By Andreas Toupadakis, PhD
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
People worldwide need to decide soon what this global war without end, as described by the so-called superpower, is all about. Is it against terrorists or is it against humanity and human dignity? Is the government agenda of war widening the gap between rich and poor, and setting brother against brother? Is this not state terrorism? If it is not, then what is it? And is it worth reacting, or should we just continue to go on with our everyday chores as usual?
How ordinary people answer these questions in the coming months and years will determine how their life dreams unfold. If they knew their true condition and what will be coming upon them if they do not get up from their comfortable chairs, they would not wait even for a minute to fiercely resist their comfortable yoke.
To move towards safety and freedom we need to redefine what civilization is.
Do we have time to do that? Who knows?
Many writers and spokesmen of good intention almost exclusively present only a general large picture. But what is the small picture? There are many small pictures that make up the big picture.
Will the man or woman who is working at the detention center or the weapons laboratory realize that she/he is serving a system, which is corrupted, bloodthirsty and deceiving? And if these people do understand, will they take the leap of faith and abandon it? And if they do, will more of their friends and co-workers follow their example? And will the people around these people support them until they stand on their feet? Can people around them support them even just in word when they themselves do not live a simple life because their livelihood depends on the system that destroys the earth and its people? Would it not then be a better direction for us all to move towards a sustainable way of living?
These are the questions that we need to answer soon. We have forgotten that the clock hand has almost reached midnight. Should we remind ourselves of it or not?
Have the Europeans already forgotten the results of World War II? At that time, weapons of mass destruction were in their infancy. Now they have matured because of the work of our scientists and engineers trying to save the world by making the tool that can destroy it forever, even by mistake. Why do European leaders not see what is at stake? Why doesn’t the majority of European citizens rise to demand life? Why have not American citizens participated in world affairs so far? Why have they allowed their representatives to lie to them and work in secrecy? Why have they allowed their foreign policy to be a policy of murder and injustice for so long? Have they ever wondered who makes their foreign policy? Do they still believe in the American dream?
Was the American dream about gated communities and millions of people working in more than one part time job in order to hardly make ends meet? Was the American dream about going to country after country and region after region and turn it into dust for more world control? How long do they think their tanks and smart bombs will support their unsustainable way of life?
How long will the other nations be deceived and bribed? Is this the kind of culture they want to export to every other country? Do they really believe that their country can maintain military bases on the soil of other countries around the world without building resentment and hatred in the hearts and minds of the citizens of these countries? Do they really believe that their war machine is about maintaining peace around the world and not exploitation and misery? Have they ever realized that their country is the only one that has ever used nuclear weapons and what the social, political and military implications of this unspeakable murder are? Have they ever tried to find out why the second bomb was dropped?
Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, a nuclear disarmament advocacy group in California has said:
“Whether Iraq still has weapons of mass destruction remains to be seen. Meanwhile its chief accuser, the United States, is blatantly brandishing its own. The ‘National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction‘ released by the White House… combines the worst features of the ‘Nuclear Posture Review’ and the September 2002 ‘National Security Strategy of the United States’ by openly threatening the first use of nuclear weapons. This deadly international double-standard is a recipe for endless arms racing and endless death and destruction. The Bush administration… turned the concept of non-proliferation on its head and made a mockery of international law. If having weapons of mass destruction and a history of using them is a criterion, then surely the United States must pose the greatest threat to humanity that has ever existed. Sustainable global security will require the elimination of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons — without exception.”
And last, do they really believe that their country is about supporting democracy, education, and freedom around the world when the U.S. military budget tops the rest of the world by far? When while the rest of the world is cutting military spending, the United States is adding billions to its military budget? Reality has started to hit, and it will hit harder as the days go by unless the people worldwide find the courage to rise, and speak, and do their duty. The real face of the empire is manifesting itself at last to its own citizens and allies. The real face of the governments of the nations around the world is being recognized. It is not a pretty face. It widens the gap between rich and poor, and it sets brother against brother.
The question is not “What are our leaders doing for our world?” The question is “What are we not doing for our world? What are we not doing for the Earth, the people next to us, or ourselves?”
Power without Ethics and Common Sense
“When I look at mankind today, nothing astonishes me quite so much as the shortness of man’s memory with regard to political developments. Yesterday the Nuremberg trials, today the all-out effort to re-arm Germany.
“In seeking for some kind of explanation, I cannot rid myself of the thought that this, the last of my fatherlands, has invented for its own use a new kind of colonialism, one that is less conspicuous than the colonialism of old Europe. It achieves domination of other countries by investing American capital abroad, which makes those countries firmly dependent on the United States. Anyone who opposes this policy or its implications is treated as an enemy of the United States. It is within this general context that I try to understand the present-day policies of Europe, including England.”
~ Einstein’s letter to the Queen Mother of Belgium, January 2, 1955.
The human species has not yet learned from history that war only creates conditions that beget further war.
The superpower’s new policy of preventive war is destined to bring chaos on Earth if it is allowed to be practiced. We might as well call it the policy of global terror. Why have we become so mad? Who is pushing the world to its total destruction along with unspeakable agony and fear? Would it be an exaggeration to say that madness rules the world? For those who know the facts about the number and nature of weapons of mass destruction, it would be a true statement.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter, delivering his Nobel Lecture in the Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2002, stated:
“For more than half a century, following the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, the Middle East conflict has been a source of worldwide tension. At Camp David in 1978 and in Oslo in 1993, Israelis, Egyptians, and Palestinians have endorsed the only reasonable prescription for peace: United Nations Resolution 242. It condemns the acquisition of territory by force, calls for withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, and provides for Israelis to live securely and in harmony with their neighbors. There is no other mandate whose implementation could more profoundly improve international relationships.”
And while Mr. Jimmy Carter speaks the truth in the previous statement, surprisingly he continues:
“Perhaps of more immediate concern is the necessity for Iraq to comply fully with the unanimous decision of the Security Council that it eliminate all weapons of mass destruction and permit unimpeded access by inspectors to confirm that this commitment has been honored. The world insists that this be done.”
However, as much praise as the first statement deserves to receive for its truthfulness, the second statement deserves as much condemnation because of its egocentrism. No, the world does not “insist that this be done.” The world insists that all nations disarm and the ones that have the most should start first. The responsibility of the United Nations is not to disarm a few nations and keep the rest armed to their teeth. The responsibility of the United Nations and the Security Counsel is to make sure that the superpower starts first and then with inspections in place they make sure that all other nations follow. Surely, if they cannot do that, their existence is meaningless.
Globalization is a fact, but how does the United Nations prevent economic exploitation of the small nations? How do they act when they see the doors closed to the media and to the weaker nations during the world economic conferences?
The world asks, “Why can Israel have hundreds of nuclear weapons but Iraq and North Korea cannot? Why does Turkey still occupy the northern part of Cyprus and why does Israel still occupy Palestine?”
Who is “the world?” The world is not the superpower and its allies. The world is all nations, an elementary grade student will tell us. How far the West has gone! Why is it a crime for Iraq, North Korea or any other nation to even think of making weapons of mass destruction when other nations have thousands in their arsenals?
In fact, at the same time they threaten to enforce their absurd standards, they are making more weapons of mass destruction.
But the world knows the obvious. It is not about weapons of mass destruction and it is not about changing this or that regime. Virtually all people of the world know that it is about total world domination, which can only come by ensuring control of the oil and placing military bases on the soil of other nations. And this has been accomplished for many years almost exclusively by killing millions of innocent people, mutilating many more around the globe for life, and devastating the environment. If this is not terrorism, then what is it?
We fail to realize the obvious, that there is only one superpower manipulating politics and the economy, but there are many superpowers that have the capacity to bring the world to its knees at any moment, even by mistake. Any nation with weapons of mass destruction is a superpower. There really is no world king. And the so-called globalization and world government will be nothing but the most inhumane government ever devised on the face of the earth. It will be based on terror and extortion. What good will that do the world? But the people will revolt sooner or later as they have always done, and who will be able to bring order? Will the self-proclaimed builders of nations be able to rebuild the world? What can be built from ashes and without survivors? That is what we need to contemplate.
Unless we realize our hypocrisy, madness, and absurd logic, we will never see peace on Earth. That is a given. Threats beget threats, and terror begets terror. Weapons beget weapons and hate begets hate. Has the world been transformed into a madhouse, giving praise to lies and condemnation to truth? If we have reached that kind of maturity, what remains? Should we expect a global Hiroshima in order to understand how blind we are? It would be too late.
Why do the United Nations and the Security Counsel enforce international law in places like Kuwait but do not in other places like Israel and Palestine or Turkey and Cyprus? Why do they have double standards? It seems then an obvious fact to any ordinary and honest observer that the dogma ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ has taken dominion of the international institutions, which proclaim that they work for world peace.
But what then? If such is our current condition, who will deliver the world from the coming catastrophic consequences? What will the nations do in order to avoid having such a calamity come from the practice of such a dogma? How long will the people of the world wait? Until they see their lives ruled by a minority of people with absurd desires? Until they see their world gone forever and their lives taken in agonizing death? Can’t they see where they are headed?
Why did the United States of America long ago choose the path of threats and killing to serve the world? What would the result have been if only a fraction of the resources that have been used to create and support the awesome and simultaneously diabolical war machine had been given to poor nations? Those who have searched the numbers know well that our world would not be the same. But power corrupts. Power without ethics is destined to destroy not only the weak but also the strong. Nevertheless, physical power never broke the spirit of freedom, and it never will.
The Lethal Trap
“We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy.”
~ Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Jackson, Chief US Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunal, August 12, 1945
What was often heard before the Iraq war II were phrases like:
“We would support a US-led unilateral strike on Iraq only with UN endorsement.”
“We would support a unilateral invasion if clear evidence emerged that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.”
“There should not be a war with Iraq because there is no proof that Iraq was involved with the 9/11 terrorist act.”
… and the list went on.
But all those people with good intention failed to see the lethal trap before their eyes. If the drivers of the war machine had decided to wage another aggressive war against another nation, they would sooner or later find a reason to justify the war if people were asking for one. At the end, if they would not find one, they would create one. And that would not be the first time. What if the United Nations Security Council had said that it is okay to go to war? What if the inspectors had found some nuclear material? Would one gram of plutonium or a ton of it would be enough to start the war? What if someone had come and said that there was a link between 9/11 and Iraq? (And of course that person most likely would be speaking “on condition of anonymity.”) What then, should the war had started?
Ironically the war started even without any of these justifications. It started because the invisible government had decided so. It even gave the answer to the millions who were protesting against the war world wide through the lips of their representative. They said, “You people are irrelevant.” But the informed people around the world know that Iraq was attached not because it had weapons of mass destruction but precisely for the opposite reason. Iraq was attached because the attackers were certain that Iraq did not have them.
We need to realize that there was absolutely no justification for the Iraq war. This war not only risked global catastrophe because it involved the boiling region in the Middle East, an area perhaps more unstable than any other in the world, but it was also immoral and illegal. It was immoral because it punished millions of innocent civilians who were punished unjustly in 1991, and had been punished continually since that time, and it punished and destroyed them again. It was illegal under domestic law because only Congress has the power to declare war under the US Constitution. Congress gave the illegal authority to the President of the United States to commit aggressive war. For this same kind of war, Nazi and Japanese leaders were held accountable at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials following World War II. It was also illegal under international law because there was no evidence that Iraq planed to attack the US. Aggressive war is one of the most serious transgressions of international law.
Nothing but organized non-violence can check the organized violence of the American government for now and in the future. This organized state violence is demonstrated with the following simplified examples.
US versus North Korea:
US: What do you have?
NK: We’ve got nukes, germs, poison gas, missiles galore and a million tough troops. Just about what you have. The only difference is in amount, but they still work very effectively even in small amounts. They can bring you down to your knees.
US: Okay, let’s negotiate.
US versus Iraq:
US: What do you have?
IQ: We have nothing of the sort you worry about.
US: There will be no negotiations, just war!
Since the Vietnam disaster, the US has attacked only small nations with little or no ability to defend themselves such as Grenada, Panama, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Small nations observing this absurd phenomenon of double-standards will do anything they can in the future to not just build WMD but also buy them from any place they can. That brings us closer to chaos. Which country is the greatest proliferator of weapons of mass destruction then?
If the possession or ability to make WMD is the “justification” for the US to go to war, then the governments which do not posses them would be quite rational in taking action (sanctions, etc.) against those states that already possess them and even manufacture them openly.
We still see today the same absurd mentality of the leaders of the west. They cry with a loud voice, “Iran and this and that nation do not obey their obligations under the non-proliferation treaty.” Why don’t they obey their own obligations? Why don’t they abolish their own, as it is stated in the non-proliferation treaty?
In the words of a former student of mine:
“In today’s post 9/11 context, there is a need for the American people to become aware of what they are capable of doing. In a way, the U.S. does shape the world’s destiny today. Will America dare to vote for peace? Or will America trigger nuclear disaster? World citizens hope that the Americans’ fear of terrorism does not blind them from the possibility of a peaceful future.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Previous articles by Andreas Toupadakis:
- Glorifying Peace Instead of War
- Creating Your Future – Arise Great Warrior, Arise!
- Unifying The Global Peace Movement – Challenges and Solutions
- The Real Face of The Empire
- Science, Secrets and Corporate Slavery
- Crisis in Science: Scientists’ Responsibility for the Survival of the Human Species
- Awaken Students! Education is for Self-Awareness and Inner Growth
- Quitting the Nuclear Labs – a Scientist’s Plea for World Peace
- Civilization Is for Making Peace, Not War
- Wisdom and Compassion Need to Become Action
About the author:
Born on the beautiful island of Crete in Rethymno, Greece, Andreas Toupadakis received his B.S. in Chemistry from the Aristotelian University in Thessaloniki. He has lived in the U.S. since 1978, and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1990. Following a career in industry, academia and two US Government laboratories, in 2001 Dr. Toupadakis resigned from a classified government position maintaining nuclear weaponry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California to actively contribute to the peace movement.
Since 2005, Dr. Toupadakis has been teaching at UC Davis, including courses in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences. A proponent of the Socratic dialogue method, he was the winner of the 7th annual ASUCD Excellence in Education Award as UC Davis’ educator of the year in 2009. He is also the author of three chemistry study guides, and teaches two popular freshman seminars at UC Davis every quarter: “From Self-Awareness to Personal Growth for True Success in and After College” and “World Music as a Means to Embrace Diversity and Reach Self-Discovery”.
Besides teaching chemistry at UC Davis, Dr. Toupadakis has taught chemistry at several other colleges and universities in the U.S. and in Greece, and has also given lectures and written articles on life planning through wise career choice, career change and career satisfaction, and sustainable living across campuses in the U.S., Greece, Japan and recently in India.
His personal website, TheLifeCurve.com, is devoted to student success during and after college. Dr. Toupadakis spends a great deal of his free time with his students at his organic garden plot, which is provided by the Experimental College Community Garden of UC Davis. He also encourages his students to have their own garden plots.