Press the Red Light

Anti-Maidan protesters burn tires as they prepare for battle with Ukrainian special forces on the outskirts of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 13, 2014. (AFP Photo / Anatoliy Stepanov)


   AFP Photo/Anatoliy Stepanov: Anti-Maiden Protesters Prepare For Battle Against Ukrainian Special Forces


Press The Red Light

An Emergency  U.N. Security Council Meeting was convened  at the request of Moscow  this past Sunday, 13 April, 2014  in order to discuss the escalation of tension in Ukraine that saw bloodshed of pro-Russian and pro-Maiden factions.  The acting president of Ukraine Alexander Turchinov made a decree authorizing Ukrainian military force to commence 14 April 2014 to begin the crackdown on the protests in East Ukraine. Moscow believes that this will undermine the talks that will be held to mediate the situation in Ukraine on the 17th of April, between Ukraine, Russia, the E.U. and the United States. At the Security Council Meeting Russian U.N. Ambassador asked the United States to tell the Ukrainian Government to press the red light, and encourage the Ukrainian government not to use force on its own people. Please support this petition to encourage the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine.

Press the Red Light


Non Governmental Organizations a Tool of Destabilization in Egypt and Ukraine

Flags of the opposition wave  during a pre-election rally of Yushchenko supporters at Independence square in Kiev 06 November, 2004. (AFP Photo / Sergey Supinsky)

AFP/photo Sergey Supinsky :  Kiev:  anti-government protest at Independence Square, 2004, Ukraine.


Egypt may not be the first to express concern with the Non-Governmental Organizations  (NGOs) of  the West, and in particular the United States support of NGOs roles in their internal affairs;  however, with the simultaneous popular overthrow of former President Mohammed Morsi and the raid on NGO’s offices in 2012 , one may have been confused as to the connection between Morsi and the NGOs.  Considering Morsi’s support of Syrian invasion by jihadist forces condoned by the West and Middle Eastern entities, such as Qatar, one begins to note a possible parallel.

On Russia Today(, it was reported that the Commonwealth of Independent States Anti-Terrorism Committee  released a statement saying that the  E.U.  trains NGO agents for intrastate conflicts. The NGOs are usually affiliated with private military organizations and security agencies, and train a “wide range of saboteurs”.

79 delegates from 55 states were convened and heard the report from the CIS Anti-Terrorism Committee Chief Andrei Novikov, in Sochi, this past week in which it was revealed that 2000 schools across Europe are training refugees to participate in subversively political and military operations in their country of origin often under the moniker of religious education.

In Egypt, according to the website, Alan McDonell  reported two years ago (2012)  on the activities of the National Democratic Institute (NDI)  headed by former secretary Madeleine Albright, the International Republican Institute (IRI) headed by Senator John McCain, and Freedom House (FH) headed by William H. Taft IV  in Egypt during the anti-Morsi uprising there.

How can the NGO-Morsi  connection be possibly assessed?  The probability of access is given by the fact that Mohammad Morsi once worked for NASA as an metals precision engineer, helping to develop Space Shuttle engines.  He lectured at California State University, Northridge as an Assistant Professor. He has a natural born son of the United States. He left United States in 1985 to teach at Zagagag University and to more fully engage in Egyptian politics, running his first electoral candidancy in 2000 as an independent because at the time the Muslim Brotherhood were an outlawed political organization. Morsi as an Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate was a very attractive proposition to U.S. ideologues who wanted to overthrow the Assad Regime because the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has tried to assassinate Assad’s father and enforce Islamic rule in Syria, almost 50 years ago. The MB consequently were outlawed in Syria many years ago.

Actions in Morsi’s Presidency which offended Egypt.

A longterm and fervent Muslim Brotherhood activist, during his presidency  he granted  himself universal executive powers, and removed his office from judicial review. After making his first official foreign visit to Saudi Arabia, who with the Unites States supports the jihadist in Syria, Morsi went to  an Islamist rally attended by Salafi clerics who declared holy war against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.  He also expelled the Syrian embassy and closed the country’s embassy in Cairo. Recently exact actions have been undertaken in the United States,wherein Syrian ambassadors have been expelled, and the U.S. Syrian embassy closed.

The Armed Forces of Egypt did not back Morsi in his intention or his actions, and the Egyptian  people erupted in a popular uprising, whereby the U.S.  also saw the raid on the three NGO’s, the NDI, the IRI, and Freedom House, all of which receive funding from the State Department of the United States. Morsi is currently on trial for inciting unrest and violence, and is accused of engaging in espionage activities.  The charge of espionage activities may be related to relationships discovered between Morsi, the MB and the United States NGOs.

With this raid, the NGOs”  professed benevolent cover was discredited worldwide.  Developing countries are  in the uncomfortable position of having to be wary of the very democratic agencies they want to align with in order  to support the creating of internal democratic infrastructures in their own nation-states.

This is the concern of the CIS, and of  their investigative committees which reported on activities leading up to  the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004-05, and the Tulip Revolution in Krygystan.   In the article reporting on the CIS Anti-Terrorism Committee findings, The website posted that:

“[the Committee] noted the activity of NGOs ahead of well-known events in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine,” Interfax reported Novikov as saying. Novikov referred to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004 and the “Tulip Revolution” which ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev in 2005.” ” 

Reported by, Novikov said that these activities present a threat  to constitutional order and that destabilizing states through political and military means are becoming the standard of operations (SOP) of implementing   foreign policy objectives.

According to the Anti-Terrorist Committee, NGOs Standard of Operation Proceedure to effect regime change or policy interference seems to be  !. stage a political event such as a protest, and 2. then have a military component to intensify the protest to 3. facilitate that decisions will be made under extreme duress whereby 4. events could be directed by diplomatic types such as Assistant Secretary of State of European and Eurasian affairs Victoria Nuland and Jeffrey Pyatt, ambassador to Ukraine, and Anne Patterson ambassador to Egypt.

Reminds me of that movie mob scene in the ThreePenny Opera, written by Bertolt Brecht, music by Kurt Weil.

Three Penny Opera Poster

Three Penny Opera Poster


For more on this story please go to:


the Religious Politics of Identity

he Religious Politics of Identity

April 12, 2013 at 12:46pm


“Peace is the integrity and health of the soul, to lose peace is to lose spiritual health”

—St. John Kronstadt

An often unexamined subject in American Politics as it pertains to Orthodox Christians is the relationship between identity, religiosity, and politics, and how it affects the way we Orthodox react to political-religious events in the United States and abroad. I think the key problem is that American Orthodox Christians ie, Othodox Christians in the United States do not  understand the Christian role of identity in the United States, and how it is different in the Orthodox tradition within other cultures nor how that difference shapes how we respond and react to political-religious events, such as the acceptance or non-acceptance of homosexuality, or abortion, the just war,  or  co-habitiation before marriage just to name a few.

For Orthodox Christians the fundamental identity is Christ.  How we relate to all of humanity is predicated on the purity, sincerity, and loyalty to that identity since as a Christian we understand morals and justice and by extension human behaviour in relation to these in as far as how they relate to the source of these which is Christ Himself,  God, and the Holy Spirit.  We are Christians, who possess the entirety of the Christian Faith which is expressed in our Orthodox Worship, Traditions, and Doctrines, which has not changed since the beginning of Time, which God Himself created. We understand ourselves to be the microcosm of the Universe, and we understand the conditions by which we have come to be such a race of creatures in need of the salvific grace of the Holy Trinity, and specifically of the God-man, Christ.  We are Christians, thus we have a Christian ethic that is superior to the American, Democratic, Republican, Liberatarism, Tea-Partism, women, children, black, chicano, labour whatever rights movements ie whatever the fractious, pluralistic polity may think of as a platform to settle materialistic scores.  Nonetheless, as Christians we are to  repulse the world privily and publically and we are to Love Our Neighbour as Ourselves, first loving God with All our Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind.

We are not to judge and we are not to subscribe to the modernist credo of relativity. We are the salt of the earth, and perhaps we cry salty tears due to our imperfections. Often we are a work in progress in the sight of those who search diligently for our imperfections and by these imperfections we may even be a stumbling block to others but the Psalmist does say that blessed is the man whose sins are covered by the Lord and the key to that state of blessedness is repentance.  Repentance is a state of being the modernist, revisionist world with it’s preoccupation with self and self actualization-lacks.

Yet there is something about the American way of life, even in terms of its credo of the pursuit of wealth, happiness and equality, that we Orthodox as United States citizens have a difficult time of confronting, and perhaps because we have been lulled by the folksy saying “God, mom and apple pie, and a false reprensentation of our history. The truth is that The American way of Life came into being as an Enlightenment experiment, as an  nation that was to be ruled solely by reason and the  precedents set by man himself, with man as the abiding archetypical image; the Church was not to interfere in the affairs of the State, nor in theory was the state to interfere in the affairs of the Church.  However, by this precedent one could see that it was never meant that the United States was to be a Christian State, nor has it ever been that as an American Christian, one would believe in Christ the same way one’s fellow citizen of the United States believed.  Perhaps it can be said that the first plurality of the United States was the Religious Christian plurality, which by patriotic extension,  this polity called themselves in an effort to gain social unity, Americans.

For an Orthodox Christian, I think, one must understand this reality: the heterodox were here in the United States before the Orthodox, and it existed here as a plurality.  In contrast, in Orthodox countries, there was One Faith, One Belief, One Form of Worship, One Doctrine, One Tradition, whereby the heterodox was a heretical minority vigourously confronted with pamphlets by comtemporaneous Holy Church Fathers, and anathemas.  Here in the United States, the heterodox are a plural majority, and the Orthodox, with its entirety of grace, and its fullness of praxis, is a minority. Thus the socio-political values of the Orthodox in relation to the heterodox-although there is a superficial confluence, which is in terms of degree and substance-is rooted in Christ ie, Christ the God-man who is  the source of its societal moral codes, the source of its reasons for justice, the source code for every aspect of individual and personal behaviour relating to the salvific mission of Christ to save His people. The social unity of the Orthodox Christian is understood by the image of all being members of the body of Christ. The whole structure of society was based on this hierarchical and yet equalizing image. In contrast, in  the United States in particular, with its plural heterodox religiosity, the identity of the United States citizen is American.

Thus in Orthodox countries its indigenous cultures have been transformed, transcended to Christianity in such a way that each individual within that redeemed culture aspires to put on Christ, and the understanding of what that means is universal, and singular.  In Western countries, and particularly in the United States, each person has inherited the religious-plurality position to practice the faith as he or she as an individual sees fit, with or without the guidance of the Church or even the Bible. Thus this introduces a duality, and in the duality of public and private, sacred and secular life, a fractious state of the individual is fostered and encouraged. One acts one way in public, for the common good, and another in private, for the personal good. The conflict is an accepted evil in modern day politics. In such a state, the image of man and of God is a fractured reality, and in such a state, God becomes just another segment of society to be governed by the state. In such a state, God is a subjected to the state, rather than the state being subjected to God.  Thus in the modern times we that the lack of an  identity with Christ on His terms have embraced an  identity of man with himself  to the extent that Christ now must conform to this  image of man. Yet the society based on this practice,  as it is practice in the West and in the Untied States is fractured.  There is no unified Christian Ethic which is absolute. Christ has become a relativistic image, a meme as Dawkins would put it, useful to advance competing political agendas.

In these days, we as American Christians, fundamentalist even, are learning that Christ has been useful to an enlightenment state as a way to manipulate the people into a state of apostasy against Christ.  The anti-Christ mask is now torn away, or is tearing away, and the people are caught, attending to the sacred in a state of ignorant defiance, engaging in the parallel modern mystery cults of the modern age, which introduces strange doctrines and sacrifices to the many unsuspecting seekers of the True Christ.  We believed that our private lives would protect us from the private lives of others, who believed differently than we do.  In truth this was a comfortable fiction we accepted in return for the material gains we felt we needed to survive.  We even told ourselves that we were exceptional,  manifesting a destiny to spread our anti-Christian plurality to other nations, and this destiny was given us by God….a useful fiction to those who wanted to justify the materialistic striving for earthly security, and  to justify our unjust wars.  Sadly, too late, We are learning that the personal is political, and it can transform a society, a culture.

Certainly when we, as American converts come into the Orthodox Church, we are trying to retain that sense of knowing God in the sacred and the secular sense, where privily there is no separation of Church and State, in as far as how we identify and how our behaviour conforms to that identity, the Truth, the Person, ie Christ the God-man. We must also understand that the heterodox lost the fullness of this sense in 1054, with the beginning of the schism, and the schism begot other schisms creating the fractious image of man, each sliver trying to make Christ conform to the broken shards of that broken image, the various shards which in defiance trys to illumine the world with their own particular  darkened eyes, and really in service to anti-Christ. We imagine America the good, and are confused that the United States supports regimes that kill Christians abroad.  In this case we comfort ourselves with the term realpolitick, or collatoral damage.  We blame one man for anti-Christian behaviours and actions, refusing to confront the pattern of anti-Christian political behaviours since the beginning of the American experiment.  I think American Orthodox must come to an understanding of this, they must ask themselves why they feel such a strong need to co-opt Orthodoxy into their sense of exceptionalism and manifest destiny. The desire to Americanize Orthodoxy is an attempt to preserve that false sense of exceptionalism, an expression of demonic pride expressed in the national conscious and a justification for trying to dominate the world, as well as  the sacred lives of citizens both within its national bounderies and abroad. We want to make Orthodoxy American, we demand that the Old Ortodox countries follow our lead; and we fail to see that our lead is leading mankind into the ravine.  The United States is a plurality, an image of the fractured man; it is a plurality by nature which has always by its very nature been antagonistic to God, and only using God as a meme to advance worldy, unGodly goals.  Now, openly, the United States rejects God in the name of Democracy.

As the state of affairs exist today, I believe many United States citizens are in a state of shock.  We have been compromised, since when in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries  the acceptance of the parallel existence of the modern mystery cults, the freemasons to name one such cult, became a tolerated reality.  Does this scenario not remind you of the mystery cults of Ancient Rome or Greece?  These are the trends that a pluralistic society allowed to coexist and thrive along side the overt pluralistic society, in which a secret anti-Christian unity was formed, alongside this pluralistic heterodox Christian society, and the results of their work is evident in the reality of the modernist, post-Christian world that now confronts us as we begin to seek the True Christ. This is the world that the heterodox churches themselves, in support of such secret societies, helped to create. In a way, they are the midwives of all the modernistic developments of the current age.

Orthodox Christians must educate themselves to the reality of the plural society, and its fractious characteristics, and must with an Orthodox mind set see the anti-Christian patterns of foreign policy and domestic policy of the West and in particular the United States, and act with intelligence and love for all of our neighbours to address this. We must also divorce ourselves from the fiction that we are an exceptional nation state that has a manifest destiny to spread democracy, and that only our way of being democratic has relevance.

We must acknowledge the religious politics of identity as it is parlayed in secular discourse, and in religious discourse and not allow it to sully the sacred discourse of the Orthodox revelation.  We must recognise the difference between an identity with the God-man, and the identity with man, the two ways that Religious Praxis and  identiy is entered into. One way leads to salvation, to the supranatural, the other to a grounding in the material and to eternal lost.

In conclusion, We need to question and identify the American values that we bring to the Orthodox way of life, and see if these values conforms with Way of Life that the Archetype of our Lives, our chief identity,  commands of us as Orthodox Christians. We need to understand that Orthodoxy trandscends nation states secular identities without insulting those cultures and countries with a tradition of the Orthodox Faith, and the martyrs to prove it, as a witness to us, the novices in the Faith.  Only by doing this will we be able to with understanding and love assist our Orthodox Christians globally and domestically, and better deal with the politics of an apostasizing society that has by its very actions have declared war on our new found Faith.

xenia lynn teresa williams

My favorite Icon of Christ

Commissioner’s Lin Letter to Queen Victoria regarding Opium Trade

Modern History Sourcebook: Commissioner Lin: Letter to Queen Victoria, 1839 

Lin Tze Szu

Lin Tze Szu


Queen Victoria at 20 in 1939

Queen Victoria at 20 in 1939








Lin , high imperial commissioner, a president of the Board of War, viceroy of the two Keäng provinces, &c., Tang, a president of the Board of War, viceroy of the two Kwang provinces, &c., and E., a vice-president of the Board of War, lieut.-governor of Kwangtung, &c., hereby conjointly address this public dispatch to the queen of England for the purpose of giving her clear and distinct information (on the state of affairs) &c.

It is only our high and mighty emperor, who alike supports and cherishes those of the Inner Land, and those from beyond the seas-who looks upon all mankind with equal benevolence—who, if a source of profit exists anywhere, diffuses it over the whole world—who, if the tree of evil takes root anywhere, plucks it up for the benefit of all nations;—who, in a word, hath implanted in his breast that heart (by which beneficent nature herself) governs the heavens and the earth! You, the queen of your honorable nation, sit upon a throne occupied through successive generations by predecessors, all of whom have been styled respectful and obedient. Looking over the public documents accompanying the tribute sent (by your predecessors) on various occasions, we find the following: “All the people of my country, arriving at the Central Land for purposes of trade, have to feel grateful to the great emperor for the most perfect justice, for the kindest treatment,” and other words to that effect. Delighted did we feel that the kings of your honorable nation so clearly understood the great principles of propriety, and were so deeply grateful for the heavenly goodness (of our emperor):—therefore, it was that we of the heavenly dynasty nourished and cherished your people from afar, and bestowed upon them redoubled proofs of our urbanity and kindness. It is merely from these circumstances, that your country—deriving immense advantage from its commercial intercourse with us, which has endured now two hundred years—has become the rich and flourishing kingdom that it is said to be!

But, during the commercial intercourse which has existed so long, among the numerous foreign merchants resorting hither, are wheat and tares, good and bad; and of these latter are some, who, by means of introducing opium by stealth, have seduced our Chinese people, and caused every province of the land to overflow with that poison. These then know merely to advantage themselves, they care not about injuring others! This is a principle which heaven’s Providence repugnates; and which mankind conjointly look upon with abhorrence! Moreover, the great emperor hearing of it, actually quivered with indignation, and especially dispatched me, the commissioner, to Canton, that in conjunction with the viceroy and lieut.-governor of the province, means might be taken for its suppression!

Every native of the Inner Land who sells opium, as also all who smoke it, are alike adjudged to death. Were we then to go back and take up the crimes of the foreigners, who, by selling it for many years have induced dreadful calamity and robbed us of enormous wealth, and punish them with equal severity, our laws could not but award to them absolute annihilation! But, considering that these said foreigners did yet repent of their crime, and with a sincere heart beg for mercy; that they took 20,283 chests of opium piled up in their store-ships, and through Elliot, the superintendent of the trade of your said country, petitioned that they might be delivered up to us, when the same were all utterly destroyed, of which we, the imperial commissioner and colleagues, made a duly prepared memorial to his majesty;—considering these circumstances, we have happily received a fresh proof of the extraordinary goodness of the great emperor, inasmuch as he who voluntarily comes forward, may yet be deemed a fit subject for mercy, and his crimes be graciously remitted him. But as for him who again knowingly violates the laws, difficult indeed will it be thus to go on repeatedly pardoning! He or they shall alike be doomed to the penalties of the new statute. We presume that you, the sovereign of your honorable nation, on pouring out your heart before the altar of eternal justice, cannot but command all foreigners with the deepest respect to reverence our laws! If we only lay clearly before your eyes, what is profitable and what is destructive, you will then know that the statutes of the heavenly dynasty cannot but be obeyed with fear and trembling!

We find that your country is distant from us about sixty or seventy thousand miles, that your foreign ships come hither striving the one with the other for our trade, and for the simple reason of their strong desire to reap a profit. Now, out of the wealth of our Inner Land, if we take a part to bestow upon foreigners from afar, it follows, that the immense wealth which the said foreigners amass, ought properly speaking to be portion of our own native Chinese people. By what principle of reason then, should these foreigners send in return a poisonous drug, which involves in destruction those very natives of China? Without meaning to say that the foreigners harbor such destructive intentions in their hearts, we yet positively assert that from their inordinate thirst after gain, they are perfectly careless about the injuries they inflict upon us! And such being the case, we should like to ask what has become of that conscience which heaven has implanted in the breasts of all men?

We have heard that in your own country opium is prohibited with the utmost strictness and severity:—this is a strong proof that you know full well how hurtful it is to mankind. Since then you do not permit it to injure your own country, you ought not to have the injurious drug transferred to another country, and above all others, how much less to the Inner Land! Of the products which China exports to your foreign countries, there is not one which is not beneficial to mankind in some shape or other. There are those which serve for food, those which are useful, and those which are calculated for re-sale; but all are beneficial. Has China (we should like to ask) ever yet sent forth a noxious article from its soil? Not to speak of our tea and rhubarb, things which your foreign countries could not exist a single day without, if we of the Central Land were to grudge you what is beneficial, and not to compassionate your wants, then wherewithal could you foreigners manage to exist? And further, as regards your woolens, camlets, and longells, were it not that you get supplied with our native raw silk, you could not get these manufactured! If China were to grudge you those things which yield a profit, how could you foreigners scheme after any profit at all? Our other articles of food, such as sugar, ginger, cinnamon, &c., and our other articles for use, such as silk piece-goods, chinaware, &c., are all so many necessaries of life to you; how can we reckon up their number! On the other hand, the things that come from your foreign countries are only calculated to make presents of, or serve for mere amusement. It is quite the same to us if we have them, or if we have them not. If then these are of no material consequence to us of the Inner Land, what difficulty would there be in prohibiting and shutting our market against them? It is only that our heavenly dynasty most freely permits you to take off her tea, silk, and other commodities, and convey them for consumption everywhere, without the slightest stint or grudge, for no other reason, but that where a profit exists, we wish that it be diffused abroad for the benefit of all the earth!

Your honorable nation takes away the products of our central land, and not only do you thereby obtain food and support for yourselves, but moreover, by re-selling these products to other countries you reap a threefold profit. Now if you would only not sell opium, this threefold profit would be secured to you: how can you possibly consent to forgo it for a drug that is hurtful to men, and an unbridled craving after gain that seems to know no bounds! Let us suppose that foreigners came from another country, and brought opium into England, and seduced the people of your country to smoke it, would not you, the sovereign of the said country, look upon such a procedure with anger, and in your just indignation endeavor to get rid of it? Now we have always heard that your highness possesses a most kind and benevolent heart, surely then you are incapable of doing or causing to be done unto another, that which you should not wish another to do unto you! We have at the same time heard that your ships which come to Canton do each and every of them carry a document granted by your highness’ self, on which are written these words “you shall not be permitted to carry contraband goods;” this shows that the laws of your highness are in their origin both distinct and severe, and we can only suppose that because the ships coming here have been very numerous, due attention has not been given to search and examine; and for this reason it is that we now address you this public document, that you may clearly know how stern and severe are the laws of the central dynasty, and most certainly you will cause that they be not again rashly violated!

Moreover, we have heard that in London the metropolis where you dwell, as also in Scotland, Ireland, and other such places, no opium whatever is produced. It is only in sundry parts of your colonial kingdom of Hindostan, such as Bengal, Madras, Bombay, Patna, Malwa, Benares, Malacca, and other places where the very hills are covered with the opium plant, where tanks are made for the preparing of the drug; month by month, and year by year, the volume of the poison increases, its unclean stench ascends upwards, until heaven itself grows angry, and the very gods thereat get indignant! You, the queen of the said honorable nation, ought immediately to have the plant in those parts plucked up by the very root! Cause the land there to be hoed up afresh, sow in its stead the five grains, and if any man dare again to plant in these grounds a single poppy, visit his crime with the most severe punishment. By a truly benevolent system of government such as this, will you indeed reap advantage, and do away with a source of evil. Heaven must support you, and the gods will crown you with felicity! This will get for yourself the blessing of long life, and from this will proceed the security and stability of your descendants!

In reference to the foreign merchants who come to this our central land, the food that they eat, and the dwellings that they abide in, proceed entirely from the goodness of our heavenly dynasty: the profits which they reap, and the fortunes which they amass, have their origin only in that portion of benefit which our heavenly dynasty kindly allots them: and as these pass but little of their time in your country, and the greater part of their time in our’s, it is a generally received maxim of old and of modern times, that we should conjointly admonish, and clearly make known the punishment that awaits them.

Suppose the subject of another country were to come to England to trade, he would certainly be required to comply with the laws of England, then how much more does this apply to us of the celestial empire! Now it is a fixed statute of this empire, that any native Chinese who sells opium is punishable with death, and even he who merely smokes it, must not less die. Pause and reflect for a moment: if you foreigners did not bring the opium hither, where should our Chinese people get it to re-sell? It is you foreigners who involve our simple natives in the pit of death, and are they alone to be permitted to escape alive? If so much as one of those deprive one of our people of his life, he must forfeit his life in requital for that which he has taken: how much more does this apply to him who by means of opium destroys his fellow-men? Does the havoc which he commits stop with a single life? Therefore it is that those foreigners who now import opium into the Central Land are condemned to be beheaded and strangled by the new statute, and this explains what we said at the beginning about plucking up the tree of evil, wherever it takes root, for the benefit of all nations.

We further find that during the second month of this present year, the superintendent of your honorable country, Elliot, viewing the law in relation to the prohibiting of opium as excessively severe, duly petitioned us, begging for “an extension of the term already limited, say five months for Hindostan and the different parts of India, and ten for England, after which they would obey and act in conformity with the new statute,” and other words to the same effect. Now we, the high commissioner and colleagues, upon making a duly prepared memorial to the great emperor, have to feel grateful for his extraordinary goodness, for his redoubled compassion. Any one who within the next year and a half may by mistake bring opium to this country, if he will but voluntarily come forward, and deliver up the entire quantity, he shall be absolved from all punishment for his crime. If, however, the appointed term shall have expired, and there are still persons who continue to bring it, then such shall be accounted as knowingly violating the laws, and shall most assuredly be put to death! On no account shall we show mercy or clemency! This then may be called truly the extreme of benevolence, and the very perfection of justice!

Our celestial empire rules over ten thousand kingdoms! Most surely do we possess a measure of godlike majesty which ye cannot fathom! Still we cannot bear to slay or exterminate without previous warning, and it is for this reason that we now clearly make known to you the fixed laws of our land. If the foreign merchants of your said honorable nation desire to continue their commercial intercourse, they then must tremblingly obey our recorded statutes, they must cut off for ever the source from which the opium flows, and on no account make an experiment of our laws in their own persons! Let then your highness punish those of your subjects who may be criminal, do not endeavor to screen or conceal them, and thus you will secure peace and quietness to your possessions, thus will you more than ever display a proper sense of respect and obedience, and thus may we unitedly enjoy the common blessings of peace and happiness. What greater joy! What more complete felicity than this!

Let your highness immediately, upon the receipt of this communication, inform us promptly of the state of matters, and of the measure you are pursuing utterly to put a stop to the opium evil. Please let your reply be speedy. Do not on any account make excuses or procrastinate. A most important communication.

P. S. We annex an abstract of the new law, now about to be put in force.

“Any foreigner or foreigners bringing opium to the Central Land, with design to sell the same, the principals shall most assuredly be decapitated, and the accessories strangled; and all property (found on board the same ship) shall be confiscated. The space of a year and a half is granted, within the which, if any one bringing opium by mistake, shall voluntarily step forward and deliver it up, he shall be absolved from all consequences of his crime.”

This said imperial edict was received on the 9th day of the 6th month of the 19th year of Taoukwang,  at which the period of grace begins, and runs on to the 9th day of the 12th month of the 20th year of Taoukwang, when it is completed.


From: Chinese Repository, Vol. 8 (February 1840), pp. 497-503; reprinted in William H. McNeil and Mitsuko Iriye, eds., Modern Asia and Africa, Readings in World History Vol. 9, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971), pp. 111-118.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.

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© Paul Halsall, October 1998

Russia A True Friend To Enemies

Ancient Russian Map C 16th

Ancient Russian Map C 16th

Don’t know much about this map, but I like old maps and couldn’t resist putting it up here. In news yesterday we heard that Russia decided to demand payment of gas fees that Ukraine owes it.  We heard from such media sites such as Reuters  that the Russian Federation  is using this as a type of leverage in order to try and force Ukraine into its orbit somehow.  Looking at the primary sources that documents the decision making process, a more complex picture emerges. In fact President Putin had this to say of  the circumstances the Russian Federation found itself in:

The situation is certainly strange, to put it lightly, because, as you know, our partners in Europe recognise the legitimacy of today’s authorities in Kiev, but are not doing anything to support Ukraine – not a single dollar, not a single euro. The Russian Federation does not recognise the legitimacy of the powers in Kiev, but continues to provide economic support and still subsidises Ukraine’s economy with hundreds of millions and billions of dollars. Naturally, this situation cannot continue indefinitely, but I want to note again that we must act very carefully, without destroying the little that is still left.”

Apparently when Ukraine received the first bond payment of 3 billion dollars, it was already in arrears 1.2 billion dollars for gas fees.  Not only that, trade stipulations between the two countries require that Russia delivers  certain commodities before they receive payment.  A situation like this has put Ukraine in a deficit with Russia to the tune of about 16.5 billion dollars.  And there is no guarantee that shipments going the other way will be, in the future, fulfilled so Putin has directed entities within Russia to  gear up to alleviate a possible failure to supply defense parts and other similar imports from Ukraine. While Prepayment is an option that  Prime Minister Medvedev introduced as a topic, President Putin directed his team to wait and see, reminded them that they must act very carefully.

Meanwhile the Russia’s partners in United States and Europe refuse to hold constructive discussions with Russia as they seem convinced that Russia is planning to annex eastern areas of Ukraine.

To read the entire disposition yourself go to

So does Crimea have a precedent of sorts. the answer is yes. Tranistra under G.W.Bush also held a referendum, with U.S. led similar results.  Study the following maps and we will report on the recent past in the next blog.


See the country of Moldava (Moldavie); On the eastern edge of it is transnistra, a region that has a large Russian Population that also wants to align with Russia.