The US provoked conflict in Europe to restore its “leadership” glory days

posted by Harry J. Bentham

On parle toujours mal quand on n’a rien à dire.

One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say.


As the G20 summit takes place in Australia, the agenda is meant to be economic growth, but the conflict in Ukraine is on many observers’ minds.

One of the most overlooked and yet important bits of information about current world politics is the geopolitical relationship between the United States and key European powers like Germany, France and Britain. Most commentators would like to tell us the Cold War-model alliance has returned or has been enhanced as a result of the Ukraine crisis. That makes it likely that the US is the main beneficiary of that crisis, and the primary actor covertly ensuring it continues. Russia gains nothing from prolonging the Ukraine crisis. The US gains everything.

The Americans most responsible for the Ukraine crisis, such as Victoria Nuland and other neoconservatives still influencing the US administration, have no friendly plans for Europe.

Europe does not gain from the anti-Russian sanctions, as I have already argued in a previous article at my column on Press TV. In that article, I rely partly on a candid analysis by Stratfor’s George Friedman talking about European energy dependence on Russia and a commentary from US social scientist Immanual Wallerstein. The latter explained how the US Republican war-hawks and neoconservative ideologues (who have recently enjoyed a triumph over the Democrats in the Senate) disapprove of the assertiveness of key European powers Germany and France. I would argue that Britain too has become less of a slave to the US in recent times, as shown by its unprecedented refusal to join the failed US coalition against the Syrian government in 2013 and the decreased appetite Brits have for wars – especially wars led by the US.

Before the Ukraine crisis, the US was doing very badly in the eyes of European powers. It had suffered a serious injury to its relations with the European powers over its spying on Germany and other states it claims to be allies. Snowden’s disclosures showed the US to be the primary enemy of freedom and democracy in the world – the very same values the US now pretends to be defending in its new Cold War with Russia. How ironic that the US regime’s exposure and public humiliation as barbaric unilateralists violating all of our rights on a truly global scale is the motivator of their new Cold crusade of “democracy” against Vladimir Putin.

The US spying on Germany, the seriousness of which is in no way reduced by the distraction of the Ukraine crisis, provoked outrage in what was called an unprecedented breach. The US wants to sustain its “leadership” of the Europeans for its global primacy, so it incessantly poked and provoked the Ukrainian crisis of 2014 and the entire specter of Russian “aggression” to diminish the role of the European Union and restore the old-fashioned role of NATO, led by the United States. It is the crisis caused by Edward Snowden’s revelations of the US betrayal of its allies through unilateral spying (Snowden’s asylum in Russia simply adds insult to that injury) that has led the desperate and dwindling United States regime to restore Cold War-style relations.

There is nothing alarming or aggressive about Russia’s concerned engagement in the Ukrainian crisis – a crisis started by the US regime as part of an anti-Russian crusade ever since the beginning of the so-called Euromaidan nationalist movement. The regime that pushed Ukraine to geopolitical crisis, and is seeking external threats and wars to hide its internal crisis, is the United States. We have reached a point at which the United States and its primacy in the world can only be preserved by creating and justifying armed conflict and perceived “threats” to keep people from examining the imperfection of their own society. This conflict started in Washington, DC, and there it will end.

I hope to write another article on the subject of the schism between US and European interests, and how that schism could deepen even more as a result of Republican war-hawks regaining much influence in the Senate.

If you are quick, you might still be able to download my fiction collection Red Skies while it is being offered free today.

By Harry J. Bentham HJB Signature and stamp

ISIS isn’t Islamic, as the Lord’s Resistance Army isn’t Christian

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Sans la logique, on a des opinions, on a pas de croyances.

Without logic, we have opinions, we have no beliefs.

Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray

Above: Joseph Kony and top officers from his “Lord’s Resistance Army”. Would the Christians who think Islam is a violent religion first like to apologize for unleashing these terrorists on innocent people in Uganda and the former Sudan?

Yesterday, I drafted an essay aiming to counter the intellectually suffocating and racist Islamophobia that leads right-wing pundits (including atheist celebrities Sam Harris and Bill Maher) in the US and Europe to label Islam as a terrorist religion incompatible with democracy. Their depiction of Muslims as inherently the most militant and Islamic doctrine as the most responsible for violence tacitly depicts Christians as less prone to violent extremism than Muslims, and is both fraudulent and racist for a multitude of reasons.

Since the 1990s, the world has indeed witnessed the horrors of self-proclaimed Christian terrorists and warlords, often on a larger and more horrifying scale than supposedly Islamic-inspired terrorism.

Because Christian terrorism and war crimes were confined mostly to Africa, they have gone sadly unnoticed among the public in the United States and Europe, whose closet racism leads them to not acknowledge African Christendom as part of Christendom or a region we should be concerned about. Sam Harris and Bill Maher can be counted among those racist, lazy intellectuals, as they are helping to suffocate chances of a helpful conversation on the true threat of the religious extremism within all faith communities. They speak as if they have an informed and cosmopolitan understanding of all the ideological threats in the world today, yet they offer nothing but bigotry and slander.

“Christian” terrorism is alive and well. In the Central African Republic, horrific war crimes committed by Christian extremists against Muslim civilians have taken place even this year. They have even been reported to include cannibalism. Is this cannibalism Christian, and is it my right to accuse Christianity of cannibalism and the use of child soldiers in the way people like Bill Maher and Sam Harris accuse Islam of terrorism and repression?

It would be offensive and lazy for an intellectual to really depict the people committing atrocities in the CAR as somehow demonstrating the danger of Christian doctrine, just as it is hurtful and inaccurate to depict rogue bands of extremists committing atrocities in Iraq or Syria as representatives of Islam. However, when faced with the continued false discourse against Islam, which depicts this particular theology as a source of terrorism, there lies shock value in giving Islamophobes in the Christian community a taste of their own medicine. If Christians want to challenge Muslims regarding the rise of groups like al Qaeda and ISIS, then Christians must also apologize for the mass murders and mutilations perpetrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. This is the true absurdity of accusing whole religious traditions of the crimes of specific warlords and armies.

It is my understanding that any attack on a whole religion simply for supplying theological ideas to a sect is a slippery slope. It is no harder to blame one religion for the crimes of a few fanatics than it is to blame another. Do not be misled by the anti-Islamic mainstream media, which is much too fast to label terrorism “Islamic”, and yet hesitant to point out the Christian faith of so many terrorists and warlords.

To actually discredit illegitimate and violently imposed religious movements, be they “jihad” groups like the so-called Islamic State (also known by the acronyms ISIS, ISIL and Da’ish) or “crusade” organizations like Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, one must call attention to their reverence of illegitimate leaders and idols and their misrepresentations of their own religious doctrines. This is the shortest and most devastating way to expose these false movements and unite local populations against their lies and blasphemies.

By Harry J. Bentham

HJB Signature and stamp

Remembrance Day: are poppies offensive?

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Nous sommes donc en guerre les uns contre les autres

We’re all at war with one another

Michel Foucault

poppy offensive (3)

The poppy: a symbol of patriotism, exclusion, bygone values, xenophobia, bigotry, volksgemeinschaft (“national community”), war, monarchy, etc. Now more than ever, the youth should promote a global social narrative that recognizes humanity’s common heritage, and abandon the offensively nationalistic customs and celebrations adored by past generations.

Wearing a poppy is far from a celebration of tolerance or civil rights won by Britain and other countries observing Remembrance Day. It does not commemorate the defeat of Nazism, but was created by the British monarchy after World War I to commemorate the pointless waste of lives defending the one man’s personal esteem: the King.

Contrary to its glamorization and acceptance in the British mainstream media, wearing a poppy is more likely to offend many people rather than assure them. Poppies are offensive in modern Britain, because they glorify pointless bloodshed, xenophobia, and the absurdity of “patriotism”. As people become more educated, poppies should be treated as a symbol of stupidity, created by a monarchy that held its soldiers’ lives to be worth about as much as the bits of card used to make these very badges of continued ignorance and cruelty.

Wearing a poppy in public, a person is likely to be seen as a supporter of illegal wars of aggression that the British government engaged in, such as the Iraq War and the recently lost War in Afghanistan. It also shows contempt for the majority of victims of these wars, who were not British soldiers but civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these true victims even have family and religious compatriots in our tolerant society, who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of our country’s war crimes abroad. Are we to consider these members of our society not fully “British”, for sympathizing with the victims instead of invaders and occupiers by not wearing the poppy? If so, the poppy is contrary to social cohesion and cannot coexist with late modernity.

Any member of society who wears a poppy is ignorant or cruel, for failing to acknowledge that occupiers do not deserve compensation but rather the innocent victims of violence are the ones who deserve compensation. Indeed, our country’s arms are open to these victims. Why offend the refugees from our misguided wars even as we pay reparations to them, with the outrageous celebration of our country’s war criminals as “heroes”?

Remembrance Day and other events revolving around national pride and the armed forces in particular are sponsored by arms contractors, who revel in the blood and gore that they have created. For them, as for the useless Queen, the wreaths of red stand for the blood and guts of the millions of enlisted men and women they misled into an early and entirely unnecessary grave in the First World War.

Some will counter my claims with the old, ill-conceived, argument that wearing the poppy and observing a minute of silence remembers the soldiers who died for my rights to say the things I say. Such an argument is faulty.

First, I didn’t ask anyone to die for me, and if anyone thinks the soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan died for me, they are insane. Even the terrorists who attacked British victims in the famous July 7 attack were themselves born and bred British citizens, so wearing a poppy does little to confront them, as they are part of the very same national community the poppy attempts confusedly to stand for. The reason we are led to this absurdity is that the “nation” lacks cohesion and uniformity – it is at war with itself, and the poppy only confounds this antagonism.

Second, the cruel practice of isolating and excluding non-patriotic elements of society looks more like Nazism to me than anything else I can find in the country. Wearing a poppy certainly does not support human rights and liberal values derived from the defeat of Nazism. Rather, it supports a key tenet of Nazism: the national community, which must exorcise non-patriotic elements from its midst and profess loyalty to banners and slogans that otherwise lack relevance and meaning. Many people in British society do not identify with the United Kingdom, its institutions and its armed forces. The Muslim community largely does not identify with the UK, and the Scottish independence movement’s famed 45% of the people do not. Republicans in Northern Ireland identify even less with the UK.

The poppy, like the flag, is consistent with the Nazi ideal of volksgemeinschaft, “national community” – an integral part of Nazi ideology that led to Nazism’s worst crimes. Using symbolism to mark out enemies of the “nation” and ostracize them, as the poppy seeks to do by polarizing the society between the supporters of the troops and opponents of the troops, is a manifestation of Nazism. At the core, it is proscriptive power like this that allowed the Nazis to argue their ideas about national supremacy that caused the Second World War and justify their mass murders of minorities and “undesirables”. The same hatred is seen today, being cultivated against Muslim minorities by hate groups and hawkish establishment figures in Britain. Even a reaction of intolerance and hate towards a post like mine would be a Nazi-like manifestation, as the Nazis cracked down harshly and intolerantly on anyone who didn’t promote the myths of the nation.

A self-respecting human being should have no part in sanctifying stupidity, observing an offensive custom, or remembering lives sacrificed for lies of a regime and its sense of prestige. Illegitimate wars led by regimes of exclusion and hate should be exposed as obscene, so modern and awakened people can pour their contempt on them, and symbols approving or legitimizing them should be removed from public view.

By Harry J. Bentham


HJB Signature and stamp

“A Common Heritage”: from The Venus Project to the Battle for the Net

posted by Harry J. Bentham

C’est la guerre qui est le moteur des institutions et de l’ordre

War is the motor behind institutions and order.

Michel Foucault

The Hardest Part

Recently, I had an article published in issue 13 of The Venus Project (TVP) Magazine, the official magazine of The Venus Project, whose futurist movement was conceived by a man far, far ahead of his time: Jacque Fresco.

For years now, Jacque Fresco has called on us to imagine a world beyond politics, poverty and war: a superior epoch in which nations are obsolete. With nations gone, the burdens of bigotry and warmongering that were preserved and legitimized by their atrocious and morally bankrupt institutions will have been cleansed from civilization.

We already live in a world that is increasingly interconnected, where loyalties are not as rigidly and conservatively defined as they were in the past, and ideologies are as fleeting and transitory as Twitter trends. In this world, borders are fast becoming an obsolete encumbrance, and people have much greater freedom to choose their own values and sources of information without relying on authority figures and established media sources to do so.

I believe that European countries have opened the door to tolerance, and that there is no reversing this choice. Clinging to nationalistic vestiges and notions of national community, warlike allegiances, and so on, is no longer compatible with modern life and is a source of growing offense to many. People must eventually choose to abandon their “support our troops” reflexes and beliefs about national superiority, because such ideas undermine social cohesion and endanger the borderless, stateless, post-war future that has been predicted and pursued by fighters for social change now for centuries.

The Venus Project represents humanity’s noblest political aspirations, the desire for a voluntary global community who accept the world’s resources as a common heritage, accessible to all. To this end, the thesis of the Venus Project has been the elimination of money itself, and its replacement with a global Resource-Based Economy (RBE). This radical reform to the way we manage the Earth’s people and resources, Jacque Fresco teaches, is the prerequisite to world peace.

The declaration of the world’s resources as a common heritage is a battle by humanity against impersonal and hostile banks, corporations, intellectual property, and the state.

The Internet is the one existing resource that humanity already recognizes as a common heritage, and we must turn the whole world the way of the Internet. However, even the Internet – a precious and vital prototype in many ways for humanity’s future – is threatened by capricious states and fiercely monopolistic corporations clinging to the past.

Right now, the US government is preparing a new rule that would let Internet providers discriminate and charge fees. Now more than ever, folks in the US must stand up and fight for Net Neutrality. Keep your favorite sites from being slowed to a crawl by the greedy companies who lobby for privileged “fast lanes” and better services than others rather than equal access for all.

Preserve the Internet as our common heritage: call the White House now and tell Obama to save the Internet — and his legacy — by reining in the rogue Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

By Harry J. Bentham


HJB Signature and stamp

Previous Posts

The US provoked conflict in Europe to restore its "leadership" glory days
On parle toujours mal quand on n'a rien à dire. One always speaks badly when one has nothing to say. Voltaire As the G20 summit takes place in Australia, the agenda is meant to be economic growth, but the conflict in Ukraine is on many observers' minds. One of the most overlooked and

posted 11:00:37pm Nov. 15, 2014 | read full post »

ISIS isn't Islamic, as the Lord's Resistance Army isn't Christian
Sans la logique, on a des opinions, on a pas de croyances. Without logic, we have opinions, we have no beliefs. Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray Above: Joseph Kony and top officers from his "Lord's Resistance Army". Would the Christians who think Islam is a violent religion first like to a

posted 11:00:15pm Nov. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Remembrance Day: are poppies offensive?
Nous sommes donc en guerre les uns contre les autres We're all at war with one another Michel Foucault The poppy: a symbol of patriotism, exclusion, bygone values, xenophobia, bigotry, volksgemeinschaft ("national community"), war, monarchy, etc. Now more than ever, the youth should

posted 11:00:32pm Nov. 08, 2014 | read full post »

"A Common Heritage": from The Venus Project to the Battle for the Net
C'est la guerre qui est le moteur des institutions et de l'ordre War is the motor behind institutions and order. Michel Foucault Recently, I had an article published in issue 13 of The Venus Project (TVP) Magazine, the official magazine of The Venus Project, whose futurist movement

posted 11:00:57pm Nov. 07, 2014 | read full post »

SEARCH BEYOND Series: don't miss this Halloween's science fiction horror
Ma pensée, c'est moi: voilà pourquoi je ne peux pas m'arrêter. My thought is me: that's why I can't stop. Jean-Paul Sartre I will soon have a new monthly opinion article at Press TV, so watch that space for something new in the next few days. Meanwhile, I have posted a new sci fi horro

posted 11:00:38pm Nov. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.