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5.0 out of 5 stars A matter of life and death, 11 Mar 2007
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 9/11 and American Empire: Vol. 2: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out (Paperback)
This is in any case a very courageous book, even though the contributions vary in the extreme. Some authors accept the official 9/11 version. Most, however, see 9/11 as an inside job, a mantra for permitting preemptive war, disregarding human rights and personal freedom (S. Lubarsky).

One big chasm between the contributors is the fact that some see religion as an end, not as a means.

Religion is the institutionalization of people's irrational beliefs by the rulers to consolidate, enhance or justify their power and policies (J. Diamond). Fundamentalist followers are their best foot folk.

In the 9/11 case, R. Ruether speaks of `misuse of religious language'.

C. Heyward defines it more perfectly: `the problem with 9/11 is how religion was used to exploit the violence. The leaders of the US are justifying their behavior by faith in a god who is a concoction of their own lust of power.'

Nearly all the authors stress that Muslim fundamentalist terrorism with its symbol Al Qaeda and `its legend Osama Bin Laden' (R. Griffin), together with `the axis of evil' is the focal point. By creating terrorism as the main global enemy a screenplay of endless war (R. Ruether) should justify endless defense budgets.

But, there is not only Muslim fundamentalism. C. Keller exposes bitterly the Christian Right. She quotes one version of it: `war-making is precisely the work of killing people, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying one's work.' As Dante did already in the Renaissance, she pleads for a strong distinction between Religion and State.

More, N.M. Ahmed in `Interrogating Terrorism' explains clearly that the link between Muslim fundamentalism and Western intelligence is in no way cut. Muslim fundamentalism is still used in `the strategy of terror' and in covert destabilization of important oil countries to counter Russian and Chinese influence.

The most radical proposition comes from Rabbi M. Lerner `to use 5 % of the GDP to eliminate poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education and healthcare and repair damage to the environment'. In view of R. McNamara's statement that `the US military spending could safely be cut in half' (quoted in E. Masud), the 5 % should be absolutely no problem.

Rabbi M. Lerner has other very important propositions in his sleeve, thereby criticizing heavily the actual government: `eliminate the electoral college, instant run-off voting, fully publicly financial elections, firm public control of electronic voting.'

In his critic he is not alone. For J. Cobb Jr. the US `is moving away from authentic rule by the people. Today we are more a plutocracy than a democracy.'

And C. Heyward sees `our political system as inextricable from capitalist powerbrokers and that what we hear from government is bound up in greed, corruption, lies, and violence.'

This book is a must read for all those interested in the future of mankind.

The terror myth should not become a self-fulfilling prophesy (E. Masud) and the sovereignty of the people should be taken seriously (J. Cobb Jr.).
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