America Programmed for War: Cause
by Brian Bogart
Cold War warriors and their policies have
been hijacked for today's permanent war on terror. This story
contains within it the cause and solution: the weakest point in
United States foreign policy, and a legal basis for the strongest
push toward a peaceful change of priorities by the most dedicated
people in America-you.
In the counsels of Government, we
must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether
sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential
for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our
liberties or democratic processes.
-President Dwight Eisenhower, upon leaving
office; January 1961
1) The Long War: From NSC-68 to 2005
As the University of Oregon's first graduate
student in the transdisciplinary field of Peace Studies, it is
my responsibility to explore the role of the military in society
and those conditions that most promote peace and human welfare.
Unfortunately, this task puts me in direct conflict with school
administrators, including President Dave Frohnmayer, whose signature
appears on my Bachelor's degree.
There is nothing personal about this
conflict, and President Frohnmayer has done nothing out of the
ordinary. Like the presidents of more than 300 other universities
that help develop weapons for the Department of Defense (DoD),
he is simply leading my school into an evermore intimate partnership
with America's military industrial complex.
Federal programs that once served low-income
people nationwide have been shut down, and states have had to
cut funding for education to make up the difference. (Our servants
in the White House are still trying to abolish the food stamp
program.) Schools turned elsewhere for money, and-bing-here's
DoD handing out major bucks for weapons research; outsourced projects
that will in one way or another lead to the death of humans and
other life systems.
In the old days, universities solicited
funds from their states (and states would provide a slice of their
budgets). Today our schools increasingly beg for funds from DoD,
the Department of Energy, and other firms directly connected to
the industry of war. As I will explain in this essay, soliciting
funds from the world's greatest war machine creates not just a
partnership that contradicts the inherent purpose of enlightenment
(a.k.a. higher education for a better future), but also a point
of unity for those of us who see the big picture-our 300-plus
schools are 300-plus communities ready to network for change.
Before I expand on the costs to our society
and the active participation of our schools, it is worth noting
that in my 50 years I wrote pen-pal letters asking President Kennedy
to take down the Berlin Wall, marched with Martin Luther King,
worshipped John Lennon, worked for companies building Trident,
MX, and Stinger missiles simultaneous to my involvement with Carl
Sagan's anti-Cold War Space Bridge project, and helped build the
B-1 bomber and parts for the Aegis Weapons System (capable of
directing 20 missiles at once) on the Ticonderoga-class battle
cruiser-much of this while attempting to deconstruct the obvious
conflict between what I wanted (peace) and what I needed (a paycheck).
So, I know a thing or two about conscience.
But only after three-and-a-half years of intensive research (some
14 years after leaving the defense industry) did I come to appreciate
the simple nature of the dilemma confronting a world dominated
by a war-driven America, and to identify the opportunity presented
A single policy decision made in secluded
chambers of the White House shortly after World War II explains
why our financial and intellectual creativity focuses on lethal
technologies, why 51% of our taxes go to defense and less than
5% to education, why there are 6000 military bases in the United
States and 1000 US bases overseas, why comprehensive agendas support
warfighting and weak agendas address human services and the environment,
and why our top industry since 1950 remains the manufacture and
sale of weapons.
Assessing key indicators in 1947 and
'48, President Truman's advisors acutely feared an economic collapse
back into the Depression, and, as Noam Chomsky points out, there
was scant debate among them: "It wasn't really a debate because
it was settled before it started, but the issue was at least raised-should
the government pursue military spending or social spending?"
Our dilemma stems from the postwar adoption
of a military-based rather than a people-based economy. This policy,
authored by Wall Street's Paul Nitze, is embodied in NSC-68, a
document signed by President Truman in 1950. Along with then Secretary
of State Dean Acheson, and without any expertise in Russian history
or Soviet affairs, Nitze convinced-some say coerced-Truman into
recognizing the Soviet Union as an evil and imminent threat, and
into signing NSC-68 and launching the Cold War.
After NSC-68 was signed, it needed the
approval of Congress. Post-Cold War documents reveal that the
Korean War was triggered by Americans and South Koreans for this
purpose (Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao and the Korean War,
by Sergei N. Goncharov, John W. Lewis, and Xue Litai; Stanford
University Press). According to Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution,
starting any war against the US is treason if there is evidence
that a US citizen took part.
All US military actions from 1950 to
2005 flow from this decision, made without the consent of the
American people. There is no fundamental difference between the
Cold War and today's so-called permanent war on terror; perfect
fuel for our military-based economy. For 55 years, America has
been waging a crime against humanity, a crime for profiteers.
I call it the Long War because "permanent" is defeatist.
As satellite photos and extensive post-Cold
War interviews have revealed (including interviews with Acheson,
Nitze, and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz),
no Soviet threat existed in 1950. Whether or not it was a ploy,
NSC-68 changed America's priority from human prosperity to conflict-dependent
industry profit, and elevated corporations (which rarely have
a conscience) to a status above that of the people (who are, in
the Founding vision, the conscience of government).
Paul Wolfowitz cites Nitze and Acheson
among his role models: "Paul Nitze has had a huge mark on
my career over many, many years, starting with 1969, when I was
still a very much wet-behind-the-ears graduate student who came
to Washington to work with three great men: Paul Nitze, Dean
Acheson, and Albert Wohlstetter."
When the Cold War ended, longtime admirers
and associates of Paul Nitze, led by Paul Wolfowitz-mentor to
Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Richard Perle-immediately began
searching for another means to justify America's permanent war
Plans for today's war on terror surfaced
in 1992 as President George H.W. Bush pulled out of Iraq. Realizing
that the follow-up to the Cold War was not playing out according
to their expectations, blueprints for re-invasion and global expansion
were drawn up by Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Lewis Libby, Cheney's
current chief of staff.
When not promoting fear ("Today
we face an even greater threat, an enemy that not only hates freedom;
it hates life itself and worships death"), Paul Wolfowitz
provides our rationale for the Long War: "This is not about
America imposing its values on other people. It's about America
enabling other people to enjoy the values from which we benefit
In other words, our permanent war policy
is about imposing our values on others-and at great cost-and therefore
thoroughly contradicts the objectives of the Constitution to form
a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
A war-dependent economy requires conflict,
so there have been more than 200 wars since NSC-68. But those
in power today have also retooled our corporate industry (through
the weakening of safeguards), our national intelligence agencies
(through top-down coercion, firings, and policy changes), and
the public mindset (through consolidation of media) to optimize
war profits and popularize the notion of the need for permanent
The war-driven economy is justified by
a "necessary" war on terror. But which came first-America's
global military-economic outreach, or international terrorism?
Despite protestations from the current administration, terrorism
is and has been a blowback of our policy, and as Chomsky says,
the way to stop terrorism is to stop participating in it.
In the pathological pursuit of profit
and power, government and corporations (and university executives)
march hand in hand, realizing President Abraham Lincoln's worst
I see in the near future, a crisis approaching
that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my
country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption
will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor
to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people,
until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic
The cause of our problems-the adoption
and maintenance of the Long War for profit-is well defined and
its proponents are self-identified. We know what the future holds
(and doesn't hold) as long as we have leaders who sustain this
policy as the engine of our nation. Yet, with the problem identified,
the people can implement a solution.
To motivate ourselves, we should consider
at stake the control and meaning of creativity, for in today's
America, heroes are made of dark insights. In 2004 Paul Nitze
was honored for his creativity in the interest of serving peace
by having a ship christened in his name. About that celebration,
Paul Wolfowitz declared: "to name a destroyer after a living
American is an honor bestowed on very, very few people."
Before he died in 2004, Paul Nitze denounced
the war on terror, but Wolfowitz doesn't talk about that statement-because
the warriors on terror co-opted Nitze's Cold War policy to perpetuate
America's war industry. All the better to neocontrol the world
and keep "lesser" Americans from power.
Today the Pentagon is pressuring Japan
to rescind Article 9 of its Constitution as part of our National
Defense Strategy (drafted by guess who). The irony is crushing.
Here we have the first nation on Earth to use weapons of mass
destruction (the United States) urging the only nation to suffer
nuclear attacks (Japan) to re-establish a military and arm itself
with nuclear weapons. Why? War is our business, so we make it
everyone else's too. On Wall Street, war is damn good for business.
Some 310,000 companies worldwide depend on war because we have
made them dependent on war.
America's business should be its people's
prosperity. That's where the Constitution should come into play.
The highest office in the land may be the presidency, but according
to the Declaration of Independence, the greatest power rests with
the people. People is a title above that of President or Secretary
of Defense or Attorney General or Doctor or Professor. And I think
we can sell this point to a war-torn world and a frustrated American
Peace bears no arms, erects no barriers,
and plays not upon the fears of people. Call our foreign policies
offensive, contentious, and coercive, but they do not serve peace.
In the words of the Roman historian Tacitus, Rome creates a desert
and calls it "peace."
We the people serve neither Rome nor
any empire, and in serving peace, we shall neither create conflict
nor consent to sell ourselves and exchange our rights so leaders
may profit. Rather-as written-we are obliged to exchange our leaders
so humankind may prosper.
Foreign policy is what a few men make
it, and that is terribly wrong. NSC-68 is where America, officially,
took the wrong road. During its conception while developing the
hydrogen bomb, Secretary of State Dean Acheson instructed subordinates
to ignore any moral implications and focus on technological and
budgetary challenges. This opened the door for a future of technical
justifications by the Pentagon, and closed the door on all discussions
of morality. The machine was born.
Our rights, as guaranteed in America's
Founding documents, rest beneath the deliberate manufacture of
war for profit. 55 years of the Long War is long enough. It is
time to rise and organize for a peaceful world in the name of
the people for whom America was born. If this means modifying
the Constitution-to ensure the common people are included in decision-making,
and to protect the future as life's sacred common ground-so be
For the sake of all life, America must
change its priority from industry profit to human prosperity.
Every problem you can name has been caused, exploited, or exacerbated
by this condition. Pass the word, gather, unite, organize nationwide,
and strike simultaneously on this single issue.
2) Our Schools and Ourselves: Cogs in
The people of these United States are
the rightful masters of both congresses and courts, not to overthrow
the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Nothing better illustrates America's
Long War and its non peace-loving policies and priorities than
the consistent wealth of funding provided to the Pentagon's Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) relative to the poorly
funded and withering Environmental Protection Agency and Department
of Education. And there is no greater hypocrisy than using our
institutions of higher education to feed the war machine.
The so-called "war on terror"
serves to justify increased outsourcing of DoD projects to our
schools, conveniently reducing budget obstacles faced by the Pentagon
and our schools. War provides longevity for those adept at projecting
fear and power. War or even one attack prevents poll numbers from
slipping too low, and keeps weapons deals on the table when buyers
such as India, Pakistan, or Indonesia display reluctance.
War keeps America running, but only because
war was adopted as our way of life. That can and must change-and
with a united sense of urgency.
At the heart of the Pentagon's strategy
for the next 30 years is something called reachback, or killing
by remote control. A good example of reachback appeared in a recent
mainstream newspaper article (4-21-05; Online Killing), which
described an online-hunting website.
Like the Panopticon-a prison of brightly
lit cells surrounding a dark central guardhouse (read Pentagon),
designed with good intentions by Jeremy Bentham in 1790-reachback
is also the ability to project power and fear by forcing subjects
to assume they are being watched, or by compelling subjects to
conform to perceived standards. Reachback turns good-natured people
into cogs in a war machine whether they know it or not. Reachback
is a paycheck mentality that makes workers feel proud to accept
promotions from manufacturing ordinary radio tubes to ones that
knock out electrical grids of entire cities. Reachback keeps otherwise
progressive-minded professors so occupied with one discipline
that they fail to interact with the transdisciplinary nature of
the human dilemma.
Reachback is the war machine on autopilot.
But the best examples of reachback are
the battlefields of tomorrow unfolding in our school laboratories
today. More than 300 universities are developing weapons for the
Pentagon's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, many involving
nanotechnology. MIT received an entire installation on campus,
the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, and USC boasts the
Institute for Creative Technologies. Both are among the leaders
in developing the FCS Objective Force Warrior.
DoD literature speaks glowingly of the
program's accomplishments: "Arnold Schwarzennegger as The
Terminator has nothing over the Objective Force Warrior."
It promises to "develop a high-tech soldier with 20 times
the capability of today's warrior by about 2010," by integrating
18 systems into human soldiers. These systems include: graphic
displays equaling "two 17-inch computer monitors in front
of the soldier's eyes"; thermal sensors; day-night video
cameras; chemical and biological warning sensors; auditory enhancement;
stealth and self-healing-wound technology; super sneakers that
allow soldiers to jump over walls and buildings (Nike incorporated
nanotechnology into its shoes in 2001); and microclimate conditioning.
Most of these systems already exist.
The next and most gruesome "advances" in the FCS program
are the ones in development on our campuses: offshoots of DARPA's
Persistence in Combat (deep-wound disregard), Continuous Assisted
Performance (seven-day stimulant), and Brain Machine Interface
(remote-controlled human soldiers) projects.
With reachback, not only will soldiers
fire their weapons in nearly any direction and have the ammunition
guided to their target (perhaps by someone with a joystick in
the basement of the White House), but the soldiers themselves
will be remote controlled, and not by mere suggestion.
Google "brain interface" to
see hundreds of pages spun from DARPA's pilot project that was
outsourced to the University of Oregon and other schools. Google
as many subjects in this essay as time permits. (This is your
country, and these are your tax dollars at work. DARPA created
the Internet, so use it.)
And while you're online, click on http://www.bme.jhu.edu/labs/nthakor/hongbo/main.htm
for a graphic study of "wetware": in this case controlling
rats via brain "hardpacks" (i.e. torture) at Johns Hopkins
University, where Paul Wolfowitz is (or was) dean of the Paul
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. (Assembling the
jigsaw pieces of America's permanent war policy is not rocket
science; the connections are clear.)
Also click on http://oga.uoregon.edu/
to see University of Oregon's Federal Priorities and how closely
they fit with our national priority. Note page 12 (Brain Biology
and Machine Initiative, Defense Applications), where this document-signed
by President Frohnmayer and esteemed subordinates-solicits funds
for "optimizing the training and performance of military
personnel, such as their ability to function in stressful and
complex environments and to improve the integration of human and
machine. Examples include developing the ability to 'lock out'
undesirable battle responses, or to assess a soldier's suitability
to particular military tasks involving aspects such as attention,
decision making, emotion, memory, and communication."
And I am sincere when I say "esteemed."
These highly educated executives are paid to deceive the public
with phrases like Green Science. They, like us, are merely cogs
in the machine. We're all familiar with oxymoronic programs like
Clear Skies and No Child Left Behind. Green Science slaps yet
another happy mask on the face of deadly profiteering.
As a general University of Oregon policy,
classified research is not allowed at campus facilities. However,
weapons projects are allowed, and any that are classified secret
can be (conveniently) shuttled across the street to Riverfront
This is reachback. This is America, warrior
nation. This is not a peace-loving country, and this is not an
enlightened, promising, hopeful use of our schools.
In addition to the intended deadly consequences
of defense research, some campus research involves unintended
hazards. Nanotechnology, an industry with no standard for safeguards,
is called the deadliest industry ever created. Traditional laws
of physics cease to apply with particles less than 50 nanometers
in size (a human hair is 200,000 nanometers thick): metals become
transparent, normally hard substances dissolve, colors change
( http://rachel.org/bulletin/index.cfm?issue_ID=2498 )
A study released in June 2005 concludes
that chemicals long considered safe, such as the widely used wine-industry
fungicide Vinclozolin (and Methoxychlor, which replaced DDT),
when ingested cause severe damage to all four generations down
the line. You may never show symptoms, but bad luck for the grandkids
( http://rachel.org/bulletin/index.cfm?St=3 ).
These same chemicals when manufactured
using nanotechnology kill on contact. Such "breakthroughs"
have opened up fascinating new battlefield possibilities for DARPA,
which (with taxpayer dollars) has successfully fashioned small
bombs containing billions of flesh-and-bone eating "nanobots"
that can target specific human genotypes-a "politically useful
tool," according to the Project for the New American Century's
2000 report, Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces,
and Resources for a New Century, most of whose 27 signatories,
including Paul Wolfowitz, now hold top posts in the Bush administration
or at major universities around the country.
Unintended consequences of technology
are always a problem, but when a nation's prime motive is world
domination and profits through military superiority, all life
is at risk, and our national motive never sleeps (this is a race
against time). As long as the engine of our nation runs on conflict
and our top industry is weaponry, we will devote more time and
money to killing-and helping other nations to kill-than to the
enhancement of life on this planet, and otherwise intelligent
people will continue to justify doing so with phrases like Green
But the real tragedy of Lincoln's fears
coming true is the disempowerment of the people (and the money
power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working
upon the prejudices of the people).
Look at us flailing to keep head above
water, drowning in symptoms of the unfeeling war machine: school
funding, campaign finance reform, military recruitment on campuses,
election reform, the environment, religious extremism, corporate
personhood, stagnant education programs, economically challenged
people in battle, unjust veteran's benefits, inadequate soldier
protection, defense contractor overruns, media manipulation (add
your chosen "cause" here, but remember it's a symptom),
and on and on-all of them indicative of a war-for-profit-only
society, all of them demanding our time and distracting us from
seeing and correcting the root cause.
In fiscal year 1999, the Department of
Defense, the largest agency in the United States, reported unaccountable
adjustments of $2.3 trillion to balance its books. In fiscal year
2000, it reported unaccountable adjustments of $1.1 trillion to
balance its books. For fiscal year 2001, and since, DoD has (again
conveniently) declined to report ( http://www.whereisthemoney.org
With the most secretive administration
in history, under which millions of public documents have vanished
or been reclassified, let's be generous and say they misplace
a mere $1 trillion a year. 3.4 plus 1 trillion times four-leaving
out 2005-means 7.4 trillion-plus Pentagon dollars are up to no
good somewhere. (See Steven Aftergood's The Age of Missing Information,
To find a few trillion of these dollars
at work, spend a day or three browsing DARPA's massive website
(darpa.mil). Keep in mind that DARPA (whom we can thank for the
Active Denial System-the new microwave crowd-control weapon the
Pentagon hopes to deploy to a police station near you by summer
2008) is just the daddy of DoD contractors: there are 310,000
companies around the world working for America's war industry.
That's what we're up against.
Deceptions such as the Cold War, the
war on drugs, and the war on terror do not make our communities
and our lives any safer. Their aim is to facilitate war profiteering.
Since the 1950 adoption of the Cold War policy, NSC-68, without
the people's consent, we have been building a military-first,
people-last America-and this theft of our country should outrage
and unite all Americans who wonder about prices at gas stations
Under our corporate-owned federal government,
America controls the world and its own people through fear. It
is up to us to reject the power of fear and give birth to a superpower
of public opinion. Only by peacefully asserting ourselves around
the central issue will peace and justice prevail. Think about,
write about, shout about-nationwide strike about our permanent
war policy. All it takes is an organized commitment; not just
to the wealth of symptoms, but to the root cause.
3) Strike! A Match for Cindy Sheehan
The Constitution is not an instrument
for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument
for the people to restrain the government-lest it come to dominate
our lives and interests. -Patrick
To address our deadly dilemma, we must
understand what drives America and how its people remain disempowered.
Money is the fuel for the permanent-war engine, and those at the
wheel are investors in warfighting. America was built for a people-based
engine, with people at the wheel investing in people. The concept
of "power to the people" comes from the Constitution-not
from the radical minds of the 1960's, but the radical principles
that founded America.
How did the people lose this country?
It was lost through the adoption of NSC-68, the secret 1950 policy
instituting war as the basis of our economy. How can the people
take back America? By diligently spreading word of, and uniting
around, this single cause of our problems, and-with continued
devotion to the symptoms and a sense of urgency-reclaiming America
for the people in whose name it was created. It is that simple,
but we must start now-and the best place to begin is on our campuses.
Why urgency? In Welcome to the Machine,
Derrick Jensen offers indispensable advice for contemporary cogs:
"What one generation perceives as repression, the next accepts
as a necessary part of a complex daily life." DARPA, the
Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is less
than a generation away from robot warriors. Jensen suggests we
are already robotized in our thinking-submissive, removed, remote
controlled (remember reachback, the Pentagon's strategy for the
According to GradSchools.com, there are
54 graduate programs under the category of Peace Studies at various
universities nationwide. Some have interesting titles: Special
Ministry at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Accounting at
Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Aerospace Engineering
at University of Cincinnati, and Strategic Intelligence at the
Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington, DC.
The Pentagon is making strides in the
field of peace education, and is being sued by Judicial Watch
for dispensing propaganda through a website targeting schoolchildren,
known as Empower Peace. The National Defense Education Act, a
Cold War program created in 1958, was recently revived by the
Association of American Universities (which solicits research
funds from DoD) to recruit the next generation of national security
workers from our schools. And the United States Institute of Peace
routinely sends invitations to college students through school
email servers. Past and current board members of USIP include
such ultraconservatives as DoD's Peter Rodman of the Project for
the New American Century (PNAC; see Rebuilding America's Defenses:
Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century), and Daniel
Pipes, now on DoD's Special Task Force for Terrorism and Technology,
and also a PNAC member.
In our time-pressured lives we rarely
grasp the big picture and tend to view things separately: DARPA
is an agency, universities are where we send our kids, elections
are how we (think we) choose our presidents, and wars simply exist.
But those in power see a single advancing policy-a military policy
to derive profits from fear-and they have set our course in Pentagon
plans that will not change with administrations.
What is our plan as the people? We will
find inspiration from our revolutionary past. There are no laws
against carrying out a change of government. Quite the contrary:
We hold these truths to be self evident-that
all are created equal, endowed with inalienable rights, that among
these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to
secure these rights governments are instituted deriving their
powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever government
becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of the people
to alter or abolish it, to throw off such government and provide
new guards for their future security.
America was born a people-first country,
and that concept spread rapidly throughout the world without military
force. The vision of our Founders was to advance the notion of
people living in peace everywhere, using the freedom that nature
provides upon birth. But only by practicing these principles will
the American people extinguish the obscenity of a "war to
spread freedom" and realize this Founding vision.
Today there is no graver sin at work
in the world than America's military-based economy, adopted without
the people's consent. In honoring our Founding principles, we
must acknowledge that to exploit fears and prejudices to maintain
the flow of profits from conflict-to perpetuate a state of war
in the name of peace-is treasonous to our creed.
Though militarism in America predates
the adoption of NSC-68, militarism as our way of life became official
on that day in 1950. Only by correcting our priority can we restore
hope for a people-based society. Take back this country by popular
demand and we not only right a terrible wrong, we open the door
to a world free from enslavement to war profiteers.
This option is what Noam Chomsky calls
the second superpower of public opinion, a force good people in
government are waiting for. Our constitutional framework is intact,
but we need to clean house, repair the root flaw, heal its symptoms,
and live by cooperation instead of co-option-and we can only do
this with a transdisciplinary, transcendent solution; united by
determination to overcome. Addressing the symptoms won't work,
bloody revolution won't work-organized nonviolent popular demand
Many things are in development or in
place for transition to peaceful living, such as people-based
economic structures, a bill in Congress for a cabinet-level Department
of Peace, a self-financed political party that publicly measures
the character of candidates, plans for education and healthcare
reforms, a resource-sharing international vision, and much more.
But all of these require an American change of priority.
Our survival requires that we continue
to bail out the water pouring into the boat. But our prosperity
depends on fixing the hole-the policy that tells industry to think
"profits first-people last" while more than 300 American
universities make weapons for a world on the verge of resource
To begin change, spread word among organizations-then
unite and demand the adoption of a people-based national economic
policy. Campus communities-parents, students, faculty-farm communities,
physicians groups, environmental organizations, interfaith alliances,
labor unions, all who seek domestic prosperity-working together-can
by popular demand change America's priority, and in so doing change
a nation and world. Nationwide strikes can produce nonviolent
We the people have a duty to our Founding
principles, to restore the role of America as a peaceful beacon
of liberty, hope, and justice. Our reputation as killers will
only be redeemed by our duty as caretakers. There will never be
a better time to rally to this cause; there will never be clearer
examples of rampant corruption in our politics or a time when
this government is riper for reinvention.
Can you think of a time in US history
more deliberately saturated with violence and corruption than
the years spanning the birth of the Cold War to the never-end
of the war on terror? Can you think of a better solution to provide
for our future security and stave off collapse than that of change
by popular demand, handed down to us in writing? What could motivate
peace-loving Americans more than the need to abolish a war-dependent
system and establish a world free from American tyranny? What
was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence-to break from
one land of tyranny to build another?
Every action and reaction in the war
on terror fuels the engine by which we live, and optimizes the
performance of war profiteering. The symptoms of this policy cover
the world. The American people have the right to implement a peaceful
revolution, the duty to transform an offensive posture into a
universal rescue operation, and the opportunity to release the
world from the grip of a tragic mistake and inspire the triumph
I have long admired Martin Luther King
and Mohandas Gandhi, but Chomsky is correct in saying that neither
were agents of change by themselves; their views were realized
by the actions of large groups of determined people. While it
may appear that we lack such leaders now, the truth is we are
the leaders we are waiting for, and we hold the key to free the
world. We are ready for change, and we are ready to strike peacefully
to achieve it.
There is no better place to begin rejecting
America's industry of war than in our network of schools-and what
a great match for honoring the efforts of Cindy Sheehan. The Pentagon
has its National Security Strategy, National Military Strategy,
and National Defense Strategy. Now we have our National Community
Strategy: I will strike at my school, and you can stand in support
at your schools, and together we will inform and transform America.
One cause, one voice, one message. One
planet, one future, one people.
Brian Bogart worked in the defense industry
for 15 years, turning down security clearance opportunities three
times before leaving Silicon Valley. He is now in his fourth year
as University of Oregon's first graduate student in Peace Studies.
War and Peace page
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