From the October 2005 Idaho Observer:
What Does it Take to Bring About More Peace in the World?
This was the third year in a row that I accepted the invitation to speak at this conference, which is held at the Monforthaus in Feldkirch, Austria. The following pages are a recounting of the presentations as taken from memory and my 65 pages of notes. I would like to note that there was an undercurrent of immediacy at the conference this year; there were fewer philosophically flowery words and more urgency in the papers presented. There was a sense among all of us that you-know-what is about to hit the fan. To place the mood into the proper perspective, let’s review the general impression I came away with in 2003 and 2004, then allow me to state, in a few words, the general impression I now have with the 2005 conference still fresh in my mind:
2003: The U.S. had already announced its plan to wage a global war on terror, had invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and claimed it had the right to preemptively strike any nation that may be harboring elements that may pose a threat to its national interests or the interests of its allies. It seemed all conversations began with a problem initiated by "the Americans" and ended with a stream of profanity (or its polite equivalent).
2004: It was apparent that the U.S. was heavily in debt and that its military was overcommitted and failing to accomplish its objectives in Iraq. Europeans, who have seen hundreds of rising and falling governments, could see that the American empire was about to crumble. The question was no longer, "What are we going to do when the U.S. takes over the world?" It became, "How will the world restructure itself in the power vacuum that will result when the U.S. collapses?"
2005: This year, the U.S., particularly the pro-Israel, warmongering neocons, still the global pariah, is viewed as a nation with its desperate finger on THE BUTTON. Adding to the general feeling of concern was how it has become obvious that our modern world is a vice-filled, war-torn, unjust, inhumane mess due to the administrative hand of a ruthless cabal of internationally-organized criminals.
This is the third year I have reported on this conference. Aside from enjoying thoroughly the company of my hosts, seeing again my friends and making new friends, my attendance at Mut zur Ethik broadens dramatically my ability to understand more intelligently our contemporary times. My trip will have been even more rewarding if you, dear reader, are able to absorb some of that wealth of understanding through my reporting of it. ~DWH
Wednesday evening, 8/31/05
85 degrees, very humid
Professor Robert Hickson, America
Col. Robert Hickson (U.S. Army, retired) set the tone for this year’s concerns about aggressive U.S. foreign policy. Hickson had been invited to participate in a nuclear strategy forum in which it was revealed that the U.S. is "...beginning to revise its nuclear policies and strategies."
Though the forum was not secret or classified, Hickson felt that many important things were discussed.
He commented that a congressional commission will begin looking at the global nuclear picture this fall to determine how current realities may require the U.S. position on the use of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons to change.
The America Hickson described is similar to how I see it: Weak and desperate. He believes that the U.S. is more likely to use nukes now than at any time since Nagasaki and Hiroshima. I believe he is correct in that the present administration has committed our country to a path of conquest that it does not have the resources to accomplish. In this state, nukes have become an option where in decades past the use of nukes was only an option of last resort. Plus, both vice-President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld have recently mentioned the use of nukes as an option they are willing to entertain.
When we talk nukes today, we envision big bombs and mushroom clouds. However, there is a whole new array of electromagnetic pulse weapons. Hickson mentioned a recent test in Hawaii in which about half the lights went out.
Robust, nuclear earth penetrators are a class of nuclear weapons designed to hit deeply buried targets. Hickson reported that nations concerned about the U.S. nuclear threat are hiding their assets and building emergency shelters deep underground to protect themselves against nuclear attack.
Another reason why the U.S. is whispering its willingness to use nukes is to protect itself and its allies (Britain and Israel) against retaliatory terrorism. Hickson described that the U.S. is very vulnerable to attack on its own account and that the Israeli government is contributing to the problem by threatening Arabs with nuking Mecca and Medina if they mess with Israel. "Israel has all kinds of weapons. Not all of them are in Israel," Hickson commented.
World power is balanced in a really strange and intricate way. The various nations hold the assets of other nations at risk. One of the missions of international intelligence operatives is to find out what assets are important to a nation, develop ways to destroy them and then inform the nation that it had better behave or lose what it values most.
This is a form of blackmail and the U.S. is not above threatening to use "special [radioactive] weapons" to keep their potential adversaries in line.
Dr. Micah Boos, Switzerland
She quoted the infamous neocon Mike Ledeen as justifying the intellectual manipulation of the masses through lies because the world is run on philosophies and dynamics too complicated for the ignorant masses to understand. Therefore, it is the duty of smart people like Ledeen to compel prescribed behavior in people based upon lies and deceit if that’s what it takes.
"Faith can be used to motivate people," Mika quoted neocon Charles Krauthammer as stating after Pope John Paul died.
The neocons derive their belief systems on the written work of Hegel, Neitsche and Fukuyama. They believe that aggressive war based upon lies is an acceptable way to motivate people. The goal is to create liberal democracies for the masses and corporate capitalism for the elite.
The neocons believe that "man needs war to give himself a sense of living." They claim that common people struggle to make themselves comfortable then get bored with their lives and start warring with their neighbors.
The neocons, the guys who have been influencing the direction of the U.S. since the 70s, recognize the masses as being stupid, unenlightened animals and that intellectually-endowed individuals such as themselves are the only people qualified to run the world.
Dr. Andreas Bau commented that the elite types are trying to support their position by making a new kind of human—stupider, weaker, and less connected to their spiritual centers—by exposing them to drugs, chemicals and forcing them to endure the idiocy of public instruction.
Thursday morning, 9/1/05
Paddy Doherty, Ireland
(After his presentation, I introduced myself. Paddy said, "Why, you’re almost Irish—you just got to get rid of the ‘s’").
Every now and then you come across a man with a genuine twinkle in his eye. That is Paddy Doherty. At 80 years old, this charming man is doing things for his community (and other communities) that are truly inspiring: He brings bombed out buildings and children who have already died inside back to life.
He began with a poem about how the planets, oceans and mountains move from forces outside themselves but they will never have a single thought or appreciate the fragrance of a rose. But every child is born with the power of creation and the power of love.
Yet there are 40 million children on the streets of Latin America and most will die by the age of 16. In the world there are over a million 5-10-year-old children imprisoned for petty crimes—like stealing something to eat. Children all over the world are being trained as soldiers by the age of 10.
The substance of his poem and the power of conviction behind it was extremely moving.
"I love children," the father of 13 grown children and a bunch of grandchildren said. "I don’t know why, I just love them."
Paddy explained that we all want security but the harder we look for it the more it escapes us. That is because security is within us.
We then saw a slide presentation illustrating the more recent history of the friction between the British army and Irish Catholics. The Irish Republican Army (IRA)-inspired uprising in 1969 gave birth to the modern age of war in Northern Ireland that is ongoing to this day.
The slides began to show the true casualties of this war: Children so filled with hate they cover their faces with masks to take on the British army—first with rocks, sticks, slingshots and then with homemade bombs and, later, if they survive, with guns supplied by the IRA.
Beginning in 1986, Paddy began taking many of these kids off the streets and put them in a bombed-out buildings he had rescued from demolition. He then put them to work "bringing the building back to life."
By 1986, the "war" had killed hundreds of buildings in Derry—a town of about 150,000. After he and his kids brought one building back from the dead, other buildings were purchased and the funds to restore them came. Though Paddy did not go into detail, I think he used some very creative means to keep the dream alive through primarily private funding. At one point he was asked if he had to go through a lot of bureaucratic red tape to bring his buildings back. With a mischievous smile that made his twinkle a little brighter, Paddy said, "Well, let’s just say it’s often easier to seek forgiveness than ask for permission."
Slide after slide revealed building after building that had been brought back to life over the last 20 years. The pictures showed his kids working on the buildings when they were being restored and working in the buildings when they had been transformed into something useful like a cafe, a hotel or a youth center.
"Apathy is frozen violence," Paddy said. He also said, "The surest avenue of human growth is the willingness to accept responsibility."
To support his previous comment, Paddy added, "The secret to a long life is having a crisis every day. We must relish and learn from them, face them and solve the problems that come our way."
I asked Paddy if he ever followed any of his kids into adulthood. He said, "No," but that he did run into some of them now and then. He said it was a tough program but he thinks that most draw strength from their experiences with him and have fond memories of when their youth was rescued.
When asked about his educational background, Paddy said he left school at 13 to help support his family. "I had a good mother," he said.
Paddy said that he asks everyone with whom he works, "What is your vision?" You have to have one, he said. "You may change tactics, but one must never lose sight of his vision."
"All you have to do is love God, love your neighbor and, at the end of the day, nothing else matters," Paddy concluded.
Dr. Sebastian Pflugbeil, Germany
Dr. Pflugbeil is a dissident nuclear physicist and an authority on the persistent public health dangers inherent in the peaceful and military applications of nuclear science.
All areas of radiation release and exposure from weapons, power plants and other sources are in Dr. Pflugbeil’s areas of research. His topic of concern this year is how the "peaceful" use of nuclear energy is retarding safety protocols with regard to radiation releases. Due to Europe having become dependent upon nuclear energy for public power, the effects of radiation on the masses is covered up and not discussed. He explained how those who suffer the ravages of radiation are diagnosed with something else.
Dr. Pflugbeil used charts to demonstrate how reporting agencies such as the UN fake the numbers to minimize the adverse effects of radiation poisoning.
The knowledge that radiation causes problems in human health has been known since the 30s with the advent of x-rays. Studies of the effects of radiation from x-rays, the survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and Chernobyl have revealed that individuals who live or work in radiation-contaminated areas do not live as long as those who don’t. Additionally, the level of symptom severity/quickness of mortality are predictable when the levels of exposure are known.
The two leading effects of radiation are genetic damage that is passed onto children and cancer.
Conference, Friday, 9/2/05
Professor Robert Hickson:
This discussion was similar to the one held at Sirnach. It is worth reiterating a few points, however.
U.S. policies are going forward on false dialectics, dangerous theologies, dangerous technologies and its administrators are becoming consumed with a frightening irrationality that is being demonstrated daily in the unjust war on Iraq—and in nearly every word and action coming from the White House. As a career soldier, Hickson shook his head and said, "Aren’t you supposed to divide your enemies? The U.S. is doing the opposite, uniting and consolidating its enemies."
It is these irrational policies coming from the civilian government that is incubating a desperate military, all of which is increasing the likelihood that the U.S. will use "special weapons—big weapons."
Dr. Micah Boos, Switzerland:
This also was a re-presentation of her Sirnach talk. It is important to realize that the philosophical influences of world leaders provide us with insight into their minds—and through their minds we can more accurately determine the true intent of their words and actions.
The neocons in control of the White House believe that war is good and that, according to neocon Michael Ledeen, "America needs a war from time to time."
These people believe that slaves are not convenient because they are not acknowledged as people. People, to be productive, must be acknowledged. Therefore, a liberal democracy, which leads to boredom is best for everyone because boredom allows the elite to manufacture crises that lead to wars which bored masses are glad to fight.
Bob Maginnis, U.S.:
Though he began his presentation with the disclaimer that he was at the conference privately and his opinions are not necessarily those of the Pentagon or FOX news, Col. Bob Maginnis (U.S. Army, retired) works for both. He is a military consultant to the Pentagon and a war analyst for FOX. Though, he did not attend or speak at the 2004 conference, his candid admissions about the "New American Way of War" and the cozy relationship between the military and the press in 2003 were extremely revealing (The Idaho Observer, October, 2003).
What he had to say this year had to be hard for him because it was so absurd. Maginnis gave us a rundown on four areas of U.S. foreign policy: Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.
Maginnis began with Guantanamo where he had visited June 24, 2005. He acknowledged that the U.S. military really looked bad after the photos depicting U.S. military personnel sexually, psychologically and physically abusing prisoners held at Abu Ghraib were released in April, 2004. He said, though, that the problem was an exception, not the rule and that the U.S. prison camps are really nice. He made the following statements:
1. On Feb. 7, 2003, President Bush announced that al Queda and Taliban "detainees" must be treated humanely.
2. Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 70,000 men and women have been captured in Afghanistan and Iraq and held in detention camps.
3. Since January, 2002, 245 detainees have been transferred or released. Of those released, 12 have returned to the battlefield.
4. 505 detainees are being held at Guantanamo. The U.S. has spent $109 million for new construction at Guantanamo. It costs $95 million a year in operating expenses at Guantanamo.
5. Each detainee’s case is reviewed initially by a tribunal and each year. The DC Court of Appeals upheld that the military commissions in judgment of the detainees are using proper process and are the proper venue for trying captured combatants for "war crimes."
6. The detainees range in age from 19 to 76 years—the oldest was 83. Less than 10 percent have a college degree.
7. In 2004, some 14,000 letters were sent or received by detainees. Though those letters have been redacted for security reasons, Maginnis claims to have seen a few of them containing comments like, "Americans are very kind people...If people say there is mistreatment in Cuba with the detainees, those type speaking are wrong, they treat us like a Muslim, not a detainee."
8. Muslim meals at Camp Delta: Detainees eat three, culturally-appropriate meals a day for a total of 2,600 calories. The average detainee released gained 14 pounds at Guantanamo.
9. The U.S. has discovered that torture does not work well for extracting good intelligence from detainees. So, now most of the interrogators are female because the detainees "treat them like their mothers or their sisters," Maginnis explained.
He went on to say that the female interrogators have even been known to bake cookies for the detainees and give them Twix bars as a means to extract valuable information from them.
10. Maginnis was able to tour a new, state-of-the-art sixth area of the Guantanamo facility. The other five areas Maginnis described as "open air facilities on the beach."
Called "Camp V," the cells in the new area each have a toilet, sink and mirror. Each cell has a place for the Koran and an arrow pointing to Mecca.
11. Closing out the "Gitmo" part of his presentation, Maginnis said, "I saw no evidence of torture" and that the detainees all looked to be in good health and there had been no deaths.
Regarding Iraq, he said 29 nations are in Iraq and, as of August 22, 2005, there were about 82,000 U.S. military personnel in country. There are 67,000 police and 34,000 contractors. He did not believe that the Iraq Constitution was good for the country but that the U.S. post-war presence was good; the people are safer and the infrastructure is being repaired.
On to Afghanistan, Maginnis, who was leaving for Afghanistan after the conference, said that safety and security in the daily lives of Afghanis is improving. Elections were to be held Sept. 18 and, with the help of the "coalition," the country is on its way to standing on its own.
Clearly, over the last several months, the U.S. has been inventing a case to invade Iran. Maginnis upheld the party line by stating that Iran is developing nukes, supports international terrorism and is a nation of human rights violators. The Iranian government is also openly advocating the use of violence against the U.S.
Steve Sneigoski, Ph.D, America:
Not disguising the look of shock on his face, Sneigoski opened by commenting that other nations should be standing in line to be invaded by the U.S. since the prison accommodations are so nice.
"Recipe for perpetual war," was the subject of Sneigoski’s presentation. He explained that the various Muslim factions are antagonistic to one another (not unlike the various Christian factions) but do represent a monolithic threat to the U.S. in a battle of "good v. evil"—the U.S., of course is good and the "terrorist" Muslims are "evil."
There is no quick fix for terrorism since there are over a billion Muslims in the world. This "war" is a war of choice by the U.S. since it could choose to make peace with Islam.
In the process of waging its war on terror, the Bush administration is in perpetual violation of historic international laws and international treaties struck since WWI. Clearly, Sneigoski observed, international law would get in the way of the U.S. "doing the right thing."
The U.S. has been criticized by individuals, nations and international organizations for its failure to observe international law with regard to its aggressive global conduct. The Bush administration’s response is to admit total disregard for international law. "It is a grave mistake to attach any validity to international law," said U.S. Attorney General John Bolton, who added that the U.S. is a nation with a "unique moral authority."
When charged with violating international law, Sneigoski quoted President Bush as saying, "I should call my lawyer."
Sneigoski recalled that international law, in the post-Nuremburg world, recognizes wars of aggression as the most serious crimes nations can commit.
For the U.S. to remain in perpetual and flagrant violation of international law induces others to violate international law, undermining the stability of international order.
As we were conferring in Feldkirch, the Russians and Chinese were wrapping up joint military exercises. The U.S. is directly threatening the interests of China and Russia in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Sneigoski believes that a U.S. attack on Iran will likely lead to a major conflict with China and Russia.
Sneigoski closed with a quote from British Lord Gray from 1914 when, anticipating the carnage of WWI, he predicted that "the lights would go out in Europe." This time, if the conflict Sneigoski sees coming actually begins, the lights will go out all over the world.
Professor Werner Gumpel, Germany:
As a student, Gumpel was arrested in 1950 and imprisoned in a Russian gulag until 1955. Since his release, Gumpel has been a student of Russian and European history and current affairs. He is a marvelous man who speaks about these subjects with humble authority.
I will not go into the complexities of his discussion because they involve descriptions of events that are beyond the scope of this review. The punchline, though, is consistent with numerous other presentations and off-stage discussions: Russia and Asia are mobilizing to defend (or offend) against the U.S.
At this time, former Soviet states in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kazakhistan, Chechneya, Georgia, former Yugoslavia) are in utter chaos as the superpowers grapple for control of the area. It’s strategic relationship to oil and oil transport routes appear to be the most pressing issues between the superpowers.
Z. Ziaei, Iran:
Ziaei is an ambassador from Iran working out of the consulate in Zurich. His was an interesting message—straight from Tehran.
He explained that the U.S. manufactured the Taliban and bin Laden. But, when bin Laden would not do as he was told, he became an enemy of the U.S.
"Unlike Christianity," Ziaei explained, "Islam is not just a religion, it is a form of state." There is no separation of church and state in Islam.
He said Iran supports Hezbollah and other entities willing to fight for Islam against non-Muslims who invade "our" region.
Ziaea said that Jews live with equal rights in Iran but that his country’s disputes with Israel are a different matter. Jews who take up arms against Muslims are the enemy with whom Islam is currently at war.
Then, presenting a softer side of Iran, Ziaea gave an optimistic report on his country’s internal social and political issues, including women’s rights. Ziaea said U.S. claims that Iran is developing nuclear weapons is a "dummy story" to justify a war. He said the "world will see" the truth when U.S. bombs start falling on Iran. He does not believe the U.S. wants to fight a big war—just keep fighting little wars to keep its weapons industries going.
As for bin Laden, Ziaea said that Iran wants bin Laden, too, but that there is not just one bin Laden. "There are lots of bin Ladens, and more are being born every minute. As long as there is injustice in the world, it will be full of bin Ladens," Ziaea said.
As a point of logic, Ziaea asked, If Israel and Pakistan can have nuclear weapons, why can’t Iran? If nukes are launched at Iran, doesn’t Iran have the right to defend itself? He said that Iran has the right to pursue the development of nuclear weapons but claimed that no one is likely to use them because no one will benefit if Arabia is destroyed.
Ziaea closed with an excellent point—that all this fighting is over oil. "There is plenty of oil," he said. If the U.S. would stop wasting oil on war, "there would be plenty of oil for us all."
When questioned about women’s rights, he stated that western women became "free" when they were needed to work. "Why should a woman give up her holy role as wife and mother to work outside the home?" Ziaea responded. He added that Muslims have different ways that should be respected. "We can have dialogue and peace with different values," he said.
Professor Nafeez Nazzal, Palestine:
This Palestinian university-level sociology professor has become an enigma to me. Interpersonally it is hard to tell if we are friends. I prefer to think we are, but then really odd situations arise placing the camaraderie into limbo for periods of time that come to an end for no apparent reason and as if nothing had ever happened. In fact, due to a strange misunderstanding (I think) he said, "do not use any of my stuff in your newspaper."
But, his insight into the ongoing issues between Israel and Palestine are vital to our understanding of the conflict. So, Nafeez, I will not use "any of your stuff," but I will relate the most important points of what you said so that our readers may better understand the plight of your people.
As the conference was being held, Israel was pulling out of the Gaza Strip. The timing of this move seemed to make no sense. Nazzal cleared up the confusion and recent developments indicate the accuracy of his observations.
In a grand gesture to show the world that Israel was doing its part to make peace with the Palestinians, Sharon ordered the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israel claims to no longer occupy Palestine and will no longer have any responsibility in the formerly occupied territories. But, Israel still controls the sea, the borders, airspace and most of the fresh water. In essence, Israel is in greater control of Gaza now and has placed Palestinians into a terrible situation and reserves the right to use military force to preempt or defend Israel from real or perceived threats from Palestinians in Gaza.
(Since returning from the conference, reliable sources have reported that withdrawing Israelis have been destroying buildings and poisoning the land and water in Gaza).
Nafeez indicated that Israel is politically unstable at this time with Natanyahu challenging Sharon, splitting the Likud party. He also said that Palestinian elections will be held Jan. 6, 2006. If Hamas wins a majority, he believes that Israel will take the position that Palestine threatens Israeli national security. By election time, Palestine, which has been literally turned into a concentration camp by the Israeli withdrawal, will be in desperate straights.
Nazzal hopes that the withdrawal is not an Israeli trick, but it is hard to believe otherwise.
Thomas Huber, Germany:
Teacher and security expert, Huber discussed how today’s European children are floating on an ever-changing sea of technological advances, values and cultures. With no connection to their past, culture, roots and knowledge are being left behind. Speaking from a Christian perspective, Huber argued that Europeans without roots and without Christian principles are subject to being blown by the wind in any direction—and that is exactly what is happening.
Bishop Dr. Elmar Fischer, Austria:
As the Bishop of Feldkirch, Dr. Fischer opened the evening session with the observation that peace is the basic need of mankind and the essential, fundamental lesson of the Bible.
Jesus left behind his message of peace. Dr. Fischer eloquently described how the Bible teaches peace, citing several scriptures. He noted that the Bible provides a roadmap for peace but that, sadly, today and in centuries past, the Bible has seldom been used as the instruction manual for peace.
Reiner Rothe, Switzerland:
Without going into detail, Rothe was born into what is now MZE. He has chosen to serve the Adlerian model of social interest as a lawyer. Last year and this, Rothe’s presentation concerned international law, how its universal observance is the foundation of world peace. Conversely, all it takes to destabilize the community of nations is for one country to disregard international law.
By invading Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. was clearly in violation of international law and no one is really protesting the situation. And now, one by one, international laws, agreed upon by most nations after much bloodshed and misery during WWII is no longer the standard of conduct the nations demand of one another. According to Rothe, who is currently writing a book on international law, the world has slid way down the slippery slope and back into the Dark Ages of international relations when resources and imagination were the only limitations upon the atrocities one country would commit against another.
Rothe is also researching the legality of globalization within the context of international law. As he described several globalist elements of free trade and the European Union, he kept asking, "Is it right?" He believes that treaties ratified in the name of the people but damaging to the people can be dissolved by the people.
The key concept that motivates this very smart and very decent man is that for peace to prevail, laws that damage people must be repealed and replaced with laws that promote and protect human rights.
Though not mentioned specifically in his talk, Rothe understands that we must actively engage in activities that strengthen human beings so that they are willing to stand for what is right for themselves and their communities.
Dr. Frederic Walthard, Switzerland:
His points this year, though important and well-spoken, are similar to his 2004 presentation: The trend for bigger governments and bigger corporations where decisions are made at the very top has caused the individual to be lost.
Walthard closed by eloquently and passionately trashing the EU and the EU constitution, which he identifies as an abomination.
Dr. Hans Peter Aubauer, Austria:
"A Just Distribution of Resources the Precondition of Peace," was the on-point title to this impassioned and well-organized presentation. He began by stating that one-fifth of all people consume four-fifths of the natural resources. The rich and powerful western nations pretend to invade resource-laden third world nations to promote freedom when they are really invading to steal resources.
It is correct that peace will never be achieved as long as stronger nations are permitted to exploit weaker nations. Aubauer briefly described his plan to fairly distribute resource wealth through a complex schedule of credits and "equally-proportioned" rights. Aubauer is well-intended and trying to work within recognized administrative models to end the unfair distribution of resources. However, his proposal would require creating a massive bureaucracy to enforce such a scheme—and bureaucracies with such arbitrary power historically and inevitably become corrupt.
"No one has the right to take away, by force, the essential natural resources," said Aubauer.
Hubert Lehle (Germany), Jakob Neyer (Austria), Romauld Schaber (Germany) and Hans Stalder (Switzerland):
These men represent an organization of farmers who oppose globalization and the WTO on grounds that they are assaulting the basic human right to "nutritional sovereignty."
It appears these men have matured since last year when they were calling upon politicians to develop a subsidy scheme to help them compete with multinational agricorps to provide good food to people in their own communities. My guess is they discovered that its the politicians who sold them out in the first place.
Their position is that, unless people have access to good, wholesome food, there can be no peace. The concerns they have—terminator seeds, genetically-modified organisms, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, giant corporations in bed with government regulators—are nearly identical to our concerns.
Schaber commented that the sovereignty of nutrition, the right to have influence over all aspects of food production and consumption, is a basic human right being ignored by global agribusiness.
Stadler explained that they are organizing a real boycott of corporate food. Through electronic networks they have discovered that farmers all over the world are beginning to get the same ideas: To remove the marketers we must remove the marketplace.
These men want to farm, they want to be excellent stewards of their land and provide their communities with wholesome, nutritious food.
Professor Stanislas Bucyalimwe Mararo, Belgium:
Though I like this man very much, his talk was about how Africa’s problems—disease, malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy and genocidal violence—are worsening because the west is not helping. Mararo should be calling for the west to leave Africa alone so it can solve its own problems because all of Africa’s problems continually worsen with every act of western intervention.
Professor Robert Hickson, America:
This time our warrior-poet discussed how the corruption of language leads to the corruption of hearts and minds and is, therefore, a means being used to destroy us.
Hickson is a devout Roman Catholic. He talked about the people of various religions and cultures he has lived among and studied. In those periods he was able to meet people where they live and began to develop deeper understanding and respect for them as individuals—and honor the things they cherish. At this level, Hickson explained, you find that people have a lot in common.
Hickson’s recommendation is to avoid being judgmental of people at the superficial levels of common human interaction and to seek to understand the deeper aspects of those with whom you find conflict. We must ourselves have faith, trust and forgiveness in our hearts to find those virtues in others.
Drs. Elizabeth Nussbaumer, Titine Kriesi and Trudi Sprock, Switzerland:
These three women are psychologists in the Adlerian tradition and proponents of attachment theory. Their personal and professional motivations are to help parents raise psychologically-healthy, socially-interested children.
Nussbaumer opened up with a story of how she noticed that an old lady was standing on a full train while a self-absorbed young boy was sitting down playing his gameboy. Nussbaumer asked the boy if he would give up his seat to allow the old woman to sit down. The boy did not even bother to look up, but his mother piped up and told Nussbaumer to "mind her own business."
Another young man witnessed what had happened and gladly gave up his seat.
Nussbaumer’s point illustrates a common thread running through modern societies: From childhood, people are allowed to grow up isolated and self-absorbed. Peace simply cannot prevail among people whose only concern is for themselves.
In this permissive age, parents, schools and the mass media are failing to convey the importance of values to children, there is an absence of teaching, they are given no direction, no boundaries and they are growing into adulthood with a hollow image of themselves and riddled with insecurities.
Kriesi discussed the importance of attachment, usually with the mother, from birth. She said that if children are attached and the parents demonstrate strict adherence to certain values and principles, they communicate these things to their children who then have the opportunity to internalize them.
We are in a deepening cycle of selfishness and isolation and the adverse affect this is having on societies is evident. We must take it upon ourselves to break the cycle, connect with people, show that we respect them and encourage them to probe the innerworkings of their own beliefs so they may learn to have respect for others.
Sprock talked about Toblerplatz—a school in Zurich (which I have visited) where the students are being taught the 3Rs from an Adlerian approach that is preparing them to be peaceful, compassionate and socially-interested adults.
Note: If you are interested in psychology, locate some books discussing the works of Alfred Adler. Where Freud, for example, had a tendency to poke and prod psychotic people to see how they would react, Adler was interested in how parents and society could raise children to be productive and well-adjusted adults.
Abbot Denis Ndikumana, Barundi:
Peace education in his country of Barundi has been effective and it took a tragedy to illustrate just how effective it has been. About 40 children—white and black—were attending his rural church/school. One morning, soldiers came and spread the word that the whites had better leave or be shot with the blacks. The white children, as young as eight years old, refused to leave and all 40 were massacred.
In his violent, unjust little corner of the world, Father Denis’ efforts are ongoing. He also mentioned that western activities in Africa are not promoting peace in Barundi.
Annette Eros, Germany:
The Eros family was another beacon of hope in an otherwise truly dark world. In 1986, the Eroses and their two children moved to Peshamar, Afghanistan, to help the children there. Eros believes that the will of these people to resist the Soviets for so long led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Eroses were Christian missionaries, but were respectful of Islam and Hinduism and everyone got along because they all had an interest in making the lives of children and families better.
She used PowerPoint to show us photos of starving and injured children. Of the 4,000 known "terrorists" none of them are Afghanis, so she wonders why the U.S. is waging a war there. Eros also pointed out that Afghanistan and Switzerland are similar in that the terrain is so rugged that communities are virtually self-governing because central government is impractical.
The Eros’ activities were funded entirely from private donations. The Taliban was supportive of schools and other relief efforts. We saw photos of the solar-powered schools built for 60,000 euros. Using simple tools and local materials, the people built the schools and are proud of them and they are not destroyed. All the money donated spent wisely (compared to money from the UN and other global charity organizations where millions of dollars and euros are wasted on professional administrators).
Afghanistan has a high birth rate and many schools are needed.
Children, girls especially, are taught to read and write. This is seen as important so women will be educated, give birth to fewer and healthier children and be able to teach them skills necessary to contribute intelligently to public life.
Though the Eroses moved back to Switzerland in 2000, they are still actively helping the Afghani people to build their war-torn nation back up in a sustainable way.
This was a marvelous presentation and Eros received sustained applause.
Renate Hansel, Switzerland:
I am honored to have gotten to know Hansel quite well—partly because she is a translator who speaks excellent English and partly because we have had so many discussions on various topics.
Hansel is a teacher who also voiced the common concern that children are immersed in "techno-toys" that are conditioning them to be selfish, anti-social twerps.
She also noted that people are hurt, starving and living in poor conditions because of war; if war was eliminated, then there would be plenty of resources available for people to enjoy decent lives.
Dr. Roberta Gilbert, America:
An American psychologist, the title of Gilbert’s presentation was "The Power of One." She used examples from history—John Wesley in England and Cotton Mather in Salem, Massachusetts, to prove that the principled stands of single individuals have forced large systems to change.
"Why don’t we just outlaw war? We outlawed cannibalism, why not war," Gilbert said, quoting Karl Meninger.
In another example, she recounted the time when President Bush, an alleged Methodist, refused to meet with 40 Methodist ministers who wanted to talk him out of going to war in Iraq. "What do you do with people like that," is my question as a psychologist.
She used two more examples: A soldier who refused to participate in torturing prisoners held at Guantanamo, bringing the atrocities being committed there into the international spotlight; a citizen in Indiana who took out a meth lab in his neighborhood because the police would not.
There comes a time when we have to stand up and be counted as saying "No."
Professor Laila Nazzal, Palestine:
Teaching peace to children in Palestine is difficult. How does one teach peace in a land that has known only war for decades; a land where men kill other men’s children, impale their little heads on sticks, put lit cigarettes into their mouths and pose to have their pictures taken?
Everything children become they learn from us during their early years. Unless we teach them respect and consideration for others, love, tolerance, forgiveness and the value of trust, faith and friendship as children, we cannot expect them to have these attributes as adults.
Frederick Nahas, MD, America:
While most people are down on today’s youth as a generation of self-absorbed, drug-addicted, socially-retarded slackers, Nahas had a much different outlook and tends to believe that we have been fooled into believing the worst for the youth through misleading of statistics. He cited reasons why he believes SATs are increasing, smoking is down, drug use is down and teen pregnancies are down. However, obesity is becoming a bigger problem as time goes on.
Nahas argues that the older generation has been complaining about the younger generation since ancient Rome. Since we are older and smarter, it is up to us to figure out ways to engage kids and inspire them to use their minds in productive ways.
In this sense, I agree with him: If we have a generation of misguided youth, who is to blame—the youth or the elders who misguided them?
Professor John Rao, America:
This man is extremely insightful. Last year he machine-gunned a lecture on the fraud of "dialogue" because everyone’s opinions are based on beliefs derived from lies and deceptions. This year he described precisely the American psychosis. This was so good, we had to reprint in its entirety (See page 9).
Paddy Doherty, Ireland:
Re-presentation of his talk in Sirnach. I loved hearing him all over again.
Dr. Joe Douglas, America:
The world is run by organized crime. It does not take studies or reports to tell us the obvious, a simple path of logic will prove this fact conclusively.
1. It is estimated that illicit trafficking in vice and contraband is upwards of a $2 trillion a year industry.
2. This much money flows through the international banking system—with the full knowledge and aid of the international bankers.
3. Since international banking is heavily regulated by laws, then the banks are allowed by lawmakers and courts to move the money from organized crime through the international banking system (money laundering is estimated to be a $4 trillion a year business).
4. At the high end of organized crime, international banking, law-making and law-judging, we find the global elite.
"When elites are involved, there is very little crime," long-time intelligence operative and researcher Douglas said.
The implications are huge. The world has become one huge, violent, disease-ridden, war-torn, chemically-poisoned, morally, socially and spiritually bankrupted mess—and at the base of it all is the $trillions generated by organized crime. And what does organized crime do? It merely monopolizes whomever supplies the marketplace demands.
F. William Engdahl, Germany:
The subject of this talk is soon to be published in a book entitled, "The Geo-Politics of Gene-O-Cide."
We will withhold details of this presentation for now, but suffice to say, the people of this world must seek and secure indictments of those involved in developing, producing and promoting genetically-modified (GM) foods on charges of conspiracy to commit genocide.
In the pits of hell on earth, where GM food policies are decided, lie secrets so vile that the premeditated extinction of humankind has been a topic of discussion.
Eliza Moussaeva, Austria:
I could not take my eyes off this beautiful but sad, raven-haired human rights consultant who has recently been in Chechneya. Her voice was choking with emotion as she described life in that country. Moussaeva noted that everyone is familiar with the term "post traumatic stress disorder." Well, Chechneyans suffer from "continuous traumatic stress disorder."
For a decade now, people awaken each day not knowing who will be killed, whose home or school will be destroyed or which mother, father, brother, sister, infant or elder will just vanish. Chechneya is a land of total fear because Chechneya is an internal affairs problem with Russia. "I am tired of that animal fear always inside of me," Moussaeva said.
The daily "cleansing, bombing and torture is totally traumatizing to children," Moussaeva explained.
As explained by Gumpel, the people of eastern Europe and central Asia must live in fear because the region has strategic value to Russia, China and the U.S.
Robert Maginnis, U.S.:
Maginnis confined his presentation to pending war with Iran. He parotted the party line—that the U.S. claims Iran is building the bomb and developing delivery systems, is the most hospitable nation for terrorists and has a poor human rights record.
Maginnis stated that the 25-year "cold war" between the U.S. and Iran began in 1979 when 16 Americans were captured by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
He did not mention the CIA-led coup of 1953, ousting pro-Iran Premiere Muhammed Mossaddegh and replacing him with the previously-exiled pro-western oil corporation Shah Phalavi.
This man continues to amaze me. My personal feeling is that he knows Bush administration activities, both foreign and domestic, are indefensible. But, because of his jobs (war analyst for FOX, consultant and media liaison with the Pentagon) he must always defend it publicly.
Jose Macdonald, Wales:
By the time she spoke, I had spent a lot of time with this lovely, 80-year old anti-GM activist. She has had a very interesting life, including 13 years in Africa as an agriculture college instructor in the service of the British government, then wife and mother of two boys.
After WWII, food was in short supply. Simply breeding for better stock quadrupled crop yields—to better feed the people. GM is different, Macdonald said—profit, not feeding people, is the intent behind GM.
In one case she investigated, 39 genes were being inserted into plants—only four of which were from other plants.
At this time, one cannot expect any crops to be non-GM. As a result, there is no such thing as an "organic" crop in an area where GM crops are grown.
Macdonald said that studies claiming GM crops are safe are scientifically invalid. As proof, an independent study showed that 80 percent of IOWA pigs fed on GM corn were sterile.
Referring to multinational agribussinesses such as Monsanto and Arthur Daniels Midland, Macdonald concluded, "We shouldn’t let those companies anywhere near our food supply."
Dr. Maria Isabel Perez de Pio, Argentina:
Speaking in rapid-fire Spanish, translators had trouble keeping up with this physician. She delivered a PowerPoint presentation showing how the UN, World Health Organization and organized medicine are waging war on the people of South America through vaccines and pharmaceutical drugs. As intensive agribusiness poisons the land and water with chemicals and the people become ill, they are funneled into the medical system where they are treated with more poisons, perpetuating the cycle of sickness, treatment with drugs and eventual death.
Dr. de Pio even mentioned the use of tetanus vaccine to sterilize South American women.
The bottom line to her presentation is that the pharmaceutical industry has moved into Latin America to sicken and depopulate Latin Americans, not improve their health and the viability of future generations—a genocidal agenda similar to the one being implemented in Africa.
Professor Edmund Lengfelder, Germany:
This very decent man has dedicated his life to studying the biological consequences of radiation and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the 20 years of consequences associated with Chernobyl.
The international atomic industry has near total control of information released to the public. As a result, the general consensus is that nuclear power is a safe, cheap and intelligent way to produce peaceful power.
According to Dr. Lengfelder and others who are corporately-neutral scientists, all life on earth is being exposed to increasing levels of radiation and is suffering the consequences.
Note: Dr. Lengfelder is president of a European organization sponsoring "Twenty Years of Living with Chernobyl: Experiences and Lessons for the Future"—a conference scheduled for March 9-12, 2006, in Feldkirch, Austria. If you are interested in the subject of Chernobyl, go to www.chernobyl.info. Information for attending the conference is also available at that website.
Professor Hans Ulrich Walder-Richli, Switzerland:
The Swiss army is, in many ways, the model for how armies should be used—to prevent war and maintain peace. Historically, unprepared nations are subject to invasion and must either accept occupation or fight for years to oust the invaders. Switzerland, on the other hand, has enjoyed relative security for 170 years because of its tradition of "armed neutrality."
The Swiss army has three tasks: Prevent war, maintain peace and provide internal security when needed. The Swiss army prevents war by providing a disincentive to potential invaders and promotes peace because it will never be called into an aggressive war outside Switzerland.
Alain Bournazel, France:
Most of us heard that, on May 29, 2005, France put acceptance of the EU Constitution to a popular vote and the French people voted to reject it. Bournazel explained the years of activism preceding the "no" vote.
First of all, for the question to come to a vote required a massive, nationwide effort to raise the issue to a level where people demanded a vote. When the campaign began about three years ago, Bournazel estimates that 40 percent were opposed to the EU.
Once Bournazel and his group had accomplished getting the EU question on the ballot, they had to convince a majority to vote against it.
The group organized public meetings, wrote articles and letters for newspapers and got on the radio and television whenever possible. And, much to my own personal satisfaction, they produced a special-edition newspaper that laid out the entire argument in easy-to-understand language and distributed tens of thousands of copies all over France (Note: The subject of my presentation in 2003 was the strategic advantages of artful pamphleteering—it was so rewarding to discover that someone actually listened AND successfully applied my recommendations to such a huge issue).
The final vote came in at 54 percent opposed. The defeat was a major blow to the EU because all member nations must ratify the Constitution before it can be adopted. Two weeks later, Holland rejected the EU Constitution with a 60 percent "no" vote.
Jurgen Rose, Florian Pfaff, Germany:
I was on this panel and sat to the immediate left of Pfaff. When he and Rose were finished, I shook this courageous and principled man’s hand.
Rose, a lieutenant in the German army, explained that the German military has been in scandal since being deployed to Afghanistan about a year ago. German military personnel have reportedly been used to fight drug-related targets and special forces have formed assassination squads. Rose said that, if true, the German military has devolved to being a cadre of murderous thugs.
Rose recounted various clauses in the UN Charter, German Constitution, international laws and treaties and military codes of conduct that prohibit Germany from being involved in wars of aggression. But there are no provisions to punish such acts. It would appear that it is illegal to think or prepare for an aggressive war, but perfectly legal to wage one.
Pfaff was demoted from major to captain after undergoing a psychological evaluation for his refusal to fight or order his men to fight an illegal war. He quoted a line from a Prussian military leader who engaged in the act of "courageous insubordination": "The king made you a commanding officer to know when not to obey an order."
As he was going through the process of standing against the use of German forces for aggressive wars (Yugloslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq), Pfaff wondered how German leadership justifies using its military in an obviously illegal manner. At one point his question was answered: He was told by superiors that Germany must cease being a defensive military and take on active roles in wars of aggression.
Pfaff has some support within the German army, but many want his career to end. He would like to regain his rank as major and go on to be a general, but only in the correct "Bundasfehr" with a lawful mission. Indeed, said Pfaff, this is the obligation of every citizen-soldier.
Kevin Tighe, Don Harkins, America:
Our presentation went well and, as usual, we dropped a rather big bomb on the audience: It is useless to talk about the possibilities of world peace when every single one of us perpetuates world war by our daily actions and purchases. A draft of our presentation was published on pages 8-9 in the August edition of The IO. The final version was much tighter, but minimized the main point, which was poking fun at the central irony of a conference theme about world peace: In order to achieve world peace, people must begin doing nothing immediately. It cannot get much simpler than that, but it requires admitting that we committed multiple acts of war by using credit cards to buy plane tickets, restaurant food and hotel rooms just to spend a few minutes talking about peace.
We decided against belaboring that point because it was not the time or the place to satirize our contemporary human condition.
Peter Bachmeier, Bulgaria:
Bachmeier discussed how modern forms of colonialism are destroying the rooted cultures of Bulgaria. Social and economic conditions in his country have not improved measurably since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. The nation is mired in drugs, crime, violence—the type of culture-destroying environment organized criminals love. Bulgaria is in the same hopelessly dysfunctional situation experienced by all of the former Soviet bloc states. The pattern is so consistent, one has to wonder if the Soviet Union actually collapsed or merely shed its government facade to function more honestly as a ruthless and subversive crime syndicate.
F. Chebeya, Congo:
Since 1998, millions of Congolese have been murdered and the country is awash in fear, violence, poverty, sickness—and it is all to keep the people perpetually occupied in misery to facilitate the western exploitation of natural resources.
At this time, there are six armies on the loose raping and murdering. The national army is controlled by political forces that have no desire to hold elections and are themselves murderous criminals who have western support. Human rights are not observed or protected and, though a new constitution is about to be ratified and a new court has been established in the Congo, both pretenses for law and order are expected to support the status quo—the continued rape and murder of the Congolese people.
Jana Hodurova, Czech Republic:
Hodurova is a member of the Berta vonSuttner Society, a group dedicated to peace education, so named in memory of the Austrian Baronness who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905 for her work to promote peace in pre-WWI Europe.
Hodurova explained that her group is ongoing with peace education projects in schools and believes that their work will turn things around in the Czech Republic—which is facing the same social, political and economic challenges experienced in all former Soviet states. She echoes a common theme: Educated, self-confident and compassionate people who believe in themselves are the strength of a nation and must put themselves out as models for others so they may internalize those noble attributes for themselves.
Jens Loewe, Germany:
Water will be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th. There is no man on the planet more aware of this fact than Loewe—and there is no one man more passionately dedicated to sounding the alarm.
But he is not a "sky-is-falling," alarmist, he is extremely knowledgeable about the history of water, current supplies of water in every region of the world and how power players are maneuvering earnestly at this moment to position themselves for control of the last frontier of mineral exploitation left on earth: Deposits of clean water.
In tsunami-ravaged Indonesia the water-delivery system was seriously damaged. Corporations are promising to repair the damage and the laws are changing quickly to help pave the way for the corporate ownership of Indonesian water.
Bolivia is another resource-rich nation of impoverished people. Water is just one of the abundant resources being exploited by corporate interests. Loewe suggested that all nations should maintain public control of resources, such as water, that are critical to life.
At the World Social Forum, a conference where people gather to discuss the negative impact that globalization is having on people and environments, water privatization and exploitation has been a high priority issue. Loewe sees how the Rockefeller Foundation and corporate representatives are making it "appear" as if they are helping to protect water quality and provide excellent water management services. However, this is merely public relations. Their real power comes from the backroom deals they make with the leaders of nations.
Loewe observed that the laws of all nations currently benefit the elite and stated what should be obvious to all of us by now: "We are at the stage where states must be dissolved so that their laws can be erased."
I was not exaggerating this man’s passion for his work. But it does not stop there. He is passionate about his life, his young family and justice. He is a power of one: If he wants the world to change then it is his responsibility to change it. "We have the right and the obligation to amend laws to benefit people. If we don’t exercise that right..." he trailed off, allowing the audience to finish his thought in their own minds.
Loewe’s last comment was a reflection of my own core belief system—that everything happens for a reason and all experiences are lessons from which to gain strength. Paraphrasing, he said, "Bad things in the world have a good side—they challenge us to get out there and make a difference."
Dr. Zoltan Adorjan, Slovakia:
Since we are all exhausted by now, Adorjan, a very decent man, offered to outline his paper to save time. Not to diminish Adorjan’s knowledgeable perspective, he described the circumstances in Slovakia as similar to those of other former Soviet-bloc states.
I had no idea that so many European, Asian and Arabic people from so many countries are living in anarchies driven by ruthless, organized criminals. Had I not met these ambassadors with first-hand knowledge, the magnitude of the problem—the total disregard for people and environments—would still escape me. We are just beginning to feel in America the nightmare most of the world’s people have been living for a long time.
If I have done my job here, we should all be appalled at the conditions into which our world has fallen. We should also be encouraged by the actions of many of the people who speak at this conference each year. I personally find my own will to stand up against the machine reinforced by these good people and being a part of this conference helps me to realize there is hope: From every nation, from every religion and from every race there are people who think like we do.
This cannot be by accident. I think that God more or less sprinkled us all over the Earth and has challenged us to stand reverent and strong in the face of a compelling adversary. I think He has also challenged us to figure out how to reach others so that they stand up with us in strength—not shrink away in fear; not continue pretending that everything is fine
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