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December 25, 2007

Big Brother on Stage: What Kind of Actor is the EU?

Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Part III

(Previous: Part I Killing with a Clear Conscience
Part II Dictator at the Door )

Rafael Dochao Moreno, principal administrator of the Euro-Med Partnership, when asked the question why Spain chose to launch the Alliance of Civilizations initiative at the United Nations rather than the European Union responded that the “Barcelona process is already an AoC…why do we need an AoC?” Moreno’s response reminded those of us who have been following the Barcelona Process what we’ve already known--that the Alliance of Civilizations is a key aspect for the European foreign policy. The Barcelona Process, introduced in 1995 by Spain’s Javier Solana, contained a social cohesion strategy which had a goal to combat religious fundamentalism worldwide. The Alliance of Civilizations is merely a vehicle for such activity. Right from the start, the AoC was intended to form the core of the global counter-terrorism strategy. Before the cartoon crisis (in which Spain’s Zapatero, Moratinos, Federico Mayor, and Solana so authoritatively rose to the occasion to turn crisis into opportunity), Spain’s foreign minister had introduced the idea of the AoC as a tool to combat terrorism. Incidentally, although no group has ever stepped forward to claim responsibility or offer rationale for inciting the cartoon crisis, blame was assigned to “religious extremists” along with the claim that they seek to provoke a clash of civilizations. There is only one group that has reaped tremendous political benefit from the cartoon crisis--it almost reminds me of the Reichstag fire.

In a previous blog post we examined the Club of Madrid’s 2005 counter-terrorism strategy. As I reviewed the conference pictures and list of participants, I noticed linkages to those who put forth the EU Social Cohesion Policy and the Alliance of Civilisations initiative. (Click on image to enlarge.)

It is not surprising then that the Madrid Agenda contains identical objectives to those of the European Union’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Europe’s counter-terrorism strategy was presented to the June 2003 Thessalonika European Council by Javier Solana. Solana’s counter-terrorism strategy, which was incorporated into the security strategy A Secure Europe for a Better World, addresses combating strategic terrorism as its primary objective. Recall in Part I of my counter-terrorism article that strategic terrorism has been attributed to religious beliefs in which one accepts an “exclusivist” truth claim. An examination of the EU counter-terrorism documents yields the same definition. But here we see the lion’s teeth of militarization. There is an interesting paragraph in the Thessalonika document which reads:

  • “…the Danish Presidency decided to commission a group of Ministers' personal representatives to submit an analysis of the phenomenon of extreme fundamentalism and terrorism…The final report has been submitted and will be further discussed within the Council with a view to taking forward its recommendations.”

I of course was curious to read this report but have been unable to do so because a Decision of the European Ombudsman ruled that there were politically sensitive evaluations concerning a large number of foreign states. During my search, I was able to locate a research report published by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which frequently quotes from the Extreme Fundamentalism and Terrorism Group (EFTG). It may give us a glimpse of some of the sensitive issues contained within this report. For example, I suspect we may find that the EFTG considers Israel an authoritarian regime:

  • “In most fundamentalist transnational terrorist violence, the perpetrators tend to view the front line to be between Israel and the United States, on the one hand, and the Islamic world on the other. It involves the dispute about the US occupation of holy areas either itself or through proxies such as the authoritarian regimes of Saudi Arabia and Persia, or Israel. According to the report of the Extreme Fundamentalism and Terrorism Group (EFTG) the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have a very important positive impact on the struggle against extreme fundamentalism and terrorism.”

This is consistent with the Alliance of Civilizations’ statements as during the Doha debates Israel’s government was named an extremist regime. Regarding fundamentalism, the EFTG says:

  • "Fundamentalism has been defined as an attitude where non-negotiable principles are introduced to politics from a transcendental source, holy texts or a divine discourse. “From the point of view of fundamentalism, religion expresses a divine order, which ideally embraces all life spheres. Although this may simply lead fundamentalists to encapsulate their own existence around their religious beliefs (“Quietism”), they will most often actively pursue the goal of seeking other life spheres, including political one, dominated by religious rather than secular principles.” Often fundamentalism has also meant a tendency to impose these principles indiscriminately on believers and non-believers alike.”

The European Commission’s social cohesion research report further demonstrates that religious fundamentalism will not be tolerated within the European neighborhood.

  • "This third school of thought is referred to as 'civil society as the public sphere'. "Theories of the public sphere demand a return to the practice of politics. Not as an elite occupation in which the public takes part once every four or five years through elections, but as an ongoing process through which 'active citizens' can help to shape both the ends and means of the good society…Essential to the functioning of democracy, according to the line of thinking of this school, is that all sets of voices are heard. Inequality and discrimination are therefore seen as the enemies of the public sphere. Fundamentalism is seen as its most dangerous enemy, since fundamentalism does not acknowledge the existence of different truths nor does it respect other values, which makes it impossible to reach a consensus with other groups... The only similarity between European policy and this third school of thought is its aversion to fundamentalism."

As part of the 2007-2013 Cohesion Policy, member states are bound by agreement to implement European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) guidelines. As mentioned earlier, the European Defense Strategy’s focus is primarily on combating strategic terrorism. To do so, Solana has created a military-industrial complex having the following characteristics (to name only a few):

  • The theatre of operations is global.
  • Military assets that operate far beyond European borders.
  • Capacity to conduct offensive in addition to defensive war.
  • In the event not all member states are in agreement, draw upon a nucleus of states comprising a permanent structured cooperation.
  • Strategic missions will be organized through coalitions of the “willing and able.”
  • A civilian-military crisis management approach (CIMIC). CIMIC is a plan which places the civilian population subject to military authority.
  • Crisis management through EU Battle Groups
  • Overcome the divide between military and criminal intelligence.
  • Involve gendarmerie forces in all types of police missions: crowd control, maintaining public order, conducting intelligence work, criminal investigations, counter-terrorism, etc.
  • Establishment a citizens’ biometrics database (Schengen Information System, aka SIS II and Visa Information System). These systems were developed in secrecy without consultation of the European Parliament.
  • Gather intelligence through satellite capabilities and the Torrejon Satellite Centre.
  • The Galileo Navigational System provides the ability to conduct precision urban warfare (see An Evaluation of the Military Benefits of the Galileo System).
  • New EU-NATO framework - Ensure escalation dominance in the essence of Berlin-Plus.
  • Ability to conduct network-enabled warfare: co-operability with US armed forces having ability to “plug into” US networks.
  • Use of NATO Response Forces in crisis management.
  • Provide military capabilities to the UN. Would include a reserve or an “extraction force” provided to support a UN operation.
  • Activate Western European Union Recommendation 666 which places above assets into control of the High Representative (Solana) in the event of a crisis.

The new EU-NATO relationship has tripled European capacity for power-projection. The Prague Summit Declaration , a blueprint for EU-NATO co-operation, reinforces Solana’s social cohesion platform:

  • We reaffirm that security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. We therefore decide to upgrade substantially the political and practical dimensions of our Mediterranean Dialogue as an integral part of the Alliance’s cooperative approach to security. In this respect, we encourage intensified practical cooperation and effective interaction on security matters of common concern, including terrorism-related issues, as appropriate, where NATO can provide added value. We reiterate that the Mediterranean Dialogue and other international efforts, including the EU Barcelona process, are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
  • Endorse the agreed military concept for defence against terrorism. The concept is part of a package of measures to strengthen NATO’s capabilities in this area, which also includes improved intelligence sharing and crisis response arrangements.

NATO’s military concept for defence against terrorism coincides with Solana’s civilian-military approach as NATO’s framework directs:

  • “Act…in support of the international community’s efforts against terrorism.” [Recalling that the Alliance of Civilizations social cohesion program is the core of the counter-terrorism strategy.]
  • “Developing an overreaching international strategy for defence against terrorism.”
  • “religious extremism is likely to be the source of the most immediate terrorist threats to the Alliance…”
  • “Counter Terrorism, primarily offensive measures.”
  • “…winning the trust of the local population through Psychological Operations and Information Operations is vital.”
  • “Within most NATO nations, civil authorities, such as the police, customs and immigration authorities, finance ministries, interior ministries, intelligence and security services, are the primary agencies involved in dealing with terrorism and military forces will need to operate in support of, and in close coordination with all of these agencies. The Concept therefore states that NATO must harmonise its procedures and efforts with civil authorities within nations in order to maximize its effectiveness against terrorism.

This is a tremendous amount of power to be placed in the hands of one individual. Many of us have often heard that a picture is worth 1000 words. For a visual representation of the EU Security and Defense Policy and to grasp Javier Solana’s power, watch this Center for International Peace Operations presentation. (I would recommend you download it as it is likely to soon disappear.) So what kind of actor is the EU? Again, this picture speaks volumes.

One living in other parts of the world may read this and mistakenly believe that this is only a European problem. This cohesion strategy is global and is intended to be realized through the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations initiative. For those of us living in the United States, this past week we were made aware of the FBI’s formation of a vast biometrics database as well as the Dept. of Homeland Security’s domestic satellite-surveillance program. I am certain that these systems will “plug into” the Schengen biometrics system which is referred to as Big Brother. What many have long feared, I’m saddened to say, has arrived. Indeed, Big Brother is now here.

Part IV

December 8, 2007

Dictator at the Door

Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Part II
(Previous: Part I)

*** See use doctrine here

During Kofi Annan's presentation to the General Assembly of the United Nation's Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, he applauded the Club of Madrid for its related efforts in countering terrorism. In 2005, the Club of Madrid conducted a democracy, terrorism and security conference which is said to have been the largest gathering of security and terrorism experts that has ever taken place. Annan delivered the keynote address to the closing plenary where he conveyed that he would form an implementation task force dedicated to fighting terrorism and that all the UN system would play a role. We know that the role of setting the "global conscience" is being fulfilled by the Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group. One need not look too far on the list of conference participants to find individuals connected to the Alliance of Civilizations. Noteworthy participants include John Esposito, Giandomenico Picco, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Javier Solana, etc. Here, I provide a summation of the conference outcome documents.

Addressing the Causes of Terrorism, identification of the problematic individuals are found on pages 27-33. The core of the experts’ argument is that religion can contribute to a ‘culture of violence’, a condition which must be addressed to stop the spread of terrorism.

  • “…religion is often ‘centered around themes that can be inherently polarizing—concepts of truth, notions of good, of absolutes and ultimate realities’. For this reason, religion can contribute to a culture of violence where violence becomes ‘a defining issue’ in the identity of activist groups.”

In Part I of this series, we see that Alliance of Civilisation’s High Level Group member John Esposito equates monotheistic religions’ exclusive truth claims with terrorism. In light of Esposito’s contribution to this counter-terrorism strategy, it’s no surprise that the question “Is violence more frequently linked with monotheistic traditions?” resulted in the following answer:

  • “Samuel Peleg pointed out that the monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) have a tendency to authoritarianism and intolerance due to ‘their centrist emphasis on a single deity’. Esposito said that the ‘three Abrahamic traditions’ have been ‘more prone to exclusivist theologies/worldviews which can be used by political and religious leaders to legitimate imperialist expansion, violence, and terror’. Elorza gave explanations of why – in his view – Islam and Judaism had a propensity towards violence and Buddhism did not. Other members of the group stressed that some strands of Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism have also been capable of hideous acts of terror, and that these acts have been justified by violent images and themes within these Eastern traditions. Moreover, the distinction between ‘monotheism’ and ‘polytheism’ is much debated by scholars of comparative religion who point out that a supposedly polytheistic religion such as Hinduism has a strong sense of unity behind its diversity, and that notions such as the Christian Trinity and concepts of sainthood introduce a complexity into the idea of God in the supposed monotheisms of Western religions.”

Maybe the monotheistic faiths are too complex for these individuals. So they concluded: therefore, responding to terrorism:

  • “Multi-track approaches (involving political, social and economic in parallel with security and military measures) should be employed.”

The Confronting Terrorism working papers lay out these multi track approaches. I subtitled my copy “Directives for a Police State”. There is a common thread running through the three main counter-terrorism strategies which I focus on —one which migrates the military from battlefield situations and embeds it into the populations. This is referred to as peace-keeping. (I will address this further in my next blog article.) This approach is intended for global implementation. Among the Club of Madrid's plans of action are:

  • “Legal standards need to be improved by harmonising penal and police laws, as well as by ratifying and implementing the relevant United Nations Conventions and Protocols and similar regional agreements.”
  • “Creation of a global citizens’ network.”
  • “Transformation of the armed forces - We do not see a need for dedicated counter-terrorist forces as special branches of the military establishment. Rather we would see this role, as well as the anti-terrorist and consequence management roles, as fitting in with what might be considered to be the emerging model for Western armed forces…models geared to peace-keeping (with only a limited capacity for self defense and dependent upon local consent).”
  • “The experiences of the humanitarian interventions as well as the counter-terrorist operations of recent years point to a need for lighter, more agile forces, drawing on modern technologies (for example in combining the ability to track targets and attack them with precision) while understanding the difficulties when it becomes necessary to mingle with civil society and the overall political context within which operations are conducted.”
  • “Biometrical identification systems will increasingly be used in travel documents as well as in other transactions.”

Travel documents for a world without borders? Hmmm. But, of course, all of this is intended to be conducted within the framework of and with sensitivity to democracy—that is “safe democracy”. The Alliance of Civilizations Giandomenico Picco has provided us with direction on what form of democracy we may expect under this weltanschauung. I noticed after I published my first article in this series that the Club of Madrid had removed Picco’s article from their website. I have attached it to the top of this piece for educational purposes. It can also be found on safe democracy foundation’s website. Simply click on each document to expand it so it becomes readable. According to Picco:

  • Now the challenge which faces most of our institutions, which are part and parcels of the system of indirect democracy, is whether they can evolve to meet a world where there are many ways to express the voice of the people besides elections and where knowledge is so wide spread that a group of few cannot claim monopoly on the truth. The participation of the peoples in elections is diminishing in many societies.”
  • I would venture to say that of the democratic institutions the first to evolve would be the Parliament: no longer the monopolist of the voice of the people, nor of knowledge for the people, they may have to reinvent themselves…”
  • “Our societies are likely unprepared for that kind of democracy as we have never experienced it. But for how long can we keep the door closed?”

Well this is one weltanschauung that amounts to nothing more than old fashioned fascism--a relic of extremist ideology has been tested before. Ultimately, it will become known as the most terroristic regime the world has ever known.

Part III

December 2, 2007

Killing with a Clear Conscience


Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Part I

In my early writings on this blog space, I warned of
the Militarization of the Alliance of Civilizations. A militarized Alliance of Civilisations is necessary for the High Level Group (HLG) to successfully conduct a war on extremism and terrorism. Most people consider those objectives to be positive. I may have too had I not read the AoC’s definitions of terrorism.

When Kofi Annan first introduced the AoC, he said that the problem (civilizational tensions) is not with the faiths, but with the faithful. The AoC has since expanded on this statement. Accordingly, if you read a religious text and apply an interpretation that becomes an “exclusive” truth claim, you have thereby entered a theology of hatred and have terrorist leanings. That, they say, is a root cause of terrorism. During the
Doha Debates HLG member John Esposito said:

  • “I think the danger of religious extremism can be, even though it's not necessarily violent, when it becomes exclusivist in which is basically says, 'Not only is my faith right, but your faith is absolutely wrong, and not only is my faith right, but my faith position within my faith is right, and so another Muslim who disagrees with me is wrong,' then you're moving into a very dangerous position here because you're bordering on what I would call theology of hate. That kind of mentality can easily be used by some, and it has been used by people like Osama Bin Laden, to legitimate military action at a certain point. You can easily slip over the line once you're into that realm of what I would call theology of hate, and we see that with elements of the Christian right, the Jewish right, and with elements of the Muslim right. I'm avoiding the word fundamentalism here, but you know what I mean.”

This poses a significant problem for most monotheists as our religious texts make exclusive truth claims. What escapes Esposito’s attention is that most of us enjoy freedom—we can choose our faiths and worship as we please. We respect and defend others’ rights to do likewise. This is called respect, not hatred. Perhaps Esposito’s vision of democracy is entirely different than mine.

As I took an in-depth look at the
United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, it was not surprising to find the Alliance of Civilizations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its core. This “comprehensive” strategy contains “measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism”. The strategy and its related documents can be found at the UN’s Uniting Against Terrorism website. While reading through the many documents, an item of interest in the recommendations document caught my attention which reads:

  • “I also urge the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in collaboration with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, to continue its work…”

Nearly a year ago I had archived a counter-terrorism piece from the Office on Drugs and Crime’s website which says:

  • “Religious groups often claim to be in possession of absolute truth, and some terrorist groups do the same. Religion also appears to offer the terrorist a seemingly ‘moral’ justification for immoral deeds. Human rights violations are ‘justified’ in the name of an invoked ‘divine law’”

(This link is no longer on the website, but the same material can be found here.)

This prompted me to check and see if the Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute shared the same wisdom. Sure enough, I found counter-terrorism material by Giandomenico Picco. Picco was Kofi Annan’s personal representative who worked on the Dialogue Among Civilizations project and later was instrumental in the startup of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative. Picco’s contribution to the AoC is certain to have a significant impact world’s religious populations as he has most disturbingly defined terrorism which can be found in UN publication International Terrorism and Governmental Structures. Here Picco explains that there are two types of terrorism, those being tactical and strategic. Tactical terrorist are associated with groups such as Hezbollah. Hezbollah, Picco explains, has a both a political and military branch whereby negotiations are possible. Strategic terrorism is based on religious belief. It is altogether different--more radical—of which there can be no negotiation. According to Picco:

  • “Different is the new kind of terrorism we witnessed in the last ten years or so by the Al Qaeda type of organizations. The Al Qaeda virtual groups have provided an almost opposite image from the tactical terrorists. The weltanschauung they offer is one of deep and profound exclusion and one of “us and them” which is rooted in an ideology of religious overtones and the arrogance of being alone in the possession of the truth on every single issue. The takfiri imprint is at the core of that vision. Thus negotiations have no place in the vision of the new terrorists.”

  • “I call them the strategic terrorists for their objective goes much beyond the readdress of what they perceive are injustices. They are moved by a global strategy. The ideology with heavy religious overtones behind it is that of the monopoly of truth. The mentality of the monopoly of truth is at the very origin of extremism and indeed of all kinds of exclusionism. Clearly any ideology based on dogmas has the potential of generating more and more confrontation.”
  • "As for the first challenge it has to be repeated that any weltanschauung that is based on the belief of having a monopoly of truth is exclusive, divisive and I would dare say a bit out of sink with reality: a reality that is of increasing interdependence of all with all. The monopoly of truth concept which is rooted on the ‘holier than thou’ concept and the concept of superior or holier group, would fit better a world where autocracy was still a possibility; but autocracy is a long-gone concept in an intertwined and interdependent world. To instigate exclusiveness is in fact to march against time and most importantly against the facts of life, as they exist today and not 1000 years ago.”
  • “We may well need a “global coalition of the sane”; as Prince Hassan used to call it before he was told that it was not politically correct. A coalition of the sane would have to be pursued across divides of all kinds and under a flag that would be recognized by all peoples to be their own…”
  • “These advocates of a coalition of the sane would need to raise their voice in support of the large majority of the world who does not have the arrogance to believe they own the truth alone, but instead has the wisdom to know we are profoundly interconnected and interrelated. A strategy of a global coalition needs a coalition of peoples. That may be a task for “leaders who can lead without enemy.””

Here we have the United Nations Crime and Justice department likening a large part of the world’s population to Al Qaeda terrorists and at the same time advancing the new age dogma of interconnection. The doctrine of interconnection is itself exclusivist and separatist. New age authoritative writings point to a process of separation—an evolutionary transformation—in which those not in touch with the new age will be sent to another dimension.

The Alliance of Civilizations’ HLG member John Esposito has drawn a division line of acceptable beliefs. In an upcoming post I will show how this line has become even more dangerous. HLG personality Karen Armstrong ridicules us for having the belief that they seek to “wipe us out”. Of course, as the AoC implements its guidelines of acceptable interpretations of the faith, the faithful who do not conform will be redefined as terrorists. By doing this, they can now kill having a clear conscience.

(Related Posts: Part II)

November 10, 2007

Aligning the Masses

From Mobilising people and Actions for Dialogue Web Site:

On January 1, Javier Solana advanced the political and economic dimensions of his Barcelona Process by strengthening the Association Agreements with the Mediterranean Partners for a period of seven years. It looks as though 2008 is the social dimension’s year to prosper. The social dimension, tasked with combating religious fundamentalism worldwide as well as creating a common civilization, is where the Alliance of Civilizations (Dialogue Between Peoples and Cultures) was inspired. This coming year has been declared the EU Year of Intercultural Dialogue and facilitating it is the EU’s Alliance of Civilizations.

This month, the
Anna Lindh Foundation is launching the 1001 Actions for Dialogue campaign to unite together their common culture. This campaign reminds me of the 1987 Harmonic Convergence but on a much more grandiose scale. The Anna Lindh Foundation’s plans are to “work for the promotion of dialogue and the aim of knowing the ‘other’”. But if you are one of the “others” who “merciless claims possession of absolute truth”, joining the common civilization is going to be a problem. Well c'est la vie, we’re in good company as I have no intention of joining them in their destiny.

October 29, 2007

Formation of an Alliance Youth

I must admit that I enjoy interacting with our youth. In the university system, I am known as a non-traditional student. In case you’re wondering, at age 40 I decided to return to college as a part time student. I have found the experience of being amongst young people very pleasant and enjoyable. The campus has a bulletin board where students post news items they find of interest. I read this board often as I like to know of their concerns. I’ve noticed two issues stand out most: 1) world peace; and 2) freedom. Frequently posts are related to RFID technology and the implantation of both animals and humans. They clearly do not like it.

Nearly every Alliance of Civilizations’ report has stated that its primary target audience is our youth. I refer to it as the recruitment of an
Alliance Youth. It appears that young people are being indoctrinated as they participate in problem solving exercises (through conferences, seminars, etc.) and guided to arrive at predetermined outcomes—outcomes consistent with the “global conscience” of the United Nations.

One example can be found in
Model United Nations (MUN). MUN Headquarters reports that more than 200,000 high school and college students participate in UN simulation conferences each year. In a 2003 interview with SHARE International, former UN Assistant Secretary-General Robert Mueller said that the United Nations was finally being taught globally through the Model United Nations program. Mueller, who shares SHARE International’s vision of world governance by “Maitreya the Christ”, has done his part to introduce youth into this occult-based system by forming the Global Elementary Model United Nations (GEMUN) program which is offered through the Robert Mueller Schools. The Robert Mueller Schools associate themselves with the School of Ageless Wisdom which has as a basis of study the writings of Alice Bailey and Helena Blavatskky.

Mueller has connected with other Maitreya proponents and has incorporated into GEMUN's theme the Earth Charter which represents itself as being “a unique framework for developing educational programs and curricula aimed at transformative learning” (see Earth Charter & Education). It appears that Benjamin Crème has jumped onto the MUN bandwagon as I have discovered a discussion board link that shows he has been distributing “the Christ is now here" literature at those events.

Some of the more troubling materials coming out of the Model United Nations simulations are those pertaining to the Alliance of Civilizations initiative. In
C’MUN’s concluding document, the final paragraph identifies that “extremism and terrorism are motivated solely by exclusivist interpretations of religion”. This is consistent with the AoC's theme that exclusivist interpretations equals terrorism. I've listed a few documents targeted to youth that carry this theme:
  • “Based on the value of tolerance stems the notion that perfection is solely reserved for God and that only He knows Absolute Truth whereas human beings can merely make individual efforts and judgments.” (Chicago Model United Nations blogspace)
  • “There should be no monopoly of the truth, and there should be a clear understanding that the traditional Christian Churches and Muslim centrism have to speak the language of the age.” (Amman Model United Nations)
  • Objective of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the young alliance of civilizations: “to counter the influence of those who want to have the monopoly of the truth.”
  • “A major issue that the world community faces is to accept that no group, religious or otherwise, has a monopoly on enlightenment or truth.” (New Zealand Diversity Forum working to implement an Alliance of Civilizations)

These documents also coincide with the Alliance of Civilizations’ grades 6-12 Daily Lesson Plan where Christianity is portrayed as exclusivist and as a religion that foments hatred. For example, this theme is found scattered throughout the materials on Christianity: “Exclusivism, the belief that my religion is true and that all others are false, can develop into hatred of other faith groups and their members. Religious exclusivism is often a major cause of much of the world's civil unrest, civil wars, mass crimes against humanity and genocide.”

The lesson plan also explains that the Revelation prophecy pertaining to the mark of the beast, number 666, was fulfilled by Roman Emperor Nero. Read
here and here.

Universities are also cooperating with the AoC as we see in the Higher Education’s contribution to building the Alliance of Civilizations workshop. The Council of Europe recently sponsored the seminar Global Education and Youth which focuses on the implementation of the Alliance of Civilizations. The seminar’s purpose is to “develop, enhance and sustain strategies and capacity-building for global education, targeting institutions and practitioners in the field of global education in the formal and non-formal sectors.”

Palgrave Macmillan, a publisher of educational text books, shares the AoC’s vision. Notice the section in the above image which states “The aim of the initiative [Alliance of Civilizations] is for all the citizens of the world to unite in placing their universal citizenship before their condition as citizens of a country, religion or civilization.

As I was preparing this article, the History Channel broadcasted an interesting commercial produced by Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) . YHRI is the collaborative efforts of the Church of Scientology and Scientologist Mary Shuttleworth. YHRI seeks to combat intolerance through the advancement of human rights within the framework of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Alliance of Civilizations has said that intends to establish a “global conscience”. Article 29 of the Declaration accommodates just that:

  • Article 29: 1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. 2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations are determined by law solely for the purposes of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. 3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purpose and principles of the United Nations.

The Alliance of Civilizations et al are actively recruiting well intentioned youth. I share the young peoples' concerns that we live in peaceful world as free peoples. But there is much underlying garbage that is being subtly--and sometimes not so subtly--introduced to serve the AoC’s broader objectives. I fear for young people. How many have been conditioned to accept Maitreya? How many of the youth in the opening picture will find themselves transformed to accept a doctrine of “no fear, no mercy”?

October 14, 2007

Propaganda Precedes War: the AoC's Media Rapid Response Force

Propaganda precedes war. It is war that the Alliance of Civilisations’ High Level Group intends to conduct on those who practice “religious fundamentalism” or “religious exclusivism.” The Alliance is finding it increasingly difficult to strike a balance tolerating religious diversity and secularization. As written in the Cultural Exchange Report:

  • “Religious fundamentalism is on the rise globally, and intolerance of secular humanism and modern science is its dangerous companion. It is largely a Christian phenomenon in the U.S., but a Muslim one in Europe and elsewhere…Many countries in secular Europe are struggling to find a balance between tolerating diversity and assuring that their basic humanistic beliefs and values are sustained.”

The opening of the AoC’s Analysis on Media report quotes Benjamin Barber saying “it is time to recognize that the true tutors of our children are no longer the school teachers and university professors, but the filmmakers, advertising executives and pop culture purveyors.” This being the case, securing access to media resources has ranked high on the Alliances’ Implementation Plan. To achieve its goals, the establishment of a media rapid response force is essential. The rapid response force will have the following characteristics:

  • “The AoC will seek to establish a rapid response media-based mechanism to be mobilized during times of increased global tensions around cross-cultural issues.”
  • “This mechanism will be developed in three stages: 1. an international network of prominent personalities who are strongly involved in cross-cultural issues and are in a position to provide insights into potentially divisive intercultural debates will be created. 2. When an event that threatens to polarize communities along religious or cultural lines occurs, this network will be rapidly mobilized. Op-ed pieces (including some that may be co-authored across relevant cultural, national, and/or religious lines) signed by members of this network will be produced in a short space of time and translated in major languages. 3. This media content will then be distributed to major print media editors for their consideration as they try to cover and explain divisive cross-cultural issues to their readers, and disseminated through other mechanisms.
  • “At the political level, mainly through the High Representative’s role, the AoC aims to facilitate the establishment of contacts and dialogues with political, religious, media and civil society personalities who would be prepared to exert their influence in advancing the Alliance of Civilizations’ objectives.”
I believe we have witnessed personalities sympathetic to the Alliance’s objectives already exert their influence through CNN’s broadcast of God’s Warriors.

(Left to right: Karen Armstrong, Genevieve Abdo, Jimmy Carter, Christiane Amanpour, Richard Cizik) In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Christiane Amanpour said that the two big issues that our planet faces are the environment and the clash of civilizations. It came as no surprise that the program paralleled the writings of the Alliance of Civilizations’ as it identified the Israeli-Palestinian problem as being kept alive by the adherents of the three monotheistic faiths. It pointed to these adherents as extremists who, by applying a literal interpretation of religious texts, are susceptible to adoption of a terrorist mindset.

Amanpour then periodically interjected analysis from “moderates” who were clearly aligned with her presentation of the problem. Among them include “religious historian” and AoC High Level Group member Karen Armstrong, AoC Liaison Officer Genevieve Abdo, Lucis Trust World Server Jimmy Carter, and National Association of Evangelicals Richard Cizik.

The CNN-Alliance of Civilizations partnership links are clear where Karen Armstrong and
Genevieve Abdo are concerned. Armstrong is perhaps the most vocal critic of monotheists and Christianity in particular. The preceding blog article provides an in-depth into her mindset.

Jimmy Carter was given a great deal of time to “re-claim” Christianity from the fundamentalists. Carter points to his christ as being quite different to that of, let’s say, John Hagee. No doubt. Jimmy Carter is one of Lucis (formerly Lucifer) Trust’s
World Servers. Lucis Trust’s spiritual community gives us insight into the purpose of the Group of World Servers:
  • “…this group is today preparing the way for the Christ, the coming World Teacher, as they labor to bring the "Kingdom of God"-the kingdom of Souls-into physical manifestation.”
  • “The restoration of the mysteries can only take place when members of the Hierarchy of Love-Wisdom are again openly active on the physical plane, as they were in the days of Atlantis, many millions of years ago. At the core of the mysteries is the recognition of humanity's own divine nature. Humanity, the great world disciple, stands at the door of initiation. It is the great opportunity and responsibility of the NGWS to prepare the way for the reappearance of the Christ-the Hierophant of the first and second initiations and the One who will lead in the restoration of the mysteries and the consequent "full flowering" of humanity”

Perhaps one of the most troubling participants I see is Richard Cizik. It appears as though he has climbed into bed with the new agers. I recently read where he partakes in mocking Christians for having an unfounded fear of the United Nations. According to the Christian Post, Cizik participated in the development of the World Council of Churches’ Code of Conduct for Religious Conversion. The World Council of Churches, speaking of the Code of Conduct, tells us that “religious preachers need to be told that no religion has a monopoly on the truth, that there are many ways to find salvation.” Cizik is well aware that the claims of the Gospels are exlusive. Perhaps he’s not so convinced of John 14:6 himself as he tells us that all truth is God’s truth wherever we find it.

I would urge Richad Cizik to carefully re-examine his political partnerships as the United Nations has openly said that the partnership of civilizations is to represent a “powerful response to those who feed on exclusion and arrogantly claim sole ownership of the truth.”

Also within the Analysis of Media report, we learn that “free speech is nowhere absolute…

  • "any diverse society must regularly revisit the lines it draws in its legislation and within its editorial decision-making processes, over where to draw the line between free speech and that speech which foments hatred.”

This is very troubling as one begins to question what does the AoC consider speech which foments hatred? Proselytization with an “exclusive” truth claim? Religious criticism? Let’s look at some not-to-distant past examples.

Apart from the news media, the AoC places much emphasis on reaching youth through popular culture. As they’ve said

  • “Western popular culture, developed and distributed by powerful multi-national corporations, is seen by many as a hegemonic, and negative force…At the same time, popular culture is perhaps one of the greatest opportunities for combating fundamentalism and bridging the cultural divide between Muslim and Western cultures. …common musical language results in voracious consumption of hip-hop by youth across the world regardless of where it originates.”

The AoC intends to introduce its messages through rap music as well as television entertainment medium such as sit coms. Little Mosque on the Prairie, which broadcasts in Canada, is one such example. Interestingly, the AoC, claiming to be so sensitive over religious symbols, shows little regard for the symbol of the cross as one can see in this Little Mosque youtube introduction.

As Amanpour has said, the biggest problem facing the world today is the “clash of civilizations”. I concur. But it is not a clash amongst the three monotheistic faiths that worries me. It is the clash that the Alliance of Civilizations intends to facilitate and manage—a clash to bring about the restoration of the mysteries—that all others will appear pale in comparison.

October 12, 2007

Karen Armstrong and the Alliance of Civilizations

Here is an article written by Constance Cumbey. It provides valuable insight into the direction of the Alliance of Civilizations' High Level Group.

I decided it was time that I look in on the Alliance of Civilizations. Internet searching, I found a page on its UNAOC (United Nations Alliance of Civilizations) website. It was labeled “HLG Analysis.” I went there. The first thing I noticed was a fairly new article by Karen Armstrong. Karen Armstrong is a former nun who considers herself a first rate theologian as well as an analytical scholar of world religions. Many others have given her credit for this as well, including but not limited to Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations who appointed her as one of the High Level Group of Personalities to oversee and make recommendations for governments to regulate religious school curriculums globally. Since Karen Armstrong spent years, per her account, in a convent, “under a veil,” I expected her to have some basic grasp of at least Christianity. She is perhaps the most prominent face and voice of the HLG (High Level Group).Karen Armstrong writes lots of articles and gives lots of interviews. What initially distinguished this one for me was to whom she gave it: SHARE INTERNATIONAL! Share International is the official publication of the “Christ is now here” crowd, specifically Benjamin Crème and his “Maitreya the Christ” company. Sometimes they, with permission, reprint articles from other sources. I looked carefully to see if this was perhaps the case here. It was not. The article was an interview specifically for SHARE INTERNATIONAL by Andrea Bistrich. I am now wondering out loud if Karen Armstrong knew that SHARE INTERNATIONAL was (1) about a new ‘Christ’ who was decidedly not Jesus (and probably not Jewish either) and (2) was the official organ for a group officially seeking a “New World Religion.”Since Karen Armstrong holds herself out as an expert in comparative religion, I assumed that if she knew even 1/100th of what she is reported to know, that she should have had knowledge of what Share International is about. I decided to “google” for myself. I assume Karen Armstrong is also as Javier Solana accused fundamentalists of doing, “taking full advantage of the global village” and doing her own due diligence google/yahoo searches before lending her name and prestige to one cause or another. Doing my own google search on “Share International” I didn't have to look far. The top ten hits were all about “Maitreya the World Teacher.” You may read the top hit by clicking here.Well, certainly no ambiguity there! Well let’s go to the interview article itself and judge her theological and scriptural expertise by its content. A few quotes from her SHARE INTERNATIONAL interview will do:“American Christian fundamentalists are not in favour of democracy; and it is true that many of the Neo-cons many of whom incline towards this fundamentalism, have very hard line, limited views.”“The Arab-Israeli conflict has also become pivotal to Christian fundamentalists in the United States. The Christian Right believes that unless the Jews are in their land, fulfilling the ancient prophecies, Christ cannot return in glory in the Second Coming. So they are passionate Zionists, but this ideology is also anti-Semitic, because in the Last Days they believe that the Antichrist will massacre the Jews in the Holy Land if they do not accept baptism.”Baptism? I’m sure she meant to say, “initiation.” The New Agers of whom she has said nothing in expressing her alleged worries over various “fundamentalisms” have clearly written in so many of their books by so many of their prominent writers (Alice Bailey, Gina Cerminara, Benjamin Crème, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and David Spangler to name but a few) that there will be violence against, “the sword of cleavage” and death to those who fail to accept their New Age “Christ.” A relatively less publicized version of the Great Invocation that Lucis Trust promotes as the new world prayer for the New Age contains a stanza, “let light and love and power and death fulfill the purpose of the coming one.”Well, maybe their New Age Christ repented and decided everybody should be baptized to protect them from his god Lucifer! Fat chance!Well, now about her theology. Again, I found she was a much better and closer reader than me. Maybe her contemplative time in the monastery showed her hidden texts or was it her post-nunnery Akashic record meditations? Her Christology is certainly most unique for a former religious:“Luke’s gospel calls Jesus a prophet from start to finish; the idea that Jesus was divine was a later development, often misunderstood by Christians.”Well, now I know for certain that Karen Armstrong is certainly both a superior reader and theologian to Yours Truly. I have read the Gospel of Luke many times and certainly missed the points that Karen Armstrong raised to Share International the purveyors of a very foreign gospel proclaiming that Jesus is not the Christ, but this “Maitreya”/Betraya or whatever his/its name is supposed to be is divine.I decided to again read the Gospel of Luke for myself. Far from finding what Karen Armstrong claimed it said, here’s what it said about Jesus’ divinity:“Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)“And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke 1:42-43)“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11-12)“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. . . . Then took he him [Baby Jesus] up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” . . . And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against(Luke 2:26-31)May I disrespectfully guess that Karen Armstrong in her own inimical way is striving to fulfill the prophetic musings of Simeon? And then, also in the Gospel of Luke was the prophetess Anna, also finding the Baby Jesus in the temple.“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:17)Well, Karen Armstrong is a busy person. Maybe she has no time, given her busy media and Alliance of Civilizations schedule to read the Book of Luke for herself. If she had, she might have noticed this statement from Jesus as recorded in the Book of Luke:The law and the prophets lasted up until John. From that time the kingdom of God is proclaimed and every man presses into it.Well you get the point. The Book of Luke from start to finish clearly proclaims the Divinity of Jesus. Perhaps Karen Armstrong confused the statements about Jesus with the statements about John!Well, I’ve got to put a charitable interpretation on all of this. My most unkind observation is to say that since she left the convent, she has obviously made her divorce from Jesus very final. My charitable interpretation is maybe she, an ex-nun, just got out of the habit!Finally, maybe her knowledge is so specialized, she just plain doesn’t know. If Karen Armstrong needs a reading list of the Hidden Dangers of the folks she gave that Share International interview to, I could help!

September 30, 2007

Reining in Religious Education: the Roles of the Alliance of Civilizations, Javier Solana, and the Center for Inquiry

In the previous writings, I have demonstrated that the Alliance of Civilizations initiative is the global implementation of Javier Solana’s Barcelona Process. Its framework can be found written in the Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area. It has been given a face--an implementer--now known as the Anna Lindh Euromed Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. Its aim is to create a “common civilization”. Henceforth, as I refer to the Alliance of Civilizations, I will be referring to both the United Nations and the European Union's efforts as one entity. I will make distinction where necessary.

Years ago, when I first read the Barcelona Process documents, I concluded that ultimately the war against religion would be fought under the guise of women’s and children’s rights. I believe that much more strongly today. Nearly every AoC document that I’ve read has identified youth as its primary target.

In the
Implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief the UN has identified religious extremism as “each religion tends to believe that it is sole guardian of the truth and that it has a duty to make everyone bear witness to that truth. That does not always contribute to tolerance among religions. Moreover, each religion may be tempted to fight what it may consider to be deviance within its own ranks or around it. That does not always contribute to tolerance among religions…” It appears to escape the UN's attention that individuals in free societies generally desire and respect religious freedom.

As one considers the above statement, elements of the
initial founding declaration become even more troubling. A truth claim, such as what Christians believe in John 14:6, is considered to be intolerant which, according to the UN, is a violation of children’s rights and will not be tolerated. The declaration sees the child’s rights as such:

  • “Practices of a religion or beliefs in which a child is brought up must not be injurious to his physical or mental health or to his full development…”
  • “The child shall be protected from any form of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, respect for freedom of religion or belief of others…”
  • “…it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of religion and belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes and principles of the present Declaration is inadmissible
  • Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.”

To ensure that children are being raised with the proper religious upbringing, the UN proposes that a set of minimum common values for religious education be established and taught in primary and secondary schools.

The Alliance of Civilizations appears to be implementing these rules as the
Final Report of the High Level Group states that “the goal would be to provide base-materials that could be used by schools and religious training centers to teach about major faith traditions. Guidelines and mechanisms should be established to ensure that religious schools are registered with authorities and that their curricula do not foster hatred of other communities.” To protect women’s rights, the HLG proposed “such measures [gender equality] are most likely to succeed if supported by religious education that is based upon a sound interpretation of religious teachings.”

Apparently the Alliance intends to provide us with sound interpretation of religious teachings. The European
Dialogue between Peoples document poses the following questions and answers:

  • “Who should teach religion? Who can make a valid comparison between the different doctrinal elements of religions? We must beware of confusion here. A clear distinction needs to be drawn between religious education in the sense understood by adherents of a faith, which consists of transmitting the values, teachings and liturgy of their religion with a view to the proper practice of that religion (e.g., the catholic catechism), and the teaching of comparative religion which aims only to instill knowledge about religion and the history of religion. Only the latter forms one of the bases of learning for the intercultural dialogue through education. Religious education of the first kind is perfectly legitimate, but is not relevant to the objective under discussion. Comparative religion should therefore be taught by professional teachers capable of providing a comparative analysis of religions, regardless of their own religious choice, with the objectivity of an expert, not the passion of a devotee. This is an essential choice that will determine the success of the dialogue through education”

Apart from creation of a common culture, what is it that the AoC intends to accomplish by controlling religion? The same document also answers that “in addition to the effort that the religious communities have to make, it seems obvious to us that achieving this objective is conditional upon the implementation of an educational vision. Education as we understand it here makes it possible to view with equanimity the completion of the process of secularization, first of structures, then of society itself, as just one of several possible reflections of a modern way of life.

Javier Solana and the United Nations have placed much importance on the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in global governance. One such organization has stepped up to the plate to assist in the secularization of the civilization. The Council for Secular Humanism has recently reported in an article,

Religion and Child Abuse, that the Center for Inquiry (an NGO that receives special consultative status) intends to address the issue of children’s rights at is October 2007 meeting in China. The Center for Inquiry (CFI) view child abuse as:
  • “Such abuse begins with the involuntary involvement of children in religious practices from the time they are born. All religions, through ritual, preaching, and religious texts, seek to bring children into day-to-day religious practice.”
  • “In one form or another, all religions violate the rights of children.”
  • “…the time has come to debate the participation of children in religious institutions. While some might see it as a matter better left to parents, the negative influence of religion and its subsequent contribution to child abuse from religious beliefs and practices requires us to ask whether organized religion is an institution that needs limits set on how early it should have access to children.”

An interesting aspect to the CFI is the division called the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER) which develops programs which promotes "the public understanding of religion in an international context.”

Presently among the Committee’s to-do list is the trial of Jesus set to commence December 2007. The trial is being conducted through The Jesus Project . According to the CSER chair, “we are not neutral, let alone willfully ambiguous, about the objectives of the project itself. We believe in assessing the quality of the evidence available for looking at this question before seeing what the evidence has to tell us…We believe the mixing of theological motives and historical inquiry is impermissible. We regard previous attempts to rule the question out of court as vestiges of a time when the Church controlled the boundaries of permissible inquiry into its sacred books. More directly, we regard the question of the historical Jesus as a testable hypothesis, and we are committed to no prior conclusions about the outcome of our inquiry. This is a statement of our principles, and we intend to stick to them.” Presently, the CSER is in the process of collecting evidence -- not only for the Jesus Project but also Islamic texts.

Perhaps the Jesus Project is similar to the Alliance of Civilizations' High Level Group's exercise in truth--a truth they intend to provide to all.
I could never have imagined that I would write of the war against religion and the building of a common culture, women’s and children’s rights, and another trial of Jesus all within the same article. Yet, these things are connected for the advancement of the AoC's goals. Things most definitely are going to get ugly.
May the Lord have mercy on us all.

September 15, 2007

Zapatero and the Alliance of Civilizations: Working to Remove the Obstacles of Christianity & a Sovereign United States

It was Spain’s Prime Minister, José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero, who introduced the Alliance of Civilizations initiative to the United Nations. This initiative duplicates the framework of the EuroMed Partnership’s Dialogue Among Cultures. The Dialogue Among Cultures, tasked with combating religious fundamentalism and the creation of a common civilization within the Euro-Med neighborhood, operates within the framework of the Barcelona Process. The Barcelona Process was started in 1995 by the European Union’s Javier Solana and had amongst its goals to combat religious fundamentalism worldwide. Zapatero has served as the messenger who carried this global aspiration to the international body of the UN.

Zapatero is a willing participant who rather enjoys
stormy relations with the church for he has publicly called religion the tobacco of the people. Spain’s Concept Paper for the Alliance of Civilizations has identified the AoC’s goal and enemies as such:

  • "to counter the influence of those who feed on exclusion and claim sole ownership of the truth.”

The AoC, in its Hearings with the International Community & Civil Society, agrees. Since the AoC has defined religion as anything that does not cause division but rather fosters interdependencies, it has adopted Spain’s proposal. To implement it, the AoC intends for:

  • “Non-governmental organizations representing different religions and multi-religious coalitions are an important part of civil society, and because of their mainly grass-roots character, their proximity to people and communities, and their symbolic-spiritual force, are well placed to help to devise balanced and effective policies, to detect and prevent conflicts and, in any case, to help to control their damage and, eventually, to solve them. In other words, religions and the institutions that represent them cannot be banned from the public sphere but must be brought in under the leadership of the international civil bodies when it comes to questions concerning mutual recognition, universal justice, and lasting peace.”

Here we see that the AoC intends to bring all local-level religious organizations under its control. Also note that the AoC sees the NGO’s and multi-religious coalitions as important symbolic spiritual forces. Reading a bit further the report shows that “symbols can be very effective tools in advancing a cause. The creation of a house or temple of religions or civilizations in as many cities as possible will be a tangible and important step in this direction.” I personally believe that the Alliance’s symbol will become more than an Alliance temple—one that leaves no question of who is allied and who is not.

Religion is not the only aspect Zapatero has involved himself. He has also been effecting political and civilizational change. In 2005, he was given participant status in South America’s integration process in the Guayana Summit. One objective of that summit was to use oil as an axis to redraw the geopolitical map. Two noteworthy items came out of the summit:

  1. Zapatero was able to embed the Alliance of Civilizations initiative into the summit’s outcome document—the Ciudad Guayana Declaration; and
  2. The creation of a civilization alliance with Latin America and the Arab League.

The civilization alliance resulted in the signing of the Brasilia Declaration which included a condemnation of both Israel and the US. The purpose of the alliance is to counter the influence of the United States. This is interesting because it is consistent with the European Union’s 1995 Barcelona Conference objective to dislodge the United States as a competing superpower.

Some of the alliance participants have been vocal about destabilization of the dollar. Some members of this alliance are now are now shifting away from using the petro-dollar to the
petro-euro. Also read about it here and here. Seeing the writing on the wall, China has also been quietly dumping dollars in exchange of euros. I am not an economist, but it appears to me that the United States economy is on shaky ground.

It is prophetic that all nations enter into the global system controlled by the antichrist and, as the Alliance of Civilizations sees it, we are still standing in the way. It is my hope and prayer that God continue to restrain for yet another day.

September 7, 2007

We're In the Way

It’s about Israel. This became apparent to me as I read the initial reports coming out of the Alliance of Civilizations. The High Level Group’s (HLG) final report strengthened this notion as I read that they consider the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be the source of tensions throughout the entire world. They further identified the problematic players to be the adherents of the three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. But they offer a solution—an imposed solution. They have said that they’ve conducted an exercise in truth and intend to enforce their concluded truths on all of us. Those, they say, who reject their truths are extremists and fundamentalists. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the Alliance of Civilizations' truths. According to the AoC:

  • “…it is our view that the Israeli-Palestinian issue has taken on a symbolic value that colors cross-cultural and political relations among adherents of all three major monotheistic faiths well beyond its limited geographic scope”. - Final Report
  • “…The HLG [High Level Group] must assume the responsibility of dealing with the Palestinian case as a priority…it represents the sum total of all the difficulties and all the risks, but it is central.” - Israeli-Palestinian Conflict White Paper
  • “The objective of the HLG [High Level Group] is to enforce an Alliance of Civilizations against all those who…by ignorance, fanaticism or ideological choice, give prevalence…to a logic of division and confrontation.” - Israeli-Palestinian Conflict White Paper

Before the Alliance of Civilizations can effectively deal with the Israeli-Palestinian problem, they’ve identified some obstacles that they first must remove--specifically, a sovereign United States and Christianity. As I read their words, I couldn’t help but envision a picture that is worth 1000 words. This picture was used by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad in his World without Zionism conference held in October 2005.

Notice that the United States has been ejected from the earth and lay smashed at the bottom of an hour glass. Israel, suspended in mid air, soon follows. This call for Israel’s destruction has not only been made by Ahmadinejad, but also Iran’s past president and Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group member Mohammad Khatami. This has caused tremendous concern for both the United States and Israel in light of Iran’s uranium enrichment activites. Noteworthy, Eurpoean Union’s High Representative Javier Solana has been supportive of Iran’s uranium enrichment program under Khatami’s leadership, citing that Khatami was interested in peace. Subsequently, the EU3 condemned Iran for its covert nuclear activity. Yet, Solana continues to support Iran’s nuclear development under Ahmadinejad’s leadership.

The Alliance of Civilizations International Security and Cosmopolitan Democracy report’s words strongly resemble the above picture. As mentioned earlier, AoC identified a sovereign United States and Christianity as obstacles that must be removed before it can deal with the Israeli-Palestinian problem. For example, the HLG alerts us that:

  • “American neoliberalism supports the revival of religion in the US, but in fact it is not a real religious comeback but a political recourse to the religious as a means to secure imperial dominance.”
  • “…the political weight American Protestantism had under the Bush administration, rather showed an America that would most likely support Israel unconditionally in its continued colonialism.”
  • “…with the US left as the only superpower, politically, economically and militarily highly superior to any other, the multilateral system faces the difficulty of enforcement of International Law vis-à-vis an invincible power, which is naturally tempted to submit is sovereignty under the rule of the UN only where it matches its interests.”
  • Regarding UN reform, “…one faces the dilemma of how such a reform can possibly be adopted with the consent of the only superpower if it aims to force that very superpower under the rule of law…the unique opportunity of the process of UN Reform must be taken advantage of to make multilateralism accountable to stand up even to superpowers…a reasonable reform of the Security Council would have to abolish the veto and expand the Council .”
  • “…due to the current distribution of power, there are in practice different measures for the US and for the rest of the world. UN Resolutions are being applied or not depending on whose interests are affected by the envisaged actions.”
  • “sovereignty is susceptible to instrumentalization. This leads to an erosion of International Law…But transnational relations need a legal frame, of which the source cannot be the states themselves…it is in fact the limitation of (national) sovereignty that guarantees democracy.”

UN Reform (to manifest itself in the form of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative) intends for the sovereignty of nations—especially the United States—to be redefined. I have become accustomed to hearing Israel’s condemnation within the assembly of the UN Human Rights Council as well as concurrent calls for the elimination of the veto. But what I find more significant is that a major power, the assembly of the Western European Union (the 10-nation military alliance of the EU), seeks the same thing. In Recommendation 735 on a European initiative to strengthen the role of the United Nations in promoting peace and security, the assembly commits to the following:

  • “…provide a European contribution to United Nations reform which should contain inter alia a common position on how to reform the Security Council.”
  • “…it has to be said that because the permanent members of the Security Council have a right of veto, some cases of genocide or flagrant violations of human rights will never appear on its agenda. Similarly, it sometimes happens that in the case of certain infringements of international law, a permanent member uses its veto for protectionist purposes (this happened recently in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.)”
  • "Two interesting currents of thought are emerging in the UN as regards international security: one calling for a greater role for international courts in the settlement of conflicts and the other advocating a regional approach to conflict management. Regarding the first, a major step forward at the beginning of this century has been the creation of the International Criminal Court despite the fact that the United States and a number of European countries have differing views as regards immunity for their citizens and in particular for their armed forces engaged in peacekeeping operations.”

It appears the Alliance of Civilizations and the Western European Union are cooperating very closely. This is not surprising as it was the European Union who first developed the framework for a common civilization. Both have indicated that they know and intend to provide us with the truth. And as for the Alliance of Civilizations HLG’s absolute truth they have said:

  • “…WE, the HLG, KNOW AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR LETTING EVERYONE KNOW THE PRICE AND WEIGHT OF THESE SIXTY YEARS OF MISUNDERSTANDING, STIGMATIZATION, OF HIDDEN OR MISUSED TRUTHS…This exercise in truth (pedagogical and ideological) initiated by the United Nations will restore all their meaning and all their chances to the rebuilding and normalization of the relations between Islam and the rest of the world…” [emphasis not mine]

I expect the HLG’s truth to follow that of the Human Rights Council’s—a condemnation of Israel. In this blog post I’ve shown what the AoC intends to do about their obstacles. Next post I will write of how they propose to do it.

Selected Scripture:

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” - Zechariah 12;2-3

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent”. – Revelation 12:7-14