Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, February 24, 2006

Who Done It

Am I alone in noticing that nobody in the media seems to be asking the question "Who done it?" with reference to the Wednesday morning bombing of the gold-domed Askariyah shrine in Samarra. It is Friday morning in America now and all I hear on Public Radio with respect to this incident is the hope that it won't lead to civil war. Nobody is asking who did the bombing. But Iraq's leaders are assuring Iraqis that it wasn't done by anyone representing the Sunnis. Go figure. One would naturally assume that the Sunnis did it and that's why the Shiites have been rioting against Sunnis ever since Wednesday morning.
But think about it. Imagine yourself as an American news reporter in Iraq. Would you ask anybody to analyze who might have done the bombing and why? I sure as heck know that that's the question that would dominate my curiosity. I mean, here we have a virtual Shiite 9/11 and in Iraq there are rumors flying all over the place about the events at that mosque late in the night prior to the bombing, namely Iraqi and American troop activity. You have rumors of uniformed men spending hours preparing the mosque for the bombing. Now you have Iraqi leaders saying who was not responsible. And to top it all off, now you have the Shiites, not the bombers, being blamed for the violence all over America's mainstream media. Whoever did the original bombing is, for some mysterious reason, getting off scot-free.
So what the hell is going on here? Am I the only one wondering?
Well what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn't add my two cents worth, right? So here it is. This and a buck might buy you a morning cup of coffee in a 24-hour gas stop somewhere in America...
When you think back prior to the beginning of this week, which I realize breaks all the rules of being an American but there you have it, but if you do that you might recall that the Bush administration has been trying to drum up a case for war with Iran. Iran is Shiite. Anyone who has followed the Neo-Conservative agenda knows that Iran is on the list of the nations most in need of overthrow. Iran know this, of course, and is working to prevent it. The recent ordeal with Iran's nuclear ambitions offered the pro-Israeli American Neo-Cons some hope, but the process of drumming up a war this way might take years. Anything that has to go through the UN and the sanctions period and who knows what else would take years, or even decades, to play out. The Neo-Cons and President Bush are ready now for the war. They don't want to have to wait.
The absolute surest way to start a war with Iran is to offend them religiously with an offense so insulting that they simply can't ignore it. When you think about it, the demolition of this sacred and ancient Shiite mosque by forces traceable to the US occupation forces in Iraq is just that kind of insult. In fact, when you think about it, it is a miracle that the war hasn't begun yet. It is a miracle that Iran hasn't launched the attack.
My take on all this is that Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites and Iran's Shiites know very well what is going on over there. They know that the United States and Israel are goading them to start a religious war not between Jew and Muslim, not between Christian and Muslim, but between Muslim and Muslim, between Sunni and Shiite. If that kind of war can be initiated while US troops are still in Iraq, the US will have no choice but to join in the fight in the name of defending the "democracy" in Iraq. That is precisely what Bush and the Neo-Cons want.
So that all makes sense to me, but it isn't necessarily true. I'm just speculating. So if you have another rational explanation, I'm all ears. Let's hear it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Compass

I've been away for awhile working on a project for my mother-in-law, but she kicked me out the other day so I'm back now among the "unemployed and not collecting." I again have time to read and write.
A year or more ago, a blog friend of mine, Dacia, the real inspiration for by blog here, introduced her blog circle to a little test designed to measure a person's "political compass" on a dual-axis spectrum where the horizontal axis represents the standard Left/Right political spectrum, but the vertical axis is represented to show the person's orientation with respect to the Authoritarian (up) verses Libertarian (down) spectrum. If I recall correctly, I scored in a region shared by Nelson Mandela and the Dali Lama, but it was long enough ago that I may have that fact wrong.
In any case, ever since I took that test, I've had this new political dimension to deal with in my political thinking. It surprised me that there was a strong political leaning in common between a diverse left/right spectrum of political leaders. That leaning is the tendency of many political leaders to be authoritarian as opposed to being libertarian. The Bush administration fits not just the conservative (right) mold but also into the authoritarian mold.
I've been trying to read a book ever since early last summer titled Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think. The main theme of that book is about how conservatives use the authoritarian father model for the basis of their political philosophy while Liberals use the nurturing parent model. but that's like comparing up on the political compass to left, not opposite poles.
While it's easy to see the authoritarian influence in today's various governments, it isn't so easy to see the libertarian influence. I'm not quite sure why that is, but I think it has something to do with the way we use the word "liberal" in politics today. That word has become a slur, slander, when it is used by the controlling power, the Republicans. It is virtually synonymous with "socialist" but socialist has become a word almost never spoken. Whenever we wish to speak of the social agenda - the nurturing parent model - we say "liberal" and "left" instead of the synonym "socialist." So in that climate, "libertarian" has virtually no connection to the word liberal. In fact, libertarian is viewed in our culture as something that exists on the far right, the extremes of conservatism. Yet I recall being taught somewhere that the far right is where fascism resides. How can anybody suggest (nobody that I know of ever has) that libertarians are fascist?
I have no doubt that fascists and the Nazis are far right. But I also have no doubt that they are authoritarian. Using the political compass, that puts them in the upper right quadrant of the compass, the same quadrant that holds most of the politicians in America. Is it any wonder that I'm feeling a little out of place in my own home country?
The opposite of liberty is authoritarianism. Liberty itself is freedom from authority and authority derives its existence from the submission of liberty, the submission of free people to authority. Socialist authoritarianism is Communism. Conservative authoritarianism is fascism. So why is it that authoritarianism is oriented on the positive Y-axis on the political compass? And why is it that both on that axis and in our own heads, libertarian is negative?