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18 April 2003. Thought for the Week: A blessed Holy Week to all our readers
"There were some Greeks among those whose practice it was to come up to the feast. Now these came to Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request to him. "Sir," they said, "we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them: "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. This is the truth I tell you -- unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains all by itself alone; but, if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life is losing it; but he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone will serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there will my servants also be."
Gospel of John, chapter 12.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF 'SPIN'
The latest incredible portrayals of falling statues, ecstatic crowds of liberated Iraqis and humble western politicians is a modern mixture of Aesop's Fables and Hans Christian Anderson's fairy stories. Gradually, the whole emphasis of the war has been shifted from "weapons of mass destruction" to "liberation". It's only a matter of time until the leader of 'the three musketeers' (George Dubya) makes the grand journey to Main Street, Baghdad, to stand with one foot on a fallen statue of Saddam, and one of the "li'l chil'ren" of liberated Iraq in his arms, from whence he will regale us all once more about how he stands for "peace 'n freedom". And, of course, the other two musketeers (Tony and John) should be in close attendance, heroes of the hour, with disclaiming smiles of denial on their honest faces as they acknowledge the plaudits of the world, (and of course, the "li'l chil'ren" of Iraq).
If you wonder sacrilegiously what the final statistics are on the number of people dead or missing, the families destroyed, the injured in hospital, the homes in ruins, you've missed the whole point. All the damage was a necessary part of the liberation, and was kept to the minimum! Besides, the more damage, the fatter the contracts for global reconstruction companies already jostling for post-war contracts in Iraq. Didn't you know? Big wars and massive collateral damage are good for the economy!
And Saddam Hussein? Has he already entered the
land of legends? There is intense speculation on his whereabouts - blasted
into thin air, hiding in an underground bunker, or spirited away across
some border - Iran or Syria, or perhaps even Libya - which means, of
course, he will have to be followed to ensure the "peace 'n freedom"
of the countries sheltering him. Future foreign policy, of course, needs
its rogues' gallery for sustaining the cause of "peace 'n freedom'.
Of course, its what the mums and dads round the world want to see. They want to know the game is over, with a clear-cut home victory; and they are not eager for anything that might mar such a comforting image. "I am not going to use the "V-words" ("Victory" and "Vindication")", quoth our venerable Prime Minister. "But we have won, and we're right to send our troops", he added. His obedient and compliant party members breathing collective sighs of relief, the Opposition rendered inconsequential by the plaudits of the moment, and the peace demonstrations - again for the moment - having melted away, Prime Minister Howard has every reason to be satisfied.
As the last of our Hornets fly south, and our troops - who have carried out a hard, dangerous and distasteful job superbly - safely home again, what a time for a Federal election! But then, the Liberals and the Nationals are far too lofty to take advantage of their momentary popularity to 'cash in' - aren't they?
THE TRUTH IS DIFFERENT
Without the global monopoly media 'rah-rah-ing'
every bomb and crater, this story would not prevail. Indeed, there are
signs that the more experienced journalists find it all a little too
So engrossed has the US become with its own moral
and military superiority that it is already talking about further wars.
The leading front-page article in the same Australian proclaimed:
"After sweeping away three decades of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime
in just three weeks, a buoyant Bush administration yesterday warned
other rogue states it was prepared to repeat the 'spectacular' success
of its blitzkrieg in Baghdad
Peter Hartcher (The Australian Financial Review
11/4/03) offered this sobering assessment: "
. How many Middle Eastern
countries are ruled by tyrants, or harbour terrorists, or both? Only
Israel is a democracy. All the others - including US friends such as
Saudi Arabia and Egypt - are ruled by autocrats. And several, most notably
Iran, Syria and Lebanon, harbour terrorists. Cheney is calling for nothing
short of region-wide revolution
.. All indications are that the toppling
statues of Hussein mark the beginning of a long and difficult new American
revolutionary project for the remaking of the Middle East and an early
phase of World War Four - the war on terrorism, according to former
CIA director James Woolsey, a tireless advocate of war on Iraq.
Just a little amplification: While Israel
is a multi-party State, its other claims to democracy are illusory.
Its Arab-Palestinian peoples are, in essence, second-class citizens,
denied many basic rights that potential Jewish immigrants have before
they even arrive. It has all the hallmarks of apartheid. For "neo-conservatives"
in America, read "dual loyalty, Israel-oriented Zionists." It contains
the 'movers-and-shakers in Bush's war cabinet. Israel's dominance over
US foreign policy is so complete that Israel increasingly emerges as
the real victor. Without deploying any of its own troops it has seen
a major threat and financial supporter of the Palestinians brought to
WHERE DOES IT END?Besides the nations already mentioned, there is Yemen, to Israel's south; Somalia and the Sudan, just across the Red Sea; Gaddafi's Libya, hardly a friend of Israel or the West but a major supplier of oil to France; Afghanistan, where the Taliban is increasingly reasserting its dominance; the Islamic regions in the south of what used to be the Soviet Union, which straddle oil-rich areas; the Philippines, where terrorists and US troops have already clashed; and of course, the biggest Islamic country in the world, Indonesia, where fundamentalist Islam maintains and increases its presence throughout the archipelago.
Meanwhile, America's 'friends', such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are mesmerized by the growing fundamentalist anger within their own populations Add to this the fact that Britain, the US, Europe and Australia have shortsightedly built sizeable Islamic minorities within their own borders who will prove a constant thorn in their sides - and we can all take heart for a future filled with Dubya's "peace 'n freedom".
JUST A LITTLE HOMELY CELEBRATIONA venerable Australian law firm will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in mid-April. Katherine Towers, (The Australian Financial Review, 11/4/03) described it thus: Few law firms in Australia can boast a list of guests for their 50th birthday celebrations that includes the Prime Minister, Richard Pratt, Solomon Lew and Chris Corrigan. But then high-profile tax lawyer Mark Liebler would be the first to acknowledge that Melbourne law practice Arnold Bloch Liebler has plenty of friends in high places. . Mr Liebler's connections in the tax office are no secret, but how does a relatively small boutique law practice attract, at a time of war, the leader of the nation to a birthday bash?"
Towers went on to say that besides the Prime Minister, the celebration would be attended by federal ministers, opposition members, Federal and High Court judges, state government representatives, academics and barristers. Among those expected were Rino and Bruno Grollo, Richard Pratt, the ACT's Greg Combet, former HIH CEO Ray Williams, Peter Garrett, one-time lead singer with Midnight Oil, Steve Vizard, former Governor-General Zelman Cowan, retail magnate John Gandel, Sussan's Mark Besen, and Gina Rinehart.
Towers concluded by saying: " Many of those clients are the fourth generation of the original penniless Jewish refugees who first sought out the firm's founder, Arnold Bloch, after World War II."
A real family occasion! Mark Liebler is, of course, brother to Isi Liebler of the World Jewish Congress, noted among other things for his remark that multiculturalism, while suitable for Australia, would never do in Israel.
THE AMAZING PARADOX
from William Barclay's commentary
The Fourth Gospel was the one written to present
the truth of Christianity in a way that the Greeks could appreciate
and understand; and it is natural that in it the first Greeks to come
to Jesus should find a place. Hardly any passage in the New Testament
would come with such a shock to those who heard it for the first time
as this. It begins with a saying which everyone would expect; and it
finishes with a series of sayings which were the last things anyone
Symbols of world powers: The point of
the passage is this. In Daniel 7:1-8 the writer has been describing
the world powers which have held sway, the Assyrian, the Babylonians,
the Medes and the Persians. They were so cruel, so savage, so sadistic
that they could be described only under the imagery of wild beasts --
the lion with the eagle's wings, the bear with the three ribs between
its teeth, the leopard with the four wings and the four heads, and the
terrible beast with iron teeth and ten horns. These were symbols of
the powers which had hitherto held sway. But it was the dream of the
seer that into the world there was going to come a new power, and that
power was to be gentle and humane and gracious, so that it could be
depicted under the symbol, not of a savage beast, but of a man.
It became clearer and clearer to them that their nation was so small and their power so weak, that the golden age could never come by human means and human power; it must come by the direct intervention of God. He would send his champion to bring it in. So they thought back to the picture in the book of Daniel, and what more natural than that they should call the champion the Son of Man? The phrase which had once been merely a symbol came to describe a person.
Between the Old and the New Testament there arose
a whole series of books about the golden age and how it was to come.
Amidst their troubles and their sufferings, in their subjections and
their slaveries, the Jews never forgot and never gave up their dream.
One of these books was specially influential -- the Book of Enoch and
it repeatedly speaks about that Son of Man.
So Jesus says: "The hour has come when the Son
of Man must be glorified." When he said that, the listeners would catch
their breath. They would believe that the trumpet call of eternity had
sounded, that the might of heaven was on the march, and that the campaign
of victory was on the move. But Jesus did not mean 'by glorified' what
they understood. They meant that the subjected kingdoms of the world
grovel before the conqueror's feet; 'by glorified' he meant crucified.
The first sentence which Jesus spoke would excite the hearts of those who heard it; then began a succession of sayings which must have left them staggered and bewildered by the sheer incredibility, for he spoke, not in terms of conquest, but in terms of sacrifice and death. We will never understand Jesus nor the attitude of the Jews to him, until we understand how he turned their ideas upside down, replacing a dream of conquest with a vision of a Cross. No wonder they did not understand him; the tragedy is that they refused to try."
TO LEAVE RELIGION OUT OF ONE'S FACTORING IS FOOLISH
There are those who think On Target should leave religion out of the equations, the discussions; after all, the letters say, we are really dealing with politics and finance. The implication being religion is of no consequence in these affairs. Not so!
People act according to their beliefs - whether
they believe in a spiritual dimension of Life or not. We cannot possibly
understand what motivates George Bush, Tony Blair, or John Howard, or
those around them, without understanding their beliefs. We need to know
who have programmed the three 'leaders'. If your group, community, sect,
or whatever, held the belief it was to rule the world and that it would
be accomplished by financial, political and military might, wouldn't
you be about making sure you were in control of finances, politics and
the mightiest military machine of the age? Wouldn't you be doing just
what the 'Coalition of the Willing' (COW) are now doing?
What if there be only a God of Sinai and no God
of the Soul of Man?
The aim of the Australian League of Rights, (a movement of the mind and spirit) is to stir up that spirit within you; to challenge you to join the battle for the hearts and minds of the men and women of this land, and to defend what remains of our heritage of a British-Australian Christian culture.
THE GREAT WHORE OF BABYLON
Whilst pouring over a map of modern Iraq, I was struck by the fact it was in that region the first recorded civilisation - of which we have knowledge - sprang up. The Land of Sumer, the Sumerian civilisation. It is to that region that the ancient biblical "Great Whore of Babylon" can be traced. Babylon was then the religious/financial power which became known to New Testament readers as 'Mammon'.
As an aside, Saddam Hussein had the ancient city rebuilt - as any tourist to Iraq can verify. I wonder does it still stand after the recent mass bombing in Iraq?
In his brilliant paraphrasing of chapters 17,18,and 19 of the book of Revelation, author Peter Lock explains for us the Great Whore of Babylon, and helps us to understand that the Great Whore was not a person but a symbol for an international financial power. A power which had, over time, prostituted the role, the true purpose, of money. He writes:
"The Grand Madam of Babylon was drunk and in maudlin mood. She sat on her throne beside the meeting place of the abundant waters from many rivers. All peoples, all nations of every language congregated here in submissive obeisance to her. All the kings and rulers of the world had come to her and committed fornication with her. All the dwellers of the earth had offered tribute to her and become drunk with the wine of her dalliance and adulterous deceit Once more she would ride out into the desert and survey the wilderness her greed and financial follies had created "
David Astle wrote of the ancient power in his book The Babylonian Woe. He concentrates on the priest-kings, because they had 'played the harlot' with the Grand Madam, they had come to forget they were responsible to their Heavenly Father, for the maintenance of right(eous) relationships and peaceful associations of their peoples. They had forgotten that the foundations of their true power were the laws of the distribution of surpluses (tithing system, payment in kind) as written on the scribe's tablet. The scribes had resorted to 'cooking the books of the national accounting systems. No longer did they keep true records.
The Grand Madam: The seductive power of the Grand Madam had usurped the law of the priest-kings (just as today) previously exercised towards the well being of their people. The law itself was now an empty shell, a symbol, raised before the eyes of the people, in order that they might not look down and see the evil gnawing away at the roots of the Tree of Life itself.
C.H. Douglas (Programme for the Third World War) believed there was still in existence, somewhere, a baked Chaldean tile which has inscribed on it an almost perfect prototype of the modern Bill of Exchange - the basic document of international finance. He thought the technique probably came via Egypt from Chaldea.
Once again she "stakes her claim': We
reported last week - Brian Whitaker's email "Beyond Baghdad".
The insignia of the Grand Madam's "New Social Order" appears on the reverse of the American dollar. Those Iraqis who have studied the Grand Madam's ancient order will recognise the insignia. William Guy Carr wrote about it in Pawns in the Game.
[Further reading: Nesta Webster, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements; Peter Lock, The Great Harlot; William Guy Carr Pawns in the Game; C.H. Douglas, Programme for the Third World War. Books available from all League book services.]
MAKING THE WORLD SAFE - FOR BANKERS
It took about 100 years to rediscover the dark
secrets of the Modern Grand Madam, but discover them we have. Internet
journalist Henry Makow Ph.D. wrote: "International bankers live in fear.
Not of starvation, disease or war. These are the concerns of children
in the third World. Bankers are terrified we might object to paying
them billions each year in interest for money they create out of nothing,
guaranteed by our taxes. (The Federal Reserve Board, a private cartel
of mostly foreign banks, finagled this monopoly in 1913.)
The bankers are:-
In order to sleep more soundly, the bankers have taken 'steps'. These precautions help us to understand the world we live in, why it is becoming more bizarre for everyone else. First people with money machines tend to have a lot of friends. The bankers helped their friends establish monopolies in oil, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, transportation, media, etc. and took a healthy stake. As you can imagine, these people are thick as thieves (they are thieves! ed.) Lawyers, journalists and intellectuals all vie for a piece of the action. (Serving this cartel of cartels is what passes for success these days.) The bankers use the government and media to convince us that religion, nationalism and nuclear family are unfashionable, and we want what they want "
UNFINISHED 'BUSINESS IS BUSINESS'
According to a report published by the US watchdog "Centre for Public Integrity", at least 10 out of 30 members of the Pentagon committee are executives or lobbyists with companies that have tens of billions dollars' worth of contracts with the US Defence Department and other government agencies. Most decent people's feelings were summed up by Vacy Vlazna in the The Australian "Letters to the Editor", 5-6/4/03:
"It gets worse - the sickening sight of business jackals fighting over who will get the reconstruction of Iraq pickings."
Shame on the 179 Australian companies who it was reported wanted to profit from the Iraqi peoples' misery.
MILITARY/INDUSTRIAL/FINANCIAL CLIQUE HAVE GAME SOWN UP
Push for a war between two nations - from a safe
distance of course. Make sure others' sons and daughters do the fighting
and dying for you. Have the government declare war on the 'offending'
party (nation). Have government raise the funds for the war through
the parasitic banking system. Finance both sides in the conflict through
the international banking system. Banking system will create the new
money out of nothing and loan it to the government - with interest charges
of course - great profits to be had here! All new money comes into existence
as a debt to the banking system, therefore, for every dollar created
there will be an equivalent dollar debt somewhere in the system. Someone,
somewhere, will have to find that dollar equivalent to repay the parasitic
Australia's 'cost' we have been told is around
$1billion - not including interest charges. Military/industrial/financial
clique then 'tee up' contracts with the government for the lucrative
business of 'reconstructing' the physical and social structures of the
offending party (nation). The Iraqi people will have to pay for the
'reconstruction,' the damage done to their country by these warmongers,
via payments of oil for food and reconstruction - let alone any International
Monetary Fund loans.
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE WITH YOUR OWN MONEY?What could the Australian people have done with the one billion dollars (plus bank interest charges) it is estimated this war will have 'cost' them? Pay for their own health care? Choose the school they want to send their child? Relieve their poverty caused through the drought? When are the taxpayers going to wake up to the fact taxation is legalised robbery even if it is carried out by a d'markratic government?
Question: How many Australians know that historically, taxes levied by rulers had to be specific as to purpose and amount and to which the taxpayer had agreed?
BASIC FUNDThe fund has now reached the total of $25,100.50. Thank you once again to those who have contributed.
If all who receive On Target would resolve to support the fund with a small but substantial amount it would soon be filled.
The following letter was received by Edward Rock of Cape Paterson in response to a letter he sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. It is self-explanatory.
Dear Edward, Thank you for your letter about
debt and money issues. I have just come from a meeting with the leadership
of Christian Aid in which we discussed these matters, and I have meetings
with some people in government this week on the same question. Many
of us here are strongly committed to advocating change, and to the vision
you speak of; it is depressing when Christians treat money as an issue
Edward Rock comments: We may be on the threshold of a major breakthrough. Our task is to pray without ceasing that all those ordained in the name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost will come to know the mind of Christ concerning the creation and control of money, and use that gift to release Christ's flock from the power of mammon. Good as it is, Peter Selby's book does not cover that key principle. Your friend in Christ. Edward Rock, Cape Paterson Vic.
For those who would follow Edward's example, the Archbishop's address is: Lambeth Palace, London SEl 7JU United Kingdom.
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