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30.07.2017 Pressenza London

Six principles of nonviolence
Gandhi at Dandi, South Gujarat, picking salt on the beach at the end of the Salt March, 5 April 1930. (Image by Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

By Michael Nagler 27 July 2017 for openDemocracy

Nonviolence can be a safe, effective and lasting way to defeat injustice, but like any other science it takes knowledge, courage and determination.

Here are six guidelines that can help you carry out nonviolent action more safely and effectively, while drawing upon nonviolent practices from your own cultural heritage. These guidelines derive, as you’ll see, from two basic points to bear in mind:

We are not against other people, only what they are doing.

Means are ends in the making; nothing good can ultimately result from violence.

1. Respect everyone–including yourself.

The more we respect others, the more effectively we can persuade them to change. Never use humiliation as a tool–or accept humiliation from others, as that only degrades everyone. Remember, no one can degrade you without your permission.

Healing relationships is the real success in nonviolence, something violence can never achieve. Even in a case of extreme violence, Gandhi felt it was possible to hate the sin, not the sinner. In 1942, when India was held down by the British and fearing a Japanese invasion, he advised his fellow compatriots:

“If we were a free country, things could be done nonviolently to prevent the Japanese from entering the country. As it is, nonviolent resistance could commence the moment the Japanese affect a landing.”

Thus, nonviolent resisters would refuse them any help, even water. For it is no part of their duty to help anyone to steal their country. But if a Japanese person had missed their way and was dying of thirst and sought help as a human being, a nonviolent resister, who may not regard anyone as his enemy, would give water to the thirsty one. Suppose the Japanese compel resisters to give them water; the resisters must die in the act of resistance.

2. Always include constructive alternatives.

Concrete action is always more powerful than mere symbolism, especially when that action creates constructive alternatives: setting up schools, forming cottage industries, establishing farming cooperatives, devising community-friendly banking. As Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

Gandhi initiated 18 projects that enabled Indians to take charge of their own society, making it much easier to “dismiss” British rule and lay the groundwork for their own democracy. Constructive work has many advantages:

It enables people to break their dependency on a regime by creating their own goods and services. You cannot get rid of oppressors when you depend on them for essentials. You are not just reacting to offenses but taking charge. Being proactive helps you shed passivity, fear and helplessness.

It gives a movement continuity, as it can continue when direct resistance is not advisable.

Studies have shown that working together is the most effective way to unite people. It builds community and reassures the general public that your movement is not a danger to the social order.

Most importantly, it establishes the infrastructure that will be needed when the oppressive regime falls. Many an insurrection has succeeded in dislodging a hated regime only to find a new set of oppressors rush into the vacuum.

A good rule of thumb to follow is: be constructive wherever possible, and obstructive wherever necessary.

3. Be aware of the long term.

Nonviolent action always has positive results, sometimes more than we intended. When China was passing through a severe famine in the 1950s, the US branch of Fellowship of Reconciliation organized a mail-in campaign to get President Eisenhower to send surplus food to China. Some 35,000 Americans took part. Our message to the President was a simple inscription from Isaiah: “If thine enemy hunger, feed him.” It seemed as if there was no response. But 25 years later, we learned that we had averted a proposal to bomb targets in Mainland China during the Korean War! At a key meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Eisenhower announced: “Gentlemen, since 35,000 Americans want us to feed the Chinese, this is hardly the time to start bombing them.”

Violence sometimes “works” in the sense that it forces a particular change, but in the long run, it leads to more misery and disorder. We do not have control over the results of our actions, but we can have control over the means we use, even our feelings and our states of mind. Here’s a handy formula: Violence sometimes “works” but it never works (in making things or relationships better, for example). Nonviolence sometimes “works” and always works.

Have clear goals. Cling to essentials (like human dignity) and be clear about your principles, but be ready to change tactics or compromise on anything else. Remember, you are not in a power struggle (though the opponent may think that way): you are in a struggle for justice and human dignity. In nonviolence, you can lose all the battles but still go on to win the war!

4. Look for win-win solutions.

You are trying to rebuild relationships rather than score “victories.” In a conflict, we can feel that in order for one side to win the other must lose, which is not true. Therefore, we do not seek to be winners or rise over others; we seek to learn and make things better for all.

During intense negotiations over the Montgomery, Alabama segregation laws, Martin Luther King, Jr., made an interesting observation that he notes in his book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. An attorney for the city bus company who had obstructed the African-American people’s demands for desegregation revealed the real source of his objection: “If we granted the Negroes these demands they would go about boasting of a victory that they had won over the white people; and this we will not stand for.”

Reflecting on this, King advised the participants in the movement not to gloat or boast, reminding them: “Through nonviolence we avoid the temptation of taking on the psychology of victors.” The “psychology of victors” belongs to the age-old dynamic of me-against-you, but the nonviolent person sees life as a “co-evolution” toward loving community in which all can thrive. Gloating over “victories” can actually undo hard-won gains.

5. Use power carefully.

We are conditioned, especially in the West, to think that power “grows out of the barrel of a gun.” There is indeed a kind of power that comes from threats and brute force–but it is powerless if we refuse to comply with it.

There is another kind of power that comes from truth. Let us say that you have been petitioning to eliminate an injustice. Perhaps you have made your feelings known in polite but firm protest actions, yet the other party is not responding. Then you must, as Gandhi said, “not only speak to the head but move the heart also.” We can make the injustice clear by taking upon ourselves the suffering inherent in the unjust system. This allows us to mobilize Satyagraha, or “truth force.” In extreme cases, we may need to do it at the risk of our own lives, which is why it is good to be very clear about our goals. Do this with care.

History, and often our own experience, has shown that even bitter hostilities can melt with this kind of persuasion that seeks to open the eyes of the opponent, whom we do not coerce. Nonetheless, there are times when we must use forms of coercion. For example, when a dictator refuses to step down, we have to act immediately to end the vast amounts of human suffering caused by that person misusing power. Still, it requires strategic thinking and nonviolent care to do it right. But when time does allow, we use the power of patience and persuasion, of enduring rather than inflicting suffering. The changes brought about by persuasion are lasting: one who is persuaded stays persuaded, while someone who is coerced will be just waiting for a chance for revenge.

6. Claim our legacy.

Nonviolence no longer needs to take place in a vacuum. Always note that if you are using nonviolence with courage, determination and a clear strategy, you will more than likely succeed: win or lose, you will be playing your part in a great transformation of human relationships that our future depends on.

These six principles are founded on a belief that all life is an interconnected whole and that when we understand our real needs, we are not in competition with anyone. As Martin Luther King said, “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”

This article was first published in Nonviolence.

About the author

Michael Nagler is Founder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and author of The Nonviolence Handbook: A Practical Guidebook.


30.07.2017 – London UK Silvia Swinden

Fake news by algorhythm
Toy robots on display at the Museo del Objeto del Objeto in Mexico City (Image by AlejandroLinaresGarcia, Wikimedia Commons)

Today I opened my Facebook and discovered that two of my very good friends in another country were getting married. It seemed odd as they have been together for many years, they have grown up children and did not make any announcements. But the FB post looked genuine; there were relevant pictures and various congratulations. So I sent a message to the ‘bride’ who confirmed they are not getting married, simply when she attempted to put in a new email FB asked her if she’s married and to whom, and created the posting all by itself.

We are used to dismissing all kinds of fake news posted on FB whether out of malice, gullibility or dark reasons impossible to fathom but we can in general detect some kind of human intention behind them.

The fact that FB can produce fake news out of an accident of algorithm creates a different issue. I have been following with interest the discussion between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk about the future of AI.

‘The groundwork for the world’s nerdiest fight was laid by Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, earlier this month, when he pushed again for the proactive regulation of artificial intelligence because he believes it poses a “fundamental risk to the existence of civilization”…“I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal,” he said.’…when asked for his opinion in the matter ‘Zuckerberg said: “I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic. And I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios – I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible.” The Guardian.

But it seems that before we see the robots coming to take over the world we may see some pretty worrying accidents simply because the algorithms that deal with most of the automated tasks of the online giants are given every time more complex tasks they may not be able to cope with. Small samples are already visible, these fake news about my friends sound harmless enough but who knows what kind of permutations may produce other less benign ‘information’ to influence the behaviour of those who believe everything they see in social media.

Another software accident happened to FB when a mistake left the names of those who regulate content available to the public:

‘Revealed: Facebook exposed identities of moderators to suspected terrorists. A security lapse that affected more than 1,000 workers forced one moderator into hiding – and he still lives in constant fear for his safety’ The Guardian.

Human intentionality, the way consciousness structures data from senses and memory, has a direction and an emotional tone. The whole of humanity tries to move away from suffering and towards meaningful happiness. Even if it gets it wrong (e.g., increasing violence) it is possible to understand the roots of the malfunction: fear, frustration, injustice, indoctrination, greed.

If algorithms organise their own structuring we should not attribute intentionality to them. Only humans can give direction. Machines will follow a certain logic, given by its human creators but the search for AI necessarily introduces the possibility of random connections, a certain ‘freedom’ that makes the difference with simple calculators.

Since the moment Alan Turing, the father of modern computers, created the Turing test (whose objective was to detect the moment of no longer being able to differentiate responses given by a human from those given by a computer) the race to exit the constrains of human control was on. More worryingly human ethics have lost a lot of ground in research in a society where profit is the highest value. And in the era of transnational cyberspace no nation state can hope to apply rules and regulations set up by, however imperfect, their democratic mechanisms. In other words, a new kind of totalitarian regime is deciding what kind of technology will shape our lives.

So, it is not the case of becoming a Luddite or a paranoid technophobe and fear the robots. The danger right now is in human intentions which will decide whether Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Stupidity will prevail. Only humanising the values of society can move technology in the right direction.

28.07.2017 – Tunisia Deutsche Welle

Tunisia: Women celebrate their rights
(Image by Deutsche Welle)

Decades of protest have paid off: Tunisia’s parliament has passed a historic law on violence against women. It punishes all forms of violence and sets the country up for a potential cultural revolution. Tunisia’s parliament approved legislation on Wednesday that protects women from all forms of violence. The country’s Family Minister Naziha Laabidi called it a “historic project.” “It’s a very important law,” said Abir Alhaj Mawas, a sociologist who works for Terre des Femmes, a women’s rights nongovernmental organization. The law addresses women who are isolated, she said, so that they can enjoy rights already common for women elsewhere, such as in Europe. The … Read more

27.07.2017 David Swanson

What’s Missing from Dunkirk Film

By David Swanson

Yes, I’m going to tell you what’s missing from this film without watching the film. Trump has, as promised, made me so sick of winning that I really could enjoy watching a defeat film, but I think I’ll pass. If I’m wrong about what’s missing from it (I mean one of the many things that are, no doubt, missing from it), I promise that I will eat an entire plan for victory in Afghanistan annually for the next decade.

One of the oddest things about World War II is how it has been marketed as a humanitarian war since the moment it ended.

One reason this is odd is that several times the number of people killed in German concentration camps were killed outside of them in the war (at least 50 million worldwide vs. 9 million killed in the camps). And the majority of those people were civilians. So a war against killing people in camps would be a very strange way to understand World War II, unless killing many more people can be made an acceptable means of opposing killing people. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made WWII the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in any short space of time.

Even odder is that zero effort was actually ever made to prevent the mass-murder in the concentration camps. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees from Germany was chased away from Miami by the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations refused to accept Jewish refugees, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the Nazi concentration camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa.

Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that, while Hitler might very well agree to the plan, it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. Here is an interesting passage from Nicholson Baker:

“Anthony Eden, Britain’s foreign secretary, who’d been tasked by Churchill with handling queries about refugees, dealt coldly with one of many important delegations, saying that any diplomatic effort to obtain the release of the Jews from Hitler was ‘fantastically impossible.’ On a trip to the United States, Eden candidly told Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, that the real difficulty with asking Hitler for the Jews was that ‘Hitler might well take us up on any such offer, and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.’ Churchill agreed. ‘Even were we to obtain permission to withdraw all the Jews,’ he wrote in reply to one pleading letter, ‘transport alone presents a problem which will be difficult of solution.’ Not enough shipping and transport? Two years earlier, the British had evacuated nearly 340,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk in just nine days. The U.S. Air Force had many thousands of new planes. During even a brief armistice, the Allies could have airlifted and transported refugees in very large numbers out of the German sphere.”

In other words, the story of Dunkirk, the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, is a story of how the Allies treated people they had some use for, and a demonstration of how they could have treated other people if they had had any use for them.

Since the moment the war ended, the U.S. military has had enormous use for those it callously allowed the Nazis to murder. They have been front and center in the argument for war after war after war.

Since World War II, during what U.S. academics think of as a period of unprecedented peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in 81 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. This extravaganza of criminal killing is documented here. But it isn’t much of a secret. To my knowledge, every single military assault has involved a reference to a new Hitler and a passionate plea to retroactively save his victims. Of course the humanitarian consequences have differed dramatically from those stated intentions.

Somehow I doubt any of that is mentioned in the Dunkirk film.

Categories: Culture and Media, North America, Opinions, Peace and Disarmament

26.07.2017 Countercurrents

U.S And Israel’s Violent Opposition To The BDS Movement

By Irwin Jerome

All over the world, political speech and activism is being criminalized, no matter how peaceful, non-violent and warranted the protests may be. No where better can this criminalization be found than in Palestine where, for decades, Israeli military occupation forces continue to brutally suppress Palestinian’s people peaceful civil disobedience so much so that some organizations, like the Center for Constitutional Rights, even characterize Israel’s racist actions as The Palestine Exception to free speech. This continues to be the case in spite of the fact that the U.N. Security Council reaffirmed, in 2016, with its Resolution 2334, that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestine territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem – site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest mosque, and place where Palestinians, if ever allowed, would make the capital of their new Palestinian State. Israel’s unflagging denial of Equality, Human Rights, Religious Freedom & Human Dignity constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and poses a constant major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security within internationally-recognized borders.

Yet in light of the current, on-going non-violent protests by Palestinian’s against Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinians their religious right and freedom to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the grievous nature of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his right-wing, fascist Likud Party are either totally ignored or downplayed by the international corporate media and nowhere more so than in the United States. The fact that the United States – politically, ideologically, religiously – has long had Israel’s back and covered for it, no matter what vile thing it has ever done to the Palestinians, now is being further underscored by the United States Government’s outrageous attempt to pass an Anti-Boycott Bill that seeks to criminalize any private U.S. citizen, business or corporation, anywhere in the world, and make it a felony for whomever attempts to participate in any internationally-sanctioned Boycott, Divestment or Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel for whatever actions it continues to heinously take against the Palestinian peoples.

White Christian America and White Jewish Israel are equally violently-opposed to the BDS Movement that seeks to once and for all put an end to the illegal settler movement of the West Bank and ghettoizing of Gaza in Palestine. At their core, no matter how vile, evil or intolerant action each may have taken against others in the world, they hold fast to the same racist, fascist, authoritarian values that also have been held, at different points in recent history, by a host of other countries like South Africa, Britain, Germany, Japan and too many others to even mention.

Suffice it to say that within the human species it would simply seem to be a basic weakness or flaw in its basic DNA that, since the beginning of its evolution, has condemned the species, over and over again, to commit the same fatal impulses that, as time goes on, imperils the very essence of life itself; and that, as the species continues to intellectually evolve or devolve its scientific abilities, continues to invent ever more diabolical ways, catastrophic weaponry and toxic substances to bring about the cataclysmic end of all life forms.

However argumentative this point of view may be, an even cursory examination of the modern historical record – and in particular how White America’s violent brand of so-called democracy, and White Israel’s similar brand of so-called Zionism first came to be – quickly reveals how each since has abominably treated all peoples of different racial backgrounds and religious beliefs who have ever come into their midst – Aboriginals, indigenous, Mexicans, Black Africans, Arabs, Muslims and other non-Christian, non-Jewish peoples – which leads one to arrive at the only conclusion possible. Namely, that whatever each is now doing in the world, no matter how self-delusional or self-destructive it may be, there is no other sane rationale or logic to explain away the actions that each continues to pursue. The historical record speaks for itself!

Nowhere clearer can this now be seen than with America and Israel’s vigorously attempt to try to utterly destroy the BDS Movement in the world that seeks to stop all the madness in Israel and Palestine before it sucks the world down the rabbit hole towards yet a third world war and ultimate self-immolation. It’s like the human species refuses, or lacks the capacity, to learn from the madness once committed by those like the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, Japan, the Afrikaners in South Africa or whomever else has ever subscribed to the same racist, fascist tendencies that seek to dominate the world.

The world once had the will to stop the Hitler, Hirohito and de Klerk but does it now have the same will to stop Trump’s America or Netanyahu’s Israel? Or has the world become: too propagandized by the international corporate media’s bevy of Rupert Murdoch’s, AIPAC’s, J Street’s and Christian hardcore Broadcast Networks; too smothered by the influences of so many alt-right Talk Radio, Blogs, Websites, TV and print media networks that stifle any independent intellectual thought; too economically compromised by the corporate Wall Street sector, ruthlessly controlled by Goldman Sachs-type banksters and gangsters that hold every citizen and nation so tightly by the short hairs, or; are is the citizenry simply just too corrupt or impotent to undertake any independent moral, ethical actions?

Meanwhile, as: the U.S. Congress continues to mull over its latest Anti-Democratic, Anti-Boycott Bill; while Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who politically holds in his hands the fate of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, continues to vacation in the United States; Israel’s PM Netanyahu continues his anti-Palestinian propaganda campaign in Europe; and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to remain in distant China; the Palestinian people, once again, are left all alone to try to defend, as best they can, their inherent right to pray and worship in East Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque or wherever else they would in their ancient lands of Palestine.

Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (, a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America. It encompasses the Indigenous Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements that emerged throughout North America during the civil rights era. During this period of sojourn, Irwin also underwent a Lakota hanbleceya vision quest, under the tutelage of Joe Thunder Hawk and his clan members, and received the name Twin Rainbow that symbolizes a healing bridge between the cultures of the West & East. and their many ensuing conflicts. In addition to being a long-time community activist and political organizer among his people, Twin Rainbow-Irwin has authored over the years a number of environmental, political, cultural, spiritual articles with a special focus on Native Americans, First Nations, Australian aboriginals, Israel, Gaza, Palestine and Syria. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press.

The original article can be found on our partner’s website here

23.07.2017 Countercurrents

Iraqi Sources Place Real Death Toll In US-Led Siege Of Mosul At 40,000

By Bill Van Auken

According to intelligence reports from Iraq, the US-led massacre in Mosul has claimed a staggeringly higher toll of Iraqi civilian lives then had previously been reported.

More than 40,000 men, women and children were killed in the grinding nine-month-long siege of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, according to a report published Thursday by the veteran Middle East correspondent for the British daily Independent Patrick Cockburn.

Cockburn’s source is the former finance and foreign minister of the Iraqi government, Hoshyar Zebari, an Iraqi Kurd with close ties to Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government. The figure was supplied by Kurdish intelligence.

“The figure given by Mr Zebari for the number of civilians killed in the nine-month siege is far higher than those previously reported, but the intelligence service of the Kurdistan Regional Government has a reputation for being extremely accurate and well-informed,” reports Cockburn.

The sheer scale of the killing makes the siege of Mosul one of the greatest war crimes of the post-World War II era. While before the city fell to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in June of 2014 it had a population of approximately 2 million, by the time the siege began, there were still at least 1.2 million civilians trapped in Mosul. This population was subjected to horrific violence.

Earlier, the UK-based monitoring group Airwars had provided an estimate of 5,805 civilians killed in airstrikes by the US-led “coalition” between February 19 and June 19. This figure excluded those killed in the four preceding months of the siege, as well as those who died in the last three weeks of the intensive bombardment that reduced western Mosul’s Old City to rubble.

In his interview with Cockburn, Zebari attributed a significant share of the carnage to the relentless artillery bombardment of western Mosul by Iraq’s militarized federal police, using weapons that are inaccurate and of use only in terms of demolishing entire neighborhoods rather than targeting fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The report issued earlier this month by Amnesty International, “At Any Cost: The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul,” also pointed to the devastating effect of these bombardments, which were used to compensate for the lack of sufficient numbers of adequately trained Iraqi troops to throw into combat in the crowded streets and alleyways of Mosul’s Old City.

“Pro-government forces relied heavily upon explosive weapons with wide area effects such as IRAMs (Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions),” Amnesty charged. “With their crude targeting abilities, these weapons wreaked havoc in densely populated west Mosul, where large groups of civilians were trapped in homes or makeshift shelters. Even in attacks that seem to have struck their intended military target, the use of unsuitable weapons or failure to take other necessary precautions resulted in needless loss of civilian lives.”

The report described the artillery and rocket launchers employed by the Iraqi forces, working closely with US special forces “advisors,” as “indiscriminate weapons” that “must never be used in the vicinity of civilians.”

One indication of the scale of the killing has come, unintentionally, from the Iraqi government itself. Since proclaiming Mosul’s “liberation” on July 10, Iraqi officials have put out a statement claiming that its forces had “liquidated 16,467 terrorists.” When the siege began, US commanders estimated that there were somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 ISIS fighters in the city. An obvious explanation for this discrepancy is that any male Iraqi killed in the city, fighters and civilians alike, has been designated as a member of ISIS.

Despite the fanfare by the Baghdad government over Mosul’s “liberation” and victory over ISIS, fighting is still being reported within the city, with guerrilla bands carrying out lethal attacks on Iraqi government units.

At the same time, there have been multiple reports indicating that the government forces and allied militias have been engaged in savage acts of collective punishment against Mosul’s survivors, including mass summary executions and torture.

Human Rights Watch reported Wednesday that international observers had discovered an “execution site in west Mosul.” It recounted their testimony that they found inside an empty building “a row of 17 male corpses, barefoot but in civilian dress, surrounded by pools of blood. They said many appeared to have been blindfolded and with their hands tied behind their back.” The human rights group cited a large number of similar incidents along with “relentless reports, videos, and photographs of unlawful executions and beatings by Iraqi soldiers.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi made it clear that the government will do nothing to halt these atrocities. He described them as “individual acts and not widespread.”

The US corporate media has all but blacked out the reports of massive civilian casualties and the war crimes carried out since the retaking of Mosul. The Iraqi government itself has sought to bar reporters from the city in order to conceal the scale of the bloodshed and continuing executions.

While largely dropping its coverage of the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Mosul, the New York Times Thursday published a hypocritical editorial titled “Avoiding War With Iran,” which expressed some trepidation over the increasingly bellicose acts of the Trump administration aimed at provoking just such a conflict.

The “newspaper of record” suggests that “It is useful to recall the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War arguably America’s biggest strategic blunder in modern times.” It criticizes the Bush administration for launching a war to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein “even though he had nothing to do with Sept. 11 and had no nuclear weapons.” It adds, “Mr. Bush decided to fight a pre-emptive war without a solid justification or strategy. Such a stumble into war could happen again.”

Conveniently forgotten in this cynical presentation is the fact that the Times as an institution played a major role in advocating and facilitating the Iraq war.

Its senior correspondent Judith Miller worked intimately with US officials to promote and embellish upon phony “intelligence” on non-existent Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction.” Thomas Friedman, the paper’s chief foreign affairs columnist, churned out columns advocating what he openly acknowledged would be a “war of choice” against Iraq, justifying it in the name of democracy, human rights and oil.

The newspaper set the tone for the rest of the media in terms of propaganda that paved the way to a criminal war of aggression that claimed the lives of over one million Iraqis and continues to generate mass murder in Mosul.

Even more chilling was an editorial column on Mosul titled “The City Is the Battlefield of the Future,” that appeared in the Wall Street Journal Thursday under the byline of one Maj. John Spencer, deputy director of the Modern War Institute at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York.

“The battle for Mosul represents the future of warfare,” Major Spencer argues, adding “U.S. commanders ought to imagine how they would handle a similar environment.”

Clearly, they have more than imagined it–in terms of Iraq–with US commanders directing much of the destruction rained down on the city.

Echoing what is now standard Pentagon doctrine, the major insists that the wars that the US military will confront will be fought in “cities — dense, often overpopulated and full of obstacles: labyrinthine apartment blocks, concealed tunnels, panicking civilians.”

His primary concern is that the Pentagon presently has no systematic training of its troops for urban combat, and that the word “siege”–the barbaric strategy employed against Mosul–does not appear in its training manuals.

He insists that US forces “need to be equipped to operate in large cities with new equipment, formations and doctrine.” He advances a modest proposal for meeting this need: “Major cities such as Detroit and the outer boroughs of New York have large abandoned areas that could be safely redeveloped as urban training sites.”

In other words, American troops are to be trained in the art of urban combat and siege warfare inside American cities. The proposal suggests that what the major is really urging Pentagon commanders to “imagine” is using the military to suppress revolutionary upheavals in the US itself.

Originally published in

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Why War? Building On The Legacy of Einstein, Freud And Gandhi

In 1932, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein conducted a correspondence subsequently published under the title ‘Why War?’ See ‘Why War: Einstein and Freud’s Little-Known Correspondence on Violence, Peace, and Human Nature’. In many ways, this dialogue between two giants of the 20thcentury is symbolic of the effort made by many humans to understand that perplexing and incredibly damaging feature of human experience: the institution of war.

In a recent article, the founder of peace research, Professor Johan Galtung, reminded us of the legacy of Freud and Einstein in this regard and reflected on their dialogue, noting some shortcomings including their failure to ‘unpack conflict’. See ‘Freud-Einstein on Peace’.

Of course, Freud and Einstein weren’t the first to consider the question ‘Why War?’ and their dialogue was preceded by a long sequence of individuals and even some organizations, such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and War Resisters’ International, who sought to understand, prevent and/or halt particular wars, or even to understand and end the institution itself, as exemplified by the Kellogg-Briand Pact in 1928 outlawing war. Moreover, given the failure of earlier initiatives, many individuals and organizations since Freud and Einstein have set out to understand, prevent and/or halt wars and these efforts have taken divergent forms.

Notable among these, Mohandas K. Gandhi was concerned to develop a mode of action to deal with many manifestations of violence and he dramatically developed, and shared, an understanding of how to apply nonviolence, which he labeled satyagraha (holding firmly to the truth),  in overcoming large-scale violence and exploitation. He successfully applied his strategic understanding of nonviolence to the Indian independence struggle against British colonial rule. But while Gandhi was happy to acknowledge his debt to those who had gone before, he was not shy in proclaiming the importance of finding new ways forward: ‘If we are to make progress, we must not repeat history but make new history. We must add to the inheritance left by our ancestors.’

My own journey to understand human violence was caused by the death of my two uncles, Bob and Tom, in World War II, ten years before I was born. My childhood in the 1950s and 1960s is dotted with memories of my uncles, stimulated through such events as attending memorial services at the Shrine of Remembrance where their war service was outlined. See ‘My Brothers’ on my father’s website.

But by the early 1960s, courtesy of newspaper articles and photos, I had become aware of exploitation and starvation in Africa and elsewhere, and as a young university student in the early 1970s I was reading literature about environmental destruction. It wasn’t just war that was problematic; violence took many other forms too.

‘Why are human beings violent?’ I kept asking. Because I thought that this question must have been answered somewhere, I kept reading, including the work of Freud and Karl Marx as an undergraduate, but also the thoughts of many other scholars, such as Frantz Fanon, as well as anarchists, feminists and those writing from other perspectives which offered explanations of violence, whether direct, structural or otherwise.

By the early 1980s I had started to read Gandhi and I had begun to understand nonviolence, as Gandhi practised and explained it, with a depth that seemed to elude the activists I knew and even the scholars in the field that I read.

Separately from this, I was starting to gain asense that the human mind was not somethingthat could be understood well by viewing it primarily as an organ of thinking and that much of the literature and certainly most of the practitioners in the field of psychology and related fields, especially psychiatry, had failed to understand the emotional depth and complexity of the human mind and the implications of this for dealing with conflict and violence. In this sense, it was clear to me, few had understood, let alone been able to develop, Freud’s legacy. This is because the fundamental problem is about feeling (and, in relation to violence, particularly suppressed fear and anger). Let me explain why.

Violence is something that is usually identified as physical: it involves actions like hitting, punching and using weapons such as a gun. This is one of the types of violence, and probably the one now most often lamented, that is inflicted on indigenous peoples, women and people of colour, among others.

Separately from this, Gandhi also identified exploitation as violence and Galtung elaborated this concept with his notion of ‘structural violence’. Other forms of violence have been identified and they take many forms such as financial violence, cultural violence and ecological violence. But violence can be more subtle than any of these and, hence, much less visible. I have given two of these forms of violence the labels ‘invisible violence’ and ‘utterly invisible violence’. Tragically, ‘invisible violence’ and ‘utterly invisible violence’ are inflicted on us mercilessly from the day we are born. And, as a result, we are all terrorized.

So what are ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence?

In essence, ‘invisible’ violence is the ‘little things’ we do every day, partly because we are just ‘too busy’. For example, when we do not allow time to listen to, and value, a child’s thoughts and feelings, the child learns to not listen to themSelf thus destroying their internal communication system. When we do not let a child say what they want (or ignore them when they do), the child develops communication and behavioural dysfunctionalities as they keep trying to meet their own needs (which, as a basic survival strategy, they are genetically programmed to do).

When we blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie to, bribe, blackmail, moralize with and/or judge a child, we both undermine their sense of Self-worth and teach them to blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie, bribe, blackmail, moralize and/or judge.

The fundamental outcome of being bombarded throughout their childhood by this ‘invisible’ violence is that the child is utterly overwhelmed by feelings of fear, pain, anger and sadness (among many others). However, parents, teachers and other adults also actively interfere with the expression of these feelings and the behavioural responses that are naturally generated by them and it is this ‘utterly invisible’ violence that explains why the dysfunctional behavioural outcomes actually occur.

For example, by ignoring a child when they express their feelings, by comforting, reassuring or distracting a child when they express their feelings, by laughing at or ridiculing their feelings, by terrorizing a child into not expressing their feelings (e.g. by screaming at them when they cry or get angry), and/or by violently controlling a behaviour that is generated by their feelings (e.g. by hitting them, restraining them or locking them into a room), the child has no choice but to unconsciously suppress their awareness of these feelings.

However, once a child has been terrorized into suppressing their awareness of their feelings (rather than being allowed to have their feelings and to act on them) the child has also unconsciously suppressed their awareness of the reality that caused these feelings. This has many outcomes that are disastrous for the individual, for society and for nature because the individual will now easily suppress their awareness of the feelings that would tell them how to act most functionally in any given circumstance and they will progressively acquire a phenomenal variety of dysfunctional behaviours, including many that are violent towards themselves, others and/or the Earth.

Moreover, this emotional (or psychological) damage will lead to a unique combination of violent behaviours in each case. And some of these individuals will gravitate to working in one of the social roles that specifically requires, or justifies, the use of ‘legitimized violence’, such as the violence carried out by police, prosecuting lawyers, magistrates and judges, as well as that inflicted by the military. Others, of course, will operate outside the realm of legitimized violence and be labelled as ‘criminals’.

But, you might be wondering, what is the link between what happens in childhood and war?

The answer is simply that perpetrators of violence, and those who collaborate with them, are created during childhood. And these perpetrators and collaborators are all terrified, self-hating and powerless – for much greater detail of the precise psychological characteristics of perpetrators of violence and their collaborators, see Why Violence? and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice – and they go on to perform all of the key roles in creating, maintaining, equipping, staffing and legitimizing the institutions of war and in conducting it.

If it weren’t for the violence to which we are all mercilessly subjected throughout childhood, there would be no interest in violence or war of any kind. If we were raised without violence, we would be naturally peaceful and cooperative, content to spend our time seeking to achieve our own unique evolutionary potential and to nurture the journey of others as well as life itself, rather than just become another cog in someone else’s military (or other bureaucratic or corporate) machine.

If any of the above resonates with you, then I invite you to make ‘My Promise to Children’.

In addition, if further reducing the violence in our world appeals to you, then you are also welcome to consider participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’, signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ and/or considering using the strategic framework on one or the other of these two websites for your campaign to end violence or war in one context or another: Nonviolent Campaign Strategy and Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

A child is not born to make war. But if you inflict enough violence on a child, and destroy their capacity to become their own unique and powerful self, they will be terrorised into perceiving violence and war as their society wants them to be perceived. And violence and war, and the institutions that maintain them, will flourish.

If we want to end war, we must halt the adult war against children as a priority.

19.07.2017 Countercurrents

Not Just Black or Muslim, ALL Lives Matter!

By Dr Mansoor Durrani

United States of America has been the leader of nations for a while. From fashion and food to “war on terror” other nations simply follow the leader. But people embrace American products like McDonald, Nike, iPhone and other American lifestyle by choice. So it is unfair to say that the US gets the world to follow it under the gun. Of course US does compel and bully others, but only for big-ticket games like wars, arm sales etc. And it is not just consumers or governments who follow the US practices worldwide. Even the social movements picking up slogans from the US. So there is Black Lives Matter movement, and then the white Americans have their own Native Lives Matter movement.

In the aftermath of recent hate crimes against Muslims in the US and Europe and lynching terrorism that the New India has unleashed on its Muslim population, the civil society in support of helpless victims has come up with the slogan Muslim Lives Matter. Being a universal faith that is meant for the entire humanity and not just for Muslims, I have an issue with this narrow focus – no matter how justified it may seem under the current situation. Even though under the hate crimes and lynching terrorism a vast majority victims are Muslims, but Islamic faith teaches that all human lives are equally precious. If innocent Muslim lives are taken by saffron terrorists on the streets of Northern or Southern Indian states are precious then the innocent Hindu lives taken while returning from a pilgrimage in Kashmir are important too. Beyond India, Christian lives matter in South Sudan as much as Buddhist lives matter in Tibet. And Shi’a lives matter in Pakistan as much as Sunni lives matter in Syria and Iraq!

If other narrow, self-centered and petty ideologies create high walls around their ethnic or faith groups, it is understandable. But the Muslim civil society in India (and elsewhere) should have given one-and-only slogan to safeguard innocent lives and that slogan must be Human Lives Matter. The human angle resonates a bit more in the Indian context because the entire lynching terrorism shows to the world that cows (even if the beef eatingor beef carrying allegations are true) are more important than human lives in New India! It is this primitive mindset combined with cold barbarity that sets the current situation apart from all the atrocities intermittently unleashed on Muslims over the past seven decades.

In the midst of these challenging times, an encouraging fact that requires both recognition and appreciation is large scale support that the victims of lynching terrorism receiving from Indians of all other faiths. Though we are yet to see a Portland, Oregon style defense where in May 2017 three white American men gave their lives for defending a young Muslim girl in headscarf who was being terrorized on a train by a white Muslim-hater. But a fair section of Indian media, specially alternate news outlets on social media, have strongly condemned endless killings of innocent Muslims. These aspects point to the need for a worldwide movement under the banner of Human Lives Matter. Depending upon which part of the world we are discussing, innocent lives of all faith groups are being taken mercilessly by hate groups who operate under various banners and who have established lawless dictatorships under the garb of democracies in a number of countries – including our incredible India!

There is a general impression (and correct to some extent) that while Muslims claim to be the followers of a universal faith that preaches perfect equality regardless of cast, color, class or creed.But in practice their reaction or protests against atrocities are largely confined to their own faith groups. This is fundamentally contrary to the teachings of their Islamic faith. It may be just fine for the saffron brigade to differentiate the value of human lives. For example, they condemn and grieve SEVEN Amarnath pilgrims killed by terrorists and then the very next week coldly ignore the deaths of SEVENTEEN Amarnath pilgrims when their bus falls into a gorge – just because there was no Muslim link to these SEVENTEEN deaths.

This hypocrisy is not confined to civilian deaths alone. Even the political value of military causalities is assessed by who actually the killer is. So when a senior Indian army officer Major ShikharThapa, of 71 Armoured Regiment is killed in J&K on 17 July by his subordinate NaikKathiresan who pumped five bullets in Major’s back, no hashtags is launched in sympathy of Major Shikhar’s 3 month old son!

More than 100 cases of suicide are reported every year in the Indian armed forces. But no tears are shed on these losses of lives. Human lives!!

But Muslims claim to have a different value system. This is why there are two strong reasons for them to take a lead on a new Human Lives Matter initiative (A) they are the principal victims (worldwide) of Western-led war on terror and (B) Qur’an, their Holy book, most explicitly says this:

Whoever saves one (human) it is as if he saved the entire humanity [Chapter 5: verse 32]

Dr Mansoor Durrani is a PhD in Islamic Banking from UK. He is currently serving as a Senior Vice President at a top bank in the Middle East. Views are personal.

The original article can be found on our partner’s website here

19.07.2017 Pressenza New York

Zia Mian on the Nuclear Weapons Ban and Prohibition Treaty
Voting on the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, UN, July 7, 2017 (Image by Xanthe Hall / ICAN)

I had the privilege of attending the opening and penultimate sessions of the Nuclear Weapons Ban and Prohibition Treaty negotiations at the U.N. this spring and summer. And, midst considerable celebration, on July 7, representatives of the majority of the world’s governments agreed to a treaty designed to outlaw the development, testing, producing, possession, stockpiling, use and threatened use of nuclear weapons and considerably more.

The next major steps will be to get those governments to agree to sign the treaty by September 20 and then to ratify it. Our other priority is educating the public about the treaty so that we can build the popular pressure needed to move the nuclear weapons and umbrella (NATO, Japan, South Korea etc.) to eventually eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

My e-mail in box has been flooded with articles about the Ban Treaty, but by far, and not surprisingly, the best article has been written by Zia Mian of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. It appears in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.


For Peace, Justice and Environmental Sustainability,

Joseph Gerson, Director of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)’s Peace and Economic Security Program.


19.07.2017 Human Wrongs Watch

The Sexualities Revolution

By Johan Galtung and Antonio C. S. Rosa

Like the feminist revolution, this one may be said to have originated in USA.  The two are related.  There is a long, painful history.  From use and abuse of women, also inside marriage, for male sexual satisfaction only, still going on. To an awakening, realizing that there is female sexuality, maybe a little different, maybe with several orgasms rather than a big one.

Kinsey played a major role. Very solid, very empirical, vast, comprehensive, fought by some churches and no doubt by some patriarchs.  But science prevailed.

Before that, another half of humanity, exactly “the other half” in the English sense of lower class, had been accorded another sexuality, but raw, brutal with rape across class and race borders as expression.

Middle-upper class white husbands lived for centuries with a-sexual women whose virtue was threatened by lower class-race males, very fearful that their wives might actually want it.

While they themselves raped, forced their wives to sexual submission, and lawfully so, even protected by the Bible (I Corinthians 4:34-35).

The last decades evened the images of sexuality across gender, class and race borders to one humanity in sexuality, with rights to fulfillment and duties to solidarity, compassion, consideration.

At the same time, the steps from awareness of a somewhat different but vibrant–literally speaking–female sexuality to other sexualities became easier, even to LGBTQI-lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer, intersex and to ideas of male-female as yin-yang of sexuality with male only, female only, neither male nor female, both male and female, articulations.

The whole sexual landscape became more diverse.  The idea of what is normal and natural expanded.  No doubt increasing social gender, class and race tolerance, mobility and equality played a major role.

And so did the step from one sexuality to sexualities in plural.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Hetero

A truly symbolic beginning: The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in Greenwich Village, New York City.

They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States and in the world. (Wikipedia).

Male homosexuality was the norm in Ancient Greece where males were supposedly bisexuals in mature age and homosexuals in youth—having intercourse and love affairs with older men, their mentors.

Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Alexander the Great are just the most famously cited examples of a society with a chosen morality quite different from ours. Women were just for procreation, not for fun.

The beauty and grace of male bodies were set in stone in Greek sculptures, paintings, literature. The ‘unspeakable vice of the Greeks,’ as puritanical British scholars referred to such love among men. Women: down under, without a social life.

Enters contemporary Mosuo culture in the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan near Tibet. They present a matriarchal society where males are used exclusively for procreation in nocturnal secret visits.

Men are segregated to own quarters and depend on the women for everything. Famously, they spend their days smoking and waiting to be chosen. No love or monogamous relationships to talk about. Women do all the work, raise children, govern, and choose their nightly mates. Men: down under, without a social life.

Enters Western culture with Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) putting a prize on heterosexual practice and behavior, procreation and family. Homosexuality is deemed as contra-natura, a crime, a disease, a mortal sin, socially shamed by ostracism, immoral, even lethal.

Some societies still condemn homosexuals to death nowadays as Hitler and fascists confined them to concentration camps; both male and female homosexualities having been religiously, legally, socially, morally, medically unacceptable. Bullying against perceived homosexuals becomes socially acceptable and even encouraged.

Missing from the debate: serious, unbiased research on homosexuals as homosexuals in history, leadership roles, science, literature, in religion & spirituality, for instance. For we know their contributions to sexualities-blind activities such as the arts, music, theater, dance, haute-couture. Prejudice means pre-judgment, judgment a priori, and engenders racism, homophobia, sexism, ethnocentrism, among other social and personal deviations.

Stereotype: Alan Turing, the man who cracked the Nazi Enigma code, was homosexual. He is widely seen as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence and is credited with helping to shorten the course of WWII by few years.

Yet, “Despite his achievements, in 1952 he was prosecuted for homosexuality, which was then illegal in England. To avoid prison, Turing agreed to receive injections of oestrogen for a year, which was intended to reduce his libido in a process known as chemical castration. He subsequently died of cyanide poisoning aged 41 – an inquest recorded a verdict of suicide.” (The Telegraph, 23 Dec 2013)

Prototypes: Leo Varadkar, the prime minister of Ireland and son of Indian immigrants, is gay. Iceland’s Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir was the country’s first open lesbian prime minister. Ana Brnabic is Serbia’s first female gay prime minister.

Apple Computers’ CEO Tim Cook revealed being homosexual. Celebrated TV host Ellen Degeneres came out publicly as being a lesbian on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Defensive Michael Sam became the first openly gay player in the NFL. My-King Johnson is the first openly gay teen recruit in major conference college football. The ones inside their closets cannot be counted of course.

The point is not the (de)merits of a given sexuality but the recognition that moralities, moralists, moralisms, societal norms, mores and laws change according to time, place and circumstance. Western religions are a major force but warring states also need children to replace those who die in battle.

Thus, they need heterosexual behavior-actions even if individuals are not heterosexuals. Citizens conform to avoid punishment, or hell, or both. So, homosexuals either married opposite sex or joined some monastery—to later become pedophiles as history shows us abundantly today. Social structures, not sexualities, are the problem.

These constructs of the mind are the ones that determine what-who is right/wrong. It is not something intrinsic in the behavior, not subjective [natural, innate, inborn], but an object of the factors above [culturally & structurally specific]. As the case of abortion, imposed on the population in patriarchic societies. In two words: Social Control.

It is a fact that sexuality, much like skin color, eye or hair color, is innate; a person is born with it. There may be cases where people change sexuality from hetero to homo or vice versa but these are the exceptions. As are transgenders, who decide to change the form of their genitals after grown-up.

Homosexuality may be defined as the inclination to love someone of the same gender. One in unable to choose it in the same way that one cannot choose to like tea or coffee, sour or sweet: one just does, naturally, not through a decision making process.

Sexuality is not a choice, a preference or lifestyle; it is an imposition from nature like personality traits as tendencies to music, engineering, sports, writing, and so on. Questions for heterosexuals against homosexuality: Did you choose your own sexuality? Or just follow your heart? Could you change it at whim or even by imposition?

Patriarchal cultures and societies demand that males compete for females, territory, dominance, superiority; in life, in battle, in sports, in private and social settings. A man is not supposed to love another man unless he is family or a close friend. You must not love your adversaries. Among women the rules are more relaxed; they enjoy more freedom to express affection.

The Greeks defined love in its three aspects: Agape, unconditional love; Philia, brotherly love; and Eros, erotic or romantic love. Opposite of love is Phobia, that which a male must feel for another male—not biological but social, moral.

Unfortunately sex is generally confused with love both in literature and in reality. Sex is ephemeral pleasure of the genitalia—any genitalia. Love is emotion, energy, synergy between two human beings.

Love and sex complement but do not replace each other, being of utterly different natures. Thus love, affection, romance, loyalty and commitment transcend the sexuality aspect and are present in any union between two persons who love each other whether homo or hetero. Bisexuals enjoy the best of two worlds.

In old age sexual desire and intercourse tend to vanish becoming non important. Not so with love! The point is fulfillment, happiness, friendship, companionship, human warmth, respect, complicity, devotion—what makes us humans. To love without artificial constraints, above so-called lower animals that merely respond to instinctive sexual arousal.

Countries That Allow Same-Sex Unions around the World:

Argentina (2010) Denmark (2012) Greenland (2015) New Zealand (2013) Spain (2005)
Belgium (2003) England / Wales (2013) Iceland (2010) Norway (2009) Sweden (2009)
Brazil (2013) Finland (2015) Ireland (2015) Portugal (2010) United States (2015)
Canada (2005) France (2013) Luxembourg (2014) Scotland (2014) Uruguay (2013)
Colombia (2016) Germany (2017) The Netherlands (2000) South Africa (2006)

Countries Where Gay Marriage is Legal in Some Jurisdictions:

Mexico (2009)

The original article can be found on our partner’s website here

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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