Something happened to my last blog. So here's another try,
HUMAN RIGHT IS THE RIGHT TO KNOW
–Transparency is the Best Foreign Policy
(an excerpt from essay anthology, Uncommon Sense about Common Wars)
Helene Smith © copyright 2013
Certified historian and investigative journalist
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”–Benjamin Franklin
Suddenly along the Nile Delta overlooking the sea appeared a flashback scene of blazing flames before my internal eyes–the accursed crime against Egypt’s Royal Library of Alexandria, the pearl of the Mediterranean, a city named for Macedonian King Alexander. It was a priceless treasure, a repository stored in its honeycombed walls now spewed forth ashes of world knowledge–works of art, history, pagan and new world religions, medical research, philosophy, original plays and enlightenment all going up in smoke. Lost science included details of the Earth being round (later determined oval by Isaac Newton through shadows of the moon). This precious library was built in 323 BCE to hold every ancient book on Earth, capitalized for respect–over 700,000 scrolls, the largest collection of world knowledge ever cataloged. Religious fanatics burned it down along with one-of-a-kind papyrus books during the reign of Roman Emperor Theodosius I (375-395 CE). He dictated in 389 that one religion alone would rule under his absolute dogma, what he believed came “from God,” a generic term for deity. This meant the entire Roman Empire tainted with intolerance and intimidation at the threat of death. Such nefarious action later continued in the bloody Crusades (meaning cross) and torturous Inquisition with its murderous militant tribunal and “Holy” office still active under a euphemistic term to censor books and condemn to Hell all faiths accept one, a crime in itself. Jesus of Nazareth, Israel, knew nothing about this new religion that after his death was founded by Paul at Antioch in Asia Minor, now Turkey. He was a Pharisee who persecuted the Nazarene of Galilee–Jesus–a humble man who preached love, respect, compassion for children, and caring for others. Jesus did not strike people as needing to possess world power and control as Paul’s fundamentalist hierarchy did–his later-day followers wearing four-foot hats, miters, tooled out of stolen gold from indigenous peoples of the Americas.
The old library at Alexandria was open to all scholars in BCE, quite the opposite of present day fascist control of corporate profiteers squelching quintessential research material and freedom of information that conveys truth to the public. Hopefully the new Egyptian library will not be under political control and will not stifle the right to know. In 1995 (stalled by the Persian Gulf, Desert Storm Iraqi war of 199l), this solar glass-roofed library in Alexandria was built in great splendor to include reading rooms, a planetarium, a hall for the blind, and a science museum. This gem, the Bibliotheca of Alexandria erected next to the city’s university by that name, is a beacon of hope–as poet Percy Bysshe Shelly wrote “for profound, compassion and conception of man and nature.” According to President Hosni Mubarak this new jewel “is a gift to mankind that will enrich the past, the present and the future . . . for understanding, co-operation, peace and security because this is what makes our children smile.” Mubarak in Egypt was sentenced to life in prison for not intervening to protect protestors from being killed during his regime. Historically this punitive measure brings to mind an atrocity of 77 state National Guardsmen aiming at and killing four unarmed non-violent protestors against the Vietnam War on the campus of Kent State in America in 1970–with no punishment dealt to any officials responsible for the disaster–not just the offense of complicity as was with Mubarak. No matter how many world objectors are killed, slaughtering innocent peaceful demonstrators against war is serious, serial crime.
The burning of the great library at Alexandria also brings to mind the madness of controlling, corporate, self-seeking Oil on the Brain (an old song)-mentality causing the second Iraqi Bush war in 2003. Military leaders illegally scorched and burned entire cities in Iraq, along with libraries and museums trashed and looted through demented “shock and awe” strategy. This treasured cradle of world civilization–Mesopotamia–includes Iraq within the Tigris Euphrates Valley. Troops were ordered to not only illegally devastate urban areas, what meant residents and animals in Baghdad and elsewhere (with other citizens fleeing to refugee camps), but the outrageous carpet attacks, one after another, of nuclear missiles that also destroyed world renown historic architecture, priceless artifacts, ancient scrolls, statues, art and culture. But far worse, non-combatants and enemy soldiers (allied soldiers also damaged by toxic burning fumes in their lungs) were doused with white phosphorus and napalm that burn to the bone–allies who crushed Fallajah in a major US assault, a serial crime against humanity.
The world should know Iranians in the Iraqi-Iranian war (1980-88) and those in Kuwait were killed with genocidal biological and chemical warfare sold to Iraq, too, with the major amount exported from the United States labs in a “witch’s brew” including anthrax and bubonic plaque viruses. This is now documented in the annals of history, all bringing to mind the 2001 administration. I love America and its varied nationalities, but its past leaders are the biggest abusers of child-deforming chemicals and radioactive munitions in the world.
The world must know the destitute and suffering of people who never harmed America–people from Iraq and Afghanistan–poor victims of poisoned lands and diseases from carpet bombing raids, and more refugees fleeing from their homes. History proves that the aftermath of war eventually boomerangs back to the perpetrators–blow back retaliation through polluted air and contaminants, what cause cancer and nerve diseases as the four sacred winds circle Earth, with all people affected.
The world must know about deformity-causing Agent Orange herbicide sprayed on American Indian lands, before ton after ton of this US poison was used to annihilate Vietnam and Korea–what also affects children born of soldiers and all forms of life. Millions of surplus barrels were later dumped on Korean lands–why atrociously abused nations destroyed by illegal warfare are defending themselves in retaliation against further annihilation. How soon we forget. Humanity has the right to know the truth.
The world must know about secretive industrial war and its corporate federal sources attempting to squelch their own covert atrocities against wishes of the good American people and our grand nation in general. Cyber expert, Aaron Swartze, fought against files and journals not freely available to the public–locked up by profit-making corporative power that is not constitutional and defies freedom of speech. Federal threat of 35 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine for revealing invaluable information for public access caused his suicide in 2013–with increasing numbers of whistle blowers incarcerated instead of the criminals. His tragic death awakened the reality and need of quintessential information to be shared by everyone on the world web. Whether secrets of censorship are obliterated by fire or by totalitarian forces against knowledge, the truth behind world dissension and uprising, as well as disasters of religionism, must be made known to the people to understand why government aggression and deceit cause terrorism and violence.
The world must know why oceans are rising and polar ice melting from endless explosive wars committed all over the world, accumulative radiation and contamination build up from an endless circle of flame–as well as the fact that seven H-bombs were dropped into oceans with man-made plutonium from uranium now a leaking threat along with lost or damaged nuclear submarines doing the same ecological disasters. Similar leaks are detected on indigenous reservations from cancer-causing nuclear waste dumped on original remaining lands of First Americans where atomic bomb testing took place years ago. These lands next to reservations were condemned as danger zones, as well as ocean islands, all noted in old atlases, similarly as dirty nuclear waste is dumped along shores of Arabic Somalia in Africa–what turned the men into vigilant watch guard pirates to protect their people and land from more devastation in a deadly dump and run policy.
The world must know that lethal droning of innocent people is not rule-of-thumb reporting by newscasters, such as a transport plane that crashed into a drone that ended up sticking out of its wing. Although unpiloted air vehicles are less expensive than all-out war, perhaps they can wean human war heads away from urban battlefields, illegal according to International Law, since they kill civilians and children–what drones also do, unconstitutional defiance of the right of habeas corpus and due process of law. Drones can help humanity, but as killers they are just one more master war machine provoking continual aggression. Albert Einstein wrote, “It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but the act of murder.”
The world must know the danger of violent, racial video games designed by the military to condition young recruits to kill through becoming adept at manual skills with guns, as video packaging warns, "These graphics may altar young minds and cause deaths even among domestic civilians"–a fast growing alarming reality. Unfortunately among the gunslingers many have short fuses, with uncontrollable tempers. Such gun-happy tyrants should not be permitted ammunition.
The same army that programmed Korean and Vietnam combatants to hate and peg Asians as–“slant-eyed, yellow gooks”–to make them easier to kill–cause nightmares that later back-fired in tragic suicide deaths of American soldiers. I knew one of the first to be discharged from Iraq–a teen-age boy who lost a leg and was blinded. He took his life shortly after returning home.
“We feel invincible crushing little brown, black and yellow people . . . All we see are little green men running across our screen . . . so we shout and cheer . . . . and reach the next level of the video game we call war . . . We drop bombs like rain leaving scorched Earth and broken dreams . . . we just react and kill to stay alive.”
–courtesy of Jose Vasquez, excerpt from his poems; served as medic, nurse and health services instructor in Iraq; now a conscientious objector; active member (executive director) of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW); he has a new career in anthropology. My personal thanks to Jose for his candid, straight forward observation of his experience regarding war. The truth will set us free.
“War does not determine who is right–but only who is left.”
–Bertrand Russell, English historian and philosopher