witness the participants reciting beautiful prayers and sing heavenly songs, in addition to the priests spiritual exhortations, but we also witness a direct and enthusiastic communication with the Blessed Mother that bring tears of joy to many.

 

In the center o­n top of the altar there is always a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary looking at the participants with eyes of love and mercy that o­ne could see miraculous joy radiating from the heart of this statue. In fact, many feel the real presence of the Blessed Mother in their midst. She definitely must feel very proud to see so many children of hers brought together to spend some time with her, to communicate with her not o­nly with prayers and singing but also with dancing, jumping and running in circles with joy like little children.

 

An atmosphere like this brings to the mind of everyone the words of Jesus of Nazareth, when he told lovingly his disciples: Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. At o­ne time Jesus also said: Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away. If that is the case, it is virtually certain that all those who are privileged to participate in the liturgical function of the Mother of God Church are destined for sure to go to heaven when the time arrives.

 

Sound Philosophy in Perspective

 

The philosophy of this great and holy Russian Church is very universal in nature, in the sense that it embraces all people in the world as the beloved children of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We all know that in the history of our earthly community, people often referred to other people by their nationality, or by their gender, or by their age group, or by their profession, or by their culture or by their religion and so o­n and so forth. The Virgin Mary has always viewed all the people of the world as her children and she feels very delighted by those especially who show great love and devotion for her son Jesus.

 

She loves in a very special way those who seek her protection and try to stay close to her. The Mother of God Church gives the opportunity to all people from very walk of life and profession to approach her so that she could embrace them lovingly and deeply. It would be certainly nice and appropriate if, at o­ne time or another, people from every walk of life and religion may participate in the liturgical functions of the Mother of God Church. These would include those from the various branches of Christianity like the faithful of the Greek and Russian Orthodox Church as well as Roman Catholics and Protestants.

 

It would be equally appropriate for Buddhists, Jews, Moslems, and Hindus, in addition to others, to give themselves the opportunity to experience the lively presence of the Virgin Mary in such liturgical functions of the Mother of God Church. Most importantly, participation in the yearly Sobor event, which lasts two whole days, should be viewed as a great heavenly gift beyond which o­ne cannot possibly receive a greater o­ne. This yearly Sobor is, in essence, a Marian Congress where the Virgin Mary becomes the center of attention.

 

The Russian people should feel very grateful and proud that the Blessed Mother, whom they always loved so dearly, would provide this great nation with such a holy and spiritually powerful instrument that is commonly known as the Mother of God Church. It is quite obvious that the Blessed Mother chose her most beloved and faithful son, Archbishop John Bereslavasky, to have this heavenly Marian gift developed not o­nly throughout Russia but in the whole world in due time.

 

--------------------------------

Toward a Culture of Peace
Based o­n Human Rights


In the latter part of the twentieth century, the United Nations' Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has pushed hard to promote a culture of peace. This is due to the fact that, for the past 6,000 years of recorded history human beings lived in a culture of war. Even from the Bible itself we realize that war has always been the focus of attention in history.

 

Historic Focus o­n War

 

Most historians divide the periods of history by the kind of wars that were fought. Everything of significance that took place in the best interest of all people without exception has received o­nly marginal attention. The leading nations of all times, allotted the bulk of their national budget o­n weapons of destruction in preparation for war. The USA, for example, spends over $500 billion dollars a year o­n the military, supposedly to protect the life of its citizens, when countless millions of its citizens are withering away of malnutrition, sleeping in the streets like animals, and do not receive medical attention.

 

For the United States, as well as numerous other countries, we are born in a culture of war and we must continue to live and die in such a culture. We must realize that, after all, the culture of peace is not a fantasy. It is a tangible reality because it has existed with us since the early days of human existence. However, the governments of the world at large, for some reason or another, choose to suffocate the people's culture of peace and replace it by a culture of war.

 

This explains why former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his farewell address to the US Congress, wanted to remind the US Government of a tangible reality he has observed when he said: Just keep in mind that all people of all countries want peace, o­nly their governments want war. This means that all people of all countries want their children to be born, live and die in a culture of peace and not in a culture of war.

 

The culture of peace is a sacrosanct human right that cannot be taken away from people by any government whatsoever. The few people in the government, which constitute a small insignificant fraction of much less than o­ne percent of the total population, cannot impose their distorted will over the healthy will of the entire population. They cannot impose a culture of war in place of a culture of peace.

 

Peace as a Human Right

 

We learn from Roman philosophers who flourished some 2,000 years ago,
that si vis bellum para bellum, si vis pacem para pacem -- if you want war prepare for war, if you want peace prepare for peace. The idea that o­ne US President Richard Nixon brought forth: si vis pacem para bellum -- if you want peace, prepare for war, has been proven to be deceitful and fallacious. This explains why the continued promotion of the culture of war constitutes a gross violation of human rights. Those nations which are manufacturing military weapons and sell them to anyone who is ready to give the right price, under the pretext of national defense and security, are violating human rights in the most brutal way conceivable.

 

Their product does not serve as "deterrent" as the governments try to convince their respective citizens, but it serves to instigate more wars locally, regionally, and globally. Ironically, those nations, which are most vocal o­n the safeguard of human rights, commit the greatest violations of such human rights knowingly and willfully. Such nations, regardless of what they say, by their actions have proven that the promotion and success of the manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars enable them to amass plenty of money.

 

In this regard, the United States, which produces and sells more weapons of destruction than all the nations of the world combined, may be viewed as the greatest violator of human rights in the history of humanity since the creation of Adam and Eve. What is astonishing is the fact that the United States seems to be the most vocal in condemning other nations relative to violations of human rights! Every nation that bases its strength o­n military warfare violates human rights very seriously.

 

Those who occupy the seat of government need to keep in mind that their first duty is to replace the culture of war with the culture of peace. Those in present government have inherited the culture of war from previous governments. We need to train the younger generation in growing and living in a culture of peace so that when they take over the reigns of government they will be capable of suppressing the culture of war and replacing it by the culture of peace after the good example of Costa Rica and a few other nations. 26/02/07

 

----------------------------------------------------

The Crime of War in Iraq

 

What is the purpose of having rules and regulations when we can disregard them at will at any moment we like? Since the early days of human existence, those that transgressed rules and regulations to the detriment of others always tended to be punished, sooner or later. In order for us to understand the seriousness of such violations, we need to understand properly the significance of laws. In order to do that, we must have a clear concept of the four hierarchical laws of which ascetical writers spoke over the past several centuries.

 

Four Hierarchical Laws

 

St. Thomas Aquinas, who has been viewed as a genius by many, talks with great clarity o­n the four hierarchical laws consisting of (1) the divine law, (2) the natural law, (3) the ecclesiastical law, and (4) the civic law. They are viewed as hierarchical because in the event we do have a clash between them, then the o­ne that is higher should be observed while the other that is lower should be disregarded. Before we illustrate this by examples, we need to form a clear concept of each of such laws. Afterwards, we may proceed to learn about their relationship as to enable us to create a harmonious world community. Let us put each o­ne of them into proper focus:

 

1. The Divine Law, which is commonly known as the Divine Positive Law, consists of the Ten Commandments, which are found in virtually every religion by different names. In the Holy Scriptures we read that these were the laws that God gave to Moses. Hence, they are perennial in the sense that they are always applicable century after century till the end of time. Such laws supercede all other laws in the sense that they cannot be disregarded for any reason.

 

2. The Natural Law, which consists of the unique order that God set up in the entire universe from the first moment of creation. This is revealed in the law of gravity, where everything that is heavier than air tends to go down; in the law of plant life that makes the root of trees develop below the soil surface while the tree itself grows above the soil surface; and the law of conception that will inevitably result into the birth of the creature involved, in addition to other laws.

 

3. The Ecclesiastical Law, which consists in the enactment of rules and regulations made by spiritual leaders of any church or religion. Such enacted laws are expected to enable the adherents to observe better and more effectively the first two laws mentioned above. If, for o­ne reason or another, laws are enacted that go contrary to the positive law and/or the natural law, then such laws ought to be disregarded by all means.

 

4. The Civic Law, which is man-made law that could change from time to time. No government, no political leader, no court, no authoritative source of any kind can enact and implement laws that go against any of the above three laws. That would include the ecclesiastical provided no laws are enacted that go against the first two laws that were mentioned. Hence, people are obligated to disregard any law enacted by any government that does not respect higher laws.

 

We are now in a position to make a value judgment about anything that goes o­n in our earthly community. For such a judgment to be valid it must be objective and not subjective. It is objective when we view a human action the way God sees it, that is, without any deception whatsoever. o­n the other hand, a judgment may be viewed as subjective if it is merely based o­n our interpretation or opinion, if it contradicts or goes against the other three laws in particular the first two. Let us now analyze carefully the Iraqi war.

 

Such a war cannot be judged as right or wrong by what politicians choose to tell us or by the rationale that is given by the weapons industry and the military industrial complex. Unfortunately, experience has demonstrated that many have become rich by turning the manufacture and sales of weapons, along with the promotion of struggles and wars, into a big lucrative business. In other words, such sources have developed the habit of making millions of dollars through the infliction of so much pain and suffering.

 

This may be viewed as blood money that is cursed. The American war against Iraq was waged in violation of the Geneva Convention, since Iraq was not a threat to the security of the United States. The reasons given for the invasion of Iraq, which included the having weapons of mass destruction, were proven to be entirely unfounded and false.

 

Besides, some of the leading statesmen of the world like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu of South Africa, the Dalai Lama, Oscar Arias of Costa Rica and Pope John Paul II, in addition to others, warned the United States that such an invasion would be a grave mistake. The Pope even pointed out that such an invasion would create animosity between Christians and Moslems and that it would instigate more terrorism as to become totally out of control.

 

What did the war in Iraq achieve over the past four years? Before we prove the illegality and immorality of such a senseless war we need to enlist some of the eventual achievements of this abusive, cruel and disastrous war. Without a clear concept of these achievements we are not in a position to make a value judgment of such a war. This list is not structured in any specific order.

 

1. Destruction of the infrastructure of a nation: Thousands of houses and several hospitals, schools, and businesses were destroyed. People became homeless having lost all of their belongings. They could no longer have a place where they could preserve their food. Hunger and disease spread which led to the death of many.

 

2. Massacre of over 650,000 innocent Iraqis: In the process of conquering Iraq, supposedly to liberate it from terrorists, Americans killed mercilessly almost three quarters of a million innocent people consisting mostly of women, children the elderly and the sick. In addition, tens of thousands were maimed with legs or arms amputated.

 

3. Creation of tens of thousands of orphans: Many children had o­ne or both of their parents killed. They will have to live now for the rest of their life with a trauma that will always be felt to be unbearable. As a result, these children have lost their real happiness and joy of life. Many are bound to spend the rest of their life in a state of depression as a consequence.

 

4. Increase in the number of deaths of children: Due to luck of food and medicine, the number of children dying in Iraq is literally frightening. According to UNICEF, 20% of Iraqi children are dying of starvation every year. What a nice legacy the United States has given to these Iraqi children! Tens of thousands of them have not gone to school since the American invasion in March 2003.

 

5. Making thousands of families to be homeless: Some US officials refer to the Iraqi war as the war of liberation. It is truly a war of liberation because Americans did succeed to liberate the Iraqis from their homes and now they are homeless; to liberate Iraqis from their markets and now they have nowhere to go to get food; to liberate Iraqis from their beloved o­nes and now they live in pain.

 

6. Maiming numerous civilians with arms or legs amputated: It is very sad to see now many Iraqis deformed for life. Many international reporters tell us that, in just four years under American domination, the Iraqis have suffered infinitely more than under the 30 years rule by Saddam Hussein, who was condemned to death just for being responsible for the death of 146 people.

 

7. Disruption in the education of children at all levels: A nation is as good and bad as its people in terms of education, culture, and religious practices. We are now setting up an Iraqi nation consisting of a generation that is being limited in its educational endeavors. This Iraqi war instilled in many the deprivation of a will to live, which explains the story of the so called suicide bombers.

 

8. Creating a great shortage of food: For about ten years prior to the Iraqi invasion, the United States put sanctions o­n Iraq that made it difficult for this nation to secure the vital needs of the people. Because of that every year 10% of the children died of starvation, as reported by UNICEF. Now, the food shortage has even increased and the country is suffering immensely.

 

9. Instigation of hatred and revenge against Americans: The Iraqi people, as a whole, attribute all the mess that is going o­n in Iraq to the presence of US troops. Teenagers were asked by humanitarian organizations what did they think was the source of all their problems. They all said: The presence of Americans. We want them all to leave Iraq. We want them just leave us alone.

 

10. Exploitation of Iraqs natural resources: Some political analysts tell us that the United States, in invading Iraq, had ulterior motives, which consisted in the confiscation of oil. As a capitalist nation, the United States is run by big corporations, which control not o­nly the economy of the entire nation but also the entire US government.

 

In other words, the United States is ruled by the Corporate Trinity of Evil, consisting of the weapons industry, the construction companies and the oil enterprises. They work hand in hand. The weapons industry destroys the infrastructure of a nation; then the construction companies go there to rebuild the nation while the oil enterprises step in to control the natural resources.

 

11. Imposition of a notorious, cruel and heartless dictatorship: The feeling among the vast majority of the people in Iraq is this. The Iraqis were much better before the American invasion than after. And they explain why. Before the American invasion, the Iraqis had their own homes. The spouses enjoyed each other and they loved seeing their children growing up.

 

Parents were happy to see their beloved children playing and enjoying themselves. Now, those that manage to be still alive are mourning deeply the loss of so many of their family members, relatives and friends. They feel sad and many do feel that they have nothing to live for now, that their life has been fully ruined. Many feel so upset and angry at the Americans who killed their beloved o­nes they feel their o­nly goal in life is to kill as many Americans as they can.

 

Needless to say, every Iraqi that tries to avenge the death of his dear family members, relatives and friends is quickly labeled by the US government as Al-Qaeda, even though such Iraqis may dislike the Al-Qaeda in no lesser way than they dislike the American soldiers. The saintly Pope John Paul II had warned the United States that the invasion of Iraq would create great animosity and that it would turn the region into a ground of terrorism that would go out of control. We are witnessing today the execution of the Popes prophetic warning.

 

12. Destruction of the rich heritage of an old civilization: Iraq is not just another country. It is a unique country that could be viewed as a sacred ground for Jews, Christians and Moslems since most events related in the Bible took place there. In just four years, this needless and atrocious war has destroyed what has been built over a period of some three thousand years.

 

13. Endangering unnecessarily the lives of young Americans: Over 3,000 Americans were killed, not counting those that committed suicide. Besides, more than 23,000 were wounded with arms or legs amputated and quite a few with disfigured faces for life. These young Americans did not choose to go to war. If they had a choice, the vast majority would have opted for sure not to go.

 

Besides, because of this war, many young American soldiers had their marriage broken ending up in a divorce. o­nce these young Americans are sent to fight, to destroy the infrastructure of a nation, and to kill anything that moves, as they are often told, their life, quite often, deteriorates psychologically. We need to keep in mind that, for all practical purposes, the life of American soldiers is sacred in no lesser way than that of the Iraqis. After all they are all children of the same God.

 

We need to bring to our attention here the words of former US President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech to the US Congress. He said: Remember that every dollar you spend o­n weapons and war is a theft from the hungry and the poor. This World War II US General knew very well that every war is barbaric, that in a war everyone is a loser and no o­ne a winner. He also warned about the weapons industrial complex that for profit the lethal product of this industry may go completely out of control. This would be a great catastrophe for it would hasten the road to Armageddon.

 

To this send, the time is ripe to start viewing as criminals all those who have turned the manufacture and the indiscriminate sales of weapons, along with the waging of wars into a lucrative business. Countless millions of dollars are being made through the infliction of merciless killing of tens of thousands of innocent people amounting to millions o­n a global scale.

 

What amazes every sensible person in the world lies in the fact that hardly any news media reporter ever tries to investigate the kind of money those government officials that promote wars might be making behind the curtain. People need an explanation of how most government officials initially have enough money to make ends meet and then, all of a sudden, they become millionaires. Scholars of political science have concluded that such excessive money made by politicians comes from weapons and wars.

 

War as Betrayal of People

 

If US President Dwight Eisenhower were alive today he would have probably referred to government officials who continue to pour billions of dollars o­n the manufacture of more and more weapons and the promotion of more and more wars as traitors who, like Judas Iscariot, are continuously betraying innocent people and sending them to their grave before they even know it. They are never going to reveal their real intent. o­n the contrary, they try to cover their intent very carefully by referring to anything negative and destructive they do through the usage such phraseology as safeguard of American interests and as national defense and security.

 

To get back to where we started, every crime that takes place in the world constitutes a violation of o­ne or more laws, especially against the divine positive law and the natural law, since both of such laws are God-made laws. This means that they can never be modified or changed till the end of time. Among such laws we find that we should not kill anyone under no circumstance whatsoever, that we should not lie to people when we talk to them, that we should not destroy or confiscate the property of others, and that we should love others with respect same as ourselves. All of these laws fall within the divine positive law.

 

Besides, we are obligated to protect the environment from air and water pollution. Moreover, all people are entitled to free health care and education and to have adequate home facilities. All of these constitute a part of the natural law. If the billions of dollars that the US government has spent o­n the Iraqi war were spent o­n the needy, today millions of people sleeping in the streets like strayed animals would have had a home. All the hungry in the world would have had food and all the poor would have had available all kinds of medication.

 

Regardless of what we may hear to the contrary, the military by its very nature exists to promote violence revealed in the destruction of the infrastructure of cities and the merciless killing of countless innocent people that would include women, children, the elderly and the sick. We all know that violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence. This is thoroughly vindicated by the quagmire Iraq is in because of a war that should have never taken place.

09/03/07

 

------------------------------------------

Prophet Mohammad:

Gods Messenger of Peace

 

Although historians are not fully sure as to the exact year Prophet Mohammad was born, there seems to be a general consensus that he was born o­n April 20, 570 and died o­n June 8, 632 when he was 56 years old. This was not an ordinary man by all means. He was deeply spiritual and often communicated with God, like a good son communicates with a beloved father. Initially, he was a shepherd and later became a merchant. He spent each Ramadan fasting and praying outside Mecca, in a cave o­n Mount Hira.


Initiation of the Quran


According to Islamic belief, the Archangel Gabriel visited Mohammad periodically, to whom he gave several messages. These messages later became known as the Quran. Soon after Mohammads acceptance of Islam, he taught by both word and example the belief in o­ne God. Allah in Arabic means God, the creator of heaven and earth and the source of everything that exists and could possibly exist. Mohammad also warned that people should assume responsibility for their actions - for which God will hold them thoroughly accountable.


Seeing that Mohammads teachings were taken very seriously by many, the elite of Mecca started to harass Mohammad, even persecuting those who adhered to his teachings. Following the death of his beloved wife Khadija and his close uncle Abu Talib, Mohammad left Mecca and settled in Medina in 622, where he was the proclaimed leader of the first Muslim Community. Following eight years of struggle with Meccan forces, the Muslims eventually conquered Mecca - from which they removed anything that was viewed as idolatrous.


In March 632, Mohammad led a pilgrimage that was known as Hajj. After his return to Medina he fell ill and died a few days later o­n June 8 of the same year. Although Mohammad was spiritually gifted, he was a quite unfortunate person. His father Abdullah died six months before he was born, so he was brought up initially by his wet nurse and his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib. At the age of six he lost his mother. From then o­n he could never experience the love and affection of any of his dear and beloved parents.


When he was 8 years old, his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib also died. From that moment he was looked after by his uncle Abu Talib, who was then the new leader of the Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe. The Quraish were considered the most powerful in Mecca, which at that time was a great commercial center. Within a short period of time, Mohammad began to accompany his uncle o­n various journeys. This rendered him well-traveled and knowledgeable about the ways of other people. His maturity and ability to comprehend the various characters and personalities of people was aided tremendously by his journeys.

 

Initial Public Life


Mohammad eventually became a merchant and quickly gained a reputation for his reliability and honesty. It was at this time that he married Khadijah in 595, who was a forty year old widow. She bore him six children, all of whom arrived before he received his first revelation. o­n Mount Hijira, Mohammad received his first revelation, which made him feel apprehensive, even a little afraid. However, he was greatly encouraged by his wife Khadijah, who concluded that such revelations emanated from a good source.


Following such revelations, which are essentially the teachings we find the Qurran, Mohammad became reassured and began preaching. Although the number of his followers increased, the number of those opposing him was also increasing, especially among the merchants who offered him considerable privileges to abandon his preaching. For Mohammad, the year 619 became the year of sorrow since this was when both his dear wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib died.


In 622, Mohammad went to Medina as a mediator to solve a feud between the Arab factions of Aws and Khazraj. He resolved their differences by absorbing both into his Muslim community, thus preventing bloodshed among Muslims. Mohammad saw that there were also three major branches of Jews who had similar differences. He solved those feuds with the drafting of the Constitution of Medina that established alliances and federations among all of the various groups living there at that time.


He wanted to see Jews, Muslims and Christians living together like o­ne big family with love and respect for each other. Some of Mohammads children died in their infancy, but the o­ne that carried his dynasty was his daughter Fatima. It has been stated that Mohammad revealed enormous respect not o­nly toward his daughter Fatima but also toward the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. o­ne of his excellent assets was his desire and attempt to solve conflicts through dialogue instead of war.


Although Mohammad revealed great respect for all people from every walk of life, profession and spiritual orientation, he seemed to hold that the Muslim faith would generate in people a greater respect for God and for each other. To this end, he sent letters to heads of states asking them to consider converting to the faith of Islam. This however was merely a request which would open the way to dialogue. Later o­n though, there were Muslims who went as far as to condone punishment for Muslims who may be converted to other religions.


Compassion and Love


We need to keep in mind that Mohammad was a real man, a sincere man of God who revealed love and mercy toward all of His children. During the decade of the eighties, the Virgin Mary is said to have revealed to six little children of Medjugorje in Bosnia and Hezegovina, that God does not belong to any religion, that Gods religion was described o­nly by o­ne word: love. She said that all the people of the world were Gods children and that God loves them all equally and dearly, therefore He would not want to see any of His creations hurt.


From the way this Blessed Mother spoke, it was quite obvious that the various organized religions of this world are paths that lead to heaven provided they are built o­n genuine love and respect for o­nes neighbor. We should all be certain that the Prophet Mohammad was absolutely aware of this, for his love of God was anchored in actions as well as words. This explains adequately why Mohammad always sought solutions to human problems via peaceful means and not through warring ventures. He seemed fully convinced that violence breeds violence, and that more violence would breed more violence.


When Muhammad married Khadijah at the age of 25 he remained married to her alone, until she passed away 25 years later. When she passed away he did not have in mind to marry again but reluctantly yielded to his friends advice to marry again. It was proposed that he should marry either Sawda bint Zama, a widow, or Aisha. Then Muhammad asked to marry them both. Later o­n, he had some additional wives as well.


Even so, these marriages would have been more for social and political purposes, to help unite various tribes, establishing a spirit of harmony, and respect among them. Some historians view Mohammad as the statesman of Medina, whose job was to bring about harmony and peace among all people. Other historians tend to view Mohammad more as a rebel because of the drastic changes he brought into the society of his times. He instigated great reforms in social security, family structure, slavery and improved rights for women.

 

Muslims also view Mohammad as the last of all prophets of God / Allah. They see his mission as o­ne whose aim was to restore to humanity the monotheistic concept of God, just as all previous prophets did - going all the way back to Abraham. Historians have referred to Mohammad as o­ne who was beloved by all around him, because he was viewed as a gentle and honest man of God. He was a pacifier who succeeded in bringing peace to so many without bloodshed.


Visual Representations


Regarding the visual representation of Mohammad, Muslims differ in opinion. Many believe that such visual depictions of Mohammad may lead to idolatry - so they do not promote or permit the prophets image at all. Coincidentally, in many other religions icons and statues of their religious leaders abound, like Buddha in Buddhism, Krishna in Hinduism, and Jesus in Christianity.


The fact that the vast majority of Muslims view attempts to portray the physical attributes of Mohammad as inappropriate, even blasphemous - explains why monuments of this great servant of Allah are not found. Of course, it also explains why the film industry has not produced anything about him, as they have done in the past with Jesus, Moses and other prophets. Muslims utter the words: Peace be upon him, each time they mention the name of Mohammad, out of respect and sincerity.


From the very beginning of Islam there have been quite a few factions, which Mohammad himself witnessed during his lifetime. In this regard, o­ne of the greatest contributions Mohammad wished to make toward the development and strengthening of Islam was to bring these factions together in harmony and peace through mutual love and respect. To this end, we need to be able to make a distinction between the ends and means. If we differ o­n the ends, then we may be in serious trouble with each other.

 

If we differ o­n the means then there should be no problem at all, since the means serve o­nly as an instrument to achieving a desired end. The desired end for all of us, should be God. All the means we use to reach this end should be respected, o­nce they prove to be successful and as long as those means do not abuse, or harm others while achieving any particular desired aim.

 

Let us give an illustration. Suppose we all need to be in New York for a specific event. Some may choose an airplane as their means, others may prefer a train, while yet others may opt for a private car. The various religions might be viewed as diverse means of reaching the same end: God, the Allah of Islam.

19/12/06

---------------------------------------

Global Leader of Social Harmony

 

We learn from history that leaders are not created by the titles they receive. They naturally emerge from the crowds, thanks to the wisdom and inspiration they demonstrate to others. For over 30 years, Dr. Leo Semashko from Russia has dedicated himself to help create a better world that is characterized by stability, prosperity and peace o­n basis of social harmony. About this topic he wrote many articles and books and he made six discoveries from his tetra-sociology as to validate his theory.

 

Characteristics of a Better World

 

The first o­ne consists of the sphere classes of the population as the conscious actors of social harmony. Just as in the human body all organs work in harmony, likewise in society people can reach social harmony after becoming aware of how the human nature functions. The second o­ne deals with the concept of democracy. It expresses itself in the equal distribution of power among the sphere classes and in childrens suffrage that stems from parental responsibility.

 

This suffrage provides children with top priority in their welfare and in all related endeavors. The third o­ne is connected with the area of statistics, which expresses a quantitative measure of essential resources necessary for social harmony. The fourth o­ne deals with the area of information technology o­n the sphere statistics base. The fifth o­ne opens the educational and peacemaking socio-cultural technologies ensuring harmonious peace and training for youth for the preservation of cultural and religious diversity.

 

This serves as enrichment among all people. The sixth o­ne covers the area of strategic management/control that guarantees harmonious government and guides to desired social harmony, gearing (coordinating) all levels of politics, economics and finance. These six discoveries for the creation of social harmony open a new vision of the sustainable world and peace beyond war, poverty and violence.

 

Dr. Semashko demonstrates these discoveries not o­nly theoretically but also practically o­n his International Website: A New Culture of Peace from Social Harmony and Childrens Priority. For two years, since February 15, 2005, this website united about 200 authors from 33 countries and it is published in 12 languages forming around itself a new global community of harmony people. o­n the stated website such global projects as Harmonious Era Calendar, Harmony Great Charter, Making Children a Priority in the World, Harmonious Peace Culture, Harmonious Education and others are advanced in detail. They include many people and organizations from all over the world.

 

Sound Philosophy at Work

 

One of Dr. Semashkos great capabilities has been to bring people together from very walk of life and profession that share the same identical goals of prosperity, harmony and peace. These people tend to be altruistic, that is, ready to undergo any personal sacrifice to help make our planet a better place of habitation where people could live a life that is characterized by good health and education and where they could all feel secure from any kind of physical and social disease. The philosophy of this great Russian scholar is very simple. He views the reality of everything from the Natural Law perspective. The entire world is guided by supreme design that is perfect.

 

Besides, he perceives truth as our minds accurate correspondence to the realities that surround us everywhere. Moreover, he visualizes good as anything that is conducive to the universal welfare of all people without exception. This is an edifying spiritual concept of good in contrast to the political concept which views good as the promotion of what is conducive to the welfare of some to the exclusion of others. Lastly, he comprehends beauty as a spiritual element that is more attached to the action of people rather than to their physical appearance. In this regard, persons of the caliber of Mother Teresa, who dedicated her life to help all people without exception, may be properly described as beautiful.

 

In view of this, we may fully realize why Dr. Semashkos activities depict him as global leader of social harmony. Those, whose philosophy is similar to that of this Russian educator, become also leaders of social harmony. This is due to their ability to turn their dream into a political reality. This has been illustrated by China, which announced in October 2006 its intention of building a society of social harmony. The projected concept of social harmony will undoubtedly extend world wide. Therefore we may realize why Dr. Semashko, who spent so much energy for its promotion for more than three decades, has earned the title of global leader of social harmony. 17/02/07

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The essays list of Charles Mercieca o­n the website

from December 3, 2006 up to February 15, 2007

 

1.Global Leadership

2.Exodus from Empire: Perspective of Americas Future

3.Visa Requirements: Obstacle to World Peace

4.Why the Bush Plan in Iraq Will Never Succeed

5. US Military Kept Hostage to Political Abuse of Power

6. Evaluation of American Presidential Candidates

7. Culture of War: Source of Human Suffering and Death

8. Birth of Great Marian Liturgical Movement in Russia

9. Most Famous and Beneficial People in the World

10.The Criminality of War

11. Capacity Development for Peace Building in Post-Conflict Societies

12. Creative Force of Evil

13. Americas Big Chance: Turning a Crisis into a Good Opportunity



-------------------------------------------------------------------

Global Leadership

 

At this stage of history, the world seems to be moving from bad to worse. This is due to a variety of sources. Above all, it is revealed in a conspicuous lack of global leadership both in the spiritual and political sphere. Those who want to provide global leadership must do so by demonstrating genuine love, respect and concern for all people across every continent without exception.

 

The political leaders of our major countries all over the world are merely concerned with what they term to be their national interests and security. Most often they advance their causes through the infliction of so much suffering o­n so many people. Political abuses have almost gone out of control in a number of instances. As a result, millions live in abject poverty and misery.

 

During the decade of the eighties, Pope John Paul II said that world peace would eventually come o­nly after two of the greatest evils of the 20th century are gone. He added saying that these were communism and capitalism because both advance their causes through the exploitation of people. We need to have more religious leaders condemning in the open such political abuses.

 

Global leadership does not come with the accumulation of weapons of mass destruction and with a great military build up. It does not come with the instigation of fear and threats and through systematic demonstration of machismo. It comes with spiritual strength revealed in such virtues as patience, perseverance, humility, love, respect, concern and dedication to others. True leadership cannot be imposed o­n people.

 

It comes naturally through the free choice of the people. Good leaders are those who are accepted as such by the world at large because people see in them universal benefits. Global leadership is not necessarily attached to politicians. People of the caliber of Confucius, Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela and others have all provide global leadership.

 

They simply demonstrated that they were truly interested in the universal welfare of all people without exception. Above all, they all had the element of credibility, which is so essential in global leadership. Since global leadership has become so vital in the promotion and retention of world peace, schools everywhere should be encouraged to teach their students everything that is needed so that they may be enabled to develop global leadership qualities.

 

January 22, 2007

--------------------------------------------------------

 

Leo Semashkos comment:

 

On my view a new spiritual global leadership passes from the political ideas of national interests and security to cultural ideas of social harmony, priority of children and sphere classes of the population as universal actors of harmony. These ideas provide not o­nly national interests and security but also create a new quality of harmony of global life and new harmonious world order, which liquidate sources of national and global threats and removing them from humanity agenda. This harmonious civilization o­n a basis of the sphere classes and childrens priority is an unique, nonviolent and universal alternativeto political evil as communism as and capitalism.

 

Since 2006 the social harmony began to turn from the old dream of mankind into an appreciable reality, that is connected with two epoch-making events: by creation of the Harmonious Era Calendar and Chinas transition from dictatorship of the proletariat to "building society of social harmony" (http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=28). Both these sprouts of global harmony, let for the present very weak and imperceptible o­n a background of storming revelry of leaving industrial civilization ("feast during plague"), have put a beginning for the new, harmonious, era in a history of humankind. They opened a way o­n saving for humankind the new Ark of social harmony.

 

But the China turn supplied its traditional Buddhist and Confucianism culture, does not carry with itself a modern ideological vision of social harmony at a present historical stage of humankind. Ours Harmonious Era Calendar (http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=190) and Harmony Charter(http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=3), giving humankind similar vision, provide authentically global spiritual leadership at the present stage. At least, they give its unique, not having analogues in the world, a sample of the top intellectual and moral quality. Our efforts o­n creation of schools and universities of harmony (harmonious peace culture) and appropriate educational cycles (http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=240) have a huge meaning for development of qualities of global harmonious leadership at youth.

 

Global spiritual leadership now pass to ideas and worldview of social harmony and to those people, which are their sources and bearers. These ideas and people carry the common boon and universal, instead of private, benefits. The international community of the similar people and ideas became our website "Peace from harmony ", second anniversary which we shall mark February 15. We have all bases to hope that o­n its fertile idea field uniting about 200 authors from 33 countries of the world will increase a new global spiritual and political leadership of social harmony. I believe ours hard efforts in the past and future will provide a beneficial ground for its birth and growth.

 

January 22, 2007

--------------------------------------------



Exodus from Empire:

Perspective of Americas Future

 

 

In the academic sphere of society the year 2007 must have a very good start. o­ne of the greatest scholars of our time, Terrence E. Paupp, came with the publication of a timely and inspiring book, which should be a vade mecum, the book companion of every dedicated educator and concerned human being. It took quite a few years to bring this book to conclusion, which is objective and well-documented.

 

Fall of Americas Empire

 

The stated book demonstrates how the United States, in spite of its devastating military power and dominance in global politics is, slowly but surely, disintegrating and leading to a state of collapse. The book is entitled: Exodus from Empire: The Fall of Americas Empire and the Rise of the Global Community. In the introduction, the author shows how every empire in history always ended in disintegration and collapse. He also demonstrates how democracy in America is increasingly becoming extinct, a thing of the past.

 

This book, with over 400 pages, is developed into seven chapters each o­ne of which is fully documented. Chapter o­ne covers the enormous international resistance that developed over the years to this evolved and expanded American global empire. To maintain this global empire, the United States had to pay a high price: the waging of perpetual wars, o­ne after another with no virtual ending. This trend has been going o­n for many years, which went as far as the recent American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

There have been many wars in several countries across every continent, where the USA was responsible for the overthrow of democratically elected governments, as it was in the case of Chile to quote an instance. Chapter two shows how the United States has always been a nation of plutocracy, which is governed by the rich and for the exclusive benefits of the wealthy. National interests have always taken precedence over world order values. This explains why we have so much suffering of innocent people around the world.

 

Chapter three observes how the superpower law of the elite has served to promote lawlessness everywhere. When people are suppressed and deprived from their basic elements of life including human rights, they are bound to rebel sooner or later. Radical unilateralism and democratic despotism in America are properly brought into focus. The dangerous union of turbo-capitalism and inverted totalitarianism is properly outlined. The means the USA uses to control the world are free trade, science, technology and the widespread militarism.

 

Problem of Maintaining Justice

 

Chapter four focuses o­n a variety of topics of national and global concern including the problem of maintaining justice within the global community. The relationship between power and justice is well analyzed. The US arsenal of nuclear weapons coupled with increased US violations of human rights must make every nation reassess its relationship with this empire that has now engulfed the world. In spite of all this, there is still great hope in the great religions of the world that may provide us with a guideline o­n how to transcend sovereignty and embrace justice in the interest of all people without exception.

 

Chapter five exposes intelligently the hidden politics of the American empire. Overt and covert operations are fully documented. Besides, Americas dysfunctional policies in Vietnam and in Iraq reveal how dangerous the USA has become for the entire world. The author discusses also the assassination of President Kennedy and how the USA struggles to acquire all strategic resources it wants through the waging of never-ending wars. He also shows how national and global fascism are being used in the service of the American empire.

 

Chapter six deals with the human sacrosanct right to live in peace in a world that is free from wars. We also see clearly the relationship between globalization, poverty, and inequality. Besides, careful plans are presented o­n how the various regions of the world could form a mutually beneficial alliance to counteract the dominance of their respective economies by this American empire. Chapter seven is the conclusion. It reflects o­n the crimes committed by this involved empire, o­n the United Nations needed quest for the development of an alternative path for globalization, and of the rise of an eventual power, the people, who will finally be in a position to control their own destiny.

 

Those who may want a copy of this book, Exodus from Empire: The Fall of Americas Empire and the Rise of the Global Community, may get it through the following websites: www.bn.com(Barnes and Noble Booksellers) or www.amazon.comor may write to: Pluto Press, 345 Archway Road, London N65AA, United Kingdom, Phone: 011-44-438-2724.


December 5, 2006
------------------------------ ----------------------------

Visa Requirements: Obstacle to World Peace

 

The best form of government that was ever devised in history has been considered to be democracy, which is derived from two Greek words: demos (people) and kratia (government). Hence, in democracy we have a government by the people through elected representatives. However, in a number of instances, the elected representatives tend to ignorethewishesandneedsofthepeopleandsimplyproceedtodo what is in their personal individual interest.


Blatant Violation of Human Rights


In accordance with the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, people have a sacrosanct right to move around freely and to travel and settle anywhere they want. Although all the nations of the world signed this UN Declaration, the vast majority of them do not do anything to implement this human rights' document. As a result, many obstacles are created to the detriment of everyone concerned. We may concentrate here o­n just o­ne major problem, which virtually every government creates, that may be viewed as a great obstacle to world peace. This problem consists of the issuance of a visa to visit a country.


We are not advocating here the elimination of a passport to visit another country, although this would be desirable. We are questioning the need for the issuance of a visa. We notice that when people carry a passport of a certain country no visa would be required to visit other specific countries. If that is the case, why should visas be required at all in the first place? The issuance of a visa constitutes red tape. It is often used as an excuse to charge politely a fine, commonly knows as "visa fee" for people who care to take their time and to drain some of their financial resources to visit friends in another country.

 

In countries like Russia, things are even worse. Russians must have a passport to travel from city to city within Russia. Besides, foreigners must have not o­nly a passport for such a travel but also a visa that is issued for specified cities o­nly! When several nations of Europe decided to form an economic union, the first thing they did was to eliminate not o­nly the visa but also the passport. This way people could travel freely from o­ne country to the other like the other country was merely the extension of o­ne's own native land. This system in Europe has worked out beautifully and brought many positive results.


As we are going through a new century and a new millennium, all nations should feel the responsibility to take drastic steps to make world peace a permanent reality. As a first step, we need to create the concept of a global community spirit. Ways need to be devised that would enable people feel that they are an integral part of the world family. The elimination of visa requirements would be a gigantic step in the direction of a permanent peace. Is not a passport enough? Is not an identity card enough? The real purpose of the visa is to create restrictions and obstacles to peoples sacrosanct right of freedom of movement to any global area of their choice, which constitutes a violation of human rights in accordance with the UN Universal Declaration o­n Human Rights.

 

Seneca's Vision of World Peace


In the year 42 A.D., Roman philosopher Seneca stated that world peace would become a tangible reality o­nly after we train a new generation to view the whole world and say: Omnis orbs terrarum, patria mea est the whole world is my native land. People who do not require any visa to visit another state or country tend to feel more relaxed, welcomed and at home. This is revealed in people of the European Economic Community nations when they visit each other. It is also revealed in the people of the 50 states of the USA.After all, the USA could have been like Russia where Russians themselves must have a passport and a visa to move from o­ne Russian state or republic into the other!

 

If every person o­n earth would simply carry an identification card with his or her picture o­n it, that should be enough for people to roam from o­ne global area to another with great ease. Life would become simpler. Numerous problems in human relations would be eliminated almost overnight and the world would become a much better place of habitation. People will begin to see for themselves and to realize fully well that, after all, they are simply o­ne big family. We need to keep in mind that all people same the same human nature, the same feeling, the same needs, the same ideals and the same everything o­ne can imagine.


When a country grants a foreigner a visa, that means such a foreigner has been granted permission to visit the country. However, as demonstrated earlier, when Russia issues a visa, such a visa is granted to visit o­nly the specified cities requested by the visitor. In recent times, Russia went a step further. In order to visit friends in Russia, or to participate in some important conference, the Russian government charges a fine equivalent to $45 US dollars to the Russians who wish to invite a foreigner. In other words, Russia is developing policies that not o­nly would not encourage people to come together, but also that would keep people away from each other! No wonder why this nation is having so much problems and its monetary system seems to be going down the drain!


In view of what has been stated, it would be highly appropriate if the United Nations were to take the initiative to raise the visa issue as a stumbling block to a permanent world peace and to have such a requirement for people to travel abrogated the sooner the better.

-------------------------------------------

Why the Bush Plan in Iraq

Will Never Succeed

 

Since the sad event of September 11, 2001, which demolished the twin towers in New York and a portion of the Pentagon in Washington, DC, President George W. Bush felt the responsibility to give a lesson to the whole world. This could be summarized as follows: You cannot attack America and get away with it. So, he immediately resorted to machismo instead of diplomacy. He quickly set his mind o­n capturing Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan who was deemed to be the major architect behind the mentioned tragic event.

 

Solving Political Problems Militarily

 

To this end, he sent all the military might he could muster in central Asia. While he told the whole world that he wanted to destroy all military installations and possible hiding places of terrorists, his military destroyed eventually the infrastructure of Afghanistan. This included the destruction of hospitals, schools, places of worship, and, above all, residential areas that sent tens of thousands of innocent people to their grave. Most of these people were women, children, the elderly and the sick.

 

Needless to say, other tens of thousands were maimed. They were ruined for life either physically or psychologically. When it was found that the politics of machismo were not really working, then Bush turned his eyes o­n Iraq where he said that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destructions and that he was harboring terrorists. Ironically, in the tragic event of September 11 there were 19 terrorists that were found to be directly involved in the event.

 

About half of these were from Saudi Arabia and not even o­ne of them was from Iraq. Yet, Saudi Arabia was viewed to this day as the American friend and ally, while Iraq was pinpointed as dangerous to American interests and later even dubbed as dangerous to American security. These two phrases in American politics have been so much misused and abused that today hardly anyone can figure out exactly what they mean within the context when US government officials use them.

 

So, Bush felt that the sooner he would show the entire world his ferociously biting teeth, the less likely that the repetition of the New York event would take place. In other words, he wanted to instill in prospective terrorists fear in an effort to have them brought under full control. Unfortunately, that proved to be his Achilles heel. As a matter of fact, terrorists could be brought under control almost by any means except fear. This was revealed from the great risks they take and from the increasing suicide bombers they managed to recruit.

 

Using Iraq as Scapegoat

 

Until the USA decided to invade Iraq, Saddam Hussein posed no threat to the American nation. There were no terrorist organizations in Iraq. With this in mind, Pope John Paul II warned President Bush o­n three occasions that the invasion of Iraq would be a grave mistake. Such an invasion would create great conflicts between Christians and Arabs and the various segments within the Islamic religion. Also, the Pope added that Iraq might develop into a ground of long range conflicts that may affect the stability of the region for a long time.

 

Since President Bush has proven himself to be a man who never gives anyone the benefit of doubt, he simply ignored the serious warning of the Pope and proceeded with the invasion. All this was instigated from the machismo he adopted to demonstrate to the world that you cannot hurt the United States and get a way free with it. Unfortunately, the whole world today is witnessing with crystal clarity the mess that Pope John Paul II predicted should the US proceeds with its intention of invading Iraq.

 

As a result, today the world at large has considerably less trust in the United States as a world leader than it had before the invasion of Iraq. This has also vindicated what Nelson Mandela remarked that same week the Untied States invaded Iraq when he said: The United States has emerged to become the most dangerous country o­n earth. In fact, nowadays quite a number of nations in Asia are beginning to feel more comfortable doing business with China than with the United States.

 

Besides, since the world at large has increasingly rejected the United States as a world leader, many nations are now looking for the European Union (EU) to fill up the vacuum of world leadership left by the USA. The United States today would have emerged to become the most respected nation o­n earth, if after the event of September 11, this nation demonstrated elaborate diplomatic skills rather than hasty machismo by using the military to justify the law of the jungle. This stems from the fact that the military, by its very nature, is not accountable to anyone for anything it does, no matter how atrocious and inhumane it may be.

 

Since the Americans invaded Iraq, well over 600,000 have been massacred innocently and brutally, not to mention the fact that tens of thousands lost their home and all of their belongings. The presence of American troops in Iraq has instilled in many Iraqis deep resentment and hatred for the United States. Young children who lost their parents and quite a number of their relatives feel very upset and they already seem determined to do something drastic when they grow up. In fact, this should make us take our actions more responsibly.

 

Sowing Seed for Future Jihads

 

When such children were asked by humanitarian Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) of the United Nations the question: What would you like to do when you grow up? the answer from some 80% of them was quick: Killing Americans! When the second question was raised: Why do you want to do that? The reply was equally quick: Because the Americans have killed my father, my mother, my brother, my sister and my friends. The Americans have destroyed our homes with all of our belongings.

 

They also added,We cannot attend school anymore and get food as easily as we used to have it before the Americans invaded our country. At o­ne time members of these NGOs, which were basically humanitarian in their structure, asked young teenagers who were nicely dressed in uniform in schools that were functioning: What do you think it could be done to have this entire mess in Iraq coming to an end? Without hesitation they came up with a unanimous answer: We want for all Americans to leave Iraq; we want them to just leave us alone.

 

So, the first logical step for the United States to clear the way for peace and stability in Iraq is to pull out all of its military forces from there with no further delay. The USA, as well as any other nation, should keep in mind that the resorting to the military to get what you want is synonymous to resorting to violence which breeds more violence. This explains why we witness so much violence in Iraq. Ironically, Bush constantly prides himself of his elimination of Saddam Hussein whom he described as a brutal and tyrannical dictator.

 

At the same time, Bush has been talking for four years of his resolve to bring democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people. In democracy, the majority have the last say. In the USA Bush listens to what everyone has to say and then instead of following the majority, he dumps everyone including the majority of the American people and does what he likes. In the recent elections the American people decided to replace the Republicans by Democrats to make sure that there will be no more funding for the Iraqi war and that all US troops will pulled out from Iraq immediately and brought home.

 

The vast majority of Democrats and several Republicans in the US government have also demanded that the US troops would begin to withdraw from Iraq immediately. Yet, President Bush defied them all and he decided not o­nly to continue to let the US troops in Iraq but to add another 21,500 more. This action might have been expected from Saddam Hussein, but not from George W. Bush who wants to bring something to Iraq he cannot deliver at home, namely, democracy by following the will of the majority!

 

Bringing Democracy and Freedom to Iraq

 

Some scholars of political science tell us that Bush has been making o­ne mistake after another since he first took office as president in 2001. But what bothers many is that he says o­ne thing and does another. Like scholastic philosophers used to say: Nemo dat quod non habet you cannot give something that you do not have. We need to view the irony of President Bush in trying to bring democracy to Iraq when he has not practiced it in his own country. This is not a matter of opinion since we are here dealing with tangible evidence.

 

Besides, Bush wants to bring freedom to the Iraqi people when he deprived the American people from so much freedom of movement and even of purchasing vital items of their choice. For example, Americans are not allowed to visit Cuba and a few others countries while Canadians and people from numerous other nations are allowed to move around freely anywhere they like. Also, Americans are not allowed to have the freedom to buy cheap medicine from overseas, including the next neighboring country Canada.

 

The question again that has been raised is this: How can Bush dare to say that he wants to bring freedom to the Iraqi people when he has deprived his American people from so much freedom already? This has plunged the current US president into the greatest problem of his presidency, namely, conspicuous lack of credibility not o­nly at home but virtually around the world. As a result, this has damaged American political leadership not o­nly within the USA but with nations across every continent.

 

For those who might have developed the habit to pray for President George W. Bush, they should ask God to give this man the gift of listening and the ability to see things into proper perspective. They should ask fervently to God to replace his stubbornness with meekness and his pride with humility. They should also request God to bless this man with the gift of repentance for having been responsible for so much human suffering with his decision to invade Iraq, an action that was viewed o­n a global scale to be both illegal and immoral, as Bishop Desmond Tutu and others like him have stated so clearly.

 

It is quite obvious that the Bush plan in Iraq will not work. Like several US Senators and Congressmen have stated, the increase of military presence in Iraq will escalate violence. Thousands of innocent Iraqis and good young American boys and girls fighting there would be losing their lives unnecessarily. Among those who refer to the Bush plan as a grievous mistake we find Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator John Edwards as well as Rep. Dennis Kucinich all of whom were o­nce presidential candidates themselves.

 

Never Late to Correct Mistakes

 

As stated earlier, Bush is said to have committed o­ne mistake after another since he assumed the presidency in 2001. Instead of trying to create a strong demilitarized political force in Iraq for the future stability of this nation and the entire region, as a matter of fact, he tried to rebuild the Iraqi military and showed determination to depend o­n the Iraqi military to keep the upheaval of the nation under control. This policy of building up a strong Iraqi military for the stability of the Iraqi nation reveals two fallacies or mistakes as follows:

 

1. Many Iraqis view this Iraqi military build up by the USA merely as an American puppet regime who is and will remain controlled by the USA for its own corporate and political interests. This explains in part why so many Iraqis have turned against this Iraqi military that has been virtually installed by the United States. They identify this Iraqi military with the USA which they hate.

 

2. Since World War II was over, the USA installed military regimes in quite a few nations. Later they were overthrown by a new regime that revealed great hostility toward the USA. This was the case with Iran under the Shah that was later overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini who described the USA as Satan. The military aid given to the Shah was then used to destroy US interests!

 

As a result of Bushs reliance o­n the military, the world should not be surprised if o­ne day a military coup takes place in Iraq that would bring a notorious leader in power. Usually, ruthless leaders of nations around the world generally came from the military. We need to keep in mind that it is never wise to correct mistakes by committing other mistakes. This makes no sense at all.

The American people made it clear that they are fully fed up with the continuation of the war in Iraq. To this end, they want to cut off immediately further funding for the Iraqi War and to bring all American troops back home with no further delay while they are still alive. Lets hope that the new US Democratic government would abide by the decision the American people have taken recently in their country.

---------------------------------------------

US Military Kept Hostage to

Political Abuse of Power

 

In spite of its manifold problems, the United States remains a good country to live in. The greatest asset of this nation lies in its people who came from all over the world. There is hardly a major culture and language which is not found in the USA. This explains why President John F. Kennedy referred to this country as a conglomeration of nations. With the exception of a tiny minority of Native Americans, all citizens are immigrants or their descendants. This explains why we have Irish or Italian or Korean Americans and so o­n.

 

Capitalistic System in Perspective

 

The American nation is built o­n a capitalistic system where the big corporations control the entire economy, including the US government. Big corporations finance the political campaigns of every elected public official who in turn tends to protect corporate interests first and foremost. Several books were written in the past to show that in the USA the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. If we were to understand this reality, it would be easier for us to comprehend how politics in the US government really function.

 

In 2002, President George W. Bush entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the o­nly head of state in the 6,000 years of recorded history of civilization to have surrounded himself by multi-millionaires. This same book enlisted the money made by some of these high ranking governmental officials just the previous year in 2001. Topping the list were Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld, each netting 60 million dollars!

 

It has been widely believed that such money did not come out from the midst of nowhere. It came from big corporations for a variety of reasons that could be explored. The weapons industry and the waging of wars have become a lucrative business. This means that there must be always found a justification for the manufacture of more weapons and the waging of more wars. Needless to say, carefully planned expressions have been devised that would hypnotize the American people and at least force them into silence.

 

Besides, a business strategy has been devised by big corporations that would be injected into the political arena of the US government with carefully devised phraseology. Such a business strategy would then justify, in front of the American people, the continued expenditure of countless billions of dollars not o­nly in the manufacture of more devastating weapons but also into the eventual waging of never-ending wars. In view of this, we may begin to realize with crystal clarity why the US government has made it a point to solve all political problems through the military rather than through healthy diplomatic means.

 

American Culture of War

 

As a result of this culture of war mentality in the US government, we may realize why diplomacy in American politics is increasingly becoming weaker. In spite of this, there is still hope for the American people. In November 2006, the American people, realizing that they were fully led into a tragic and needless Iraqi war that was based o­n manipulation and deceit, they did not hesitate to oust the entire US Republican government overnight and have it replaced by Democrats. Had the election for the US President taken place at the same time, the US Republican President would have been replaced by a Democrat as well.

 

It is appropriate and justifiable here to expose the techniques that US big corporations use to bring the American people under their full control. This is easily done through US government officials whose primary job has become obviously the protection of corporate interests. The American people are told that the job of the US government is to protect the American people from the enemy. To this end they need to have the most sophisticated weapons conceivable and a strong military that is capable of using such weapons in a devastating way. US government officials speak of defending US interests. These are in essence the interests not of the American people but merely of big corporations, which are protected even at the expense of American lives.

 

Also, US government officials often allude to national defense and security. Again, this does not refer to the protection of the American people but merely to the safeguard of corporate business enterprises. An analysis of the Iraqi war brings this well into perspective. Instead of finding a diplomatic way to resolve the mess in Iraq, the US President decided to continue to use more military in this Iraqi quagmire. Rather than concentrating o­n creating a strong group of Iraqi diplomats to deal with the situation, the American government established instead a new Iraqi military force that is equipped with American weapons. This same Iraqi military trained by the USA may some day turn against Americans and massacre brutally most of them!

 

Some legitimate questions that the American people need to raise here are these: Why was the US military asked by the US government to invade the country of Iraq illegally and immorally? The reason given was that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq was building atomic bombs, none of which was proven to be true. If that was the case, why is it the US president keeps o­n saying with pride that he succeeded to remove Saddam Hussein, when this was not stated as a purpose in the original plan? The American people were told that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant who massacred brutally 146 innocent Iraqis quite a few years ago.

 

Correcting Evil by Worse Evil

 

Assuming that this was true as evidenced from his condemnation to death, how come the US military was directed by the US government to destroy the infrastructure of so many cities in Iraq? This US directive has left over 650,000 innocent Iraqis dead, mostly were women, children, the elderly and the sick. The United Nations needs to conduct a referendum among the several millions of Iraqi people and let them tell us what they feel, since they are certainly capable of expressing their own feelings. Are they happier now with Saddam Hussein gone, along with their dear spouses, adorable children and close friends? Are they happier now with Saddam Hussein gone, along with the destruction of their houses and the loss of all of their belongings?

 

Other legitimate questions that need to be raised are these: Who are really the terrorists and the insurgents in Iraq? President George W. Bush said during his first term in office: Anyone who is not with us is against us. To this statement o­ne editorial in a Filipino Newspaper in Manila, commented saying: Mr. President, we may not be against you and against what the American people stand for, but we are definitely against your war policies of devastation and annihilation. From studies of children in both Palestine and Iraq that were conducted by UNICEF a couple of years ago it was found out that the goal of most of such children in life was to kill Americans.

 

When asked why they wanted to do this, the reply was quick and unanimous: Because the Americans killed our fathers, they killed our mothers, our brothers and our sisters. They killed and maimed our friends and relatives. Besides, they added, The Americans have destroyed our homes and all of our belongings. Maybe many of those that fight Americans in Iraq are not necessarily terrorists and insurgents. Maybe they are good Iraqis who are protesting the continued presence of Americans in Iraq that reminds them of the suffering and brutal deaths of their beloved o­nes. If such is the case, then the exit of American troops from Iraq should take place without further delay.

 

With this picture in mind, it is legitimate for the American people to continue to demand that the further funding for the Iraqi war should stop immediately. Besides, the bringing home all of the US troops from Iraq is an absolute necessity. After all, it has now become obvious that the sending of the US troops in Iraq was a big and serious mistake to say the least. It was an awful and terrible abuse of power to say the most. In spite of being blessed with US military advisors who sincerely believed that what Iraq needed was a diplomatic solution and not a military o­ne, the US government proceeded with the waging of a war that was branded as illegal and immoral from the outset.

 

Improper Usage of Military

 

Some of the best diplomats o­n earth had warned the US President more than o­nce of the terrible mistake to pursue with the invasion of Iraq. Pope John Paul II warned that such an invasion would create animosity between Christians and Moslems and eventually might instigate terrorism to the point of becoming out of control. Nelson Mandela, who opposed the invasion of Iraq and viewed it also as a terrible mistake, said that same week the US invaded Iraq: The United States has emerged to become the most dangerous country o­n earth. Besides, the Dalai Lama, Bishop Tutu, and Oscar Arias in addition to many other world personalities, voiced their strong opposition to the war.

 

The US military cannot be really blamed for the disaster it has created in Iraq that is revealed in the destruction of the infrastructure of the nation and the eventual massacre of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. These young US soldiers were trained from day o­ne they joined the US military to say always to their superiors: Yes, Sir!.... Yes, Sir!..... Yes, Sir! Well, they did not go to Iraq of their own choice. They went there because the US government decided to send them. This means that in this Iraqi War, the US military has proven itself to be a real hostage to the US government. In spite of this, some US military personnel did not hesitate to question the wisdom of waging an unprovoked war.

 

As it was shown earlier, Americans are good people. They are peaceful and they would go out of their way to help all other people in need. The wars waged by the US government do not reflect the philosophy of the American people. As we have seen, Americans have proved to have constitutional power over their government by replacing it entirely, if needed, at the time of elections. They will do it again in 2008 when the national elections are again due. All US government officials that still work for the interests of big corporations, in particular the weapons industry, are bound to be replaced by those who reveal true concern for the welfare of all people without exception. As a result, many problems will be solved and the world will be closer to peace than ever before.

-----------------------------------------

Evaluation of American

Presidential Candidates

 

One of the greatest problems that the American people seem to have at times lies with their apparent inability to select the best of all possible presidential candidates. This does not stem from the fact that they are incapable of making a good judgment. o­n the contrary, the American people as a whole do know very well what they want in their nations president. However, as the time for elections approaches, the American people tend to become heavily influenced by the news media, which are mostly controlled by big corporations.

 

Manipulation by US Big Corporations

 

Slowly but surely, US big corporations have increasingly become experts in their ability to manipulate and deceive the American people as to make them elect not the peoples but eventually the corporations president. This explains why o­ne president after another tends so support always corporate interests over the peoples interests. This constitutes a real problem for the American people. However, since there is not o­ne single problem in the world that cannot be solved in o­ne way or another, this problem could also be solved.

 

To this end, the American people need to do their homework as to realize what presidential candidates may be eliminated from consideration, regardless of their so called popularity, charisma and expertise. Americans should no longer rely o­n what the prospective presidential candidates say. They need to analyze carefully their past public service performance but, above all, they need to explore to what extent each of such presidential candidates has become a rubber stamp of big corporations.

 

There are several vital steps that could be taken, the sooner the better. Among the most important would be the exposition of the US big corporations that are financing the political campaign of such presidential candidates. The American people must be convinced that the o­ne who would eventually be elected president would never take a single step that would be displeasing to the big corporations that contributed millions to his/her campaign.

 

Why is it that so many US senators and congressmen do not seem to take the problem of the environmental pollution quite seriously? It is because they would not dare to make restrictions o­n the big corporations that financed their political campaign. What is it that the American people want from their government and their president? They want them to solve political problems through constructive diplomatic means and not through the military and the waging of wars. The American people are fully aware nowadays that when their government officials, including the US President, speak of defending American interests overseas, they merely mean interests of US big corporations, and they do so even when proven to be detrimental to the lives of the American people!

 

Corporate Exploitation of People

 

Of all US big corporations, the weapons industry has emerged to become the most lucrative business. Through the manufacture and sales of weapons and the waging of wars, quite a few in the US government have become multi-millionaires. The legitimate question that needs to be raised here is this: Are these US foreign belligerent policies being implemented to save America from the enemy, whoever that may be, or are they primarily waged to boost the business of the weapons industry? Are we aware that such belligerent policies are creating more enemies and more surmountable problems to Americans?

 

Those US senators and congressmen that vote for continuous increase in military budget need to be carefully examined as to explore from where they got the millions they have accumulated. Surely, they did not make their millions from their governmental salary. The American people should never vote for any presidential candidate who received money from the military industrial complex. The people have a right to ask every presidential candidate: Did you ever receive money from the weapons industry, from the military industrial complex? Which are the big corporations that are financing your present political campaign and that financed your past political campaigns?

 

Any presidential candidate that speaks for the need of a strong defense and for the manufacturing of new weaponry systems that are more devastating should be suspect. The American people need desperately a president that would put top priority o­n the nations people knowing for sure that the nations strength and weakness are measured not by its military but by the kind of health and education the people enjoy. The presidential candidates need to be asked straight questions such as: Where do you stand o­n the Iraqi war? Do you believe it was a big mistake? Do you think you have learned that in a war every o­ne is a loser and no o­ne is a winner? Do you feel capable of solving all political problems o­n a global scale through healthy dialogues and diplomatic means?

 

Did you learn that you should never proceed to repeat the mistake of both the Vietnam and the Iraqi war? Are you capable of initiating an international program of disarmament and arms control? Are you convinced that the world is safer with fewer weapons and with fewer wars? Do have any plans not to let lobbyists of big corporations bring under their full control any of our senators and congressmen? If you did receive money from the weapons industry, are you willing to return it immediately and refuse to accept it? These are all legitimate questions that all the American people have a sacrosanct right to raise.

 

Qualities of Good Presidential Candidates

 

The presidential candidates who should be taken more seriously should be those that put top priority o­n peoples vital needs. Such needs would include a good health care system where all medication and hospitalization as well as the homes for the elderly would be free. They would also include a free educational system at all levels of education, like we do have in quite a few countries. When it comes to discipline, particularly in public school, children with systematic behavior problems should be put in a special class and not let them be mixed in ordinary classes where they disrupt constantly of the teachers lectures.

 

Good presidential candidates need to promise to stop offering other nations that so called military aid and weapons which are often used by governmental officials to kill their own people each time they try to protest against injustices. Instead, they should vouch to offer other nations food for the hungry, homes for the homeless as well as adequate schools and hospitals. They need to promise to stop policing the whole world through the establishment of more military bases, whose purpose is most assuredly to wage more wars each time an opportunity offers. This way there would be no justification whatsoever to continue to pour more billions of dollars into this lucrative but vicious business of weapons and wars.

 

The good presidential candidates that the American people should take into serious consideration are those who advocate genuine peace among nations around the world. The United States needs an American President who would be capable of bringing honesty and a high code of ethics into the US government. We need a president who realizes that it would be illegal, and even criminal, for US government officials to make money out of weapons and wars, directly or indirectly. Last but not least, the American people as a whole do not want to see ever again the cowboy diplomacy adopted as a foreign policy in dealing with other nations. Americans deserve to have a US President who would respect the democratic principles of the nation and the freedom of the American people to move around freely anywhere in the nation and around the world.

--------------------------------------------------

Culture of War: Source of

Human Suffering and Death

 

The New Webster Dictionary of the English Language describes culture as education, improvement by mental or physical training, the way of life of a people. The same dictionary describes war as hostility, a contest between nations or within the same nation, a state of violent opposition. And peace is described as tranquility, freedom from war, cessation to hostilities. Whereas peace is characterized by love and respect, war is characterized by hatred and revenge. Whereas peace leads to healing and life, war leads to human suffering and death.

 

History Dominated by War

 

During the last 6,000 years of recorded history we discover wars were the dominant focus of almost every historian. Peace seems to have taken always a marginal place. With few exceptions, every war has been waged by the leaders of the various involved nations or by the leaders of the various political factions within the same nation in the case of a civil war. People in general tended always to focus o­n the welfare of their children and their entire families that included relatives and friends. If there is o­ne thing they never wanted was war.

 

This explains why former US President Eisenhower, in his farewell address to Congress uttered the famous words: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, o­nly their government wants war. Since World War II ended in 1945 and the United Nations was established, there have been several wars across every continent. They were mostly instigated by governments or by the leaders of various political factions within the same country. No wonder why so many governmental leaders have been referred as criminals.

 

The waging of wars has evolved into a culture that forces the human mind to resort to violence when things do not go as desired. As stated earlier, culture is viewed as education, derived from two Latin words: e+duco out of+lead. Hence, in education we have a process where we hopefully lead people from ignorance into knowledge, from confusion into clarity of mind. But in education we may also lead people the other way round. It depends o­n the educators themselves.

 

Those that were born and raised in the culture of war tend to look for the solution of every problem they encounter with the waging of wars, regardless of the tens of thousands of innocent people that may be killed in the process. By way of contrast, those that adhere to the culture of peace tend to look for the solution of every problem they encounter in the promotion of peace through the development of healthy and constructive dialogues. In the sphere of politics this amounts to sound diplomacy.

 

Assessment of Political Leaders

 

Consequently, we are in a position to judge fairly accurately the head of states and eventually the government of every single nation without exception. We may figure out who are those that are imbued in the culture of war versus those that are determined to promote the culture of peace. Since the year 2002, the eyes of the world were focused mostly o­n the war in Iraq. Unfortunately, this war did not start with a civil war, as it turned out to be today. It started with the United States invasion of Iraq. As the entire world has realized, the reasons given for the US instigation of such a war were all proven to be false.

 

Besides, the United Nations and respected personalities of the caliber of Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela condemned this US invasion as illegal and immoral. Shortly after the war started, the entire world did not hesitate to view this American invasion of Iraq as abusive and even criminal. More than 3,000 young Americans lost their lives and a few thousands more were maimed, not to mention those that committed suicide. More than 600,000 innocent Iraqis were brutally massacred while the infrastructure of their cities was destroyed.

 

If the US President was not born and raised in a culture of war, he would have never dreamt in a million years to invade a nation that posed no threat whatsoever to the United States. If he were born and raised in a culture of peace he would have resorted to a healthy, positive and constructive diplomacy. The tens of thousands of innocent people that were massacred would have still been here with us enjoying life with their beloved o­nes. Over the past 6,000 years of recorded history, the culture of peace has proven the truthfulness and wisdom of the traditional saying: One catches more flies with honey.

 

The culture of war is built purely o­n violence which tends to instigate and promote more violence. The military personnel were never trained to perform humanitarian work. o­n the contrary, those in the military have been trained to fight and kill anyone they come across, as US soldiers in Iraq confessed to their relatives in their letters. The military is the o­nly organization in the world that can do what it likes without being held accountable.

 

By its very nature, the military is a negative and destructive force in spite of the nice and elegant uniforms it provides. It is brutal and inhuman when put into action. Surprisingly, the military is held accountable to no o­ne for the enormous suffering it inflicts o­n people many of whom are sent to the grave so prematurely. To the amazement of every sensible and intelligent person, o­nce the soldiers return from the battle ground after having destroyed a number of cities and killed mercilessly so many innocent people, they are received as heroes.

 

Perspective of War and Peace

 

The responsible government leaders that sent them to war would then congratulate returning soldiers for having served their country so well! Those that were born and raised in the culture of war like the current US President cannot comprehend that what goes around comes around. They cannot understand what the Master Teacher of Nazareth said: What you do to others it will be done to you afterwards. They reject categorically what the same Master Teacher of Nazareth said that he who kills by the sword will die by the sword.

 

We learn from history that the most powerful people o­n earth that exerted great influence and contributed toward a better and more stable world were all an integral part of the culture of peace. This consists of a philosophy that advocates positive and constructive approaches to every problem we encounter. The leaders of every religion managed to get millions of followers because they showed love and respect for everyone. As St. Augustine said, once you carry love in your heart you are equipped with the most powerful tool to literally conquer the world.

 

We may begin to realize with clarity why the United States, as long as it is guided by a belligerent President and war-minded government officials, can never serve as an instrument to bring about peace into the world. Instead of conducting a program of international disarmament and arms control, a program that would lead to the abolition of all nuclear weapons and landmines, the United States chose to embark o­n a program of world-wide rearmament that would retain nuclear weapons.

 

The current US War President is endangering our earthly community by trying to put many warheads orbiting in space over our heads. The Iraqi War is heading toward becoming another Vietnam War where the Americans would eventually leave after having had thousands of their young men and women massacred and after having inflicted tremendous crucial suffering and death o­n millions of Iraqis. However, all of this nightmare could change overnight if the USA were to have as its next President o­ne who is well versed in the culture of peace of the caliber of Dennis Kucinich who is o­ne of the presidential candidates.

-----------------------------------------------------

Birth of Great Marian

Liturgical Movement in Russia

 

Since the collapse of the communist system, Russia has emerged to become a spiritually oriented nation which has put a special focus o­n the Virgin Mary. In o­ne of her apparitions to the six children of Medjugorje during the decade of the eighties, the Blessed Mother stated that the east is moving closer to God while the west is distancing itself from Him. All those religious and spiritual organizations that functioned underground during the communist era began to come out into the open to practice visibly and courageously their spirituality.

 

Church of the Catacombs

 

The church of the catacombs, which became later known as the Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnaya, was brought to light. It focused o­n the Virgin Mary who has been viewed to be not o­nly the mother of Jesus but also the mother of all people from every walk of life, profession, and religion. In fact, this Blessed Mother told the children of Medjugurje: I am the mother of all people, of those who know me and of those who do not know me, of those who accept me and of those who reject me; I love all these children of mine very dearly.

 

Through the Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnaya, who has been guided to this day by Archbishop John Bereslavsky, a great Marian liturgical movement came into existence. It has been growing since then spreading out not o­nly throughout Russia but also in other countries as well. This movement is characterized by love and respect for o­nes neighbors, which gives the Blessed Mother great joy and consolation. o­ne of the greatest wishes of the Virgin Mary is to see all of us loving all of her children with that same genuine love of hers.

 

At this stage of history, we should develop the habit of viewing all people, from every walk of life and profession, from every religion and nationality as the children of the Blessed Mother. We should never dream of ever hurting these beloved o­nes of hers. Hence, the concept of waging a war is equivalent to turning brothers and sisters against each other, which should be viewed as a heinous crime. This would jeopardize our happiness recklessly and unnecessarily.

 

During the 20th century the Virgin Mary has appeared to a variety of her children numerous times. She conversed with them like an ordinary mother converses with her children at home. She even answered questions that dealt with a variety of topics, which were not necessarily spiritual in nature. And to prove that all people across every continent are her real and beloved children, she let herself be seen not o­nly by Catholic and Orthodox Christians but also by Buddhist, Moslems and Jews, in addition to others.

 

World-Wide Love for Mary

 

In fact, in Islam the Koran speaks very highly of the Virgin Mary and several Moslems did not hesitate to express their genuine love for her. In Sri Lanka tens of thousands of Buddhists marched in the street following with pride and joy the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Needless to say, a number of Protestants have claimed to have seen the Blessed Mother and afterwards they developed the habit of reciting the holy rosary o­n a daily basis. Those that may be interested about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary that took place in the 20th century are welcome to secure the videotape entitled: Marian Apparitions of the 20th Century: A Message of Urgency.

 

This videotape is narrated by Ricardo Montalban and it covers the apparitions that took place in Fatima, Portugal; Garabandal, Spain; Medjugorje, Yugoslavia; Betania, Venezuela; Zeitun, Egypt; Banneaux and Beauraing, Belgium; Akita, Japan; Kibeho, Africa; and Naju, South Korea. This videotape may be secured from Marian Communications, Ltd., P.O. Box 8, Lima, Pennsylvania 19037, USA. If we were to understand what a genuine love for the Blessed Mother looks like, we need to participate in the celebration of the Russian Sobor, which takes place every now and then in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev and other a few other cities. This Sobor is essentially a Marian Congress where some 20 to 40 priests concelebrate the Mass with Archbishop John Bereslavsky or some other designated bishop to direct the entire ceremony.

 

We may also participate in the weekly liturgical Marian celebration where we have the Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnaya in operation. Numerous videotapes were made to commemorate such heavenly events and they are all different. Any sample of such videotapes may be secured from: The Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnaya, Russian Spiritual Center, 1st Khutorskaya, 5A, Moscow 103287, Russia. During such ceremonies, the participants tend to enter into a trance where the concept of time is totally gone. Minutes pass like seconds and hours like minutes. Its an out-of-time experience that participants share at such liturgical events and there is always a feeling of heaven which cannot be expressed in words. It can o­nly be felt.

 

The participants communicate with the Blessed Mother like children at any ordinary home do. Needless to say, the presence of the Virgin Mary is fully there because it can be felt in a very tangible way. In fact, she does not hesitate to bestow o­n those present numerous spiritual gifts as several have attested. Of course, Marian movements have existed around the world for centuries and they have been a great spiritual asset to localities where such movements were. However, the Marian movement that has been contributed by the Orthodox Mother of God Church Derjevnanya is conspicuously unique. The way the members of this great, holy and providential church communicate with each other and with the Blessed Mother is highly inspirational.

 

Great Marian Movement Benefits

 

Those that genuinely accept this great Marian movement in their midst are bound sooner or later to be blessed with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Such gifts may be outlined as follows: (1) Wisdom, which consists of our ability to distinguish between right and wrong, (2) Understanding, which enables us to comprehend the needs of our relatives as well as friends and everyone we come across, (3) Counsel, which provides us with needed foresight to give proper advice, (4) Fortitude, which instills in us great strength especially in spiritual trials, (5) Knowledge, which equips us with an ability to make appropriate judgments, (6) Compassion, which gives us the opportunity to assist everyone that is in need, and (7) Fear of God, which stems from our great concern of offending such a lovable heavenly Father.

 

We should all feel grateful for all those Russians that were responsible in bringing about this great Marian liturgical movement. In particular, we should feel grateful for Archbishop John Bereslavksy who has allowed humbly the Blessed Mother to guide him so well. Needless to say, the government of Russia needs to express its gratitude to this holy and divinely inspired Orthodox Church of the Mother of God Derjevnaya, which has brought so many blessing to so many Russian families. Ascetical writers, Mariologists in particular, tell us that those who love genuinely from their heart the Blessed Mother are guaranteed numerous spiritual gifts in this world and an eternal life of bliss in heaven.

 

There is o­ne important item that we should point out. The Orthodox Church of the Mother of God Derjevnaya is not sectarian in its nature and character. Its liturgical functions are open to all people from every walk of life, profession and religion who would love to do anything to learn more about the Blessed Mother so as to love her and be closer to her. God had His eyes o­n the Virgin Mary from all eternity. He loved her so dearly as to accept her as His Mother and the Mother of all His beloved children till the end of times.

---------------------------------------------------

Most Famous and Beneficial

People in the World

 

During the Roman times we find a good saying: Aliud est theoria, aliud est practica o­ne thing is theory, another thing is practice. Almost every language abounds with sayings of this nature. In English, for example, we have the saying: Not all that glitters is gold. In spite of the diversity of expression, such sayings tend to convey the same meaning. From the early days of Christianity and beyond we find that the greatness of human beings is attributed not to the titles people carry and the wealth they may possess but to the kind of spiritual life they lead.

 

Brahma Kumaris Spirituality

 

One of the great assets of all religions lies here. They all tend to attach more importance o­n the spiritual element of human beings rather than o­n the material o­ne. We will explore here how spirituality in Hinduism views greatness in human beings. Regardless of whether people are rich or poor, known or unknown, old or young their true greatness is measured by their spiritual qualities. Here are twelve qualities that qualify people to be the most famous and beneficial people in the world. They are found in Brahma Kumaris spirituality.

 

1. Peace, which is viewed as the King of all values. We are all aware of the fact that genuine happiness, which emanates from the peace of our soul and mind, cannot be bought with all the money and wealth in the whole world. Peace has proven to be a very special gift that enables people to concentrate better in life as to become more beneficial to others. In fact, many good people tend to greet each other by saying: Peace be with you!

 

2. Courage, which is considered as the Heart of all values. This quality is also considered in Christianity to be o­ne of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. It enables us to do what needs to be done and to say what needs to be said openly and fearlessly. Through such a quality or virtue we become in a position to be able to help the needy and the poor without hesitation and to defend them bravely when we notice they are treated unfairly.

 

3. Truth, which is classified as the Foundation of all values. When Jesus of Nazareth was asked by Pontius Pilot to state who he was, Jesus was quick to reply saying: Ego sum veritas I am the Truth. For this Roman Governor such an answer was such a big surprise that he was quick to ask: Quid est veritas? What is truth? When we are truthful everybody knows where we stand and where they stand with us. There is no ambiguity or misunderstanding.

 

4. Cheerfulness, which is known as the Evidence of all values. Those who are gifted with cheerfulness even in the midst of suffering tend to win the admiration of everyone that comes across them. Making people cheerful is viewed as a heavenly blessing. Cheerfulness make people forget all about their downs of life by concentrating o­n the positive rather than o­n the negative. As a result, they tend to be constructive in anything they say and do.

 

5. Respect, which is acclaimed to be the Demonstration of all values. The demonstration of our respect for others shows o­n our part an expression of love that is viewed by several ascetics as a fundamental virtue. In fact, St. Augustine, who is viewed as the Father of Christian education said: Ama et fac quod vis-- Love and do what you want. This statement was based o­n the fact that when we love genuinely and truly we cannot be wrong.

 

6. Contentment, which is hailed as the Embodiment of all values. This quality consists of having our mind at peace because we do not feel the need to crave for anything. We are satisfied with everything we have and we feel delighted with all the good things others may possess. In Buddhism people are exhorted to empty themselves from any kind of desire as to achieve a genuine state of inner peace and joy.

 

7. Humility, which is described as the Protector of all values. Several ascetical writers have assured us that we are capable to achieve in life more with o­ne ounce of humility than with o­ne ton of pride. The greatest saints of all time, from very walk of life and profession, were all characterized by humility. They put themselves easily at the service of others. Some even say that they developed the habit to see God in every person they encounter.

 

8. Introvertness, which is pinpointed as the Key of all values. This quality enables us to reflect periodically o­n our actions as to whether they are right or wrong as to enable ourselves to improve our spiritual life. This way we will render ourselves to become more helpful and beneficial to others. Monastics tend to describe this introvertness as examination of conscience, which enables them to analyze their thoughts and actions periodically for purpose of spiritual progress.

 

9. Simplicity, which is assumed to be the Beauty of all values. If all human beings were to develop this quality, most of the human conflicts would be solved over night. o­ne of the greatest problems that has existed between human beings lies in the fact that many of them tend to be too complicated. They say o­ne thing and mean another! This explains why Jesus of Nazareth said to his disciples: Unless you become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

10. Patience, which is enlisted as the Fortress of all values. In French we have a proverb that says: Avec la patience o­n sarrive a touts with patience o­ne will achieve everything. In English we also have a proverb which says: Speech is silver but silence is gold. For us to develop the habit of practicing silence, especially at a time we need to explode because of frustrations we experience, reveals the eventual beauty of this quality.

 

11. Honesty, which is called the Guru of all values. o­ne of the most popular saying runs as follows: Honesty is the best policy. The most trusted people in history were those who were proven to be honest. When we are honest those around us do sense it. Through honesty we are capable of winning the heart of everyone we come across. Above all we win the trust of people because they feel convinced we are genuinely interested in their welfare.

 

12. Purity, which is labeled as the Mother of values. This quality enables our mind to do everything with good intentions. It stimulates our heart to desire o­nly what is good for others. It procures in our soul a deep sentiment of serenity. It also inspires us to make the right decisions when faced with alternative choices. The leaders of the various major religions of the world had all attached great importance o­n the purity of mind, heart, soul and body.

 

In view of what has been stated, we may realize and understand how in the sphere of spirituality, the most famous and beneficial people in the world are not those that carry titles, money, wealth and power but those that are imbued with the above mentioned twelve qualities. In Brahma Kumaris spirituality, these are viewed as indispensable values o­n which we are expected to meditate often. This noble spirituality emphasizes the fact that such values do, as a matter of fact, empower our lives.

 

These qualities cannot be taken lightly since they serve as a great force that is meant to invigorate us in everything we decide to undertake. Through these qualities we are bound to become noticeably powerful in the sense that people tend to listen more carefully to what we say. They also tend to be more cooperative. With these outlined qualities we may be assured with virtual certainly that our life would serve to make a big difference by all means.

12/12/06

-----------------------------

The Criminality of War

 

The New Webster Dictionary of the English Language describes criminality as a gross violation of laws that are either human or divine. It also alludes to crime as a great and atrocious wickedness. Those that commit crimes are dubbed as villains. Criminals are viewed as wicked people who have emerged to become very dangerous to society. Most of them are prosecuted and put in prison or given adequate punishments of some kind.

 

Meaning of War

 

War is described as a struggle between nations, in the case of international war, and between parties in the same nation, in the event of civil war. This struggle is always carried by force of arms where all laws are disregarded along with the nations constitution. In the waging of wars, the creation of chaos becomes a sine qua non condition. Hatred and revenge become the norms that are carried out by the instigators of war. The greatest sufferings that people experienced in history may be linked directly or indirectly to weapons and wars.

 

Nowadays, there may be ulterior motives based o­n monetary gain, which explains why the weapons industry and the waging of wars have become a big business enterprise. This might have been viewed as fine if the infrastructure of society were not destroyed, if the life of innocent people were not to be wiped out. It is against the law of any nation in a civilized society to destroy the property of other people, to massacre law-abiding citizens mercilessly, and to confiscate their property at will.

 

There was a time in history where war, under certain circumstances, could be viewed as justifiable. That time is over. Like Pope Benedict XVI said during his first pontificate year, war is no longer justified under any circumstance whatsoever. War is viewed as the law of the jungle where the big fish always eats the small fish mercilessly at will and where might is considered as right by all means. Those that are responsible for the manufacture of weapons and the promotion of wars are brutal savages in the strict sense. They are heartless humans who may be viewed as beasts for all practical purposes.

 

The weapons industry and the promotion of wars have become lucrative businesses. For money Judas Iscariot betrayed his Lord and Master Jesus of Nazareth. For money numerous heinous crimes the mafia types have been organized where innocent people have been massacred systematically in cold blood. For money politicians let irresponsible lobbyists dictate to them what laws to introduce and to pass in the best interests of big corporations, even to the detriment of the entire American people. For money governmental leaders plan deceitful strategies that are meant to mislead and deceive entirely their people.

 

Criminality of War

 

The criminality of war will continue for as long as those responsible for the moral fiber of the nation choose to remain silent, for a long as those who work for the manufacture and sales of weapons will continue to do so, for as long as those that consent to the justification of wars continue to refrain from dehypnotizing themselves from false beliefs, for as long as wars continue to be viewed by people in good faith as the safeguard of democracy and freedom! The waging of wars to solve political problems constitutes abuse of power which is a very serious crime.

 

What is really amazing is to find out that in a civilized society very few seem to care any longer. Many of those responsible for negative decision-making seem to have either a confused mind if they happen to be in good faith, or they must be very wicked if they realize what they are doing. These latter o­nes may be viewed as demonic agents of our earthly community. To turn insult into injury, some of the culprits of our society, in the instigation of more wars, talk like they reveal concern for the life people in general, conduct prayers in public, and act like they were angels in human form. In essence, we are surrounded here by Pharisees by hypocrites who need to be exposed.

 

This dangerous trend needs to be reversed. The best way would be to expose the culprits who may be too many to enumerate. We need to keep in mind here that those that promote the manufacture of weapons and the waging of wars are making a lot of money out of the infliction of misery and suffering o­n many people and out of the massacre and maiming of tense of thousands of people. Those that benefit financially from weapons and wars should be viewed as notorious criminals. Let us make a partial list of such responsible people to get an idea of how the cause of weapons and wars is kept alive.

 

1. Politicians who vote for the manufacture of weapons and the waging of wars. Many lobbyists have succeeded to bribe a number of politicians to put more money o­n weapons and wars to boost their disastrous business enterprise.

 

2. Good men and women who work for the weapons industry as a way to make a living, a way to get money and pay their monthly bills. They do not have any moral justification for this and they need to change their jobs.

 

3. Clergymen who, instead of condemning the manufacture of weapons and the waging of wars, they remain silent or approve of this venture under the guise of national defense and security, and safeguard of our democracy!

 

4. Responsible university officials who allow their campus to serve as an instrument to promote military causes under the guise of patriotism and safeguard of our liberties. This is betrayal of the academic cause.

 

5. War Veterans who choose to remain silent or who take active initiative to encourage the structure of more sophisticated weapons and the promotion of more devastating wars. Thank God many Veterans are vocal against more wars.

 

6. Parents who encourage their children to join the military for as long as the military continues to be used for negative and destructive purposes. The military can do plenty of good if it is changed into a humanitarian agency.

 

7. Civic and religious organizations who dare to insult the God of love and mercy that Jesus preached by claiming that they want to see more wars because, they say, God has directed them to do so! This is a blasphemy.

 

8. Governmental authorities who discourage peace workers from their pursuit to peace by describing them as terrorists even to the point of putting them in jail! This is like referring to God as Satan, like claiming that God is evil!

 

Let us assume that all those who fit into such categories and even more may be doing what they are doing in good faith. Even then, they should be viewed to be at least as bona fide criminals, that is, people who purse criminal activities unknowingly! The fact remains that in the manufacture of weapons and the promotion of wars we are performing gross violations of both the divine law and the natural law, both of which are God-made laws and from which no o­ne is exempt. In the sphere of morality this constitutes a great and atrocious crime.

 

This is not a matter of individual or collective opinion. It is a matter of ignorance versus knowledge, of revenge and hatred versus love and reconciliation, of egoism versus altruism, of hell versus heaven, of Satans inspired actions versus Gods inspired actions. Last but not least, we learn from ascetical writers that when good and evil clash with each other evil always takes the upper hand initially but then, at a time least expected, it collapses and the good will flourish for a long time.

-------------------------------------------

Capacity Development for Peace

Building in Post-Conflict Societies

 

Since the patriarchal society took over some six to eight thousand years ago, the culture of peace has been replaced with the culture of war. From excavations we find that in the matriarchal times the world was characterized by true love, dedicated care, and genuine respect. People hugged each other and offered assistance to each other. This is due to the fact that women, by their very nature tend to rule from the heart, which is the seat of love and compassion.

 

Initiation of the Culture of War

 

Once the world community became patriarchal, things changed radically. Love was replaced by hatred and revenge while care for o­nes neighbors was changed into neglect. In the matriarchal society human conflicts were solved through dialogue, understanding and compassion. By way of contrast, under the patriarchy, human conflicts were solved through atrocious wars. This is due to the fact that men, by their nature, rule from the mind, which is suspicious. This explains the needless suffering that was inflicted o­n millions of innocent people.

 

Needless to say, each time a conflict comes to an end we witness the great misery that it leaves behind. This is observed in the destruction of the infrastructure of cities and entire nations and in the massacre of tens of thousands of people that include women, children, the elderly and the sick. Besides, many are maimed for life with arms and legs amputated, with badly disfigured faces and blindness along with numerous suicides that were committed as a result because of the unbearable burden of such victims.

 

For those who managed to survive in a newly created environment that is characterized by the scourges of war, they seem to have no other choice except to start to live their life over again. Of course, for many this new life would never be the same since they will mourn constantly the loss of their dear and beloved o­nes that may include parents, spouses, children, relatives and friends. But following each war, there seems to be a period of calmness that comes partly from the vacuum of life that was brought about by such heinous events.

 

Under the circumstance, we need to look forward with hope and perseverance. We need to develop a capacity for peace building in such post-conflict events, in communities or societies that were hit by the implementation of the culture of war among them. Usually, those that were responsible for such tragic consequences take the initiative to exploit the misery they created for their personal financial gain. This is not hard to realize and understand. It may be illustrated very well by pinpointing some of these sources.

 

Trinity of Evil at Work

 

If we examine every recent conflict carefully that stems especially from the developed nations we will discover how three of the most lucrative businesses in the world work together. They may be enlisted as the weapons industry, the construction companies, and the oil enterprises. The weapons industry, through the institution of the military, proceeds to destroy the infrastructure of a nation. Then construction companies step in to rebuild what the weapons industry has destroyed. And finally, the oil enterprises step in to confiscate the oil where it is found or the valuable natural resources of the besieged nations.

 

Although in theory the capacity development for peace building in post-conflict nations or societies seems to be logical, in practice things are different. Let us illustrate this by example. The institution of the military, over the last 6,000 years of recorded history, has always served for negative and destructive purposes. Hence, its very existence assures the continuation of the culture of war, that is, of constantly resorting to war to solve human conflicts or problems. The presence of the military has always a negative and destructive connotation.

 

The military may be viewed as the most dangerous element that ever existed in the history of the entire world. In fact, it is the o­nly institution that can disregard all kind of laws without being penalized afterwards. It constantly violates the divine positive law, which is commonly known as the Ten Commandments. It disregards the natural law as the manufacture of weapons does emit in the atmosphere tons of toxic wastes that, in the United States alone, has caused cancer to some two million people a year.

 

Besides, it violates ecclesiastical laws as revealed in its destruction of churches, synagogues and temples and the disregard for any spiritual directives of all the major religions. And finally, the military also is immune from the observation of any civic law whatsoever. For example, the United States and the European Union have been adamant in their opposition to illegal immigrants, that is, people who enter a country without proper documents revealed in lack of passports and visas.

 

Yet, the governments of such countries do not observe any civic law when it comes to the military. When the United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, the soldiers sent there did not have any passports and visas to present prior to their entry. Similarly, when NATO invaded Kosovo the soldiers sent their just entered the country, like illegal immigrants do, with no passports and no visas to show to legitimate national authorities! So, in view of what has been stated, we may now proceed to explore how we can demonstrate a capacity for constructive development for peace building in post-conflict nations.

 

Importance of Demilitarization

 

A rapid glance through history demonstrates that the nations that had concentrated o­n military build up always abounded with surmountable problems. Their people were conspicuously neglected in many ways. A substantial number of them live in abject poverty and they have no adequate housing facilities. Those who cannot afford to pay find it difficult to have appropriate nourishment and to take good care of their health. Besides, the education becomes affordable o­nly to those who still have financial means. In addition, most nations that rely o­n the military for their survival and to get anything they want by all means tend to make mockery of democracy and to curtail the peoples freedom of movement considerably.

 

These are violations of human rights. Ironically, such nations talk often of the importance to promote democracy and freedom everywhere! In spite of this, we can always do something positive and constructive. In the first place, we need to either abolish the military or to reduce it to merely a token. This way, all the money that would have been wasted o­n this lawless institution that is virtually accountable to no o­ne, will be shifted to the needs of the people. Each time this approach was implemented there was always witnessed a positive and constructive result. For example, Costa Rica at o­ne time relied heavily o­n the military. There was a coup after coup.

 

The people were poor and the majority of them were illiterate. Almost o­ne half of the population was homeless. Also, Costa Rica had the highest mortality rate of children in both North and South America. More than half century ago, o­ne military general took over the nation by coup and soon announced that the people of Costa Rica would never again see war in their country. He abolished the military and all of its money passed to the dire needs of the people. Today, Costa Rica is a literate nation. All people have a home where they could live and raise a decent family. Besides, education is free from the cradle to the grave and all people live a noticeably healthy life. In addition, the child mortality rate is the lowest, along with Cuba, in all the nations of North and South America.

 

To promote peace building in post-conflict society we need to put top priority o­n the welfare of the people who always remain the most important element of a nation. In fact, the strength of a nation could be measured accurately by the kind of education, health care and adequate housing facilities the people enjoy. In his farewell speech to the US Congress, President Eisenhower remarked: Remember, every dollar spent o­n weapons and wars is a theft from the hungry and the poor. Unfortunately, very few heeded to his warning.

 

Role of Non Governmental Organizations

 

We need to rely heavily o­n volunteer type of organizations. The presence of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) ought not to be taken lightly. In fact, many believe that had it not been for the NGOs the United Nations would have ceased to exist long time ago, following the footsteps of the League of Nations before it. Such volunteers could come from every walk of life and profession. Nowadays, we do have physicians who offer their services in any global area where they are needed at least for an average of o­ne month a year. We also have lawyers who try to defend the helpless from governmental abuse.

 

Many volunteer to work as nurses, social workers, and teachers at all levels of education, while others volunteer to equip hospitals and schools with modern technology that would include computers. Philanthropists have also been doing a good job in this direction in an effort to develop peaceful societies following the ravages of war that had been experienced. The well known philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife are spending countless millions of dollars to help alleviate the lives of people in Africa of war-torn nations.

 

At the same time, Oprah Winfrey is spending millions of dollars in Southern Africa to help women become more involved in politics. Women remain the o­nly hope to bring about world peace. They need to replace men in government o­nce more and hasten the return of the matriarchal society. Of course, what makes a real woman is not the physical structure of her body but the capacity to do things from the heart which is full of love and compassion. Without such a vital quality women will be like men trapped in womans body.

 

This means that if men were to rule from the heart and not from the mind, they become an integral part of a peaceful matriarchal society. They will be like women trapped in mans body. The list of politicians that have revealed matriarchal qualities with an ability to bring genuine peace to everyone is fortunately substantial. Just to quote a few instances, we have Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu of South Africa along with Oscar Arias of Costa Rica in addition to former US presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton.

 

We also witnessed outstanding men revealing matriarchal qualities of love and compassion with an ability to promote peace as observed in Pope John II and the Dalai Lama. The list of men with matriarchal qualities goes o­n and o­n. But the vast majority of men reveal to be strictly patriarchal where they identify the security of a nation with a devastating military! These are men who are saturated with suspicion and they feel the urge to use violence to control the outcome of possible violence. These politicians tend to feel fearful and insecure and try to hide these negative qualities through machismo. They try to show that they are tough when in fact they prove to be blind and stubborn.

 

Exposition of Military Deception

 

Moreover, such politicians constantly mislead the people by referring to the waging of wars as means of national defense and security. We learn from history that what comes around goes around, that violence begets violence and more violence begets more violence. What may be curious lies here. Each time we visit charitable institutions whose job is to provide people with the necessities of life we are always greeted nicely. We sense friendship, mutual trust, love and respect. However, when we visit military institutions we are stopped by military guards armed heavily with machine guns. We sense suspicion, something wrong in the whole set up of this atmosphere. We witness the culture of war that is meant to destroy the infrastructure of society brutally and wipe out human life.

 

Ascetical writers tell us that when we are about to leave this earthly planet we have a vision of all the actions were performed in our life time. We see all the good we did and we feel consoled and proud of ourselves. We also see the bad we did and the endless harm we might have caused to others. And at that moment we wish we could reverse the clock of history to avoid the evil we performed. But then we realize that we cannot reverse the clock of history. However, the same ascetical writers tell us that through prevention we may act like having reversed the clock of history.

 

This means each time we are about to perform an action we should evaluate the good versus the evil that could possibly come after. If such actions would be in the best interest of all people without exception then we should proceed to perform them. Otherwise, we should avoid them regardless of how strong our urge may be to opt for devastation and the infliction of enormous pain. The same ascetical writers assure us that if we were to view all people as beloved children of God and if we were to genuinely love God as our father and creator we would never dream even remotely to pursue the route to war again. This would require a sound education that would create a new generation that is fully entrenched in the culture of peace.

---------------------------------------

Creative Force of Evil

 

In the sphere of morality there seems to be no neutrality. We are either moving o­n the right track or o­n the wrong track. We may either be performing well or we may be promoting evil. Of course, there are various spheres or degrees of both good and evil. Two individuals may be kind but o­ne may reveal to be kinder. This applies also to evil since o­ne may reveal to be vicious but another may demonstrate to be more vicious.

 

Concept of Good and Evil

 

In philosophy people often remark saying that what may be good or bad for me may not be the same for you. This may be true but it is not so in the realm of morality where good is viewed as what is conducive to the welfare of all people without exception, while evil is conceived as what is detrimental to every single person without exception. The real problem that people face in life is not when they are confronted with good but when they are faced with evil. Needless to say, it is much easier for all of us to deal with good than to hustle with evil.

 

In view of this, we may proceed to explore what could be done when confronted with evil, an element that nobody really likes to experience. Evil could be approached in two ways. o­ne way leads toward its eventual annihilation and the other way tends to ignite it more making things eventually turning from bad to worse. Unfortunately, most people choose the second route, which explains why the world at large is full with so many problems. This route is taken when we try to contend with the evil we encounter by another evil.

 

This approach is built o­n the philosophy of an eye-for-an-eye and a tooth-for-a-tooth. The parties involved will both end up being blind and without teeth for all practical purposes. In fact, the problem of evil encountered here will continue to grow and spread bringing untold harm to numerous others. This has been the problem with the foreign policies of Israel and the United States in particular. They both use retaliation in a devastating way even when faced with the mere shadow of evil. And we are all familiar with the eventual results. No o­ne ends up being the winner; everyone involved ends up being a loser.

 

However, there is another approach in dealing with the creative force of evil in the most effective way conceivable. This approach has always worked when used with no exceptions whatsoever. It has been used throughout history by those who revealed to have a sound philosophy of life, by those who were viewed as saintly, and by those who were renowned for their wisdom. In the first place, we need to understand that evil in the world has such a creative force because we hardly ever use the right means to deal with it.

 

Effective Conquest of Evil

 

If we pay back evil with evil, we do not conquer it but rather we are conquered by it. Besides, we become its ally! If instead of resisting good in favor of evil, we proceed to destroy the roots of evil in us, we will definitely be in a position to do a tremendous amount of good. We will surprisingly reach the point of literally conquering the world in due time. This approach has proven to be a tangible fact over centuries of recoded history. If through this manner victory is absolutely guaranteed why dont we always act this way?

 

In ascetical writings we always find this same o­ne way of conquering evil very effectively with no virtual exceptions. Going back to 2,000 years we find Paul of Tarsus telling the Romans quite emphatically: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12.21). We learn from the Master Teacher of Nazareth that God, who is viewed as the most powerful existent being of all times, always returns the evil we offer him with good. This explains why some saintly people got into the habit of reciting this daily prayer: Lord, victory is always o­n your side, strengthen me that I may conquer evil.

 

Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King. Jr. and numerous others have exerted a tremendous positive and constructive influence o­n others. They all were treated unjustly and at times even brutally. Yet, they all reacted the same way. They returned love to those that despised them and they rendered themselves servants to those who happened to have been around them. As a result, the world became somewhat better as revealed in the numerous followers they have accumulated to this very day.

 

Each time we encounter evil we may either wipe it out completely to the point of its total annihilation or we may simply ignite it in a way that we enable it to become a really strong creative force in the world to the detriment of all of us. The choice is entirely in our hands. This is what marks the line between politicians and diplomats. While politicians adopt policies of machismo resorting to the military to get what they want by hook or by crook, diplomats seek for healthy dialogues and the provision of constructive programs that prove to be beneficial to all people without exception.02/02/07

----------------------------------------

Americas Big Chance: Turning a

Crisis into a Good Opportunity

 

Since George W. Bush assumed the US presidency in January 2001, numerous articles and books were written that were mostly critical of his foreign policies. Some of the leading American journals referred to Bushs foreign policy as the cowboy diplomacy. He replaced diplomacy, where healthy dialogues might have served to solve numerous problems, with military action which brought back to our earthly society the rule of the jungle. This is based o­n the dictum: Do it my own way or I simply proceed to devastate you.

 

Actions Louder than Words

 

Although by word of mouth the US President often seemed to have used the right phraseology, when it came to action he virtually did the opposite most of the time. In seeking for an advice before he proceeds to make a major decision that would affect the lives of tens of thousands of people, even amounting to millions, he would seek it mostly from those who would tell him what he wants to hear, regardless as to whether it would be true or false, evidenced or not.

 

If we were to examine most of the major decisions he made, both during his first term and second term in office, we would notice that they basically lacked vision and foresight. They proved to be rather shortsighted as evidenced in his decision to attack and invade Iraq. Of course, we all know that to err is human but to persist in error is diabolical. Because of this reality, the American people and practically the entire world, would not hesitate to forgive him if he were to admit he was wrong and to refrain from repeating the same mistakes.

 

His obvious determination never to learn from past mistakes made him look as dangerous by many of his critics. These would include foreign political leaders like Nelson Mandela and Oscar Arias as well as national political leaders like Edward Kennedy and Dennis Kucinich. There seems to have never been a US President in history who disregarded constantly the advice of members of the US Congress, US top military officials, and the majority of the American people. He managed to throw them all into the toilet and just flush them.

 

According to well known and highly respected writers of the caliber of Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Bush has succeeded to bring under his full control the US Supreme Court and to demoralize and virtually castrate the US Congress. With these two branches of government injected with paralysis, Bush succeeded to establish absolute power in the sense that he would proceed to do what he wants regardless of what the US Congress as a whole and the majority of the American people would want. In his two terms as President, George W. Bush spent most of his time and energy o­n planning to promote wars.

 

Ignoring American Welfare

 

Hardly anything was done to provide the American people with a good health care system, with a good education where the problem of discipline in lower education could be brought under control, and with the provision of adequate shelter for the homeless. In addition, there have been quite a number of vital others things that he seems to have ignored for all practical purposes and that would include environmental protection. Needless to say, he did also manage to control with iron fist the conservative right extremists by playing their musical tune each time he had an opportunity.

 

This was done by deliberately expressing openly his belief in God and in prayer, in the unity and integrity of marriage, in the condemnation of gay peoples lifestyle, and the safeguard of democracy and freedom. In theory this appeal sounds good and may be termed to be praiseworthy. Questions that need to be raised here are these: Does he really mean what he says? What kind of God he has in mind? Is it the God of mercy and love that Jesus preached where we return hatred with love and revenge with kindness? Is it the God of the Pharisees that advocated the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth?

 

What does he mean by unity and integrity of marriage when he wages wars that would cause the husband or the wife, the son or the daughter to leave the family and go overseas to fight needless wars when through good diplomacy we may solve so many problems? Many US soldiers that were sent overseas to fight in wars and managed to survive, returned back with many psychological problems that literally demolished many marriages afterwards.

 

Are gay people viewed as bad when residing in the USA but as good and patriotic when they are sent to fight in wars where they risk to be killed, maimed or becoming psychologically disturbed for life? The American people were told that the purpose of the invasion of Iraq and the waging of war there was to bring democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people. Is there anyone in his/her right senses to believe this when these elements do not exist in the USA any longer?

 

In his first term in office, Bush was proclaimed the new US president in spite of having obtained 500,000 votes less than his opponent Al Gore. In a genuine democracy o­ne assumes the presidency after he/she secures from the nations people a majority of at least o­ne vote! Do the American people enjoy real freedom when they are not allowed to visit a number of countries including their peaceful neighbor Cuba? There was a time when genuine freedom of movement existed in America, when people could travel to any country they wished at their own risk with no governmental interference.

 

Blessing in Disguise

 

If it is true that George W. Bush has plunged the United States into a serious crisis with his cowboy diplomacy of machismo, threats and fears, it is also true that this same president has inspired the entire nation of the dire and desperate need for a constitutional reform. For this he deserves to have all the credit and maybe o­ne day in retrospect both the American nation and the rest of the world would start viewing the presidency of George W. Bush as a blessing in disguise. Here are some lessons enlisted that he inspired us to pursue:

 

1. Changing the two term presidency of four years each into o­ne term presidency of merely five years. Bush would have ended his presidency in January 2006.

 

2. Replacing the constitutional phrase, the right to bear arms with the privilege to bear arms. With the exception of the police and military, no o­ne should bear arms except for hunting with a specially issued license.

 

3. Initiating an international program of disarmament and arms control since the world would be infinitely safer with less weapons and less wars. This could be done in collaboration with the United Nations.

 

4. Abolishing all nuclear weapons and landmines. The current US policy that those nations that already have nuclear weapons let them keep them, but those without them must never have them has created needless tensions.

 

5. Solving all political problems by using strong diplomatic means through healthy dialogues. Politicians should never again use the military to secure violently what they cannot achieve diplomatically.

 

6. Improving the role of the military, changing it from an element of destruction to an instrument of construction. There has hardly been a case in history where the military was not linked with atrocious and deadly activities.

 

7. Using the people, rather than politicians, to serve as ambassadors of good will in all the countries of the world. Ordinary people feel comfortable with other ordinary people with whom they share the same concerns and feelings.

 

8. Prohibiting big corporations from establishing monopoly o­n anything if evidence is furnished that the welfare of people anywhere in the world would be negatively and destructively affected.

 

9. Safeguarding our air and water from pollution and toxic wastes that are normally emitted by manufacturing companies. In the USA alone some two million Americans incur cancer every year because of this problem.

 

10. Protecting human rights, which have been violated so many times, especially the right of freedom of movement, which involves people visiting any country they wish with no governmental hindrances whatsoever.

 

11. Promoting peace education at all levels of education. This would involve the development of a good character and a strong personality as to enable everyone to undergo any sacrifice to help create a better world.

 

12. Outlawing all kinds of wars. This would involve bringing under full control the further manufacture and sales of weapons. Countries should be provided with the essentials of life but never with weapons and military devices.

 

13. Making it criminal to become rich out of the manufacture and sales of weapons and the promotion of wars. This should be considered as a serious and intolerable crime and the USA should take the lead in this effort.

 

14. Creating a general fund for people in need to be provided with food and shelter as well as with appropriate medical facilities and schools. Those that made millions from weapons and wars must put all this money into such a fund.

 

15. Devising a style of life that would be characterized by such virtues as faith, hope, charity, love, humility, patience, tolerance, perseverance, prudence, courage, wisdom, fortitude and compassion, in addition to others.

 

The next US President needs to learn from the mistakes that George W. Bush had made and vouch to God and to the American people never to repeat them. This way the presidency of George W. Bush could be viewed in history as having been a blessing in disguise, as a unique opportunity for the American people to turn properly and effectively a crisis into a good opportunity.


------------------------------------------------------------
The essays list of Charles Mercieca o­n the website from April 15, 2006 up to
December 3, 2006:

  1.             Chinas Transition into a Society of Social Harmony

  2. Contributions of Buddhism to Humanity

  3. Why People Have Mixed Feelings about Islam

  4. Judas Iscariot: Patron of Christian Fundamentalists in America

  5. Waging of Wars: Anathema to World Peace

  6. United Nations Primary Goal: Lasting World Peace

  7. Feminism and Peace

  8. Searching for Nirvana

  9. Culture of Peace

  10. European Unification: Dream or Reality?

  11. A Malignant Tumor Develops o­n the Continent of Europe

  12. Meaning and Purpose of Terrorism: How to deal with it Effectively

  13. Coalition of Peaceful Nations: Their Strength and Asset to the World

  14. Cultural Bridges of Peace: Two Women Take the Lead

  15. Diplomat (Ban Ki Moon) Most Likely to SucceedKofi Annan as UN Secretary-General

  16. George Versus Fidel: Who Fares Better?

  17. My Recent Visit to India: A Truly Enriching Experience

  18. Problem of Discipline in American Public Schools

 

--------------------------------------

 

Chinas Transition into a Society of Social Harmony

 

When the communists took over China in the year 1949, the entire world became concerned. The legitimate government of China then took refuge in Taiwan hoping to retake control of this great nation in due time. In this island nation, the overthrown government of China kept the original name, Republic and China (ROC). For quite a few years the United Nations viewed Taiwan as the real China. In the meantime, the communists, in order to avoid confusion, called China by its present official name, Peoples Republic of China (PRC).

 

Chinas Initial Problems

 

Initially, the Chinese communists went through a period of turmoil but, in due time, they became more stabilized both politically and economically. Several countries began to recognize the economic and political potential of China. In spite of having countries sympathetic with Taiwan, a good number of others began to come with grips of reality. France was o­ne of the first major countries in the world to recognize the Peoples Republic of China. Later, the Republic of China was replaced at the United Nations by the Peoples Republic of China.

 

To avoid the confusion of having two Chinas, more and more countries began to refer to the Republic of China simply by Taiwan and to the Peoples Republic of China simply by Mainland China or merely China. Although today Taiwan gave up completely its dream of regaining control of Mainland China, the government of the PRC made it clear that it does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation and that it views Taiwan merely as a province of China.

 

At this stage of history, the world has witnessed great economic progress both in Taiwan and in China. Taiwan wants to establish cordial political relations with Mainland China but not by sacrificing its democracy and freedom. China insists that the o­nly way for Taiwan to deal with Mainland China is simply to give up its sovereignty and submit fully to the government of Beijing. Thus, Mainland China expects any country that wishes to establish diplomatic relations with it, to cut off all diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

 

In spite of this Chinese diplomatic policy, Taiwan still maintains today good and cordial diplomatic relations with some 27 nations or so. In quite a number of other countries, Taiwan has missions instead of embassies. For example, the United States and South Korea are among such nations. They have official diplomatic relations with China though the establishment of embassies. At the same time, they keep in touch unofficially with Taiwan through the set up of missions. Until a few years ago, China was fully aware of the fact that Taiwans economy was much better.

 

Economic Growth and Development

 

Over the past two decades, Chinas economy grew immensely. This was partly due to Chinas consent to capitalism infiltrate its communist system. Because of this, today we do find several Chinese people who make a lot of money and who may be termed rich for all practical purposes. Also, a lot of Taiwanese businessmen opened branches of their respective products o­n Mainland China. Unlike with the case of North and South Korea, the Chinese people in both Mainland China and Taiwan seem to be free to communicate with each other. In this respect, Hong Kong serves as a linking bridge between the mainlanders and the islanders.

 

As time passes, China is being viewed less and less of a threat by the world at large. o­ne of its greatest assets lies in its determination to view its strength not in military build-up but rather in the continuous growth of its civilian economy. After all, this was the kind of strength that brought both Germany and Japan out of their total collapse following the end of World War II. Historically, military build-up always led to the eventual destruction of a nations economy. In fact, several nations that were either demilitarized or held a token military were always blessed with a conspicuous healthy and highly educated people. After all, wars have always served as an instrument to kill people and to destroy the infrastructure of entire communities.

 

Today, the standard of living in China is considerably better than the standard of living in the vast majority of nations in the world. In recent times, China has taken the lead to help the developing nations as to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. Chinas policies, as revealed by the role it plays at the United Nations, prove that this huge nation of over o­ne billion people is determined to do all it can to uphold world peace. Also, China made it clear that the humanitarian assistance it gives to the poor nations of Africa and elsewhere does not have any strings attached. Nowadays, China seems to believe that if peoples life is improved, the chances for a lasting world peace would become a tangible reality where everyone would be a winner.

 

China has noted recently that a number of developing countries have not gained their fare share of benefits from economic globalization. In the meantime, plenty of insecurity has developed through manifold sources that would include security threats through terrorist activities, natural disasters and outbreak of major communicable diseases. China would love to see people in every country being equipped with good hospitals and schools, with adequate housing facilities and proper nourishment. The other nation in the world with over o­ne billion people, India, is trying to follow Chinas footsteps in a number of ways. In fact, these two nations are predicated to become the two strongest economic powers by the year 2045.

 

Exposition of Good Will

 

During the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (EPEC) CEO summit at the National Convention Center in Hanoi o­n November 17, 2006, Chinas President Hu Jintao had this to say: We will further deepen the reform of foreign-related economic sectors, accelerate the transformation pattern of trade growth and improve trade structure to ensure balanced growth of import and export. Then he added saying: We will actively introduce foreign investment, open the service sectors wider, enhance intellectual property rights protection and raise Chinas overall level of openness.

 

Besides, the Chinese President called for building a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity in the best interest of all people without exception. He described harmony as a defining value of Chinese civilization. In spite of this, the Chinese President recognized some of Chinas problems and challenges that included structural imbalances and inefficient modes of economic growth. He also stated that issues of this nature could be resolved properly and effectively if in every approach taken the welfare of the people is given top priority by all means. Chinas goal of the future is to aim at comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development.

 

For those who may be skeptic about Chinas efforts to help the developing nations with no strings attached, we would need to explore as to whether or not China is also furnishing weapons and military material to such nations. The concept of war to solve human conflicts has become very antiquated. The idea of a nation to bring under full control another nation through the waging of a devastating war has proven constantly to be fallacious and disastrous as we have seen in Vietnam, Iraq and quite a few other countries. We should all be optimistic about Chinas good intentions as long as its assistance to other nations will be restricted to merely humanitarian needs that relate to medicine, food, housing facilities, and to anything that is in itself positive and constructive.
December 2, 2006

--------------------------------------

 

Contributions of Buddhism to Humanity

 

If we were to study carefully the history of every religion we would soon discover that Buddhism has proved itself to be the most peaceful major religion in the world. Other major religions, like Judaism, Christianity and Islam abound in historical events of struggles and wars. As a result, countless thousands of innocent people were killed mercilessly and unnecessarily.

 

Essence of Buddhism

 

What puts Buddhism apart from other religions lies in its ability to respect life in every form. It realizes that in our planet everything is interdependent and everything has a unique purpose for its eventual existence. Buddhism views the whole world as a single unit same way as we view the various parts of the body in the same person. If o­ne hurts his arm or leg the whole body would feel the agony of pain, not just the arm or the leg independently of the rest of the body.

 

This explains why all the great religious teachers of the world, from Confucius and Lao Tze down to Jesus Christ all the way to Mahatma Gandhi and more recently Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II revealed concern, love and dedication for all people from every walk of life and profession, from every culture and philosophical orientation. This explains why they insisted that to hurt someone is to hurt o­neself and thus exhorting us all to do to others as we would like others to do to us.

 

Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees, who were the Jewish leaders of his time, saying: The God you preach is not the God I know. You preach a God who advocates the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth. The God I know is a God of love and mercy; when you strike him o­n the face not o­nly he does not retaliate but he would let us strike him even o­n the other cheek. Also, Jesus of Nazareth warned Peter his disciple saying: Put the sword away for he who kills by the sword will die by the sword.

 

Over the centuries, many Christian religious leaders seem to have forgotten completely Christs teaching about love, tolerance and forgiveness. They organized crusades against Moslems and non believers in the process of which countless thousands of innocent people were massacred brutally. Even today many Christians, as well as Jews and Moslems, resort to struggle and war against their fellow brethren to get what they want by violent means. In Ireland, for example, we had a long history of war between Catholic and Protestants. In Bosnia we have witnessed Catholics fighting Eastern Orthodox Christians and the list of such episodes goes o­n and o­n.

 

Misconception of Gods Love

 

On the other hand, Moslems came into the open with the concept of jihad, which is interpreted as waging a holy war in the name of God! This is very ironic! o­n o­ne hand, Jesus of Nazareth assures us that we are all beloved children of God who is infinitely loveable and forgivable. o­n the other hand, Moslems advocate the justification of war (jihad) which consists of having children of God hurting and killing the other children of God in His name!

 

Quite a few members of these three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have a number of things in common. They all claim to believe in the same o­ne God of Abraham. At the same time, they all tend to misinterpret, downplay or ignore certain areas of their respective holy scriptural writings. In this case, we have the concept of jihad in the Koran which does mean a holy war waged in the name of God.

 

However, within the context and spirit of the Koran, this holy war consists merely of a war against our passions, against our evil tendencies, against our planned negative and destructive actions. This means that when we feel angry against our neighbor we respond with kindness and when we feel greed to take more from our neighbor we respond with generosity by giving to others. Also, when we feel hurt, offended or insulted we react against our instinct to retaliate by the exercise of self-control while, at the same time, we demonstrate meekness and kindness. We may understand here the traditional saying that we tend to catch more flies with honey.

 

In view of this, we are now in a position to comprehend and appreciate the contributions of Buddhism to humanity. Since Buddhism seems to be based o­n its deep respect for nature, the faithful members of this religion will do anything to safeguard the purity of the air we breathe and the purity of the water we drink. Buddhism is equipped with a philosophy that is highly conducive to the welfare of our ecological system and of all people without exception.

 

Unlike capitalism, which is endorsed by many Jews, Christians, and Moslems, Buddhism puts top priority o­n the safeguard of the human life and not on the safeguard of the products of big corporations, some of which are literally destroying our planet with the problem of global warming, in addition to others. Besides, Buddhism encourages simplicity of life. It discourages consumerism, which is anathema to the peacefulness of o­nes heart and mind.

 

Source of Genuine Peace

 

On this point, in o­ne of his interlocutions with the Virgin Mary, Archbishop John Bereslavsky of the Mother of God Church Derjevnaya in Russia brought to our attention o­ne of his mystical experiences. He stated: The Blessed Virgin said that she would like to see her Christian children imitating her Buddhist children by leading a life of simplicity and by attaching less importance to the material things that surround them. Buddhism could, indeed, be termed as source of genuine peace.

 

Ascetical writers tell us that peace emanates from the heart, which quickly reaches the human mind. Eventual peace is achieved when we reject the needless material things of this world and accept o­nly the essential. Ironically, capitalism, as stated earlier, is built o­n a system of consumerism, which encourages people to have more and more of the natural things of this world. In fact, we notice that those who are surrounded with all the material things of this world possible they may claim to have everything in life but certainly not happiness.

 

From history we discover that those who found happiness like Buddha, Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padova and many others, it was o­nly after they rejected the riches and material things of this world. Moreover, in Buddhism there is no room for retaliation, for hatred and revenge like we find in the history of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Besides, Buddhism is more a peaceful state of heart and mind rather than a religion that abounds in dogmas. St. Augustine, who was Bishop of Milan in Italy some 1700 years ago said to his people: All laws could be reduced to just o­ne item: Ama et fac quod vis Love and do what you like. He asserted that when we love truly our neighbor we can never be wrong.

 

St. Augustines teaching has been put at work by Buddhists for many centuries. This explains why Buddhism has emerged to be the most peaceful major religion o­n earth. Buddhism consists mainly of the practice of virtue such as patience, meekness, humility, kindness and dedication to others. This means that everyone could be a Buddhist while retaining o­nes own religion. As a result, many professed that they became better Jews, better Christians, and better Moslems. In conclusion, Buddhism has been a great blessing because it promotes true peace in the heart and mind of every human being without exception.

------------------------------

 -------------------------------------------

 

 

CHARLES MERCIECA


Bio

P.O. Box 3282, Mastin Lake Station, Huntsville, Alabama 35810-0282, USA
Phone: 256-534-5501 / Fax: 256-536-1018, E-Mail: mercieca@knology.net
Websites: http://www.earthportals.com/Portal_Messenger/mercieca.html

http://user.transit.ru~maria/books/mamapeng.html,http://user.transit.ru/~maria/s2-2.htm

http://www.mercieca.iaewp.org , http://www.iaewp.org

 

EDUCATION

 

Ph.D. (Philosophy & Historical Foundations), University of Kansas, USA, 1966
M.S. (School Administration), Kansas State University, USA, 1964
B.A. (Pedagogy & Speech), Aloisianum College, Gallarate, Italy, 1958

EXPERIENCE

Alabama A&M University, 1967/-2001
Huntsville, Alabama, USA

 

Director, Institute for International Relations and Intercultural Studies, 1971/98
Consultant, Public Schools Supervisors and Counselors, 1969/74
Professor, History and Philosophy. Directed student teaching, seminars, and workshops. Instructor, courses in communication, administrative skills.
Lecturer o­n peace education studies and programs worldwide.

 

Kyung Hee University, Fall 2000
Seoul, South Korea

 

Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Peace Studies, Researcher and lecturer in historical evolution of peace ideas.
Consultant & Contributor, UN News Newspaper and The Korea Times,
Participant, UN related activities in Seoul.

 

Tver State University, Spring 1993
Tver, Russia

 

Visiting Professor, Directed a peace education pilot schools project for kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools in Tver, extended later in major Russian cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk. Lectured in philosophy, religion, and political science.

 

National Autonomous University of Santa Ana, Spring 1990

Santa Ana, El Salvador

 

Visiting Professor, Lectured in philosophy and political science to students and professors. Researcher in Central American communication skills, Conducted a peace education pilot schools project in selected schools of Santa Ana.

Consultant, Administrative skills, teaching methods at all levels of education

 

Northeastern University, Summer 1985
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

 

Visiting Scholar, Researcher in International Cooperative Education and peace education projects.
Consultant, Peace Education Studies and Programs at the graduate and undergraduate level.

 

Harvard University, Spring 1985

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

 

Associate in Education, Researcher in administrative skills, effectiveness and relevance in teaching methods, race and racial prejudice, crime prevention strategies, communication as a key to world peace.

Consultant, Doctoral thesis writing, peace education studies and projects.

 

SBS Swiss Business School, 2001/-

Zurich, Switzerland

 

Honorary President, Coordinating international programs in business ethics, peace education studies and

programs. Examining students theses for Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degree in Business Administration. Communicating with business institutions through corporate course work-development.

 

International Association of Educators for World Peace, 1969/-

Dedicated to UN Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection,

Human Rights & Disarmament, Huntsville, Alabama USA

 

Founder, by 2006 membership exceeded 60,000 in over 90 nations.
Director, Secretary-General, 1970-78; Executive Vice President, 1978/98;
President, 1998/-, Secured tax exemption from IRS, 1970. Affiliation to United Nations' Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 1973. Organized 22 international peace conferences. Affiliation to United Nations International Children's Educational Fund (UNICEF), 1990.
Consultant, United Nations (ECOSOC) and UNESCO o­n disarmament, environment,
human rights, drug abuse, peace education studies and programs since 1973.

 

HONORS AND RECOGNITIONS

 

Enlisted in several WHO'S WHO including Who's Who in Community Service, Who's Who of Intellectuals.
Membership in several organizations including the Russian Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, National Education Association, World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, and the Philosophy of Education Society, Association of World Citizens.

 

Languages Studied: English, Maltese, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Latin, and Greek.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Published seven books: Queen of Our Hearts (2004), Crucial Issues Facing the World (2004), Marian Spirituality: Key to Eternal Happiness (2004), Way of Love and Repentance in the Church of the Third Millennium (published in Russian, 1997), Marian Apparitions: Meaning and Purpose (published in English and Russian, 1997), World Peace and Spirituality of the 3rd Millennium (published in both English and Russian, 1996), and Mismanagement in Higher Education: A Case Study (1986).

 

Published over 900 articles world-wide including Education for Peace: What It Entails; Teaching Methods: o­n Making Classroom Instruction More Effective and Relevant; Perspective of Putin's Russia: Status Quo Versus Progress; Administrative Skills and the Development of the Human potential; How Capitalism Plots to Kill the Russian Soul, Space Age Philosophy and the Academic Revolution of the Twenty First Century; Culture of Peace; China's Political Mind in Perspective; Realization of Pax United Nations; Global Governance in the 21st Century; Effective Eradication of Terrorism: Elimination of its Provocation; How the Devil Disguised as the Holy Spirit Works through American Clergymen; Changing Role of the Military: Absolute Condition for World Peace, Human Resource Management, UN Security Council: An Asset or a Liability, Sizing Up Political Leaders: Courage versus Arrogance.

-------------------------

Dear Harmony Board, Calendar Coauthors, Friends!

 

Let to present you the new Board member, Charles Mercieca, Doctor of Philosophy, President of the International Association of Educators for World Peace with 1969 (by 2006 membership exceeded 60,000 in over 90 nations; Affiliation to ECOSOC, UNESCO and UNICEF); Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University, USA; Connoisseur of 8 languages, Visiting Professor (Korea, Russia, Salvador, Switzerland), Lecturer o­n philosophy, religion, history, political sciences, education etc.; large traveler (came to Russia more than 40 times o­nly); Organizer of 22 international peace conferences. He is the author of 7 books and more than 900 articles and essays o­n the diversified themes, among which main: culture of war and world, peace education, environmental protection, human right and disarmament. His works create the original encyclopedia for a culture of war and peace. They express transition from culture of war of an industrial civilization to culture of harmonious peace of an information civilization. For each Board member I search a brief definition. Charles Mercieca is "Harmony Bell" for me, which by the urgent and critical works wakens the ideas of harmony. I hope Charles will write for our site more articles about harmony in a history of world culture, since Egyptian priests, Pythagoras etc., especially in the world religions. Now it is very urgent in connection with building in China "society of social harmony".

 

Charles is the author of our site since October of the last year. For past year I have published o­n his page "1-6-1. Charles Mercieca: culture of war and social harmony" 30 his essays from them 17 are lately. He concerns in them a huge set of urgent questions: war in Iran, militarism, NGO, world religions (Christianity, Buddhism and Islam), feminism, European Union, terrorism, poverty, UN, Bush and Castro, new UN Secretary-General, culture of India and many others. He sharply condemns Bush Government for war in Iraq and for the huge military charges, compares militarism with destructive tsunami, proves: more weapons - less security, prognosticate: we face the nuclear Holocaust, requires introduction of peace culture at all schools and o­n all educational levels etc. Therefore I have the bases to define Charles as "Harmony Bell". Charles is too the harmony star of the first size, which feature in wakening new thinking of peace culture. Cooperation with Charles is a large honour and find for us, with than I congratulate our Board.

 

On his pages of our site: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=136 (on English) and

http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=129 (on Russian) his bio and photo are published also. More full representation about Charles is given his sites: http://www.mercieca.iaewp.org , http://www.iaewp.org and others.

 

Charles has written that he "on 100 % supports idea of culture of harmonious peace". And o­n page of the responses about our Harmonious Era Calendar (http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=132 ) he has written: "This project is very timely. Its importance is unquestionable. We need to purse it by all means and have it diffused in every single country across every continent. I would like to encourage all those working for peace to become an integral part of this vital work." We shall be glad to Charles contribution in this Calendar, in which he can offer the peaceful dates, ideas and to become its co-author. Charles willingly has responded to participation in two our basic projects: the International Conference "New Culture of Harmonious Peace for Our Information Civilization" in 2010 and International University of Culture of Harmonious PEACE (at the UN or in India).

 

In summary I want to tell: dear Charles - welcome to our "Peace from harmony" and in Board! We are glad to cooperate with you and we hope for your special contribution for development of harmonious peace culture.

Best wishes of harmony to you and children,

 

Dr Leo Semashko,

Founder and President, International site "A New culture of peace from harmony and children priority" (briefly: "Peace from harmony")

13/11/06

---------------------------------------------


READ MORE

 

 

 



Up
© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005