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Nonkilling philosophy is the notion of always acknowledging, accepting and supporting the need and the right of every human being to "be", to exist, to live, reflected in all thoughts, words, and deeds. |
Clay Edwards, 2005
Once when I wrote the term "nonkilling" in a letter to Professor Glenn D. Paige, author of the landmark book "Nonkilling Global Political Science" published in 2002, I used a hyphen between non and killing. As I thought about the matter, it seemed more and more apparent that the word nonkilling - would be the most appropriate term to describe an effort to free the human race of programmed human killing behavior. Nonkilling is about preserving human lives in the face of attitudes that advocate, program and choreograph their destruction in a temporal world.
There is a belief that being a person is about giving up, sacrificing, and eliminating human life because the notion of being a person does not always comport with the continued existence of every human life in a temporal world - one's own or another, or both. Who we are (our identity as persons) is entwined in the separation of life from body - a metaphor among the metaphoric temporal world of forms, images, matter, and energy. It is institutionalized tragedy, played out on the world stage in innumerable settings.
Malcolm Bradbury in reviewing the life and works of Ernest Hemingway set forth the spiritual toll of a killing culture on man grasping for a meaning of personhood in an existence that comprises the process of losing everything - the temporal world of love, joy, pain and loss: 1
"Indeed war, the wound of war, the recovery from war, were becoming, and would always remain, Hemingway's central theme. War and brutal death were pervasive, present alike in nature and political culture, an eternal condition and a modern historical fact. They provoked a sense of life as tragedy, an individual confrontation with nullity demanding an essential courage that was born from an existential pain……A Farewell to Arms is sometimes interpreted as a work of strong religious intimation, but it feels more like a work of tragic fatalism, its end always predicted in its beginning…….but there in so much of Hemingway's writing, the urgent need for love and romance, which pain and control only half conceal"
How disjointed the idea of nonkilling really seems to be in our world - a world struggling for sense and meaning where loss, death, and nullity seem predominant, inevitable, and irresistible. My first remembered dream as a child was of being pulled through the air by an unseen, unrelenting force into the waiting jaws of a big dog.
Yet while there is a clear and urgent need for love - and romance - the stuff that brings joy to life - that makes the moment at least - worth living, where is the "need for death, death dealing, especially programmed killing? How does one conjure up a need or desire for brutal death? Why does man actively participate in creating conditions of nullity that man must confront? Why does man inflict on self any notion that stimulates the existential pain that demands such "essential" courage?
Cornel West spoke about existential freedom in the context of the struggle of Americans of African background to throw aside the physical, emotional and spiritual chains used to denigrate their humanity. West suggests that the struggle to defend and promote basic human existence in a world that seemingly institutionalizes man designed and engineered killing, death and loss lays out a philosophical roadmap to the elimination not of struggle but of the conditions that promote and incite the misery of oppression and its deadly consequences. His observations readily lend themselves to nonkilling analysis of the problem of programmed and choreographed human killing2:
"I think an important dimension of the quest for freedom for people of African descent has been the quest for existential freedom. And in many ways it's enacted in a famous letter that Chekhov wrote to his good friend Suvorien when he said that the aim of my life is to squeeze the slave outside of myself drop by drop.
And what he meant by that in part was to try to wrestle with the forms of bondage that he felt his soul was inscribed in. And it was a form of bondage to a certain fear, insecurity, anxiety, to material toys, to certain kind of idols, certain kind of lies, certain forms of mendacity. And we are all in a perennial struggle to squeeze the slave out of ourselves in terms of the various kinds of bondage that we all find ourselves linked to.
And I mention Chekhov because he is in many ways the John Coltrane of modern drama or, of course, Coltrane is the Chekhov of jazz and the music and the history of the black freedom struggle has precisely been one to take the level of struggle for existential freedom to its highest height because what Coltrane and Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, in part, were trying to do was to squeeze the slave out of themselves and become soulful enough so they could share the soothing sweetness that allows all of us to allow freedom to become contagious.
And that is a perennially human affair and it goes far beyond politics and far beyond economics and far beyond simply a matter of living a good life. It ends up actually a quest for living a wise life and that's a profound insight, I think that the black struggle has provided for humankind as a whole."
At first glance, one would think that brutal death would be a tough sell. Yet somehow, human beings perceive what can only be termed a perverse payoff in the development and practice of programmed or choreographed killing arts and activities that affirm and reaffirm the very bondage and slavery and death and loss and accusation and pain and emotional devastation painted in the tapestry of Hemingway's saga of love and romance amid overwhelming disaster.
Is the prokilling life a life of wisdom, of liberation, or is it a futile embrace of nullity - the reverse process of the existential liberation of Chekhov, of John Coltrane, of Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong - that locks the mind, imprisons the soul and makes us oppressors and victims- the antithesis of the wise life?
. People encounter, endure, even seek relief, embrace, or somehow find their own personhood within the context of programmed and choreographed killing, as a matter of asserting their status as persons.
The very futility of enforcing slavery as the end game is that out of hell comes the courage to face it and to live in an environment defined by and demanding entropic degradation - the temporal world we are part of and to which we cling. This temporal world of killing is where spirituality, soul if you will, seems lost in a preoccupation with and even cultivation of tragedy in human systems and human relationships.
Living a life of wisdom that Cornel West speaks of in the context of Bradbury's description of the struggling relationship between love and loss involves thinking and acting out of conviction that loss can never consume everything, but that love does indeed and will prevail and that it is useless, painful and futile to fight it.
Thus,: "[d]estruction of unreasonable patterns of behavior, thinking, and reacting, instilled in us in the process of upbringing", …that is, attaining the state when we learn to act not according to our reflexes or because it is customary to act so, but in accordance with advisability…learn[ing] to look at all situations with the eyes of the Creator3 - is nothing more than accepting ourselves as the reality, as being and as human beings. To do anything else is futile and unwise.
The loss of balance (oppression) is born of an illusion or false perception in which it appears that wisdom and love do not prevail in spite of all. If one gives up on love because loss inflicts overwhelming feelings of grief and cynicism one spiritually succumbs to one's feelings of loss. It is perhaps the most insidious deception that plagues the human perspective in that it implies the loss of freedom as a reality and in response to a demand to surrender life, to give away, to dissipate that power that is within us, that will to be and to change as part of being.. It implies a struggle for dominance and a turning away from power, where lethal oppression and courage to be engage in a kind of yin yang interaction of embrace in love and death. . It is a reflex transaction between interchangeable roles of oppressor and victim.
Oppression dynamics describe a life that denigrates wisdom and seeks after destructive nonsense. Yet that essential courage described by Bradbury needs an infusion of initiative for change such that the effort to remove the oppression slave that Chekhov may have sought to squeeze out of his body is fueled by something other than and more than courage. Of courage, Don Juan Matus observed:
"Men of courage are dependable men, noble men perennially surrounded by people who flock around them and admire them; yet very few men of courage have will. Usually they are fearless men who are given to performing daring common-sense acts; most of the time a courageous man is also fearsome."
Thus courage in itself, the quality so lauded in a human being, is a palliative to relieve pressure, but is insufficient in itself to liberate from a condition of slavery and oppression. It does not imply avoiding danger - the attitude that enforces oppression and slavery. I am convinced that the Muslim Koran was founded on the notion of guarding against danger not by mere displays of courage in facing it, as in deadly jihad, but in the will to live life to change the conditions that promote danger.
Indeed, the outbreak of lethal war reflects a failure of human beings to avoid danger, often from attitudes that fail to reflect wisdom and will. Gandhi's and Martin Luther King Jr's confrontational tactics of nonviolence, like Bin Laden's tactic of violence and killing have represented efforts that call for "courage" to encounter unpleasant and dangerous situations (jihad) - to cope. They involve attempts to dominate an environment but have nothing to do with power. Spence (1995) observed that power is something that has meaning as the essence of being. All of us have so much of it. It can only be thrown away. Thus, Don Juan Matus observed in contrasting courage with will:
"Will, on the other hand, has to do with astonishing feats that defy our common sense. Will is a power. Will is what can make you succeed when your thoughts tell you that you're defeated. Will is what makes you invulnerable. Will is what allows a sorcerer to go through a wall, space, to the Moon, if he desires. Will is a force which is the true link between men and the world. What you call will is character and strong disposition. What a sorcerer calls will is a force that comes from within and attaches itself to the world out there. It comes from within through the abdomen…"
Scripture in the Muslim Quran or Holy Book observes that "oppression is worse than slaughter" Slaughter and killing imply human conduct that implicates "courage" to face and cope with ugly death. Slaughter and killing imply some form of relief from oppression. However, slaughter (programmed killing) does not implicate wisdom or will or power, but efforts to cope and dominate. Slaughter is horrendous dissipation of power from among human beings and the instrument of human bondage and slavery born of oppression. It has nothing to do with liberation - and it is not wisdom and is not love. Rather it is futile behavior because it changes nothing. .
Programmed or choreographed killing merely defines the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical walls that we generate that delimit spirit and psychologically - and physically imprison us. Programmed killing is man's house of torment and terror, magnified by attitudes comparable to sadism and masochism - reflective of a madness born of hell and demons that make human existence itself - an instance of bondage with death becoming a mirage vehicle of escape. However, killing does not kill existence.
Osama Bin Laden's remarks embracing lethal jihad against the United States in 19984 and again in February, 20035 , a month before the US led Iraqi regime change military operation began might be viewed in this reflexive light, as has been the response from the U.S. and other targets of Bin Laden's lethalism.
In the 1998 Fatwah Bin Laden uses the term "liberate" as though its meaning is interchangeable with relief. Liberate implies setting someone or something free. Relief implies removing or terminating anxiety. It may be a precursor to actual liberation, but like a painkiller may do nothing more than relieve a consequence of a condition that torments. In Bin Laden's scheme of lethal jihad, existence is affirmed and reaffirmed by the resulting killing product -the creation and production of the temporal nullity. It is a palliative to soothe sore and painful feelings, to relieve insult, humiliation, to patch a wound, but does not by definition implicate cause and the removal of cause.
Law courts struggle with the notion of cause in ascribing and delimiting responsibility for injury and assessing damages where the conduct involved was unlawful. Compensation is relief but not liberation from suffering. Punitive damages in the case of a legal cause agent making evil choices in the course of causing or inflicting injury seeks to punish and deter but even punishment is no more than a means of relieving an aftereffect by assessing a penalty for misbehavior. When tumult and oppression stops, the human race has no further need of nullifying or punishing others by taxing their existence with programmed killing behavior:
"The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."
While Bin Laden talks about defeating the enemy occupation and grasp on holy sites and Islamic lands through a campaign of killing and violence, he discusses a condition of fighting that exists until conflict ceases, somewhat of a circular condition that is difficult to conceive of as a process that brings about peace. It implies fighting and even killing to continue indefinitely, for occupation and military activity must not only cease but all potential threats from those sources must be ended forever as prerequisites - the price for - nonkilling behavior.
Such a call to arms is for a seemingly open-ended lethalist campaign. Bradbury's essential courage as reflected in Bin Laden's lethal jihadism - is about an embrace of a temporal nullity - anticipating change in the future and that the change will occur whether or not a given individual participates in the jihad. Bin Laden merely says that others will participate "in your place". Therefore, he regards lethal jihadism as an inevitable condition of the world, an irresistible will of God until God makes some change.
This condition - lethal jihad - is driven by divine intimidation - perhaps to get people to kill as a matter of divine will. Morality implicates but one choice for a Muslim while God has a free hand to work any consequences God wills. Thus, man's choices do not imply liberation at all as a consequence, but solely as reflexive response to a demand from God apparently channeled through Bin Laden and perhaps from the Prophets.
We therefore come back to the question of what it means to be, to exist and the implications of being, existing, in association with faith. Does one have faith in jihad or manufactured behavior, including lethality as a policy driven behavior, or does one have faith in one's own being, which implies responsible choice in support of the notion of being, of existence of the person and of God and the sense of faith driven behavior? Indeed, the Prophet Mohammad made it clear that faith (Islam) is the necessary foundation of the works we engage in. Without faith, human works do not have any significance in human ascendancy to Paradise and do not save the actor from the Hell Fire.
In many ways, Bin Laden's approach to lethal jihad is a rehash of Hitler's observation that struggle is the father of all things. Hitler claimed that without the most brutal struggle, life cannot be won.
Bin Laden and Hitler and others who think in a similar manner call for an abdication of human responsibility for their actions, placing both consequences and decision making all on God. It is an insidious demand on human beings to give up their power of choice and at the same time make them non-responsible objects and instruments of reflex action. This approach reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the very nature and rationale of life itself, which is that human beings are, and always will exist, as free people, people who are a product of the most profound love and in themselves an affirmation of the most profound wisdom. That recognition is part of the process of reclaiming our very soul as individuals, as free people, in squeezing the slave out of ourselves- that slave that the slavemaster uses to turn off our brains and tyrannize us through our reflexes.
Don Juan set forth: "To assume the responsibility of one's decisions means that one is ready to die for them. What injures the spirit is having someone always on your back, beating you, telling you what to do and what not to do." That is the true expression of oppression, not a call to affirm and reaffirm human nature, but a call to embrace tyranny and totalitarianism, the ultimate escape from a perceived burden of decision making and let God or Providence or something non human do all your thinking for you. This God does not do and Bin Laden's call for such conduct is a moral deficit in human thought.
God controls consequences, as Bin Laden and even Hitler seem to concede, but to cede human decision-making and choice, as both men seem to suggest, is to embrace an insidious, hidden notion of Hitler's call for brutal struggle and Bin Laden's call for lethal jihad. One acts out mindlessly and reflexively, without serious reflection on the fundamental call for human beings to exercise their power of choice. Choices, as Bin Laden suggests can result in divinely painful consequences, but it is God that controls the consequences such that Non Muslims do not enter Paradise through their works but through taking faith, a fundamental choice that only humans make. When one operates from faith as the rock, his decisions may or may not be correct, but it is through faith that we recognize the need for change in what we do to enhance human safety and the living of a wise, responsible life. The essence of liberation, of soul, of freedom, is that very sweetness that implies cherishing and promoting life through reflection. When reflection is employed to help us control our reflexes, we affirm God's rule, participate in our liberation, and show ourselves as free people.
Bin Laden's words exhorting lethal jihad place programmed killing tactics at the center of struggle and therefore associate the product or behavior - killing - with the seeking of approval and avoidance of punishment, like operant conditioning, increasing a behavior (programmed killing) by offering a reward (Paradise- conditioned on faith) and by decreasing a behavior (nonkilling) by punishment. Where a believer feels unready to kill and die in jihad, divine punishment awaits.
"Almighty God also says "O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of God, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For God hath power over all things."
But what is God's cause? Don Juan clarifies the issue raised by Bin Laden: "I have heard you say time and time again that you are always prepared to die. I don't regard that feeling as necessary. I think it is a useless indulgence. A warrior should be prepared only to battle." Bin Laden places emphasis on killing and dying in battle. The danger in such exhortation is the call for human beings to make dying and killing the centerpiece of not just strategy but faith itself - a faith in non-choice, a faith in slavery, a faith in simple reflexive belief with a reflective deficit. It is a demand that human beings choose to be irresponsible slaves, an open invitation to be capricious and cruel to life.
Bin Laden's exhortation is intended to make the believer achieve clarity of mind to eliminate fear of encounter with violent death. It fortifies courage and a sense of purpose in an act but fails to reflect the will of the believer and the choices and decision-making process engaged in by a free human being. Don Juan Matus observed:
"That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds. It forces the man never to doubt himself… If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy and will fumble with learning… The man may turn into a buoyant warrior, or a clown…, but he will no longer learn, or yearn for, anything. (If he defeats this enemy,) he will know at this point that the power he has been pursuing for so long is finally his. His wish is the rule. He sees all that is around him. But he has also come across his third enemy - power. The man at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in on him. And suddenly, without knowing, he will certainly have lost the battle. His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man.
Perhaps nothing symbolizes cruelty in the current Iraqi violence more than the image on a website of a masked jihadi cutting off the head of a helpless prisoner who has submitted to captivity. Such conduct is prohibited by the express language of the Muslim Koran in Mohammad 47which encompasses the appropriate use of force and the humane treatment of prisoners including their ransom and release during wartime. Allah tests believers in the way they treat their nonbelieving enemies. When they mistreat the enemy, they become the very thing they claim to be fighting….unbelievers. Claiming belief does not make one a believer. Following is a story collected in the Muslim Hadith:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 297:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
"We were in the company of Allah's Apostle in a Ghazwa, and he remarked about a man who claimed to be a Muslim, saying, "This (man) is from the people of the (Hell) Fire." When the battle started, the man fought violently till he got wounded. Somebody said, "O Allah's Apostle! The man whom you described as being from the people of the (Hell) Fire fought violently today and died." The Prophet said, "He will go to the (Hell) Fire." Some people were on the point of doubting (the truth of what the Prophet had said) while they were in this state, suddenly someone said that he was still alive but severely wounded. When night fell, he lost patience and committed suicide. The Prophet was informed of that, and he said, "Allah is Greater! I testify that I am Allah's Slave and His Apostle." Then he ordered Bilal to announce amongst the people: 'None will enter Paradise but a Muslim, and Allah may support this religion (i.e. Islam) even with a disobedient man.'"
Bin Laden's life is dedicated to lethal jihad bonded to first and third party killing as a necessary condition of life until some fundamental change takes place in human affairs - the prevalence of justice and faith in God. Until that time, programmed and choreographed killing and death reign and participating in and advancing violent death is the behavioral norm of the slave who claims to be a Muslim. Cruelty and capriciousness are disguised as clarity of purpose and even seen by admirers as displays of courage and dedication - the hallmark of heroism crusted with divine pleasure indulged in by the creator.
Yet God is defamed - something like the collection of gods in the Greek pantheon, a mixture of cruelty, capriciousness, jealousy, and lethal danger to man. The serpent in the Garden of Eden defamed God as weak, cruel and oppressive and the Greeks created pantheons of Gods to be feared but seemingly with the qualities we associate with character weakness including cruelty and capriciousness, unworthy and incapable of being rulers of people, truly dangerous beings. The cycle of rejecting and imposing God on people goes on indefinitely.
The cultures of sacrifice of the Incas and Aztecs viewed gods in a similar way, with man empowering them through sacrifice - propitiation without love, to obtain relief from the seeming capriciousness and cruelness of nature - and man, through an institution implicating cruelty and capricious destruction of human and animal life. Indeed, even warriors could volunteer themselves to be sacrificed. The institution of sacrifice is something akin to a business transaction, in a most notorious form - even a businessman paying off a gangster to leave him alone and perhaps to protect him against other predators.
Through this process, God is reduced to a talisman, subject to the whims of man, and therefore to be propitiated and manipulated. God becomes a "null value" in both worship and in repudiation. At the same time, God is on the payroll of the programmed killer, articulating the killer's point of view, the agent of the killer. God is weak but vicious, capricious and cruel while exercising enormous energy in dominance, destruction and intimidation against an enemy of the killer.
Yet that nullity promoted by man, by its very nature, is a futility that cannot mask love - and finding wisdom within the embrace of temporal nullity is to chase an ever- receding mirage of water on a hot summer day on a desert road.
Indeed, the quest for temporal nullity is programmed and choreographed killing - the condition of going nowhere, changing nothing, achieving nothing, while seemingly advancing - even a pyrrhic relief. The killer and perhaps the victims elude liberation and avoid freedom. To the contrary, Don Juan Matus taught that in order to approach God, one has to take the path of heart - that is the path of Love.6
The image of paths and pathways and trails should not lead us to think we need to be anything other than what we are, that which exists and lives and to respect that fact in the way we treat ourselves and the way we treat others.
The earth is not a place to escape from, a place to harness oppression for more works of oppression - but to live in - because death, a universal condition of temporal being, teaches us the importance of every moment of our lives, not in the preoccupation with leaving life, but in its living.
"The life of a warrior cannot possibly be cold and lonely and without feelings, because it is based on his affection, his devotion, his dedication to his beloved… The Earth knows that he loves it, and it bestows on him its care. That's why his life is filled to the brim and his state, wherever he'll be, will be plentiful. He roams on the paths of his love… This Earth Only if one loves this Earth with unbending passion, can one release one's sadness. A warrior is always joyful, because his love is unalterable and his beloved, the Earth, embraces him and bestows upon him inconceivable gifts. The sadness belongs only to those who hate the very thing that gives shelter to their beings. This lovely Being, which is alive to its last recesses and understands every feeling, soothed me, it cured me of my pains, and finally when I had fully understood my love for it, it taught me freedom. Only the love for this splendorous Being can give freedom to a warrior's spirit; and freedom is joy, efficiency, and abandon in the face of any odds."
Cervantes' Don Quixote is a tale of a heroic quest for love and goodness and truth shrouded in many satirical adventures in the face of insurmountable obstacles. The dreamy knight Don Quxote's idealism seems to be madness in a world that sometimes views heroism and love as forms of insanity, and therefore a quest saddled with tragedy. Yet the tragedy never overwhelms love.
Don Quixote is a Spanish nobleman who comes to believe that he is a knight who must combat the world's injustices. He travels with his squire, Sancho Panza, an uneducated but practical peasant. Don Quixote's mount is an old, bedraggled horse named Rocinante. Don Quixote travels in search of adventure, dedicating his actions of valor to a simple country girl whom he calls Dulcinea, seeing her as his lady. He sets himself the task of defending orphans, protecting maidens and widows, befriending the helpless, and serving the causes of truth and beauty. His imagination often runs away with him, so that he sees windmills as giants, flocks of sheep as enemy armies, and country inns as castles. What romance, what soul, in perhaps a cloak of pathetic comedy!
Which is the true madness: (a) the quest for nullity through killing in the temporal world: or (b) the quest for love and romance in a temporal world that cannot rid itself of the need for love and romance, while burdened down like an overloaded mule with programmed killing ranging from homicide to genocide.
Faust (1978) wrote that people behave according to the picture they have of themselves. Indeed, Don Quixote so behaved. When one's identity as a person is inconsistent with or in perceived conflict with the continued physical existence of the person, the person abandons physical existence. Such is the behavior of a soldier, for example, who jumps on a live hand grenade to protect a fellow soldier from harm. It is also the way of programmed killers of other people.
It has been said that cowards die a thousand deaths while heroes die but one ….to live a little longer while abandoning others to their fate by avoiding an encounter with violent death may not comport with the soldier's picture of that soldier's person. Such encounter with death is not liberation but relief from a condition of personal danger - in which the person is endangered by a danger to another and his failure to confront the danger and redirect its deadliness - even onto himself. If the soldier is considered a martyr, it has nothing to do with his mode of exit but with his conduct in affirming his own humanity, in Don Juan's words, a man ready to die for his decisions, not a man deciding to die."7
Martyrdom and killing of others implies programmed killing for a valid reason. The soldier jumping on a live grenade to save other lives is seen as encountering death for a valid reason. Executing criminals and killing in war is legally protected activity while murder and manslaughter are not legally protected activities. Disputes over whether programmed killing is legal and comports with the demands of "morality" tend to dominate debate over killing. The notion that programmed and choreographed killing is universally unacceptable practice - nonkilling - is not universally accepted in human society.
Characteristic of the prokilling mentality, Bin Laden criticized the Iraq Regime Change War of 2003 because in his view, the war was being fought for the wrong reasons by the wrong people:8
Amid this unjust war, the war of infidels and debauchees led by America along with its allies and agents, we would like to stress a number of important values:
First, showing good intentions. This means fighting should be for the sake of the one God.
It should not be for championing ethnic groups, or for championing the non-Islamic regimes in all Arab countries, including Iraq.
God Almighty says: "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil."
So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.
The implication is a policy of fighting based on an intervention in a political dispute between Saddam Hussein and the coalition forces and their allies. The stated mission was to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein. The prospect of an Iraqi government owing its existence to the coalition military intervention and possibly friendly to the United States was and is unacceptable to the Bin Laden jihadis, regardless of whether it is an "elected" government. This opens the door to what carnage the jihad movement could conjure up.
Bin Laden's unjust war statement is a plan for additional fighting after the coalition overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime. It gave President Bush a rationale for coalition troops to fight - to take the offensive, in President Bush's words - and maintain large forces inside Iraq to help the Iraqis bring "order" to a society divested of its formal government. The ingredients for a continued tragedy in Iraq suggest the witches brew of lethal ambition mixed in Shakespeare's MacBeth.
MacBeth is a study of evil emanating from a pathological vision of rulership born on the wings of an all consuming ambition by the aspiring King MacBeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth with a brutal campaign of programmed bloody killing. The struggle for Iraq seems very similar.
Three witches, who appear on the stage when the play opens, confront Macbeth and prophesy that he will one day become king of Scotland, and that his companion Banquo will beget kings, although he will never become one himself. Macbeth, who is already a hero because of his skill as a soldier, cannot rest with his knowledge of the prophecy but instead takes fate into his own hands. Macbeth and his wife feel compelled to protect the station promised them by the witches, and to thwart the heirs of Banquo and any other possible heirs.
With Lady Macbeth as his accomplice, Macbeth murders King Duncan and is elected king of Scotland. Duncan's son Malcolm flees to England. Suddenly suspicious of Banquo, Macbeth has him assassinated, but fails to kill Banquo's son Fleance. Another high-ranking soldier, Macduff, who does not trust Macbeth, goes to England to join Malcolm, and Macbeth takes the opportunity to murder Macduff's wife and heirs. Macduff returns as a member of Malcolm's avenging army and kills Macbeth, and Malcolm is then made king.
As in many of Shakespeare's tragedies, the action of the play-in this case, its sustained evil and violence-is balanced by its study of the minds of its main characters. Macbeth and his wife are repulsed and torn by their own behavior, and they both seem to verge on hallucination and madness as they recoil from the mayhem they have created around them. Still, the lust for ambition proves the overwhelming force.
Iraq has become a magnet for military action and a bloody campaign of mass killings, bombings, shootings, kidnappings, infrastructure sabotage, beheadings, Abu Graib, and mosque fighting in a horrendous display of programmed killing madness, much of it emanating from pursuit of security and the consolidation of political control between different interested groups and entire nation state coalitions. The horror of this situation is reflected in enormous pressure on restraint of many people who consider themselves pious and decent human beings.
For all the Christian and Muslim notions of the importance of the protection of life and religion, it seems that the various parties to this conflict do the opposite. They seem madly obsessed with their pursuit of dominating political positions in shocking displays of violence that show clarity of purpose, sometimes magnificent courage in suffering but show a lack of will to change, as in MacBeth. As in MacBeth, the struggle in Iraq betrays a fundamental powerlessness that spits in the face of the very goal they so passionately declare to be their own - peace itself.
In MacBeth, Shakespeare suggests that once one decides to use violence to further one's quest for power, it is difficult to stop. Iraqis have been wading in blood with no effective and credible security apparatus to restrain the gangster like mentality that suffuses combat strategy and tactics among the struggling groups.
In MacBeth, there is the opening scene where the captain describes Macbeth and Banquo wading in blood on the battlefield and interminable references to the bloodstained hands of Macbeth and his wife. MacBeth begins with a bloody battle in which he defeats the invading Norwegians to thwart their plans to take over Scotland. This "victory", like Bush's "Mission Accomplished" is followed by a horrendous serious of bloody butcheries called murder the victims of which include King Duncan, Duncan's chamberlains, Banquo, Lady Macduff, and Macduff's son. In the last battle, MacBeth's forces are bloodily defeated by Macduff's forces and MacBeth is beheaded. By the end of the action, blood seems to be everywhere, washing through MacBeth like the biblical flood. symbolizing an obsessive mad quest for power and security but which provide neither. The result is unquenchable guilt and self-loathing. "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?" Macbeth cries after he has killed Duncan, even as his wife scolds him and says that a little water will do the job (II.ii.58-59). Later, though, she comes to share his horrified sense of being stained: "Out, damned spot; out, I say . . . who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" she asks as she wanders through the halls of their castle near the close of the play (V.i.30-34).
The issue arises as to whether the policy of fighting and killing is more to embarrass the coalition, undermine its efforts to help get a government running that may not be to the liking of the resistance, than a matter of fighting occupation. In any case, the programmed killing of large numbers of Iraqis would appear to be designed at least to make Iraq ungovernable and at most to bring back rule similar to that of Saddam Hussein, founded on crude efforts to dominate people. .
In Islam, the implications are quite clear from a reading of scripture and the Hadith. The fact is that fighting and killing cannot be for the sake of vanity, notions of human self importance or the taking of offense, human judgmentalism or attempts at punishment or revenge. Rather invasion AND fighting in homes and the Grand Mosque seem to be the main dangers that fighting and killing are supposed to cope with..
In Mohammad 47, programmed killing in battles against unbelievers was not the central focus in fighting but in bringing about submission through overwhelming force. Bin Laden, equated smiting the enemy with killing the enemy with the sword and Bin Laden indicated that he was opposed to taking prisoners using the argument that it would have been unseemly for the Prophet to have prisoners during hostilities. Yet Mohammad 47 seems to call for restraint in the use of force in battle, the taking of prisoners and the release and ransoming of prisoners even during periods of active hostilities and the Koran is supposed to be the number one reference for all Muslims. In the English language at least, smiting an enemy is not governed by a killing result. Applying physical force to restrain or incapacitate an enemy from fighting seems the important function of "smiting" Killing seems to be the lazy man's way to solve a problem, a person with courage but with a lack of will, a slave to evil, wading in blood as though he was merely wading across a river. . .
Moreover, punishment of unbelievers was the affair of Allah and Allah used unbelievers to test those who professed belief. Programmed and choreographed killing are extremely dangerous forms of behavior not just because of the physical danger interposed in fighting but because of the danger of people becoming the arbiters of the mortal fate of other human beings as well as themselves.
Perhaps this was why killing was ordered in the narrow cases of defense - in home and mosque INVASIONS COMBINED WITH FIGHTING BEHAVIOR only. As shown in MacBeth, the assumption of killing as the primary result to be achieved in dealing with an enemy is a most dangerous state of human affairs, implicating a failure of discipline, restraint and will to exercise ameliorating influence for a peaceful, soulful, loving life, the sweet liberation described so eloquently by Cornell West.
Thus, ambition, quest for security and consolidation of political control, suggest a losing confrontation with power itself and defeat symbolized in a failure of will. Bin Laden's ambitions are to create or defend an Islamic state or caliphate by fighting a murderous war for his idea of the Muslim faith. He ties faith to the temporal including geographic boundaries of Islam, control of the wealth of the land and its protection from western Christian crusaders and exploiters, to carry the killing to anyplace he can find someone he thinks he can label an enemy. Like Vietnam, he embraces body counts as offerings on the road to Islamic safety and security.
Yet Bin Laden has not been able to articulate a clear linkage between killing results and political progress, vaguely relying on the enemy to become tired of fighting. Bin Laden's notion of victory is a zero sum game of life and death in which victory for one requires a corresponding loss by the opponent. In the case of Vietnam, body counts accomplished nothing because they were offset by the spirit of sacrifice that Bin Laden himself counts on to defeat any body count notion implied by the superior mass killing technologies of the American military. President Bush relies on the notion of "sacrifice" as consolation for loss and as a motivator for continued fighting to realize a "victory" in the Central Front war on terror. Because killing is programmed and choreographed, killing is very difficult to stop.
, Moreover, Bin Laden's ambitions may overshadow the very reason for creating an Islamic reality in the first place, submission to God and the requirements implied in God's scripture. Thought should be given to past efforts to build earthly Muslim caliphates and their long term failure as empires. Whether Bin Laden truly has a new wrinkle to make the Caliphate political proof that requires killing as a necessary ingredient is the perplexing and confusing aspect of his whole notion of lethal jihad. It begs the question: why is killing required of a Muslim, or anyone?
This "alliance of convenience" for prokilling policies is the cultivation of killing through the formation of cooperative effort with the ungodly - a mixture of moral with the immoral people to carry on the killing of other anti-god elements together with the self- sacrifice that propitiates God. Thus, the question of why this killing in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places by jihadi movements is taking place implicates the possibility of error in jihad at best or at worst a refusal to carry out Islamic values in behavior by the jihadi movement through programmed human killing. Alliances of convenience in killing behavior is certainly a "death dance" with interchangeable partners.
Bin Laden's writings tend to focus on behavioral methods (lethal style jihad) without critically questioning the very efficacy of programmed killing behavior. His sole rationale is that his enemy is purportedly fighting and killing Muslims, giving him a right to not just in kind behavior but to engineer wrinkles in the choreographing and programming of killing - the practice and art of killing behavior - against military and non-military personnel alike. He will use anything and everything to achieve the killing result - not a struggle against death in the temporal sense - but the embrace of temporal nullity - as opposed to a confrontation with temporal nullity.
Yet this prokilling approach never completely conceals the urgent need for love and romance - that spiritual food that gives life meaning - and that quality of life that is and craves what it is. The fact that killing is set out as a defense of life itself suggests how seriously we take life while engaging in the most revoltingly brutal activity of programmed killing.
Regardless of this reliance on the killing rite of passage into temporal nullity as a means of affirming life, the killing arts and sciences and practice implicate the efficacy of programmed and choreographed human killing by human beings.
Bin Laden's lethalist jihad fails to offer temporal liberation to Muslims or others through the philosophy and practice of the arts and sciences of killing but relief from the temporal life by the practice of killing. It embraces temporal nullity for the promise of spiritual closeness to God - conditioned on "right intentions".
Curiously, - what is a Muslim? In the light of the Jihad story of the man who claimed to be a Muslim, fought alongside Muslims and was mortally wounded in battle, and who the Prophet claimed was not a real Muslim, this Christian writer notes that in the Arabic language, the word Islam means "surrender" or "submission"-submission to the will of God.
A follower of Islam is called a Muslim, which in Arabic means "one who surrenders to God." The Arabic name for God, Allah, refers to the same God worshiped by Jews and Christians. Islam's central teaching is that there is only one all-powerful, all-knowing God, and this God created the universe. In the English language, surrender means to give over - to the will or law of God. The Koran implies that any failure to surrender and any act that is related to such failure are acts of futility, leaving the unbeliever with no helper, in desolation, with nothing, a nullity if you will. This leads to a suggestion that a declaration of faith is not enough in itself to make one a Muslim. The actual surrender must occur, even if a declaration of faith is not subject to review by religious authorities.
Thus, the truth may lie in the relationship with God that a human being has, a true faith that does not depend on behavior itself. The declaration of faith must reflect faith itself - the essence of being, that fundamental existential quality of existence, an existence (wellspring if you will) of anything that follows. Without faith, action is futile. The Koran emphasizes the importance of faith guiding action - even action that may appear in error.
Faith in my view implies profound respect for life, one's own and the lives of any other human being - the existential heart that suffering, humiliation, agony, etc., do not eclipse. That profound respect for life assumes its inherent value, an inalienable value, a value that is not and cannot be demeaned in a material world by any material means, process, action, or product.
Indeed, through any temporal activity including the most horrendous evil including death dealing behavior, the meaning of being - existence - is confirmed, affirmed, and reaffirmed, God uses everything and anything to demonstrate the inherent value of being. Cornel West's citation of Chekhov and John Coltrane is to that soulfulness that generates itself as "love" and the contagiousness of love through their writing and art and other means of expression - that smites, invigorates and values others who themselves reflect faith through their soulfulness.
I remember a Muslim friend a long time ago who must have known I was a Christian - but one day declared to me, "You are a Muslim". I never declared myself a Muslim but such a statement suggests I made an emotional connection with him - that in his view may have reflected something that he understood as a submission to God. .
I only relate this story because the question of good intentions is an issue raised by Bin Laden in jihad. I mention this with profound fear of demonstrating a lack of soulfulness - of outright arrogance - just by mentioning it. Hopefully, the risk I am taking is justified by some possibility that he touched on truth - a truth that demonstrates respect for life and an effort to promote a nonkilling ethic reflecting in all words, deeds and actions, the uncompromising value of being, as reflected in the temporal existence.
Interestingly, there appears to be a kind of congruence of conclusions between Bin Laden and the anti-Iraq war movement and politicians in coalition countries who would act, as they have in Italy and Spain, to repudiate the decision of previous governments to participate in the US led military coalition. The fact that this action removed one of history's most brutal contemporary tyrants from power seems to suggest a tier of considerations that reflect matters more important to the international community and even "Muslims" than an attempt to remove a mass killing human rights abuser political leader from power.
The prokilling side took action primarily because it articulated an external threat to the international community that was hotly debated by anti-war opponents. The essence of the debate is joined: Was the programmed killing designed to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq the way to handle the killing and oppression of the regime promotive of nonkilling values or was the failure to forcefully intervene to remove the particular source of killing behavior promotive of killing.
Since the arguments floated around the issue of security, comparable to the considerations that consumed MacBeth, the international community was a bystander, aider and abettor, promoter and participant in the programmed killing activity that seems to have mushroomed in that unfortunate land. Local politicians and others perceiving an interest in that geographic location called Iraq focus on a condition in politics requisite to ending programmed killing also as a misplaced understanding of priorities - politics is the cart placed ahead of the propelling force (the horse) of nonkilling.
Anti-war opponents including Bin Laden concluded that the Bush and Blair Administrations started a war in bad faith and this seems to have overwhelmed any sense of relief that should have been engendered by the idea that Saddam and his captured henchmen and lieutenants were neutralized and in custody. The above observation should not be viewed as an attempt to endorse or otherwise justify programmed killing in the course of removing the regime but simply to observe that the debate, in the context of the long suffering of the Iraqi people under the harsh abusive rule of Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party seems unhealthily self-centered and tragic. Likewise is the justification for war not on the high moral ground of removing a tyrant but resting on the need to remove a longstanding threat to non-Iraqis - a long delayed relief that no lover of humanity or human freedom can evaluate uncritically. .
One can only plead with such apparent heartlessness to examine what it is that makes the international community - a community that has long repudiated human rights abuses through democratic government - so protective of itself that it lacks the soulfulness to materially aid a people which for 24 years was under the heel of a harsh and cruel dictatorship. What makes a jihadist so protective of the notion of programmed and choreographed killing and self-killing in a narrow attempt to gain paradise at the expense of the temporal lives of self and other human beings - to affirm slavery and bondage to the temporal nullity of destruction because the "enemy" overthrew a brutal tyrant for the "wrong reasons."
It bears emphasis that "nonkilling" is the attempt "to squeeze the slave out of (ourselves) and become soulful enough so (we can) "share the soothing sweetness that allows all of us to allow freedom to become contagious." If being a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, or Communist, Capitalist, or other ist or other identity is anything different, then Paradise itself is repudiated and existence unnecessarily prolonged in bondage to tyranny. Nothing can be more futile than to resist Paradise and freedom itself for the sake of political or material security. I see no other explanation for the continued references in Koranic and other scripture that condemn oppression and evil as the lonely desolate path of people without helpers, cultivating a garden that in substance is overgrown with poisonous weeds - with works devoid of value, expressions of fraud and deceit in their origins.
The fact that there has been a prolonged deadly postwar campaign of programmed and choreographed killing in that unfortunate country following the 2003 invasion does not diminish the injustice and basic moral bankruptcy embraced by the anti-war movement in excoriating the coalition because it did not keep hands off the regime. Expressing malice toward President Bush or Prime Minister Blair for lying should be tempered by the tragedy that compounded and recompounded as deception piled on deception - in human philosophy lived inside out, devoid of wisdom, acquiescing to injustice piled on injustice, tyranny, oppression and killing seemingly carrying the day, and demonstrating its futility in ongoing, repeated lethal conflicts.
Because Bin Laden argued on his audiotape that Baathist Socialist interests converged with Jihadi interests in battling the US led coalition, no matter which way Shiites turn, they either get death from Saddam or death from Jihadis and Baathists. What existential courage Shiites must have to endure this ongoing tragedy and try to live as stealth killers dog their daily lives over apparent doctrinal differences with other denominations of Islam. What existential courage Sunnis must have as they or their loved ones become victims of programmed killing by death squads.
Yet the lethal show must go on - because it goes on for the right reasons or rationale - which is to show opposition to killing. We give up everything including our temporal lives and all our material treasure to cultivate programmed or choreographed killing.
In such manner human society promotes and drives institutionalized programmed and choreographed killing behavior. So long as we disagree on who has the right to kill instead of taking the initiative to repudiate the practice, human bondage is institutionalized and protected from restraint. Human life ping- pongs between man's existential courage and the nullity promised by a killing culture.
A proposed UN humanitarian peacekeeping mission to stop programmed killing in Darfur is likewise condemned by Bin Laden as a nefarious Western plot to rip Sudanese territory away and appropriate it for anti-Islamic western interests.9
"The US was not satisfied by all the sedition and crimes, but went on to incite sedition, the largest of which was the west Sudan sedition by exploiting some disputes between the tribes and sparking a savage war between them that will spare nothing, prior to sending in Crusader troops to occupy the region and steal its oil wealth under the pretext of peacekeeping."
Sadly, the people of Darfur would seem to be trapped, as the Iraqi people have been, in a culture of killing. It would appear that Bin Laden and others agree that the disaster is man-made but men seemingly are prolonging and exacerbating the suffering of the people while they argue over the past and the future in this troubled region. Thus, tragedy blooms like weeds in an untended garden as men build their senses of self- importance into destructive behaviors.
Global Security.org10, suggests an existential cause at work for the violence that has been ruining life for people in Darfur - the sense among Darfur tribes that they have been consistently "socio-economically marginalized" and need to be able to exercise greater power over their own lives to maintain their own social and economic viability. They blame the government of Sudan and perhaps each other for the terrible humanitarian conditions existing in the region.
The harsh Janjaweed military campaign and the failure of the government of Sudan to restrain these Arab militias exacerbate the problem of reaching a decent accommodation between the government and the Darfur population. The Sudanese government attributes the problem to intertribal conflicts while denying charges that it is actually using the Janjaweed militia either for genocide or terror as part of its policy of pacifying Darfur.
Whether or not the west has exacerbated and exploited tribal differences in Darfur was unexplained by the Bin Laden audiotape. Whatever the truth, killing and oppression are always first and foremost in Bin Laden's view - even of a purported humanitarian mission backed by heavily armed troops supported by the United Nations. Iraqis and Darfurians seem trapped by the most cynical evaluations of human beings and their tendencies and motivations and alleged plots.
To sum up, human life is bonded to prolonged suffering expressed in programmed and choreographed killing. People have had protracted difficulty in getting past the bondage of fear, insecurity, anxiety, and material needs, idols, perhaps even mendacity and lies - that ties them to killing arts and practice..
As Cornel West's discussion of the nature of existentialism indicates, relief - humanitarian, political, or otherwise is not liberation from these devils whether it comes in the form of political, economic, social reforms, United Nations aid, peacekeeping, lethal jihad, genocide, or otherwise. Living through a policy of programmed and choreographed killing is not a life of wisdom, but one of unwisely cultivating tragedy. To play an active part in manufacturing human tragedy out of motivations to punish and deter is meaningless if in Bin Laden's words, man has to wait for God to institute God's rule to relent from practicing the killing arts and sciences. This assertion is materially no different from Hitler's notion that struggle is the father of all things and that the most brutal struggle is the way that life is won. Both place responsibility for change on something outside themselves, while proclaiming the responsibility of humans to engage in lethal struggle.
Liberation comes from the notion of nonkilling - the notion of always acknowledging, accepting and supporting the need and the right of every human being to "be", to exist, to live, reflected in all thoughts, words, and deeds. Such is the true liberation of Iraq, Sudan, Darfur, and all living outside these troubled regions of the world.
Perhaps the reason for the split thinking treatment of the subject of nonkilling as expressed by the lack of a notorious common dictionary term to describe this concept is that human beings have not systematically conceptualized a nonkilling philosophy rejecting programmed and planned human killing. We need to make the effort to fuse the two concepts into one - to provide a direct intellectual challenge to the prokilling lobby seeking the human soul.
Nonkilling, as suggested by Cornel West's liberation existentialism is "that soothing sweetness" of our souls which "allows all of us to allow "freedom to become contagious." Freedom is enabling, not disabling, by its very nature, because freedom implies independence of action free from any external determining force. Freedom is the expression of power and dominance is the expression of a lack of power and an attempt to deceive others into giving their own power away. Even Bin Laden knows that God does not determine our choices but does control the consequences of our choices. Thus, people have choice and bear responsibility for those choices. That is our deal with God.
Through that deal God enables us and means for us to be free. Yet God is in control and uses our existence and even the nullity we perceive pressing in on us to affirm and value God's own creation. No alternative to being is possible, temporal or spiritual and therefore death, loss, and killing themselves are, in the great scheme of things, a nullity in themselves. Therefore, it stands to reason, as Cornel West stated so eloquently, that life and freedom are the human quest, and living the wise life is the insight of nonkilling - recognition of reality, recognition of the mandatory condition of being - always acknowledging, accepting and supporting the need and the right of every human being to "be", to exist, to live, reflected in all thoughts, words, and deeds.
Nonkilling is the behavioral norm for humanity for the very reason that human beings do value their lives. Programmed killing is advanced in a killing culture and practice because its proponents view it as an affirmation of human existence and somehow within the recesses of its terror and lethal effects is a key that once found liberates the soul. Yet there is a profound concern that such a notion is in itself an exercise in self-deception where human beings cultivate tragedy as an affirmation of the value of their own existence, a concern that kills by magnifying a notion of self-importance, of life taking itself much too seriously, being unable to exercise the joy, romance and love implicated in the living of life, but at the same time unable to repudiate joy, romance and love as an overriding value that keeps human beings living when in killing culture, the exit from the temporal life becomes of all consuming importance.
MacBeth's characters were enslaved and tormented in a deadly living hell that they did not have the will to repudiate. They gave away power and threw life away. MacBeth is re-enacted today by a world obsessed with its security, seduced by the quick fix of killing, repelled and scared of programmed killing, yet eager to embrace the practice and get others involved as killers when human judgment - in a world riddled with deceptive forms and appearances - is convinced that such deadly conduct is appropriate. Our out is when we get tired of it, rest, lick our wounds, and eventually find another reason to do the same thing - perhaps when security of our beings becomes an overriding concern and a pathological quest.
Killing culture has no overriding utility in serving the interests of man's existence. It is a seductive maiden with a deadly siren call to people on a quest for existence that already exists and for which they seek "protection". Life teaches that the idea of killing can be a sexy idea indeed, an assassin dressed as a protector of humanity, a transgressor of the limits set by mercy and compassion, an excess of self-love at the expense of health and safety.
If anything should be killed as a matter of practice, practicality, and in the interest of humanity and morality, it should be programmed killing of human beings by human beings, replaced by an overriding love and respect for life, even in very difficult and demanding circumstances. That would be the ultimate affirmation and reaffirmation of the true reality of existence.
1: From the introduction to Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, a novel about World War I Italy, a tragic romance and love culminating in exile and death, and the most profound devastating loneliness, by Malcolm Bradbury, Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of East Anglia. Bradbury is author of The Modern American Novel and the Modern World; Ten Great Writers. His own novels include The History Man, Stepping Westward, Rate of Exchange and Eating People is Wrong. (back)
2: Cornel West on Existentialism. A Talk produced by Microsoft Encarta, 1993 - 2004. West's scholarly writing pursues philosophical inquiry into the realm of the political, exploring the existential dimension within the moral, spiritual, and political space. In Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America (1993), he continues to engage with philosophy, spiritual tradition, and history. (back)
3: Vladimir Antonov, The Teaching of Don Juan Matus. Translated from Russian by T.Danilevich, A.Teplyy, M.Nikolenko © Antonov V.V., 2000 www.swami-center.org. Don Juan Matus was a Yaqui Indian Sorceror in Mexico. A person who resolved to lay claim to immortality, first, has to become a "hunter". But not that hunter who kills game, but that for knowledge, who walks the path of heart - caring, loving both the Earth and beings that live on it. Having mastered the stage of "hunter", he can become a "warrior"1 - that is the one who "traces" Power (God), striving to "stalk" and cognize It. (back)
4: Text of Fatwah Urging Jihad Against Americans Published in Al-Quds al-'Arabi on Febuary 23, 1998 Statement signed by Sheikh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin; Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the Jihad Group in Egypt; Abu- Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, a leader of the Islamic Group; Sheikh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan; and Fazlul Rahman, leader of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh (back)
5: full text of an audio message purported to be by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, broadcast on Arab television station al-Jazeera on 11 February, 2003 (back)
6: From Carlos Castaneda. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (back)
7: Person-centered Teachers in Product- Centered Schools. . This book was an unpublished manuscript used as a training text for teachers pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Education at Alliant International University, 1978. Verne Faust's notion of person-centeredness is based on an understanding that a person never changes in the fundamental notion of being, but becomes educated to change what he/she does. When society values behavior and products of being in such way that the person creating the behavior and products is forced to rely on these behaviors and products for acceptance as a person - love conditioned on behavior, the person becomes a menace to himself and to others, because no one can be a perfect behavior specimen. Any slip-up can and does mean the withholding of love and affection. In such conditions, the person is robbed of the fundamental essence of being a person, being a human being - and is totally insecure in his person. The consequence is to create insecure emotional cripples, and therefore poor decision-makers - persons not bound by healthy behavioral norms. (back)
8: Usama Bin Laden, audiotape, February 11, 2003 (back)
9: Bin Laden Sudan, audiotape proposing attacks on UN / NATO led peacekeeping forces that may be sent to Darfur as part of a peace deal with the Sudan government, April 24, 2006, from Al Jazeera. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F9694745-060C-419C-8523-2E093B7B807D.htm (back)