A Second Term

So, Mr. Obama, part time Messiah, and full time Israeli Vice President for American Affairs, has been returned to his golden throne atop the rotting corpses of his victims in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Mali, Libya and, perhaps – still to come – Iran. How is it possible that the voters of a country we are told, repeatedly, is the ‘shining beacon on the hill’, the nation that sees further and clearer than any other, and represents man’s last, best hope, overlook the fact that this person, this peace laureate, is nothing more than a vile murderer of the innocent in far away places? How can it be?

Perhaps, since America is a nation born of a genocide, grown powerful by greed, mendacity and outright brutality and sustained by illusion and delusion, it is no more than a rhetorical question I’ve posed?

At least Romney remains free of the blood stains of slaughter, but only because he didn’t win the crown!

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Islam and Climate Change: a heady mix!

Two topics have been preeminent in my thoughts this week: Islamophobia and Climate change. As with many of man’s problems, the solutions are quite clear, but likely unenforceable because of deeply entrenched vested interests.

I’ll take the easy one first!

Much has been made of widespread protests throughout the Muslim world, both in the Western media as well as those suppurating dens of iniquity, namely, Washington, Westminster, Tel Aviv and Brussels, with a slight nod of the head in the direction of Canberra (the capital of Australia for all you well informed graduate students out there). What’s it really about? A movie that exists only in trailer form? I think not!

The simple truth about Islam is not that it wishes to remain stuck in medieval times but that, because of constant meddling on the part of countless foreign powers over the past two centuries, it has never had the opportunity to evolve as has Christianity. Ah, I hear you say, what about the fundamentalist Christian sects, with their in your face insistence that you ‘come to Jesus or be damned’? What about the Book of Revelation fanatics and their desire to bring about Armageddon and the Rapture? Are they any different? No, they are not, but there is within the Christian orthodoxy a wide divergence of the interpretation of the Bible which provides a counterbalance to the more extreme proponents of its message. This does not exist within the Islamic world, because it has been and still is under the malevolent influence of the West.

Britain deserves much of the blame for the travails of the modern Muslim world and is still busy setting Muslim against Muslim today, though, to be honest, these days, in the capacity of principle supporter and coat holder to the Americans. One can, however, if one is quiet enough, still hear ‘Westminster’ whispering encouragements in the ear of this or that American President to keep prodding the ‘fuzzy wuzzies’. Space does not permit a full history of Britain’s nefarious undertakings in the Middle East, but some events are worth noting:

1) The British invasion of Afghanistan, December, 1838, the premise of which was: “in order to ensure the welfare of India, the British must have a trustworthy ally on India’s western frontier”. It was also to provide a bulwark against Russin influence. In that respect, the Cold War truly began in the nineteenth century! The British were roundly defeated by the Afghan tribesmen, though most of the soldiers killed in that skirmish were Indian.  Naturally! Later, on November 12, 1893, Amir Abdul Rahman Khan of Afghanistan and Sir Mortimer Durand, the foreign secretary of the British Indian government both agreed and signed the Durand Line Treaty, setting up the border between Afghanistan and then British India/present-day Pakistan. The boundary was established in the Hindu Kush in 1893 running through the tribal lands between Afghanistan and British India, marking their respective spheres of influence and effectively cutting the Pashtun nation in half.

2) Britain’s involvement in Sudan, where they came up against a popular Arab uprising lead by the Mahdi.

3) The Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917, which stated, “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” Palestine was a British Mandate carved out of the former Ottoman Empire, post WW I, at that time. To be fair, the British Government offered the Jews a homeland in British East Africa. The Jews, understandably, declined!

4) Another spoil of WW I was Iraq, where Britain found itself holding the bag, so to speak. Britain redrew the map of Iraq, jamming Kurds, Sunni and Shia together in an administrative abortion called Iraq. Iraq was tough to administer during that time. A million British troops were unable to quell the constant rebellion, even with chemical weapons. It might seem a little odd that the administration of George W. Bush would be ignorant of the religious and ethnic tensions present in that land, even under the iron rule of Washington’s man, Saddam Hussein. I’ll be charitable and put it down to Attention Deficit Disorder! Of course, after the Iraq war (the second one, that is), the moment Western troops left, the Iraqi government drew closer to Iran. But, that’s not the worst of it! During the build up to that war, sanctions imposed by Blair, Clinton and Bush Junior were the direct cause of the deaths of half a million Iraqi children, and the best that Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State in the Clinton administration, could come up with when asked about this appalling fact was, ‘that it was a price worth paying’. And the West is now applying those same sanctions to Iran. And, for what? Oil! Not to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Oil! Think about that next time you fill up your gas tank.

5) Britain’s long involvement in Saudi Arabia, a nation rich in oil, ruled by a despotic royal family, who espouse an extremist form of Islam, Wahhabism, and having a significant Shia population who favor closer relations with Iran.

6) In Egypt, Britain’s involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood, see here, and here.  The West is once again uneasy over the ascendency of the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular its clear intention to make Eqypt the leader of the Arab world (a desire it has always had) and its recently declared objective of overthrowing Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, the present King of Jordan.

7) Britain and America conspired to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran in 1953, with the intention of installing Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi as Shar (King) of Iran in order to gain Western dominance over Iran’s large oil reserves. The Shar was the first Arab leader to recognize Israel. And the list goes on!

We now have the British once more in Afghanistan, up to their tricks in Iraq and the Horn of Africa, and pushing for war against Iran.

Britain thrived, technologically and commercially once Henry VIII expelled the Church of Rome from the body politic and relegated religion to the role of instructor and social conscience. Over time, Europe followed suit. Now, imagine the Islamic world, freed of Western interference, freed of being ruled by Western puppets who govern by military force, whose weaponry is paid for by the West (foreign aid), who provide the people with no national identity other than through their religious connections, one with the other, and across national boundaries, so desperate for real leadership that they will embrace any charismatic leader, religious or not, who might step forward to resist Western tyranny. Do Muslims as a whole support terrorism? No! Is Islam itself a religion steeped in violence? Of course not! Terrorism gives justification for the West’s continued involvement in the Muslim world. That’s why Western governments fund so many terrorist groups: it’s good for business! I firmly believe that given the freedom to elect their own leaders and to follow their own path for growth that over time, we would see the reemergence of the real Middle East which gave us Mathematics, Astronomy and Legal Jurisprudence. The Islamic religion would still be a central part of Muslim life, but it would take on the role of instructor, guide and conscience – just like Christianity.

And, now to Climate Change. There’s not a lot to say, really. After all, do you, do any of you, intend to give up driving your truck to work, engaging in tractor pulls, mud racing, going to the mall, traveling by plane to the furthest reaches of the planet, running your A.C. at 70 degrees, rain or shine? Do any of you intend to give up eating non-seasonal produce, flown from the other side of the world? Will you ever stop purchasing stuff made in China, brought to your local Walmart by container ships and 18 wheelers? Will any of you protest the massive pollution caused by wars and the energy consumption required to power them? Will you insist the energy companies clean up their act, that gas drilling which causes earthquakes and pollution of the fresh water table (even the drying up of the Mississippi River, it’s been suggested) be more closely regulated? I doubt it! So, climate change and its effects on humans and the natural world is here to stay.

Oh, I know, people are talking about it. There’s Solar Power and Wind Turbines and Wave Power and all that awesome stuff, but it’s true impact on America’s C02 emissions is negligible. The Germans get it and have proven it can be done and done effectively, but in the Land of the Free, it’s nothing more than a socialist plot!

Don’t look to the politicians to fix this! They’re owned by Wall Street and the Energy Companies. Any solution offered by these intellectual midgets will be skewed to making them and their cronies even richer. Like a Carbon Tax for instance. It’s a scam, designed to sell carbon emission quotas to countries which do not currently produce such emissions in exchange for money so WE can keep spewing the stuff into the atmosphere with a clear conscience. It’s bullshit and it won’t work! Watch any TV program on the subject and you’ll hear the same old arguments: it’ll require a reset of our quality of life to a pre-industrial level. Yada! Yada! What they won’t tell you, other than in a throw away statement as the credits are rolling, is that humans have destroyed half of the world’s rainforests, mostly under the auspices of the IMF and World Bank, who hand out loans to impoverished governments in exchange for their planting vast forests of Pine Nuts, or Soya, or beef for hamburgers which further enrich Western Corporations and the banks who own the IMF and the World Bank.

Want to help fix climate change? It’s simple. Buy only what you need for yourself and your family. Teach your kids the old-fashioned concept of saving up for what they want. Grow your own food. Quit using credit! And, become an Eco-anarchist by planting trees, anywhere and everywhere. Trees consume CO2. I know this because, in Belize, the increased level of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is making our rainforests and coconut palms grow at a tremendous rate. Belize has planted more than two million trees over the past decade. Mexico has planted one point two billion trees during that same period and is close to reducing its deforestation rate to zero. Even Guatemala has joined the club, working with Belize to plant aerial pathways for migrating animals. Trees are not difficult to propagate. They require no loans from the IMF and the World Bank to pay for them, and anyone can plant them – even children. The best part is: those crooks on Wall Street won’t make a penny from it, which is why they never mention it!

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In Memorium

Read this today!

Need I say more?

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Culling the herd…

The proposition that our world, in terms of its biosphere and resources – both organic and mineral – is close to being overwhelmed by relentless population expansion is not a new one; nor is it unique to humans. Any organism, confined within a geographic or environmental boundary, that lacks a natural predator, or has evolved to occupy a specific niche, will, if its reproductive rate exceeds its mortality rate by a large enough margin, eventually face the possibility of extinction. Of course, there are factors besides mere population growth which impact the longevity of a species: for instance, the organism’s food source may be able to keep pace with its growth rate, the organism may produce little in the way of waste material, resulting in little effect on the biosphere which it inhabits. However, all things being equal, exponential growth typically results in a species’ eventual demise as the biosphere its self undergoes evolutionary changes, or is impacted by some kind of calamity. This story has been repeated over and over again as now extinct species proved to be incapable of responding to sudden change. Unfortunately, humans are not your average organism. Not only are we breeding faster than we die, we are constantly redefining our interaction with the natural world in ways which facilitate our continued numerical growth – to wit, improved healthcare and the eradication of diseases by immunization, the widespread use of pesticides, fertilizers,  genetic modification, and the wider distribution of basic food stuffs, such as cereals and rice, which can now be transported rapidly from nations with a surplus to those suffering from a deficit.

Malthus devoted much of his academic energy to the study of the relationship between a population and its food supply, though, to be honest, this was hardly news! Famines have been regular visitors throughout human history. What Malthus did was to show that we held our own survival in our hands. It’s a misconception that he espoused genocide, nor was he an advocate for the policy of limiting or reducing population growth according to racial stereotype, he simply put forward the idea that humans were more than capable of managing their reproductive rate to match the local availability of food, given that increasing agricultural productivity to match a burgeoning population was a lengthy and often difficult undertaking. He also pointed out that if humans did not control population growth, nature, in time, would do it for them.

Malthus steered clear of highly emotive pronouncements such as, ‘we need to redistribute global wealth’, or ‘we must aim for a human population of 1.5 to 2 billion’.  Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University in California and author of the best-selling Population Bomb book in 1968, has not. In a piece published by the British Guardian newspaper, he asserts that our population must be reduced by [my calculation] some five billion souls. Plus!

Ehrlich finds himself in broad agreement with a British Royal Society report that states that human population and consumption should not be divided. I quote: “[They] multiply together. You have to deal with them together. We have too much consumption among the rich and too little among the poor. That implies that we are going to have to somehow redistribute access to resources away from the rich to the poor. But in the US we have been doing the opposite. The Republican party is wildly in favor of more redistribution, taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich.” Unquote. Oh, yeah, like it’s different in Britain, or Europe, for that matter, where the only people who count are the Criminal Fraternity of International Bankers and their political bitches, and everyone else is disposable! For their part, neither Ehrlick, nor the cerebral midgets at the Royal Society tell us how this is to be accomplished! Meanwhile, in the real world, Obama – and Bush/Blair and Clinton/Blair, before him – have been doing their best to reduce the global head count, but their focus has been the Muslin world, which accounts for 2.1 billion people, and the result can best be described as ‘nickle and dime’. No attempt has been made by them to reduce the Chinese (1,336,718,015) or Indian (1,189,172,906) populations, or the Japanese (126,475,664), though they are busy removing themselves from the physical plane by the slow motion suicide of radioactive poisoning! Then there’s the Africans, with a total of 922,011,000 ‘useless eaters’, every one of whom has the effrontery to wander aimlessly about a continent that contains oodles of the mineral deposits we in the West so assiduously covet. I’m pretty good at Mathematics! If we whack just these people – and leave the Japanese to take care of themselves -  it’ll subtract 5,674,377,585 from the current global head count of 7,038,987,027, leaving 1,364,609,442 which is right in Ehrlich’s sweet spot.

So, my question is: who gets to die? My next question is: who gets to choose who gets to die?

Let’s check out America’s (that is the West’s) Foreign policy stance. Killing Muslims – Check. Killing off the Chinese – planned, as soon as we find some other impoverished nation to make Ipods and cheap stuff for Walmart to sell to the rubes. Killing off the Indians – we’ll get Pakistan to do it. Africa – well, Libya, Sudan and Somalia are a good start. Japan – we gave them Stuxnet, so they’re screwed, anyway!

Is it so surprising that the think tanks which pollute the Washington Beltway, Westminster and the European Parliament are pressing for foreign policies that produce the results Paul Ehrlich and the Royal Society so fervently espouse? Not that I’m suggesting Ehrlich and the authors of the Royal Society report are promoting genocide; nor do I suggest they’re front men, testing the water of public opinion. What I do say is that it’s clear their message has been received, loud and clear, in the corridors of power and the actions required to achieve a ‘sustainable’ global population are, as I write this, well in hand.

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Final word on abortion…

When it comes to abortion, I admit I have mixed feelings. First of all, I was given up for adoption a few weeks after my birth, so I’m only too aware that I might never have existed had my biological mother decided not to proceed with the pregnancy. However, while I’m not in favor of abortion, personally, I regard any woman’s decision to discontinue a pregnancy as being hers alone – along with input from family members and the medical profession – and not the subject of government diktat, since government serves only itself, never the individual.

What, then, is driving the Republican Party’s anti-abortion hysteria, which risks alienating the greater part of the electorate, namely, women? I assert it has nothing to do with the sanctity of life! I base my claim on the clear evidence that the Republicans and their Democratic counterparts, by their actions, appear equally committed to the eradication of large numbers of brown and black people across the entire planet – including within the U.S., its self – by means of incarceration, war, covert military and intelligence operations, drone attacks, financially induced famines, environmental destruction and pollution.

Consider the statistics provided for 1995, by the web site, AbortionFacts. They are quite revealing! Of all the abortions undertaken during that year, 57.8 percent were white, 33.9 percent were black, while only 5.3 per cent were other racial types. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention web site contains more recent information. I quote from their report “Among women from the 37 areas that reported race for 2007, white women (including Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women) accounted for the largest percentage (55.9%) of abortions; black women accounted for 36.5% and women of other racial groups for 7.6% of abortions…”

So, over a fourteen year period, the percentages have changed very little! It would be simplistic to fixate on this one figure: the analysis is far more complex than that! However, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the demographic shift in political power, from white to non-white, resulting from the higher birth rates of non-whites is exacerbated by the act of abortion.

Much of the impetus for the Republican assault on abortion comes from the religious right in America, who fund so many of its politicians. The same religious right which has demonstrated by its clamorous support for Bush’s crusade against Islam – dutifully continued under Obama – a commitment to the continuation of White Supremacy.  Perhaps this is also the motivation for the Creationism movement? It was Bishop James Ussher who insisted the Earth was a mere six thousand years old, but he was motivated less by truth than the desire to  establish the superiority of the scholarship practiced by the clergy of his reformed faith over that of the Jesuits, the resolutely intellectual Roman Catholic order. His work featured prominently in the Scopes trial, thereby introducing an act of religious ‘oneupmanship’ into a serious scientific legal debate. Is it any wonder modern America is so schizophrenic? Though I have no problem with those who believe that the Bible is a literal history of Earth, and do so honestly and in true faith, this is not what the abortion and evolution debates are about at the political level. While the theory of evolution is anathema to the White Supremacist because it implies that, not only did humans evolve from primates, but that the first humans were likely black skinned, abortion, as it pertains to the white race, is potentially a death sentence!

Right wing religious leaders are driven not only by dogma, the need to remain relevant and the desire to control the prevailing social dialogue, many claim they – white people, that is – have the God given right to govern the entire world, even to the point of orchestrating its eventual destruction! (See, Dispensationism and Dominionism).  How are they different to Xerxes, Attila the Hun, the Romans or the Mongol Hordes? When argument fails them, they resort to fear mongering. I believe, given their willingness to ostracize, even slaughter,  those who hold a contrary view, the abortion issue is really about the loss of religious and political control as the white race declines and non-whites (and, possibly, a different religious group) seize the reigns of power. While many Church members undoubtedly entertain these same fears, they have also shown themselves willing to follow their leaders without question. The politicians? They are nothing more than opportunists in this issue and will maintain their allegiance to the religious right only as long as the donations and votes keep coming.

I guess that just leaves the Eugenics movement! I’ll get to that next time….

Disclosure: I am English, Anglo Saxon and white.

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American Taliban…

I don’t think anyone who browses the alternative news websites is unaware of the breathtaking hypocrisy of Western politicians; but it seems to me that the U.S. Republican Party has scaled the heights of Everest this past week as they seek to prohibit abortion under any circumstances, including rape, incest and a threat to the potential mother’s life. Of course, to do that, they have to redefine rape, so we have the lunatic Congressman Akin claiming that the female body has the ability to reject the rapist’s semen and thereby avoid pregnancy. When called on this ridiculous claim, he blamed the medical profession for misleading him. When that strategy didn’t work, he attempted to segregate the violent act of rape into ‘legitimate’ and, presumably, ‘non-legitimate’ (though this later granulation was not spoken of). Once the crapola hit the fan, we got to see Romney and Ryan doing the old Aztec two step, suggesting that they would exclude rape, incest and life threatening situations from the proscription on abortion – even though Ryan is known to have supported several previous attempts at overturning Roe vs Wade. Though to be fair, he did previously agree that abortion should be available where pregnancy presented a threat to a woman’s life, and has very recently argued that ‘rape is rape’ and that a woman subjected to non-consensual intercourse ought not to be forced to carry a child conceived during a rape to term. Then again, he is seeking election to the ‘second chair’ and the renegade Congressman isn’t helping him in that regard! His assertion that Romney would be the lead on this issue is not comforting, however, since that upstanding gentleman is known to change his opinion more frequently than most of us change our undergarments.

With ‘Republican’ Texas now forcing women who seek abortions to subject themselves to mandated ultrasounds  and ‘counseling’ 24 hours prior to an abortion – not to mention other state officials pushing forced, intrusive probings of their female constituents’ nether regions, and Romney’s plan to cease funding for Planned Parenthood – the well informed reader can come to only one conclusion: the Republicans have succeeded in reinventing themselves as the New American Taliban!

This development should bode well for future negotiations between a Romney administration and their Afghan counterparts. I see American troops coming home by March, 2013! Hoorah!

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True Blood Hearts Wall Street.

The appallingly scripted TV program, True Blood, is apparently a huge hit! It would also seem to be an affirmative action vehicle for clueless actors who mastered their trade at the Botox School of Acting. The premise is: that vampires live openly in society, offering little threat to their human counterparts because they are being fed a diet of artificial blood. But there are those among the vampires who want more! They want to walk in the daylight. And, this is to be accomplished with the aid of ‘Fairies’, for crying out loud.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I see in this extravaganza of gratuitous violence, replete with leather clad dominatrices – who crumple like tissues when the chips are down – an allegory for the modern world where Central Bankers and Wall Street Crooks feed off the population, promising to leave them alone provided they keep paying them their ‘protection’ money. Paulson’s warning to the U.S. Government, ‘Bail out the banks or the economy will be toast!’ is nothing less than True Blood rendered real life.

So, is True Blood really entertainment, or just one more example of the people being conditioned to accept such obvious blackmail? All is not lost! Like vampires, Bankers perish when their machinations are subjected to the harsh sunlight of truth.

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Return those medals.

Recently, several principled former soldiers returned their medals at the NATO conference in Chicago. Good for them! Now it’s the turn of the still living recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize to do the same.

Obama is a genocidal war criminal, who targets anyone coming to the aid of those his drones have already killed and, even worse, mourners who attend their funerals. The fact that the Nobel Prize Committee made the award to this murderer is a travesty. Anyone who received this formerly prestigious award has a duty to return it for it has been stained with the blood of the innocent.

 

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Liar! Liar! Actuators on fire!

Wars are defensive in nature, that is, responding to an attack, or preemptive – often called, ‘wars of choice’. Two considerations drive governments to undertake preemptive wars: power and wealth. Two things stop ‘wars of choice’ in their tracks: high numbers of military casualties and increasing taxes. The latter can be defrayed by borrowing from the bankers, who enthusiastically profit from chaos and destruction. The bill will come due in time, but it will be a future administration that has to deal with the huge public debt, and will almost certainly get blamed for it by those who incurred that debt. In the matter of casualties, armament manufacturers – the bankers of death, if you will – have the answer: robotic weapons. I mean, no one ever turned up at a funeral service for a blown up battle tank. Did they?

In war there are ‘good kills’, ‘collateral damage’ (civilian deaths) and ‘friendly fire’ incidents (soldiers killed by soldiers from the same side). Whether the soldier is humanoid or robotic, the terminology used to describe a killing event remains the same. So does the likelihood of such ‘collateral damage’ and friendly fire’ incidents continuing to happen, despite any claims the armament manufacturers might make to the contrary.

When the Government of Nevia first initiated a conflict in the tribal badlands of a barren, mountainous region of the planet, known as, Arghistan, it had relied almost entirely on humanoid ground forces, augmented with remote controlled surveillance and attack drones. This was the initial step on the slippery path of dehumanizing warfare. The remote operator has no idea at whom he is launching his missiles. At best, the image on his screen is indistinct, as is the ‘context’ in which the imaged person is moving. Assumptions have to be made: should the target be there if he/she is a non-combatant? Is that gathering a group of peaceful tribal elders, a wedding, a funeral, or a group of ‘insurgents’ setting out on an attack? If the decision is wrong, who’s to know? Certainly not the drone operator. The remotely controlled hunter-killer drones the Nevian military brought in theater during the early months of the conflict inflicted a tremendous amount of collateral damage, equipped as they were with missiles and ground strafing energy weapons. The drone operators knew neither the language nor the customs of the people they were targeting; nor did they really care, having grown up with computerized war games in which, like cartoons, no one really died.

At this point, it might be useful to introduce a brief portion of the widely publicized operational log for a robotic weapon that was involved in a ‘collateral damage’ incident. The unit had the designation, ‘Zee-con-two-niner-seven-tee’. Its task was to identify, engage and destroy Arghistani ‘insurgents’ who were members of a group called, ‘Followers of the Illuminated Path’, loyal to the Warlord, Dester Zoachian. Under the rules of engagement issued by the Secretary of War, robotic weapons were free to eliminate a target immediately upon clear identification – autonomously – but authorization was required if a potential target was ‘non clear’. What was never made public was this restriction applied to soldiers of the Nevian Armed Forces, only, in an attempt to limit ‘friendly fire’ incidents. Collateral damage, in the form of civilian deaths, were not covered.

‘Zee-con-two-niner-seven-tee’ was a primitive, tracked, weapons platform, fitted with a ten-kilowatt energy weapon and an active denial microwave system, for crowd dispersal, designed to produce an extreme heating effect on humanoid skin. A similar model is seen, here (right), engaged in tunnel clearing operations during the Swut Valley Counter-Insurgency Operation, code-named: ‘Tusa Karzir’ [Rabbit Warren].

‘Zee-con-two-niner-seven-tee’ located a group of peasant farmers driving a herd of herbivores. Peasants carry weapons to protect themselves and their animals from predators. ‘Zee-con-two-niner-seven-tee’ did not contact its operational controller for confirmation it should open fire – it was not required to do so. Fifty innocent civilians were killed. Eventually, the incident made its way into the public arena, in the middle of an election year. ‘Zee-con-two-niner-seven-tee’ was declared dysfunctional and destroyed.

The use of fully autonomous robotic weaponry is an even more dangerous departure in war, though certainly an attractive one in terms of casualty reduction. To answer ethical concerns, should they arise in the minds of a somnambulant population, such weapons can, like their non-autonomous counterparts, be given a degree of discrimination in terms of which type of individual would represent a valid target. Even if every effort is made to limit the potential for ‘friendly fire’ incidents, or collateral deaths resulting from misidentification – and that is far from being the case on most worlds that employ such technology – these weapons must still be imbued with a sense of ‘them and us’ to prevent them from destroying other robotic weapons on the same side. This is usually accomplished by some form of ‘identification challenge’, based on tonal or coded communications. During Earth’s WWII, for instance, allied soldiers were sometimes issued with a child’s toy (also used in dog training), which they ‘clicked’ as they approached their own lines. If the click was responded to, with a ‘click’, they would assume all was well and move forward. Robotic weapons do not rely on such a simple technique. Rolling code sequences and encryption algorithms were the method by which the Nevian robotic weapons recognized one another. Nevia soldiers were equipped with an electronic code device before being dispatched to the front lines, but these were easily lost or damaged. In the absence of an electronic response to an I.D. challenge, the robotic weapons were programmed to contact their controller and request clearance to fire if they could not clearly identify the target as a ‘bad guy’. This procedure applied to humanoid targets only. If a robotic weapon was unable to respond to a challenge, for some reason, its destruction would be no more than a debit entry on a government balance sheet and a credit entry on the supplier’s one.

Since the day the war began, there had been three hundred and sixty-two deaths attributed to ‘friendly fire’ incidents among the Nevia forces. Of these, two hundred and eighty-three had occurred after the robot weapons were deployed in combat. ‘Friendly fire’ deaths were internally reported as arising from ‘confusion’ when, for example, Nevian soldiers had been engaged with the enemy and had called in robot reinforcements to assist, or ‘misidentification’, where the soldier had not been dressed in combat gear and had been deemed a combatant because he was still carrying his weapon. All of these deaths were dealt with by the posthumous award of a medal for exceptional bravery and some cock and bull story conjured up by a clerk in the Adjutant General’s office. Such stories were not always endorsed by the fallen soldier’s comrades. Returning veterans brought with them tales of robot weapons running amok, slaughtering all and sundry, without regard or accountability. ‘Make sure they’re between you and the enemy’, was the advice handed out to newly arrived recruits.

Clearly, something had to be done about these ‘accidents’ or the military and the government risked being discredited in the eyes of the public, as more and more of these ‘cock and bull’ stories were proved to be just that. This is one of the more bizarre aspects of the relationship between governments, the citizenry and the wars they support, or are asked to support.

In their day to day activities, such as running the economy, politicians are typically regarded as elitist, generally useless and totally corrupt. In matters of war, however, a population tends to display an almost child-like faith in the integrity of its rulers, since their actions can be said to reflect that society’s own moral sense of itself. Using lethal force against those without the means to defend themselves is not part of any warrior culture, it’s an atrocity. Most races get it, and claim to be above such brutality. Until, of course, they find themselves bogged down in guerrilla warfare. Then, rather than running the risk of turning their consciences into pretzels, they eagerly accept without question the findings of opaque and biased government investigations, namely: that ‘rogue elements’ within the junior ranks of the military, identified or not, were responsible.

If the people the troops are killing have been successfully labeled ‘insurgents’ and ‘terrorists’ by their government – as opposed to ‘freedom fighters’, which is often nearer the truth – most citizens aren’t that bothered and the war will go on, as long as it’s not on prime time news when families are sitting down to dinner. But, let one of their own die, and all bets are off!

Three years into the war, the Nevian humanoid controllers were replaced with A.I. systems – the final step on the path to fully automated conflict. Instead of disgraced officers appearing on the news, the public would, in future, be treated to images of machines being crushed and shredded. And, why not? Every day, the calm and efficient unfolding of people’s lives is undermined by the failure of technology. Technology breaks. Nothing to see. Move along. It was hardly surprising that reports of atrocities dried up once the war was fully automated. The public soon forgot about the conflict, the armaments manufacturers continued to make out like bandits and the politicians got re-elected.

Months passed. The war was in its fourth year, by now. Victory was within reach, according to the news media. Then, one rain sodden day, several Nevian ‘humanoid casualties’ were reported. All had died from energy weapon hits while, apparently, secure in their bases. ‘Nothing more than a blip’, the internal report said. Soon, however, the number had reached forty a month, rising over the next three months to twenty or more a week. Panicked by the unproven fact that the ‘terrorists’ had somehow managed to breach the security cordons around their forward bases – as well as having acquired energy weapons – the military leadership sent an urgent request to their political masters for a budget increase for the purchase of more machines. The politicians, every one heavily invested in the armament manufacturers, rushed the necessary legislation through in one hour. The machine producers ramped up production to three thousand units a month.

The number of casualties continued to climb. At its peak, fifty soldiers were killed in a two day period. The government imposed a black-out on the arrival of transports laden with the bodies of the ‘fallen’ heroes. The military commanders flooded the battlefield with their newly delivered fighting machines. A few enemy stragglers were found and eliminated, but the bulk of the insurgents (terrorists, or freedom fighters) had disappeared.

An attack on two Nevian bases occurred a month later, resulting in the deaths of four hundred soldiers, with more than a thousand wounded. No enemy forces were spotted before the attacks, though the bodies of a few ‘terrorists’ were found close to the base perimeter, afterwards. More than twenty robot units were disabled or destroyed in the attacks. Their memory logs, together with those of their A.I. controllers, were recovered and analyzed. Every log recorded that a large number of ‘legitimate’ targets had been liquidated with a combination of energy weapon fire and micro-nuclear mortar shells. Curiously, though the total number of kills recorded by the A.I. controllers and the robotic weapons tallied, it fell well short of the actual total of dead and wounded Nevian soldiers.

One particular unit, designated ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’, had been involved in the deaths of twenty ‘targets’ before succumbing to a peer-to-peer communications malfunction which had forced its shutdown. This unit had recently been brought in-theater and, like the units that had perished, was running the latest version of the ‘Target Identification Protocol’. As confirmed by its log, it had identified twenty potential targets in total, before shutting itself down. Two were local Arghistanis, working on the base as contractors. ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’ had shot them. The other eighteen targets should have been designated as ‘friendly’, since they were, in fact, Nevian soldiers headed for the dining hall for a lunchtime meal. The Nevian soldiers were likely startled by the attack and brought their weapons to bear on ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’, assuming, one imagines, that they were under attack from ‘insurgents’. ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’ killed them with a single ‘pulse’ grenade. In all probability, the blast from the grenade was responsible for the unit’s communication failure. When its A.I. controller was examined, its log was found to have recorded every dead soldier as a ‘legitimate’ target, as it had the two contractors. However, the time-stamp of the data recorded in the controller’s log was a full minute later than that of its assigned robot’s last transmission, and listed another A.I. controller as the source. By comparing the time-stamps of all the logs, the investigators were able to determine that the attack had been initiated when ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’ killed the two contractors. The other robotic units had joined in once ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’ came under fire from the soldiers. Tragic as this event was, there was a further shock for the investigators.

The logs in both the weapons and their controllers were held in a ‘molecular’ memory, which recorded data by modifying the energy state of individual molecules. When new, these energy states were at a level consistent with the degree of excitation normally present in the constituent material itself. When data was recorded, individual molecular energy levels were raised as each byte of data was stored. If, say, forty bytes of data had been recorded, the excitation level of forty molecules would be elevated, plus six more for the check sum. Data could be erased, if needs be, however a molecule which no longer held a byte of information did not revert to the excitation level at which it existed when the memory was first manufactured, it remained slightly elevated. This design feature was included in an attempt to win over the rank and file members of the military, who’d grown weary of the endless lies and cover-ups surrounding ‘friendly fire’ incidents. Any attempt to falsify the data content, they were told, could be easily detected because of this important modification. What they were not told was that, since certain individuals in the company that manufactured the memory had easy access to the technology which had been used to create it in the first place, the falsification of data remained an ‘official’ option. Forensic examination of the memory in the A.I. controller assigned to ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’ revealed that the log had, in fact, been altered, some time after ‘Tee-con-seven-three-fiver-six-em’ had shut itself down. One minute after! A slightly elevated energy level was detected in a total of sixty molecules, indicating the new log entry was sixty bytes shorter than the original. In the Nevian language, tura means ‘legitimate’. The word for illegitimate is, nihtura. The conclusion was inescapable! A shaken Chief of Staff informed an equally shaken President that, not only had the sudden escalation in military casualties been the result of ‘friendly fire’ incidents alone, but that the robots, together with their A.I. controllers, appeared to be lying about their involvement in them!

It took months to determine the cause. It was traced to five thousand lines of code embedded in one of the sub-routines loaded into the robots during their initial activation. One might call it the mea culpa routine, since it instructed the robot to shut itself down in the event of an ‘illegitimate’ kill. The newly delivered robots had been hurriedly reprogrammed with a far more powerful survival imperative than previously, as well as continuing to be intensely ‘goal’ driven. The presence of this sub-routine now had the potential to cause a serious logic conflict. Without human controller intervention – as these had been replaced by A.I. units – and since every robot was now in constant communication with its peers, it was clear that they had, over time, and as a group, come to the conclusion that telling a lie was preferable to shutting themselves down. The A.I. controllers, programmed with the desire to protect their charges from unnecessary harm, had concurred!

The war, which was going so well, is now simmering on the back burner. The robot weapons have been stood down, the humanoid soldiers are languishing in their bases. The government is hoping the public won’t notice, while the armament manufacturers and several university research laboratories suck up even more of the nation’s taxes. For their part, the ‘Followers of the Illuminated Path’ have used this hiatus to regroup, re-arm, and are waiting for the spring thaw.

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Collateral damage? Not any more!

Glenn Greenwald, over at Salon.com is a writer and columnist I admire. His recent post commenting on the revelation that the ‘Messiah’, the ‘Golden One’, ‘Hopey-Changey’, the Nobel Laureate or, as I prefer to call Mr. Obama, the Israeli Vice President for American Affairs, has taken it unto himself to personally select individuals anywhere on the planet for termination is one of his best. It is also troubling, but hardly unexpected, given the appalling collateral damage inflicted by Obama’s drone attacks, to learn that it has been decided by the powers that be that, henceforth, any male of fighting age, who happens to be in a potential drone ‘kill zone’, will be designated as being a militant. How blindingly simple? Just call anyone killed during a drone attack a ‘terrorist’ and ‘Hopey-Changey’ – not to mention Americans as a whole – is off the hook!

Mr. Greenwald expresses alarm at this development. ‘Do they not realize that the killing of innocents in far away lands causes anger? That it produces more terrorists than it eradicates?’ Come on, Glenn. That the fucking point! It keeps the war going. It keeps the money flowing into the pockets of the weapons manufacturers. It keeps political reelection campaign coffers full, and it provides ‘justification’ for even more brutality and meddling by ‘war criminals’ like the Israeli Vice President for American Affairs.

Most Americans seem to agree with the whole joystick jurisprudence thing, so it’ll look pretty good on his resume come election time, too.

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