Travis, perhaps I should rephrase. I agree with a very high percentage of what you have written. I have written much more in volume so perhaps you see more to disagree with. Often I see disagreements as lack of communication and when understanding is perfected oneness is often the result.
You have made a great post and I think we are in harmony on all major points. It would be interesting to know if Saddam Hussein was trained by our country to be an assassin. Who knows? Even so I think that Stalin was an even worse character. Saddam has not yet rounded up his own supporters by the hundreds of thousands and had them shot.
Your point about freedom of speech restricted during World War I was a tidbit I had not heard before, but does not surprise me. Could it be that we as a nation have actually made progress in this area considering the openness of dialog during the Vietnam War?
Reflecting on the Vietnam era, there was one group that was indeed shouted down and that was the John Birch Society. At the time I was in college I knew nothing about them, but I noticed that whenever their name was mentioned the poly sci teachers seemed to go beet red and talked about them as if they were the devil themselves. The press was equally vicious. This group was often condemned in various speeches and seminars and no one seemed to dare admit to being a member.
They had their legal freedoms, but on an emotional level they seemed to keep out of sight.
I am fully aware that the United States along with the other nations of the world is caught up with the beast of authority.
As I said the United States is that beast in revelations which has "two horns like a lamb, yet speaks the words of the dragon."
We must remember that these words of the dragon go far beyond the government and extend down to every organization clear down to the PTA. The prime unspoken mantra is this: "My authority has spoken, I must believe without question."
Now, if you are a democrat that authority is not Bush, but Clinton, or the current senate and house leaders. If you are a Republican, then it is Bush or their current senate and house leaders.
One is not rebelling against the Beast by merely speaking up against an authority he does not honor. One has to have the Holy Spirit, or the highest intelligence within himself as his prime authority to escape the Beast for one must be willing to challenge his sacred cows.
I may just be your strongest outward authority on spiritual teachings, but even so, you question me and are willing to openly disagree with me if you think I am wrong. This is a sign that you have challenged the power of the Beast.
Some past Keys members who disagreed just to be disagreeable are usually subject to a subtle outward authority and have not escaped the Beast. Besides, these individuals never respected me as a spiritual authority to begin with, so constantly challenging me is no sign of being free from the beast of authority.
The one authority we must not challenge is the Spirit within. If a man (or woman) speaks and the Holy Spirit within testifies, then we should sense the truth which is becoming manifest and follow.
Now, according to Revelations, the United States is a dichotomy. It has two horns of influence from the Christ, but speaks the words of the dragon of authority.
This gives us all the more reasons to not judge her actions in a black and white matter of being good or evil. Each action she takes must be analyzed by the enlightened and judged for what it is on a case by case basis.
For instance, During World War II the United States definitely chose the right course of action as influenced by the two horns of Christ, yet still suffered abuse of unjust authority (words of the dragon) in interring the Japanese in camps as well as other over-authoritative actions.
Then after World War II the residual authority of the dragon within us financed and supported totalitarian regimes that have caused the world and the United States in general much grief.
My point is that we must examine the actions of this nation point by point and make a rational judgment as to whether each one is correct or incorrect.
For instance in the Gulf War Bush made one major mistake. He allowed Saddam to remain in power. Concerning this Lawrence writes: "Imagine in WWII if the US had got to Okinawa in the Pacific and said, "Oh well, good enough -- let's go home". There would have been a huge public outcry and those responsible would have soon been deposed from office. They clearly understood that there was an evil here that needed to thoroughly rooted out and destroyed."
There is one major difference here. The plan as presented by Bush and the United Nations was to ONLY drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. The goal in Okinawa was total conquest. The time for the general public to make their voice heard (if they disagreed with letting Saddam Hussein live) was BEFORE the plan was executed. We do not have much of a right to complain about Bush presenting to us a plan and then carrying out that plan to the letter that we seemed to agree with.
Bush and war leaders told us again and again that they had no plans to kill Saddam Hussein or to occupy Baghdad. When I heard this stated numerous times on TV I never heard any criticism of it. The general populace seemed perfectly happy with the plan. I was not, but there was little as an individual that I could do.
In my mind it is difficult to fault a man who presented to us and the whole world what he was going to do and then did it. It may have been best if he would have, at significant risk, gone beyond his commitment to us but that did not happen.
We cannot overlook all the things he did which were definitely right among which were:
(1) He just didn't rush in and bomb from 10,000 feet, but consulted all other nations involved, received the endorsement of Arab nations, the U.N., Congress and then methodically proceeded.
(2) He made a legal declaration of War, unlike all other leaders since World War II.
(3) This could have been a long war like Vietnam if he had fought it piecemeal the way Johnson did. Johnson attacked and withdrew, attacked and withdrew, whereas Bush went in with enough force the first time go finish the job.
(4) Whereas Johnson micromanaged the Vietnam War, Bush turned authority over to his generals and let them do their jobs they were trained to do - except for the final blow.
The reason I do not speak negatively against Bush (the first Bush) is that he did a better job overall in handling the war than 90% of our past presidents would have done. Some would have completely bungled the effort and we would have had a nightmare situation created that would make the current situation seem like heaven.
I thank God, Bush performed as well as he did and consider it his finest hour. I think he had numerous other hours that were not so fine, but in his handling of the Gulf War he at least gave us breathing space against the powers of evil, despite his final mistake.
Unfortunately, the breathing space is now over.
As far as making alliances with totalitarian governments or ruthless dictators, I think this should only be done in extreme circumstances such as World War II with Stalin. I believe we have been misled in applying this concept which was successful in an extreme case and applying it to circumstances which h are not so extreme.
An agreement with the devil usually only benefits the devil, for he is not bound by rules, as are the good guys.
"We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do."
-- General George S. Patton, June 5, 1944
Copyright 2001 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved