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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq war’

I think political opponents and their deaths are the opposite of what Wilde had to say about relative’s deaths

“Relations are simply a tedious pack of people who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.” – Oscar Wilde

Whereas, political opponents can always be depended upon to know how to live & when to die very timely deaths.

I mean just when George Bush’s popularity ratings are on a downward swing you have 9/11 & the Iraq war as Weapons of Mass Distraction to help the king of the White House climb up the popularity ladder. And then again as American death counts mount (I mean we all know Iraqi, non-white deaths don’t matter like in the words of General Tommy Franks “We don’t do body counts”) and the mood in America chills, we have the capture of Saddam Hussien — to help stem that flood of criticism about the oil rat pack that was scourging the Iraqi countryside.  And then some more months down the line, when it seemed Uncle Sam’s love for Halliburton, Veritas Capital, Washington Group & Environmental Chemical was hitting too many headlines, we have the hanging of Saddam Hussein.

But then wars serve very useful purposes. Apart from ensuring that a lot of private companies profit from “Wars of Terror” & “Axises of Evil” they also help the politicians — the companies backed to power — soar heights of popular adulation from well-meaning, but misguidedly patriotic citizens.

In India, we played the same Blame Game – Game, Set & Match!!! Feb 1999 – Pakistan begins occupying posts on the Indian side of the LOC. Elsewhere in the country, the AIADMK withdraws support to the NDA government tottering on the brinks of hell. And just when things seem to be going really bad, we employ our own “Weapons of Mass Distraction” and have the brainwave to “Attack Pakistan” as late as July. Never mind, that no had given a damn about Pak for all those months they had happily been occupying India’s LOC posts. Our politicos can be trusted to fall on the time-worn game of “Blame Pakistan” for everything going wrong in India. If one doesn’t watch out we’d soon have a uber-sober Vijaykanth blaming Pakistan for the Cauvery issue or maybe Rajinikanth blaming Pakistan for the non-take-off of his pet inter-linking-rivers theory.

Even the announcement of LTTE Prabhakaran’s death in a way seemed well-timed (May 13, 2009-Last phase of elections; May 16-results; May 18-announcement) – almost as if someone had orchestrated the safe completion of the election process in India; almost as if someone had feared the drastic effects of Prabhakaran’s death on the pollscape of Tamil Nadu (the strain on DMK-Congress ties, Jaya’s electoral advantage).

And now with Osama Bin Laden,

The Independent reports:

“The successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden will give a much-needed boost to President Barack Obama’s flagging popularity ratings. The world leader, who stressed his personal involvement in the events leading to bin Laden’s death, has seen his popularity with US voters fall significantly since his election to the presidency in November 2008.News of bin Laden’s end came little more than a month after a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that only 17% of Americans regarded President Obama as a strong military leader.”

Need I say more?

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Coming from an ultra-Christian family, I found my views would often come into direct conflict with everyone I interacted.

Even now as an atheist, I still have to rethink my attitude, prejudices and discontent that 21 years of religion taught me (I’m now 23). A religion, that I once believed….A religion I tried hard to follow, as I was brought up in the faith that one day I would have to become a Christian missionary.

When I was a kid, I remember reading the Bible and asking “How Cain got his wife? How did Noah keep his ark clean, if he didn’t open doors when there were animals that shit? How did Balaam’s ass speak? Can Achu (my dog) speak?”

You can be sure, I didn’t get answers which satisfied me.

Being a dog-lover, my bitterest moment came when my grandmother told me, “Animals don’t go to heaven.” Since my church pastors also felt that way, I was inconsolable.

My first reading of the sexual act did not come from the TV or magazines, but from the Bible. The short accounts of rape, incest and violence was in a way an eye-opener.

And also as a kid, I was taught in school that there were no caste; Everyone is equal. Even my mother taught me Mahakavi Bharathiar’s songs and instilled in me the belief that all human beings are equal. The same person and a host of other relatives, however, opposed my decision to love a Hindu 10 years later. If discriminating against a Dalit Christian is bad, How come discriminating against a person (my hubby’s also an atheist) just because he was born a Hindu is ok?

As a kid, the Bible was the gospel truth to me. So I was shocked when I read in the Bible that the punishment for a slave was death, while the punishment for a free man was an “eye for an eye; and a tooth for a tooth.” First and foremost I was shocked because the slavery system was being upheld in the Bible and secondly because there was discrimination even when it came to punishments.

I used to wonder at the preaching that non-Christians go to hell. I couldn’t believe that my best friends and the larger population of India was going to hell. And secondly many Christian pastors preach that Hindu gods are demons. Now some Hindu mythological stories are not exemplary, but there were other really nice ones I read in Tamil literature. I used to like Karnan a lot, from the accounts I read of him in Bharathiar’s Panchali Sapatham.

I used to ask, “If you say the stone idols have no life as they are created by human hands, when did devils and demons take possession of them?”

When I asked questions in school and college, I was encouraged to do so. Science was in many ways a comfort as facts were facts. They were not going to change because a different pastor took over in church. I used to score high marks in Maths and badly in religious studies only because of this…Questions were discouraged in Sunday school, Vacation Bible school and in church.

Many Christians support Israel in the Israel-Palestine war. They feel they have to support the atrocities of Israel, because the Jews are God’s chosen people and because Jerusalem should belong to Jews or Christians not Muslims (I’m not anti-semitism, but anti-war and anti-religious hegemony). I felt as most secular Indians do

  • that Palestine should belong to the Palestinians and not to Israel, backed by the imperialist US
  • that the US’s motives were purely mercenary in getting the Jews to occupy their native land after more than 2000 years through military aggression
  • that India’s condemnation of the US and Israel militant tactics in this issue was correct
  • that Palestinians were the underdogs not the Israelites

I also found myself in strong opposition to the church’s stand when it came to the Iraq war. I felt betrayed that no one in the Church was condemning the US. Instead many wholeheartedly supported George.W.Bush, because he claimed he was a Christian, because he was anti-abortion, anti-homosexuals, anti-gay rights and pro-war.

After the Gujarat pogroms, I expected Christians to come out in support of Muslims and condemn the state sponsored genocide in Gujarat. But No! The Christians in Tamil Nadu were more interested in protesting against the anti-conversion law. I felt they should not demand for justice, when they didn’t want justice for all minorities in India.

I have heard many Christians say horrible things like “All Muslims are terrorists.” How are they different from the RSS, Sangh Parivar and Bajrang Dal, whom they oppose?

With regard to women also, the Bible fares poorly. I found the verses “wives should submit to their husbands, women are the weaker vessel, they must be protected, women should obey their husbands, women must not speak in church,” in direct contradiction to what my secular school taught me; “that women were equal to men, women can work in all profession, women are not weak; there are trained women commandos, women army cadets, women doctors, women astronauts and women writers.”

It was the Iraq war, which came as the lat straw. I was around 16 at that time and I got fed up of the church and its hypocrisies. But it took me five more years to completely get out of the lies that religion taught me.

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An RSS cadre on Gandhi:“He was a very cruel person for the Hindus”

The RSS cadre on Gandhi: “We did not want this person to live….We did not want this person to die a natural death, even if 10 lives were to be lost in this purpose”

Guessed who, the RSS man was? None other than Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the assasin of Mahatma Gandhi.

K. S. Sudarshan, sarsanghachalak of RSS, on avatars: “Every civilisation goes through the natural cycle of rise and fall and we are currently in the grip of a decline. Just like in the Mahabharata, I have to play the role of Krishna in the kali yuga.”

The smart aleck: “Forget me, the atheist. I don’t think that comment would go down too well with the theists either.”

K. S. Sudarshan on the Pope Benedict XVI and George Bush nexus: “Pope Benedict XVI and George Bush are conspiring to turn India into a Christian nation. Mr Bush knows that at the touch of a mouse, who is to be converted.”

The smart aleck: We have a feeling the CIA’s tracking everyone – it has no business to be tracking – illegally, apart from the poor, misguided, evangelistic, Christian minority missionaries. As to Interpol’s tracking down of non-entities in India, one can’t be too sure.

K. S. Sudarshan on how the CIA will go about it: “American Intelligence is seeking to convert India to Christianity with the help of non-governmental organizations. The CIA wants to have one Christian church in every post office area. To attain this end, the American President Bush allocated 20 billion dollars. So NGOs started to build schools, hospitals and public infrastructure only to veer the rural people away from their Hindu moorings. Missionaries are also involved in this plan, because they mislead tribals when they say we invaded their land.”

The smart aleck: I doubt anyone can forcibly get converted to Christianity. But I have seen a few persons, who have become pastors, for pure monetary reasons; for some poverty drove them; for others it was greed. We must also accept that none of the independent (protestant) pastors protested against the Gujarat riots, the Iraq war or Israeli atrocities in Palestine, when they could protest and conduct rallies against the anti-conversion law in TN and the Graham Steines incident. Just like the US Army has the feeling that only American deaths count, some Christians here also have the mentality that only atrocities against Christians count. So the accusation of the hard-line RSS is to a small extent true, in that, independent pastors are very faithful to their US masters or funding agents.

K. S. Sudarshan’s counter for Bush’s agenda: “I will spread Hindu spirituality in America.”

K. S. Sudarshan’s on the BJP poster-boys or BJP poster-grand dads: Atal and Advani should step aside. We don’t consider anyone Atalji’s successor.                                                       

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TV Channels: Twisting The ScripturesBy ————–D.R. Chitra(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/journalismonline/post?postID=EWqc0kDZEnKSK_UfhDwObSfP7D4JwEqsAIeWgsgYdl0MIdLKZS3vppEIADQ5LZ3XLq4KgP6NTV_k9VuLERzH)

Anti-Christian broadcasting networks are exactly what GOD TV and CBN are though they claim to be otherwise. Both these channels have extensive networks in all the five continents. GOD TV has its base inBritain, and CBN is an American channel.

Though they may disagree onvarious issues (divorce, PMS, Human GM), they all managed to reach a consensus on the Iraq war. CBN’s mascot during the war was undoubtedly George. W. Bush Jr.
Evenafter the ‘45 minute claim‘ and the ‘uranium import‘ were proved to be false, the 700 Club still did a show on how well Bush can get along with Christians of all denominations. You had commanders-in-chief testifying to his bravery (by staying in the Home Guard), pastors commending him for making Texas crime-free (by the simple means of sending the maximum number of people to the electric chair)… You even had snapshots of the President, the Security Adviser and many of his close aides kneeling down for prayer at the White House.
God TV, not to be left behind, came up with a Tony Blair special, in which we see Blair holding the Bible at a public meet, after the invasion, proudly declaring, “I am ready to meet my Maker today.”The very same week, there was another programme on the Axis of Evil. Even now if you visit the 700 Club official website, you can read so much on the Saddam Hussein-Charles Taylor-Osama bin Laden link, North Korea‘s nuclear programme, the Talibans in Afghanistan, that one wonders if they shape the American Foreign Policy and issue the White House Press handouts.
CBN’s coverage of the war began with Bush proclaiming “I AM A WAR PRESIDENT” and studio people shouting ‘halleluiah‘ and ‘praise theLord’. CBN also used footage of CNN’s ‘Freedom Iraq’ for its news special. Though only 20-25% of the programmes are politically oriented, they serve very well as ‘Weapons of Mass Distraction’.
Andrew Wommack (GOD TV — Gospel Truth) has the constant refrain “We are waging a Holy War.” This one line pretty much sums up theideology of most preachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, Graham Junior (Billy Graham‘s son). Benny Hinn who was recently in Mumbai for a Miracle Crusade said in prayer, “I thank youGod for this wonderful opportunity (the Iraq War) you have given us, to preach the Gospel to these newly liberated people.” Wommack and Copeland are so hawkish that Rumsfield pales in comparison. Even if it was a matter of “an eye for an eye,” must thousands die and millions be left homeless in Afghanistan, because 2000 died at the WTC? After this you had 24-hour gospel channels filming Mrs. Blair’s interactions with the ‘liberated’ Afghan women.
Not satisfied with my tirade against the money-minting religious channels? You can read the original at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/journalismonline/message/56

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