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Edmund Burke
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2 May 2003. Thought for the Week: "Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East." John Sheehan, S.J. (a Jesuit priest). Until the world has had enough, of course, and decides to put us in our place. From an article "Rhapsody in Blood" by Edgar J. Steele 19th April, 2003.

And like the Mongols, U.S. troops stood by while Iraqi mobs looted and destroyed artifacts at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. They also reportedly joined looters who pillaged other lucrative targets like office buildings, stores, and private homes." From "Was Saddam Right? Are Americans the New Mongols of the Mideast?"
Wayne Madsen, https://www.counterpunch.org/madsen04142003.html


THE MONEY MONOPOLY AND IRAQ

There was something quite pathetic in the words of General J Garner, appointed as overall Administrator of Iraq by President Bush, as he landed in Baghdad International Airport. "What better day in your life can you have than to be able to help other people and that is what we intend to do. It's a great day, and it's a great day for me personally".
There's all the pathos of the 'do-gooder' - the person with all the power who only wants to be loved and appreciated for the "good" he does for others. They may not want it, of course, but he knows best - and believes that 'one day' he will be appreciated.
You never actually find out what people want - you know already. The one thing you can't afford to give them is power over their own affairs. You must make all the decisions for them.

Running through all the rhetoric from George Bush, and Jay Garner, is this utter conviction that they are somehow privileged to know what's best for their fellow human beings. It's frustrating that the Iraqis, while appreciating the disappearance of Saddam Hussein, seem to want to make their own decisions, sooner than having someone wiser and better to do it for them. It's doubtful if these mawkish sentiments are shared by the behind-the-scenes Zio-Cons who have shaped the war agenda. But it's convenient to have a George Bush, with hand on heart and tears in his eyes, speaking off the cuff at some church service about "doing good to others".

Despite all the talk about "handing over" to Iraqis as soon as possible, three areas where the US means to maintain control have already appeared. Firstly, it plans to establish four permanent military bases in Iraq. The Australian Financial Review (22/4/03) reported:
" ….Further details emerged over the weekend of US plans for postwar Iraq, including America's intention to establish four military bases in the country to deal with future crises in the region, according to The New York Times. The paper said the Pentagon planned to maintain a prolonged military relationship with the new interim government of Iraq. The new bases, to be located near Nasiriyah in the south, in the Western desert, near Baghdad and in the north, would remain active for years, the newspaper reported …."
Add these to the bases already in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, and some perspective of the scope of US military occupation can be seen.

The second area is oil production. The Oil Ministry complex in Baghdad was unharmed through the intense bombing. Already a combined team from the US and the former ministry in Iraq has the wheels of oil production turning.. Baghdad's Daurha oil refinery is back in production, producing half its capacity of 100,000 barrels a day.

The third area is the daddy of them all - Iraq's money system. Until the war Iraq's currency was the Saddam Dinar, a pastel-coloured note once pegged to the $US, but now worthless. Many suspect that Iraq's fate was sealed when it changed its policy of accepting US dollars for oil exports, shifting to the Euro. Any spread of this idea to other oil-producing nations would have had a drastic effect on the US economy, already reeling under a massive debt-load and a huge current account deficit. The Australian Financial Review (22/4/03) reported:
"… The US flew in $US20 million ($A32.5 million) of its own currency last week to pay firefighters, police, electrical workers and other civil servants. Public employees returning to work will get an "emergency payment" of $US20 as early as next week, said an official at the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, which is charged with revamping Iraq's monetary system.
"The overriding priority is to get Iraq back to normal and to get people back to work," he said. "And to get people back to work, you have to pay them in some currency that has real value and purchasing power". The cash injection comes from the $US1.6 billion in Iraqi assets seized last month by President Bush …." (end of quote)

The $20 million Bush has sent in is well under .3 of a per cent of the assets he seized - which is awfully generous! It may well be that a new Iraqi note is struck without Saddam's face. But what betting it's tied straight to the American dollar?
As old Amschel Rothschild so pithily said, "Permit me to issue a nation's currency, and I care not who makes its laws".


UNGRATEFUL SHIITES

The Shiites of Iraq - you know, the ones George Bush so nobly 'liberated' from Saddam Hussein - comprise 60% of the Iraqi population. For some inexplicable reason they see no advantage in exchanging Saddam for George! Over two million, in their first religious ceremony for 35 years, have assembled in their holy cities of Majaf and Karbala, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the United States. They appear to be well disciplined and under the control of their mullahs, who are already emerging as a feasible alternative to imposed western government. Their view of the western ideal of democracy is dim, and they obviously prefer the concept of a theocratic state under Islamic precepts.
Will the freedom Bush promises for the Iraqis extend as far as allowing them to choose this preference?
Little does George know what he's started, and what problems lie ahead!

THE STRUGGLE FOR THE DOLLAR

While the powers that be strive to extend the Dollar Empire round the globe, on the home front the Almighty Dollar is not universally worshipped. The following article, by Kelly Patricia O'Meara, dated April 4 2003, has arrived by E-Mail:

"As Insight reports this week, there currently are 60 different forms of currency in circulation throughout the United States., and the reasons for issuing this alternative money are as numerous as the currencies themselves. While many have begun using new forms of currency to keep the money within their community, there are others, such as Bernard von Nothaus, founder of the National Organisation for the repeal of the Federal Reserve, who are intent on using it to procure the populist claim that the Federal Reserve is illegitimate. Now it appears that even some states are beginning to question whether the Fed is constitutional.

A bill recently submitted to the Nevada Assembly Committee on Constitutional Amendments directs the issuance of Nevada silver coins. The act, now under consideration, states in part that: - the purported delegation by the Congress of the power to issue money to the Federal Reserve Bank, a privately owned corporation, is a violation of the terms of the US Constitution; - the failure of the Congress to discharge its obligations to issue all the money pursuant to Section 8 of Article 1 of the Constitution absolves the state of Nevada from its constitutional obligation not to issue money; - the state of Nevada shall issue into circulation coins of the state of Nevada in the amount of $50 million. The coins must contain one ounce of fine silver, must be alloyed to 90 per cent fineness and must bear the Great Seal of the state of Nevada on one side, and the words "Contains One Troy Ounce Fine Silver," "Twenty Dollars", "Nevada Legal Tender" and the year of issue on the other side. The coins so issued are legal tender for all debts, public and private, in Nevada. - if the Nevada Legislature determines that the US Congress is fulfilling its constitutional obligation to issue money by requiring the Federal Reserve "to retire its circulating notes and causing the issuance of sufficient notes of the United States and other currency to meet the needs of the commerce of the United States and Nevada, the State Treasurer shall retire the coins authorized by this section as they are received into the State Treasury".

Nevada is the first of the 50 states to consider taking such steps against the Federal Reserve, and one has to wonder which, if any state, will be next. At a minimum, it's not good news for a Federal Reserve that has made printing money and manipulating the amount of money and credit in circulation into an art form, especially on its 90th anniversary". (end of E-mail, https://www.insightmag.com)

COMMENT: There's a fatal preoccupation in some areas that installing intrinsic value into coinage via precious metals will eliminate the debt crisis and the manipulation of money. What is needed is a change to the rules by which money is created and issued - which can be done without altering the form it takes. Nevertheless, the article above is indicative of a growing awareness round the world of the scandalous use of money as a monopoly/power instrument in the destruction of freedom and the enslavement of millions upon millions of people. It will help extend a much-needed debate in which the Islamic world is already joined.

The end of the "Dollar-Debt Empire" is approaching. Here in Australia, Section 51 of the Constitution says:

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to (xii) Currency, coinage, and legal tender: (xiii) Banking, other than State banking; also State banking extending beyond the limits of the State concerned, the incorporation of banks, and the issue of paper money.

Nothing in this suggests that the Commonwealth should confer upon private trading banks the right to issue the 95 per cent of Australia's monetary aggregate which is in the form of credit, thus allowing the nation to be imprisoned under a load of interest-bearing debt in perpetuity. Nor is there anything that forces us to depend on foreign investment for our own developmental needs, thus selling our nation into foreign ownership.


NOW IT IS THE CULTURAL VANDALS

I am grateful to those folk who keep us supplied with information 'gleaned' from many sources around the world. I spent the last week following the trail of looting, destruction and plunder of the artistic and historical treasures held in the museums of Iraq.
Why should a westerner be so concerned about what is happening to a people's heritage in the east?

First it is a deliberate act of cultural vandalism, which anyone concerned about their own culture and history would relate to, and second those artistic and historic treasures lead back to the beginnings of the western nations' rise to civilisation!

Owen Barfield, "History in English Words", wrote of the excitement of philologists when they discovered the evident relation in the remote Eastern language of Sanskrit to the languages of Europe. At first it was thought that Sanskrit was the parent language from which all others had derived, "but the accurate methods of analysis which philology had now acquired" pointed to a still older language and research led to the parent language, the Indo-European or 'Aryan' language of the Sumerians.

C.S. Lewis in "The Abolition of Man," reminds us, "It is by no means certain that there has ever (in the sense required) been more than one civilisation in all history. It is at least arguable that every civilisation we find has been derived from another civilisation, and, in the last resort, from a single centre - 'carried' like an infectious disease or like the Apostolic succession."

[Further reading:; The Phoenician Origins of the Britons, Scots & Anglo-Saxons by L.A. Waddell; History in English Words by Owen Barfield; Raceby Dr. John Baker.


THE BARBARIAN SACKING OF BAGHDAD

Reporter Robert Fisk, Independent U.K. newspaper, 15th April 2003 was on the scene when the library books, letters and priceless documents were set ablaze in the final chapter of the sacking of Baghdad.

"So yesterday was the burning of books. First came the looters, then the arsonists. It was the final chapter in the sacking of Baghdad. The National Library and Archives, a priceless treasure of Ottoman historical documents, including the old royal archives of Iraq were turned to ashes in 3,000 degrees of heat. Then the library of Korans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment was set ablaze. I saw the looters. One of them cursed me when I tried to reclaim a book of Islamic law from a boy of no more than 10.
Amid the ashes of Iraqi history, I found a file blowing in the wind outside: pages of handwritten letters between the court of Sharif Hussein of Mecca, who started the Arab revolt against the Turks for Lawrence of Arabia, and the Ottoman rulers of Baghdad. And the Americans did nothing.
All over the filthy yard they blew, letters of recommendation to the courts of Arabia, demands for ammunition for troops, reports on the theft of camels and attacks on pilgrims, all in delicate hand-written Arabic script. I was holding in my hands the last Baghdad vestiges of Iraq's written history. But for Iraq, this is Year Zero; with the destruction of the antiquities in the Museum of Archaeology on Saturday and the burning of the National Archives and then the Koranic library, the cultural identity of Iraq is being erased. Why? Who set these fires? For what insane purpose is this heritage being destroyed?..
For almost a thousand years, Baghdad was the cultural capital of the Arab world, the most literate population in the Middle East. Genghis Khan's grandson burnt the city in the 13th century and, so it was said, the Tigris River ran black with the ink of books. Yesterday, the black ashes of thousands of ancient documents filled the skies of Iraq. Why?..."


WELL MIGHT WE ASK - WHY?

Americans defend two untouchable ministries from the hordes of looters

Robert Fisk sent the following from Baghdad on 14th April, 2003:

"US troops have sat back and allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information. They did nothing to prevent looters from destroying priceless treasures of Iraq's history in the Baghdad Archaeological Museum and in the museum in the northern city of Mosul (ancient Ninevah…ed), or from looting three hospitals. The Americans have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remain untouched - and untouchable - because tanks and armoured personnel carriers and Humvees have been placed inside and outside both institutions. And which ministries proved to be so important for the Americans? Why, the Ministry of Interior, of course - with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq - and the Ministry of Oil. The archives and files of Iraq's most valuable asset - its oilfields and, even more important, its massive reserves - are safe and sound, sealed off from the mobs and looters, and safe to be shared, as Washington almost certainly intends, with American oil companies."

Oil for Israel: Now, with very little fanfare, Israel quietly prepares to restart its Iraqi oil pipeline, closed for over 50 years: https://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ED04Ak01.html


BUT IS THERE MORE TO IT?

Yes, there is, according to Ann Talbot from wsws.org:

The illegal trade in antiquities according to a report produced in 2001, "The Trade in Illicit Antiquities: the Destruction of the World's Archeological Heritage" by the McDonald Institute for Archeological Research at Cambridge spells it out! The illegal trade in antiquities is thought to be as lucrative as drugs trafficking, to which it is often linked. London and New York are the main markets for the trade and Switzerland is a key trans-shipment point. The Swiss laws allow an art-work that has been in the country for five years to be granted a legal title.

The role of the ACCP: "In the aftermath of these two devastating attacks on the culture of the Iraqi people, attention has focused on the activities of the "American Council for Cultural Policy" (ACCP). The ACCP was formed in 2001 by a group of wealthy art collectors to lobby against the "Cultural Property Implementation Act", which attempts to regulate the art market and stop the flow of stolen goods into the U.S… Ashton Hawkins a leading lawyer and founder of the ACCP regards the U.S. legislation as 'retentionist', and condemns the archeologically rich 'source' countries for attempting to protect their archeological sites and museums by such measures."


US ACCUSED OF PLANS TO LOOT IRAQI ANTIQUITIES

Liam McDougall, Arts Correspondent of the Sunday Herald, reveals:

"A coalition of antiquities collectors and arts lawyers, calling itself the American Council for Cultural Policy (ACCP), met with US defence and state department officials prior to the start of military action to offer its assistance in preserving the country's invaluable archaeological collections. The group is known to consist of a number of influential dealers who favour a relaxation of Iraq's tight restrictions on the ownership and export of antiquities. Its treasurer, William Pearlstein, has described Iraq's laws as 'retentionist' and has said he would support a post-war government that would make it easier to have antiquities dispersed to the US."

Professor John Merryman of Stanford Law School and a member of the ACCP called for a "selective international enforcement of export controls" in U.S. courts. In other words it should be perfectly legitimate to import the objects looted from Baghdad if a U.S. court chooses not to recognise Iraqi legislation. Merryman set out the organisation's principles in a 1998 paper, titled International Law and Politics, vol. 31: 1." https://www.sundayherald.com/32895


HISTORY GOES DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE - AGAIN!

Ann Talbot of wsws.org, broadens our understanding of why these wanton acts of vandalism are a "blow to world scholarship.
A scientific tradition:

"The Baghdad museum was more than a place to display artifacts. All excavations carried out in Iraq by international teams of archaeologists were reported to it. The museum therefore possessed a database of knowledge that was accessible to researchers internationally, and was the hub of a vast co-operative endeavour. It's looting and the destruction of its records are a blow to world scholarship. It threatens to turn the clock back more than 150 years to the period before scientific archaeology in Mesopotamia. Early excavations were by modern standards unscientific, as excavators were still learning their discipline by a process of trial and error. One of the most elementary lessons of that learning process was that context is everything in archaeology. An artifact can only tell its full story if its context is known…
While national feelings are often evoked to justify keeping archaeological artifacts in their country of origin, the more important scientific reason for doing so is that the context of the artifact is preserved by keeping it close to where it was found…
The full significance of Mesopotamian artifacts can only be appreciated by seeing them in the context of the extraordinary landscape of modern Iraq - a country where every hill that rises above the plain has been built from layers of mud brick representing generations of occupation."

Medieavel Europe: "When the medieval European cartographers who drew the thirteenth century Hereford map of the world set out to represent the planet on which they lived, they put Asia at the top because to them it was the most important continent. There lay the lands of the Bible. Jerusalem was at the very centre of their world-view, and beyond it lay Babylon, the scene of the Jewish captivity, the Tower of Babel and Abraham's home in the city of Ur…
Yet the material that came out the excavations carried out by Woolley, and others such as Layard, Botta and Hormuzd Rassani, shook the Biblical view of the world. Not the least important discovery was that familiar Bible stories such as Noah and the Flood had their origin in Mesopotamia long before the Bible was written. As the cuneiform writing of thousands of clay tablets was deciphered, it was realised that numerous complex and highly developed civilisations had existed in Mesopotamia of an antiquity never before guessed."

Universal principles: Remember, we are dealing with the history and culture of a civilised people in ancient Mesopotamia and Petr Charvat's Mesopotamia before History helps us to grasp the importance of it. Ann Talbot writes:

"The social and political structure of Mesopotamian society cannot be traced directly from its material remains, and archeologists differ about its character and the course of its development, but Petr Charvat finds in Mesopotamian society, to 3000BC that "in all spheres of society the principle of universality and equality comes to the fore… the material standard of living is equalized by redistribution… people meet in assemblies to discuss and decide matters of common interest… All receive the same treatment in life and death."


THE PRINCIPLES OF UNIVERSALITY OR THE NATURAL LAW

The following are examples of the 'principles of universality' or the Natural Law.

The negative Law of General Beneficence: " I have not slain men". (Ancient Egyptian)

The positive Law of General Beneficence: "Speak kindness… show goodwill". (Babylonian)

The Law of Special Beneficence: "This first I rede thee: be blameless to thy kindred. Take no vengeance even though they do thee wrong". (Old Norse)

The Law of Justice: "I saw in Nastrond (=Hell)… beguilers of others' wives." (Old Norse)

The Law of Mercy: "The poor and the sick should be regarded as lords of the atmosphere". (Hindu).

The Law of Magnanimity: "There are two kinds of injustice: the first is found in those who do an injury, the second in those who fail to protect another from injury when they can". (Roman. Cicero).

The Law of Love: "Love your neighbour as yourself". (Christian: Jesus Christ.)


BASIC FUND

The Basic Fund needs the generosity of our supporters. Thank you to those who have donated to the fund! But we need more to keep the momentum going, we have quite a way to go as yet.
Supporters will be pleased to know the League website numbers increase week by week and month by month. There is now a need for another site dealing exclusively with Finance, Economics and Social Credit proposals. It is in the planning stages.

LAUNCESTON CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The president of the Launceston Conservative Speakers' Club announced the next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 30th April in the Max Fry Memorial Hall, Gorge Road, Trevallyn. The guest speaker will be Mrs. Wendy Scurr who will be presenting some more important facts in connection with the Port Arthur Massacre. Supporters will remember Mrs. Scurr was on tour-guide duty that terrible day, and was one of the first people to enter the café, after the orgy of killing. Admission - Voluntary Donation. Supper will be provided.

SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 28th May, 2003. Mr. Neil Baird whose subject will be: "Globalisation & Its Economic Effect to Australia". The venue is the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown, where there is ample parking and situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. There are nearby facilities for a meal before the meeting. The cost of attendance is $4.00 per person.

AUSTRALIAN MONARCHIST LEAGUE MEETING FOR W.A. BRANCH

The Australian Monarchist League Western Australian Branch will be holding a Cocktail Evening and General Meeting at the Victoria League, 276 Onslow Road, Shenton Park on Friday 2nd May at 5.00pm. Cost will be $13.50 per head. For bookings and further information contact Neil Gilmour - Phone: 04 0777 5836. RSVP Wednesday 30th April 2003. All supporters are urged to attend.

THE SAMUEL GRIFFITH SOCIETY, FIFTEENTH CONFERENCE

We have received notification that the Samuel Griffith Society's next conference will be held in Adelaide over the weekend of 23-25th May, 2003. The worthy list of speakers are Phillip Ayres, Ph.D.; Hon. Justice Ian Callinan, AC; Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Gibbs, GCMG, AC, KBE.; Hon. Trevor Griffin, Prof. Peter Howell; Hon Len King, AC; Julian Leser; Hon. Nick Minchin; Dr. Geoffrey Partington; Hon. Peter Reith; Prof. Geoffrey de Q. Walker and Keith Windschuttle.

Subjects include: The South Australian Constitutional Convention; Citizen Initiated Referendums; Retrospect; Judicial Activism and the Teoh case; The Republic; The Aboriginal Question.

For bookings and further details, contact The Samuel Griffith Society, 17 Fitzsimmons Avenue, Lane Cove 2066. Phone: 02 9428 1311 Fax: 02 9420 0063.


LATEST JEREMY LEE VIDEO PROVING POPULAR

At a time of worldwide unrest and disillusion with the vested interests manipulating the lives of ordinary people, the material in Jeremy's video, "Retell the Story!" will prove a bombshell! How can nations, communities and families be so deeply in debt that there is no apparent way out? And, he asks, "Who's the mortgagee?" Send for copies of the video today. Available from all League Book Services for $20 posted.
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