Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Loose Lips on Iran Can Sink America

By Ray McGovern
May 5, 2010

The omnipresent World War II-era poster with the words “Loose Lips Sink Ships” served as a warning to members of the U.S. military to take heed lest they divulge information that could tip off the enemy and result in defeat in battle.

Read on.


Morton Kurzweil said...

Moses Maimonides explained that through intellect man distinguishes between true and false. The right and the wrong are terms applied to apparent truths producing value judgments, moral and ethical standards and opinions of good and bad.
This has become the gift of free speech in a nation seduced by equality of the least denominator to have equal voice without recourse to truth or falsity.
Democracy has been reinvented to permit majority decisions based on religious dogma, political decisions to retreat from universal truths to moral activism.
Man is not intrinsically evil. He is, by relying on perceptions, ignorant of truth and subject to the siren song of the herd.

Dean Taylor said...

Here's who you quoted (from Wiki):

"Maimonides was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher, one of the greatest Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. He is also known by the names Moses Maimonides, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon or the acronym the Rambam (Hebrew: רבי משה בן מימון‎; Hebrew acronym: רמב"ם; Arabic: موسى ابن ميمون‎ Mūsā ibn Maymūn, short for ‏ أبو عمران موسى بن عبيد الله ميمون القرطبي Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin ʿUbaidallāh Maimūn al-Qurṭubī)."

The point being that religion and intellect are not mutually exclusive--as demonstrated in the life of this great contemplative, philosopher, and religious scholar (who, let it be said--and, not surprisingly-- had a profound effect on the life and thought of, inter alios, Aquinas).

As to the "true" nature of man--i.e., whether "intrinsically evil," or "good," or "neutral"--Maimonides (from the same article):

"The problem of evil

"Maimonides wrote on theodicy (the philosophical attempt to reconcile the existence of a God with the existence of evil in the world). He took the premise that an omnipotent and good God exists. He adopts the Aristotelian view that defines evil as the lack of, or the reduced presence of a God, as exhibited by hose who exercise the free choice of rejecting belief" [stress added].

The idea is that man, apart from His Creator may, in fact, be inclined towards wrongdoing, mischief, self-conflicted/self-destructive behavior, malicious spite, fears--and hence, inclined to deception (of the self and others), etc.

Is it possible that the man goes through the motions, i.e., gives himself over to religiosity, can exhibit all of those "negative" qualities--plus a few more? Absolutely. So, then, what can we conclude vis à vis the efficacy (or lack thereof) of religion for man's moral edification? This:

If it is not misused, religion can, indeed, become a source of moral integrity, enlightenment, inspiration, guidance, wisdom, etc., all in the sevice of the community, i.e., in the service of him serving his fellow man. If not--i.e., if it is misused--it may degenerate into self-serving--and ultimately, destructive (of the self and others)--heresy. In that case, though, it certainly was not religion--or, needless to say, the Author of Holy Writ--who is to blame, since what is now being "practiced" is an ersatz, self-designed, quasi-religion.

Is man, then, "intrinsically evil"? If we answer "no," let us not, then, erroneouly conclude that, therefore, he is intrinsically "good." Rather, it would seem more likely that the potential--i.e., considered from infancy, prior to what the French refer to as formation--is there for both. So, then, how do we go about cultivating the good inclination while avoiding the darker dimensions of his personality? The "cultivating" appears in the form of good education, gentle discipline when useful, and an abundance of that which, it is hoped, will be passed along to those he will encounter--patient, loving kindness, i.e.,caritas.

If any of the aforementioned are lacking in said formation he might, very well, falter. But, he might have gone astray just the same, i.e., even without ever having encountered "religion," or after having encountered it "badly." Medicine ought always be "good" medicine, otherwise it is not medicine at all, but, rather, poison labeled as "medicine."

In that regard though, we all seem to be--to one degree or another--the victims of victims. And, as everyone knows, victims are predisposed to become victimizers. Religion--if not used as a tool for manipulation or as a drug (the opiate of the masses)--can be a source of healing, learning, insight, direction, edification, community betterment, etc.

Anonymous said...

More objective observers would say that it is clearly the US which is the most dangerous country in the world, along with Israel, of course--they are joined at the hip.

Dean Taylor said...

on the pssibility that Iran might be attacked, Uri Avnery notes:

"Since the Iranians, too, realize that Israel could not attack without American consent, they would react accordingly.

"As I have written here before, a cursory glance at the map suffices to indicate what would be the immediate reaction. The narrow Hormuz Strait at the entrance of the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf, through which a huge part of the world’s oil flows, would be sealed at once. The results would shake the international economy, from the US and Europe to China and Japan. Prices would soar to the skies. The countries that had just begun to recover from the world economic crisis would sink to the depths of misery and unemployment, riots and bankruptcies.

"The Strait could be opened only by a military operation on the ground. The US simply has no troops to spare for this – even if the American public were ready for another war, one much more difficult than even those of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is even doubtful whether the US could help Israel to defend itself against the inevitable counter-stroke by Iranian missiles.

"The Israeli attack on a central Islamic country would unite the entire Islamic world, including the entire Arab world. The US, which has spent the last few years laboring mightily to form a coalition of 'moderate' Arab states (meaning: countries governed by dictators kept by the US) against the 'radical' states. This pack would immediately become unstuck. No Arab leader would be able to stand aside while the masses of his people were gathering in tumultuous demonstrations in the squares.

"All this is clear to any knowledgeable person, and even more so to the American military and civilian leaders. Secretaries, generals and admirals have been sent to Israel to make this clear to our leaders in a language that even kindergarten kids can understand: No! Lo! La! Nyet!

"IF SO, why has the military option not been removed from the table?

"Because the US and Israel like it lying there.

"The US likes to pose as if it can hardly hold back the ferocious Israeli Rottweiler on its leash. This puts pressure on the other powers to agree to the imposition of sanctions on Iran. If you don’t agree, the murderous dog could leap out of control. Think about the consequences!" [Avnery; Gush Shalom; stress added].

Avnery, though, is careful to point out that this sort of speculation presupposes a certain level of...psychological integrity, i.e., that Netanyahu, Harman, Hillary, Forwardlooking, Emmanuel,
Gates, etc., are thinking clearly. Quite a huge presupposition, though, given the high stakes--significant monetary gains to be had--for playing ball in maintaining the US/Israeli hegemon. Avnery:

"IT IS dangerous to prophesy in such matters, especially when we are dealing with people not all of whom are wise and not all of whom are sane. Yet I am ready to maintain: there is no possibility whatsoever that the government of Israel will send the air force to attack Iran"[stress added].

Which is to say that Capital Hill, 1600 Pennsylvania, the Knesset, Wall Street, etc., are mindful of what Chalmers Johnson has pointed out: the Republic is finished, and we are well into the Empire phase of our nation's inglorious narrative.

Which is to say, we most certainly will implode--the question is when. Therefore, as this Empire will most assuredly meet its demise--as it must, i.e., as all Empires must--loot the place now before the walls come tumbling in. DC: "This is merely the verities of realpolitikunderwriting our decisions--not moral depravity, corruption, or degenerate behavior."

Dean Taylor said...



"It reminds you of the Roman Republic, which existed in its final form with very considerable rights for Roman citizens, much like ours, for about two centuries. James Madison and others, in writing the defense of the Constitution in the Federalist Papers, signed their name 'Publius.' Well, who is Publius? He was the first Roman consul. That is where the whole world of term limits, of separation of powers, things like that, [began].

"Yet by the end of the first century B.C., Rome had seemingly 'inadvertently' acquired an empire that surrounded the entire Mediterranean Sea. They then discovered that the inescapable accompaniment, the Siamese twin of imperialism, is militarism. You start needing standing armies."

He continues:

"So, what do I suggest probably will happen? I think we will stagger along under a façade of constitutional government, as we are now, until we’re overcome by bankruptcy. We are not paying our way. We’re financing it off of huge loans coming daily from our two leading creditors, Japan and China" [Kreisler/Johnson].

Book of Daniel:

"Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king's palace. When the king saw the wrist and hand that wrote, his face blanched; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked.

"This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, TEKEL, and PERES. These words mean: MENE, God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it;
TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

the writing's on the wall, kids...writ large--except that unlike that earlier satrap (and, as Avnery suggested) our leaders haven't the nous, i.e., the requisite of reasonable concern...