Archive for FANATICISM & RELIGION

The Menacing Side of Russian Patriotism

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(Correction: Republished on April 2, 2014 from April 1, 2014 due to an error in publication. Last 4 paragraphs did not get included in original publication.)
RussiansWelcomeCrimeaBy Alvetina Rea.

[Participants in the "We Are Together" rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow.(RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy), RT.]

[Editor's Note: This article reflects a not uncommon sentiment among many Russians today.  The Stalin era is a complex political and historical point due to the widespread revisionism colored by the Cold War doctrines - many of which persist to this day. Some events attributed to Stalin are exaggerated or misattributed - such as the number of people who died is inflated by those who died of starvation because of the actions of the US and allies to efforts to close off the USSR. The massive "red scare" in the US linked to the threat of mass annihilation created "mass insanity" as Ms. Rea criticizes in her article.  That is an insanity that is encouraged  by those who want to move a populace - for better or worse.  This sense of nationalism also occurs within a specific socio-historical context. Namely the constant drumbeat and threat from the US and NATO to attack Russia in one way or another. This serves to raise the level of fear, as well as the sense of group identification, that Ms. Rea discusses below. In other words, what is driving the nationalism is based in actual threat to life and livelihood by the US (followed by NATO) upon the Russian people. Gaither Stewart wrote an excellent article addressing some of these issues, which may be found here, but that I will republish.] Read more

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Deconstructing the Dunn Trial: The Weaponization of Blackness vs. White “Fear”

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ICouldBeNextBy Khalid Beydoun. Republished from CommonDreams.

(The Florida Times-Union, Kelly Jordan/ Associated Press)

Jordan Davis was afraid. He wished he was at home with his parents after the first shot – never anticipating that his routine goodbye before a night out with is friends would be his final farewell. The second shot ricocheted off of the red SUV, and eight more would follow from Michael Dunn’s gun.

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Forging a Socialist-Islamist Alliance

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BookCvrWalbergFromPostmodernBy William T. Hathaway

Review of Eric Walberg, From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization, Clarity Press, 2013

Most western Middle East experts see Islam as a problem for the West — a source of terrorism, religious fanaticism, unwanted immigrants — and they see their job as helping to change the Middle East so it’s no longer a problem for us. Eric Walberg, however, recognizes that this is another instance of the Big Lie. Read more

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The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government

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TedCruzBy Chris Hedges. Originally published on TruthDig.

There is a desire felt by tens of millions of Americans, lumped into a diffuse and fractious movement known as the Christian right, to destroy the intellectual and scientific rigor of the Enlightenment, radically diminish the role of government to create a theocratic state based on “biblical law,” and force a recalcitrant world to bend to the will of an imperial and “Christian” America. Its public face is on display in the House of Representatives. This ideology, which is the driving force behind the shutdown of the government, calls for the eradication of social “deviants,” beginning with gay men and lesbians, whose sexual orientation, those in the movement say, is a curse and an illness, contaminating the American family and the country. Once these “deviants” are removed, other “deviants,” including Muslims, liberals, feminists, intellectuals, left-wing activists, undocumented workers, poor African-Americans and those dismissed as “nominal Christians”—meaning Christians who do not embrace this peculiar interpretation of the Bible—will also be ruthlessly repressed. The “deviant” government bureaucrats, the “deviant” media, the “deviant” schools and the “deviant” churches, all agents of Satan, will be crushed or radically reformed. The rights of these “deviants” will be annulled. “Christian values” and “family values” will, in the new state, be propagated by all institutions. Education and social welfare will be handed over to the church. Facts and self-criticism will be replaced with relentless indoctrination. Read more

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Philosopher: Bernard Henri Levy and the Destruction of Libya

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LibyaBernardHenriLevyBy Ramzy Baroud

[Bernard-Henri Levy in Libya during the war.]

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “the world’s most influential Jew”, Bernard Henri Levy is number 45, according to an article published in the Israeli rightwing newspaper the Jerusalem Post, on May 21, 2010. Read more

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Perfect Brainwash.

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From the archives—Articles you should have read but missed the first time around.

Originally posted on Salon THURSDAY, FEB 7, 2013
Death of an American sniper
Did Chris Kyle’s uncritical thinking in life — revealed in his bestselling memoir — contribute to his death?

Kyle

Kyle. No PTSD torments for this proud redneck.

BY LAURA MILLER

I am not a fan of politics,” wrote Chris Kyle, the 38-year-old former Navy SEAL sniper who was shot and killed with a friend at a Texas firing range on Saturday. Yet, in his best-selling memoir, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History” — originally published last year and currently experiencing a sales bump in the aftermath of Kyle’s death — the commando also wrote, “I like war.” The problem, as Kyle would have known if he’d read his Carl von Clausewitz, is that the two aren’t separable; war, as Clauswitz wrote, is the continuation of politics by other means. Read more

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Must Read—IMAGINING HITLER

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From the archives: essays you should have read the first time around but didn’t.
CULTURE
 |  February 1999
Vanity Fair

Adolf-HitlerSwastikaBefore Adolf Hitler took power, virtually no one understood his unthinkable evil. Since his suicide, no one has fully explained how a talentless crank was able to turn Europe into a charnel house. In a new book, Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris, Ian Kershaw supplies a piece of the puzzle.

‘What a piece of work is man!” says the Prince of Denmark. “How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!” Well said, but where, as Ron Rosenbaum so intelligently asks in his recent book, Explaining Hitler, do all the Jeffrey Dahmers come from? This is sometimes put, by nervous theologians, as “the problem of evil.” We often phrase it, colloquially, as the problem of Hitler. “His face in those early years,” wrote Arthur Koestler in 1942, “an unshaped pudding with a black horizontal dot, came to life as the lights of obsession were switched on behind the eyeballs.” And then those paragons of animals, those with the godlike and angelic faculties of reason and understanding, flung themselves down by the million and groaned great noises of worship and adoration. And this in the country of Beethoven and Goethe, where, to continue with Koestler for a moment, “the features of it retained their crankish ridiculousness, with the black dot under the upturned nose and the second black dot pasted on the forefront, but it now assumed the grotesque horror of a totem-mask worn at ritual dances where human sacrifices are performed.” A piece of work—no question about that. Read more

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