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In Our Name: On Exercising Moral Conscience
Given US Cluster Munitions to Ukraine
David Ratcliffe, rat haus reality press, 25 July 2023

Demonstration Cluster Bomb, Showing Bomblets
So let us stop talkin’ falsely now
The hour’s getting late.
—Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower
lyrics sung by Jimi Hendrix               

The word conscience, which means our ability to judge our own actions according to right and wrong, is derived from the Latin word conscientia, meaning a knowing together with another or others. That word in turn derives from con (cum) = with + scire = to know. Thus conscience, which usually refers to one person’s conscience, also involves a sharing with others, a knowing with. The word science as we understand it today, also derives from scire, and in the 19th century before the modern understanding of science developed, the word science simply meant knowledge. Furthermore, the word consciousness also has the same root, suggesting the connection between conscience and consciousness and the social nature of the sense of right and wrong and shared human consciousness.

On 13 July I received mail from Tom Greco. I met Tom in 1999 at two of Carol Brouillet’s conferences, Strategies for Transforming the Global Economy. Tom is a leading authority on moneyless exchange systems, community currencies, financial innovation, and community economic development. His mail was about U.S. cluster munitions that will be sent to Ukraine and includes the report by Mike Boddington, Founder and first Director of COPE, the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise, based in Vientiane, Laos.[1]

A Most Evil Weapon; A Most Heinous Crime

Opening paragraph of Tom’s Introduction:
A heinous war crime is about to be committed by a country that purports to be the champion of democracy and human rights. Yes, the United States is preparing to send cluster bombs to the Ukraine for use in the war against Russia. Do you know the kinds of injuries these weapons cause, that they often fail to explode until much later when innocent civilians happen to accidentally set them off, and that these weapons have been banned by the Geneva Convention signed by 123 countries, but NOT by the United States?
Opening paragraph of Mike’s analysis:
This is an interim edition: a bonus, if you will. It is brought about as a result of hearing the news that the USA is to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, in order to continue the support of NATO and the west for that country in its battle against Russia. If this happens it will be the most evil and heinous crime. It will be the act of people who have no care or concern for the lives and welfare of others. By way of response, I am reproducing here an article that I wrote in 2021 entitled ‘An Experience in Your Life’ and which has had limited circulation, but has not aired in this medium. It offers a scenario of a regular, everyday person in SE Asia encountering an unexploded device – here referred to as a cluster sub-munition or bombie.

Mike Boddington is writing to each of us reading this: “Here is a scenario for you, dear reader. This is about you – your experience.” Describing being horrifically injured by “an explosive device left over from some long-past conflict,” he describes the timeline of what occurs following the explosion. He concludes the section Your Experience with, “Every hour of every day something like the above happens somewhere in the world. Every hour. Every day. Innocent people encounter an unexploded device, left behind by conflict, a conflict in which they were not involved. This hour today, as you read this, it was your turn. Tough.”

On the COPE website, ENDING THE THREAT OF UXO IN LAOS The effect of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on Lao PDR has been and continues to be immense, draws on figures from 2009:

SOME STATISTICS TO REMEMBER: Sources: National Regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine Action in the Lao PDR Annual Report 2009/NRA Website

In his December 2001 essay, In Our Name, John Judge analyzed the broader political and historical framework of the 11 September attacks and how “All that has brought us to this juncture in history and all that will follow, has been and is being done in our name, in the name of the American people, in the name of protecting democracy and freedom. But at the same time, most of what has been done and is being done exists behind a veil of secrecy, a veil of national security and covert military operations.” His examination of the psychological, sociological, political, and economic costs of war-making are ever more relevant two decades on. The beginning of Section 6, At The Crossroads, opens with:

I had a dream image about September 11. I grew up in the halls of the Pentagon, because members of my family were civilian employees there for many decades. I felt my windows shake when the plane exploded into the side of the building. I was offered a job at the Pentagon library when I was 15 years old, but my moral consciousness was already too far developed to accept it. After my relatives died, I took a photo of the Pentagon that they kept in their house, and hung it in my room. I know of no other reason to build a five-sided figure, which points to the south, except that in the arcane it is used in rituals to summon the Devil. While I do not believe in the Devil, I do believe in human evil. I always felt that the structure summoned it. In the ritual, the pentangle not only summons but also contains the Devil. My dream image was the plane breaking the pentangle and releasing the Devil. Pan-daemonium, as Milton called the capital of Hell. That evil must again be contained, and not summoned again.

Cluster Bomb Unit containing more than 600 cluster bombs sits in a field in the southern village of Ouazaiyeh, Lebanon. (Mohammed Zaatari/The Associated Press)

The unmitigated evil being carried out IN OUR NAME manifests unbridled malevolence. The justification for the latest unconscionable Jaws-of-Hell-Weapons-to-Ukraine decision and promotion by executive branch, military, congressional, intelligence-media, academia, think-tank talking head “experts” is one more cravenly lethal “policy” laying bare the moral corruption of, in Steven Newcomb’s words, this Empire Domination Model of Christian Discovery. And how is this wanton carnage acknowledged? As Harold Pinter stated in his 2005 Nobel Lecture, “It never happened.”

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

In 2014, Ray McGovern wrote about Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance: (The Ukraine in 50 Years of Context). The MICIMATT—McGovern’s term for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex—is the core producer and director of our ersatz culture. Life-affirming moral conscience is required to pierce the fog of thingism, identify and recognize the life-negating agendas being sold as necessary, and exercise our birthright intelligence to liberate consciousness and protect and defend ALL Life exploring itself on Mother Earth from what Guy DeBord described as The Society of the Spectacle, running on endless distraction and spoon-fed corporate empire state pablum.

Guy Debord: II. In 1967, in a book entitled The Society of the Spectacle, I showed what the modern spectacle was already in essence: the autocratic reign of the market economy, which had acceded to an irresponsible sovereignty, and the totality of new techniques of government that accompanied this reign....
VI. Spectacular domination’s first priority was to eradicate historical knowledge in general; beginning with just about all rational information and commentary on the most recent past....
VII. With the destruction of history, contemporary events themselves retreat into a remote and fabulous realm of unverifiable stories, uncheckable statistics, unlikely explanations and untenable reasoning....
VII. All experts serve the state and the media and only in that way do they achieve their status. Every expert follows his master, for all former possibilities for independence have been gradually reduced to nil by present society’s mode of organization. The most useful expert, of course, is the one who can lie. With their different motives, those who need experts are falsifiers and fools. Whenever individuals lose the capacity to see things for themselves, the expert is there to offer an absolute reassurance....
IX. Such a perfect democracy constructs its own inconceivable foe, terrorism. Its wish is to be judged by its enemies rather than by its results. The story of terrorism is written by the state and it is therefore highly instructive. The spectators must certainly never know everything about terrorism, but they must always know enough to convince them that, compared with terrorism, everything else must be acceptable, or in any case more rational and democratic.
A striking feature of spectacular domination’s regime includes the specific set of illusions presented by commercial print and broadcast media which promote a representation of reality through omission, distortion, lack of contextual analysis, and disinforming opinion stated as obvious, incontestable fact. It is always our choice what lens we adopt to view the world and our place in it. The expiration date for spectacular domination’s reign of fear and loathing is past due. The corporate ship of state is sinking under its own weight of greed, hubris, unspeakable control addiction, power disease, warlord global LLC, fraud, deception, and the extravagant pretensions of Christian discovery. Silence is consent in the face of this unspeakable, global evil. Allowed to continue, the future existence of all that follows us here will surely be denied, cancelled, extinguished.

In April, Speaking in Signposts of The Sovereign Debt Bubble Popping: What Comes Next?, former Blackrock portfolio manager and founding partner of Phinance Technologies, Ed Dowd points out the drivers of war.

War is a way out for bankers. Not for us, but for bankers. There’s 330 Trillion in Global Debt. It’s coming to a head; we’re 21 years into the 6th economic cycle as tracked by commodities.... Only 2 ways out of this problem: Default or Inflate. War is the only palpable narrative that populations will accept to inflate with proper propaganda.

There are alternatives to the demands of capital and its accumulation which inexorably leads to social disintegration and, potentially, species extinction. In The Accumulation of Capital (1913), Rosa Luxemburg wrote, “Force is the only solution open to capital; the accumulation of capital, seen as an historical process, employs force as a permanent weapon, not only at its genesis, but further on down to the present day.... The method of violence, then, is the immediate consequence of the clash between capitalism and the organisations of a natural economy which would restrict accumulation.”

How does one live in such an Orwellian war-is-peace, freedom-is-slavery, ignorance-is-strength system? If there is to be any actual redemption from the heinous crimes justified as necessary by U.S. “experts,” it will require rejecting this murderously disintegrating Christian Nationalism empire. Tom Greco writes about walking away from empire in three pieces.

In the 1990s Margaret Thatcher was a staunch proponent of the TINA philosophy or There Is No Alternative to economic—read corporate—liberalism. A significant counterweight to such framing of human possibilities is the 2021 book, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity which illuminates “A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.” From the dust jacket:

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike—either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself.

Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume.

Coming late to the game in 2019, I “spent” 6 months building a new directory on Collapsologie Immersion: The End Is The Beginning. Near the close of the Introduction, possibilities were pointed to of addressing the “wrong turn” European acolytes for the Vatican project of Christian discovery made beginning in the 15th century:

Billed as “a work of history”, The New York Times Magazine devoted its entire August 1, 2018 issue to a narrative by Nathaniel Rich on “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change.” The starkly narrow worldview making up this essay drove the motivation to write the critique: “Losing Earth? Realign with Original Free Peoples’ Great Law and Find Her Again.” A portion of this highlights Lenape/Shawnee scholar Steven Newcomb who, speaking at the Arizona state capital House of Representatives in 2012, points out a fundamental blindspot of US society in particular, and W.C. in general, that can still be acknowledged, addressed and redeemed. As Newcomb explains:

What I see is that the non-Indian society has actually deprived itself tremendously; by dehumanizing and sub-humanizing Indigenous Peoples they have deprived themselves of being able to learn from the vast amount of knowledge and wisdom that Indigenous Nations and Peoples have been able to accumulate over thousands and thousands of years going back to the beginning of time as expressed in our oral histories.

That’s what needs to occur. Once this understanding of respect for the Original Laws of the Land, for the Original Nations and Peoples of the Land, once that begins to occur then there is going to be more of a flow of communication and that knowledge that’s been buried and suppressed is going to rise up. If you want a clearer understanding of what that knowledge and wisdom entails look at the book called 1491; New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C Mann. It’s an amazing exploration and understanding of just how incredibly wonderful and rich and vibrant and intelligent Indigenous Nations and Peoples and their cultures and spiritual traditions have been and continue to be at this time.

Each of us is answerable to our Creator. Each of us has an immutable relationship with the source of our existence. The ineffable mystery we each embody is eternally framed in the wonder of whatever is really going on here. John Trudell touched the essence of this in What It Means To Be A Human Being.

... because ... we come from where we come from, every one of us is the descendant of a tribe. Every person in this room is a descendant of a tribe at some point in our ancestral evolution. Common, collective, genetic memory that’s in there, you know, that’s encoded, like I say, in the DNA. And for every individual, encoded in our individual DNA, alright?, is the experience of our lineage from the very beginning. Whose whole perceptional reality was what I was just saying: all things have being, we’re made up of the Earth – all my relations, pray to spirits. See, and they didn’t pray to man or human form. The closest they came to it was they prayed to spirits that were called ancestors.

Alright? And because they were praying to those ancestors for help and guidance, they understood that we were borrowing today from the past and the future. We’re borrowing it from both places. So they had this understanding of reality.... they knew that to keep the balance was the purpose.... The reason for being was to keep the balance. ... this was ... what I will call a spiritual perception of reality. And so because of the spiritual perception of reality they understood that life was about responsibility. It wasn’t about the abstraction of freedom – it was about responsibility. That life was about responsibility.

There is a vital need to activate remembering that we are borrowing today from the past as well as the future. So much forgetting makes possible the incoherent, life-destroying processes and activities that beset the world. This started a long time ago. John Trudell expresses his understanding of how, within the techno-logic perceptional reality, one of the civilizing processes is to erase memories; memory of who we are and what we are, memory of identity and self-reality.

All of us are divine beings having a physical experience. Dogma has been put on everyone to take away the idea of our own divinity and put it in the hands of someone else. Tyranny started with that idea of laying dogma on people and pulling everyone away from their own relationship to spirit. There is no greater purpose than to choose for our selves the lens we adopt to view the world and our place in it. Doing so opens us up to seeing more of the infinite mystery Life contains and expresses through all our relations.

Recognizing the intelligence we have been given by our Creator and using it as clearly and coherently as we possibly can is the antidote to the entire techno-logic perceptional reality that is based upon death. The eventual, inevitable outcome of such reality is oblivion and annihilation. It is our responsibility as human beings to see and acknowledge this and then act upon this understanding.

“You want sanity, democracy, community, an intact Earth? We can’t get there obeying Constitutional theory and law crafted by slave masters, imperialists, corporate masters, and Nature destroyers. We can’t get there kneeling before robed lawyers stockpiling class plunder precedent up their venerable sleeves. So isn’t disobedience the challenge of our age? Principled, inventive, escalating disobedience to liberate our souls, to transfigure our work as humans on this Earth.”
Richard Grossman
“History ... does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations. And it is with great pain and terror that one begins to realize this. In great pain and terror one begins to assess the history which has placed one where one is and formed one's point of view. In great pain and terror because, therefore, one enters into battle with that historical creation, Oneself, and attempts to recreate oneself according to a principle more humane and more liberating; one begins the attempt to achieve a level of personal maturity and freedom which robs history of its tyrannical power, and also changes history.”
James Baldwin (1965)
“The past is not never dead. It’s not even past.”
William Faulkner (1951)

May we all continually awaken to and be renewed by recognition
of our participation in and partaking of life
at this unique time of Koyaanisqatsi.

ko.yaa.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n.   1. crazy life.  
2. life in turmoil.   3. life out of balance.   4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
  1. [] Mr. Boddington founded COPE in 1995. A project established with the Lao Ministry of Health and international NGOs, he directed its development until his work there came to an end in 2009. In 2011 he was asked to become the Specialist on Disability and Rehabilitation to the National Science Council in the Lao Prime Minister’s Office where he became its chairman which also put him back on the Board of COPE. See Laos through my eyes – Mike Boddington, Nov 2013.
    Mr. Boddington on linkedin lists three Company websites:
I think our whole society tries to stabilize itself by starting out to destroy sensitivity to incoherence starting with very young children. If people could see the vast incoherence that is going on in society they would be disturbed and they would feel the need to do something. If you’re not sensitive to it you don’t feel disturbed and you don’t feel you need to do anything.
I remember an instance, a daughter was telling her mother, “this school is terrible, the teacher is terrible, very inconsistent, doing all sorts of crazy things,” and so on. Finally the mother was saying, “You’d better stop this—in this house the teacher is always right.” Now she understood that the teacher was wrong obviously, but the message was, it was no use. Even the message may have been right in some sense, but still it illustrates that the whole thing is in order to avoid this sort of trouble, starting with very young children, we are trained to become insensitive to incoherence. If there is incoherence in our own behavior, we thereby also become insensitive to it.
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