Aug 23 2007

Abracadabra

 Thanks.  Very interesting.  Finally, a few Americans are starting to get a clue how dangerously wacky this premillennial stuff is.  Kinda funny when it’s a bunch of hillbillies playing with snakes.  Not so funny when it dictates foreign policy and kills hundreds of thousands and dispossesses millions more.


Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:37 PM
Subject: Re: abracadabra

In another form of double speak, he once said that “no power on earth” can shake the alliance between the US and Europe.  This way he signaled to Evangelicals that the US would oppose the anti-Christ, who, prior to the current demonization of Iran, was commonly supposed to come from Europe. Of course most sophisticated listeners might consider this just an odd choice of words, not realizing that it was probably designed by Carl Rove to signal Christian premillennialists. 

Daniel


Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:37 PM
Subject: Re: abracadabra

In his address to the VFW Bush demonstrated one of his few skills – deception.

I had previously heard the revisionist claim that our departure from VietNam caused the slaughter in Cambodia on right wing talk radio. This is absurd – the slaughter started before we left Vietnam, and had more to do with our campaign of rural bombing in Cambodia, rather than our subsequent departure from Southeast Asia. Our massive bombing may have killed hundreds of thousands of Cambodians, and our unexploded ordinance is still a problem there. Ironically, it was the invasion by Communist Vietnam that put an end to the Pol Pot madness – an invasion we opposed.  The Vietnamese army did not stay long, and though the Pol Pots remained a problem in the countryside, the mass murders were halted. Later China, which had supported Pol Pot, invaded (North) VietNam, and learned a lesson quickly.

Notice in Bush’s speech he said these terms became familiar: “re-education camps,” “boat people,” and “killing fields.”  I have noticed that Bush speaks to the uneducated and gullible by using misleading phraseology that may not be a lie, technically. I previously commented here on his deceptive language about Lebanon that suggested Hezbollah was “warring” against the Lebanese government, when in fact it was an anti-Hezbollah Sunni group that was in armed conflict. In the VFW speech his phraseology will suggest to millions of Americans that the Vietnam communists were responsible for the “killing fields” and thus that we should not have disengaged. Those familiar with the facts will not even notice this, but others will be deceived by the juxtaposition he used.  In another form of double speak, he once said that “no power on earth” can shake the alliance between the US and Europe.  This way he signaled to Evangelicals that the US would oppose the anti-Christ, who, prior to the current demonization of Iran, was commonly supposed to come from Europe. Of course most sophisticated listeners might consider this just an odd choice of words, not realizing that it was probably designed by Carl Rove to signal Christian premillennialists.

Finally, notice how Bush left out two terms that also became very familiar in the debate about our presence in Vietnam: “domino effect” and “blood bath.”  There was no domino effect (Australia did not fall to the communists). And though the “re-education camps” were a serious human rights violation, they did not rank as a “blood bath.”   As for “boat people,” already some 3 million or so Iraqi’s have become external or internal refugees – thanks to our invasion and our inability or disinclination to provide protection for Iraqi innocents. For Bush, the truth is merely an obstacle to be circumvented  in  his insane quest for power. 

Daniel


Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 12:48 PM
Subject: RE: abracadabra

 Most, but not all.  That bit about abracadabra was fascinating —  I did not know any of that.  I was thinking of “hocus-pocus” which some think is a corruption of hoc est corpus to ridicule Catholic priests and their doctrine/trick of transubstantiation.


Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 12:33 PM
Subject: RE: abracadabra

Most missionaries I have met and know were very simpatico with the local people and were truly One-Worlders.

Too many—of the ARAMCO people – especially form my father’s generation (1940-60’s) brought their racist hatreds with them to the Middle East regrettably passed some of these things on to some children. I am blessed by the fact that my father was not like that. In his advanced years we talked about those things and while he felt that the American way of life was superior, he felt it was inappropriate to express the more typical racist attitudes of his peers. He was a gentleman, who respected most people.

Re: I knew abracadabra—had some esoteric origins but was never sure.

Straight Dope says:

“Abracadabra is a much older term, turning up first in a second-century poem. It was used by the Gnostics, early Christians who placed great stock in esoteric knowledge. The term has been explained as (1) a combination of the Hebrew words  ab (“father”),  ben (“son”), and ruach acadosch (“holy spirit”); (2) a derivation of the name of one Gnostic leader, Abrasax; or (3) a derivation of Abraxas, a Gnostic word for God, “the source of 365 emanations.” Allegedly the Greek letters for Abraxas add up to 365 when translated according to numerological principles. If you wrote abracadabra on a parchment in a triangular arrangement–

A B R A C A D A B R A
A B R A C A D A B R
A B R A C A D A B

 –etc., and hung it around your neck, you’d supposedly be cured of the ague (fever). The over-the-counter remedy of the day, I guess, and probably worked equally well.”

Phrase finder says something else:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/19/messages/799.html

“The government has always been run by pharaohs, but in the past they were honorable.”

Ahmed Fouad Negm
Eqyptian Poet


Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:14 AM
Subject: RE: abracadabra

I continue to be amazed by people who have traveled abroad and been exposed to other cultures, sometimes for decades.  In many cases they retain their provincial boorishness despite everything they’ve seen and experienced.  It’s the retired missionaries who fit that description that have disappointed me most.  Certainly not all, but I was surprised that there were any.

By the way, do you know the origins of “abracadabra?”


Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 11:55 AM
Subject: abracadabra

I understand that Henry Kissinger is undergoing special plastic surgery so he can pass for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

That way he can repeat his past successes.

As a past member of The Veterans of Foreign Wars I continue to be discussed by the actions of the truly old men in that group. In general it’s filled with xenophobic racists. That’s why the welcome people like President Bush who plays to their hatreds.

Monroe 

“I will side with my brother against my cousin. But, I will side with my cousin against a stranger.”

Kouy Loch
from The Mushroom Hunters by Burkhard Bilger
New Yorker Magazine
20 Aug 2007 

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2007/08/23/abracadabra/

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