“I Teach Them Correct Principles and They Govern Themselves” – joseph

smith

Mormon
Issue 4
a brief bio and an introduction to his or her article

THE

Worker
July 2008

►Hold your mouse cursor on the name of an author to see ►Click on the name of an article to go there
■ The Soviet Union Versus Socialism by Noam Chomsky ■ National “Flagophilia” by Ron Madson ■ Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified
by Norman G. Finkelstein

The Soviet Union Versus Socialism
by Noam Chomsky

■ Interview with Stanley Hauerwas

■ Racism, Violence and the United States, Pt. II: Torture and Lynching by Spencer Kingman ■ A Letter to the President by Abdullah Mulhim ■ The Weapon Called the Word by Jeremy Cloward ■ What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus Christ Today?
by Cory Bushman

Interviewed by Joshua Madson for The Mormon Worker

■ The Resurrection of May Day by Gregory Van Wagenen ■ Why Would We Go To War With Iran? by Stephen Wellington ■ To Towel or Not to Towel? by Emily Bushman ■ A Brief History of US Efforts to Promote Civil War in Iraq by William Van Wagenen ■ Book Review: Building the City of God Community and Cooperation Among the Mormons Review by Jason Brown ■ Contributors ■ Navigation

When the world’s two great propaganda systems agree on some doctrine, it requires some intellectual effort to escape its shackles. One such doctrine is that the society created by Lenin and Trotsky and molded further by Stalin and his successors has some relation to socialism in some meaningful or historically accurate sense of this concept. In fact, if there is a relation, it is the relation of contradiction. It is clear enough why both major propaganda systems insist upon this fantasy. Since its origins, the Soviet State has attempted to harness the energies of its own population and oppressed people elsewhere in the service of the men who took ad vantage of the popular ferment in Russia in 1917 to seize State power. One major ideological weapon employed to this end has been the claim that the State managers are leading their own society and the world towards the socialist ideal; an impossibility, as any
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A Note to Our Readers
The Mormon Worker is an independent newspaper/journal devoted to Mormonism and radical politics. It is published by members of the LDS Church. The paper is modeled after the legendary Catholic Worker which has been in publication for over seventy years. The primary objective of The Mormon Worker is to meaningfully connect core ideas of Mormon theology with a host of political, economic, ecological, philosophical, and social topics. Although most contributors of The Mormon Worker are members of the LDS church, some are not, and we accept submissions from people of varying secular and religious backgrounds. The opinions in The Mormon Worker are not the official view of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In solidarity, The Mormon Worker

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socialist—surely any serious Marxist—should have understood at once (many did), and a lie of mammoth proportions as history has revealed since the earliest days of the Bolshevik regime. The taskmasters have attempted to gain legitimacy and support by exploiting the aura of socialist ideals and the respect that is rightly accorded them, to conceal their own ritual practice as they destroyed every vestige of socialism. As for the world’s second major propaganda system, association of socialism with the Soviet Union and its clients serves as a powerful ideological weapon to enforce conformity and obedience to the State capitalist institutions, to ensure that the necessity to rent oneself to the owners and managers of these institutions will be regarded as virtually a natural law, the only alternative to the ‘socialist’ dungeon. The Soviet leadership thus portrays itself as socialist to protect its right to wield the club, and Western ideologists adopt the same pretense in order to forestall the threat of a more free and just society. This joint attack on socialism has been highly effective in undermining it in the modern period. One may take note of another device used effectively by State capitalist ideologists in their service to existing power and privilege. The ritual denunciation of the so-called ‘socialist’ States is replete with distortions and often outright lies. Nothing is easier than to denounce the official enemy and to attribute to it any crime: there is no need to be burdened by the demands of evidence or logic as one marches in the parade. Critics of Western violence
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and atrocities often try to set the record straight, recognizing the criminal atrocities and repression that exist while exposing the tales that are concocted in the service of Western violence. With predictable regularity, these steps are at once interpreted as apologetics for the empire of evil and its minions. Thus the crucial Right to Lie in the Service of the State is preserved, and the critique of State violence and atrocities is undermined. It is also worth noting the great appeal of Leninist doctrine to the modern intelligentsia in periods of conflict and upheaval. This doctrine affords the ‘radical intellectuals’ the right to hold State power and to impose the harsh rule of the ‘Red Bureaucracy,’ the ‘new class,’ in the terms of Bakunin’s prescient analysis a century ago. As in the Bonapartist State denounced by Marx, they become the ‘State priests,’ and “parasitical excrescence upon civil society” that rules it with an iron hand. In periods when there is little challenge to State capitalist institutions, the same fundamental commitments lead the ‘new class’ to serve as State managers and ideologists, “beating the people with the people’s stick,” in Bakunin’s words. It is small wonder that intellectuals find the transition from ‘revolutionary Communism’ to ‘celebration of the West’ such an easy one, replaying a script that has evolved from tragedy to farce over the past half century. In essence, all that has changed is the assessment of where power lies. Lenin’s dictum that “socialism is nothing but state capitalist monopoly made to benefit the whole people,” who must of course trust the benevolence of their leaders, expresses the

perversion of ‘socialism’ to the needs of the State priests, and allows us to comprehend the rapid transition between positions that superficially seem diametric opposites, but in fact are quite close. The terminology of political and social discourse is vague and imprecise, and constantly debased by the contributions of ideologists of one or another stripe. Still, these terms have at least some residue of meaning. Since its origins, socialism has meant the liberation of working people from exploitation. As the Marxist theoretician Anton Pannekoek observed, “this goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting itself for the bourgeoisie,” but can only be “realized by the workers themselves being master over production.” Mastery over production by the producers is the essence of socialism, and means to achieve this end have regularly been devised in periods of revolutionary struggle, against the bitter opposition of the traditional ruling classes and the ‘revolutionary intellectuals’ guided by the common principles of Leninism and Western managerialism, as adapted to changing circumstances. But the essential element of the socialist ideal remains: to convert the means of production into the property of freely associated producers and thus the social property of people who have liberated themselves from exploitation by their master, as a fundamental step towards a broader realm of human freedom. The Leninist intelligentsia have a different agenda. They fit Marx’s description of the ‘conspirators’ who “preempt the developing revolutionary process” and distort it to their
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ends of domination; “Hence their deepest disdain for the as he made the transition from revolutionary intellectual more theoretical enlightenment of the workers about their to State priest. Before seizing State power, the Bolshevik class interests,” which include the overthrow of the Red leadership adopted much of the rhetoric of people who Bureaucracy and the creation of mechanisms of democratic were engaged in the revolutionary struggle from below, control over production and social life. For the Leninist, the but their true commitments were quite different. This was masses must be strictly disciplined, while the socialist will evident before and became crystal clear as they assumed struggle to achieve a social order in which discipline “will State power in October 1917. become superfluous” as the freely associated producers A historian sympathetic to the Bolsheviks, E.H. Carr, “work for their own accord” (Marx). Libertarian socialism, writes that “the spontaneous inclination of the workers furthermore, does not limit its aims to democratic control to organize factory committees and to intervene in the by producers over production, but seeks to abolish all management of the factories was inevitably encouraged forms of domination and hierarchy in every aspect of social by a revolution which led the workers to believe that the and personal life, an unending struggle, since progress in productive machinery of the country belonged to them achieving a more just society will lead to new insight and and could be operated by them at their own discretion and understanding of forms of oppression that may be con- to their own advantage” (my emphasis). For the workers, cealed in traditional practice and consciousness. as one anarchist delegate said, “The Factory committees The Leninist antagonism to the most essential features were cells of the future... They, not the State, should now of socialism was evident from the very start. In revolution- administer.” ary Russia, Soviets and factory committees developed as But the State priests knew better, and moved at once to instruments of struggle and liberation, with many flaws, but destroy the factory committees and to reduce the Soviets to with a rich potential. Lenin and Trotsky, upon assuming organs of their rule. On November 3, Lenin announced in a power, immediately devoted themselves to destroying the “Draft Decree on Workers’ Control” that delegates elected liberatory potential of these instruments, establishing the to exercise such control were to be “answerable to the State rule of the Party, in practice its Central Committee and for the maintenance of the strictest order and discipline its Maximal Leaders — exactly as Trotsky had predicted and for the protection of property.” As the year ended, years earlier, as Rosa Luxembourg and other left Marxists Lenin noted that “we passed from workers’ control to the warned at the time, and as the anarchists had always un- creation of the Supreme Council of National Economy,” derstood. Not only the masses, but even the Party must be which was to “replace, absorb and supersede the machinery subject to “vigilant control from above,” so Trotsky held of workers’ control” (Carr). “The very idea of socialism is

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embodied in the concept of workers’ control,” one Menshevik trade unionist lamented; the Bolshevik leadership expressed the same lament in action, by demolishing the very idea of socialism. Soon Lenin was to decree that the leadership must assume “dictatorial powers” over the workers, who must accept “unquestioning submission to a single will” and “in the interests of socialism,” must “unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of the labour process.” As Lenin and Trotsky proceeded with the militarization of labour, the transformation of the society into a labour army submitted to their single will, Lenin explained that subordination of the worker to “individual authority” is “the system which more than any other assures the best utilization of human resources” — or as Robert McNamara expressed the same idea, “vital decision-making...must remain at the top...the real threat to democracy comes not from over management, but from under management”; “if it is not reason that rules man, then man falls short of his potential,” and management is nothing other than the rule of reason, which keeps us free. At the same time, ‘factionalism’— i.e., any modicum of free expression and organization – was destroyed “in the interests of socialism,” as the term was redefined for their purposes by Lenin and Trotsky, who proceeded to create the basic proto-fascist structures converted by Stalin into one of the horrors of the modern age. 1 Failure to understand the intense hostility to socialism on the part of the Leninist intelligentsia (with roots in Marx, no doubt), and corresponding misunderstanding

of the Leninist model, has had a devastating impact on the struggle for a more decent society and a livable world in the West, and not only there. It is necessary to find a way to save the socialist ideal from its enemies in both of the world’s major centers of power, from those who will always seek to be the State priests and social managers, destroying freedom in the name of liberation. 1. On the early destruction of socialism by Lenin and Trotsky, see Maurice Brinton, The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1978, and Peter Rachleff, Radical America, Nov. 1974, among much other work Originally published in “Our Generation,” Spring/Summer, 1986/Re-published by The Mormon Worker Collective with permission by Noam Chomsky

National “Flagophilia”
by Ron Madson

In July of 2007 one hundred words waited anxiously to see if they would be included in the latest edition of the MerriamWebster dictionary—only twenty were inducted. Some words stood above the crowd such as “ginormous,” “perfect storm” and “smackdown” while others were a credit to our ever increasing cultural advancements—“crunk”, “speedINDEX FULL SCREEN

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dating” and our latest entertainment import—“Bollywood.” As if we needed another reason to support Operation Freedom in Iraq, less than 5% of our annual national budget was spent on our Iraqi nation building exercise for which we had a whopping 10% return of the twenty new words added to our lexicon this past year thanks to our investment there— “IEDs” and “flex-cuff.” While the word and the device called “IEDs” can be found everywhere, you might think “flex-cuff” plays a second fiddle to IED’s, but just type in “flex-cuff” with the word “Iraq” on your search engine and you will find that there is a high probability that “flex-cuffs” far outnumber “IEDs”—but I digress. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary uses the following criteria to determine if a new word should be added: “If a word shows up enough in mainstream writing, the editors consider defining it.” In a previous edition of the Mormon Worker (Volume II) I offered to provide my legal services to Blackwater by providing a novel defense to acts of aggression introduced by our Executive branch called “the one-percent doctrine.” I suggested that innovative “one percent” legal defense could be extended to gangs, domestic disputes, and criminal proceedings. I have had no takers. However, I have lowered my sights to reach what I consider a very obtainable personal benefit from the Iraq adventure that I am hoping Merriam-Webster dictionary people will provide—the introduction of a new word to the American lexicon—“Flagophilia.” I am sending a courtesy copy of the Mormon Worker—surely by now a “mainstream” writing— to the editors of the Merriam-Webster dictionary people

which includes this very article you are now reading. This is a start. I would suggest the editors of Merriam-Webster also consider a companion word coined by none other than popular political commentator and television host Stephen Colbert of the “Colbert Nation” who proclaims himself as the premier “flagophile.” “Flagophilia.” The word “philia” is a common suffix which means “an intense or higher level of love of something.” There are hundreds of words followed by “philia” such as a Francophilia which means a “love of France and French culture” (a word arguably disappearing from America during recent years) to only slightly less savory “philias” such as “necrophilia” for which I will spare the reader from my defining it here. But some things merit “philia” such as flags and nothing has been more evident in our nation the last seven years then a clear demonstration of “flagophilia” by a nation of “flagophiles.” Flagophilia has been around since mankind with the assistance of cartographers decided to divide the earth into multicolored line-divided nations. However, the United States having a healthy dose of “nationphilia” went as far as institutionalizing a Pledge of Allegiance to our flag in our public schools during the 1950s so we could easily sort out, as recommended by the Honorable Senator Joseph McCarthy, those among us that were real patriots, and not pretenders. However, since “9/11”—a word that also should be “hung in the rafters” of any dictionary—“flagophilia” has reached a zenith of societal approbation. Since 9/11 the
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“Red, White and Blue” can be seen everywhere from sport’s if so which flag should be given the highest place on our apparel to bumper stickers to creative tattoos, and every flag poles? size from “ginormous” flags at “ginormous” retail stores to the tiny but fashionable flag pin worn on suits by all real Standard of Peace Flag patriots. In fact, flag pins have become such a reliable indicator of love of nation that this year when it was noticed As to choice of flags, in our generation it is a little known that one of the dozens of Presidential Candidates had not fact that at the genesis of our faith an Ensign Flag was been spotted wearing a flag pin there has been an unrelent- designed which was flown at Zion’s Camp, Nauvoo and ing “smackdown” as to his faux pas—and every time I see then Ensign Peak. After persistent and violent attacks on him it is hard to concentrate on the substance of what he the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri, Joseph received from the Lord what is now canonized as Section 98 of the is saying when he is not wearing a flag pin. I became a resident of Alpine, Utah in 2001. On nearly Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord tells his saints every recognizable holiday if you drive through this small how to respond to enemies. The Lord commands us to but growing town of 12,000 you will find almost every home “Renounce war and proclaim peace.” (D&C 98:16). To make with an American Flag neatly placed along the street by that mandate clear to others, the Lord further commanded the local scout troops. It is quite a sight. Like the politician us to “lift a standard of peace” (D&C 98:34) or as referred flag pin, the only homes that stick out are those without to elsewhere the “Ensign of Peace”: “And again I say unto a flag. Some quacky psychiatrist might characterize the you, sue for peace not only to the people that have smitten need to have every home show their flag as community, you, but also to all people; And lift up the ensign of peace, obsessive compulsive disorder—but I would prefer to call and make a proclamation of peace unto the ends of the earth; And make proposals for peace unto those who have it “flagophilia.” If ever a word deserves to be placed permanently in smitten you, according to the voice of the Spirit which is our national lexicon it is “flagophilia.” What I wrote above in you, and all things shall work together for your good.” will be sent to the Board of Editors for Merriam-Webster, Doctrine & Covenants Section 105:38-40. In obedience to the Lord’s commands in Sections 98 and but since the Mormon Worker addresses “Mormon” matters, I will address two issues that arise among Mormon 105 a blue and white “standard of peace” flag was prepared “flagophiles”: First, do we have a choice as to which flag and carried with Zion’s Army: “I gave orders that a standard to adore and secondly, given our polygamous roots, is it be prepared for the nations” (Joseph Smith History 6:528) possible to love more than one flag at the same time, and This flag stood in stark contrast to the “red flag” adopted

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by the mobs in Jackson County, Missouri. The Lord did in mind, and of which they had frequently spoke en route, intervene and fight the battles for His people as promised, was something larger and greater than any national flag and “softened the heart” of their enemies through the power whatsoever; and what it was meant to represent was greater and virtue of the words of peace, and then Zion’s Army than any earthly kingdom’s interest... This Ensign was in made the final offer of peace by disbanding as commanded. the minds of the Mormon Pioneers concerned not with When the mobs were forming in Nauvoo, Joseph instructed one nation, but all nations....not nationality but humanity the church leaders that “a standard to be made and raised in its scope and concern. It was the sign of the Empire of for the nations.” After Joseph’s death and the Nauvoo City Christ.” Charter was repealed, Brigham Young used a blue and The Deseret News conference report of April 1853 rewhite flag as a signal and standard of peace and hoisted it ports that an LDS flag “a blue and white banner with stripes above the temple, and then before arriving in Salt Lake City, and twelve stars encircling a single large star” representing Brigham Young discussed his plans to raise the LDS flag the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His latter-day Kingdom was on the top of Ensign Peak, which he had seen previously in displayed when the corner stones of the temple were laid. vision: “The House of the Lord will be reared in the tops Brigham called this flag three names: “Flag of the Kingof the mountains and the proud banner will wave over the dom”, “Flag of Deseret” and most telling, “My flag.” The valleys...I know where the spot is and I know how to make “Standard of Peace or the Standard of Truth” was unfurled this flag, Joseph sent the colors and said where the colors “High on a Mountain Top.” (Joel Johnson, 1853 Hymn). The settle there will be the spot (Lee, Diary, Church Archives, standard of truth had been erected and the Lord had laid Historical Department, Salt Lake City). Then as Joseph F. a foundation of peace that would break up the patterns of vengeance and death spawned by the contracted feelings Smith noted this vision was fulfilled: “One 26 July 1847, just two days after Brigham Young of nationalism and ethnocentric tribalism. The Lord had arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, he and others ascended a communicated through his latter-day revelations a new dome-shaped hill north of the present Utah State Capitol way—a way of peace and that way now had a flag. We did Building. He had seen this prominent peak in vision. As then and we continue to have a choice. That was the original flag of our faith—mandated by President Young raised a flag he also symbolically lifted revelation and designed to unify us under a new message. the “ensign to all nations...” Brother B.H. Roberts taught the significance of this flag The question then arose when we were given statehood that was unfurled: into our host nation—which flag would be placed the highThe Ensign that these Latter-day Saint Pioneers had est on the flag pole? The verdict is in and Old Glory flies

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stool; neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the Great King; Neither shall thou swear by the head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay : for whatsoever is more My Choice than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5: 34-37). I believe I have a deep “philia” for our nation’s Constitution Is there evil that comes from pledging one’s allegiance and Bill of Rights and the Anglo-Saxon traditions found in to a nation? The obvious danger or folly associated with our Common Law. I revere the freepledging allegiance to any politidom we have in our nation to discal entity no matter the country— sent and learn from our critics even whether neutral Switzerland or Nazi “But I say unto you, Swear not within our nation. Thomas Jefferson Germany—is that you have given at all; neither by heaven; for it is understood that national justifiers or your conscience and potentially your God’s Throne; Nor by the earth, enablers should not be considered agency to a group which can decide for it is his footstool; neither by as having a monopoly on the title of at any time to contravene the Gospel Jerusalem; for it is the city of the patriot: “Dissent is the highest form of Christ. In other words, I chose to Great King; Neither shall thou of patriotism.” That being said, here only sustain the law of the land to swear by the head, because thou is my flag preference: No national the extent the law protects me in my canst not make one hair white or flag and no pledge of allegiance to the inalienable rights—but no further: black. But let your communicaflag of any nation. I recognize how “We believe that no government offensive such a choice must appear tion be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for can exist in peace, except such laws to those in our nation suffering from whatsoever is more than these are framed and held inviolate as will “flagophilia” and I do not pretend to cometh of evil.” secure to each individual the free require that anyone else even underexercise of conscience...We believe (Matthew 5: 34-37) stand much less respect my choice. that all men are bound to sustain and However, my choice is tied to my unuphold the respective governments derstanding of my Christian faith. The only person I have in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and Pledged My Allegiance to said this: inalienable rights...” D&C 134:2, 5 “But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; I sustain a law or government only to the extent it susfor it is God’s Throne; Nor by the earth, for it is his foot- tains my freedom of conscience and inalienable right to

alone. How that came about is a subject of another more in-depth article.

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withhold any personal support to any endeavors of my nation which I consider contrary to my religious conscience. My religious belief is that I owe no oath or allegiance to a symbol such as a flag that might be waved in a manner defined by Merriam-Webster, to wit: “Flag Waving: Ardent or violently emotional appeal to or expression of patriotic or partisan sentiment.” While sometimes the appeal might be considered noble, it is often, nonetheless, blind and all too frequently violent in the name of some “noble” cause. And partisanship and nationalism is a threshold removal from the Gospel and Light of Christ. A statement from one of our recent Presidents reflects the nature of national partisanship: “I will never apologize for the USA, I don’t care what the facts are.” George Bush, Senior. I recognize that many if not most that wave flags have noble and loyal intentions but my belief is that if an endeavor or conflict is on its merits just and righteous it needs no artifice beyond its justness, while the more dubious the endeavor the more it requires slogans and flag waving. Two other dictionaries said it best: “patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel” (Dr. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary) to which Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s Dictionary responded: “Patriotism: Combustible rubbish read to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.” The problem with a group pledge or oath to a nation

is that it does not in the oath or pledge itself reserve the right to withdraw support for any endeavor which I individually find contrary to my conscience. For example, my Christian faith does not allow the killing of any innocent life whether sanctioned by the state or not. In the words of Howard Zinn, “there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” I refuse to pledge allegiance to a flag that represents any form of taking of innocent life in the pursuit of any form of retaliation. (see D&C 98:24). Therefore, my first choice is that I pledge allegiance to no nation’s flag. But If I Must On October 3, 2007 James Broussard, saw a Reno, Nevada business establishment with a Mexican Flag hoisted above the American flag—the making of a “perfect storm”. Taking his military knife he cut down the Mexican flag and threw it on the ground. Interviewed by the news he explained: “If they want to fight us, then they need to be men, and they need to come fight us. But I want somebody to fight for me and for this flag.” To all the James Broussards out there I want to let you know that I do not want to fight you, I do not want to fight anyone, but if I must have a flag— that not being my first preference— I choose the “Standard of Peace” flag shown in this article. My wife and son can and should fly the American flag every Holiday and I respect their feelings, but I only ask that the Standard of Peace not be considered as an invitation to fight but an invitation to
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not fight under any national banner. With the Standard of Peace flying on Ensign Peak Apostle Heber C. Kimball expressed my sentiments best: “I am not national or sectional, and God forbid that I should be, for I have that spirit that delighteth in the welfare and salvation of the human family. And when I have that Spirit about me, can I be national? You never knew that feeling to be in me for I abhor it. I will not bow my head to that national spirit, nor to any spirit that is not of God.” (Heber C. Kimball JD 4:278). I attended Glenn Dale Elementary School in Maryland from 1960 to 1966. Every day we recited both the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag as well as our prayers to the Virgin Mary and other Saints—this being a Maryland Catholic community. It did me no harm not knowing then the significance of anything I recited. But now I appreciate more fully the significance of pledges and oaths and I refuse in good conscience to pledge any allegiance to any nation and it’s flag no matter how noble that nation may perceive itself to be. Thank God I live in a country where “flagophilia”, while widespread, is still optional and voluntary. I will not burn a flag, I will not deny anyone the right to wrap themselves in the flag, any politician the right to tether their ambitions to the flag, or any military to use their flag to identify which team uses the IEDs from those that employ the “flex cuffs.”

Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified
by Norman G. Finkelstein

The recent proposal that Norway boycott Israeli goods has provoked passionate debate. In my view, a rational examination of this issue would pose two questions: 1) Do Israeli human rights violations warrant an economic boycott? and 2) Can such a boycott make a meaningful contribution toward ending these violations? I would argue that both these questions should be answered in the affirmative. Although the subject of many reports by human rights organizations, Israel’s real human rights record in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is generally not well known abroad. This is primarily due to the formidable public relations industry of Israel’s defenders as well as the effectiveness of their tactics of intimidation, such as labeling critics of Israeli policy anti-Semitic. Yet, it is an incontestable fact that Israel has committed a broad range of human rights violations, many rising to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. These include: Illegal Killings. Whereas Palestinian suicide attacks targeting Israeli civilians have garnered much media attention, Israel’s quantitatively worse record of killing non-combatants is less well known. According to the most recent figures of the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights
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in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem), 3,386 Palestinians have been killed since September 2000, of whom 1,008 were identified as combatants, as opposed to 992 Israelis killed, of whom 309 were combatants. This means that three times more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed and

up to three times more Palestinian civilians than Israeli civilians. Israel’s defenders maintain that there’s a difference between targeting civilians and inadvertently killing them. B’Tselem disputes this: “[W]hen so many civilians have been killed and wounded, the lack of intent makes no difference. Israel remains responsible.” Furthermore, Amnesty International reports that “many” Palestinians have not been accidentally killed but “deliberately targeted,” while the award-winning New York Times journalist Chris Hedges reports that Israeli soldiers “entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.” Torture. “From 1967,” Amnesty reports, “the Israeli security services have routinely tortured Palestinian political suspects in the Occupied Territories.” B’Tselem found that eighty-five percent of Palestinians interrogated by Israeli security services were subjected to “methods constituting torture,” while already a decade ago Human Rights Watch estimated that “the number of Palestinians tortured or severely ill-treated” was “in the tens of thousands – a number that becomes especially significant when it is remembered that the universe of adult and adolescent male Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is under threequarters of one million.” In 1987 Israel became “the only country in the world to have effectively legalized torture” (Amnesty). Although the Israeli Supreme Court seemed to ban torture in a 1999 decision, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel reported in 2003 that Israeli security forces continued to apply torture in a “methodical and routine” fashion. A 2001 B’Tselem study documented
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that Israeli security forces often applied “severe torture” that “the pattern of destruction...strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of to “Palestinian minors.” House demolitions. “Israel has implemented a policy whether they posed a specific threat.” Amnesty likewise of mass demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied found that “Israel’s extensive destruction of homes and Territories,” B’Tselem reports, and since September 2000 properties throughout the West Bank and Gaza...is not “has destroyed some 4,170 Palestinian homes.” Until just justified by military necessity,” and that “Some of these recently Israel routinely acts of destruction amount to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention and are war crimes.” resorted to house demolitions as a form of collecApart from the sheer magnitude of its human rights tive punishment. Accordviolations, the uniqueness of Israeli policies merits notice. ing to Middle East Watch, “Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of apart from Israel, the only separation based on discrimination, applying two separate other country in the world systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of that used such a draconian individuals on their nationality,” B’Tselem has concluded. punishment was Iraq un“This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and der Saddam Hussein. In is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such addition, Israel has demolas the apartheid regime in South Africa.” If singling out ished thousands of “illegal” South Africa for an international economic boycott was homes that Palestinians defensible, it would seem equally defensible to single out Israel’s occupation, which uniquely resembles the apartbuilt because of Israel’s heid regime. refusal to provide building permits. The motive Although an economic boycott can be justified on moral behind destroying these grounds, the question remains whether diplomacy might homes, according to Ambe more effectively employed instead. The documentary nesty, has been to maxirecord in this regard, however, is not encouraging. The mize the area available for Jewish settlers: “Palestinians basic terms for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict are are targeted for no other reason than they are Palestinians.” embodied in U.N. resolution 242 and subsequent U.N. resoFinally, Israel has destroyed hundred of homes on security lutions, which call for a full Israeli withdrawal from the pretexts, yet a Human Rights Watch report on Gaza found West Bank and Gaza and the establishment of a Palestinian

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Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified

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state in these areas in exchange for recognition of Israel’s of Palestinian life. It will also effectively sever the West right to live in peace and security with its neighbors. Each Bank in two. Although Israel initially claimed that it was year the overwhelming majority building the wall to fight terrorism, of member States of the United the consensus among human rights Nations vote in favor of this twoorganizations is that it is really a state settlement, and each year land grab to annex illegal Jewish Israel and the United States (and settlements into Israel. Recently a few South Pacific islands) opIsrael’s Justice Minister frankly pose it. Similarly, in March 2002 all acknowledged that the wall will twenty-two member States of the serve as “the future border of the Arab League proposed this twostate of Israel.” state settlement as well as “norThe current policies of the Ismal relations with Israel.” Israel raeli government will lead either to ignored the proposal. endless bloodshed or the dismemNot only has Israel stubbornly berment of Palestine. “It remains rejected this two-state settlement, virtually impossible to conceive of a Palestinian state without its capbut the policies it is currently purital in Jerusalem,” the respected suing will abort any possibility of a viable Palestinian state. While Crisis Group recently concluded, world attention has been riveted and accordingly Israeli policies in by Israel’s redeployment from the West Bank “are at war with any viable two-state solution and will Gaza, Sara Roy of Harvard Uninot bolster Israel’s security; in fact, versity observes that the “Gaza Banksy, West Bank Disengagement Plan is, at heart, an they will undermine it, weakening instrument for Israel’s continued annexation of West Bank Palestinian pragmatists...and sowing the seeds of growing land and the physical integration of that land into Israel.” In radicalization.” particular Israel has been constructing a wall deep inside Recalling the U.N. Charter principle that it is inadmisthe West Bank that will annex the most productive land sible to acquire territory by war, the International Court and water resources as well as East Jerusalem, the center of Justice declared in a landmark 2004 opinion that Israel’s

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Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified

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settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory with compawall being built to annex them to Israel were illegal under rable situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, East international law. It called on Israel to cease construction Timor, occupied Kuwait and Iraq, and Rwanda found that of the wall, dismantle those parts already completed and Israel has enjoyed “virtual immunity” from enforcement compensate Palestinians for damages. Crucially, it also measures such as an arms embargo and economic sancstressed the legal responsibilities of the international com- tions typically adopted by the U.N. against member States munity: all States are under an obligation not to recognize condemned for identical violations of international law. the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the Due in part to an aggressive campaign accusing Europe of wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and a “new anti-Semitism,” the European Union has also failed around East Jerusalem. They are also under an obligation in its legal obligation to enforce international law in the not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation Occupied Palestinian Territory. Although the claim of a created by such construction. It is also for all States, while “new anti-Semitism” has no basis in fact (all the evidence respecting the United Nations Charter and international points to a lessening of anti-Semitism in Europe), the EU law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the has reacted by appeasing Israel. It has even suppressed pubconstruction of the wall, to the exercise by the Palestin- lication of one of its own reports, because the authors— like ian people of its right to self-determination is brought to the Crisis Group and many others — concluded that due to Israeli policies the “prospects for a two-state solution with an end. A subsequent U.N. General Assembly resolution sup- east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine are receding.” The moral burden to avert the impending catastrophe porting the World Court opinion passed overwhelmingly. However, the Israeli government ignored the Court’s opin- must now be borne by individual states that are prepared ion, continuing construction at a rapid pace, while Israel’s to respect their obligations under international law and by individual men and women of conscience. In a courageous Supreme Court ruled that the wall was legal. Due to the obstructionist tactics of the United States, initiative American-based Human Rights Watch recently the United Nations has not been able to effectively confront called on the U.S. government to reduce significantly its Israel’s illegal practices. Indeed, although it is true that the financial aid to Israel until Israel terminates its illegal poliU.N. keeps Israel to a double standard, it’s exactly the re- cies in the West Bank. An economic boycott would seem verse of the one Israel’s defenders allege: Israel is held not to be an equally judicious undertaking. A nonviolent tactic to a higher but lower standard than other member States. A the purpose of which is to achieve a just and lasting settlestudy by Marc Weller of Cambridge University comparing ment of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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Interview with Stanley Hauerwas

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Interview with Stanley Hauerwas
Interviewed by Joshua Madson for The Mormon Worker

Stanley Haurwas is a United Methodist theologian, ethicist, and professor of law. He received a PhD from Yale University and a D.D. from The University of Edinburgh, and has taught at the University of Notre Dame. He is currently the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School with a joint appointment at the Duke University School of Law. Q: How did you come to be a pacifist? Hauerwas: Well, it was through the influence of John Howard Yoder. I was educated in the work of Reinhold Niebuhr and I assumed that was the last word to be said about pacifism. But I was also deeply shaped by the work of Karl Barth and once Yoder’s Christological pacifism became known to me and I really studied it I became increasingly convinced that Niebuhr had simply failed to appreciate the kind of nonviolence that Yoder had defended as constitutive of discipleship and so I declared myself a pacifist although I had no idea what that really meant, but I’ve grown into it. Q: In your essay “Sacrificing the Sacrifice of War” you observe that nationalistic “patriotism” has become for many a substitute religion, and for Christians in particular. What has caused that to occur in your opinion?

Hauerwas: I’m not sure any of us know how that happened, other than the general subservience of the Christian church in America to America. The general view of most Christian Americans is they can let their children make up their minds about whether they are a Christian or not but they don’t let them make up their minds about being an American. Now that’s an indication that national identification has become more determinative for the way people live than their Christian identification. Now I’m sure they will deny that if you suggest it, but ask them if they don’t believe that they ought to raise children to grow up to make up their minds and they will always say, yes of course. But then they don’t, when it comes to the issues of national loyalty. They don’t let children make up their own minds; it kind of comes with the drinking water. Q: What evidence do you believe supports that conclusion? Hauerwas: Well I think generally that American Christians’ unproblematic support of war clearly supports that conclusion. Q: Do you believe that Christianity and patriotism are compatible? Hauerwas: It depends. I might well be a Ugandan patriot. I’m sure you can’t be an American patriot. I wrote an essay on this in which I use Alasdair Macintyre’s account of why patriotism is incoherent in the modern world because patriotism asks your support of nations that represent freedom and equality and so those become abstract ideals
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that are not interestingly enough nationally specific. That’s the reason why patriotism in America is fundamentally an imperialist position. But Macintyre argues that in the past patriotism was loyalty to land with a history. Now that’s more interesting and I think Christians want you to be loyal and supportive of the near neighbors who have made you possible. So I think that might well be a kind of patriotism that Christians could support. Q: In the scriptures we have statements such as Christ’s “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, and we have Paul talking about the “powers that be.” How does the Christian faith draw the line between those statements and admonitions with Christian teachings that are often inconsistent

Mural in the Denver Airport. Photo by C. Bushman

with our own nation? Hauerwas: Well I don’t think Romans 13; people read Romans 13 and don’t read Romans 12. Paul would have thought that the emperor should also forgive his enemies and so I think that chapter division is just a disaster. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, unto God the things that are of God.” I treat that in the new commentary that has just been published on the gospel of Matthew and I think it’s pretty clear that that wasn’t saying, “Oh, well Caesar gets to do what Caesar does.” I mean you know when Jesus says let me see the coin, the very fact that the people that had asked him the question handed him the coin already indicated that they were complicit with Rome in a way that was incompatible with being Jewish. So I think that the assumption that, oh well Caesar is Caesar and the church is church and we can get along, well you know Caesar wants it all and I think the idea that we got that straightened out by separation of church and state is just crazy. Q: If that’s the case, can Christians be engaged politically? Hauerwas: Of course. It depends on the politics that’s around but nothing about my position prevents Christians from being engaged in politics as long as they are Christians. What bothers me is when they want to say well as a Christian I couldn’t kill anyone but as a congressman or senator I have to do it. Well I don’t think that works. Q: How then should Christians be engaged politically? What should we be doing as Christians?
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Hauerwas: You shouldn’t let anyone tell you, you need to privatize your faith. You say: No, I’m going to vote this way because I’m a follower of Jesus and that’s what it means to be a follower of Jesus. So that’s what I would think is necessary. Q: Does Christ demand any duties or loyalties of us to our government? Hauerwas: No. Q: John Howard Yoder often discusses the problem of associating with the system, becoming Herodians, that in the end we will end up supporting the government over our Christian beliefs. How do we avoid that as Christians? Hauerwas: By making sure we got good friends who will tell us when we are doing it. You need people who have been through the fire so to speak and can tell you when you may think you are just doing your duty but in fact you’re really collaborating with the devil. Q: One of the things in your appeal to abolish war you discuss that we should no longer study war but instead study peace. What would we be studying if we studied peace? How do we approach that? Hauerwas: What would it mean to envision what international relations might look like if we don’t assume the necessity of war? What kind of nation would we need to be in which war was not seen to be a necessity? Once you start down the road of just saying, you know, war is just kind of a given then as a matter of fact you will make sure it is a given.

Q: A common complaint directed at pacifists and advocates of nonviolence is that they have criticisms but no solutions. What should we be doing as Christians to change the world or the approaches to war? Hauerwas: By being who we are. People matter. For example, we live in a country now that is determined by fear. What would it mean for Christians to be a people that are not determined by fear? That makes possibilities open that otherwise would not exist. Q: Could you elaborate on how we would live if we were not determined by fear? Hauerwas: It would mean that death didn’t hold sway over us in a way that we might well be ready to take risks that might envision the possibility you’ll have to die. Q: In your essay or the call to abolish war, you discuss the struggle to end slavery and there is this comparison with the struggle to abolish war. Do you see any trends towards either a national or global rejection of war in the same way we see a rejection of slavery? Hauerwas: No. I don’t. I wish I could say I do, but I don’t. Q: What will it take for Christianity or for the world to reject war as universally as it has rejected slavery? Hauerwas: You just got to do the same kind of hard slogging, one person at a time convincing that I think is the heart of what our Christianity is about.

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Q: In your essay “Why War is a Moral Necessity for America,” you state, “Christians confuse the sacrifice of war with the sacrifice of Christ.” In what ways does that confusion make itself manifest? Hauerwas: By the flag in the American church chancel. It’s everywhere. I think that that flag usually stands for the sacrifices that were made in World War II and in many ways that’s a much more real sacrifice for most Americans than the sacrifice of Christ. Q: Why do you think Christians confuse that with the sacrifice of Christ? Hauerwas: Because we haven’t faced up to the particularity of Jesus as a Jewish Messiah and we instead turned Jesus into a generalized savior rather than the one who preached the Sermon on the Mount. Q: What is the central message of the Sermon on the Mount? Hauerwas: I think that to try to give it a central message like you ought to love your neighbor or that you can’t serve God and mammon; I think that to try to seize on something central like that is to try to avoid the particularity of the Sermon on the Mount. So, I’m against trying to give it a central message. Q: What do you feel the particularity of the Sermon on the Mount is? Hauerwas: This is what it means to be disciple of Jesus.

Q: Do you feel that Christians in today’s world believe in the Sermon on the Mount or follow the Sermon on the Mount? Hauerwas: No. Clearly we think that the Sermon on the Mount is an ideal we ought to strive for but you really cant live it. You can’t forgive enemies. It’s just not going to work. Q: Why is it that we don’t embrace the Sermon on the Mount then? Hauerwas: Because we don’t want life to be that complicated or interesting. It puts us to much out of step. Q: Is there anything Christians should be willing to kill for? Hauerwas: No. Q: Is there anything Christians should be willing to die for? Hauerwas: Everything. Q: There is a quote in your article that states “Americans have rarely bled, sacrificed or died for Christianity or any other sectarian faith.” What is the significance of that quote? Hauerwas: It’s a very important quote. It means that exactly where Christians lose their faith is the overriding presumption that what you are willing to die for or have your children die for is true and that means the country and it doesn’t mean the church. Mormon persecution is of

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course, just as Christians say that our faith is built upon the blood of the martyrs, your faith is also built on the blood of your martyrs. Q: In that Christians have a history of the blood of the martyrs and I would argue Mormons have a history of the blood of the martyrs. Why have we abandoned that tradition and now it is the blood of the patriots and blood of the Americans? Hauerwas: Well because America has been very very good to us and we are wealthy. Q: Do you see this allegiance as a monetary or material sort of allegiance? Hauerwas: It certainly helps but no it’s deeper than that, it gives you identity. Q: If you were given a forum to address Mormons or LDS what would you want to share with us? Hauerwas: Well, I did it once. I addressed Sunstone and they didn’t like it at all. Because Sunstone of course is the Mormon liberals and my critique of liberalism wasn’t to their liking. I was not a success. I think Mormons have proved to be extra loyal to the United States because they know they are seen as religiously so weird. So a Mormon can run for president just like a catholic ran for president and said, don’t worry I’m not going to take my theological convictions serious when it comes to running the country. You know you’ve gone to hell in a hand basket when that happens.

Q: What would be your admonition or your call to Mormons? What should we be doing with our religion? Hauerwas: Of course I think you ought to read the New Testament more and the Book of Mormon less. I understand the debate within Mormons about whether you are Christian or not. I understand it. I understand that there is a debate. I don’t necessarily understand all the nuances of the debate. I think the more Mormons move towards classical Christianity, the better off you will be. Q: What makes someone a Christian in your mind? Hauerwas: That they have been baptized into the life death and resurrection of Christ and that they are identified by a body of people that hold them accountable. Q: Often times pacifists get marginalized when they identify themselves as a pacifist. Do you believe that selfidentifying as a pacifist marginalizes ones ability to be part of the war debate? Hauerwas: I try not to let it do that. Obviously I’m pretty well. But if marginalization is marginalization its better than the alternatives. My way of putting it is that I don’t think that I’m committed to Christian non-violence because obviously I’m a violent son of a bitch. But by creating the expectations in you I hope that you will keep me honest of what I know is true. So that’s the way you got to begin to think about what it means to be committed to Christian non-violence.

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The Mormon Worker ◆ Issue 4

Racism, Violence and the United States, Pt. II: Torture and Lynching

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Racism, Violence and the United States, Pt. II: Torture and Lynching
by Spencer Kingman

In a previous article, I tried to expose the racist roots of the massive U.S. prison system and its continuities with slavery. I described a system that severs people from family and society, renders them invisible and untouchable, then puts the to work for almost no pay. This is indeed “violence,” but it is so pervasive, and so deeply institutionalized, that it is sometimes hard to recognize it as such. Sometimes the weight of “the system” can just roll over people without any identifiable villains or messy confrontations. The violence of torture, on the other hand, is unmistakable. It scars the defenseless body and wrecks the captive mind. These days, our discussions of torture are too often limited to what is happening in Iraq or Guantanamo Bay, and we fail to connect these outrages to what occurs within domestic prisons or at the hands of police. We also fail to trace the racist lineage of all these practices. In this article, I will try to establish some of the historical links between racism, prison, and torture all the way back through slavery. In the next article, I will try to relate these things to the present day situation. Reader be advised: this article contains some disturbing descriptions of torture. With emancipation in 1863, millions of black people stepped back from a system that tried to place them “be-

yond the pale of human sympathy,” 1 a system that, by any means necessary, worked them from cradle to grave, a system that mangled their genealogy and hurled it, with so many lives, into a great abyss of loss. For each of these exslaves, the past held tortured stories of annihilation and rape, escape and revenge. It held the bitter smell of disease, the rough sound of unknown languages, and the naked crush of people in holds the size of crawl spaces. For every African slave that was actually imported to the Americas, there were perhaps five other Africans killed in conquest, capture, or transport. 2 This statistic should speak not just to the unhinged destructiveness of the Europeans, but also to the do-or-die resistance of Africans. From buyer-to-buyer, branded and chained, those who survived this holocaust were sold out to farms in the U.S. south. Perhaps, with time, the brutality of capture receded, elongated and blunted by elaborate rituals of white paternalism or the routines of back-breaking labor. But for 250 years, the rapes and whippings continued. Slave work was demeaning and dangerous while the profits went to others. Rebellions ignited hysterical violence, and escapees braved an ocean of hostility. But in some ways, black people were less vulnerable as slaves than they would become after emancipation. After all, as slaves, they “belonged” to somebody. As valuable property they could count on some protection from their owners against other whites, and their status was well defined. As free people, with the caste system in disarray, they were held in near universal contempt by a defeated,
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fearful white population. Within a short time, rifle clubs and groups like the Ku Klux Klan formed to terrorize blacks and cancel their newly won rights. Instead of voting, learning, owning land and holding office, exslaves, poor and poorly armed, were whipped, burned, and run to death by dogs. The line between vigilantism and court justice was thin. Juries and judges were nearly always white. At the end of the Civil War, the population of southern jails promptly flipped from mostly-white to mostly-black and multiplied four-, five-, even ten-fold as people were locked up for trivial crimes: stealing food, “trouble-making,” “disrespect.” Soon there were far more black convicts than the states could handle. As a solution, states started leasing black convicts out to entrepreneurs (white convicts remained in the state jailbeds). In return for taking on the responsibility of feeding, clothing, and holding the black inmates, these businessmen were allowed to work them as hard as they pleased. In many cases the conditions and work were far more dangerous than during slavery. As one southern employer put it in 1883, “Before the war we owned the negroes. If a man had a good n-----, he could afford to take care of him; if he was sick get a doctor. He might even put gold plugs in his teeth. But these convicts: we don’t own ‘em. One dies, get another.” 3 Big farming, logging and mining companies all rushed to drink from this poison well, acquiring convicts for their most dangerous and expensive projects. In 1876, one group of leased-out convicts was put to work clearing a path through the jungles of Florida. There were no provisions for shelter or food.

Instead, the prisoners were forced to construct “rude huts” and “scour the woods” to eat. They soon met with starvation, exposure, scurvy, dysentery, pneumonia, and malaria. To keep them working, overseers rained whips down on their backs, and some were left hanging by their thumbs from trees, leaving them with hands “resembling the paws of certain apes.” Only 27 of 72 survived. Other leased-out convicts constructed the precious railroads. They were moved and housed in “rolling iron cages,” twenty men shackled together with a bucket for waste and a tub for bathing in a space the size of a small U-haul truck. One observer called it “an oven... a small piece of hell.” 4 One did not survive more than a year or two on these jobs, but there were other jobs that were slightly less deadly. Some black convicts even found themselves doing agricultural labor on the very same land they had worked as slaves. No matter where black convicts were farmed out to, their work-broken bodies were subject to emaciation, disease, swift punishments for minor slips, and the sadism of guards or fellow prisoners. When torture was applied, the techniques were medieval: the lash, the rack, the coffinsized “sweatbox.” Many were simply shot down trying to escape. Once incarcerated, the average life of a convict in Texas was 7 years. In Georgia, no convict was expected to survive longer than 10. 5 Southern blacks who managed to avoid the chain gang were nonetheless subject to the terrors of lynch law. Whites could explode with rage over the slightest breach of racial etiquette, and white-on-black crime went unpunished. Any
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black who tried to break out of debt-poverty or hesitated to bow to white power could be beaten to a pulp or have their house burned. Those unlucky ones suspected of raping or murdering a white person were hung, drowned, or dragged from automobiles. Picture postcards of their last moments were passed around by whites and sold at local stores.(Some of these can be viewed online at www.withoutsanctuary.org). By the late 1890’s, lynchings were becoming large, morbid spectacles, displays of white supremacy that could attract thousands of people. In 1893, anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells wrote to President McKinley: “Masks have long since been thrown aside.” 6 Men and women were castrated or mutilated. Fingers were chopped off and distributed as souvenirs. In 1893, Henry Smith, a black man, was tortured for fifty minutes with red-hot irons before being burned in front of a cheering crowd of 10,000. In 1904, Luther Holbert and his wife, suspected of killing a white, had chunks of their bodies removed with a corkscrew before a huge Mis- sissippi crowd. In 1928, when Charley Shepherd, a black mentally-retarded prisoner escaped, killing a white guard and kidnapping his daughter, a raiding party of five-thousand men hunted him down. After he was captured, he was paraded from

town-to-town. He was eventually burned to death, but not before the crowd tortured him for seven hours. 7 Thousands of black people were lynched between emancipation and the civil-rights era, but not all victims were black, and not all mobs were southern. In the west and mid-west hundreds of Mexicans, Chinese, and American Indians were killed by mobs. Irish, Jews, and whites could also be targeted. As LDS readers know, Joseph Smith and other Mormons fell victim to earlier mob violence. The largest mass lynching in U.S. history involved 11 Italian immigrants killed in New Orleans in 1891, and just three decades later, the Ku Klux Klan was a major force in cities as far west as Portland, Oregon and as far north as Detroit, Michigan. However, nowhere but the south was racial dictatorship so total, so violent, or so deeply written into law. It would also be a mistake to characterize white society as unified in its support of lynching. Local officials and media often supported the killings, but in most places the killings elicited horror and condem- nation. Even within the back country of southern states, there were divisions among whites. Public lynchings were an act of war by the most extreme elements of society. They were opportunities to intimidate white opponents and enlist poor rural whites in further white
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power activism or terrorism. As lynching spread through some of the social functions of lynchings. In 1940, the state the late nineteenth century, the penal system was evolv- of Mississippi hired Jimmy Thompson, a former hypnotist ing. Convict leasing had been a profitable solution to the in traveling carnivals, to perform executions with an elecunmanageable number of black prisoners, and it upheld tric chair that he carried around in the back of a pickup white supremacy during the transition from slavery to Jim truck. Most of the executions were held inside county Crow. But it pushed down the wages of poor whites and jails, but newspapers printed large photographs with grisly made a mockery of the law. It was also extremely brutal, descriptions. One observer recalled a 1942 electrocution and reformers were busy exposing it. The system was performed by Thompson in Philadelphia, Mississippi: “A abandoned in the early twentieth-century and replaced by crowd gathered late at night on the courthouse square with large state-run farms. Some, like Angola Farm in Louisiana chairs, crackers, and children, waiting for the current to or Parchman Farm in Mississippi, still exist today. These be turned on and the street lights to dim.” 8 We tend to associate torture with secrecy, and this is prisons presented themselves as more humane and more accountable to the law, but in many ways, they merely mostly accurate. When the public eye is active and critical, institutionalized the brutality and racism of prior systems. torturers hide their work and adopt non-scarring methods. They centralized more prisoners in larger institutions far- However, African slaves, early prisoners, and black sharether from the public eye, a trend that continues to the croppers were often subjected to torture that was explicitly present day. public. It was meant to intimidate people, de-humanize The inmates were still mostly black, the conditions still them, and force them into extremely exploitative labor. those of slavery, or worse, and the primary form of punish- Public torture lynchings served these purposes and more. ment was still public whipping: for fighting, for “disrespect” Seized with fears of losing status and economic security to white officials, or for simply failing to work fast enough. and drunk on the hard-core racism that went with slavLynching was also slowly brought under the auspices of ery, whites turned their wounded rage on imagined black the law. In the nineteenth century, local police might sim- “brutes” and “rapists.” Through public torture lynchings, ply hold a victim until the mob showed up. Or they might extremist whites dragged their communities into fantasies prefer to hold a speedy little trial and perform the hangings of total mastery and domination, delusions of unity, violent themselves, but legal executions played mostly the same demonstrations of a will to power. The dimensions of this role as illegal ones; they attracted the same festive town torture, as usual, were political, economic, racial and erotic. crowds. Even as executions became more impersonal and Cloaked in the rhetoric of crime and punishment, refusorderly, legal capital punishment continued to perform ing to accept the personhood of blacks, lynchers believed

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The Mormon Worker ◆ Issue 4

A Letter to the President

25

that they were protecting women, protecting Christianity, even protecting democracy. 9 Determined long-term anti-racist activism put an end to most of these activities, but echoes of this past inflect our modern-day supermax prisons, regular police brutality, and even what happens in the “war on terror.”

A Letter to the President
by Abdullah Mulhim

Dear President,

As you embark on four years in office, facing major issues, attacking obstacles, and trying to find solutions to 1. Ida B. Wells’ phrase. 2. Anderson, S. E. The Black Holocaust: For Beginners. domestic and international problems, I would like to offer my help in resolving one of the major problems that has New York: Writers and Readers, 1995. 3. Oshinsky, David M. Worse Than Slavery: Parchman faced us in the past century and which continues to be a Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice. New York: Free puzzle in finding a solution to. I would like to advise you on the Middle East problem. I understand that I am not a Press, 1995. 55. political advisor, I understand I lack experience in interna4. Ibid. 59. tional diplomacy, and I am not a Harvard or Yale graduate, 5. Ibid. 61-3. 6. Voices of a Peoples’ History of the United States. but as a young Palestinian who grew up in the Middle East, ed. Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. New York: Seven I lived under the harsh and difficult circumstances of the Israeli occupation, and I witnessed failed negotiations and Stories, 2004. 232. 7. Oshinsky 118, 101-2, 141-2; also Garland, David. “Death, a peace process that neglects one of the main parties in Denial, Discourse: On the Forms and Functions of American this conflict: the young generation of Arabs. Since the days of the Lyndon Johnson administration, Capital Punishment.” Crime, Social Control, and Human the U.S policy toward the Middle East has been to build a Rights. Devon, UK: Willan, 2007. 148. full partnership with Israel, while the continuous call for 8. Oshinsky 205-6. 9. Garland, David. “Penal Excess and Surplus Meaning: democracy in the Arab world has in fact been followed by Public Torture Lynchings in Twentieth-Century America.” blind US support for authoritarian Arab regimes that don’t threaten American interests in the region. It is a policy that Law and Society Review. vol.39 n.4 (2005). has been effective until now, despite its major flaw, namely ignoring the ambitions of a generation of young Arabs, who have their own dreams and goals of a better social

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and economic situation. This policy, given the events of September 11th, the failure of the peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and the unstable situation in Iraq, needs to be rethought. It requires an overhaul of the State Department’s views toward the Middle East. The policy I propose asks the new administration to choose the young Arabs as a partner and for the first time to truly follow up on previous demands for full democracy and human rights in the region. It asks the President to dump the old guards of the Middle East, such as the current Egyptian, Jordanian and Saudi regimes, and to put full pressure on Israel, economically and military, to fully withdraw from Palestinian lands occupied in 1967. These actions require courage and would be difficult, but are necessary to assure a better future for both the United States and the Middle East.

These steps will draw the young Arabs away from radical movements which have flourished under the current US policy. These groups offer young Arabs, who see their dreams as unachievable in the current situation, a hope for a better life, even though these young Arabs disagree with the tactics and goals of these groups in changing the current regimes and guards of the region. Those radical groups have shown the failure of the US policy in achieving stability economically or socially for the region. Their success highlights the fact that poverty has grown to its highest level among Arabs. That the region is not developing economically, as most Arab countries are becoming more and more consuming markets, without any source of agriculture or production income. That freedom of speech is just a dream. These radical groups cherish the current US policy and the current situation, as they sell young Arabs the hope, that with them, change will happen in the region. These changes, they say, despite being unclear of what they are, will bring a new hope and a fresh start that might help brighten the future that we all dream of. The past ten years those young educated Arabs have been crying for change as they protested in Egypt, went to the streets in Lebanon, participated in free elections in the Palestinian territories, and used the limited free media outlets available to them in Saudi Arabia. As they asked for changes and said enough to current conditions, they extended their hand to the US and the world for help in their cause. Those actions went ignored by the US and the West, however, who instead launched more attacks on the
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The Weapon Called the Word

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Palestinians and Iraqis, supported the Egyptian regime’s detention of Muslim Brotherhood candidates running for election, and published humiliating pictures of the prophet Mohammad. These events further showed the ineffectiveness of the current Arab regimes ability to support and protect their own people. Actions that the US could have avoided, they instead promoted, and stood firm with their authoritarian allies in the Middle East, giving those radical groups more fuel and power in recruiting ambitious young Arabs looking for a better future and self respect. Mr./Mrs. President I ask you when you take office not to continue the current policy, but to have a different vision for the Middle East, knowing that the majority of Arabs are young, ambitious individuals, who, like every other young person, hope for a decent life under good social, economic, and political conditions. They are in search of self respect, freedom and the realization of personal goals. They hope for equality and a better future for themselves and their kids. They are in search of a peaceful region empty of corruption. They are in search of leaders that give them hope. I ask you to take active steps toward the realization of Arab interests. Those actions will help in securing the interests and future of the US, and will weaken those radical groups and limit their recruiting abilities.

The Weapon Called the Word
A song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.
by Jeremy Cloward

Greetings. Allow me to introduce myself, My Name is Jeremy Cloward. I am a new member of the Mormon Worker, a devout member of the Mormon Church, and a hardcore anarchist. I owe that to, not just the punk bands the Sex Pistols or The Dead Kennedys, but the actual Kennedys. I was raised to think that the Kennedys were the primo breed of the United States, and that if we had a royal family, they would be it. When I began listening to Punk at age 12, I heard the Dead Kennedys singing songs like, ‘We’ve got a bigger problem now,” citing lyrics such as: Welcome to 1984 Are you ready for the third world war?!? You too will meet the secret police They’ll draft you and they’ll jail your niece You’ll go quietly to boot camp They’ll shoot you dead, make you a man Don’t you worry, it’s for a cause Feeding global corporations’ claws Die on our brand new poison gas El Salvador or Afghanistan Making money for President Reagan And all the friends of President Reagan

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Since I liked Reagan at the time, I at first thought, “wow, This Issue: The Levellers. Based on the historical movethat’s offensive,” but I was getting into the punk world more ment of anarchists in the 1600s, John Lilbourne, or as he was and more. I later read an article pointing out the fact that titled “Freeborne John,” led a splinter group from Cromthe real Kennedys were an elitist bunch of corrupt slugs, well’s New Model Army. They were originally called the and that the Dead Kennedys took their name based on the “Diggers,” and later the name of the “Levellers” stuck. mockery of the American dream and to say that political The modern day punk band called the Levellers hail power was attained by sleazy means. I did more research from Brighton England. I was first exposed to them in 1992 to find out that they were far worse in their lust for power in Phoenix AZ at the 4th of July fest. I went down to see than I could have believed. All the research pointed to the Peter Murphy, who was headlining, but the Levellers were one of the 9 bands scheduled to play that day. I met 3 of view that we were all duped into worshiping them hanging out in the audience right after the Machines the modern day King of Loving Grace set. I met John Sevink, the fiddle player, Herod’s. I went all one of the techies, and Charlie Heather the drummer. They were polite, told me about the band, their history, and what through high school they were doing around the states. I was kind of shocked being taught differently than what really to hear that they had a fiddle player. He explained it was happened in history. I a kind of fiddle I had probably never heard before. They was soon not to trust came out a while later, plugged in, and pumped out some governments, or what incredible sounds, full of energy, anger, hope, love and a I was told at face value vast challenge to the world as it stands. The song that stood by the media, and the politicians. I embraced anarchism out the most was “One Way:” “There’s only one way of life, for the pure version of what the Lord wants for us, a highly and that’s your own. “ Belting out some incredible melodies, organized system, with a complete absence of power. Only but sounding like nothing I had ever heard before, they have people clinging to the righteous values the Lord has given since become one of my all time favorite bands. They are us. I am going to hopefully be contributing regularly to the an earthy folk band, that took a bass guitar and bashed the paper and the movement, for now I will start the music Sex Pistols into the fundamental sound. They sound like column for the paper. I am a music addict, and have spent a The Alarm, meets New Model Army , meets The Waterbetter part of my life going to shows and collecting albums, boys. Imagine folk fiddle played Metalllica speed, with all and live concert recordings. the roar of pure anarchist lyrics riding on top delivering

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the message. If you can imagine that, then you understand the Levellers. The band has become disenfranchised with the United States and does not play here much anymore. I saw them again in Paris in 1997, with a full arena of fellow anarchists, enjoying the music, and speed of an intense folk band playing to a large mosh pit. The first album called “The Weapon called the Word,” is the one of the few albums never to chart, and still go platinum. The band hates music press, and for the most part record companies, because even something as holy and pure as music, has been capitalized, and making money has become more important than good music and the message getting out. The Levellers have tackled issues such as heroine addiction, housing projects, and crime, all catching people in a vicious cycle because of poor social programs and laws not protecting individuals but corporate greed instead. Everyday I look at you Dressed up in your ties of blue Saying there’s not much you can do To help the kids on Hope Street They don’t seem to even care That it was you that put them there You seem to think they like it there Hanging out on Hope Street From the song Hope Street off the album “Zietgeist” The Levellers joined forces with Rev Hammer (another

noted Vocal anarchist) in 1997 to put together a sort of opera telling the story of Freeborn John, and the original Levellers. They also became disillusioned with the festival Circuit in the UK, and founded their own festival of music. It is called “Beautiful Days”, celebrating and promoting Anarchism, and environmental causes. At times joining them in the festival is at Alabama 3, New Model Army, The Stranglers, Echo & the Bunnymen, Billy Brag, and many more. The band sings of things that resonate in my heart, to music that I can just enjoy, I recommend them to everyone I can. The wisdom in the music is pure, timeless, and most important, wise. “All the problems in the world, won’t be solved by this guitar.” For more info on the band, see www.levellers.co.uk

What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus Christ Today?
by Cory Bushman

“Christ’s teaching to live each day as if it were your last is much smarter than the world’s teaching to get more and more money for the future. Both sides will die, but only one will die prepared and happy. Disciples of Christ will be poor, but that does not mean that they will be sad. It may mean that they will live out on the land or sleep under the stars,
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that they will be hungry three times a day (just before each meal), that they will be so tired at night that they will fall asleep easily and sleep right through the night, that they will use their time to listen to and help others, and that when they die, their death will have meaning.” —Leo ToLsToy (What I BelIeve) Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. D&C 18:10

The Sermon On The Mount

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The late American novelist and humanist Kurt Vonnegut expressed the importance of The Sermon on the Mount in his last work, A Man Without A Country. Vonnegut wrote, “How do humanists feel about Jesus? I say of Jesus, as all humanists do, If what he said is good, and so much of it is absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not? But if Christ hadn’t delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn’t want to be a human being. I’d just as soon be a rattlesnake.” In A Man Without A Country, Vonnegut tells of a man by the name of Powers Hapgood who was born to a middleclass family in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hapgood became involved in organizing to gain better pay and safer working conditions for his working-class brothers. Powers Hapgood was arrested in a picket line and brought before a judge. The judge, knowing Hapgood’s history asked, “Mr.

Hapgood, here you are, you’re a graduate of Harvard. Why would anyone with your advantages choose to live as you have?” Hapgood answered the judge: “Why, because of the Sermon on the Mount, sir.” Recently I was given a gift of a small box with the words, “Plans for the Overthrow” wood burned into the top. Inside of the box is a copy of The Sermon on the Mount. These radical words literally tell us exactly what we must do in order to overthrow chains of oppression and follow Christ. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” (St. Matthew 5:38-48) Aware of the label of insanity given to those who chose to live the teachings of Christ literally, Tolstoy wrote, “What will sound most crazy in the future will be when
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they tell how we had a Teacher who showed us clearly and simply what we needed to do to have a better life, and we all said that his rules were too difficult.” We have read, reread, shared and committed to memory the Sermon on the Mount, but has it penetrated our hearts? Has it caused a stirring of the soul and a desire to change the way we live and to obey the teachings Christ? In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma asks us this same question. “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” (Alma 5:26) Three Saints Kurt Vonnegut referred to saints as “people who behaved decently in a strikingly indecent society.” We are surrounded by saints. In Anne Applebaum’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Gulag, she includes an account of Margarete Buber-Neumann’s arrest and imprisonment at the Butyrka prison. A fellow inmate had been arrested while wearing “a light summer dress which had turned to rags”. Applebaum tells of Margarete and her fellow cell mates determination to make this woman a new dress. They used rough towels, and burnt ends of matches to mark the pattern. Lighted matches took the place of scissors, and the thread used to sew the dress together was removed from existing clothing. Margarete wrote of the finished product; “The towel dress...went from hand to hand and was beautifully em-

broidered at the neck, the sleeves, and round the bottom of the skirt. When it was finally finished it was dampened down and carefully folded. The fortunate possessor slept on it at night. Believe it or not, but when it was produced in the morning, it was really delightful; it would not have disgraced the window of a fashionable dress shop.” Emma Goldman, a famous Jewish anarchist and outspoken atheist, had a similar prison experience, which was recorded in her biography, Living My Life. “Christmas was approaching and my companions were in nervous wonderment as to what the day of days would bring them. Nowhere is Christianity so utterly devoid of meaning as in prison.” Due to their circumstances, few of the women had outside family and friends who would remember them on Christmas day, but Goldman stated that her inmates “clung to the hope that the day of their Saviour’s birth would bring them some kindness.” Long before Christmas, Goldman began to ask “family, comrades, and friends” to send her gifts including; bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches, and other trinkets. Goldman was allowed to store these items in her cell and on Christmas Eve, while the rest of her prison mates were attending the cinema, the gifts were distributed, with the help of three of her neighbors and the prison matron. Goldman recorded, “When the women returned from the cinema, the cell-block resounded with exclamation of happy astonishment. “Santa Claus’s been here! He’s brung me something grand!” “Me, too! Me, too!” reechoed from cell to cell.” Goldman wrote of that Christmas in the Missouri penitentiary as the Christmas which
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brought her “greater joy than many previous ones outside.” She continued to express her gratitude for friends who allowed her to “bring a gleam of sunshine into the dark lives of (her) fellow-sufferers.” Another saint, who was caught “behaving decently in a strikingly indecent society” was President Spencer W. Kimball. During one of his many layovers at an airport, he noticed a young pregnant woman with a small child standing in a long line. The woman had been advised by her doctor not to pick up her child unless it was absolutely necessary, which caused onlookers to criticize her parenting skills. President Kimball, then an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was the first to ask the woman if she needed assistance. President Kimball not only

arranged a flight for the woman and encouraged others in line to assist her, but he also took the time to pick up the child and calm her. When all was made right, President Kimball moved on. This is an experience that President Kimball most likely did not remember, until he received a letter years later from a returned missionary. The letter told the story of the airport, that he was the baby that the expectant mother gave birth to, and that through President Kimball’s kindness and example, the family became acquainted with the LDS church. Mother Teresa said that, “following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts and then love more.” The women of Butyrka prison, Emma Goldman and her cellmates, and our beloved Prophet Spencer W. Kimball are all great examples of saints. It is important to note that their actions, their great acts of service, are all things that each one of us are capable of. We can all behave decently in a strikingly indecent society. Entertain Strangers In Hebrews 13:2 it reads, “Be not fearful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” In September of 2003, I saw a young boy sitting on the sidewalk, in the shadows of the Salt Lake Temple, holding a sign which read, “talk to me.” The boy wasn’t accepting food or money, just conversation. I was struck by the loneliness and isolation that the world offers, that would cause one to beg for human interaction on the street.

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On moving into an apartment in a populated area, I must learn to live lives was given a packet of community information. Included in of meaning, lives that Even when they call us the packet was a pamphlet discouraging residents to give not even death can demad, when they call us to panhandlers. I was struck by the information found in stroy. Tolstoy said that subversives and commuthe pamphlet, and immediately my thoughts turned to The if Christ were here tonists and all the epithets Sermon on the Mount and what the Savior would think of day he would plead, they put on us, we know the promotion of neglecting His children. Mother Teresa “For thousands of years we only preach the substated that “In the poor we meet Jesus in the most distress- you have been doing it versive witness of the ing disguises.” It is easy to help those who we feel deserve your way. Now try my Beatitudes, which have help or who we can relate to, but that is not what Christ way.” turned everything upside Even when they has asked us to do. Catholic Worker Dorothy Day wrote, down. “The true atheist is the one who denies God’s image in the call us mad, when they —OSCAR ROMERO call us subversives and ‘least of these.’” communists and all the epithets they put on us, Death with Meaning we know we only preach the subversive witness of the Leon Gieco urgently wrote, “All I ask of God is that I not Beatitudes, which have turned everything upside down. be indifferent to suffering, that parched death does not find —Oscar Romero me empty and alone without having done enough.” We should all have such fear, fear that we will not do all that God has asked of us, that we will not relieve the suffering of the world, that we will find ourselves having not done enough. We will all die. We are all mortal beings. Each of us The Resurrection of May Day must make the choice to live a life that will give our death by Gregory VanWagenen meaning. It is that simple. There is a Russian peasant saying For 120 years, May Day has been synonymous with Interwhich states, “If you drink, you’ll die, and if you don’t drink, national Worker’s Day. As the name implies, the first day you’ll die. Better drink and die.” This is what it means to in May is a holiday celebrating the achievements of the follow Christ today, to drink of life, to walk in the path of world’s working people in their historic struggle for social Christ, and to live a life which will give death meaning. We and economic justice, and a day to organize and network

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as we continue the long march toward universal equality. There remains a common misconception in the United States and Canada that May Day is a foreign holiday, symbolizing concepts which are inherently hostile to our way of life. In reality, May Day is as American as apple pie, and as Canadian as the maple leaf. The holiday began humbly, with a resolution passed unanimously on 1 May 1884 by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada. The resolution demanded an 8-hour workday and an end to child labor in the factories and farms of North America. It provided a generous 2-year window for industry and agriculture to make the necessary transitions, and promised no stoppages or slowdowns in the interim. May Day 1886 approached with no concessions from capitalists and landowners. In the weeks before the deadline, workers and intellectuals in the U.S. and Canada prepared to strike despite threats from the ruling class in Britain

The worker is sent to war, so that he can become brave and self-less. Why and for whom is not revealed to him, for him it is not to know. Damn your war! Make it on your own! We’ll turn the guns around, And make another war That will be the right one. The worker goes into the earliest graves, The generals stay behind. And when the higher-ups have eaten, It could be that he also finds something. Damn your war! Make it on your own! We’ll turn the guns around, And make another war, That will be the right one. The worker builds the war machines for them, And recieves a bad reward So that they can use them to kill, Some other working-class mothers’ sons. Damn your war! Make it on your own! We’ll turn the guns around, And make another war That will be the right one. The worker pays in defeat The worker pays in victory. Therefore they plan from now until judgement day To use him in still more bloody wars. Damn your war! Make it on your own! We’ll turn the guns around, And make another war, That will be the right one. —BERTHOLD BRECHT

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and America. The strike took place peacefully across the continent with little fanfare, with one notable exception. In Chicago, the general strike was brutally suppressed by city police and private security, leaving several dead and dozens wounded. The widespread injuries and deaths remain infamous today as the Haymarket Massacre. In 1891, the Second International honored the heroic workers and farmers of North America with a declaration that the first day of May was henceforth an annual holiday for working people in all countries. It caught on almost immediately, with strikes in Europe and South America becoming common, and local resolutions being passed worldwide. Cleveland, Ohio saw a series of demonstrations on May Day 1894, as workers rose up to protest widespread unemployment. May Day of 1919 featured demonstrations brutally suppressed throughout the American industrial mid-west. Dozens were imprisoned in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Ontario. In 1971, Washington DC was the site of a May Day strike which was estimated to include over 50,000 protesters opposing the ongoing war in Vietnam. The strike shut down the capitol of the United States for nearly a week, and required 10,000 armed soldiers before it was finally quashed. In 2006, 2 million people marched in the United States and Canada to protest the injustices faced by migrants on all sides of the continent’s frontiers, and to express solidarity with the Latino and Haitian workers who continue to keep America’s farming and industrial economies solvent despite being subject to raids and deportation. Los Angeles

alone saw 400,000 protesters, with small groups of strikers celebrating in places as far-flung as Sandpoint, Idaho and Homestead, Florida. On May Day 2008, The International Longshoremen and Warehouser Union (ILWU) made good on a promise to walk off the job and into the streets to protest the ongoing aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the day long general strike, longshoremen from Seattle to San Diego successfully brought American shipping and international trade to a standstill, calling for an end to the war and an amnesty for undocumented workers in the United States. In the strike of 2008, the ILWU expressed solidarity with the General Port Workers and the General Union of Oil Employees, two large Iraqi unions which had been striking since 2004 in response to the increasingly desperate plight of working people in their own countries. “We’re standing down on the job, standing up for America, supporting the troops, and telling politicians that it’s time to end the war now!” declared the ILWU. The union went on to express frustration with neoliberal American politicians from establishment parties, who had been supported by the American working class with a mandate for ending the aggression in South Asia, but who had refused to take any decisive action after being elected. In their heroic expression of direct action, timed to support their brothers and sisters on the other side of planet earth, the ILWU attested to the solidarity of class interests across national, religious, ethnic and cultural lines. In doing so, the strikers were celebrating the concepts of worker’s solidarity which were
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the hallmark of the actions taken 12 decades earlier. May Day has been reborn as a workingclass tradition which The most groundbreaking aspect of the resolution of cuts across all the meaningless divisions and borders which 1884 was the concept of a working-class unity which tran- have traditionally separated common men and women. International Workers Day is a living testimony to scended national boundaries. The resolution was passed by an association of unions in both the United States and a the true power of society’s laborers and thinkers. The British dominion, and as such it inherently recognized the ability of workers to transcend the petty divisions of race, nature of class distinctions as they existed (and still exist) language, nationality and religion is the first step toward in every country of the world, among people of all races, ending the cruel occupation of Iraq today, and the key to nationalities and religious persuasions. The structure of real and lasting social justice in the world for generations capitalism is homogeneous, despite the cultural trappings to come. As it was in the beginning, May Day is once again that differ from place to place. It is imperative to recognize our holiday, and it reminds us that we have nothing to lose the inherent solidarity of workers everywhere, as we all but our chains. struggle for a civilized life in the face of increasing economic injustices. The unity of American workers of all backgrounds, and the increasing solidarity with their brothers and sisters in other nations is a promising development, and one which Why Would We Go To War With Iran? is long overdue. It reminds us of Marx’s critique of 19th by Stephen Wellington century racial and national chauvinism, when he optimisti- “The need for oil certainly was a prime motive [in Hitler’s cally wrote: “Labor with a White skin can not emancipate decision to invade Russia]... itself where labor with a Black skin is branded and owned —Albert Speer’s testimony at Nuremberg War Trials, outright; but with the death of slavery a new and vigorous German Minister for Armaments and War Production, life has sprung. The first fruit of the American civil war 1941-1945 1 included the agitation toward an 8-hour workday, and this To understand if there will be a war with Iran we must was a movement which moved instantly from the Atlantic first understand why we went to war with Iraq. In my view, to the Pacific.” Throughout the cold war and into the turn of the 21st the petrodollar warfare hypothesis explains one reason century, American labor was lulled into thinking that it was for our invasion and occupation of Iraq. US attempts to an aristocracy unto itself. Now, after an 80 year absence, control Iraq’s fairly young and untapped oil supply (in a

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world of peaked oil fields), as well as the influence of lobby groups such as AIPAC, are also factors to be considered. However, in this article we will focus on the petrodollar hypothesis of the Iraq invasion and its implications for a war with Iran. Setting the Scene-The Stagflation of the 1970s Stagflation, a period where there is stagnation in the economy and inflation in prices, is a major multifactorial economic problem. Our economies are built upon Keynesian macroeconomic models that assume that inflation and stagnation do not occur together. They also assume infinite supply of energy which is impossible from a finite energy source such as fossil fuel. The stagflation of the early 1970’s was partly due to the economic warfare waged by the Saudi’s against the West in response to US support of Israel. OPEC restricted oil supplies which caused the economies of the West to come to a grinding halt. Another reason for the stagflation of the early 1970s was the excessive amounts of dollars in the reserves of oil exporting countries. The more dollars that are in circulation, but not reinvested, means that even more dollars have to be printed by the Federal Reserve and this decreases the value of each dollar in circulation. The early 1970s was the first time in US history where the US current account, the account that shows the balance of trade between countries, was in the red which signified that the country as a whole was beginning to live beyond its means. Interestingly, today the US

current account is in a $747 billion deficit in its trade to other countries. 2 What is a Petrodollar and what is Petrodollar Recycling? A petrodollar 3 refers to the dollars that oil exporters receive from selling oil. In 1971 and 1973, a highly confidential meeting between an American ambassador, most likely Henry Kissinger, and the Saudi royal family, resulted in Saudi Arabia, and thus OPEC 4, trading oil in US dollars. The US arranged a deal with the Saudi royal family, in which it would bring Saudi Arabia into the 20th century as a major world player, keep the Saudi royal family in power, and sell them expensive weapons for defense, as long as the Saudis traded oil in US Dollars and reinvested the money in US banks. This reinvestment of US Dollars, which were originally used to buy oil, in the US treasury and US banks, is known as Petrodollar recycling. Petrodollar recycling acts as a double loan effectively. The first part of this double loan means that the US is able to print dollars to pay for oil without having to produce goods and services in exchange for it. These goods and services are then acquired when OPEC decides to use these dollars. The second part comes from all other economies that have to pay dollars for oil but cannot print dollars in their central banks. This puts the United States at an incredible advantage economically, as other countries effectively pay an indirect tax as their dollars in reserve decrease in
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value due to inflation. At the same time the US can print new dollars to cover expenditures, in particular military expenses. However, it also means that the United States has effectively been living on the backs of the oil exporters who have been selling oil in dollars since the Post World War II era. The positive side for the oil exporting countries is that they receive a financial return on the money they invest in the US economy, as well as access to American technology and weapons. Nevertheless, all this debt makes the US economy extremely fragile, fragile enough for the Dollar to be deposed as the World Reserve Currency if OPEC were to abandon trading oil in US dollars. 5 Saddam Abandoned the Dollar Saddam, under pressure from the Oil for Food Program and angry at the United States for their duplicity over the Rumaila oilfield in the first Gulf War 6, was the first to announce that he would trade oil in Euros in September 2000. 7 By trading oil in Euros, Saddam threatened the Petrodollar Recycling system, and was thereby able to triple Iraq’s savings account from $10 billion to 26 billion in 3 years 8. This threatened US hegemony and contributed to the weakening dollar. “If most other Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) followed the Iraqi and Iranian example, the stability of the US dollar would be at stake,” says Ranjit Singh Kalha, an ambassador to Iraq during the first gulf war 9. It is now common knowledge that the United States intended to attack Iraq before the

attacks on 9/11 took place. 10 Immediately after the US invasion of Iraq, the new US-backed Iraqi government conveniently started selling oil in dollars again. 11 Although John McCain has recently commented that the war in Iraq was about oil 12, there are no official government documents that specifically state that the Iraq War was about re-establishing US dominance over its oil supply. However, back in June 2003 when asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the Deputy Defence Minister Mr. Wolfowitz, an architect of the Iraq war, said: “Let’s look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil.” 13 Iran abandons the Dollar Although it had been selling oil in Euros for years before, in December 2007 Iran completely stopped selling oil in the U.S. dollar through a Euro and Yen based Oil Bourse on the island of Kish to exchange commodities, particularly petroleum. 14 This was confirmed on May 2, 2008 by Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, an oil ministry representative, who said “The dollar has completely been removed from our oil trade...Crude oil customers have agreed with us to use other currencies.” 15

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An Attack on Iran The US and Israel planned to originally attack Iran after Iraq in 2003/2004 16.The neoconservatives in the Pentagon made contingency plans for an attack against Iran by the Israeli Air Force in 2005.17 Although the Pentagon slightly has altered the contingency plans they remain in place and have been on the verge of being instigated each year for the last 5 years.18 The plans consist of a 3-day blitz against 1,200 Iranian targets and military bases.19 Should there be an attack on Iran, it will be interesting to see if the Oil Bourse on the island of Kish will be a target. There have recently been two incidents where the US has fired warning shots at Iranian speed boats in the Gulf of Hormuz20 and the US has positioned another aircraft carrier just a few miles off the coast of Iran.21 Information has recently come out that the British naval troops captured by the Iranians in 2007 were in fact in disputed waters, in opposition to the lies the British government was telling the public when the sailors were captured.22 The words of General Smedley Butler, the greatest US anti-war General of our time, from 1936 are haunting: “The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon’s shores. Even as

CONSUME!

pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese Fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles. The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the USS Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbour. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. 200 miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defence purposes.”23 One can only imagine that some sort of manufactured pretext for war such as the Gulf of Tonkin or USS Maine incident will occur. It may be planned and provoked and would result in a significant loss of life. In fact, the recent trouble in Lebanon in May 2008 seems to have been a pretext set up by the West for a bombing raid on Lebanon and Iran which never came to fruition.24 And what is it all for? If one takes the petrodollar war theory into account in a world where most oil fields have peaked, then of course one can claim that it is necessary to remain in Iraq, and to attack Iran, in order to defend American interests. American economic and strategic interests are dependent on continued world demand for oil and that it will be bought in dollars. And the unfortunate reality for the United States is that neither of these two factors, that allow current US economic debt imbalances, is sustainable even through the use of unilateral violence. And perhaps more importantly, even if such policies could be sustained through violence, it is necessary to point out the immoralINDEX FULL SCREEN

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ity of killing innocent Iraqis and Iranians for the sake of American economic gain. 1. Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, Free Press 1991, p.334 2. Rank Order: Current Account Balance, CIA Fact Book 3. Coined by Ibrahim Oweiss in 1973 4. John Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The Shocking Story of How America Really Took Over the World, Ebury Press, 2006 5. William R. Clarke, Petrodollar Warfare, New Society Publishers, 2004, p. 118 6. According to Ranjit Singh Kalha in his new book The Ultimate Prize, he states that the US approved of Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. (http://newspostindia.com/ report-48375) 7. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_ asia/1550366.stm 8. William R. Clark interview with The Peak Oil and Global Warming Channel (http://ldscooperative.com/ node/47) 9. India Times: Saddam made two strategic 'mistakes' to invite US wrath, India Today: Two strategic mistakes Saddam made 10. CNN International: O'Neill: Bush planned Iraq invasion before 9/11

11. Financial Times: Iraq returns to international oil market 12. You Tube: John McCain: Oil is Only Reason for U.S. Wars in Middle East 13. The Guardian: Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil 14. RIAN: Iran stops accepting U.S. dollars for oil 15. UPI: Iran gives up on dollars in political move 16. The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy: An interview with John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt 17. Centre for Research on Globalisation: Planned USIsraeli Attack on Iran 18. The Times Online: Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran , Interview with Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern 19. US 'Iran attack plans' revealed, The Times Online: Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran 20. US-contracted ship fires on Iranian boat: report 21. The Guardian: Deployment of aircraft carrier a US 'reminder' to Iran, says Gates 22. The Telegraph: MoD account of Iranian kidnap in doubt 23. Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier, Feral House, 1936 24. The Real News Network: What is really happening in Lebanon?, Press TV: US plan for Lebanon attack revealed, The Jerusalem Post: White House denies Iran attack report

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To Towel or Not to Towel?
by Emily Bushman

For years I have been faced with an earnest and sincere question. Are paper towels evil? Are thousands of trees being cut down every year because I want an easy cleanup option to everyday spills and less time wasted letting air blow on my hands in the restroom? It may seem like I’m being facetious, but this question really does haunt me and has ever since I decided to have children. For those who don’t have children, let me explain just how wasteful I began to feel shortly after my daughter was born. There were mountains of disposable diapers that had to be thrown away; my only other option was cloth diapers and my fear of touching baby excrement soon convinced me that disposable diapers were the way to go. I guess I could have created my own brand of newspaper diapers, but I’m pretty sure my phobia of feces would still not have been entirely silenced. Then there were the tiny glass jars of baby food that can’t be recycled, soon followed by the slightly larger plastic containers of baby food that can’t be recycled. My solution to this was to make my own baby food, aka feed my daughter what I was eating only mashed up. That idea actually worked and made me feel better until the time she decided that the food I ate was yucky and needed to be thrown all over the kitchen floor. This increased my use of paper towels immensely. My so-

lution was that I should use cloth towels to clean up these frequent messes. This increased how often I did laundry and therefore increased how much water and energy I used. It was beginning to look hopeless. Was I doomed to live a wasteful life? Then my second child was born. Yes, that’s right. I have two children that are 25 months apart. Yes, I have heard of birth control. Any responsible environmentalist knows it is unwise to bring another adorably wasteful child to this already crowded planet, but I did it anyway and I don’t regret it. It’s true. I don’t care about anything else but my own happiness and comfort, so I deserve this guilty conscience. In response to my guilt, I started buying paper towels made from recycled materials. Paper towels were now a necessity of life. I justified that it was okay to use them because I no longer had time to use the shower every day and balanced my conscience on the water and energy savings. But we lived in Canada, it still wasn’t quite good enough for my friends that came over and eyed that roll of paper towels and sadly shook their heads when they thought I wasn’t looking. I decided to do some research. Paper towels are made the same way all paper is made. Paper derived from virgin wood pulp carries a double environmental burden. Deforestation and indiscriminate logging damages ecosystems, causing flooding, erosion and silting. It is estimated that the average American uses 50 pounds of paper tissue per year and that 40% of trash found in our landfills are paper products. Tissue paper (paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)
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cannot be recycled, therefore buying recycled products is essential. Look for goods with the highest Post Consumer Waste (PCW) content and also any products that are Processed Chlorine Free (PCF). PCW refers to the amount of pulp derived from paper that was used by consumers and then recycled. PCF means no additional chlorine or chlorine derivatives have been used to bleach the final recycled product. Some labels will say they are Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) which sounds good, but actually means a chlorine derivative has been used to bleach the paper. Now that we all agree paper towels have their place in this world, I have thought of a few fun ideas for those who would like to practice environmentally conscious paper towel use. Instead of stationary, why not write your friends and family a line or two on a sturdy recycled paper towel? Tired of overpriced art paper and all you want to do is sketch? Recycled paper towels average at $0.03 per sheet! So go crazy with your paper-towel self! But please remember moderation in all things. We still have a planet to look after.

A Brief History of US Efforts to Promote Civil War in Iraq
by William Van Wagenen

sistently met with the objection that a sectarian/civil war will immediately erupt between Iraq’s three main ethnic groups, the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. Those who object to a US withdrawal contend that the US military is the only obstacle preventing the unleashing of centuries old ethnic and religious hatreds between Iraq’s various peoples. To withdraw would be morally unacceptable, leaving Iraq to collapse into chaos and even genocide. We have an obligation, the logic goes, to stay the course and help Iraq’s different ethnic groups reconcile their differences and create a peaceful, stable democratic state. Such a view is incorrect however. The US military presence in Iraq has caused ethnic discord rather than prevented it, as the US has consistently supported the most sectarian parties in return for their support for the occupation, while attempting to eliminate the nationalist armed opposition, whether Sunni or Shia, who strongly oppose the occupation and whose ideologies promote ethnic unity. Additionally, there are so many armed groups in Iraq, of varying ethnicities and ideologies, that to describe any military or political actors in Iraq as simply “Sunni” or “Shia” obscures the true dynamics of the conflict, especially given the fact that much of the violence has been Sunni against Sunni and Shia against Shia. In fact, as Raed Jarrar points out, much of the intra-Iraqi violence has been between the so-called “separatist” parties on the one hand, and the “nationalist” parties on the other. 1 In Iraq, the “separatist” parties advocate splitting Iraq into three parts, with each ethnic group controlling a porINDEX FULL SCREEN

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tion of the country through a system of federalism; the Kurds in the north, the Sunnis in the west, and the Shia in the south. The separatists include the four main political parties constituting the US-backed government of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, also known as the “Green Zone parties.” These include: the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (KUP) led by the current president of Iraq, Jalal Talibani, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), the Dawa party (a Shia party led by Al-Maliki), and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) a Shia party led by Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim (previously known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution or SCIRI). Each of these parties has their own militia, many members of which have been incorporated into the Iraqi Army and police. Strange as it may seem, these pro-US parties are also close allies of Iran. The top leadership of SIIC and Dawa, including Hakim and Maliki, spent the two decades before the 2003 war in exile in Iran, while their militias received training from the Iranian Revolutionary guards. The most famous of these militias is the Badr Organization, the militia of the SIIC party. The Kurdish leadership, particularly Jalal Talabani, is also friendly with Iran. 2 In addition to the pro-US separatist parties must be added Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which, unlike the other separatists, opposes the US presence, but also has a sectarian outlook and is seeking a partition of the country to establish an Islamic state in the Sunni dominated west of Iraq. In contrast to the separatists are the nationalist parties, both Sunni and Shia, which strongly oppose the US occu-

pation and consider “expelling the occupier” as a central duty. These groups do not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, favor a strong central government, and condemn the “sectarian” policies of the pro-US parties, such as federalism, which they view as an attempt to partition the country. Additionally they oppose US attempts to pass the “New Oil and Gas Law,” which will privatize much of Iraq’s oil industry. 3 On the nationalist Sunni side are the resistance groups engaged in armed struggle against US forces. Though also religious in their orientation, these groups speak of targeting the “occupiers” and their “agents,” rather than “infidels” and “apostates,” as AQI does. Some of the more prominent Sunni nationalist resistance groups are Ansar al-Sunna, the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI), the Mujahideen Army, the Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance (JAMI), the Rashideen Army, and the 1920 Revolution Brigades. As of mid-2007, these groups had coalesced into two main coalitions, namely the Front for Jihad and Reform (Jabhat Al-Jihad wa Al-Islaah), and the Front for Jihad and Change (Jabhat AlJihad wa Al-Tagyeer). 4 Harith Al-Dhari, secretary general of the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMSI), is widely considered the spiritual father of many of the nationalist resistance groups. Al-Dhari’s grandfather helped lead the Iraqi Intifada, or uprising, against the British occupation of Iraq in the 1920’s. Al-Dhari has strongly condemned the US occupation since the invasion in 2003, openly calling for armed resistance. Additionally, he has consistently condemned the killing of civilians, including of Shiites and
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Christians, resulting from terrorist operations generally attributed to AQI. Al-Dhari has chosen to condemn instances of killing civilians specifically, rather than condemning AQI itself, due to the belief among many Sunnis that in fact the U.S. intelligence agencies carry out many of the bombings attributed to AQI. Al-Dhari stated in 2007 that, “We – and others like us that recognize the legitimacy of resistance and the right of nations to resist against their enemies and occupiers – believe that resistance should be against the occupying enemies and their obvious agents that cooperate with, support, and fight with the occupiers. Those who target innocent and peaceful Iraqis from all sects, denominations, and faiths are condemned criminals that trespass against Islamic Jurisprudence (Shari’ah) and are outside the law and the national values. They are like the enemies and occupiers of the homeland regardless of to which sect or faction or faith they belong.” 5 On the nationalist Shia side is the Sadr Movement and its accompanying militia, the Mahdi Army, both led by Muqtada Al-Sadr. Sadr is a young Shia cleric who inherited a religious network of charities and mosques from his fa-

ther, the martyr Mohammad Sadiq Al-Sadr, a famous Shiite cleric allegedly assassinated by Saddam Hussein in 1999. After the fall of Saddam’s regime in 2003, the huge Shiite slum in Baghdad known as Saddam City was renamed Sadr City, and is where Sadr has strong support. Sadr has strong nationalist credentials because he remained in Iraq despite the killing of his father (and uncle and brothers) by Saddam, while other Shiite political and religious leaders took exile in Iran (such as Maliki and Hakim as mentioned above). When the US invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, there was no sign of intense sectarian hatred between Sunni and Shia. Feelings of nationalism and brotherhood were strong. Intermarriage between ethnic groups was common. The Baath party itself included many Shia, even though Saddam held most top government positions for Sunnis, particularly those from his tribe and hometown of Tikrit.6 Though the days after the invasion were chaotic, as a result of looting and attacks by the nascent resistance against occupation targets, there was no significant sectarian violence. Resistance to the US occupation in Baghdad centered on the Abu Hanifa mosque in the Sunni district of Adhamiya.7 Though publicly denying the existence of a legitimate insurgency,

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US commanders realized that the attacks on US forces locally recruited and newly trained Iraqi troops sent to lay after the end of major combat were gaining strength, and siege to Falluja in April 2004, in order to defeat the resisthat American efforts to halt these attacks were clumsy tance groups centered there, deserted en masse, leaving and ineffective. Army and Marine units began indiscrimi- the assault of the city to the Marines. Nir Rosen reported nately detaining large numbers of Iraqis, while US inter- from Falluja that, “The American-trained Iraqi Army had rogators were told to use increasingly brutal and sadistic mutinied, refusing to fight in Falluja on the grounds that methods in order to obtain better intelligence about future they had joined to defend Iraq, not kill Iraqis.” 10 attacks, though these techniques were largely unsuccessBy this time, co-operation and mutual sympathy beful as well.8 In 2004, the inability of the US to defeat the tween the Shiite Mahdi Army and the Sunni resistance fledgling insurgency led the Americans towards a policy reached its apex. Both groups had a common nationalist of “Vietnam-ization,” namely beginning to train a new agenda to liberate the country from occupation. For exIraqi army and police to take over the fight against the ample, the Sadr movement declared in early 2004 that they anti-occupation resistance groups. The New York Times “reject the American presence in Iraq. . . and demand the Magazine reported that: withdrawal of occupation forces and the establishment of “Until [2004], the United States military tried to defeat a timetable for the date of their exit from the country.” 11 the insurgency on its own, with Iraqi forces playing only Sadr put his words into practice by sending fighters a token role. The effort did not succeed. For every Iraqi from his Mahdi Army to cut US supply lines near Abu detained by G.I.'s, 10 more seemed to join the insurgency, Ghraib, in an effort to help the Sunni resistance groups thanks to questionable American tactics: shooting at the defend Falluja from US forces laying siege to the city. 12 whiff of a threat, yelling at civilians, detaining Iraqis in- Mahdi Army clashes with American forces intensified that discriminately, placing hoods over the heads of detainees. summer when CPA head Paul Bremer shut down Sadr’s With insurgent attacks becoming more frequent and also official newspaper, and when US forces killed several Iraqi more gruesome in the spring of 2004, American generals civilians in the subsequent pro-Sadr demonstrations. Fightrealized that they needed to create, or find, effective Iraqi ing in Najaf, primarily in the city cemetery, between US forces and the Mahdi Army was particularly intense. Sunni forces.” 9 This strategy introduced the first aspects of civil war, resistance groups sent fighters in support of Sadr, causing a pitting Iraqis willing to collaborate with the American oc- known pro-insurgent Sunni website to comment that, “the cupiers against those Iraqis who were fighting against the Sunnis were the first to stand with Sadr and his followers occupiers. Initially, however, the strategy was a failure, as in the battle of Najaf. 13

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This nationalist spirit soon began to deteriorate however, as the Americans adopted a new strategy, namely bringing in Iraqi Army units composed of Shiites from the south of the country to help fight alongside US troops in the Sunni province of Anbar. This introduced the second, or sectarian, aspect of civil war, namely Shia fighting against Sunni, and laid the foundation for the future sectarian hatred now taken for granted in Iraq by the western media. The two pro-Iranian Shia parties, Dawa and SIIC, lacking significant popular support, were eager to join the USinstalled government and incorporate their militias, particularly the Badr Organization, into the newly formed Iraqi security forces. The sectarian civil war deepened as Badr Organization-dominated Iraqi army units fought alongside US troops to suppress the Sunni uprisings throughout Anbar province, in cities such as Falluja, Ramadi, Hit, and Haditha. US general Barry Mcaffrey defended the use of Shia Iraqi police and army units in Sunni Anbar province, stating that, “It's not likely that you're going to recruit an Iraqi police commando battalion of Sunni Muslims to put down the insurrection in Fallujah.” Mcaffrey did not expect such tactics to result in civil war, but noted that this was “risky business.” 14 The US attempted to smash the anti-occupation Sunni resistance groups in preparation for the Iraqi elections in January 2005. After the second siege of Falluja in November 2004, Sunni anger at the US was particularly high, resulting in a Sunni (and Sadr) boycott of the elections. This boycott left Sunni’s and nationalist Shia under-represented in the

US-backed Iraqi government, allowing it to be dominated by the pro-Iranian Shia and Kurdish parties, giving the government an unmistakably “sectarian” character. 15 The Sunni resistance groups now began to speak of two occupations, namely the American occupation, and the Iranian occupation. The American occupation consisted of the 130,000 US troops in the country, while the “Iranian occupation” consisted of the new US-backed government and security forces, controlled by the pro-Iranian parties Dawa and SIIC. The Sunni resistance began to refer to pro-Iranian Shiites within the government as “Safavids” a pejorative word for Iranians harking back to the historic Safavid Empire based in modern day Iran, which had invaded Iraq centuries before. Another significant factor in the rise of sectarian hatred was AQI, whose militants flooded across the Iraqi border from neighboring Arab countries after the 2003 invasion in order to fight the Americans. In addition to attacking US troops, AQI militants began carrying out brutal bombings against Shia civilian targets, such as markets and religious festivals. AQI militants hated the Shia partly because those from the Dawa and SCIRI parties were collaborating with the occupation, and partly because AQI’s religious ideology labeled the Shia infidels for their veneration of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein. AQI militants became known as “Takfiris” or “those who excommunicate,” because of their declaration that anyone, and especially Shiites, who did not adhere to AQI’s version of Islam were not true Muslims. This hatred of Shiites was something
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the indigenous Iraqi resistance groups did not share, as to the occupation, and their operations increasingly took they focused their efforts on attacking US troops and their on a sectarian character, targeting primarily Sunnis. The collaborators, while refusing to distinguish between Sunni “Wolf Brigade” was the most feared of these special comand Shia. As the death toll of Shia civilians targeted in AQI mando units, and became known for abducting, torturing, attacks mounted, however, many Shia in Iraq, including the and killing Sunnis.19 By the summer of 2005, scores of nationalist followers of Muqtada Al-Sadr, began to view Sunni corpses were turning up each month on the sides most Sunnis as “terrorists,” failing to distinguish the ac- of roads or in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, often with tions of AQI from the actions of the other Sunni resistance “bullet holes in their temples, acid burns on their skin, and groups. At the same time, in an effort to maintain unity, holes in their bodies apparently made by electric drills. the Sunni resistance groups were not vigorous enough in Many have simply vanished.”20 Despite many attempts by Sunni and Shia religious condemning AQI, even though they disagreed with AQI’s authorities to stress unity and brotherhood regardless of brutal tactics. In 2005, with the US realizing that it now faced a popu- religious sect, the violence resulting from US recruitment lar Sunni insurgency, it turned to the “El Salvador option” of the pro-Iranian Shia parties into the new Iraqi security of using death squads to break the resistance groups. The forces to fight anti-occupation Sunnis and the brutal tarTimes of London reported that, “The Pentagon is consider- geting of Shia civilians by the Sunni AQI, was enough to ing forming hit squads of Kurdish and Shia fighters to target tear apart the fabric of religious and ethnic coexistence in leaders of the Iraqi insurgency in a strategic shift borrowed Iraq. Finally in February of 2006, with the bombing of the from the American struggle against left-wing guerrillas Askari mosque in Samarra, allegedly at the hands of AQI in Central America 20 years ago. 16 John Negroponte and militants, popular anger took over, leading to all out sectarJames Steele, veteran overseers of the dirty war against ian war. Members of the Shia Mahdi Army began attacking leftists in El Salvador that killed roughly 70,000 civilians, Sunni mosques and violently cleansing neighborhoods of were sent to Iraq as the new US Ambassador to Iraq and Sunni residents. military advisor to these newly formed commando units Harith Al-Dhari, speaking for the nationalist Sunni rerespectively. 17 sistance, condemned the bombing of the shrine, implying US advisors organized these death squads as Iraqi Min- that it was destroyed by Iraqi government forces loyal to istry of Interior commando brigades, consisting primarily the pro-Iranian Shia, and refused to blame Sadr himself of members of the Badr organization. 18 These special com- for the violent response of the Mahdi Army, stating that, mando units began abducting and killing Iraqi’s opposed “the masses, who attacked and sabotaged Sunni mosques

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on the second and third days, did not adhere to the calls stage of sectarian violence, Sunnis began to see even the by Shiite religious authorities because they were driven nationalist Shia Mahdi Army as “Safavids” and part of the by their emotions. In addition they were directed by some “Iranian occupation.” parties who took advantage of the masses’ outrage.” To By the time of President Bush’s “surge” in early 2007, calm the situation, Al-Dhari stated that the “Al-Sadr trend most of the ethnically mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad met with other national forces participating in the anti- had been cleared of the minority ethnic group, leading to a occupation Iraqi National Constituent Conference to act drop in the levels of violence, as the two warring commuquickly to contain the problem” and that the Association nities were now basically separated. Intra-Sunni violence of Muslim Scholars had made bi-lateral agreements with increased as AQI began assassinating leaders of the Sunni the Sadr movement.21 resistance groups for refusing to pledge allegiance to Abu The US-backed Shia parties in the Iraqi government Omar Al-Baghdadi, the emir of AQI. Those assassinated by (Dawa and SIIC) countered this call for restraint among AQI included several leaders of the Islamic Army, and a the anti-occupation nationalist groups, however, by push- commander in the 1920 Revolution Brigades who was also ing Mahdi Army supporters in the ranks of the Iraqi police the nephew of Harith Al-Dhari of AMSI. 23 Some Sunni and army to take revenge. Awan newspaper reports that, resistance factions and tribes, already disillusioned with “during the sectarian war which broke out powerfully in AQI’s targeting of civilians and extremist interpretations February 2006, and especially within Baghdad, the Shia of Islam, began responding to AQI attacks “in-kind.” 24 parties encouraged the Sadr movement to take revenge As the Sunni conflict with AQI continued, growing against the other sect [Sunni] and continued to push [the Iranian influence over the US-backed Iraqi government Sadr movement] toward it so that the Mahdi militia par- caused some Sunnis began to see the “Iranian occupation” ticipated in the ugliest sectarian killing Iraq has seen in as more dangerous than the American occupation. The US previous centuries. The government of Jaafari and Maliki, took advantage of this mood to try to expand its network of and the ministers who are followers of Hakim were ap- collaborators. It formed “Awakenings Councils” consisting plauding Sadr and providing him with government cover of Sunni tribes and former resistance fighters, whom the for the Mahdi Army to be transported in police cars and Americans provided with weapons and $300 per month in carry official papers and licenses for them and weapons.” 22 salary per fighter, in exchange for ending attacks against Sunni resistance groups responded by defending their own US forces and fighting against AQI. This caused a split in neighborhoods, while killing or expelling the Shia residents the Islamic Army, one of the most prominent resistance in areas under their control. As a result of this intense new factions, between those who insisted on continuing to fight

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the Americans and those who joined the Awakenings Coun- Shia separatists against Shia nationalists. On March 25th, cils, who argued for a temporary truce, or hudna, with the and shortly after visits to Baghdad from Dick Cheney and Americans in order to counter the Iranian threat. 25 This Iranian President Ahmedinejad, Prime Minister Maliki orsplit in the Islamic Army was accompanied by allegations dered the Iraqi Army to begin military operations to disarm that the 1920 Revolution Brigades had begun collaborating Mahdi Army elements in Basra. Despite Iraqi government with American forces to fight Al-Qaeda, and that several claims that the operations simply targeted militias operatBrigades units had therefore formed a new organization ing “outside the law,” in practice the operations targeted called Iraqi-Hamas, in order to continue fighting the Ameri- Sadr’s Mahdi Army only. The Iraqi Army operations in cans. Basra received US backing in the form of air strikes and Despite the bad blood between Sadr and the Sunni a simultaneous siege on Sadr City, which became necesresistance factions, Sadr did not abandon his nationalist sary when over 1,000 Iraqi soldiers refused to fight, apparagenda, and continued to demand a timetable for the with- ently out of sympathy for the Mahdi Army. 28 The fighting drawal of American occupying forces, which was rejected spread to Kut and Hilla as well, where US air strikes and by Prime Minister Maliki and the other Shia parties in the raids killed 100 on March 27th. 29 Iranian support for the government. Sadr (and the Fadhila party) responded by attacks came in the form of pronouncements by Iranian withdrawing their support from the United Iraqi Alliance state television stating that the Iraqi government offen(UIA), the main Shiite bloc and ally of Iran in the Iraqi Par- sive was justified since only government forces should be liament. Further, Sadr considered a political alliance with armed. 30 On April 23rd a Sadr spokesperson stated that two Sunni political parties, the Sunni Accord Front, and in the previous three weeks, US and Iraqi forces had killed the Dialogue Front led by Saleh Al-Mutlak. 26 In addition, 400 and injured 1720 in Sadr City alone. 31 Sadr organized his own national reconciliation conference, When asked why Mahdi Army elements were being which was attended by the 300 Sunni and Shia tribal sheikhs, targeted, the Sadr representative gave a simple answer: and which called for a timetable for the withdrawal of US “The most important reason for the escalation in the positions against the Sadr Movement was the announcement of forces from the country. 27 With Sadr challenging Washington (demanding a US [our] intention to participate in the elections for provincial withdrawal), and challenging Tehran (withdrawing his councils,” which the Sadr Movement is widely expected support from the pro-Iranian bloc in parliament, under- to win in many of the Shia provinces. 32 Sadr gains in the mining Maliki), the stage was set in early 2008 for the US provincial elections would be disaster for the US, as it to initiate the third stage of the civil war, namely pitting would weaken the hold of its allies over the Iraqi govern-

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A Brief History of US Efforts to Promote Civil War in Iraq

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ment (Dawa and SIIC) and bring to power an anti-US party demanding the withdrawal of US forces, much like Palestinian elections brought Hamas to power in Gaza. The US-backed attacks on Sadr were The Leader will explain accompanied by accuto you: The war will last sations by the Bush adfour weeks. When fall ministration and elsecomes, you will all be where that Iran was home again. But fall will supplying elements come and go, And come of the Mahdi Army, and go again many times, the so-called “special And you will not be back groups,” with weapons to attack US troops. The Leader will explain This was in spite of the to you: The machines fact that Iran’s closest will accomplish it for us. allies in Iraq are US Very few will have to die. favorites Maliki, HaBut you will die in the kim, and Talabani. All hundreds of thousands, of these pro-US Iraqi more than any has seen politicians gave Ahdie before. When I hear medinejad a warm welyou are at the north come when he visited pole, or in India, or in Baghdad, while Sadr Romania, I will only and the Shia religious know where your graves establishment in Najaf can one day be found. refused to meet him. —Berthold Brecht The Sunni Kurdish Peshmerga had to pro-

vide security for Ahmedinejad during his visit to Baghdad due to fears that Shia police in the Ministry of Interior loyal to Sadr could not be trusted to protect him. 33 Further, when Maliki and the US began operations against the Mahdi Army, Iran officially blessed the attack, as mentioned above, stating that, “The Islamic Republic of Iran provides the strongest support to the Iraqi government and the political process and thus it is illogical to accuse us of supporting terrorist groups there.” 34 The Wall Street Journal accusation that, “Iran is engaged in a full-up proxy war against it in Iraq. Iranian agents and military forces are actively attacking U.S. Forces and the government of Iraq,” is useful because it plays on Sunni fears that Sadr is an Iranian agent, thus preventing national reconciliation and a united Shia/Sunni front against the occupation. Perhaps more importantly, it provides justification for a possible US military strike against Iran, since the American public is likely to support such a strike only if they think Iran is killing US troops. 35 Because of the violence of the past few years, the Shia nationalist factions and the Sunni nationalist factions are still embittered against one another. Whether they can put past grievances behind them and unite to expel the Americans and remain independent of Iranian influence is unclear. American forces, however, have methodically fomented sectarian divisions through their attempts to recruit Iraqi parties to support the US presence, and through their use of these parties to suppress the nationalist, anti-occupation resistance groups, whether Sunni or Shia. Because the US
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has been the cause of so much sectarian division in Iraq, it 5. Killing Innocent Civilians is not Jihad. Interview with is impossible to imagine that a continued American pres- Harith Al-Dhari, Secretary General of the Association of ence in Iraq will foster any kind of national unity that can Muslim Scholars (AMSI), accessed online April 9, 2007, allow Iraq to once again be a nation where differing ethnic http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/198/34/. groups can live peacefully with one another. Rather, if 6. Raed Jarrar points out in the article cited above that, the US presence continues, Iraqi society will continue to “The myth that the former Iraqi government was a “Sunnifracture, leading to warlordism and civil war for decades led dictatorship” was created by the U.S. government. Even the Iraqi political regime was not “Sunniled,” let alone the to come. Special thanks to Badger, who blogs at www.arablinks. rest of the public sector. A good way to debunk this fairy blogspot.com, for calling attention to many of the articles tale is through a close look at the famous deck of cards of I referenced in this article. the 55 most wanted Iraqi leaders. The cards had the pictures of Saddam, his two sons, and the rest of the political leadership which most Iraqis would recognize as the heads 1. Jarrar, Raed, “The Iraqi Civil War Bush and the Media of the political regime. What is noteworthy is that 36 of Won’t Tell You About,” Foreign Policy in Focus, March the 55 were Shiites. In fact, the two vice presidents were a 24th 2008. Accessed online at: The Iraqi Civil War Bush Christian and a Shiite Kurd.” and the Media Don't Tell You About. Jarrar blogs at Raed 7. For a history of the early development of the inIn the Middle Blog. surgency, see the film “Meeting Resistance.” www.meet2. The Kurds protested strongly, when in late 2006, ingresistance.com. U.S. forces raided the Iranian embassy in the Kurdish city 8. Lagouranis, Tony. Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interroof Arbil and detained an Iranian diplomat suspected of gator’s Dark Journey Through Iraq. New American Library, directing Iranian intelligence operations. New York, NY, 2007. 3. Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) News, 9. NYT Magazine, “The Way of the Commando” by Fatwa: It is Forbidden to Approve “Law of Oil and Gas.” Peter Maass, May 1, 2005. July 5, 2007, accessed online at www.Heyetnet.org/en/. 10. Rosen, Nir. In the Belly of the Green Bird, Free Press, 4. “Yaqeen News Agency interview with Nasser AlNew York, NY, 2006, pg. 144. Deen Al-Husni, Official Spokesperson of the Front for Jihad 11. Sadr Al-Iraq Al-Thalith; Ahdafuhu, Mawaaqifuhu, and Transformation,”10/07/2007, accessed online at http:// Mashru’uhu, pg. 8,9. Al-Sayyid Muhassan Al-Nuri Al-Muwww.yaqen.net/?p=1207. sawwi, Markaz Wali Allah lildirasaat waltawjih walirshad, 2004, my translation.

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Book Review: Building the City of God

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12. Rosen, Nir. In the Belly of the Green Bird; The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq. Free Press, New York, NY 2006, pg 158. 13. Accessed online at www.76news.net/news. php?id=7491, my translation. 14. Ethnic divisions threaten cohesive Iraqi army, analysts say. The Dallas Morning News, Nov 30, 2005. By Richard Whittle. 15. Chehab, Zaki. Inside the Resistance: The Iraqi Insurgency and the Future of the Middle East. Nation Books, New York, NY, 2005. 16. El Salvador-style ‘death squads’ to be deployed by US against Iraq militants, The Times, January 10, 2005. 17. NYT Magazine, “The Way of the Commando” by Peter Maass, May 1, 2005. 18. Anbar Province and Emerging Trends in the Iraqi Insurgency, by Mahan Abedin, Global Terrorism Analysis, the Jamestown Foundation, volume 3, issue 14, July 15, 2005. 19. New York Times, Q&A: Iraq’s Militias, June 9th 2005. 20. Sunnis Accuse Iraqi Military of Kidnappings and Slayings, By Dexter Filkins, New York Times, Nov. 29, 2005 21. Al-Zaman newspaper, March 14, 2006. 22. Awan newspaper, March 27, 2008, my translation. 23. Al-Qaeda loses an Iraqi Friend, Time Magazine, May 14th 2007.

24. Al-Arab newspaper, Jan 1, 2008, summarized at arablinks.blogspot.com. 25. Al-Hayat Newspaper, Feb. 26, 2008. 26. Awan Newspaper, March 27, 2008. 27. Aswat Al-Iraq (Voices of Iraq), March 24, 2008. 28. Al-Qabas Newspaper, March 27, 2008. 29. Al-Hayat Newspaper, March 28, 2008. 30. Iran backs Iraq’s crackdown on ‘armed groups.’ Tehran Times, April 24th, 2008. 31. Aswat Al-Iraq (Voices of Iraq) Newspaper, April 23 2008. 32. Al-Hayat, March 27 2008, my translation. 33. Al-Qabas Newspaper March 5, 2008. 34. Iran backs Iraq’s crackdown on ‘armed groups.’ Tehran Times, April 24th, 2008. 35. The Second Iran-Iraq War, by Kimberly Kagan, Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2008.

Book Review: Building the City of God
Community and Cooperation among the Mormons
by Leonard Arrington, Review by Jason Brown

If there is one book that every Latter-day Saint should read (besides of course the scriptures) it would be Leonard Arrington’s Building the City of God. In his practically encyclopedic coverage of early Mormon cooperative efforts,
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Arrington lays out the good, the bad and the ugly of Zion Building in the American West of the 19th Century. Arrington begins his book by laying out the historical context in which Joseph Smith emerged as a religious leader. In a United States where religious pluralism and laizze-faire individualism were boiling over, the 19th century saw an explosion of utopian and apocalyptic communal religious societies; what might today be called intentional communities. There were so many experimental communities during this time, that Ralph Waldo Emerson famously stated “we are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform. Not a reading man but has a draft of a New Community in his waistcoat pocket.” In this context, Joseph Smith began to assemble the elements that would become Mormonism. He envisioned a social and economic base in which followers would be of “one heart and one mind,” and where there would be no poor among them (and not just because the poor would be excluded). According to Arrington, many Mormon converts came from more radical Christian backgrounds that envisioned a communal society more in line with the teachings of primitive Christianity. The revelation that enunciated the Law of Consecration and Stewardship, or the United Order, was revealed in 1831. In it Smith calls for the consecration of all personal property to a ward Bishop, which would then be redistributed to the steward according to his/her needs. This system allowed for individual creativity and freedoms, while at the same time providing for the numerous poor that were joining the

church. According to Arrington, implementation of the Order was inhibited and shaped by existing land tenure laws and the unwillingness of some saints to consecrate their properties. Unfortunately, these early attempts to live the Law of Consecration under Joseph Smith’s leadership were mostly a failure. Intense persecution of Mormon communities, first in Ohio and then Missouri, made implementing the United Order difficult as well. However, by the time Brigham Young attempted to establish consumer cooperatives (like ZCMI) in the 1860s, and re-implement the Law of Consecration by creating United Order communities in the 1870s, the social upheaval that was characteristic of Joseph Smith’s time was giving way to a capitalist economy, in which anything communal or cooperative was looked down upon. What is striking about Brigham Young’s United Order Movement is the fiery anti-capitalistic instinct that Young exhibits. He was vehemently opposed to imports into the Utah territory by what he called “the merchants of Babylon” fearing that if Latter-day Saints grew to depend on outside imports, they would become slaves to “gentile” merchants who profited at their expense. He refused to let Utah become a supply of raw materials to the United States, and pushed saints to set up their own cooperative home industries so that the territory would become a net exporter of value added goods. In addition to his economic policies, Young carried a deep commitment to social justice and believed that the Saints were preparing the earth for the return of Christ, and were therefore charged with building a Zion society,
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Contributors

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one in which all lived in harmony and equality. Arrington takes the reader through Cooperative and United Order Experiments in over twelve Latter-day Saint communities, expounding on the detail and drama of formation, trouble shooting, and dissolution of each. Most communities relied exclusively on voluntary compliance of members through ecclesiastical persuasions and each had to deal with balancing the leveling impulses of the Order with the desire for individual freedom and creativity. As Arrington illustrates with firsthand accounts of members of the order, it was a time of great unity among the Saints. Though the United Order has failed in leaving any real institutional legacy, the spirit of solidarity and unity that prevails in Latter-day Saint communities is pointed out by Arrington as being a strong feature of contemporary Mormon culture. As Mormon social and environmental activists, this volume is an essential collection of case studies to analyze, test, and reformulate into new ideas as we contemplate making a Zion society in our day, through institutions of voluntary association and cooperation.

and A New Generation Draws the Line. Chomsky’s efforts for greater democracy are celebrated by peace and social justice movements worldwide. Ron Madson served an LDS mission to France-Switzerland. Ron received a bachelors degree in English from BYU and a Juris Doctorate from the J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1981 and has practiced law in Nevada and Utah for the past 27 years. Norman G. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics, Princeton University, for a thesis on the theory of Zionism. He’s currently an independent scholar. He has written numerous books, including Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, The Rise and Fall of Palestine, and The Holocaust Industry. Stanley Haurwas is a United Methodist theologian, ethicist, and professor of law. He received a PhD from Yale University and a D.D. from The University of Edinburgh, and has taught at the University of Notre Dame. He is currently the Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School with a joint appointment at the Duke University School of Law. Spencer Kingman is a member of the LDS church and an anti-war activist. He lives in Provo, Utah where he studies math education at Utah Valley State College and works with disabled people at a recreational program called RAH. Abdullah Mulhim is a Palestinian Muslim from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. He received a degree in Finance from Arizona State University.
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Contributors
Noam Chomsky is a world renowned political activist, writer, and professor of linguistics at Massachusetts Institue of Technology, where he has taught since 1955. His works include Manufacturing Consent, Profit Over People,

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Jeremy Cloward is a member of the LDS Church and works as a computer programmer in Salt Lake City. Cory Bushman is a peace and human rights activist, a member of the LDS church and lives in Salt Lake City. Gregory Van Wagenen is a secular Mormon. In the past he organized for the Militant Labor Forum in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. He has also worked as a campaign volunteer for the New Democratic Party in the BurnabyKingsway (British Columbia) riding. He has three children. Stephen Wellington is from England. He served an LDS mission to Capetown, South Africa. He is currently studying Medicine at the University of East Anglia. Stephen grew up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and lived there during the First Gulf War. Emily Jane Bushman resides in Provo & is currently teaching her two beautiful children how to swim. She served an LDS mission in Moscow, Russia & received her Bachelors degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Utah State University. Will Van Wagenen served an LDS mission to Frankfurt, Germany. He has a Bachelors Degree in German from Brigham Young University, and a Master’s degree in Theology from Harvard. Will spent seven months in Iraq doing human rights work. Jason Brown served an LDS mission in the Dominican Republic and graduated from BYU in anthropology. He

hopes to dedicate his life to the principles of solidary, sustainability, and cooperation. He can be contacted at jasonbrown644@hotmail.com

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on the screen, select the Enlarge Tool from the Acrobat menu bar (the magnifying glass) and click on the place you want to enlarge. With the Magnify Tool selected, hold down the Control key on your computer keyboard and click on the area you want to reduce. Full Screen To have Acrobat display the pages and fill up your entire computer screen, press Control + L on your computer keyboard. To get out of full screen mode, press the Escape key in the upper left corner of your computer keyboard. Printing Whether you're in Regular or Full Screen display mode, press Control + P to bring up the print dialogue box. Be aware that you may need to specify landscape orientation in the print dialog box for your print to come out correctly. Search If it's not already displayed in your Acrobat menu bar, press Control + F on your computer keyboard, type in the word(s) and press the Enter key. Location Keep track of where you are in the ebook by noting the name of the article in the top right corner of the page. Jump to any article in the ebook by clicking on the Index button at the bottom of each page.

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Mother’s Day Proclamation

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Mother’s Day Proclamation
by julia ward howe (1870)

Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God. In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace. www.themormonworker.org

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.” From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”

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