I won’t pretend I’m being clever, because I’m not the first person to ask this question.
Here is an excellent review of recent noise about plans to land troops in Libya, and possibly Syria. It ends with a strong discount against the rumors:
Wawro says the looming specter of another Iraq means the US will not risk any type of deployment on the ground.
“The Syrian situation is analogous to Iraq in the sense that ‘if we break it, we own it,’ which is a burden that Washington won’t be eager to inherit. The sectarian differences in Syria are as deep as they are in Iraq. Decapitating the Assad regime might lead to a civil war. That is not an argument for supporting Assad, it is however an argument against an ‘Operation Syrian Freedom.’”
Okay, but a couple of what-ifs. (1) What if the orders are given through the CIA, so that the whole thing becomes a huge secret ops? (2) What if we have some sudden domestic disaster, like say, a nuke plant or storage site doing a Fukushima on us here in the US? You know, something really distracting. Would either of those alter the chances of a ground invasion in Libya, Syria, or both? Because the people pushing these military operations sure seem to think money is no object. (And I tend to think they would be real happy with Libyan style civil war in Syria.)
I was just wondering.
No place is safe. Wherever you go in this world, some psychopath with very real power stands ready to destroy your life.
Right here in our own rural Eastern Oklahoma County, you can find them. On the surface, this is a great thing. Here you have men released from confinement officially labeled as “sex offenders”. Perhaps you are familiar with how impossible it is for such men to find a place they can live, and still have some hope of gainful employment. So this ministry pops up and actively recruits these personae non gratae, bringing them to the OKC area from other states. They are housed together, and if they can’t find a job, are given work. The guy running this ministry has no known credentials as a therapist, counselor, or even as an ordained minister. So far, all I see is a guy bumping up against prissy community fears.
Except, he’s a graduate of Tony Alamo’s ministry. As are some of his associates. Look, it’s one thing to be crucified on trumped up charges, and I haven’t seen the evidence nor read through all the court cases. That’s not what raises the red flags, it’s Alamo’s teachings. And then you’ll say maybe my stuff get’s labeled “heresy,” too. But look at this: It’a all about the money with Alamo. It always was.
For the record, I live just above the poverty line — intentionally, for this very reason. Were it not for the massive amounts and money and influence involved, it could be me accused of vicious and frightening crimes. I’m not a worthwhile target, so I get to continue teaching what I claim is the truth. What I own that could be confiscated isn’t worth the trouble of any single corrupt cop. With guys like Alamo, his crazy beliefs lead to horrific conduct. In the eyes of the government, it’s not really what he teaches that gets him in trouble, but failure to cut the right people in on the money.
Same with Nichols here in Choctaw. When a man’s teachings on the gospel message lead to extravagant creature comforts, I say there is something horridly wrong with his theology. Alamo was a showman, a con-man. Nichols appears the same, defrauding his donors and cheating on his taxes. What sickens me is Nichols takes advantage of some very vulnerable men who have nowhere else to go. Yes, surely some portion of them are just looking for their next victim, but by the same token, some would much rather recover from their problems and become human again. They might with Hand Up Ministries, but with Nichols working so hard to provoke the authorities, you have to wonder what his game is using these men. And when you chase down all the various false corporate fronts (why?) the same bunch of people Nichols works closely with owns a bunch of child day cares? Even if the clients from the two operations don’t mix, what does it say for the care and education of those kids? And why does it take a two-bit investigative reporting blog to find connections which the regulators should have already found?
But you check the background of a great many of those prosecuting Nichols and his friends, and you realize the only difference is who gets to wear the badge. Maybe you’ve heard of Stuart Greenberg, the much acclaimed forensic psychologist? Such a huge estate he left behind. Yeah, now they all say he was soooooo bad, but the system never bothered with fixing the problem until it was all too late. Greenberg’s case is not an anomaly; it’s the norm.
I’m sure you, dear reader, haven’t forgotten: Good moral people don’t want power and wealth. As soon as they get it, they parcel it out quickly. When your whole system is predicated on folks volunteering to assume roles with power and wealth, you will always get corruption and psychopaths. Some are really slick deceivers, as Greenberg himself noted, but if you bother to look closely enough, it’s what they do that explains everything. This is why we struggle so hard to be transparent, and to never care much about power over people or collections of stuff. There’s no truth in that path.
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