Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Re: Another aspect of the problematic
In my previous response I overlooked the ethics of a preemptive strike,
which really was the main point in your correspondence with Joe
Ransdell. I like to respond to it on two different fronts. (02)
1. From your correspondence: This prohibition [of a preemptive attack]
was incorporated into the United Nations Charter as the basis for a new
system of collective security in which no state retained the unilateral
right to attack another-with two specified exceptions: self defense and
Security Council authorization. (03)
The charter of the U.N. is the outcome of a lot of wrangling. Its making
became possible by certain accomodations to national interests as seen
at the time. Most prominent among these is the veto right in the
Security Council held by four nations victorious in WW II plus China.
What I am saying here is that it is a sort of legal document more than
it is of a moral or ethical document. (04)
By the above I am not arguing against the legitimacy of a preemptive
strike, I am merely taking it off its moral throne - while bearing in
mind that we need to move on from U.N. to world governance where the
world-governing body does the policing instead of a member nation. (05)
2. Laws, principles, paradigms: These are or provide rules for conduct
without us needing to think about everything in great detail. They
provide the reflex mechanism of the body public serving much the same
way as our physiological reflex mechanisms do. (06)
We perceive these laws, principles and paradigms as rooted in some way
in religious or moral truths. So far, so good. But whatever our
religious and moral truths are, they are approximations propounded by
authorities, be they prophets or philosophers. (07)
I like to present here the parable of Dalton's Hypothesis. Dalton's
Hypothesis also is a truth, a truth as John Dalton saw it way back in
the early eighties. Dalton's Hypothesis is so profound that the late
Carl Sagan said that if there were only one scientific principle to be
saved for a new humanity after a global holocaust, that would be it.
And, indeed, Dalton's has served us well and is still serving us well;
yet most of it is not quite correct. Atoms are not indivisible. Atoms of
a given element do not all have the same mass. And such an immediate
conclusion as made by Dalton that a molecule of water consists of one
hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom gets you a failing grade in college. (08)
Dalton's Hypothesis is an approximation, the understanding of which got
later refined as scientists learned more about substances. Laws,
principles, paradigms, too, ought be seen as approximations to be
refined as we learn more. (09)
In my own mind, on balance, I think the action undertaken by the U.S. in
Iraq was the right thing to do although not necessarily for all the
right reasons. I may well be wrong in thinking this way. And insofar it
conflicts with the U.N.'s rule against preemptive attack, time has come
to take a harder look at that rule. Like Dalton's Hypothesis, it may
serve us well, but calls for continual refinement if we wish to make
progress in trying to build a better global society. (011)
On Tue, 2003-03-25 at 23:38, Gary Richmond wrote:
> You asked:
> >JR: Does any of this make any sense to you, Gary? I fear I may just be raving
> >on at this point.
> It all makes sense, Joe. Your personal experience strengthens your
> argument (the "Father Bush" one especially). Your method also seems
> quite plausible
> (==don't let them convince us they're invincible) Joe, you are right on
> Thank you for being so bold as to have commented as you have below
> (yes, some may find your conjectures re: Bushes jr and Sr hard to swallow,
> but I must say that I came to the same conclusion you did re: Bush and Ross
> Perot--so that, again, your credibility--at least for me--rises).
> This is a time for men and women to be, well yes, reasonable and respectful;
> but also courageous (as, btw, Henry van Eyken is showing himself to be
> on the unrev
> Warm regards,
> Joseph Ransdell wrote:
> >I agree with you completely, Gary. What you describe below is exactly what
> >is happening. The question is both what to anticipate happening in the
> >future in virtue of this, and what to do that might conceivably be helpful.
> >We can figure out in a general way where the people in control of things are
> >headed because they are actually out in front about it, apparently with
> >little tendency to worry about the need to keep it secret at the level of
> >the overall plan. We should not assume, though, that things will actually
> >go as they think they will go. There is a cabal at the basis of this -- let
> >us just assume that for the moment without going into detail on it yet --
> >and one of their most basic and crucially important tactics is to convince
> >us of their invincibility. We don't want to buy into that. They are
> >vulnerable and as much at the mercy of chance as anybody else is. Their
> >success will not be achieved because the general plan is flawlessly thought
> >through -- no such grandiose plan can be flawlessly thought through and
> >their grand plan is actually as much a weakness of theirs as a controlling
> >cabal as it is a strength since it makes them predictable -- but because
> >they are supple enough at the times and places where the unexpected occurs
> >to be able to turn it to their advantage. They are not unopposed by any
> >means, but it is not immediately apparent just who the more important ones
> >are, as far as they are concerned, in order to be able to figure out what
> >the situation really is at any given time. The clue to figuring that out is
> >see who they are attacking with use of their character assassins like, say,
> >Limbaugh and other such intellectual thugs. Who are they expending their
> >energy on?
> >I think the starting point in understanding the cabal is with father George,
> >who is the real president now just as before. Have you noticed how
> >uncannily quiet everyone is about father George, just as if he doesn't
> >exist? He exists, and any way you look at it it must be him who has been
> >providing the necessary unifying and commanding power that has taken them as
> >far as they have been able to go. The theoretical intellects are important
> >but their is an executive intellect behind this or it wouldn't be as
> >successful as it has been thus far, and I can't figure anybody for that
> >position other than George the elder. Young George is nothing. It is a
> >mistake to think of him as responsible, not because he is innocent of the
> >crimes being committed but because he simply is not mentally capable of
> >providing the leadership required. He is just a front for the cabal, the
> >direction and sustained leadership of which must be daddy George. He
> >should be openly regarded as the stooge he is rather than being responded to
> >as if he is of some importance. The key to undermining this thing lies, I
> >suggest, in exposing George the elder to public scrutiny. It is not easy to
> >see how this can be done, but that is what we should be trying to figure
> >out, namely, how to make it understood publicly that George the elder exists
> >and is manipulating everybody, including George the younger.
> >The one thing that won't work is just to state a reasoned case for the
> >conclusion that there is this sustained manipulation that has been going on
> >from the time of his presidency, with beginnings going back at least as far
> >as his appointment to head of the CIA by NIxon. This is true, but you can
> >make the most plausible and seemingly obvious case you like and it won't do
> >a bit of good. You will just be identified as a crank whom no one should
> >pay any attention to. The problem is to make people see the obvious, and I
> >don't know how that is to be done.
> >I learned about how politics actually works from a master politician who was
> >a colleague of mine when I was on the tenure track at the U of California at
> >Santa Barbara from 1965 through 1973. He is dead now. His name was Harry
> >Girvetz, and I used to think of him as Arthur Schlesinger West. Harry
> >was -- in his own mind -- a Deweyan liberal of a type which was fairly
> >prevalent at that time, owing to some flaw in Dewey's political philosophy,
> >as it could not be an accident that there were so many liberals like Harry
> >then: devout pragmatists, supposedly, who were actually functioning as
> >instruments used by the rightwingers like Reagan to do much of their dirty
> >work, hoist somehow by their own petard. Harry was the leader of a cabal
> >which ran the entire U of California university system (Berkeley, UCLA, and
> >seven other lesser campuses) during that period. He died within a couple
> >of years after the time that I left, and my guess is that John Searle is the
> >guy who took Harry's place as the head of the ruling liberal cabal.
> >Don't misunderstand me. I am not a rightwinger full of animosity toward
> >liberals. I regard myself as a liberal in some fundamental sense of that
> >term. But liberalism was killed by the corruption of liberals like Harry
> >(and Searle), in my opinion . In any case, my point is that although Harrry
> >was manipulating the university like a puppet master, shaping it in
> >accordance with the aims of his supposed arch-opponent, Reagan, and I was in
> >position to expose him with definitive documentation, it was in fact quite
> >impossible to do so because people simply were not going to pay any
> >attention to it and would have written me off as a paranoid crank. So also
> >with exposing the Bush cabal for what it is. No matter how strong the case,
> >people will not pay the slightest attention to any straightforward
> >presentation of the truth of the situation and silence you throug\. Yet
> >the power of such cabals -- which are the real driving agents of politics --
> >depends on people not realizing that they are being manipulated in this way.
> >So you can jump up, with proof in hand, and point out that it is all just a
> >puppet show with Father George as the puppet master, and it won't do you a
> >bit of good because when they see your pointing finger they will not look at
> >what you are pointing it TO but see it rather as your finger, functioning
> >evidentially of your own supposed paranoia! The people that run the world
> >in that way, to the extent that anybody really does do that, realize all
> >that and do not live in fear of being exposed because they know that all
> >they have to do is to point their calumny machine in the direction of the
> >person(s) doing the expose and wipe them out as credible public figures.
> >That is what George Bush the elder did to Ross Perot, by the way.
> >Does any of this make any sense to you, Gary? I fear I may just be raving
> >on at this point.
> > they will just are not in the least intimidated by
> >such a thing , meaning by that to identify him as the West Coast's main
> > and may ultimately turn out to be the best asset we have
> >One can trace this back to the time when he realized that Reagan
> > that is to figure out who they are attacking via their operatives, like,
> >say, Limbaugh and other such thugs. people who have their real enemies
> >and the first thing to figure out is who they are
> > and
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Gary Richmond" <email@example.com>
> >To: "Joseph Ransdell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 5:32 PM
> >Subject: Another aspect of the problematic
> >THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Roger Normand and Jan Goodwin A
> >shorter version of this article is availabe online at
> >We are in the midst of a new American revolution. The task at hand
> >according to the Pentagon's own official documents, is nothing less than
> >establishing "full spectrum dominance" of a "unipolar world."
> >To accomplish this goal requires a radical transformation not just of
> >American foreign policy but of domestic policy as well-by loosening the
> >constraints of well-established laws at home and abroad. Dick Cheney has
> >told us that "we can no longer operate under 20th century standards"
> >given that the war against
> >terrorism "may never end, at least not in our lifetime."
> >The revolution is already well underway. War in Iraq marks the next
> >phase in this process of transformation.
> >Under the new Bush Doctrine, a bold military strategy of so-called
> >preemptive attack-including the possibility of unilateral nuclear first
> >strike- is intended to prevent any state or group of states from
> >challenging our preeminent role in the world. As President Bush told the
> >graduating class at West Point Military Academy last year: "America has,
> >and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenges."
> >Preemptive attack, however, is an Orwellian term for illegal invasion.
> >As far back as 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal rejected Germany's argument
> >of the necessity for preemptive war against Norway and Denmark, judging
> >it: "the supreme international crime differing only from other war
> >crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the
> >This prohibition was incorporated into the United Nations Charter as the
> >basis for a new system of collective security in which no state retained
> >the unilateral right to attack another-with two specified exceptions:
> >self defense and Security Council authorization.
> >In self-defense, states may retaliate against an armed attack or the
> >imminent threat of one. But only if, in the words of Daniel Webster, an
> >earlier Secretary of State, the threat is "instant, overwhelming,
> >leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation." The Bush
> >Administration never provided a shred of substantiated evidence that
> >Iraq either participated in the attacks of 9/11, or had the means and
> >intention to launch an imminent attack against the U.S.
> >The Security Council may, as a last resort, authorize force outside of
> >self-defense when necessary to maintain international peace and
> >security. But only after all peaceful alternatives have been
> >exhausted-clearly not the case
> >in Iraq with the UNMOVIC weapons inspectors literally begging for more time.
> >U.S. double standards were exposed for the world to see during the
> >bungled effort to squeeze a second resolution out of the Security
> >Council. Having first derided the U.N. as "irrelevant" and then failed
> >to sway even Guinea and Angola to the cause of war, the White House has
> >now been forced into the ironic position of justifying the legality of a
> >war opposed by the Security Council as
> >a whole by invoking a 12-year old Security Council resolution.
> >The untenable contradiction between U.S. policy and international law
> >arises because the revolutionaries in Washington are more concerned with
> >the unrestrained projection of American military power than with
> >disarmament, democracy or human rights.
> >This agenda is often misunderstood as a direct response to 9/11. But
> >Bush strategists have been writing for more than a decade about the need
> >to remove Saddam Hussein-despite the U.S. having armed and supported him
> >for years. Their openly articulated goal is to reshape the Middle East
> >to better serve American geopolitical interests.
> >Even Americans unconcerned by naked imperialism should consider whether
> >this radical new strategy is good for our country. In a world bristling
> >with fearsome weapons, what is the likely outcome of dismantling the
> >legal framework designed half a century ago to protect humanity from the
> >carnage of unlimited force? Can pure military might really defend us
> >from evil and secure our freedom at the same time?
> >While loudly predicting swift military victory, our own leaders are also
> >quietly preparing us to lose the peace. We have been told by the White
> >House and the CIA itself to prepare for increased anti-American
> >terrorism at home and abroad, as war in Iraq incites extremist reactions
> >around the globe, not just in the Arab world. This can only mean one
> >thing: we will be even less safe after the war than we are now.
> >Consider, too, how other countries will exploit the U.S. example.
> >Repressive governments the world over have already increased human
> >rights abuses against their own brand of home-grown "terrorists"-usually
> >anyone opposing their policies. Simmering tensions in nuclear
> >flashpoints like India-Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, and China-Taiwan
> >could easily and quickly escalate beyond control. Taken to its
> >logical-though never inevitable-conclusion, the absence
> >of law will lead to the absence of peace and human rights altogether.
> >The revolution is underway at home as well. In just two years the Bush
> >Administration has turned a $400 billion plus surplus into a $300
> >billion plus deficit-without yet allocating a penny to war and
> >occupation in Iraq or to reconstruction in Afghanistan (remember that
> >country we were repeatedly told would never again be forgotten and
> >abandoned?). Americans are suffering through a painful recession,
> >buffeted by waves of corporate crime and mass lay-offs, facing increased
> >poverty and unemployment. In the face of these dire economic
> >conditions, the White House has rammed tax "reform" legislation and
> >increased military-security budget allocations through a compliant
> >Congress to achieve a massive upwards redistribution of wealth undreamed
> >of even in the Reagan years.
> >Our Constitution is also under attack. Since 9/11 our civil liberties
> >have been significantly eroded in the name of protecting our freedom.
> >At some point after the invasion of Iraq, John Ashcroft's Justice
> >Department will present to Congress secretly-drafted legislation, the
> >Patriot Act II, which further limits fundamental and long-cherished
> >American principles of free speech and due process. Mr. Ashcroft has
> >even condemned lawful dissent as "aiding and abetting
> >terrorism"-raising the specter of criminalizing opposition to government
> >The practice of racial profiling-generally abhorred in American
> >society-has become institutionalized through mass detentions and special
> >registration procedures. American citizens can now be subject to
> >indefinite detention without trial. Our government has gone so far as
> >to justify and even practice torture-for God and Democracy, or course.
> >The bottom line is this: we face a carefully planned preemptive attack
> >against our most basic rights-Constitutional rights and human rights.
> >There is a pitiless logic at play that must at some point be confronted:
> >imposing American Empire abroad requires building Fortress America at
> >home. The two cannot be separated.
> >What lies ahead in the unfolding revolution? When and where will this
> >"endless war" finally end?
> >With U.S. troops engaged in battle, Americans will pray for their safety
> >and-for a time-also rally round the government. But before it is too
> >late, we would do well to heed Sir Thomas More's advice to Will Roper,
> >his protégé turned vigilante, in the play "A Man for All Seasons."
> >And when the last law was cut down and the devil turned around on you,
> >where would you hide, the laws all being flat? Do you really think
> >that you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
> >Americans of all political opinion have the right to speak and act
> >freely in opposition to Washington's revolutionary program-without being
> >treated as terrorists by our own government. This is, after all, still
> >our country. And if we truly love our homeland, we must take it back.