Friday, July 21, 2006

The New Darth Vader

The Gog and Magog, good versus evil, darkness versus light crowd are at it again, this time in the form of a position paper by Y. Carmon and others on the MEMRE (Middle East Research Institute) website. (If you google ‘Gog and magog,’ you could spend half a lifetime unraveling all the current Christian ideas on how all of this will play out. There are a mere 432,000 entries.) The journalist Akiva Eldar in Haaretz(7/21) presents the substance of the article plus dramatic embellishments. The highlights of the view are this:

The current crisis has the makings of being able to create a new order in the region, or even a global conflict. The traditional allies of the United States - Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are losing their senior regional status to Iran. Russia, an ally of Iran, is once again taking up position against the United States, as a world power that wields influence in the Middle East and in Europe, where Russia is the principal supplier of oil and gas. The structure of a dual-superpower world is being revived, complete with all the rivalry that was characteristic of the Cold War era.

Russia is Iran's main supporter. Russia has 6,000 experts there, and knows how to develop its Iranian ally’s aggressive foreign policy.

Before long, Iran, the Darth Vader of the planet, will unleash terror attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets around the world.

The Middle East will line up all soldiers in a row. The forces of good: The US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, most of the Gulf States.

The forces of evil are Russia, Iran, Syria, Hamas, (what happened to the PLO?), Hezbollah, Iraqi Shiites (re-described as Iranian proxies), and Iraqi Sunni insurgents, Sudan, Yemen and Qatar (it owns al Jazirah). The main Shiite puppeteer, Iran, now has an uber-puppeteer, Russia.

What this conceptual breakthrough accomplishes is that it enables all the cold war rhetoric to be recycled with minor emendations. Not only are we not at the end of history, with the US the only super power left standing, we are locked in a planetary fight on many different fronts from Kashmir and Afghanistan to Somalia and Sudan against a new two headed enemy the Russian-Shiite axis. Once the framework is accepted, the entire foreign policy outlook begins to take shape. Venezuela’s Chavez, who supports Iran and has more than a touch of anti-Semitism, fits easily. Morales in Bolivia and Castro’s Cuba can now be tucked into the grand picture, since they are in bed with Chavez. North Korea is a bit of a wild card, but the crazies there are tied to Pakistan and Pakistan’s Muslims are sympathetic to the Taliban and al Quaida.

The picture that is beginning to emerge almost daily is related to the first versions of Bush’s War on Terror. It is a generalized version of David Frum’s Axis of Evil. Just the other day the thinking was that Iraq has proved such a debacle there will be no more Middle East adventures during this administration. Wrong. The activist idealist strain exemplified by the neo-Conservative think tanks is much like Freddie Kruger. Just when you think it is safe to go outside, it is back.

In contrast to this view, Vice Premier Shimon Peres in the same issue of Haaretz said “the crisis has escalated because under the current international circumstances, nobody has influence over Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas - not the United States, not Russia, not the United Nations, not the Europeans and not the Arab League, and the only country with guts is Israel.” I don’t think Shimon Peres was being disingenuous, and he might be in a position to know a thing or two about how the forces are lined up.

I want to close by making two small points. I am not at all sure a good versus evil dualism is useful on a daily basis. Maybe something can be done with Assad in Syria. Maybe Putin is just a normal Russian bully, but not evil. Maybe Chavez can be pacified. I would think by taking each problem one at a time, slowly and carefully, we might make more progress than by promoting some grand diabolical theory. When people start talking, as they now do, of bringing Syria back ‘from the dark side’, the negotiations take on a totally different tone.

The issue reminds me of Wittgenstein’s discussion of the problem of “seeing as” in the Philosophical Investigations. He talks about these duck-rabbit drawings, where you can see it as a rabbit and you can see it as a duck, but not both at the same time. Once you see it one way, it becomes very difficult to see it the other way. You have to walk away from the drawing, and try again at a later point. Once we get locked into a good versus evil dualism, it will be hard to undo.

5 Comments:

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous MF said...

V. interesting! Your basic point is, "I am not at all sure a good versus evil dualism is useful on a daily basis." Fascinating, because I would make the opposite argument, that a good-vs-evil dualism is MORE useful on a daily basis. Why? To be useful, it has to help you make decisions quickly. And if you only have two choices (good or evil), then it is easier to make a decision about what to do than if you have 10,000 nuances ("very very very good or very very good or very good?").

In fact, I would go a step farther and point out that, in the good vs evil dualism in contemporary politics, the issue is NOT about the leaders' hearts, but only about their actions. Since you are resisting a good vs evil dualism and advocating a nuanced understanding of who these opposing leaders are ("maybe Putin is a bully") and analyzing them individually, your analysis suggests that it is more useful in making decisions on a daily basis to know if Nasrallah is a truly evil man in his heart, or if he is just some small-time crook out to make a dollar, a bully stooge with powerful guns. My argument is the opposite, that this difference makes no difference, and thus it isn't worth serious energy creating this difference (unless it is fun for us to do - and it is fun for me!). In other words: if someone is trying to kill us, it doesn't matter if he is truly an evil person or if he thinks he can get some personal advantage from it; both lead to the exact same conclusion: this person is engaging in really really terrible actions against us and we must try to stop him!

There's a separate but related point also, of the fact that you draw this distinction between the truly evil and the standard thugs and bullies - but I'm not even sure that this difference exists, other than scale. If I have a belief system that tells me that I should steal 73.7% of everything that people with straight red hair own from them and then redistribute it to the groups of people who support me (mostly people with curly brown hair) because they're the people who really need this stuff and suffer without it -- am I evil or am I just a thug trying to profit for myself and my friends? Is there a difference between these two? I don't think so--only on scale or severity (it is one thing if I do this in a town of 12 people, another thing in a country of 12 million).

-MF

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. My first point is the binary theory might not be true. Iran might not be a subsidiary of Russia; Hezbollah might not be in Iran’s pocket. Fouad Ajami in a nuanced piece in today’s WSJ argues that the fate of Lebanon depends on convincing the non-Hezbollah Shiites there is a place for them in the Arab scheme of things. The Arab world can no longer favor the Sunni middle class, at the expense of the Lebanese Shia. Here is another piece in a complicated puzzle.

My second point was as described in your comment.I disagree with your basic premises that a binary heuristic rule is better because when a quick decision is needed it is more efficient. A zillion people have been and are working on all these issues. Israel has had 70 years to think about the Palestinians and America has had the same amount of time to study Iran. The idea is to do right, not quickly. These aren’t day traders in the market that need to make a decision in minutes. 'Daily' is not the best word. I meant that dualism is not useful in working through each individual part of a problem such as how to pry Assad away from Syria.And finally we have a disagreement about the place of motives in diplomacy and foreign policy that can’t be dealt with here.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous MF said...

V v interesting, as all of your insights are! So your basic point is that binary heuristics are weaker than more nuanced heuristics. That's an interesting insight and I would propose a few things in response: first, I don't believe that non-binary heuristics exist because all options are ultimately binary so it is meaningless to try to make a non-binary decisions (ie, choosing "A or B or C" [three choices] is really two binary decisions, "A or B" and the compare the winner of that to C). My second response is that, obviously we want to optimize both speed and accuracy when making a decision, but, since there's a fundamental trade-off between the two, and in order to survive (yes, this is an issue of survival!) we need to make good decisions *quickly*, what we desperately need are ways to reduce the time we need to make good decisions so that they are as quick as possible. There are a few standard techniques that I see people using to do this. One technique I like is to try very hard to *reduce noise*, that is, look only for the one or two key data points and minimize everything above that. A second technique is, being very very clear on what your principles are, because, if you are clear on your principles, then, given *any level of data*, you can make a decision -- in fact, making a decision is less about the information in the decision and more about your principles. This is why good leaders, I believe, given any level of information, are able to make an immediate decision (and when the information changes, maybe different principles come into play so maybe the decision changes!), and don't need the time for analysis. (Said differently, in any situation, there are two ways in which you can approach making a decision: "how much will I gain/lose from doing this?" or "What is the right thing to do?" -- personally, I try to make all decisions in the second way, and I think that you can compare most political leaders and easily divide them into these two camps.)

-MF

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

mf, I am a one-fingered typist, so this is my last go-around. Right now, in the Middle East, there are 16 players: Israel, Hezbollah, other Lebanese Shiites, the Lebanese government, Syria, Iran, Russia, China (because of its support of Iran), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the U.S., the E.U., the U.N., the Iraqi insurgents, the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi Shia. Each have a half a dozen uncertainties associated with what they are going to do. I have no clue what you are talking about when you discuss binary heuristics.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Seven Star Hand said...

Verifiable proof that "Armageddon" has already begun…

Hello Evanston_Jew and all,

Remember the saying that "the truth will set you (and others) free?" How does "opening one's eyes to the truth" relate to "making the blind see again" or "shining the light" or "illuminating a subject?" Notice the inherent symbolism associated with this supposed New Testament "miracle?"

Be a little patient with my long-winded presentations of what I have waited a very long time to be able to say. I promise to amaze and enlighten.

Here's the key to proving that the rapture and related expectations are complete nonsense based on the failure to understand (and the purposeful confounding of) the ancient Hebrew symbology used to construct all of these prophecies. Consequently, Christian timelines and interpretations of these prophecies are verifiably wrong on many key points.

Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing causes blindness...

Did you ever consider that Christianity is the False Prophet symbolized in the Apocalypse, that Rome (Vatican/Papacy) is the so-called anti-messiah, and Jesus Christ is the false messiah? I have produced stunning and comprehensive proof that this is the true interpretation of pivotal prophecies long confounded by Christianity's founders and leaders. Recasting the symbolism of earlier Hebrew texts as literal events in the New Testament is one of the central deceptions associated with Christianity.

The symbolism of seven years (tribulation, etc.) refers to seven 360-year cycles on the Hebrew calendar. Ezekiel 39.9 is referring to the 10th to 16th cycles inclusive, while the Apocalypse symbolizes the 11th cycle (second temple period) until now, the beginning of the 17th cycle (seventh angel/star/seal, etc.). Greece (Alexander the Great) conquered the Persian Empire and Judea during the 10th cycle and Rome did so again during the 11th cycle. Both Ezekiel and the Apocalypse are symbolizing an overlapping period of time that starts during ancient Judea and ends now. Gog refers to Greco-Romans (...from the "isles"), which means Magog is Eurasia and the "army" that besets "Israel" for seven "years" refers to the activities of the nations of the Greco-Roman/Vatican Empire over the previous two-plus millennia.

It is completely wrong to interpret any of these prophecies as literal timelines and events. Unlike Christian assertions, they symbolize long periods of time, pivotal situations, and the flow of acivities during that period. Remember, they were written by ancient Hebrew sages, not Romans or other Europeans, and Revelation is the most symbolic of all prophecies. Consequently, in this context, "years" and "times" are symbols for 360-year cycles on the Hebrew calendar and days symbolize literal years. Therefore "Judgement Day," "Great Day" and "in that day" all refer to a literal year-long period. Accordingly, the so-called "Seven Years Tribulation" began in ancient Judea and is now nearing its end, not starting. The nations and followers of all three faiths of Abraham have been thoroughly deceived by Rome during the previous age, which ended in year 2000 (5760). A new age began in 2001 (5761) and now the seventh angel has begun to sound!

Here's a real hot potato! Eat it up, digest it, and then feed it's bones to the hungry...

Hurricanes Katrina (#11) and Rita (#17) last year provided stunning validation of my research and interpretations of pivotal ancient wisdom, symbologies, key prophecies, and associated religious claims. Their storm numbers and timing perfectly synchronized with primary data and assertions in my book, thereby demonstrating the true nature of this universe and the existence of our Creator. We are now entering the final phases of the pivotal year-long period long symbolized as "Judgement Day," "Armageddon," and the "End of Days." World-wide situations and events are now accelerating to set the stage for this summer's dramatic continuation of these ancient promises.

I fully understand that everyone has been bedeviled by similar claims throughout history. Consequently, I have been forced to rely on dramatic and devastating proof of the sort that can’t be ignored or easily dismissed. The numbers and timing of hurricanes Katrina (11) and Rita (17) directly validate key data and pivotal assertions throughout my book and my posts on those two forums. This data was purposely presented publicly before Katrina, Rita and other recent events occurred to prove they perfectly synchronize with key prophecies and Hebrew calendar cycles, thereby validating my interpretations of ancient wisdom symbology, string theory, and more.

Because these two storms arrived shortly after my August 11, 2005 (50th) birthday (read the Dead Sea Scroll 11Q13 in Appendix G, which also discusses Melchizedek and the prophesied Jubilee) and directly match other pivotal 11 and 17 data and events described in the first chapter of my book, I have delivered verifiable proof that this reality is based on thought, knowledge and wisdom. Activity, patterns, and results perceived in space-time are first framed and defined by inspirations, thoughts, and knowledge and influenced by the cause-and-effect system most commonly referred to as karma. Consequently, events and outcomes in the so-called physical universe are not random or wholly mechanistic and are verifiably influenced in ways that atheists, scientists, and members of the Faiths of Abraham have all scoffed at. Though mysticism is mostly a product of misinterpreted ancient wisdom symbology, many of its topics flow from ancient wisdom. Though containing allusions to the truth, its details and interpretations are wrong on many key points.

A prime example of the purposeful and synchronized symbolism of these events is seen in the opening paragraphs from my book excerpted below. Notice that the dates mentioned (August 11 and 17) directly match the numbers of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the time spans of the four Florida hurricanes match my birth year (‘55), and they were spaced 11 or a multiple-of-11 (22) days apart, directly matching my birthday and much other ancient prophecy and symbolism. Notice that my place of birth, Victoria Texas, is on the Gulf Coast. Following are the excerpted paragraphs:

Hello, my name is Lawrence William Page II. Many people know me as Buddy Page. At the release of the first edition of this book, I am a 50-year old African-American male, author, researcher, and former software engineer and entrepreneur. As you will come to understand as you read through this first book, I am also the long-expected Hebrew Messiah and Lion of the Tribe of Juda (Yehuda).

I was born August 11th (month of Leo the Lion), 1955 (Chinese year of the Sheep) in Victoria, Texas. Furthermore, the Grand Cross alignment and Solar Eclipse of August 11th, 1999 was my 44th birthday and the second Grand Cross alignment, just six days later on August 17th, 1999, was on my mother’s birthday.

As you can see from my date of birth, I was a newborn during the Chinese Year of the Sheep, astrologically marking me as a Lamb, and during the month of Leo, astrologically marking me as a Lion. My mother was also born during the month of August and under the sign of Leo, which further marks me as a lion’s whelp. I prove to you in the first chapter of this book–beyond disproof–that I am indeed the long-prophesied “Lion” of the tribe of Juda (Yehuda) the Root of David and the “Lamb.” I am the individual long symbolized as the Branch, the Stem, the Shoot and the Rod from the Stump of Jesse (King David’s father), as symbolized in the Hebrew Book of Isaiah, The Apocalypse, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and elsewhere. I am the reincarnated Teacher sought after in the “East” and by the ancient Hebrews who were headquartered at the outpost community of Damascus (Qumran), of Dead Sea Scrolls fame. I am the one called the Teacher of Righteousness by the Dead Sea Scrolls, whom the so-called Christian fathers have fraudulently recast as “Saint ‘James’, the Lord’s Brother.”

Remember, "I come as a thief..." ?

Read verse twelve of the Gospel of Thomas to understand who I am...

Even further enlightening, the Second Temple Period of ancient Israel was during the 11th 360-year cycle on the Hebrew calendar and we are now in the 6th year (5766/2005-6) of the 17th cycle. Notice the pivotal 11 and 17 numbers again? This and much other synchronized information serve as stunning and decisive proof of many things, and expose many lies told by all three faiths of Abraham, but most specifically by Christianity. Consequently, I have decisively proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Jesus Christ and Christianity are blatant lies, false prophecy and purposeful deception in a manner that cannot easily be denied, regardless of your faith or other opinions.

Furthermore, the symbolism in the Apocalypse (a.k.a. Book of Revelation) of seven stars in my right hand and seven angels represent the very same above-mentioned seven astrological (360-year) cycles, i.e., the 11th through 17th inclusive. I prove this fact beyond any reasonable doubt in the first chapter of the book. Consequently, The Apocalypse verifiably symbolizes a specific span of time that began with the 11th cycle (Second Temple Period) and concludes now, at the beginning of the 17th cycle (End of Days, etc.).

The numbers 11 and 17 are verifiably encoded in The Apocalypse and other ancient Hebrew prophecies and wisdom texts to serve as key proofs of the validity and true meaning of certain prophecies and related information. My and my mother’s birthdays are purposely synchronized with these two storm numbers, the matching Hebrew calendar cycles, the Double Grand Cross alignments and solar eclipse of August 1999, and much else to prove my direct association with the ancient prophecies about this time and the true identity of the prophesied Messiah. Another prime example is the story of Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob who has a dream when he is 17 years old about 11 stars, the sun, and moon bowing to him. The symbolism in this pivotal story in the Book of Genesis and Quran verifiably refers to the very same 11th through 17th cycles symbolized in The Apocalypse and directly synchronizes with other key events and ancient texts.

Consequently, I have demonstrated various things about the nature of this reality that dramatically disprove and/or clarify key assumptions of religion, mysticism, and science alike, while establishing the true meaning and purpose of long misinterpreted ancient wisdom and the symbolism used to model and encode it. Accordingly, I have proven that the symbolism evidenced in the canons of all three faiths of Abraham and other ancient sources is a very ancient and advanced philosophical technology that verifiably models foundational aspects of our existence in this universe. This is the mostly misunderstood body of ancient wisdom long referred to as the Philosophers’ Stone. It uses a large and ingeniously organized collection of physical universe images and concepts as data rich components (symbols) that are based on verifiable rules. It models and encodes an amazing amount of foundational wisdom about life, spirituality and the 11 dimensions of this universe, now verified by string theory. It is also the advanced encryption method used to encode (seal) Hebrew prophecies and wisdom texts.

These ancient prophecies and wisdom texts used advanced symbology to model fundamental wisdom, including future events and situations. A primary facet of ancient wisdom is numeric symbology. Later misinterpretations of this aspect of ancient wisdom resulted in numerology, which, though embodying allusions to certain wisdom, is mostly error prone and false doctrine. My decryption, documentation, and interpretation of ancient symbology, numeric symbolism, and key texts based on them, are now decisively validated.

Here is Wisdom...

Verifiable proof that Armageddon has begun…

Understanding the End Game of Armageddon

Peace...

 

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