Tag Archives: Economics

Why I’m Against War: A Military-Veteran Speaks

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Author’s-Note:

Abdullah Colon, whom I met online, has welcomed me as a Brother. With us united by our Islāmic-Faith, we’ve gotten the chance to learn more about each other. I’ve had the great opportunity to have him educate me as per his Military-Experience as a Muslim, which he’s also graciously allowed me to interview him based on it.

GB: How long have you been a Muslim: are you a Muslim-Revert, or Born-Muslim?

AC: I am a Muslim-Revert; I became a Muslim when I was 17 back in February of 2000 in El Paso, Texas.

GB: How long have you served in the Military, which National-Military, which Armed-Forces Branch?

AC: I was in the Military from September 2001 to September 2006. I was in the United States Marine Corps.

GB: Have you ever seen Live/Active Combat, and if so, how has that made an impact on your practice of Islām?

AC: I was involved in Combat Operations during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. My Unit earned a Combat Action Ribbon. It has impacted my practice of Islam in the past. After being in combat, I came home and began to rely upon Islam as a way of dealing with my PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Some days were better than others. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed, other days I isolated myself in the Mosque.

GB: How has Military-Life shaped your Worldview of Peoples whom are Native to the Places where Military-Conflicts take place?

AC: I think that Military life has made me sympathetic to indigenous people’s rebellions and their insurgencies. I saw death and destruction first hand, up close and personal. I saw what we did and I understand why people wanted to attack us.

GB: What has been the Pros & Cons of the Military-Experience?

AC: Pros and Cons of Military life are many. Let me start with the cons: I suffer from anxiety, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I see the world through jaded lenses. I have a very pessimistic outlook. What I witnessed and have done weighs on my soul deeply. As for the pros, well I think being pushed past my mental and physical limits was a good thing. Other than that I didn’t learn much that would be of any use in a civilian environment.

GB: When did you make the Decision to become Active in the Veterans against War Movement?

AC: It was in 2013 that I decided to join Iraq Veterans against the War. It was after having a discussion with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali that really made me realize that I needed to get involved in an active way against American Imperialism.

GB: How has War generally influenced your Perception of Life & Death, or has it at all?

AC: War has influenced my perception of life and death in a big way. I feel like death can seize us at any moment. Death is real and always near!

GB: Are there any regrets. Is which have, in terms of being in the Military?

AC: I think that I have many regrets, but at the same time I owe my intestinal fortitude, ability to run toward a threat to my training and experience in the Marines.

GB: As both a Muslim & a Minority, who’s literally placed their life on the line via Military-Service for the United States: what’s your Views regarding the Anti-Muslim, Anti-Immigrant Policies being promoted by the Trump-Administration?

AC: My views on the anti Muslims and anti immigration policies are that they all come from the same satanic source of white supremacy. This is why white passing Latinos (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio for example) can support the policies being pushed by the Trump administration and those of us with brown/indigenous features will hit up the front lines against white supremacy.

GB: How are you able to cope with knowing that you’re the Member of 2-Demographics within the United States which are constantly targeted by Bias & Bigotry?

As for dealing with being part of of two demographics of folks that are being assaulted in Trump’s America-The way I deal with it is through Islam: prayer and good deeds, being a good person based upon what Islam teaches helps my mind & soul attain ease. Also, training myself by: lifting weights, martial arts, boxing, etc. & just keeping the body strong just in case I have to get down. Keeping the company of good people and making alliances with folks that care about the struggle.

GB: What would ultimately be your Advice for any Muslim who’s either currently serving in the US-Military or has aspirations of joining the Ranks of the US-Military?

AC: For Muslims who are currently serving, I say get out! Do whatever it takes to get out of the military.  For those that want to join, I say don’t do it.

GB: Speak more in detail, regarding the Iraq Veterans Against The War: its purpose & objectives, goals, etc. Also, tell me about the Advocacy for bringing Deported-Veterans back to the United States.

AC: For more information regarding the IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against The War) go to: http://www.ivaw.org/mission-values-and-vision

As for the advocacy regarding veterans who have been deported, we are in solidarity with them. Many of those veterans are members of veterans for peace. Our organization IVAW arose from VFP (Veterans For Peace). Many of our members are both VFP and IVAW members. Many of us work with the campaign to bring the deported veterans back to the United States.

GB: What can People like me, as well as others who will read this & get a glimpse of your Story: how can we help People like you in your Struggles coming from a Military-Life & reverting to a Civilian-Life once again?

AC: I think the best thing is Community-Support. Having a community to transition to-Being in the military and being in prison are similar. Veterans are able to transition into prison life with ease. You go from one governmental institution to another. I’m speaking from experience. So having a muslim community to come back to is amazing. I was basically homeless when I came out of the Marines. It was living in a broken down RV in a ‘friends’ backyard. It was a Muslim brother (Afro-American) that took me into his home…fed me and took care of me, even when I was sick, like I was just like a member of his family: a recovering Alcoholic who credits Islam to saving his life.

Well…you’ve most definitely given an insightful Interview, regarding this Chapter of your Life-Journey. My hope for you is that Allah constantly/consistently bring you closer to a space & place of Inner-Peace.

Gareth Bryant/2017

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The Rwanda-Syndrome:

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Author’s-Note:

Allah says in The Qur’ān, “And, don’t allow your Hatred, against any People, prevent you from behaving justly.”.(Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.8, V.5)

Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said that Allah said, “Oh, My Servants!!! Verily, I’ve made Oppressed Forbidden even upon Myself, as well as between you. So, do not oppress one another.”.(an-Nawawī)

In light of so many Events around our Planet, detailing the constant & consistent Oppression of People, whom are Desperate to be heard, to be listened to, to be helped-Sadly, much like the Carnage which took place during the infamous Rwanda-Conflict, in 1994, C.E., there’s seems to be absolutely zero Change, in terms of how the International-Community chooses to respond to Conflicts which yield levels of Destruction which can’t be defined in any ways other than: Inhumane, Genocidal, etc. And, you’d think that the World would’ve learned from the Errors of Rwanda, as the Nations of our World just stood by and made us watch in agony while they did nothing, as nearly a Million Human-Beings, along with countless other Thousands were: tortured, maimed, raped, murdered, starved-out all in the name of Power & Domination over the Other.(For more Information concerning International-Genocide: http://www.genocidewatch.com)

Ever since the 1990’s, C.E.: there’ve several Nations which have become war-torn, in which untold Millions of Human-Beings have become the subject of Theft, Rape, Murder, etc. With these blatant acts of Genocide being witness before our very eyes, we’ve stayed glued to our Social-Media tools of Communication & Observance, (TV, the News, the Internet, YouTube, etc.) to remain “Aware” of what’s happening. However, unfortunately, that’s largely all we’ve done as a Society is just sit-back and watch, as Multitudes of People just like us: Humans perpetually suffer unjustly. It’s almost as though we’ve become so used to Carnage, that it’s now just another form of Entertainment.

Also, it seems as though the “International-Community” conveniently waits for Conflicts to get at their worsts, before anything substantial is actually done, in order to significantly dispel Oppression around the World. For example: for those of us old enough to remember, the Conflict in Rwanda from beginning to ending was nothing short of the many things which were imposed upon Human-Beings during the Reign of the 3rd-Reich during the WWII-Era (1939-1945, C.E.). The World said “Never Again”, pertaining to the World’s-Nations sitting on the Sidelines as the International “Bullies of da Block” push People around. But, the World hasn’t kept its Word, to maintain Justice for Oppressed-Peoples around the Globe.

Just like what occurred within Rwanda, there’ve been a string of International-Conflicts, either caused by Religious, Ethnic strife between Peoples of the same Nation or imposed upon them by Bullies whom profess to be the Defenders of Freedom…Justice…Equality.

Let’s take a look at some examples of the Rwanda-Syndrome:

 

  1. Somalia

 

  1. Afghanistan

 

  1. Iraq

 

  1. Syria

 

  1. Libya

 

  1. Mali

 

  1. Sudan

 

  1. Nigeria

 

  1. Central African Republic

 

  1. Burma/Myanmar

 

  1. Palestine/Israel

 

  1. Yemen

 

For Decades, Nations such as these have been torn apart by Conflict, both internally amongst themselves, as well as the Conflicts being catalyzed, arguably even promoted via Western-Colonization, Western-Influence, etc. Whatever the Reason doesn’t really matter. What matters is the fact that these listed Nations have been struck with Conflicts which have completely either broken-down their entire Societies or has left Millions Dead, Maimed, Raped, Displaced/Homeless, Starving, Diseased, and yet there’s been little to nothing done to concretely put an end to the Oppression the Innocents of these Countries are forced to face. Which comes back to my Point, regarding us being self-victimized by the Rwanda-Syndrome: as a Globally-Connected Society, one would think/assume that there’d greater Efforts by the International-Community to resolve such Conflicts. But, this is clearly yet to be seen.

My Question is this though: how many more People have to actually succumb to these types of Atrocities, before we actually get it, that these are Human-Beings who don’t deserve to be treated like this?!!!

Gareth Bryant/2017

My Stance of the U.S. Federal Fincancial “Shut-Down” in Washington:

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United States Congress pic

These bumb-ass Politicians, “Lawmakers”, “Public-Servants”, “Protectors of the Rights & Freedoms” of the citizenry of the United States, in Washington are straight frontin’ & stuntin’: they’re just manipulating things, like they always do. I bet you they still have enough Federal-Funds to sponsor another military-campaign, so that the United States can further expand its global “Manifest-Destiny”, by invading yet another nation, yet again, planting yet more boots-on-the-ground, to prove that the U.S. Military can invade/occupy anywhere on the Globe that it chooses, or another Federal-Bailout frenzy, for companies which helped to screw the economy, with no Vaseline, and helped to place the World-Economy into the condition that it’s now in. To put it very plainly: as long as we have the wealth elites, whom are the only ones at the Table, pulling the strings, in this, our modern-world, whom want certain nations, like the U.S., to stay afloat, then, nations such as the U.S. will stay afloat. Having certain nations, like the U.S., survive (socio-economically) is in the best-interest of all Freemasonic-Elitists, whom, in turn, in all-reality, dominate the socio-economic/socio-political landscape of our planet, in our modern-world.

Garet Bryant/2013

Washington’s plight (The dilema that is the National-Debt):

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This whole mad scramble for cash, by the U.S. government should make the American people ponder deeply about the severe condition of our national economy, as well as how we’re being viewed in the world right now, as a sinking ship. However, one thing that has not been pondered over is this: have any of these blue-chip companies (like Goldman Sachs, or Citigroup, for example), who’ve received billions of dollars from Washington, to keep their businesses afloat, ever volunteered to help get the U.S. out of her estimated $14Trillion debt to other countries, businesses, private investors, etc.?

The answer should’nt surprise any of us, the answer is hell no!!! To be honest, why should they bail the U.S. out? I mean, it’s not their fault that the U.S. Congress is so enthralled to the whims of big-business, via campaign, and lobbyists monetary purse-strings, that keep them in Congressional positions for so many years, while they allow Wall Street to screw Main Street, with no vaseline.

Washington very graciously, based upon the power of fear that our economy would surely collapse had these big companies not received bailout money, gave Wall Street the keys to the vault of the U.S. Treasury, and allowed Wall Street to rob the American people out of $700Billion that they didn’t deserve anyway, because they’re supposed to be able to get themselves out of the mess that they made. And, come to find out, these companies gave their top executives annual bonuses, purchased private jets, sponsored lavish events, all in the name of getting away with highway robbery, at the expense of the American people, as well as the current expense of our national economy. But, the incredible irony is the following: our national economy is still out of wack & on the brink of failure-So what good did all of these Federal bailouts, to all of these companies do anyway?

We could really use that extra $700Billion, which was shelled-out to Wall Street, right about now. But, where do you think this is going to come from? Not the blue-chip conglomerates, not from the Fortune 500 companies, not even from the banking & investment sectors, which owe their current survival to U.S. bailouts. No…..it’s all goin’ to be comin’ from the pockets of the American people…..again…..as usual…..as always.

The U.S. Congress has recently managed to pass a bill, which was signed by President Obama, to raise the U.S. debt-ceiling higher, in order to prevent a national financial default, which would officially make the U.S. bankrupt. But, still, how is Washington supposed to solve their ever-evolving problem, of spending what they don’t have to spend?!!! Also, how is Washington planning to diminish its trillion-dollar debt, providing that this debt-ceiling can even be raised any further? Now that our government is on the brink of national bankruptcy, where should Washington go, to get its share of bailout funds? Who is going to bailout the U.S.?!!! Will it be all of these private institutions, whose base of operations are in the U.S.? Or, will it be all of those third-world countries, who receive billions of U.S. monetary foreign aid? Or, could it be the IMF? Hey…..at the rate that things are going in the U.S. right now, it’s not a bad option, if the opportunity presents itself!!!

That is, in fact, the $14Trillion question: who’s gonna take on this massive task of ensuring that our national economy doesn’t go belly-up?!!! The entire world still has Washington under a microscope right now-From Obama trying to get re-elected as President, while still having to deal a shabby American economy & two war fronts (which did not end with the announcement of Bin-Ladin’s death, which is the whole reason why thousands of U.S. troops & billions of dollars worth of weaponry were used in both Afghanistan & Iraq, to seek out terrorists-cells & WMD’s, right?), the stalemate decisions about raising the debt-ceiling in the first place (which had initially gone nowhere fast in both the chambers of the House of Representatives & the House of the Senate, previous to this very recent bill that has been passed to raise it), to the walk-out by Rep. Boehner & his personal tug-of-war/cat-fight between himself & President Obama about the whole debt-ceiling issue-This whole financial mess has been just like a typical cheesy soap opera, but with trillions of cash on the line.

What makes this situation worse, on an international scale, is that other countries who are in competition with the U.S. (like China or India for example), could not only loose confidence in investing in the U.S. economy, but, could also use this potential tragedy for the U.S. as an opportunity, to make themselves the next top-dog economic superpower, which would obviously change the entire global economic & political landscape of the world. These are truly trying times for Washington, and the U.S. Congress had better get things together, before things get a lot worse.

#I’m just sayin’!!!