Sunday, April 01, 2007
Michael Lerner on 911
(In the March/April 2007 issue of Tikkun we published an article by David Ray Griffin—which many of you have already read—that revealed the inconsistencies in the official 9/11 report, raising disturbing questions about the Bush administration’s possible involvement. We didn’t have space to print our Tikkun response and critique there, so we are doing it here. Click here for a full version of David Ray Griffin's article.)
I would not be surprised to learn that some branch of our government conspired either actively to promote or passively to allow the attack on 9/11. For those who watched this tragedy used for reactionary political ends, it’s easy to conjure up a variety of possible conspiratorial motives that would have led the president, the vice president, or some branch of the armed forces or CIA or FBI or other “security” forces to have passively or actively participated in a plot to re-credit militarism and war, which had been losing their appeal after the collapse of communism. We’ve learned enough about the subsequent ways that the Bush administration lied to the American public to no longer be shocked if they had been some active involvement by them in these deeds. But saying that I would not be surprised is NOT saying, “I believe that this is what happened.” I don’t personally believe it.
I am an agnostic on the question of what happened on 9/11. I’m convinced that there are huge holes in the official account and contradictions that suggest that we do not know the whole story.
Nor did Tikkun publish Griffin’s account because we believe it, any more than we published Jorge Ferrer’s call for polyamory in the last issue because we support polyamory. I could go through every issue and point to articles that most of us disagree with. We choose our articles because they present cutting-edge analyses of the world that are aimed, directly or indirectly, at developing the consciousness of people that could become part of a movement to heal our society and our planet—not because we necessarily agree with them. If you want our perspective, read our editorials. But our perspective is not always (in fact, if we are talking about my personal perspective, almost never) reflected in the articles we print.
So why am I responding to this one? Because a Jewish magazine that has had a long history of ignoring, trashing or distorting what Tikkun and I stand for has done it again with a headline suggesting that I’m now on board with the conspiracy theorists. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am not, however, a fan of a politics that concentrates on conspiracy theories, even when there are real conspiracies. At one point in my life I thought that real conspiracies were a left-wing fantasy, and that sophisticated Marxists and other social theorists would not have reason to want to acknowledge the existence of such conspiracies against the Left or against anyone else. But in 1970, I was one of the “Seattle Seven” indicted in a federal trial for “conspiracy and using the facilities of interstate commerce with the intent of inciting to riot,” because of a demonstration I had organized to oppose the Vietnam war and support black liberation, a demonstration which turned violent after police attacked the demonstrators. I soon learned that my organization, the Seattle Liberation Front, was totally infiltrated by police agents. Indeed, many of those most vociferous in denouncing me and other leaders for being “too timid” at the time we were planning the demonstration were actually paid FBI informants or members of various law enforcement agencies. When one such agent changed his mind and began to reveal his story of having been solicited by the FBI to try to engage us in violence that would have led to some of us being killed, I understood that conspiracies do sometimes happen—and are paid for by the U.S. government.
But I also learned another lesson at the time: it doesn’t always help to build a movement that focuses on governmental conspiracies. That focus leads people to believe that the major problems we face are those generated by evil people in powerful positions, not on something more systemic.
That's the gist. And as I've said in previous posts, I pretty much agree. In fact, I think the "911 truth movement" has become something of a cult - the left's own virtual pyramid scheme. And not only is it destroying the peace movement, but more to the point it's generating some rather unscientific stupidity.
So how many people who have read more than one book on 911 have even bothered to read the one book which offers an alternative view? Yeah, I know, the second cousin once removed of the editor of Popular Mechanics once sold donuts to the CIA or whatever.
Exactly what we're being told today.
Every single one who has bought into the impossibility of structural fires bringing down the twin towers and building 7 is going to learn physics the hard way at some point in time. Those buildings were controlled demolitions and whether the Bush neo-cons and Silverstein and Mossad were in cahoots with the 9-11 "terrorists" or just waiting to exploit 9-11 terrorist attack is moot. The thing is, our country was again hijacked into another terrible war and one only has to look at who has benefited from 9-11 to see who's ultimately responsible.
What is dividing the Left isn't conspiracy theories but Zionists within the Left who refuse to hold Israel to the same moral standards they expect of America and all nations. Because the Left and Judaism are closely intertwined this reluctance by Zionist Leftist to tackle the Gov't on 9-11 has put a damper on the whole anti-Bush movement. But Iraq and Iran won't wait for Zionist Leftists to wake up and is now forging ahead regardless of those like eric here, trying to take the major work of evil, 9-11, off the board of peace activism.
Now did you hear that E. Howard Hunt, on his death bed, said that he was approached to kill Kennedy just before Kennedy was killed? I heard a little about it on the Mike Malloy show. I haven't had time to research it. Maybe Eric could follow up on this instead of bringing up these silly 9-11 conspiracy theories.
My country has been hijacked by Neo-cons working with Israelis for the same goals and that is the PRIMARY REASON I publicly criticize the religious cult theology that sponsored this hideous carry-over of European conquest and colonization of a third world non-industrialized country and its native peoples-the debacle foisted on the Middle East called "Israel".
And I only criticize Jews who are manipulating our society and the world into furthering the Jewish cult's religious mythologies and territorial ambitions in Palestine.
There are more and more Jews coming out against Zionism and Israel and it won't be that much longer before my political position re Zionism and Judaism will be shared by most activists concerned with stopping the cause of wars in the Middle East.
I do not have to like Judaism and I don't but that does not mean I cannot like individual Jews. America is based on religious freedom and in our lives we are constantly thrown together with people of differing faiths. We don't have to like other faiths to be able to establish friendships with other people. Jews should not expect to be treated any different from any other religious group in my book.
Yeah. We don't hate you. We just hate who you are.
There was a line in the movie The Chosen in which one character says to the other, "you are worse than Hitler. Hitler would destroy the Jewish body, but you would destroy the Jewish soul."
That popped into my head immediately upon reading your statement Steven. You can't separate the religion from the people. You would demand that a Jew assimilate, and that's what you would happily refer to as "cultural genocide" if it was applied to Palestinians. Even secular Jews owe much of who they are to the religion, which is rooted in 5000 years of a tradition of spirituality, justice, and ethics. Despite their marginalization at the hands of cultural majorities, they have enriched every society in which they have participated. They are hated for who they are, and you're part of that hatred Steven. Whatever other positive qualities you have, what you have said is extremely hurtful.
Sara Jennings with International Christian Concern (ICC) says such attacks are not new throughout southeast Ethiopia, which many people believe is a Christian nation. "[But] Muslim extremism has really become a stronghold there," she explains.
"Six months ago, in September, there were people attacked in Jima," she shares, adding that "a number of Christian homes, churches, and orthodox parishes were burned down -- at least 2,000 people were displaced during that incident."
According to Jennings, Saudi Arabia is responsible for much of the violence in the east African nation. That oil-rich nation, she says, is "funneling a large amount of money" into Ethiopia to build mosques. "And not just to build mosques," she adds, "but to finance training centers where very extremist ideologies are taught to young people, which really breeds hate."
Evangelical church leaders say if police ignore Tadase's death, it will empower radical Muslims and encourage them to attack Christians without fear of retribution. The ICC recently included Ethiopia in its "Hall of Shame" list, which highlights countries where Christians are enduring harsh persecution.
As for my Communitarian philosophy stemming from Marx that is laughable, eric. You need to first read Acts in the New Testament where the original Socialist ethic that Jewish Karl Marx plagurized from Christianity, Marx's famous "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" remember? coming from this line in Acts: "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need."
This original Christian communist ethic sparked the whole monastic movement and eventually the Christian communist intentional communities, e.g, Puritans in America, Quakers, Mennonites, etc, and the Christian-based experimental cooperative communities like the Transcendentalists got into. All of which Marx studied and used and then tried to discredit claiming the communitarian socialist movement "Utopian" and "un-scientific" 'cause his Communist ideology was based on industrial driven mainstream society's internal economic system requirements. Jewish intellectuals went for the showboat intellectualized secular Communist ideology I think because Judaism fosters a mindset in Jewish intellectuals to look for ways to break down Gentile society social structure so that in the end Jewish Diaspora minorities end up making the governing policies for their Gentile hosts. I think Judaism fosters conflict and produced conflicted men and women who, because they are bright, will rise to the tops of their fields, but this means they rise on social conflicts. That cannot do society go in the end either regardless of Jewish intellectual contribution to Gentile society.
But getting back to your false notion of Communitarian philosophy being derived from Marx when in fact it was the other way around.
Why do I have to like Judaism, eric, to like individual Jewish people? That really is a foreign concept to me. There are many things about the Catholic religion I can't stand but the reality is I grew up in Santa Barbara County and most of my close friendships were with Catholic kids. I don't like Republican political philosophy but I have a bunch of Republican friends including my kids. Should I hate my kids because of their ideology? Should I have hated my grandmother for being Catholic and secretly Jewish?
Eric, you've fallen for the Jewish defense strategy of labeling people who for various reasons do not like the religion of Judaism as Enemies of the State, as if somehow we are commanded to salute and give allegiance to Judaism and its firstborn son, Zionism, or else we are instantly bigots of the worst order, comparable to Hitler. It's crazy, eric. Ethnic paranoia and one of the main reasons I myself don't like the faith.
I foresee a day when all the Abrahamic religionists will look back at their individual historic paths and see that the whole works was based on lies and deception so that neither Jews, or Christians, or Muslims could ever claim superiority, knowing then in the future what scholars and I know now, that each faith was brought forth through deception of believers.
I come down publicly hard on Judaism only because of Israel. This particular Abrahamic faith is most responsible for creating the horrendous spiritual and moral mess of modern Israel. I see no reason whatsoever to placate Jewish religionists when their religion has produced such misery for non-Jews in Palestine. In another era it could have been Muslims making a moral mess of the Holy Land or Crusaders. It just happens it's Jews this time around. But the conflict has to be resolved and my religious calling is to help in establishing a permanent peace in the Holy Land which means the Jewish interlopers must face up to what they've done by following their religious myths of origin.
Truth will destroy these Abrahamic religions--not critics like me who only are the front-runners of more generalized criticism coming from the intellectual communities as they too learn the religious myths motivating severe conflict in the world.
These are the End Times for many traditional religious paths and Judaism is just one of them. They're all self-destructing one way or another until believers realize that only the bare essentials of each, the "Golden Rules" of each, are worth anything at all.
Eric needs to atone for your Jew hatred on his web site by allowing someone to appear on his show and debunk all of the nonsense you have espoused. The show should be called "Why Steve Lewis is an intellectual fraud with respect to the Jews and Israel."
Why not just live the Golden Rule? People forget to treat people fairly when they are filled with hate.
Religion is genetic, only because the religious people of the world have systematically killed off the nonreligious.
If there is a God, we should all fear him because of the innocent people killed in his name!
God save us from religion!
You really need to learn to read Stephen. That's not what I said.
And you're understanding of history is seriously whacked, particularly when it comes to Jewish contributions to progressive communitarian thought. You really don't know what you're talking about.
It's a tired song Stephen. There's no evolution. You read some anti-Semitic screed at some point in your life and it resonated with whatever resentment you harbor against Jews. You're locked in, posting the same stuff over and over again. There's no evolution. You're stuck.
And Judaism is going to be around for a long time to come, your envious longings for its demise notwithstanding.
Oh yes there will always be some Jewish religious fundamentalists around holding fast to the archaic faith but after Jewish people in general come to realize the whole works, the Torah, the Tanakh, all the stories, the Exodus, David, Solomon, Solomon's Temple, all of it, were just stories, fictions created by talented writers but essentially the same thing as reading the Lord of the Rings and thinking Golem was a real person instead of a created creature base on a Hebrew magic concept-the golem-it's inevitable, eric. Judaism will go the way of the other Abrahamic dinosaur religions that have cranked out far too much murder and mayhem to allow continued domination of whole societies.
With the Jewish tribal myths of origin exposed, that just leaves the Cult itself and its history. And what a history. It the Cult strong enough to stand on its own without any real moral authority? That's what the future argument within Jewish intellectual circles will be about. But this fate awaits Christians and Muslims as well as their foundational myths are exposed. I focus on Judaism because of its role in creating Zionism and Israel.
Zionism and Israel? I just happen to be the most public of the anti-Zionists in Humboldt County but I am certainly not alone in a general dislike among activists of conscience for the anti-social anti-humanitarian way Israel has treated Palestinians from the very start.
And if you don't want me to have to repeat my opinions so often why don't you and the other Zionist posters stop posting the same old regurgitate "Steve hates Jews" crap when you have no proof.
Not liking a religion doesn't mean automatically not liking its adherents. If it did, America would be embroiled in endless civil wars much like some Middle Eastern countries we know.
Show me all these Jews I hate. You Zionists throw the word around a lot without bothering to distinguish hatred from dislike. If you say 'well, what about Israelis, Steve must hate Israelis' I say what I am doing is working for protecting Israelis far better than anything they've themselves have done thus far. I actively promote a democratic peaceful single Palestinian/Israeli co-dominion State as the best solution for ending the conflict between the two groups. Within this co-dominion democratic state Israeli and Palestinian communities and neighborhoods can co-exist without losing ethnic identity or human rights.
I have a couple of Israeli friends and several Palestinian ones as well of course. In conflicts between natives and foreign immigrants I side with native populations. That's why I didn't support the Vietnam War nor this Iraqi War. Nor the war the Israelis have launched to conquer as much of Palestine as they can possibly get away with.
I am partisan then and because I am involved with my friend's conflict in Israel and because I know enough of the ancient history to know modern Jewish claims to Israel based on biblical traditions is totally bogus, I side with the victims of historical fraud and social injustice, Palestinians. Made to bare the guilt of Europeans for the holocaust of European Jews when they had zip to do with it.
I suppose now you'll say all the '60's and 'early '70's hippie communes were also Marxist-Lenist experiments. I'm laughing as I type this knowing firsthand that our radical activist commune was a rarity among the far more common dope-smoking laid back guru lead communes following Parabonanza Yogi Granola instead of the little Red Book. But I did have one myself back in 1968 or '69.
And the challenge remains: show me the Jews who I hate. Name one. My Jewish friends will tell you I have no hatred of Jews--and I don't "hate" Judaism but only forecast its inevitable demise. I've publicly predicted the same fate for Muhammad's Islam but it's not noticed by Zionists here out to protect the Cult from the terrible pro-Palestinian Steve.
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