Monday, October 08, 2007


October 5, 2007
by gordon coombes

- Lao Tzu -

Lao Tzu in the distance
walks across mountains
and into clouds
disappearing -

- sea of saffron -

sons of the Buddha
a sea of saffron robes
rising against
crashing waves of bullets -

Crimson Lotus Blossoms

My Buddhist friend
whom I call the Ancient Sage
says we are all in the middle of a storm
keep your composure
keep your seat
keep your mind focused
the lotus blossom opens
its delicate leaves
it captures moonlight
it captures a sweet breeze
it captures the shimmering crimson drops
of the sons of the Buddha -


Anyway the killing , arrests, torture & intimidation continues in Burma- but here is somewhat optimistic article about this peaceful revolution :

Burma's Saffron Revolution: Goodbye, Generals By Cynthia Boaz and Shaazka Beyerle t r u t h o u t Sunday 07 October 2007

Exiled pro-democracy leaders, monks and students all claim that the movement survives and that, in the words of one refugee the people, "have committed themselves to victory in the struggle for Burma." There are some encouraging signs that this commitment is being translated into a systematic strategy to undermine the junta's sources of support and control.

For starters, the movement learned how to coordinate "lines" or layers of leadership, so that if one group of leaders was jailed or otherwise neutralized, another would quickly step up in its place. And that is exactly what happened after the first wave of arrests, then the second, and then the third. It is believed by some Burma observers that there still more - many more - ready to take their places.

Next, with monks in the vanguard, the movement has revealed the regime's utter lack of political legitimacy and moral authority. By cracking down on the most respected and revered part of its society, the regime has cracked down on the very soul of Burma. This has activated parts of the population that have up till now stayed on the sidelines, including teachers, villagers, and even government workers. A BBC World Asia correspondent recently said, "It is obvious that despite their best efforts to stifle any opposition, the question Burma's ruling generals need to ask themselves is not if the anti-government protests will return, but when."

It hasn't taken long. Already, news has broken that citizens in Rangoon were engaging in "silent protests" - such as turning off the state news reports en masse, or turning off their lights - to symbolize their rejection of the regime's propaganda. Ordinary people have withdrawn their consent to the regime, and are willing to take action - if creative, low risk options are presented to them. They will follow in the footsteps of courageous nonviolent resisters who battled against Pinochet's junta in Chile, the apartheid regime in South Africa, and the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. They all faced repression yet devised nonviolent actions to disrupt their oppressive systems and mobilize people.

Rank-and-file members of the military and police are finding themselves in a dilemma. To disregard their orders might get them into trouble, but to obey will only put their souls in peril in this devoutly Buddhist country. If the movement can achieve a critical mass, some soldiers and police may hesitate to repress if they know that people from their own communities or extended families could be the ones being hurt. Such was the case in Serbia during the nonviolent uprising against Slobodan Milosevic, otherwise known as the "Butcher of the Balkans." When police were asked why they did not fully obey orders, some answered that they could not shoot into the crowd because they didn't know if their own children were in it.

It is Thanksgiving Day in Canada so here's some food for thought as we all over-stuff & over-drink - but does the day mean anything - for most it is just an excuse for a long weekend & watching football -


Even the American Democratic Presidential hopefuls want to bomb Iran & reduce it to chaos like that in Iraq to teach those Muslims & Arabs who is boss & that the West & America who have the the right to their natural resources :

Attack on Iran: Morality Lost in the Garden of Deceits By Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar 10/06/07 "ICH"

... In late August, “Iran and the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency released a plan laying out a step-by-step timetable of cooperation with the goal of resolving by December issues that have been under investigation for four years. Agency officials have praised the timetable as a breakthrough and Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Tuesday said the investigation into his country’s nuclear activities was now closed.”

This agreement was hailed as a success by the IAEA and UN. The problem with this agreement is that it takes away the excuse needed by Bush and Co to implement their strategy of strangling Iran and get their hands on Iran’s oil and gas. Naturally, just like the case in Iraq, they have dismissed the agreement saying that it was not enough. Then the talk of war intensified, with US, Israel and then France talking loudly about an eventual attack on Iran. The main aim of these shrill voices is to take the people’s attention away from the IAEA-Iran agreement and back to some illogical talk of Iran’s threat to the world.

It is said that if you tell a lie big enough and often enough, people will eventually come to believe you. Having used this tactics in Iraq with some success, they believe they can do it again. They believe that people will eventually come to believe that Iran is a serious threat to the world and grudgingly accept another war. And the good thing about this is, so they believe, that this time they don’t even have to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by Iran. They just have to say that they have prevented Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons in the “future”. Very logical, isn’t it?...

The fact that these same countries posses lots of nuclear weapons is irrelevant, so we are told. We are to believe that Israel, Pakistan, India, US, UK, France, China and Russia are all exception to the rules. Other countries that enrich Uranium are also exceptions. It is only Iran with its vast natural resources that is a danger to the world peace and prosperity.

Israel has over 200 nuclear weapons and last year was involved in one of the most savage attacks on Lebanon. She also recently bombed Syria. Yet we hear no protest from the so called “civilized world”. Pakistan, a dictatorship, with its tremendous security problems (Taliban, Al Qaeda, etc) has nuclear weapons and is awarded F16s. India tested nuclear weapons and was awarded trade and nuclear technology transfer agreements.

ON TORTURE still being used by the Bush Regime as if they were the New Inquisition- when the Catholic Church once approved of torture to gain confessions often people confessed to whatever they had been accused of to stop the torture & many later recanted what they had confessed to - the Church did not care if the confessions were true or not - they merely wished to intimidate & terrorize the European populace to conform to the religious dogma & propaganda of that time-

from ICH Bush’s torturers follow where the Nazis led-By Andrew Sullivan-10/07/07 "The Times"

... From almost the beginning of the war, it is now indisputable, the Bush administration made a strong and formative decision: in the absence of good intelligence on the Islamist terror threat after 9/11, it would do what no American administration had done before. It would torture detainees to get information.

This decision was and is illegal, and violates America’s treaty obligations, the military code of justice, the United Nations convention against torture, and US law. Although America has allied itself over the decades with some unsavoury regimes around the world and has come close to acquiescing to torture, it has never itself tortured. It has also, in liberating the world from the evils of Nazism and communism, and in crafting the Geneva conventions, done more than any other nation to banish torture from the world. George Washington himself vowed that it would be a defining mark of the new nation that such tactics, used by the British in his day, would be anathema to Americans...

...Last week The New York Times revealed more. We now know that long after Abu Ghraib was exposed, the administration issued internal legal memos that asserted the legality of many of the techniques exposed there. The memos not only gave legal cover to waterboarding, hypothermia and beating but allowed them in combination to intensify the effect.

The argument was that stripping a chained detainee naked, pouring water over him while keeping room temperatures cold enough to induce repeated episodes of dangerous hypothermia, was not “cruel, inhuman or degrading”. We have a log of such a technique being used at Guantanamo. The victim had to be rushed to hospital, brought back from death, then submitted once again to “enhanced interrogation”.

George Orwell would have been impressed by the phrase “enhanced interrogation technique”. By relying on it, the White House spokesman last week was able to say with a straight face that the administration strongly opposed torture and that “any procedures they use are tough, safe, necessary and lawful”.

So is “enhanced interrogation” torture? One way to answer this question is to examine history. The phrase has a lineage. Verschärfte Verneh-mung, enhanced or intensified interrogation, was the exact term innovated by the Gestapo to describe what became known as the “third degree”. It left no marks. It included hypothermia, stress positions and long-time sleep deprivation.

The United States prosecuted it as a war crime in Norway in 1948. The victims were not in uniform – they were part of the Norwegian insurgency against the German occupation – and the Nazis argued, just as Cheney has done, that this put them outside base-line protections (subsequently formalised by the Geneva conventions).

The Nazis even argued that “the acts of torture in no case resulted in death. Most of the injuries inflicted were slight and did not result in permanent disablement”. This argument is almost verbatim that made by John Yoo, the Bush administration’s house lawyer, who now sits comfortably at the Washington think tank, the American Enterprise Institute.

... The definition of torture remains the infliction of “severe mental or physical pain or suffering” with the intent of procuring intelligence. In 1948, in other words, America rejected the semantics of the current president and his aides. The penalty for those who were found guilty was death. This is how far we’ve come. And this fateful, profound decision to change what America stands for was made in secret. The president kept it from Congress and from many parts of his own administration.

take care,

No comments: