An American War Resistor Appeals to the Conscience of India
Say No to 123 Nuclear Deal Oblivion
by Jeff Knaebel
by Jeff Knaebel
(This essay has been delayed due to load shedding by the government power company)
Who am I, to write this appeal to friends, known and unknown, of the country which hosts my exile from the American Empire? Were not the issue both burning and urgent, I would not do.
I am an American-born war resistor, living in a self-imposed exile that began with the Gulf War of Bush the Elder. I had served the US Government as a Naval officer in Vietnam during that war. I had seen first hand the effects of Lies of the State and States of the Lie.
The State bodes ill for survival prospects of the human species.
I also once served as CEO of a small consultancy company that worked with major MNC clients at CEO and Board level, and with the Executive and Legislative branches of the US Government. Here I heard, saw, and learnt some facts of life.
The upper levels of Corporate business practice and the conduct of State War are both games of greed and domination, one a more subtle version of the other. This have I seen. Truth is the first casualty of both. Secrecy, concealment, deceit, anonymity, and taking advantage comprise the lexicon of both. Both are guided by the self interests of men in power. Both are inhuman abstract legal constructs, behind the shields of which their agents can act ruthlessly without fear of retribution.
The lives of ordinary human beings — Indian, American and others — are about to be crushed between the steel jaws of this pending US-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, so called as "123 Agreement," or "US-India Nuclear Deal." Political power brokers and bankers and the elite class of both countries will reap obscene profits from years of careful planning — plans which have been cunningly concealed behind alphabet soup labels on the closed doors of international institutions.
The consequences are unknowable, yet a sane person must tremble before the clear probabilities of mind-boggling destruction.
This much I do understand. When ordinary persons think that he or she is living under a "democracy," they are deluded by the game of smoke and mirrors. Citizens on both sides of this deal are being treated as vassals of the Corporatocracy, an apt name used by John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man) for the merger of Corporation and State. This merger invites immense fraud with extreme defense establishment and banker profiteering. It holds open the gate of totalitarianism.
Realizing that appeals to reason or conscience of the psychopathic murderers in charge of the State would be hopeless, I decided on a simple and more direct action. Just quit paying for it — by refusal of taxation. I would try to follow the paths of the greatest teachers known to me: Buddha (India), Christ (Middle East), Spinoza (Europe), Thoreau (America), Tolstoy (Russia),
Mohandas Gandhi (India). I make no claim to progress — this statement is only to point a direction.
"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
~ Nuremburg War Crime Tribunal, 1950
Not believing for a moment that the above statement would serve as a legal defense against "tax evasion," I left the country in order to quit paying.
After much research and travel, I chose India as domicile. I came not to enjoy the fruits of an exotic land of staggering complexity, but to elevate my consciousness by getting closer to the roots of human spirituality that has sustained mankind throughout the ages. I looked to her sacred Dharma. On my first trip, and many thereafter, I came for the teachings of her spiritual masters. At first I was shocked to hear a Spiritual Master refer to America as the "culture of the gun," but after some time I could see the truth of it.
I could not then have foreseen how much further humanity would sink into barbarian depravity, thrust by lies into the pathological insanity of State Terrorism through a Corporatocracy administered by the Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld cabal.
No American can trust his own government. Certainly no self-respecting Indian should trust this American government. My aim is to work toward a Stateless Society. Never again will I pay to finance State murder.
What Is The 123 Nuclear Deal?
On the surface, it is an international treaty between the US and India for the exchange of nuclear technology, materials, and services. Beneath the surface lurks a hidden agenda of monstrous proportions that places the survival of humanity at risk. The American objective is to co-opt India for the New World Order of the Project For A New American Century. The PNAC aims for "full spectrum domination" of the world.
Some Indian Commentary
(From Times of India and Indian Express, late August-early Sept 2007)
- "[British] Raj used Indian soldiers as guinea pigs to test poison gas…"
- "US wanted India to carry out nuclear test before China …"
- "Scientists support 123 deal — it doesn't curtail making of weapons…"
- "Times-TNS survey: 58% Indians think 123 is good, 34% think it is bad, 8% can't say."
- "China, Pak to counter 123 deal. Pak pushing to add to nuclear sting with China's help."
- "The US and India will not renegotiate the nuclear deal under any circumstances…"
- "N-deal against India's interests … a majority in Parliament do not support …"
- "Malabar 07 is not a war plan … India not planning military alliance against China …"
- "The US-India nuclear deal is about an emerging US-led security alliance …"
- "Appeal to back nuclear deal — India faces Pakistan on west and a rising China…"
- "India is interested in securing energy imports from the Gulf; China's navy can thwart…"
- "Meanwhile, China, Pak fast forward on N-supplies. Recent events alter strategic balance…"
- "Airbase in Tajikistan … India readies its first real military outpost on foreign shores…"
- "Deep disquiet with politicos… poll's overwhelming response is one of disgust at politicos supposed to lead the country…"
Speaking as a representative of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP).
"India has steadfastly emerged as a significant destabilizing force in the arena of global nuclear danger. It has torpedoed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Together with Pakistan, it has turned South Asia into a sort of live nuclear volcano ready to erupt at any moment. This is the more shocking as it amounts to complete negation of India's traditional claim to being a pioneering pacifist force. The political class became completely obsessed with the idea of "nuclear sovereignty." In pursuit of this goal, it develops closer and closer relationships with the US and Israel, the two most aggressive forces in the present global order. The ongoing Indo-US nuclear deal (123) is the most visible manifestation of these disturbing developments. The deal would further cement the growing strategic ties between India and US and set a very negative example before the nuclear threshold states, prodding them to cross the Rubicon.
"The US concessions are intended to draw India closer to the US and make it operate as a junior partner to counter actual and potential challenges to the US in the region. The deal would reinforce the US bid to establish unfettered domination over the world in pursuance of the Project for the New American Century. It would aggravate tensions and thereby set up an arms race in the region. It subverts the prospects for global nuclear disarmament. It distorts India's energy options in favor of nuclear power, which is currently uneconomic, intrinsically hazardous, potentially catastrophic, and has strong technological and political links to nuclear weapons."
Praful Bidwai of CNDP
"Criticism of the US-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement ("123 Agreement") focuses in part on objections to India's embrace of "strategic partnership" with the US, as well as abandonment of India's earlier advocacy of universal disarmament. The deal will increase India's capacity to make nuclear weapons, and this cannot give us more security. On the contrary, it will fuel a nuclear arms race with both Pakistan and India. The deal allows India to produce and stockpile enough plutonium for more than 300 Nagasaki-type bombs each year."
Siddharth Varadarajan, writing in The Hindu
"India's choice has been to use its nuclear weapons status as a lever for multi-polar world order as well as for global restraints on development of weapons of mass destruction — OR — to use its status as an instrument to perpetuate an order based on the production of insecurity and violence in which it hopes to be accommodated as a junior partner. The Vajpayee government desperately longed for the latter.
"The sudden shift of US from 40 years of non-proliferation policy is the result of increasing fears in US business and strategic circles about China. Washington neo-cons believe India must be armed to offset China's threat. Former Ambassador Blackwill says frankly that different countries "should be treated in accordance with their friendship and value to the US."
"The development of deadly new nuclear weapons by the US should be a matter of great concern to India, for their eventual deployment will degrade the security environment in the world and Asia. The hidden agenda is somewhat exposed by the remarks of Mr.Tellis - formerly of RAND Corporation - who is quoted "Allowing India access to US nuclear material and equipment would make New Delhi more likely to help further American strategic goals in the region."
"All told, the deal raises a number of questions about the Government's policies in the fields of nuclear energy, disarmament, promotion of democracy, energy security and strategic stability in Asia. Spinning euphoric reports in the mass media is not the way to answer these questions."
(Over 2000 organizations in more than 90 countries working for nuclear disarmament)
"On 14 August, this organization urged the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to reject the US-India nuclear deal. Philip White, coordinator, says "The agreement will fuel an arms race in South Asia. Pakistan is already taking steps to expand its nuclear weapons program. The deal marks a fundamental shift in the international non-proliferation regime."
These news reports and many high level official pronouncements confirm a psychosis, a diseased mind which can suggest that controlling the power to destroy all life on earth is the way to peace. This disease is in the minds of the Powers That Be, who use propaganda to play upon mass fear and mask their true agenda of endless war for endless profit. Among some, a disease of delusion, fear and denial, and among others, a psychosis of paranoia, domination and egomania. How to recover from these afflictions, these cankers of the mind?
In all this, one is compelled to ask, what do the people long for? How to remove the lives of ordinary people from the crushing effects of the disease of power?
It Looks Like Imperialism… Who Gains, Who Loses?
(Hint: follow the money)
A glimpse at history may help our understanding of the present. There is a back trail that leads to here and now. The following vignettes are based mostly upon The Merchant of Death (John Flynn, 1941, courtesy of Mises Institute); The Myth of the Innocent Civilian (Harold Thomas, 2003, www.themythoftheonnocentcivilian.com); War Is a Racket (Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, courtesy www.lexrex.com). With States and guns, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The mixture always results in death. First, Mr. Flynn -
In the years before the horror of WWI, British arms maker Vickers grew until it had plants all over the world, "from Ireland to Japan, and from the North Sea to the antipodes."
"It was done with the aid of British-government backing and pressure, the immense financial resources of British finance; by means of bribery and chicanery, by the purchase of military and naval authorities and the press wherever newspapers could be bought. It is a dark, sordid story of ruthless money getting without regard for honor, morals, and either national or humane considerations, while the Europe which they upset with their conspiracies and terrorized with their war scares, and to which they sold hatred as the indispensable condition of marketing guns, slid along with the certainty of doom into the chasm of fire and death in 1914.
"On March 18, 1914, on the very brink of the coming disaster, Philip Snowden, disease-wracked, crippled socialist labor leader rose in Commons to make a speech. When he had done, he had rocked the British Empire with his disclosures. One by one he pointed out cabinet ministers, members of the House, and named high-ranking officials in army and navy circles, persons of royal position, who were large holders of shares in Vickers and Armstrong, in John Brown and Beardmore, shipbuilders. The profits of Vickers and Armstrong had been enormous, and the most powerful persons in the state and the church and the nobility had bought into them to share in the profits. Vickers had among its directors two dukes, two marquis, and family members of fifty earls, fifteen baronets, and five knights, twenty-one naval officers, two naval government architects, and many journalists. Armstrong had even more — sixty earls or their wives, fifteen baronets, twenty knights, and twenty military or naval architects and officers, while there were thirteen members of the House of Commons on the directorates of Vickers, Armstrong, or John Brown. "It would be impossible," said Snowden, "to throw a handful of pebbles anywhere upon the opposition benches without hitting members interested in these arms firms."
"Ministers, officers, technical experts moved out of the government, out of the cabinet, the navy, the army, the war office, the admiralty, into the employ of the munitions manufacturers. Snowden quoted Lord Welby, head of the Civil Service, who only a few weeks before had denounced the arms conspirators. "We are in the hands of an organization of crooks," said Lord Welby. "They are politicians, generals, manufacturers of armaments and journalists. All of them are anxious for unlimited expenditure, and go on inventing scares to terrify the public and to terrify the Ministers of the Crown."
"The trail of that vast armament effort between 1877 and 1914 is stained by a record of bribery of admirals and generals, civil servants of all degrees ranging from cabinet ministers to messengers."
"The whole excuse of this industry was national defense. Yet these enterprises were as busy supplying the armies of their enemies as the armies of their own countries. Up to the time of Alfred Krupp's death in 1887 he had made 24,576 cannon of which only 10,666, or less than half, were sold to the fatherland for national defense. The rest went to Germany's enemies and neighbors.
"Krupp's mills, shipyards, and docks became indispensable to Germany. A vast industry employed many men and provided still more employment among all the raw-material industries upon which it drew. When the Hague conference was discussed in Germany, looking toward disarmament, the militarist ministers asked what would become of Krupp's business if Germany disarmed. They put that in writing, and the Kaiser wrote upon the memorandum the question, "How will Krupp pay his men?" Armament had become a cornerstone of the German internal economic policy.
"Seemingly the war had brought a magnificent harvest for the war profiteers. In America firms like Calumet and Hecla Copper had had, at the peak, as much as 800 per cent profit on their capital stock. In the two years of 1916 and 1917 the United States Steel Corporation showed a profit of $1,100,000,000. The Bethlehem Steel Company averaged profits of $48,000,000 a year during the four years of the war. In the year before the war Vickers had a profit of roughly $5,000,000." End Quote.
The munitions industry differs from others in that its direct customers are governments. It must find its clients among public officials. It uses bribery of officers, penetration of cabinets and bureaus, and influence among the powerful.
Some of the rich and famous in this ancient game are names familiar to us yet today: Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Kennedy, du Pont, Kuhn, Loeb, Warburg, Remington, Roosevelt, Snowden, Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Kissinger, Nixon, Johnson, Blair, Clinton, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet, Hussein, bin Laden. Currently familiar corporate players include Halliburton, Carlyle, KBR, Blackwater, Bechtel, Parsons, Blackstone, GE, Boeing, Alliant Techsystems, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Lehman, Citibank, together with all of Big Oil and all of the world Central Bankers. Resume quote below.
"It is this side of the munitions business that brings it into disfavor. For it is not content to corrupt officials as public contractors do, but mixes up in state policy to create disturbance. It flourishes only in a world where hatreds and controversies, dynastic and economic and racial and religious differences between peoples flourish. Hence it has spared no pains to keep these mortal quarrels alive, to alarm peoples and ministers with war scares, to breed suspicion and distrust."
Certainly, any informed person can but see the 21st century as extending the twentieth's sordid history to even more insane levels of organized industrial scale global destruction.
Now, a voice from the actual field of battle, General Smedley Butler, USMC, writing as the clouds of WWII gather.
"War is a racket. It is easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one in which profits are reckoned in dollars and losses in lives.
"In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.
"Yes, they are getting ready for another war [WWII]. Why shouldn't they? It pays high dividends.
"Fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.
"Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.
"And let us not forget the bankers who financed the Great War. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public — even before a Senate investigatory body.
"Who provides the profits — these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them — in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us — the people — got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par — and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.
"Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had ‘kept us out of war' and on the implied promise that he would ‘keep us out of war.' Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
"In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.
"Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?
"An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:
‘There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.
‘If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money...and Germany won't… So…'
"Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a ‘war to make the world safe for democracy' and a "war to end all wars." End Quote.
Who will gain from the US - India 123 Nuclear Deal? Follow the money.
Who will lose? Many human beings will lose their lives. India will lose its soul.
Know Your Partner
When any organization — in this case the Government of India — is about to enter a major Joint Venture (in this case a "Strategic Partnership") with another, it must check the credentials of its prospective partner. Let us check the sordid record of the American Empire, now operating under aegis of the so called "Project For A New American Century."
American history demonstrates a warlike people. It has from beginning been the culture of the gun. Although the Founding fathers declared their intention to avoid the endless wars of Europe, before George Washington's first term was over, he had deployed Federal troops against his own countrymen, over an issue of taxation. There followed a long genocide of indigenous inhabitants, the war of 1812, The Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War…
"Between 1898 and 1934, the Marines invaded Cuba 4 times, Nicaragua 5 times, Honduras 7 times, Dominican Republic 4 times, Haiti twice, Guatemala once, Panama twice, Mexico 3 times and Columbia 4 times. Washington has intervened militarily in foreign countries more than 200 times." ~ Information Clearing House 19 Aug 2007.
The "American Experiment" has left a long track record of violence, in my day including Hiroshima-Nagasaki, Vietnam-Cambodia (several millions killed), Kosovo, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, the current grim total of more than one million killed in Iraq as of last month, and the shameful atrocities of torture at Guantanamo and Abu Gharib.
Habeas corpus suspended. Internment camps completed on US soil. Torture is justified in public debate. Pre-emptive attack, even nuclear is justified. Confiscation of personal assets in response to resistance to a war based on lies and fakes. Unending flow of Executive Decrees. Access to government documents denied. Government lies running in every direction. All historical precedent points toward the Fascist Business Model, leading to a veiled military dictatorship.
An example of the depths of depravity to which the American military has sunk is that of soldiers selling images and video clips of gruesome war pictures — such as the "pink mist" of a human being exploding — in exchange for subscription fees to porno websites. This military is accountable to Congress, and Congress to the people, so where does that place American "values?" And what can be said of a culture in which there is a market for this stuff?
"Never in my life of 44 years would I have imagined that this great country could be lied into a war so blatantly, yet there is so little power in we the people to stop the death and destruction and torture and misery and mayhem and hatred and economic peril that war represents. And we pay for it through taxes, inflated fiat currency, the limbs and lives of our citizens, and our collective reputation worldwide whether we consent to it or not
"The road of critical thinking on these issues leads to only one place: our government is a cruel monster that destroys lives and property and absolutely cannot be trusted with any power, let alone the power to kill millions with the literal press of a button. Yet here we are in late 2007 and we are witnesses of and conspirators to the very death, destruction, and mayhem that we supposedly oppose at all costs.
"What have we become, sitting idly in front of our big-screen propaganda boxes while many thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians die from our collective actions? Let there be no mistake whatsoever: the greatest threat to our collective safety and security is our own corrupt, evil, soulless federal government to which we are connected like Siamese twins. By extension, our complacence makes us equally guilty. We the people have the blood on our collective hands. Perhaps the real tyrant resides in us; it resides in our collective disinterest and ignorance as a citizenry to stand up and say that we have had enough death and destruction. We have become our own tyrants. We have become our own jailers.
"What exactly does Mr. Ferencz mean by "rise up"? Because of the substantial momentum of our nationalistic-corporate-military-government-propaganda-hate machine, it would seem that the awakening must occur at the individual and at the collective level with a focused energy."
~ John Smalanskas, 30 August 2007, LewRockwell.com
I offer for your consideration a few more government character traits of India's proposed "strategic partner," as published in truthout.org and excerpted from my book Experiments in Moral Sovereignty — Notes of an American Exile, October 2006.
- "There is a far more sinister imperial right that Bush has claimed — and used — without demur from Congress: ordering the ‘extrajudicial killing' of anyone on earth that he or his deputies decide — arbitrarily, without charges, court hearing, formal evidence, or appeal — is an ‘illegal combatant.' Bush has claimed the peremptory power of life and death over the entire world."
- "This is now, formally and officially, the guiding principle of the United States government. And underlying this edifice of tyranny is the prerogative of presidential murder."
- "Perhaps the enormity of this monstrous perversion of law and morality has kept it from being fully comprehended. It sounds unbelievable to most people. But that is our reality. To overcome what seems to be widespread cognitive dissonance, we need only examine the publicly available record. There is nothing that any ordinary citizen could not know — if they choose to know it."
- "Bush signed orders allowing CIA assassins to kill targets without seeking presidential approval. Nor is it necessary any longer for the president to approve new names added to the target list…the ‘security organs' can designate and kill as they see fit. There is no way of knowing how many people have been killed by American agents operating outside judicial process. Most of the assassinations are carried out in secret: quietly, professionally… the death squads are able to operate clandestinely, using a full range of official and non-official cover arrangements to enter countries surreptitiously."
- "Suspects — and even Bush acknowledged they were only suspects — have been murdered. Killed by agents operating unsupervised in that shadow world where intelligence, terrorism, politics, finance, and organized crime meld together in one amorphous, impenetrable mass
- "It is hard to believe that any adult with the slightest knowledge of history or human nature could countenance such unlimited, arbitrary power, knowing the evil it is bound to produce. Yet this is exactly what the great and the good in America have done."
Know Thyself… "My" India, Your India
With this essay, I ask my Indian brothers and sisters, and all other fellow human beings with whom I sojourn on this lonely planet: awaken to the reality and the motivation of events unfolding before your eyes. Ask yourselves — in the name of India's greatest spiritual traditions, whose potential has been to guide the whole of humanity — do we sincerely wish a partnership in this sacrilegious mass murder? Do we really wish to co-create the potentiality of a nuclear holocaust that destroys all of humanity? Participation in this madness seems unthinkable.
Do you really want the karma of nuclear proliferation with the government that atomized the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
The actions of the Bush Administration and the US government are outrageous psychopathically depraved crimes against humanity. Measured against the standards of the wisdom teachings and great spiritual traditions of India, it is an unspeakable desecration of Goodness, Beauty and Truth.
How, now, the India known for timeless aphorisms such as
- Love all, serve all;
- There is only one race —the race of humanity;
- There is only one language — the language of the heart;
- We are One.
Will this be anything other than a great hypocrisy after your "strategic partner" has bombed the parents of another million homeless children?
Our great challenge is to respond nonviolently to this crisis which threatens our very survival. The dysfunction of the ego mind — long recognized by ancient wisdom teachers — has now been magnified by science and technology to an incomprehensible power. This power, under the direction of egomania, is threatening survival of all living beings. We must realize that we — as a species — are faced with a stark choice: evolve or die. We must rise above the limitations of our condition through an evolutionary leap to a consciousness of respect for life.
To point a direction of the great evolutionary turn required for our survival, permit me to quote India's Nobel Laureate of Literature, Rabindranath Tagore, found in Poetry and Community (Radice, 2003) and The English Writings of Tagore (Sahitya Akademi, 1996).
Creative Unity, Rabindranath Tagore(1922)
"The view of this world which India has taken is summed up in one compound Sanskrit word, Sacchidananda. The meaning is that Reality, which is essentially one, has three phases. The first is Sat; it is the simple fact that things are, the fact which relates us to all things through the relationship of common existence. The second is Chit; it is the fact that we know, which relates us to all things through the relationship of knowledge. The third is Ananda: it is the fact that we enjoy, which unites us with all things through the relationship of love.
"According to the true Indian view, our consciousness of the world, merely as the sum total of things that exist, and as governed by laws, is imperfect. But it is perfect when our consciousness realizes all things as spiritually one with it, and therefore capable of giving us joy. For us the highest purpose of this world is not merely living in it, knowing it and making use of it, but realizing our own selves in it through extension of sympathy; not alienating ourselves from it and dominating it, but comprehending and uniting it with ourselves in perfect union.
"… Nature stands on her own right, proving that she has her great function, to impart the peace of the eternal to human emotions.
" … The terribly efficient method of repressing personality of individuals and races who have failed to resist it, has, in the present scientific age, spread all over the world … in consequence there are signs of a universal disruption which seems not far off (the reader is reminded that Tagore was writing in 1922). Faced with possibility of such a disaster, which is sure to affect the intemperate prosperity of successful peoples of the world, the great powers of the West are seeking peace not by curbing their greed, or by giving up unjustly acquired advantages, but by concentrating their forces for mutual security …
" … My experience of the West, where I have realized the immense power of money and of organized propaganda — working everywhere behind screens of camouflage, creating atmosphere of distrust, timidity and antipathy — has deeply impressed me with the truth that real freedom is of the mind and spirit. It can never come to us from outside.
"He only has freedom who ideally loves freedom himself and is glad to extend it to others. He who builds walls to exclude others builds walls across his own freedom. He who distrusts freedom in others loses his moral right to it. Sooner or later he is lured into physical and moral servility.
"Therefore I would urge my own countrymen to ask themselves if the freedom to which they aspire is one of external conditions. Is it merely a transferable commodity? Have they acquired a true love of freedom? Have they faith in it? Are they ready to make space in their society for the minds of their children to grow up in the ideal of human dignity, unhindered by restrictions that are unjust and irrational?" (End of Tagore quote)
The following is taken from Essays on Tradition, Recovery and Freedom by Darampal, Other India Press, 2000. The entire catalog of Other India Bookstore is a worthy resource for finding our way out of the present crisis.
"We have lost our identity, our anchorage in our civilization. This loss of identity afflicts us all. This is a pain that practically all Indians, including the Christians, the Muslims, and the others have to bear in common. We have to find some way out of such a state of rootless-ness. We have to somehow find an anchor again in our civilizational consciousness, in our innate chitta (the perceiving intellect) and kala (cyclical time under law of nature)…. According to our traditional wisdom and understanding of Universal
"A major aspect of the ahimsak (nonviolent) way of life is to minimize one's needs and to fulfill these as far as possible from within one's immediate neighborhood. His practice of relying on local availability is as important a part of the principle of ahimsa as the doctrine of non-killing. Thus for Gandhi, ahimsa and swadesi (of one's own locality) were not two different principles."
The ethos of modern Western civilization seems to be satiation of material and sensual desire. The ethos of India — until quite recently — was restraint and control of the senses and material desires. Having been invited to speak at a conference in Varanasi, I share from the Conference Theme document quoted below.
"We have concern for threats to human civilization posed by intolerant, illogical and violent thought patterns presently dominating. Consumerism has spread. Materialism is gripping humanity. Our value system is at stake. Permissiveness has become dominant. Terrorism has become global.
"Struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, exploitation of nature, struggle for individual rights seem to be guiding principles. This has led to two world wars, unthought-of terrorism and dehumanizing lifestyle. The danger is awful.
"Dharma is basis of cosmic and individual existence. Dharma principles are universal and eternal. They are nature-and-life friendly. Not struggle, but harmony has been our attitude. Serving those in need was natural. That fittest would ensure survival of others was an inbuilt feeling. Uniformity is neither desirable nor feasible. Diversity ensures richness and beauty. Nature was revered as Mother. Man could never think of exploiting her. Duty consciousness rather than rights consciousness has been our ethos.
"We have been attacked, enslaved and exploited during the last ten centuries. In 20th century we became politically free. Now we must get rid of mental shackles. Legacy of enslavement still lingers. We are enamored by the consumerist glamour of the West. We are not conscious of our cultural potentialities. We have deeper value systems. They are inclusive, holistic and eco-friendly. For us, the world is one family and not a market."
"Evolution implies involution. Man's journey is from gross to subtlest to Beyond to Immanent.
Oneness exists at the deepest innermost level. This is not some intellectual belief, but is based upon invaluable sublime experiences termed by various names such as Nibbana, Moksha, Divine Light, Shunya, Universal Spirit. We don't enforce our views. What is important is that an elevating life spring flow through our traditions for the integral holistic growth of whole of humanity."
Know Thyself. It has been said that Mohandas Gandhi understood the genius of India better than any other. We must hope that what he could see within the heart of India's people is still alive today. I offer some quotes that are directly on point for considerations of the 123 Nuclear Deal presently on the desktops of Indian leadership.
These are from Hind Swaraj and Young India.
- "So far as I can see, the atomic bomb has deadened the finest feeling that has sustained mankind for ages. There used to be the so-called laws of war which made it tolerable. Now we know the naked truth …"
- "The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence …
- "The sum and substance of what I want to say is that the individual should over the things that are necessary for the sustenance of life. If he cannot have such control, the individual cannot survive. Ultimately, the world is made up only of individuals…
- "I embarked upon the fast in the name of truth whose familiar names is God… In the name of God we have indulged in lies, massacres of people, without caring if they were innocent or guilty, men or women, children or infants… I am not aware if anybody has done these things in the name of Truth…"
- "It is to this Truth that is God, non-violence and morality that man owes his first allegiance. This loyalty, this devotion, this consecration is higher than that owed to any institution of man."
- "The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from the violence to which it owes its very existence."
- "He or she who supports a State organized in a military way — whether directly or indirectly — participates in sin. Each man takes part in the sin by contributing to the maintenance of the State by paying taxes."
- "Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes lawless and corrupt."
"Gandhi saw that the power of any tyrant depends entirely on people willing to obey. Te tyrant may get people to obey by threatening to throw them in prison, or by holding guns to their heads. But the power still resides in the obedience, not in the prison or the guns."
— Mark Shepard, Civil Disobedience, Nonviolence and Satyagraha in the Real World, 1990
Writing of Gandhi in his book "Mohandas, A True story of a Man, his People, and an Empire," Rajmohan Gandhi notes, "Gandhi's theory was that violence and a diseased Western civilization went together, as did Satyagraha and Indian civilization, which though corrupted was sound at its core. The theory would strengthen Indians in their fight against Western domination… the strategy was to ask India, in the name of her soul and her past, to reject the imported mix of violence and Western civilization. In its place, India should pit soul force against brute force, for Satyagraha was not only the right way — it was also the Indian way. Rejecting Western/modern civilization and its inseparable component, brute force, Indians must embrace the simple life, swadeshi (local production), and Satyagraha. Only nonviolence suits the genius of India — violence is futile, Western and destructive of India's future."
An Exile's View of the Responsibilities of Indian Citizens as Citizens of One World
- Wake up
- Come out of delusion
- Come out of willful ignorance
- Come out of denial
- Ask more questions
- Demand answers
- Demand accountability
Pursuant to the 123 Nuclear Deal, this malevolent Presence of Empire, of impending death raining from the night sky — from which no brown skin infant, child or young mother is safe anywhere on this earth — this Evil would be your "Strategic Partner."
This is not the Dharma of the India to which I migrated in search of the holy path of Self Realization. I cannot believe that this is the true nature of India. Certainly it is not the Truth of My India, the one I carry in my heart.
O' India, is it perhaps not too late? Can you yet recover your senses, your cultural moorings, and your values?
I offer some questions you might consider for yourselves, each other, and your leaders. For many of these questions and insights, I am grateful to Harold Thomas, The Myth of the Innocent Civilian, 2003. His work was primarily addressed to Americans. Since "Birds of a feather flock together," let us see if these questions fit India today.
- Centuries of atrocities by governments result from action or inaction of citizens. At what point do citizens become accomplices? Are citizens with a ballot box accountable? What is a citizen's moral duty with respect to behavior of his government?
- Is patriotism defensible in a morally corrupt society?
- What if your government sends you to kill other people's friends and family and then you find it was all based on lies?
- What if one's own experience has repeatedly demonstrated that the most powerful institutions of his State are utterly self-serving, dishonest and predatory?
- Who owned and financed munitions factories that made possible 20th century war? What were their personal and political connections? Does anyone think Hitler rose to power without support? Who bankrolled his rise to power? What were their names? Why are these names not in school texts?
- Who is the enemy, the cold and hungry soldier shooting at you, or the bankers and industrialists who set it all up?
- Do people have a responsibility to know before they go off and shoot others?
- Is it morally justifiable to support government violence against any person anywhere when: (1) You are not in immediate physical danger?
(2) You feel strongly that you cannot trust your government?
(3) You have no way to verify what the government is telling you?
- Do citizens have a moral responsibility to be informed? To act?
- How long can people fail to recognize that that which sounds, looks, smells, and figures to be gross evil, is just that?
- When fruits of one's labor build the economic engine that powers the State, can we be blameless for the actions of that State?
- Is it crime to kill when out of uniform, but not when in uniform?
- Is the trigger-puller any more responsible than the munitions-maker, or the mechanic who services the weapons system, or the delivery truck driver, or the "civilian" taxpayer?
- Who makes the rules and appoints the rule-makers?
- Who is accomplice, who is innocent?
- Where to draw the line between the guilty and the innocent?
- Is it "patriotic" to defend corrupt principles and selfish dishonest policies?
- Can one behave morally AND ignore the situation? Condone it? Support it?
- Does anyone believe a bunch of penniless Russian potato farmers overthrew the Czar in 1917?
- What are the names of the people who authorized foreign money support of the Bolsheviks? Does no one know? Or, are they afraid to say?
- What was the agenda of the specific people who got resources to the Bolsheviks to topple the Russian Government? For what organization did they work? Are these organizations still extant? If so, what their agenda today?
- How Many Russians died between 1917-1945 in conflicts promoted and started by the Government? Over 100 million? Of which Stalin alone murdered 30 million? Did outside interests prop up the infant Soviet regime? Did these same financial interests pull the plug on the Soviet experiment 80 years later when it had served their purpose?
- What multi-national bankers and industrialists had intimate dealings with Soviets from 1917 to the late 1980's? Why? Why shouldn't we know?
- Where did dirt-poor Jihadists get modern weapons to fight the Russian Army? And then later fight the British and US with the same weapons?
- Who is providing arms? Whence the customer's money to pay? Do you know? Why shouldn't your Government Intelligence find out and let you know? Why won't the Government tell you? Is this information not crucial to people who profess to value truth and freedom?
- Many conclude the answer to be, that the international banking establishment is comprised of the same people who own and/or finance weapons industries, oil industry, and most of international trade. These people and their families have through the centuries become fabulously wealthy, while sending common folk to slaughter.
- Is there NOTHING these giants of banking and commerce could have done to make aggressor nations go bust financially before the necessity to invade them? What evidence is there to belie that the Powers That Be enrich themselves on all sides? That they encourage the conflicts and fund the invasions?
- This is all "legal" and in "national interest." Is it moral? What consequences? If consequences, who is accountable? Who makes the rules of this game?
- Who is your enemy? The person demonized by your Government who now allegedly threatens you, or the politicians who set it all up, and lied to you, and made you believe these people are a threat?
- Do people have a responsibility to know what is really going on before marching off to kill others?
- Can war ever be justified by the lies of self-serving politicians and corporate interests that people could and should know are lying?
- Ask — who is running the show? Setting it up?
- Who is financing it with money that Central Banks create out of thin air, so that at one stroke the war is financed, and your savings are embezzled by inflation?
- What if you kill, later to learn that your "cause" is politically dishonest, legally indefensible, and morally wrong? Your emotions won't alter the facts.
- When we decide on the basis of corporate propaganda and media spin, have we met our responsibilities to:
- Acquire facts?
- Make moral decision?
- Consider the real need for action in light of actual personal risk?
- What is the relation between the US Military and Western MNC capitalism-corporatocracy? What does President mean when says "our national interests?"
- "National interests" are never defined. What, exactly, are they? Who decides? Are they worth mass murder? Always they are concealed behind "classified for national security." The Government — and the elite powers that the Government is protecting — simply do not want us to know. Do not "National Interests" represent our interests? Is it not our money being spent to "protect" them? Then why do we not have the right to know? Promoting catch phrases such as "National Interest" is the tactic of politicians to manipulate the public mind.
- Power brokers of the US Government are found among corporate lobbyists. Corporate stakeholders represent the "actual" interests of the US, always backed ultimately by threatened or actual application of military force.
- In all of human behavior, what can be more serious than supporting the murder of people in a faraway place?
- Is there not a profound moral responsibility to be absolutely certain of the accuracy and urgency of a situation before killing other peoples and destroying their cultures?
- Does a citizen have any legal or moral duty with respect to the behavior of his Government? What is that duty? How is it to be carried out?
- Major wars cannot begin without support of the only people who have the money, influence, and power to make it happen. They know that war is immensely profitable and that it crushes competition while expanding their sphere of influence. This is the reality of organized Government crime. These are the people who buy and sell, make or break politicians and generals. War and organized violence by government can only occur because people support government. But Government is only a legal fiction. It is people who make it run.
- Only people can reason, act, and take responsibility. Coerced or not, every person has a choice over his participation. In my observation, the upper class of India is embracing Western "values."
- Government leaders not only lie about the war, but usually their own selfish, evil agenda set it up in first place. War is invention of Government and economic special interests.
- The lies go in every direction and are protected by all those upon whom governments confer honors. Many people are simply ignorant of the nature of politics and big business — banking, energy, and weapons. The leaders keep them ignorant. Leaders thus maintain "plausible deniability," a phrase frequently heard from Pervez Musharraf, America's favorite dictator.
- International banking and MNC interests invade and conquer in subtle ways more efficiently and effectively than military invasion. Effective ownership of an entire country can be transferred permanently and irrevocably out of local hands and into foreign corporations. It is hard to rebel when the upper class elites have been seduced and bought off. Property and business interests are transferred to multinational banks and the local "elite" who cooperate.
- If there is resistance, CIA and "black operations" overthrow it. (John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man).
- People are deceived that they are free because they "elect" their "leaders." Ask somebody in Latin America or SE Asia how many names and faces actually changed in the real power positions during rotation from imperialist or dictatorship or colony to "democracy." Did the ruling classes change? Imperialism is only partially military. Mostly it comes through imposition of economic systems that benefit the elite of both oppressor and oppressed.
- How does one know what is REALLY behind any war? Does anyone believe that a Government tells the truth of it?
- What if a demographically dominant culture realizes that hundreds of millions of its members are feeding and being fed to a military industrial machine that has bought off their leaders and their elite class, and is steering their culture to oblivion?
- What if they see no chance of competing, compromising or communicating with this machine? Is not their violence understandable? What are their choices? Sit quiet and die? Watch their children starve?
- Is there not a striking similarity between the British Empire and the New World Order? When one examines the roster of historical "power families" who are extant and operating today, is it perhaps naïve to assume this is coincidence?
- Billions of kind and loving people share the fate of being brainwashed, befuddled, terrorized, and manipulated by Governments and Corporations run by egomaniacs and sociopaths. Political governance is not self governance — it is domination.
- Who is behind all the chaos? Only one Superpower remains. There is only one nation fomenting or inventing reasons to blow up anyone who stands in its way.
- How can we avoid responsibility for our submissiveness? Can it be true that we want our modern comforts more than we want truth, honor, and nonviolence?
- Is India actually joining this? There are some who would rather die than become corporate serfs — policed by the US Military — while watching their own culture sink into the cesspool of Western "values." What will "Super Power Status" do for the man that Mohandas Gandhi said we should attend by our own self-restraint? What does "Super Power" mean to the farmer who has lost his land and livelihood to the Special Economic Zone on behalf of a foreign corporation?
- Who will India destroy — if not her own people — to gain "Super Power Status?
In closing my questionnaire, I ask — is there a political theory that can explain all this mayhem and chaos? Submitted for your consideration is the working hypothesis that it is because modern political governance is based upon:
- Fear and not love
- Lies and not truth
- Power and not ethics
- Violence and not peace
- Greed and not generosity
- Money and not compassion
- Corruption and not morality
- Foolishness and not wisdom
- An economy and not a society
- An economy by which the duty of man is no longer to discern truth and act ethically.
We forget that a man can rule only himself — and then only marginally — and no other.
Humanity stands at an epic crossroads of evolve or die. It is amazing how well foretold by Mohandas Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. Perhaps our final denouement is arriving sooner than expected.
HOW SHALL WE LIVE?
"Civilization does not mean electric lights. It does not mean producing atomic bombs, either. Civilization means not killing people." ~ Nichidatsu Fujii, Buddhist Nihonzan Miyohoji Temple
Shall we live by love, that our species may survive —
or shall we live in fear, and suffer premature extinction.
This is the root question.
"Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; by non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is an eternal law." ~ The Buddha
"They hate us for our freedoms," lies the President of all the liars, as he unleashes a "War on Terror" that now threatens the very survival of humanity…
Did the Buddha ever receive a greater confirmation?
"Human intelligence has been distorted and misused by the ego. I call that intelligence in the service of madness. Splitting the atom requires great intelligence. Utilizing that intelligence for building and stockpiling atom bombs is insane. Stupidity is relatively harmless, but intelligent stupidity is highly dangerous. This intelligent stupidity, for which one could find countless examples, is threatening our survival as a species." ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, 2005.
Now, forty some years after leaving the Vietnam combat zones, with the help of Indian teachers, I am beginning to see glimmers of the light of Truth. Had I been more aware in 1963, I would have resisted. Friends that I met later in life had chained themselves together and burnt their draft cards. Too hot to handle as a result of their nonviolent civil disobedience, they went free. Nonviolence requires a special kind of courage that I lacked at the time.
I have written elsewhere about moral invalidity of the State as an institution of human society. Some of these ideas are discussed in my book Experiments In Moral Sovereignty, available at www.otherindiabookstore.com. More recent work is posted at www.statelessfreedom.org.
Citizens of India, I make this appeal to you as a simple human being, a fellow sojourner on this lonely planet. For your own sake, for the sake of your children and mine, for the sake of every living being, examine yourselves.
Look within. Ask, who am I? From where did I come? What is my purpose here? Where am I going? What is the ultimate value of another person's life?
We are all in this together. We all live on one tiny round ball suspended in endless space. We all breathe the same air. We are all connected.
Does India want to build a civilization, or be in partnership with mass murder, rape, torture and degradation of humanity to lower than any animal?
We had better stop killing each other, and trashing our planetary home. When it becomes unlivable, where will we go? Look now to the seventh generation. Take care.
I appeal to you — India, do not abdicate your role as the Keeper of the Circle of the Energy of the Vision of an Enlightened Humankind.
Namaste India, I bow to your ancient Divinity. My first living Indian Guru said to me, "Go and live among the poor." It is from these poor, and the indigenous Native American, that I have learned the most of whatever humanity I may possess. I pray from depths of my heart that India may rise to its sacred destiny of guiding mankind to unfolding a new era of peace on earth.
That we may save our souls. May you live long, live free.
September 6, 2007
Jeff Knaebel [send him mail] is an expatriate American domiciled in India since 1995. He formerly practiced as a registered professional engineer, having been trained at Cornell Univ. and the Colorado School of Mines.
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com