Friday, 20 June 2014

Epigenetics and the downfall of DNA's dominance

It has long been asserted that we are each of us the result of our mother and our father's genes. And while it is true at birth, immediately after birth other factors come into play. This is epigenetics. The story of how genetics accidentally came to dominate our thinking and how there were false assumptions underlying that dogmatic belief is very well explained in this video. The speaker is Dr Bruce Lipton and he is speaking at IONS on 21st July 2013:

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Iraq - war and peace - Blair and Bush

Tony Blair has recently gone on the defensive about the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. He proceeds to claim that the current invasion of Iraq by ISIS is a phenomena of 2014 which could not have been envisaged in 2003.

What Tony Blair is avoiding is any mention of the catastrophe of the occupation of Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

The USA took responsibility for re-building the country and so for several years they ruled Iraq. But what was Iraq under Saddam ? Saddam may have been a dictator but the underlying political philosophy was that of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. Iraq was a socialist country. And who did George Bush select to run Iraq ? It was a collection of people selected for their fanatical right wing beliefs.

The people Bush set up as rulers and administration for Iraq were simply unable to accept the socialist principles on which the country had been run up to that point. So they dismantled everything. Many, many perfectly functional institutions in Iraq were dismantled because they were socialist.

For years and years afterwards there were barely simple services like fresh water and electricity to the houses and apartment blocks. Everyone, quite literally everyone, became unemployed. The only effective political impact was from the mullahs at the mosque at Friday prayers. They may not have been fans of Saddam Hussein but at least under the former regime, most men had a job to go to, from which they earned self-respect. No-one was a fan of total unemployment, of a country where even the banks were closed where no-one could do anything, where even the most basic services were fragmentary at best. So the mullahs preached against the Americans. But a large proportion of unemployed men were ex-army and had skills with weapons and explosives and they all had their rifle and some a side arm at home. The Americans had refused to pay the Iraqi army and sent them home from their barracks. It is not un-natural in a country where nothing works and there seems to be no prospect of anything working but so many people are armed and being preached at by firebrand mullahs, some of them Shia and some of them Sunni, that quasi-military insurgent groups started to form. After all men gain their self-respect by doing things and joining the insurgency felt like doing something. At least it was better than sitting in the cafe nursing a single cup of coffee all day and just talking.

And so the insurgency began and it is really not surprising given the whole series of crazy decisions made by the Americans who could not abide anything that smelt of socialism which everything did in Iraq.

If the Americans had taken the slow route of simply funding the socialist economy of Iraq until the oil fields could start selling Iraqi oil to the world and Iraq could fund itself, there would have been no insurgency. Because there would have been more or less full employment. Guys like to go to work to bring home money for the family. If they can do that reliably, they don't want war, they want peace. The insurgency was the response of the Iraqi people to the American occupation. The insurgency was a response to total unemployment, total despair and total hopelessness.

The slow route of funding the socialist country until with its own oil sales it could fund itself would also have been far, far cheaper for the taxpayers of the USA.

Individuals mostly do not have wide political horizons, they want to be part of a family and men want to be the breadwinner for that family. Their perspective is the family and the roles within in. George Bush and his crew came along with their wide political horizons and could not see the individuals in Iraq and their issues. They destroyed the lives of so many of these individuals and so the insurgency began and it was a horrible surprise to the Americans. But really it should not have been.

Tony Blair regards the removal of Saddam Hussein as an isolated event. It was not an isolated event, it brought about the American occupation. And the American occupation was a huge disaster for the Iraqi people. And we cannot say that ISIS is unrelated to the insurgency created by George Bush's peace. Tony Blair's analysis, picking and choosing the events he wants to consider and ignoring what he does not want to think about, is an appalling misstatement of recent history in the middle east.

Useful resource books about the American occupation of Iraq: