Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Weekend: Ukraine, Putin and Pope Francis

My, my, my.  Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive, except this isn’t the first time our government has deceived.  The US and the EU are continually bitch slapped by Putin and Pope Francis.

Putin and the Pope are starting to look like a World Wrestling Federation tag team.  The US Government has adopted a foreign policy of stealing the world’s resources and gold at the end of a BlackWater gun for “safe keeping” in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  As previously reported, Ukraine’s government has been overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the State Department of the United States of America.  

The U.S. government is forcing the starvation of austerity on the people of Ukraine along with the pillaging of Ukraine’s resources.  The United States Government installed a central banker as interim president in Ukraine until they could install an “elected” Ukrainian government that will be indebted to the World Bank to pay for their own destruction.

My mother was a war bride from Belgium and she would tell me stories of Belgium under Nazi occupation that brought starvation, and the literal theft of blood and treasure.  My mother told me about the people of Belgium being forced to “donate” blood for the wounded German soldiers; she said that the people were left with enough blood to crawl out into the street and die.

She told of her brother-in-law Phonis (Stephen) and his son Emil working with the underground in Belgium to smuggle precious metals out of the reach of Nazi’s.  My aunt Emily was psychic and had a dream that Stephen and Emil would be arrested by Nazi’s.  Stephen and Emil acted on her dream and moved the metals to another location just before the Nazi’s came to arrest them.   Her memories of hunger and starvation never left her.

She told me about the United States military coming into Belgium and the feeling of great elation at the sight of the US flag.  The American flag was a symbol hope and the extreme sacrifice of the people of America to ensure freedom from repression and a better life for all.  

When the U.S. soldiers arrived in Europe they were shocked at the condition of the people after years of starvation and many gave their food rations to the people, especially the children.

My mother was deeply religious, as were many survivors of World War II.  I remember Our Lady of Fatima telling the world to pray the rosary and every night mom and us kids would kneel before a small statue of the Blessed Virgin with vigil lights burning to pray the rosary. 

We would pray for peace in the world and for the safety of my dad, who was an across the road truck driver.  Until my mother’s death, she always saw my dad as the handsome soldier she met and fell in love with that saved her life and country. When mom was dying of cancer and dad and us kids were taking care of her, I remember her smiling at me and saying “I keep forgetting your dad isn’t big and strong anymore.”

In movies about World War II, people of the world cheer when they see the United States flag because it meant the US military was coming to their rescue.  Boy, what a difference a generation makes and I don’t mean my generation.

The Vietnam War tore apart this country.   As a child growing up in De Pere, Wisconsin we lived across the street from VFW Park.  All activity during my childhood centered around the park and the church.  We kids all knew each other from the park, whether we were in Catholic School or public school.

When the draft took kids from my generation to fight in the Vietnam War, there was a sense of duty that the baton of the World’s saviors, the United States military had been handed down.  Although there was a draft, many of the kids enlisted in the military out of a sense of pride and duty.  My ex-husband joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and spent 3 years in Vietnam.

As the kids I grew up with were called to war, I remember being at our neighbor’s house, the Landwehrs and they were playing “Ballad of the Green Beret” on a little turntable on the kitchen table.  That was the sense of patriotism that was rampant.  It was now our turn to save the world.

Then, there were the flag draped caskets of the kids we grew up with coming home from a war that we didn’t understand.  I remember seeing Janis Olmstead, pregnant and being physically held up to accept the flag from the casket of the father of her unborn child, Mike Sullivan, he was a teenager.

I remember Dave Vanden Heuvel’s casket coming home.  My last memory of Dave was when he was home on leave and my sister Cathy giving him a big hug in the parking lot of the A&W in De Pere.

As more and more flag draped caskets came home, it became evident that this was not a just war.  More and more people, especially on college campuses began to demand an end to the war.  Because there was a draft, you either became a conscientious objector or you became cannon fodder.

Then the tensions culminated to a breaking point when students demonstrating on the campus of Kent State in Ohio were gunned down by a skittish National Guard that had been called in by the Governor of the State.

So here we are today, a US government that is reviled around the world for their lack of regard for human suffering.  An American flag that is the epitome of unbridled capitalism with no regard for human life.  A government run by millionaire politicians who don’t know or care to know the sights and smells of suffering of people in war zones. Politicians that put profits above the deaths, destruction and suffering caused by climate change.

Much to the disdain of these millionaire politicians, Pope Francis has made the biblical case for addressing climate change.  From a May 22nd article in a publication called “All Voices”:

Pope Francis warns against climate change denial: 'If we destroy creation, it will destroy us'

Pope Francis delivered a message on climate change Wednesday warning about the potential of environmental catastrophe and called on Christians to see themselves not as "masters of creation" but "custodians of creation."

But while the Catholic pontiff delivered an inspired message on an urgent matter for our time, Republican members of Congress and conservatives, claiming to derive their views from the same Bible Francis believes in, persist in climate change denialism.

They continue in climate change denial, insisting on the view that rapacious use of nature is consistent with biblical teaching that man should have "dominion" even as evidence mounts that we might have reached a climate change tipping point.

Yes, those politicians are all for the bible as long as the bible supports exploitation of natural resources for profit.

According to the Vatican Radio, addressing a crowd in Rome, Francis cited the biblical creation story of Genesis where, after God created the world, he declared that "it is good."

The pontiff called for a Christian culture of environmental awareness based on respect for the "for the beauty of nature and grandeur of the cosmos."

He emphasized that God made man to take care of the Earth and warned that religious cultural outlook that promotes unbridled exploitation of nature could bring humanity to an environmental apocalypse.

He gave a dire warning, saying: "Safeguard Creation, because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!"

Linking his latest message to his previous messages about "unrestrained” capitalism and its destructive impact on the environment, he said: "Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all."

The Pope’s comments on the biblical case for addressing climate change came one day after President Vladimir Putin signed a $400 billion gas deal with China.  From Reuters:


As Putin looks east, China and Russia sign $400-billion gas deal

(Reuters) - China and Russia signed a $400-billion gas supply deal on Wednesday, securing the world's top energy user a major source of cleaner fuel and opening up a new market for Moscow as it risks losing European customers over the Ukraine crisis.

The long-awaited agreement is a political triumph for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is courting partners in Asia as those in Europe and the United States seek to isolate him over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Yes the E.U. and U.S. aren’t going to like Putin supplying “cleaner” energy sources to China.  The US has exploited China for years, rendering their air unbreathable from rampant capitalist exploitation of China.

The agreement came in time for a major economic summit in St. Petersburg starting Thursday. About a dozen chief executives and chairmen of major U.S. and European firms have withdrawn from the forum over the Ukraine crisis.

Ha ha, “about a dozen chief executives and chairman of MAJOR U.S. AND EUROPEAN FIRMS withdrew from the economic forum in St. Petersburg due to the crisis in Ukraine.”  The crisis in Ukraine that those U.S. and European firms created.

Well, I say “fuck them”.  Oops, sorry.

Increased gas imports will also help Beijing in its declared "war on pollution" aimed at reducing its reliance on coal which contributes to the harmful smog shrouding major cities.

Wow, China has a war on the pollution, the pollution that is a direct result of unbridled U.S. capitalism.  Yep, Putin and the Pope just stuck a great big thumb in the eye of the U.S. and E.U.  You’ve got to love it. 

But Pope Francis’ message on the biblical argument for addressing climate change was just the beginning.  The Pope with the “biggest balls” in human history is on a peace mission to the Middle East.   According to NBC News:

Pope Francis to Shun Popemobile on Mideast Trip: Vatican

Pope Francis will shun bulletproof vehicles during a trip to the Middle East this month and has insisted on using a normal car so he can be as close to the people as possible, the Vatican said Thursday.

"The pope wants an open popemobile and a normal car,” said chief spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, who hinted that local security officials had suggested the use of bulletproof vehicles but were over-ruled.

Previous pontiffs were driven in bulletproof limousines on trips whether in Rome or abroad, after the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II who was travelling in an open top vehicle when he was shot. Heads of state visiting the Middle East tend to use bulletproof cars.

Yes, Heads of State visiting the Middle East need to fear the people.  But, Pope Francis has enormous balls, he doesn’t fear the people, he embraces them.

The Vatican was not overly concerned by threats to Christians scrawled by suspected Jewish extremists on church property in Israel, he added.

"Death to Arabs and Christians and all those who hate Israel," was daubed in Hebrew on an outer column of the Office of the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame Center in East Jerusalem on Monday, where Francis is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

More than 200 Orthodox Jews protested on Monday against the pope's planned visit to the site where Christians believe Jesus Christ had his Last Supper on Monday.

Man, that Pope is unbelievably smart and brave.   So what’s on the agenda for Pope Francis?   According to NBCNews:

ROME — Pope Francis sets out for his first trip to the Holy Land on Saturday in what he has called “a strictly religious visit,” but in a land where religion and politics are intertwined, he will walk a political tight-rope.

Traveling with a rabbi and a Muslim leader in tow as a nod to inter-faith dialogue, Francis will visit Jordan, the Palestinian Territories and Israel in a crowded, three-day trip.

Wow, that’s a first the Pope traveling with a Rabbi and a Muslim Leader in the Middle East.

First stop: Jordan

The premise of the trip, which begins in Jordan, is to mark the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, the spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians. That event marked a turning point between the two major branches of Christianity that split with the Great Schism in 1054.

During the Jordan stop, he will say Mass in a stadium filled with thousands of Christians who fled there from war-torn neighboring areas, including Palestine and Syria. He is also expected to visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan where, according to Christian belief, Jesus was baptized.

Can you imagine what it means for all the refugees of war in Syria and Palestine for the Pope to come and give mass and communion?  What’s next?

Straight to the West Bank

Even though Francis is the fourth pope to visit the Holy Land, following Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict — the latter most recently in 2009 — his trip will be paved by many firsts that will carry both a religious and political significance.

For the first time the official Vatican itinerary calls the Palestinian territories the “State of Palestine.”   The designation reaffirms the Vatican’s 2012 vote at the United Nations’ general assembly giving Palestinians de-facto statehood. The vote and the Vatican’s support for it has angered Israel, which argues any change of status should only come through negotiations.

Yeah, I’ll bet that pissed off the Zionists in Israel like Netanyahu.

Just as significantly, on Sunday Francis will fly by helicopter directly from Amman, Jordan, to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, initially bypassing Israel, where his predecessors always landed before moving on to the West Bank. The symbolic gesture will not only bypass a complicated security motorcade, but also strengthens the claim for Palestine to become an independent sovereign state.

While in Bethlehem, Francis will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — underlining the Vatican’s support for the change of Palestine’s status. Abbas has been happy to play up the support — welcome banners in Manger Square show the two leaders together under a “State of Palestine” caption.

The Palestinians have been treated as though they were less than human, but they are just one side of the equation.

Nod to the founder of Zionism

Francis will also make symbolic gestures to the Israelis during his whirlwind 16-event visit on Sunday evening and Monday: he will be the first pope to lay a wreath on grave of Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism.

 Wow, what an amazing man.

Riccardo Pacifici, the president of the Jewish community in Rome, said the move is “an innovative gesture that not many head of states make. I hope this is a step forward in the diplomatic relations between Israel and the Vatican.”

On Monday he will visit the Western Wall, Mount Herzl and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and he will meet with the president, prime minister, chief rabbis and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

But his plan to say Mass on Monday evening on Mount Zion, believed to be the site of both Jesus’ last supper and the tomb of King David, has also sparked outrage among Orthodox Jews who say the space must not be used for Christian prayer.

There will never be Mid-East Peace without recognizing each other’s humanity.

The Vatican clearly hopes that the Francis’ traveling companions Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Islamic leader Omar Abboud, director of the Institute for Religious Dialogue in Buenos Aires – old friends from when he was a cardinal in Argentina – will help smooth the way and reinforce the idea that all three great monotheistic faiths can live in peace.

Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said that their presence is "an extremely strong and explicit signal" about the importance of inter-religious dialogue in the region.

Skorka will be in the Palestinian Territories and a key Islamic site in Jerusalem, while Abboud will be at the Western Wall sacred to Jews and the Yad Vashem memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

Yes, this Pope, Pope Francis has balls of steel.

Once again, he has chosen not to travel in armored vehicles, and has opted to greet locals on an open-deck jeep, and travel in a regular car. A gesture that shows, once again, that his trust in interfaith dialogue is stronger than his fear of religious hatred.

Meanwhile, back in Ukraine the unelected Central Bank imposed government is screaming “Putin is interfering with our “election”.   An interesting article from Ray McGovern:

Killing the Putin-Obama ‘Trust’

Last year, Russian President Putin and U.S. President Obama became a geopolitical odd couple as they worked to cool off hotspots such as Syria and Iran. But U.S. hawks succeeded in killing that collaboration via the crisis in Ukraine, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

“Putin will not talk to Obama under pressure,” American journalist Josh Rogin was told late last week by a close associate of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. If Russia’s President will no longer call or accept calls from the President Obama, this strikes me as the most important casualty so far from U.S.-provoked “regime change” in Ukraine.

The U.S. provoked regime change in Ukraine is the baby that was “birthed” by Joe Biden, self- proclaimed Zionist and Victoria Nuland wife of neocon Robert Kagen.

So tomorrow the “election” in Ukraine takes place, but it’s hard to believe that anyone will have any faith in the results.  Ukraine’s government is already preemptively calling foul.

BLAHODATNE, Ukraine — In the deadliest raid yet on Ukrainian troops, pro-Russia insurgents attacked a military checkpoint Thursday, killing 16 soldiers, and the interim prime minister accused Moscow of trying to disrupt the upcoming election for a new president to lead the divided country out of its crisis.

The armed uprising and the government’s offensive to put it down have cast a shadow over Sunday’s election, with Kiev acknowledging it will be impossible to hold the vote in some areas. In the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where separatists have declared independence and pledged to derail the vote, election workers reported threats and interference from gunmen.

Yes, the U.S. imposed Kiev government is accusing the people of Ukraine of derailing the kangaroo election.

Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused Russia of escalating the conflict and trying to disrupt the election. In a post on Facebook, he called for an urgent session of the U.N. Security Council and said Ukraine would present evidence of Moscow’s involvement.

Yes, the Central Banker Yatsenyuk is calling on U.N. Security Council to save their fake election in Ukraine.  But the U.N. Security Council can’t do much since China and Russia have veto power and China and Russia just signed that $400 billion gas deal.

So Putin and the Pope are riding the wave.  On this Memorial Day weekend, I hope we will remember those veterans who have died for the values of our nation.  Please remember, our troops have been replaced by a private army.  Our veterans are of no value to this millionaire government that has cut pay raises from 1.8% to 1%.  This millionaire government has reneged on our commitment to our veterans.

This millionaire government that answers to Wall Street instead of Main Street does not speak for Americans.

Thank God for our grandfathers and grandmothers, our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us, our country and the world.

Let us celebrate Memorial Day with the honor and dignity our people and our country deserve.  We are all one in the world, let us not forget that. 

By Patricia Baeten. 

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