Soros, the CIA, Mossad and the new media destabilization of Iran

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It's the 2009 presidential election in Iran and opposition leader Mir-Houssein Mousavi declares victory hours before the polls close, insuring that any result to the contrary will be called into question. Western media goes into overdrive, fighting with each other to see who can offer the most hyperbolic denunciation of the vote and President Ahmadenijad's apparent victory (BBC wins by publishing bald-faced lies about the supposed popular uprising which it is later forced to retract). On June 13th, 30000 "tweets" begin to flood Twitter with live updates from Iran, most written in English and provided by a handful of newly-registered users with identical profile photos. The Jerusalem Post writes a story about the Iran Twitter phenomenon a few hours after it starts (and who says Mossad isn't staying up to date with new media?).

Now, YouTube is providing a "Breaking News" link at the top of every page linking to the latest footage of the Iranian protests (all shot in high def, no less). Welcome to Destabilization 2.0, the latest version of a program that the western powers have been running for decades in order to overthrow foreign, democratically elected governments that don't yield to the whims of western governments and multinational corporations.

Ironically, Iran was also the birthplace of the original CIA program for destabilizing a foreign government. Think of it as Destabilization 1.0: It's 1953 and democratically-elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh is following through on his election promises to nationalize industry for the Iranian people, including the oil industry of Iran which was then controlled by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. The CIA is sent into the country to bring an end to Mossadegh's government. They begin a campaign of terror, staging bombings and attacks on Muslim targets in order to blame them on nationalist, secular Mossadegh. They foster and fund an anti-Mossadegh campaign amongst the radical Islamist elements in the country. Finally, they back the revolution that brings their favoured puppet, the Shah, into power. Within months, their mission had been accomplished: they had removed a democratically elected leader who threatened to build up an independent, secular Persian nation and replaced him with a repressive tyrant whose secret police would brutally suppress all opposition. The campaign was a success and the lead CIA agent wrote an after-action report describing the operation in glowing terms. The pattern was to be repeated time and time again in country after country (in Guatemala in 1954, in Afghanistan in the 1980s, in Serbia in the 1990s), but these operations leave the agency open to exposure. What was needed was a different plan, one where the western political and financial interests puppeteering the revolution would be more difficult to implicate in the overthrow.

Enter Destabilization 1.1. This version of the destabilization program is less messy, offering plausible deniability for the western powers who are overthrowing a foreign government. It starts when the IMF moves in to offer a bribe to a tinpot dictator in a third world country. He gets 10% in exchange for taking out an exorbitant loan for an infrastructure project that the country can't afford. When the country inevitably defaults on the loan payments, the IMF begins to take over, imposing a restructuring program that eventually results in the full scale looting of the country's resources for western business interests. This program, too, was run in country after country, from Jamaica to Myanmar, from Chile to Zimbabwe. The source code for this program was revealed in 2001, however, when former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz went public about the scam. More detail was added in 2004 by the publication of John Perkin's Confessions of an Economic Hitman, which revealed the extent to which front companies and complicit corporations aided, abetted and facilitated the economic plundering and overthrow of foreign governments. Although still an effective technique for overthrowing foreign nations, the fact that this particular scam had been exposed meant that the architects of global geopolitics would have to find a new way to get rid of foreign, democratically elected governments.

Destabilization 1.2 involves seemingly disinterested, democracy promoting NGOs with feelgood names like the Open Society Institute, Freedom House, and the National Endowment for Democracy. They fund, train, support and mobilize opposition movements in countries that have been targeted for destabilization, often during elections and usually organized around an identifiable color. These "color revolutions" sprang up in the past decade and have so far successfully destabilized the governments of the Ukraine, Lebanon, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, among others.

These revolutions bear the imprint of billionaire finance oligarch George Soros. The hidden hand of western powers behind these color revolutions has threatened their effectiveness in recent years, however, with an anti-Soros movement having arisen in Georgia and with the recent Moldovan "grape revolution" having come to naught (much to the chagrinof Soros-funded OSI's Evgeny Morozov).

Now we arrive at Destabilization 2.0, really not much more than a slight tweak of Destabilization 1.2. The only thing different is that now Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media are being employed to amplify the effect of (and the impression of) internal protests. Once again, Soros henchman Evgeny Morozov is extolling the virtues of the new Tehran Twitter revolution and the New York Times is writing journalistic hymns to the power of internet new media...when it serves western imperial interests. We are being asked to believe that this latest version of the very (very) old program of U.S. corporate imperialism is the real deal. While there is no doubt that the regime of Ahmadenijad is reprehensible and the feelings of many of the young protestors in Iran are genuine, you will forgive me for questioning the motives behind the monolithic media support for the overthrow of Iran's government and the installation of Mir-Houssein "Butcher of Beirut" Mousavi.

The Corbett Report

Fr. Zalalas on Biometrics & "The Mark Of The Beast"

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A note from TTHC Blog editor
el greco.

The back story to this post:

Human implantation of Radio-frequency identification (RFID)

The Food and Drug Administration in the US has approved the use of RFID chips in humans. Some business establishments have also started to chip customers, such as the Baja Beach nightclub in Barcelona. This has provoked concerns into privacy of individuals as they can potentially be tracked wherever they go by an identifier unique to them. There are concerns this could lead to abuse by an authoritarian government or lead to removal of freedoms.

On July 22, 2006, Reuters reported that two hackers, Newitz and Westhues, at a conference in New York City showed that they could clone the RFID signal from a human implanted RFID chip, showing that the chip is not hack-proof as was previously claimed.

Related subjects include eschatology (theology and philosophy concerned with the final events in the history of the world) and dispensationalism (which sees the past, present, and future as a number of successive administrations)

Passports with biometrics for Romanians
- 10 May, 2006

Starting with 1 January 2007, passports containing electronic chips will be put into circulation for the Romanian citizens. The passports will include a storage system (probably RFID) for personal data, including a facial image and digital fingerprints.

The present passports will preserve their validity and they will be replaced at the request of the citizens. According to a draft Government Decision under public debate the producer of the electronic passports will be designated by international bidding. The sole supplier must provide the necessary documents and technique for the introduction of the electronic system at EU standards. The provider will finance the project and will be further on reimbursed in instalments as established by the contract. The provider, with the agreement of the Ministry of Finance, will also establish and update the fee to be paid by the citizens when obtaining the passports.

The decision to use only electronic passports will not be the subject of a law adopted by the Parliament and there have been no discussions so far on the privacy and security concerns raised by usage of the RFID technology.

The Romanian officials, as in other eastern European countries, just indicated that the European Union is requesting such a change and therefore no special debate was needed on the decision. The substantiation note accompanying the draft Government decision says: "At the European level, it was considered that the introduction of passports containing electronic information will increase the prevention of person substitution or counterfeit, will facilitate more rapid control procedures at the borders and will further on allow exercising the right to free circulation in those states having imposed such a travel document".

Romania: Protests against biometric passports - 23 Feb, 2009

A few hundred Romanians gathered on 1 February 2009 to protest against the introduction of the obligatory biometric passports starting with the beginning of 2009.

The event comes after the first passports with biometric identifiers (including fingerprints) were issued at the end of January in the county of Ilfov, as a first implementation in the country. The decision was heavily contested by several prominent members of the Orthodox Church that consider it as the first step towards the introduction of biometric identifiers in all ID cards, which is a direct action against freedom of religion and freedom of expression or the right to a private life.

A few civil society pro-orthodox groups, gathered under the name "Coalition against the Police State", started on online petition, with more than 15 000 signatures, calling for a stop to the biometric passports and biometric driving licences, until the situation has been properly explained by the authorities. The coalition also organized the event on 1 February in front of the Patriarchy Palace and announced that one lawyer started a civil action in court in order to stop the Government Decision that allows the issuing of the biometric passports.

The people protesting presented banners stating: "Let us choose!" or "Support the Church ! Refuse the implant!". Several speakers expressed their concern that imposing obligatory biometric IDs is an attempt to make humans same as cattle as a first step to Total Control from the state. Others have considered that the new electronic chip contains the number 666, which, in their opinion, means the first step towards the Apocalypse. The extreme right-wing party Noua Dreapta has joined the demonstration with their specific flags.

The Romanian Patriarchy Orthodox Church refused to publicly support the events, calling for calm and prayers, but at the same time asked the Romanian Government more information regarding the new biometric passports. An official opinion should be issued after their meeting in 27-28 February 2009.

A similar event on 4 February organized by the Coalition against the Police State gathered more than 100 persons with images with politicians looking like sheep. The organizers protested about the fact that no public debate was initiated by the Government in order to asses the social, economical and religious impact of the decision to have obligatory biometric passports.

In both events the participants also protested against the new law on data retention, explained as the law that will permit authorities to "record and keep all the electronic communications of the Romanian citizens."

Another civil society organization - Civil Society Commissariat announced that it has sued its own telecom provider Orange to oblige it to respect the contractual obligations regarding the confidentiality of the communications.Thus, the provider should not implement the data retention law. The organization wants to use this opportunity to challenge the law to the Constitutional Court based on the right to privacy.

Holy Synod of Romanian Orthodox Church calls for alternative to biometric passports - 3 Mar, 2009

In work session on Wednesday, 25 February 2009, the Holy Synod adopted unanimously, Case no. 638/2009 regarding the issue of new electronic passports that include biometric data:

1. Take note of the letter no. 638 of 28 January 2009 Patriarch Daniel to the Ministry of Administration and Interior, which requires some clarification about the new electronic passports that include biometric data.

Also, take note of clarification to address nr.3622071 of 5 February 2009 the Ministry of Administration and Interior - General Directorate of Passports which shows two major insurance:

a. Having a passport is a right and not an obligation, the passport is a document issued on request for those wishing to travel outside the European Union. Thus, it concludes that those who claim conscientious objection or religious grounds are free not to apply this new type of passport;

b. Every citizen has a right to know the direct content of personal data included in the new electronic passports that include biometric data.

2. Itself notes that the European Commission opinion expressed on 16 March 2005, the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies is against implantation in the body of the electronic chip, "the use of implants for non-information and communication is a potential threat human dignity and democratic society "(section 6.4), and" implants for surveillance ... could be used by state authorities, individuals or groups to increase their power over others "(section 6.4.4).

3. Since some people have reluctance towards biometric passports, will help the Romanian state institutions (Presidency, Parliament, Government) with the request to adopt the necessary measures to amend and supplement existing legislation by extending the provisions related to emergencies (passport temporarily) and cases where, for reasons of conscience or religious person does not want electronic passport including biometric data.

4. In future, any initiative religious interest, which comes from a diocese must, first, analyzed and discussed at the Diocesan Center and the Metropolitan synod, and then be submitted to the Holy Synod for debate and decision.

5. Seeing the disturbance caused by the confusing and contradictory opinions on the new biometric passports, the Holy Synod urges clergy, monahii and remain faithful to establish faith in the Savior Jesus Christ Biruitorul hell and death, increase in prayer and good deeds, in vietu Christianity family and society monastery without spread panic and concern by excessive concern for passing things. Thus, God is light, we will defend all evil and will help us to execute well.

Press Office of the Romanian Patriarchate.

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Now here's a copy of a letter sent by Fr. Zalalas to a concerned Christian about Biometrics.

“Dear Adrian and brothers in Christ:

On March 13, I saw Elder Ephraim at the monastery of Saint Anthony in Arizona. Along with the multitude of my sins and transgressions I also conveyed to him the greetings along with the concerns of our Elder Justin of Petru Voda. I have very good memories of the holiness and great hospitality of the monastic brotherhood of Petru Voda and the love of the Elder Justin toward us.

We were asked to speak on a number of things and specifically of the signs of the times. Some of the brothers at the time held the opinion that the magnetic stripe of contemporary bank cards (visa,m/c etc.) is somehow equivalent to the sign-mark-charagma of the Apocalyptic beast. Of course we disagreed with them at the time insisting that the ownership of such a business card does not separate one from the grace of God. We were made aware that even Elder Paisios may have alluded to that effect.

I understand now that our Romanian brothers are being compelled by the European Union to show their “good behavior” and use the latest technology (biometric chip) for identification purposes (ID cards, licences and passports). Unfortunately this technology is being used in the US and Greece. The powerful display of the reposed Archibishop Christodoulos was fruitless because after he received millions of signatures he suddenly abandoned the struggle for no apparent reason.

During the time of my recent confession I explained the concern of our Romanian brothers and Elder Justin to Elder Ephraim of St. Anthony’s and whether the acceptance of this biometric RFID chip alienates them from the Church of Christ.

The response of the elder was very direct: NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! THIS IS NOT THE MARK OF THE BEAST. THE MARK WILL BE IMPOSED AFTER WORLD WAR THREE! AND PRIESTS ARE WRONG TO EXCOMMUNICATE CHRISTIANS FROM THE HOLY CUP BECAUSE THEY ARE USING THIS TECHNOLOGY!

(My comments based on the teachings of my holy and learned elder Athanasios Mitilinaios.)

Adrian, I do agree with Fr. Justin that this technology is a forerunner of the systems used to eventually mark people with the sign of the beast. We are headed toward a one world government which will be instituted after a major world war as Elder Ephraim said.

However the Mark of the Beast –which will be the full acceptance of the spirit of the Antichrist- will be a willful and conscious action of self- dedication and devotion to this newly revealed god! The mark will not have any meaning if imposed to a person by mere force or unconsciousness whether at a hospital bed, during sleep or at the state of infancy.

The final mark much like the Christian Baptism is not something magic. It requires the actual adherence to the precepts of faith. People will accept the mark because they will actually believe that the Christ of Nazareth was a philosopher a great teacher and so on but not divine like the Apocalyptic world leader. For this to happen we must first succumb to total ecumenism, the sinister admixture of all religions which will eventually be replaced by the religion of the Antichrist. This is why Christ sadly asked: When I return will I find faith on earth? People will lose faith in the God-human person of Christ. Although our times are very sinful we are not at the final days of history since we don’t have any definite signs that the antichrist might be born.

However the time is ripe to teach, educate and attempt to awake our people and the people of the world by every possible means. And while I believe that it would be commendable for our pious monks, priests and spiritually advanced laypeople to resist this technology to cause some commotion which could be instrumental in peoples awakening we cannot impose this voluntary action to the general public.

I also agree with Elder Justin that the time of martyrdom is now! We must speak to our faithful about these dangers and we must prepare them to prefer 1000 deaths over the selling of their souls for a few Euro’s , a few carob pods that will soon give them a terrible indigestion as the poor Greeks are now finding out. What the Turks could not accomplish in 400 years the carob pods of the European Union did in less than 30.

The average Greek today lives a life of idolatry and breathes the spirit of the antichrist.

This has nothing to do with the electronic ID card, but with the bondage of the carnal passions. We need to expel the spirit of the antichrist from our lives and to begin to live the life of Christ. By purifying our hearts and practicing humility we will have Christ in our hearts Who will easily fight our enemies for us by His mighty hand.

A blessed Lenten season and a joyous Ressurection.

Constantine Zalalas

3-15-09 Arizona.

Ps. Please have father Justin forgive me for my egotism and audacity if this letter gets to him and to please pray for my family. Instead of crying for my sins I attempt to teach others.”

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More on Biometrics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biometric_passport
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFID
http://waronyou.com/topics/category/issues/rfid-issues/
http://inspiks.com/2008/07/15/rfid-the-rise-of-the-mark-of-the-beast-billy-chrone
http://www.infowars.com/articles/bb/rfid_computere_chips_under_the_skin.htm

A brief word on celibacy

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From the editor: This epistolary examination of the call to lifelong celibacy, such as is embraced by monks and nuns, centres upon the character of that calling as a spiritual gift. An understanding of the proper Christian view of celibacy is ever more important in a world that continues to accord it less and less value, and view it more frequently than not as aberrational.


The notion of celibacy is one hard for the modern mind to understand, still less to appreciate. To what end might a man or woman rebuke (so it seems to many) the rich gift of the married life? For what reason might the human person embark upon a life that seems to 'fail to appreciate' the marvel of this type of precious relationship? Since many stumble at the weight of these and similar questions, so do many dismiss all together that 'other' way of life whose motivations seem so foreign, so unapproachable. In the conceptual struggle of contemporary man to comprehend a manner of living divergent from the 'mainstream' with which he is familiar, that whole way of life is all too often dismissed with the arguments that seem unable to support or defend it. Little does this modern man, who prides himself on the breadth of his understanding and the scope of his embracing acceptance, realise how truly closed his mind can be. Following the example of millions throughout history who have shunned and disparaged that which is not understood or personally appreciated, modern man regards the notion of celibacy as flawed, defective, at its core a distortion of the good and the fullness of human life.

There is little we can do to change this view which predominates in the contemporary world. A people that closes its eyes and stops up its ears to the unfamiliar will not be swayed by many words or patterned arguments. It is possible to have ears, but not to hear; to have eyes, but not to see. Understanding cannot be forced. Changes of heart come more gradually, more mystically. But we may, we must, reinforce in ourselves the understanding of realities which the world around us may not accept. There is a higher judge, a far greater standard, than the opinions of the society of men. When we live according to the truth of His standard, then shall the world come gradually to see through our lives what it might not otherwise accept from our lips.

And so with the calling of celibacy, we must not permit our hearts to be turned by a world which accords it no value. We must understand and always appreciate, cherish, the breadth of the love of God which gives divergent gifts to His precious children. And here the heart of our mystery: gift. As much as the blessing of the sacramental married life is known so to be, so must we come to understand, first of all, that the celibate life is, too, a gift. Only when it is so approached, only when it is so conceived, can it properly be comprehended. The heart of Christ, which accords all men their spiritual gifts through the person of the Holy Spirit, is the true source of the celibate vocation. Spiritual things come only from the Spirit, and a divine gift is always something given, when and to whom God Himself wills. To call celibacy a gift is to affirm that which is all too often forgotten in contemporary life: that it has its root and source in the divine life of God—that it has its manifestation in the person of such an individual as this same God has created, chosen, and formed to journey into the Kingdom by such a way.

From the holy voices of the Fathers of the Church we have been taught, time and time again, that this life, this calling, is not for all. Saint Paul, himself a great lover of the celibate way, affirms nothing less when he says: 'I wish that all men were even as I myself'—that is, that all could be celibate. But then he quickly adds, 'But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that' (1 Cor 7.7). Only those to whom God has given this gift may truly possess it, and only such a one should endeavour to embrace it personally. Just as a man who has not been given the gift of prophecy will never be a prophet, and as a woman who has not been given the gift of visions will never be a seer, so the individual who has not been given the gift of celibacy will never truly be a celibate. It is a holy way of life, but it is not the exclusive way of life. It is a gift given to some through the love of God, which neither debases nor exalts them in relation to their brethren to whom God has given the gift of the call to marriage. God's gifts are not to be 'rated'. All are holy blessings.

In appreciating this reality of celibacy as a spiritual gift, we are able to address and to quell in our hearts many of the concerns the world bears toward this life. First, and perhaps the most insidious among the views of the world, is the belief that the way of celibacy stands in judgement of the way of marriage. There is fear in our contemporary culture, that an acceptance of the notion of celibacy equates to an acceptance of a tacit devaluation of marriage—that the celibate man looks spitefully on his married brother and the celibate woman scorns her married sister. But it is the world, not the holy Church, which approaches our topic with such an 'either-or' attitude; for how can one who truly views both the married and celibate ways as gifts of one and the same loving God, set one in opposition to the other? How can he be serious of his faith, who would receive one gift from Christ, but call another evil? No, the value and sanctity of all things is in the Giver, who by His radiant energies makes all gifts holy. Celibacy and marriage both have their essence in Him who draws all things to life. How striking to our expectations that some of the most poignant phrases ever composed in support of and love for the married way, have come from the pens of celibate monks, nuns and Apostles. Such individuals know how deep, convicting and abiding God's gifts may be within a human life, and how precious can be that embodiment of Trinitarian love that is made manifest in the gift of Christian marriage. But they magnify a gift they know is not their own. Their own life is rooted in a different gift, another way, and it is this gift that receives the personal love of their own hearts.

Saint Paul, the great Apostle, taught us well concerning the varieties of spiritual gifts, that they are numerous, divergent, yet all precious and divinely personal. He himself received the wondrous and exceptional gift of the apostolate and therefore was in a position, it might be thought, to place one gift above another in the manner that some gifts bring authority over the exercise of others (cf. 1 Cor 12:1-31). But it is our same Saint Paul who reminds us of the inherent value of all the gifts of the Lord, precisely because they are gifts of the Lord. Because we know to call celibacy a gift, so we know not to use it in judgement of other gifts. The world which sees in Christian celibacy a despisal of the married way, sees but the illusion of its own misunderstanding.

Secondly, our understanding of celibacy as a gift helps us to appreciate the fact that this life is not a negative, but a positive calling. All too often is celibacy described in terms of negation: the celibate is one who 'lacks' a spouse, who 'goes without' marriage, who 'suffers the absence' of a partner. But gifts are not matters of negation, they are rooted in the active receipt of otherwise un-possessed blessings. Celibacy is only a negative state when viewed from one, specific angle. How often does modern man stop to think of celibacy, even attempt to think of celibacy, as the embracing of a different kind of positive? Perhaps never, certainly not often; and yet this is the very message of celibacy as gift. The celibate man may live without a wife, but he possesses the great gift of being wed solely to Christ, of having none for the object of his intimate love than his own Creator. She who lives in celibate devotion to God vests herself in the same manner of life embraced by the Son who walked on this earth with neither spouse nor mate, yet wed Himself to all the world as the perfect Bridegroom for a waiting bride. Are not such things positive, not states of deprivation but of rich fulfilment? The celibate does not see his life predominantly as one of 'going without', but one of going with Christ in a different way. Yes, there are sacrifices made, oftentimes severe in form and nature, but this is no less true in a holy marriage. In the requirement of great sacrifice, the callings are the same. Their distinction lies in the manner, not the quantity, of the offering. Only when we are truly, deeply biased, do we fail to see that both gifts require tremendous personal sacrifice, yet from and through this sacrifice grant many rich blessings.

The celibate's call is to walk toward Christ in a different manner than his married brother. Due to the unsearchable wisdom and love of God, he is called to a type of journey into the Kingdom that is more socially solitary—but he is never alone. The celibate, too, believes that 'it is not good for man to be alone'; but let us not be so naive and closed-minded as to think that marriage is the only way to be 'together'. The celibate joins himself to the world in a relationship of no single intimate union with another, that through his one union with Christ, and through Him the Spirit and the Father, he may be lover and companion to all. It is a very different call than to the blessed state of marriage; but a call is always, by its nature, social.

Celibacy is a positive calling, and we are reminded of this when we appreciate its nature as divine gift. We find here, too, reassurance of the fullness of life to be had in such a calling. Society may be eager to decry the celibate way as one in which the individual 'misses out' on the fullness of life attainable in marriage, but in so doing, our modern world only shows more clearly its failure to understand the nature of the gifts of God as effective personal realities. The richness, the wholeness and the completeness of life do not come from the adherence to any social or relational model: they come from personal union with God. Such union is always and only available to man through the gifts given him by our precious and loving Lord; and so individual fullness comes from realising, embracing and fostering within us the gifts we, and not any other, have received. Many receive the gift of the married vocation, and to these the richness of union with God comes, in part, through that gift's actualisation in a holy and sanctified marriage. Not to embrace the gift is to wage battle with God, who knows better than man what life is most suited to him. And this same concept is equally true of him who has received the gift of celibacy: only in the gift's embrace will such a person ever truly know the richness and fullness of life as God has set it before him. No other way shall ever satisfy the longing in his heart, even if that other way is that which brings fulfilment and union to a hundred million others. It is not his way. To live a celibate life is, for the one who has received this gift, the context of his journey into union with God.

Our life in Christ is the true soul of our being as human persons. We live in Him through His coming to us as man—the divine Man to whose life we were joined when, through the mystical power of the Holy Trinity, we were baptised in the same waters that flowed over His own flesh and sealed with the same Spirit that soared over the creation formed in Him. It is to this life that we must attend with all diligence and care, working to attain the discernment that will enable us to see and to recognise the unique and precious gifts God has given to each of us personally as His own priceless children. Let us never succumb to societal pressures that would have us walk one way or another based upon the comforts and preferences of a troubled world. Let us never be swayed into judging or pre-determining the gifts of God, which only He has the right to determine and give. We must find in ourselves the light of Christ which calls us toward Himself, and see through its illumination the path by which He calls us to His side. Whether it be by the celibate or married way, our response should be only joy—and great joy at this. How can we do anything but rejoice when our Maker shows us the road which He has fashioned especially between us and Him? Shall we once again take from the Tree of Life the fruit that seems sweetest to our senses, rather than the food sprung forth specifically for our growth and sanctification? May our societally-induced 'preferences' never cause us to scorn our gift through longing for another. May God give to us the patience and the openness to discern which gift we have been given; and when we have found it, to follow Him in that gift. If we are thus faithful to Him and Him alone, surely our wise Lord will bless our lives with richness beyond imagining and fullness beyond expectation; for He is a good and loving God who knows and desires what is best for His children.

May we always have His blessing.

http://tinyurl.com/monachos-celibacy

More on Neo-Paganism

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User Adamantios speaks again on the Neo-Pagan trend

"Message From A Hellenic Nationalist Comrade On Golden Dawn and Neo-Paganism" post on Hellenic Nationalist Blog



"Anyone who supports -- or even tolerates -- Neo-Paganism is not a nationalist or could ever be as long as they hold such traitorous beliefs.

Neo-Paganism is a Western import. It's roots trace directly to the Worldwide Theosophical Society that was established by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in 1875 in the United States. All Neo-Pagan movements and factions, to one extent or another, are ideologically based on this organization's principles and, all of them, without exception, originate from the creation of this organization. Although there are a few highly confused individuals (mostly in the diaspora) who are Neo-Pagan and believe themselves to be "nationalists", the extreme majority of Neo-Pagans are New Age spiritualists who advance egalitarianism, promiscuity, secularism, democracy, and other anathemas. The commonality between Neo-Pagans of the first variety and the second is that they both lack all comprehension of ancient Hellenic civilization. Indeed, many times they have never read a single piece of ancient Greek literature (but still speak about ancient Greek philosophers as if they were experts on the matter) or, if in the diaspora, can not even speak demotic Greek (let alone any form of ancient Greek).

Regarding paganism in ancient Greece, it is not strange at all that every great Hellene from that period highly criticized and/or rejected that dark and barbaric religion in one form or another. Such individuals include (but are not limited to): Xenophon the Kolofonios, Heraclitus, Anaximandros, Ebedocles, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Mitrodoros, Protagoras, Herodotus, Aristodimos, Dimosthenes, Pindar, Prodikos, Antisthenes, Theofrastos, Euripides, Socrates, Plato, the Stoics, Karniades, Theodoros the Kyrinaios, Leukippos, Dimocritus, Epicouros, the Sophists, the Cynics, St. Julian the Philospher and Martyr, and Klimis the Alexandrean. It's also worth mentioning that ancient paganism was exceedingly degenerate. Homoeroticism, sexual orgies, pedophilia, temple prostitution, and even bestiality were widespread in Greece precisely because these things were promoted as a result of the demented actions of the mythical gods. This is why the greatest Hellenes came into conflict with the religion (and, as a result, were often exiled, sentenced to death, or murdered by pagan fanatics).

Orthodoxy, on the other hand, is an ethical, civilized religion (and which ironically has more in common with Socratic/Platonic philosophy than paganism ever did). It is an integral part of Hellenism, rooted in our culture, and is inseparatable from Hellenic Civilization. Thus, it's rejection constitutes both a cultural and historical rejection of Hellenism. And that is essentially what treason is. Furthermore, Orthodoxy -- as proven by countless miracles (including the Holy Fire miracle that occurs every single year) is the One True Faith. Anyone who would reject the Truth of Orthodoxy for any other religious, political, or philosophical belief is, along with being a traitor to Hellenism, a fool."

George Soros, Postmodern Villain

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The following is an extremely enlightening article regarding the Jew George Soros. It is written by Srdja Trifkovic, a Serbian journalist, and was published in the American magazine "Chronicles". This article exposes Soros' billion dollar campaign to export his ultra-Liberal social and political views around the world, and particularly in post-Communist Eastern Europe, through a global network of "non-governmental organizations" that are dedicated to: promoting abortion and helping local and international "non-governmental organizations" counter and obstruct the efforts of anti-abortion groups; legalizing drugs; promoting homosexuality by using the media and politicians to influence society and the legal system; legalizing euthanasia; supporting immigration and open borders policies; supporting minority rights at the expense of the majority and giving minorities (principally gypsies) affirmative action; supporting feminism; controlling the education system; and generally advocating relativism and denouncing anything absolutist as "oppressive" and "undemocratic".

http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/Chronicles/February2004/0204Trifkovic.html

George Soros, Postmodern Villain
by Srdja Trifkovic

NGO's, Behold Your God.

George Soros was born in Budapest in 1930 but, today, spends most of his time in New York City. Not much is known about his early years. He is the only eminent "holocaust survivor" who has been accused of collaboration with the Nazis. In 1947, he managed to sneak through the Iron Curtain, and, the official story goes, "he landed penniless in London, but by hard work and sheer genius, he rose to become one of the planet's most successful investors and richest men."

Mr. Soros' peculiar moral values, political views, and ideological preferences would be immaterial without the money that he can spend promoting and imposing them. The bulk of that money-currently estimated at not less than seven billion dollars-was earned in the minus-sum game of currency and stock speculation, contributing nothing to the creation of wealth and making millions of ordinary people poorer in the process. His offshore Quantum Fund-legally headquartered in Curacao, beyond U.S.-government supervision-specializes in speculative investments to take advantage of deliberately induced political and economic weaknesses of different countries and regions. In an interview with the Swiss weekly L'hebdo (May 1993), Soros outlined his strategy: "I speculate on discrepancy between the reality and the public image of this reality, until a correctional mechanism occurs, which approaches these two."

His profits are staggering. On September 16, 1992, he famously made a billion dollars in one day by betting against the Bank of England and the pound sterling. In July 1997, he contributed to the Southeast Asian financial crisis by shorting the Thai bath. In early 2000, he supposedly suffered losses on tech stocks, but some analysts now suggest that the burn of the NASDAQ was controlled and that Soros helped to start the fire. By last November, he was betting the U.S. dollar would plummet. As the London Independent reported (November 28, 2003), his activities were contributing to a growing belief on Wall Street that the dollar would slide even further.

There is nothing new in Soros' approach to making money or in the ability of such a person to make an impact, invariably detrimental, on his host society's morals and culture. What is new with Mr. Soros-in addition to the implausible claim that a private speculator could get as far as he has unaided by any established financial interests-is his systematic, concerted effort to use a large part of his fortune to promote his peculiar social and political views. He does so through a global network of "nongovernmental organizations" named after himself and active primarily in Eastern Europe but also in Africa, Latin America, and the United States. At age 75, money is not his object but his tool. He has used it to develop a well-coordinated global operation centered on the Open Society Institute (OSI) in New York, which funds a network of subsidiaries in over 50 countries.

Even before the Open Society network came into being, Soros' blueprint for postcommunist "shock therapy" reform had been put to the test. First came Poland, where the first postcommunist prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, was close to Soros and subsequently remained associated with his local subsidiary, the Stefan Batory Foundation. In his book Underwriting Democracy, Soros says that he personally prepared the broad outlines of Poland's comprehensive economic reform:

I joined forces with Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard University, who was advocating a similar program, and sponsored his work in Poland through the Stefan Batory Foundation . . . The IMF approved and the program went into effect on Jan. 1, 1990. It was very tough on the population, but people were willing to take a lot of pain in order to see real change.

Poland was only a start, however; far more important to his goals was his association in 1991-92 with Russia's "reformist" leaders Anatoly Chubais and Yegor Gaidar and their Harvard guru Sachs. Within a year of their "shock therapy," hyperinflation had wiped out Russians' savings and the long-suffering middle class with it. Pensioners were literally starving. The parallel "privatization" of Russia's huge resources-timber, oil, gas, chemicals, media-created the robber oligarchs and contributed to Russia's effective deindustrialization. The country was lowered into neocolonial dependence: a supplier of energy and raw materials and an importer of high technology and manufactured goods. Nevertheless, in early 1993, Soros felt that Russia had not gone far enough: "The social safety net would also provide a powerful incentive to shut down loss-making enterprises. Factories could be idled and the raw materials and energy that go into production could be sold for more than the output."

George Soros is out to deconstruct nations and states as Europe has known them for centuries, with Russia always the main prize. In an interview with the Moscow daily Komersant (August 8, 1997), he declared that "a strong central government in Russia cannot be democratic." "The rescue of a free Russian economy depends on the attraction of Western investments," he added, and, to that end, "Russia's general public must accept the ideology of an open society."

By that time, a total of 29 "Soros Foundations" were active in every postcommunist country. In 1994, his foundations spent a total of $300 million; by 1998, that figure had risen to $574 million. These are enormous sums in an impoverished and vulnerable Eastern Europe.

Those foundations say that they are "dedicated to building and maintaining the infrastructure and institutions of an open society." What this means in practice is clear from their many fruits. Regarding "women's health" programs in Central and Southeastern Europe, for instance, one will look in vain for breast-cancer detection or prenatal or postnatal care. Soros' main goal is clear and frankly stated: "to improve the quality of abortion services." Accordingly, his Public Health Program has supported the introduction of medical abortion in Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia and the introduction of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) abortion in Macedonia, Moldova, and Russia. In addition,

OSI has also worked with international and local NGOs to respond to the growing strength of the antiabortion movement. Through its influence on ministries of health and hospital administrators, that movement has made strides in reducing access to abortion . . . OSI will continue to support training in quality of care and efforts to keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible for all women in the region.

Why is Soros so interested in promoting more abortions in Eastern Europe? Overpopulation cannot be the reason: The region is experiencing a colossal demographic collapse and has some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. Unavailability of abortion cannot be the answer either: According to a recent U.N. report, five European countries had more abortions than live births in 2000-the Russian Federation, Bulgaria, Belarus, Rumania, and Ukraine. Overall, the report said, abortion rates are "substantially higher in central and eastern Europe and the CIS countries than in western Europe and North America." The only logical answer is that Soros wants as few Russians and others born into this world as possible.

Soros' public-health programs also "support initiatives focusing on the specific health needs of several marginalized communities" and promote "harm reduction": "Its primary goal is to empower drug users to protect their health. Needle/syringe exchange and substitution therapies (e.g., methadone) are at the center of harm reduction health interventions." His "harm reducers" have expanded their work with special initiatives on "sex workers" and prisoners and launched a policy initiative that attempts to ensure that "repressive drug policies do not impede the expansion of harm reduction efforts."

Over the past five years, the Soros network has given a successful start to previously nonexistent "gay" activism in almost all of its areas of operation. The campaign for "LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] Rights" is directed from Budapest, where Miriam Molnar's 1999 policy paper published by OSI defined the "problem" as discrimination and the low level of acceptance, visibility, and political representation of LGBT's. It was necessary either "to convince the society to accept LGBT people as equal and let the society make pressure [sic] to the politicians (through media) to change laws" or "to convince the politicians that LGBT people are equal and that they need help in convincing the rest of the society." The overall goals were to generate discussion about LGBT identity within the community, to make them visible and "create a positive image," and to establish regular forums of discussion with other groups in the region. Specific tasks included the development of websites in English with subsites in local languages, the establishment of task forces that would react to all "homophobic" media outbursts in one "Pink Book," and the organization of two-week summer schools for teachers that would "provide training about discrimination of [sic] LGBT people, disabled people, overweight people etc."

In November 1999, a pilot project began at the Center for Publishing Development (OSI Budapest) on homosexual books in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Slovakia. That same year, Nash Mir (Our World) Gay and Lesbian Center announced that it had been registered as an NGO in the Ukraine. From that moment, the group was free to pursue its stated goals, including "fight against sexual-orientation discrimination" and "homophobic sentiments in societal consciousness" and "assistance to upbringing of gays' and lesbians' self-consciousness as equal and valuable members of society." The group expressed gratitude for its legalization to the "Ukrainian branch of Soros Foundation Network (Renaissance Foundation) which lobbied our question in the Ministry of Justice and render [sic] legal assistance to us."

Gay.ru is a Soros-funded Moscow NGO that has developed "into an established and recognized Russian gay and lesbian center" and "the clearing house for lesbian and gay groups scattered across the country":

We keep contacts with all existing gay, lesbian, and AIDS organizations in Russia and maintain on-going correspondence and reporting to international gay and lesbian organizations . . . We have collected the biggest off-line library that features over a hundred Russian titles and some fifty English classic books on gay studies. It was greatly enhanced by the Core Collection on Gay and Lesbian Issues awarded to us by the Soros Foundation in 2000.

In Bucharest, Monika Barcsy of the local Soros branch bewailed the fact that, in Rumania, "the homosexual identity is stigmatized" and is one of the main bases for treating individuals as "the others" in an attitude of intolerance. Their families became the victims of prejudice "just because the society is unable to accept the legitimacy of same-sex relations as a 'normal' manifestation." The author singles out the Rumanian Orthodox Church as a prime culprit: "The problem is that many Christian Orthodox students' organizations and other student groups support the church." In 1994, she points out, more than 100 theology students began a series of demonstrations in front of Rumania's parliament against homosexual propaganda in the media and collected signatures demanding legislation to criminalize same-sex relations. Barcsy concludes by reiterating the standard Soros line:

Gay men and lesbians need rights that guarantee them the expression of their identity in the public sphere . . . [T]he legal status of gays and lesbians, their ability to move and appear in public, to speak out and act together should be considered a very good test of the civic openness. [It] can't be resolved with the new laws made under the pressure of different human rights organizations. Romania needs . . . to ameliorate the negative responses towards the homosexuals from the majority population . . . There are "problems" with the society as a whole, and the society's mentality can't be changed overnight.

A key pillar of Soros' activities is his dictum that "no-one has a monopoly on the truth" and that "civic education" should replace the old "authoritarian" model. Civic education does not have to be "just a dialogue" between a teacher and students, he says; in addition, "we have projects like health education, where people use new ways to discuss issues like hygiene, diet, and sex." While "this does not sound like traditional civic education," he continues, it is "a new way for teachers to relate to their pupils," just as citizens must relate in new ways to governments and elected officials in societies trying to become more open and democratic.

Accordingly, throughout postcommunist Eastern Europe, the Soros Foundation's primary stated goal is to "democratize the education system" by "instituting curriculum reforms." What this means in practice has been demonstrated over the past three years by Serbia's education minister Gaso Knezevic, a friend and confidante of Soros. Since the first day of his tenure, Mr. Knezevic has insisted that schools must be transformed from "authoritarian" institutions into "exercise grounds" for the "unhindered expression of students' personalities in the process of equal-footed interaction with the teaching staff, thus overcoming the obsolete concept of authority and discipline rooted in the oppressive legacy of patriarchal past." Mr. Knezevic started his reform with primary schools, with a pilot program of "educational workshops" for children ages 7 to 12. The accompanying manual, financed by the Open Society, rejects the quaint notion that the purpose of education is the "acquisition of knowledge" and insists that the teacher has to become the class "designer" and that his relationship with students should be based on "partnership."

In Russia, Soros' associates exercise great control over the selection of textbooks for Russian schools. According to a press release by the Gaidar Youth Library, financial support from the Open Society Institute provided it with computers, videocassettes, and CD's, all of which made "special training" for the children of "underprivileged people" possible in the library:

We organized a special seminar "Children's rights nowadays" for all specialists who took part in our project . . . The working group of the program "The Circle of Friends" is grateful to the "Open Society" Institute (Soros Fund, Budapest) for the opportunity to realize this project in a full volume.

In 1999, the Moscow Open Society office started a major five-year project, "The Development of Education in Russia." Its goal is to "reeducate rural teachers at a cost of US $100-150 million" (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 19, 1998). It is also applying a program called "Tolerance" in Russian secondary schools, but its masterminds may have made a linguistic blunder. According to a Russian critic of the program,

The Russian translation of this Latin word-tyerpimost-has the dual meaning of prostitution and could be confused with doma tyerpimosti, houses of ill fame . . . How come this financial manipulator tries to teach us about tolerance, us who grew up with Leo Tolstoy, one of the first philosophers of non-violence? . . . But Mr. Soros is also a horribly distorted mirror, which should make us see our own, present image, without blinking or turning away. There are times when evil can become an eye-opener, when its derisive laughter can waken us up and help regaining our strength. We should not miss this opportunity.

A first step in that direction may have been taken last November 7, when the OSI Moscow office was raided by a private security company hired by the owner of the building with whom the foundation was engaged in a protracted legal battle. Only weeks before, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the billionaire oligarch and OSI Moscow executive director who has his own NGO called the Open Russia Foundation, was arrested and charged with tax evasion, theft, forgery, and fraud. Soros denounced the arrest as an act of "persecution" that should disqualify Russia from belonging to the G-8 group of industrialized countries. "I believe that he acted within the constraints of the law. I am doing the same in the United States," said Soros, alluding to his multimillion-dollar donations toward "regime change" in Washington next November. The American press indignantly reported that the raid was directed against a philanthropic organization that had spent "more than $US 1 billion on charitable projects in Russia in the past 15 years."

"Racism" is Soros' regular obsession, but he faced the potential problem of finding it in racially nondiverse Eastern European countries. This has been resolved by identifying a designated victim group-Gypsies! "Few minority groups in Europe face as much social, economic, and political discrimination as do Romani people," says OSI. Being a "Roma activist" has become a lucrative designation within the community. Seventy of the most promising ones came to the conference "Roma in Expanding Europe: Challenges for the Future," held in Budapest last summer, at which Soros inaugurated a "Decade of Roma Inclusion." The conference offered policy recommendations, some of which could have been written by Jesse Jackson: first, obligatory and free preschool education in desegregated classrooms; second, Romani assistants in the classroom, especially in preschool; third, antibias training for teachers and school administrators; and fourth, integration of Romani history and culture in textbooks at all levels.

Legally mandated affirmative-action programs for Roma in high schools and universities were recommended by the delegations of Rumania and Serbia-Montenegro. On employment, the conference recommended tax incentives for those who employ Roma and access to low-interest credit for small Roma-owned family businesses. The Czech and Slovak delegations also proposed setting aside a percentage of government contracts for Roma construction firms. In the area of housing, specific demands were made to combat "racism and discrimination," including the "legalization" of shantytowns and "equal access" to municipal housing. The conference concluded that combating racial discrimination against Roma must be pursued through the adoption of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation complying with the requirements of the E.U. Race Equality Directive.

The Rumanian delegation demanded that the Bucharest government recognize the Roma holocaust by issuing a public apology along with urgent adoption of a reparations package. The European Union was asked to make sure that Roma are broadly involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of all E.U. spending on Roma projects.

Soros' "programs" would have been deemed laughable or outrageous in their target countries only a decade ago. No one is laughing today, however. For thousands of young Eastern Europeans, to become a "Soroshite" represents today what joining the Party represented to their parents: an alluring opportunity to have a reasonably paid job, to belong to a privileged elite, and, for many, to travel abroad. The chosen few go to Soros's own Central European University in Budapest, where they are taught that affirming a scientifically grounded truth is "totalitarian" and that the sovereign nation-state is evil.

There is not one patriot (Russian, Croat, Latvian, Serb, Rumanian, Hungarian) or one practicing Christian on Soros' payroll. In all postcommunist countries, Soros relies on the sons and daughters of the old communist establishment, who are less likely to be tainted by any atavistic attachments to their native soil, culture, and traditions. The more successful among them-and the most loyal-may spend years drifting from one "project" to another, and some have been living that way for more than a decade. Soros has revealed (in Underwriting Democracy) that his Open Society foundations will help create an international web, at the heart of which will be the computerized base of personal data that will enable Western multinationals to find the local candidates they need.

These new janissaries, just like those of the Ottoman army of old, have to prove their credentials by being more zealous than the master himself; as the Balkan proverb has it, "a convert is worse than a Turk." Nobody is more insanely vehement in his insults against the Serbian people and their history, religion, art, and suffering than a dozen Serb-born columnists who are on the payroll of Sonja Licht, Soros' Gauleiter in Belgrade.

Hoi polloi are force-fed the daily fare of OSI agitprop by "the Soros media"-the term now exists in over a dozen languages-from the Gazeta Wyborcza in Warsaw to Danas (Today) in Serbia, the Monitor in Montenegro, the Markiza TV channel in Bratislava, and Vreme weekly and the B-92 electronic media conglomerate in Belgrade. They invariably parrot Soros' views and ambitions, reflected by the agenda of the local Soros foundation at home and, in world affairs, by the International Crisis Group (ICG), largely financed by Soros and run by his appointees.

Soros' agenda in world affairs is clear from the fact that his appointees include Gen. Wesley Clark, who commanded NATO forces in the war against Serbia in 1999; Louise Arbour, the former chief prosecutor of the Yugoslav war-crimes tribunal at The Hague; former assistant secretary of state Morton Abramowitz, an enthusiastic supporter of Bosnian Muslims and Albanians in the wars of Yugoslav succession; and former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, whose visceral Russophobia aided and abetted the rise of Osama bin Laden and his jihadist cohorts.

As Gilles d'Aymery noted two years ago, Soros is not just the power behind the Open Society Institute, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the National Endowment for Democracy, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Crisis Group:

[L]ike an immense Jules Verne octopus, [he] extends his tentacles all over Eastern Europe, South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus as well as the republics of the former Soviet Union. With the help of these various groups [it is possible] not only to shape but to create the news, the agenda and public opinion to further aims which are, in short, the control of the world, its natural resources and the furtherance of the uniform ideal of a perfect world polity made in America.

That polity will not be "American" in any recognizable sense if Soros has his way, however. Here, he supports increased government spending and tax increases, drug legalization, euthanasia, open borders and immigration, immigrant entitlements, feminism, free abortion on demand, affirmative action, and "gay" rights. He opposes the death penalty in any circumstance. One of the trustees of OSI is Lani Guinier, the law professor whom Bill Clinton tried to nominate as head of the civil-rights division of the Department of Justice but changed his mind when she was found to favor minority veto power over legislation. Its president is Aryeh Neier, who had for 12 years been executive director of the Soros-funded Human Rights Watch and, before that, national director of the American Civil Liberties Union for eight years.

That he is anti-Bush is unremarkable, but Soros' statement last December that the defeat of the President is "a matter of life and death" was silly. His largesse to Bush's foes-although substantial-does not reflect the stated urgency of the moment: $15 million for America Coming Together; $3 million for John Podesta's new think tank; and $2.5 million for MoveOn.org falls far short of a month's cost of running his many foundations around the world.

Soros remains primarily committed to destroying the remaining bastions of the family, sovereign nationhood, and Christian Faith east of the Trieste-Stettin line. He senses that his full-throttle intervention in America is not necessary, because things are gradually going his way anyway. No matter who is his party's anointed candidate come next November, the real choice will be between George and Gyorgy, and that is not much of a choice.

Chronicles' foreign-affairs editor Srdja Trifkovic is the author of The Sword of the Prophet: Islam-History, Theology, Impact on the World.

George Soros & Skopje

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Newsgroups: soc.culture.yugoslavia,soc.culture.greek
Date: 18 Mar 1995 23:15:43 GMT

Over the past 3 years, many Western policy-makers have contended that the
Republic of Skopje is "weak" and "defenseless", and therefore no match for
"Greek thugs" who allegedly seek to destabilize it. Well, that's not true,
and now there is proof. Skopje has many powerful allies, one of whom is
Mr. George Soros, who has invested millions of dollars of his own fortune
to demonize Greeks in the Western media.

The following article is quite long, but very, very informative. It has
taken me quite some time retype it on the computer, but I think it is well
worth it. I encourage Serbs, and especially Greeks, to read it.

Quoting parts of an article from "The New Yorker", published on
Jan. 23, 1995. Reprinted without permission, for "fair use" only.

The World According to Soros By: Connie Bruck

Nowhere has Soros put more energy and money into bolstering a government
than in Macedonia. "George is the savior of Macedonia," his friend Morton
Abramowitz declared. And the Macedonian representative in Washington, Ljubica
Acevska, says of two separate Soros loans of twenty-five million dollars,
"People have found it difficult to believe. The opposition said, 'A country
does not help you -- why would an individual help you?' Remember, twenty-five
million dollars in Macedonia is like billions here. . . . The fact that Soros
did it helped the government a great deal."

By betting aggressively on Macedonia, Soros plunged into one of those
simmering Balkan disputes whose apparent simplicities mask lethal complexities.
The Macedonia that excited Soros was a province of Yugoslavia once known as
Vardar Banovina; it was renamed the Republic of Macedonia in 1945 by Marshal
Tito. Its populace was varied, the largest portion being Slavs, whose ancestors
had arrived in the region nearly a thousand years after the most famous
Macedonians of all, Phillip II and his son, Alexander the Great. However,
Tito -- coveting the large Greek region of Macedonia -- encouraged the
irredentist idea of all Macedonians' sharing a distinct ethnic identity. He
then supported the Communist-led Democratic Army in the Greek Civil War, a
brutal conflict that tore the country from 1946 to 1949.

Greece's fears were reawakened in 1991, when the fragment of Yugoslavia
declared its independence as the nation of Macedonia; its newly elected
President, Kiro Gligorov, was one of Tito's Communist bosses, and had helped
propagate the idea of a separate ethnic identity for Macedonians. Gligorov
says that his Macedonia has no territorial ambitions, but the Greeks have not
been comforted. In 1992 and 1993, Gligorov's government issued new school
textbooks that showed "geographical ethnic boundaries" encompassing the whole
of Greek Macedonia; the country's flag carries the symbol of the empire of
Alexander the Great; and a preamble to its 1991 Constitution pledges it to
protect Macedonians everywhere. The Greeks do not pretend that the Lilliputian
Macedonia, with its two million people, poses any threat to them at the moment,
but history has taught them to take a long view. In a scenario that some Greeks
project, for example, Macedonians might someday attempt a hostile incursion,
in concert with their fellow-Slavs in Bulgaria, which occupied part of Greece
during the Second World War.

This was the situation when Soros arrived in Skopje, the Macedonian capital,
in September, 1992, during a whirlwind tour through his proliferating
foundation network. He had come directly from Bulgaria, where a member of the
board of his foundation in Sofia had given him the prevailing Bulgarian view:
that there is no such thing as an ethnic Macedonian, and that Macedonia's
fervent attempts to establish this identity cloaked irredentist aspirations
bequeathed by Tito. "Soros knew nothing about Macedonia," Acevska said. "When
he arrived, his head was filled with propaganda from Bulgaria -- he was
probably sorry that he was here. Then he had a meeting with the Prime Minister,
whom Soros really likes, and the President had a lunch for him -- and he
changed his mind."

That afternoon, Soros held a press conference at which he announced that he
was committing an additional million dollars to the budget of his foundation
in Macedonia, and, furthermore -- and this carried as much weight -- he was
changing its name from the Open Society Foundation of Skopje to the Open
Society Foundation of Macedonia.

When I described Soros's overnight conversion to the Macedonian cause to
someone who used to work for Soros in the financial markets, this person
asserted that it was "pure Soros." He said, "As a fund manager, you're looking
at life and then simplifying it in order to find predictive qualities. So he
gets the 'broker's recommendation' -- that is, the consensus view -- from
Bulgaria. Then he gets to Macedonia, and, instead of getting corroboration, he
decides that the reality is totally different. And he thinks, If I HIT the
reality hard, the illusion will give way. It's his PERFECT market position!"
This person noted that Soros is always happiest going against the herd:
"That's when the wind's in your hair."

He pointed out, however, that in the market "you see if you're right or
wrong; the market tells you. Now George is in an area where there is no real
right or wrong; where it's more nuanced. He says, 'If I spend enough, I will
make it right.' "

In the good-guy, bad-guy formulation to which Soros is so partial, the
Greeks became the bad guys. He did not go to Greece to get the Greek view.
In his few hours with Gligorov, he became persuaded, as he has often insisted
since, that Macedonia is the only multi-ethnic state left in the Balkans with
a government devoted to pluralism and democratic principles -- a view contested
by many ethnic Albanians, Macedonia's largest minority, who charge that
Gligorov's actions belie his words, and that they are discriminated against in
schooling, employment, and political representation.

The executive director of the Soros foundation in Skopje, Vladimir Milcin,
maintains that he, too, is committed to the principles of an open society. But
it is difficult to reconcile a dedication to pluralism with the demagogic
passion that Milcin exhibits on the question of Macedonian ethnic identity.
He gave me propagandist literature on Macedonia and Greece (including a
pamphlet of excerpted texts entitled "Modern Greeks Are Not Descended from the
Ancient Hellenes"). Efforts to resolve the ongoing dispute with Greece have
included discussions about changing the name of Macedonia to something like
Vardar Macedonia or Nova Macedonia. But in an interview I had with the Prime
Minister, Branko Crvenkovski, which Milcin attended, the two men insisted that
the name is not negotiable. Milcin declared, "If they change the name, I will
go to the mountains and fight with the guerrillas!"

Such strong partisanship is not the normal language of foundations. As
tax-exempt organizations that receive tax-deductible contributions (from
Soros), the Soros foundations, according to I.R.S. rules, are not supposed to
engage in most forms of political activity. They may not lend support to a
particular party or a campaign, for example, and they may not lobby (though
"lobbying" is rather loosely defined). Soros, as he has done often in his
financial life, is moving aggressively in a gray area -- in both his personal
lobbying and the work of his foundations. Soros has made no secret of his
willingness to lend support to Gligorov, even in the context of an election
campaign. In November, Gligorov and his coalition won an ample majority (in an
election that the two main opposition parties have charged was rigged). About
a month before the election, Soros told me that he would have gone to Macedonia
to help Gligorov if the election had seemed in doubt. Ljupco Georgievski, the
right-wing head of the opposition V.M.R.O. (International Macedonian
Revolutionary Organization) Party, charges that the Soros foundation is
"a support machine to the government." Virtually all foundation grants, he
says, go to those associated in some way with the ruling party. Referring to
a television station, A1, that receives Soros support, Georgievski said, "It is
truly an alternative in its cultural programming; however, in politics. . . you
see ministers of the present Macedonian government more often than on state
TV." Marshall Harris, who was formerly in the State Department and is now the
executive director of the Action Council for Peace in the Balkans (an
organization started in 1993 with Soros's funding), told me, "The complaints
I've heard a lot -- that the [Gligorov] government freezes out all other
parties, even those in its own coalition, that information about negotiations
[in the dispute with Greece] is kept under VERY tight control -- are not
suggestive of a new system."

Since the fall of 1992, Soros has been lobbying aggressively for United
States recognition of Macedonia, while Greece has been making the case that
recognition should not come before Macedonian concessions on its name, its
flag, and its Constitution. Last February, President Clinton did agree to
recognize Macedonia under the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
-- an attempt not to show prejudice to either side. Greece retaliated with an
embargo, and Clinton, after meeting with representatives of a Greek-American
lobby, essentially froze the recognition.

At this point, one well-placed person in the Clinton Administration told me,
Soros moved into high gear. "He wrote a sharp letter to the President, raising
parallels with 1938 and appeasement," this person said. Soros also wrote a
somewhat more moderate piece for the Op-Ed page of the Times. In public
appearances, he denounced Greece and the Greek-American lobby. He has lobbied
Strobe Talbott and others in the State Department and the National Security
Council. And at the Bretton Woods Conferences in Washington last July, Soros
worked the corridors assiduously, attempting to persuade members of the
European Union to help Macedonia. (Greece, which then held the chairmanship
of the E.U., has vetoed any aid.)

Nor were all Soros's efforts so overt. The Soros-funded Action Council for
Peace in the Balkans launced a major effort on Macedonia. In February, 1994,
it issued a "Macedonia White Paper," highly supportive of Macedonia's position
vis-a-vis Greece, and this was circulated to the White House, Cabinet offices,
Congress, and hundreds of media people. Several months later, in May, it
issued another report, which also supported Macedonia. The report had been
produced, according to its cover letter, by "a bipartisan, independent
delegation."

The Action Council letterhead lists fifty people -- including members of its
steering committee and its executive director and its program director -- but
not Soros. (According to Aryeh Neier, Soros wants to "foster the debate"
rather than "be identified with detailed positions.") Nor, for that matter,
does it list John Fox, who is the head of Soros's Washington office, and who,
according to Marshall Harris, "was director of the policy group. . . the
behind-the-scenes group at the working level of the council," and was involved
in the preparation of both reports.

Few would disagree with the high premium Soros has placed on achieving a
stable Macedonia. For if tensions were to ignite between its Slav majority
and its large Albanian minority, that conflict might well precipitate a
wider Balkan war -- one that could involve Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey,
and Greece. And his denunciations of the Greek embargo are no so off the mark,
either; even many who understand Greece's sensitivity on the Macedonian
issue acknowledge that Greece, in imposing the embargo, has handled the
situation in an unjustifiable as well as self-damaging way.

But the problem with Soros is the extremity of his views -- his tendency to
beatify one side and demonize the other -- and the way in which that is
reflected in his activism. If Soros had pursued a more moderate, conventionally
diplomatic course at the start, listening to both sides, it is just
conceivable that he -- with his influence and resources -- might have been able
to mediate a settlement before the issue became so enmeshed in the politics of
both countries. In the event, however, Soros's intervention -- as self-styled
deus ex machina -- has done nothing to move the conflict toward resolution; if
anything, one might argue that his zealousness (and funds) has contributed to
Macedonia's intractability. According to one person familiar with the
situation, the Greeks have become somewhat more flexible, while Gligorov --
after his recent electoral victory -- has stiffened. It bears noting, too,
that Soros's strength has always been abstraction, while his weakness has been
judgments about character, motivation, the more nuanced stuff of life -- and,
for that matter, of politics. As one person with considerable diplomatic
experience told me, "Gligorov is very smart, but he did spend thirty-five years
in the Tito government -- and to have survived in that system you have to be
a tough bastard. We should not have illusions about him. Soros does romanticize
Gligorov.

"Soros sees this situationin black-and-white," this person continued. "But
in my view, no. In this region, there is no black-and-white, and it is a
mistake to view it that way."

To Soros fans like Strobe Talbott; Leslie Gelb, the president of the Council
on Foreign Relations; and Mark Malloch Brown, the head of public affairs at the
World Bank, Soros is the trailblazer they hope other businesspeople will
follow, moving to fill the vacuum left by an overextended and inadequate
government. But Soros's Macedonian expedition seems to be almost a parable
about the pitfalls of that idea. Soros, unsurprisingly, is to a considerable
degree a creature of his experience in the markets: idiosyncratic, intuitive,
prone to quick judgments often based on scanty information, aggressive,
manipulative, so self-reliant that he trusts no one's judgment but his own --
a profile, in sum, hardly suggestive of a diplomat. And, unlike the
governmental bodies he has long disdained, Soros is a free agent, accountable
to no one, subject to no checks and balances of countervailing opinion --
whose power is rooted, in the end, not in a consensus on the wisdom and
sophistication of his world view but in his money.

Kosovo: The Brave Tribes Are Doomed

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FRESNO, CALIFORNIA — Hey, you want to hear the New World whining at Old Europe? Here it is, from a press conference Condi Rice gave about Kosovo: "I mean after all, we're talking about something from 1389. 1389! It's time to move forward. And Serbia needs to move forward. Kosovo needs to move forward.

Well, I think we can all agree that 1389 was a while back, and that all things considered, "forward" is generally a good way to go. And not just for Serbia. No, Ma’am. It applies just as much to Kosovo.

"But hold on, Gary," you may be yelling at your computer, "what’s all this about 1389 anyway?" Well, as historical expert types like me and Condi know, that happens to be the date of one of the coolest battles in history. And since it happened in Kosovo, they decided to call it the Battle of Kosovo.

I’ll get to the battle in a minute--it’s a glorious battle and deserves retelling--but first I want to talk about Condi’s tantrum over people caring about stuff that happened long ago. I’ve heard this a lot: "Can’t they just get over it?" There’s some rule in California, it’s like a misdemeanor to care about anything that happened more than a week ago. And Condi, the all-American spinster, picked up that notion and ran with it, because as we all know Condi had to be twice as dull as her rivals. So here’s Condi solving the problems of Balkan history in a mall-girl whine: "I mean come ON! 1389? I wasn’t even BORN then!"


Serbs just can't "get over it."

Well, Condi, have a seat on that mall ottoman, the one between the American Eagle store and the foodcourt, and let Uncle Gary tell you something very important: You see, L’il Condi, some people actually care about stuff that happened a long time ago. Yeah, seriously. Like, for example, me. I care more about one particular day in 1779 than I do about my whole sophomore year in high school. Because on September 23, 1779 a Scottish-American rebel privateer named John Paul Jones maneuvered his soggy old raider, the Bon Homme Richard, next to a much bigger British warship, the Serapis, and lashed the ships together to make sure no quarter could be asked or given. And even though the Brits blew his little ship apart right under him, Jones refused to surrender and scared his Brit counterparts into surrendering themselves.

That day gave me a reason to live. All my sophomore year gave me was the strong impression that people were stupid and nasty. So excuse me, Condi, I’ll take 1779. A lot of people will take any year in the past over a lot of years in the present.

And the year 1389, the one you want the Serbs to get over? Well, 1389 means even more to the Serbs than Jones’ victory means to me. The battle they fought against the Turks that year is the main plotline in every song and story the Serbs tell to this day. It taught generations of Serb boys what was expected of them, how honorable warriors are supposed to act.

I suspect Condi’s other, deeper problem with the Serbs’ 1389-ophilia is that the Serbs didn’t even win that day. Talk about un-American! They hang around dreaming of this old battle, and it was a defeat? Gawd, get a life!

Well, not everybody wants a life, Condi. There’s a lot to be said for glorious death instead. Ever read the Bible, for example? Not that you have to. A lot of the great old European warrior stories are about defeats. The Anglo-Saxons sang about getting stomped by the Vikings at Maldon, and the Franks just couldn’t get enough of the Song of Roland, which is a whole epic poem about how Roland, Charlemagne’s Custer, lost his whole command. They should do a poster of that battle, with Roland as this Conan-the-Barbarian hero battling to the end, surrounded by hacked Saracens, wearing a t-shirt that says, "It’s a Euro thing, you wouldn’t understand."

But if you really try, you can see the appeal yourself. I mean, take Custer. If he’d won, wiped out the Sioux at the Little Big Horn, would anybody remember him now? It’d be kind of a bummer, actually. Much cooler to die fighting, like those old paintings show him, hat off and hair flying in the wind, drawing scalp-hunters from all over the Plains.

If you think about how cool Custer’s defeat was, it’s easier to understand the Shia, who whip themselves every year to get into the spirit of Hussein’s all-time one-sided defeat at Karbala ("Anguish"), where he charged the Caliph’s entire army with 30 companions. Makes the charge of the Light Brigade look like a game of touch football at the Kennedy compound.

Nope, there’s no doubt about it: defeat is sweeter than victory any day, unless it actually happens to you. Once you’re safely under the sod and the battle is in the hands of the tribal bards, defeat is the best material around. Poets love defeat, which makes sense if you remember the kind of people who wrote poetry at school.

The Serbs were a major power in 14th-century Europe. People forget how much pure geographical luck, good or bad, makes or breaks countries. Without the good luck of having the English Channel for a front lawn, Britain would have been toast a dozen times over. And if the poor Hungarians hadn’t been stuck guarding Europe’s back door when the Mongols came calling, they might have ended up the dominant power on the Continent.

Serbia was another up-and-comer until it had the bad luck to run into the Turkish offensive line. The Serbs were always the best warriors in the Balkans, and under King Dusan the Great, they smashed their way down into Albania, Macedonia and Northern Greece. Belgrade, their capital today, was back then at the northern edge of Serbia. The real heartland of Serbia was--you guessed it--Kosovo.

The Turks were on a tear of their own. They still hadn’t taken Constantinople, and wouldn’t for another 60-odd years, but they’d long since bypassed it to establish a foothold in Europe, from which they pushed further, year by year, doing deals when it suited them, or just plain crushing anybody who wasn’t open to negotiating the Turkish way.

The battle of Kosovo was one of those classic match-ups: Serbs pushing south and east meet Turks pushing north and west.

The Turks were some of your more interesting conquerors: goofy, ruthless and sly. You never knew which kind of Turk you were going to meet on a given day, the kind who were totally willing to take in a Christian vassal state and offer a friendly exchange of harem boys to seal the deal, or the kind who liked to sit on big pillows and think of new ways to make infidels die more slowly and painfully than any have died before.

The Serb legends say that the Serbs’ King Lazar could have made a deal with the Turkish sultan Murad I, but Lazar had some wacko dream where the angels told him to take the kingdom in heaven over one on earth. Like a bad contestant on Let’s Make A Deal, the idiot chose the kingdom in heaven--at least, that’s the way the Serbs tell it. I just wish the angels would offer me a deal like that, just once. You’d see me sign on the dotted line for the earthly kingdom offered to me so fast you’d hardly have time to pack before my goon squads arrived to throw you in the dungeons. And my dungeons--let’s just say they’d be very special dungeons, dungeons I’ve been planning in my head since well before sophomore year.

Okay, enough daydreaming. Lazar probably wasn’t the brightest king on the block. He should have taken the deal. But if you look at the paintings of him he looks like one of these ruddy stocky type-A guys with high blood pressure who wake up angry and stay that way all day. Well, the Turks cured that blood pressure problem in one day.

The reason Lazar should have taken the deal was because the Sultan had a huge army, at least 40,000 men, a massive number for pre-antibiotic days. And maybe 4,000 of those were the Janissaries, Christian boys grabbed from their mommies as a kind of infidel tax, taken to Istanbul to be brainwashed into Muslim fanatics and turned loose on the Sultan’s enemies. You have to admire that, taking the little infidel kiddies and turning them into Muzzie stormtroopers. I mean, just because you’re a world conqueror doesn’t mean you can’t have a sense of humor.

Lazar’s Serbs had a pretty good force of their own, maybe 20,000 men--including a few Croats, which is really amazing because if you know anything about the Balkans you know Croats go completely apeshit with hatred when you even mention Serbs, like that big jock in the movie who used to sniff the air and go, "NERDS!" when some math geek was in smell range.

But the Croats could see the Turks coming their way, and had the sense to fight with the Serbs to try to stop them before they reached Croat-land. It’s actually pretty classic gang-war logic: the 12th Street boys may love to fight the 14th Street kids, but if some gang from out of town shows up, they’re going to unite against it. Or pretend to. Because that’s the other classic element here, treachery: one of the Turks’ big assets was a traitor Serb noble, Dejanovic, who knew the territory and acted like their Indian scout, hoping to share the spoils.


Serbs having a hard time "getting over" the loss of Kosovo

The Serbs were fighting on their home field, but the Turks were professionals, vets with dozens of battles all over the Balkans to their credit. The Turks also had clear superiority in armor and weapons over the Serbs, who had panic-mustered every stable boy and dirt farmer they could find, even if they had no armor or proper weapons. One of the coolest features of the Serb force is that they had what European armies never seemed to have: mounted archers. Even so, most accounts of the battle spend a lot of time talking about the powerful volley of Turkish arrows that started the battle, so reading between the lines--which you absolutely have to do to make any sense of these old ballads--it seems like Kosovo started out as the classic encounter between European tactics, shield wall and heavy cavalry, vs. Steppe warfare: long-range arrow bombardment and maneuver.

The Serbs did what European armies always did best: they charged, and smashed right into the Ottoman force. Eastern armies were always impressed with what those white boys on their big plow horses could do on a flat field, with room to get up speed. There’s an Arab saying that dates from the Crusades: "The charge of a Frank (European) could knock down the walls of Babylon."

But there’s another truism about cavalry charges: unless they were supported by infantry, cavalry battles usually dissolved into "melees," meaning a bunch of individual duels between sweaty grunting tired guys on sweaty grunting tired horses. A few bold horsemen can make a big dent in the enemy line, but if the enemy has the discipline to stay in formation and the numbers to plug the dent, then eventually numbers will tell.

That’s what happened at Kosovo, as the day wore on and everybody’s hacking arms got tired: the Serb charge was absorbed, stopped and finally reversed as the Turks committed more troops to battle.

There are times in war when courage is a bad idea. After Stalingrad the Germans should probably have surrendered on the Western Front, applied for admission as the 51st State and hoped for the best. All they got for the long years of hopeless fighting after that defeat was a few million casualties and a badass rep that got their logo put on a lot of bikers’ helmets. Not much of a return on investment.

And when you’ve lost the battle, like the Serbs had at Kosovo by that point, then the idea of doing the noble thing, sticking around to get wiped out, isn’t a very good idea. Unless you’re thinking about all the art that it’ll inspire: you know, sad songs, sad paintings, sad stories. The Serbs have lots of those, all about Kosovo, and all about how they got wiped out as the afternoon wore on. There’s a famous painting of a dead Serb warrior with this medieval hippie Serb girl weeping over him that kind of sums up the whole necrophilia thing here. I can see the appeal of it, probably way more than most Americans can, but I have to be honest: if it came to lying dead there and getting a kiss vs. having a Corvette and driving to Malibu with her—you know, both of us alive and all—I’ll take the Malibu option. (But since Malibu ain’t an option for me and for just about everyone else, all we’ve got is the 1389 option.)

What’s cooler are the funny lines the Serbs have their heroes saying to each other as they get slaughtered, like: "If every one of us turned into a grain of salt, we wouldn’t be enough to salt the Sultan’s dinner!" Ho-ho-ho, and now let’s politely get hacked to death.

The consolation prize in Kosovo was a kiss and a drink

But for a really pro-active, mentally healthy response to defeat, give me my all-time favorite Serb: Milos Obilic. Milos, a Serb warrior who saw his comrades slaughtered at Kosovo, didn’t just moan and groan in defeat. No, he took action. What happened was, when the Sultan, Murad came out of his pavilion to wander over the battlefield and gloat over all the dead Christians, Milos played dead. When the Sultan got within stabbin’ range, Milos jumped up and gave Murad the biggest, and last, surprise of his life. Yes, thanks to a Serb, Murad the First became the first and last Ottoman sultan to die on the battlefield. Sultans didn’t specialize in leading from the front.

What the Sultans did best, you can see from what happened when the Sultan’s son Bayezid heard that Daddy had been sliced ’n diced by a bad sport from the losing team. Bayezid, a born executive—God, I love this bit—Bayezid called his brother Yakub who was leading the other wing of the Ottoman Army: "Oh Yak-ky! Yak-ky little brother, palsy-walsy…could you just come on over here for a sec? Dad left me a message for you!"

Yakub came galloping over and Bayezid gave him the message: "The Sultan’s throne isn’t big enough for the two of us, so… Die you bastard, so I can be Sultan!" Of course Bayezid didn’t do the killing himself; Sultans don’t lower themselves to manual labor. He had some eunuch strangle his little bro. Killing your brothers; one of the seven habits of successful sultans, an Ottoman business management best seller.

The Serbs lost a huge number of men that day. So did the Ottomans, but they had a much bigger population to draw from. That allowed them to keep sending out more and bigger invasion forces. Even though the Serb nobles cut a deal at last, and stayed in power for another couple of generations, the whole of Serbia was inevitably absorbed into the Ottoman empire just around the time that the Turks finally took Constantinople.

By this time, the Austrians were terrified, and for good reason. One-hundred-and-fifty years later, the Ottoman armies surged all the way to the walls of Vienna. So the Austrians, like the cunning little cowards they’ve always been, established a couple of Serb preserves, like Roosevelt did with the buffalo, to make sure the Serbs didn’t go extinct… Real reason: so the Serbs could be their human buffer against an Ottoman attack.

You may have heard of the names of those Serb enclaves from the 1990s Balkan wars: Vojvodina and Krajina. Krajina, a long swathe of ethnic Serb territory within current-day Croatia, was eventually ethnically cleansed by the Croats: thousands of Serbs killed and the rest, hundreds of thousands, burned out of their houses, thanks to a huge dose of U.S. military aid to the Croats, along with NATO jets and intelligence. All this came after the Serbs beat the shit out of the Croats in their first fair fight in history.

And that’s the lesson of Kosovo for the Serbs: we always fight better than our miserable enemies, and yet every time we get screwed. Whether it’s by the Ottomans in medieval times, or the Clintons in the 1990s, the basic blueprint was set right there on that one day in 1389, all those years ago. Just look what happened to Kosovo in 2008, the wonderful Declaration of Independence that Condi Rice was gushing about. Kosovo is now a fully independent "country" run by a cowardly Albanian mafia that lasted about five minutes in combat against middle-aged Serb militia units, then hid in the bushes until NATO bombed Serbia into submission, and rode back into power as victors all because the gullible Americans used their Air Force to bomb the Serbs into "getting over it" once and for all.

And now Condi just can’t understand how the Serbs have the nerve to be unhappy, just because their ancient homeland has been overrun with Albanians, whose main exports are popping out Muslim babies and running every mafia operation in Southern Europe. Why don’t the Serbs just deal, huh? Why don’t they get a life, get over it, already?

By Gary Brecher aka THE WAR NERD